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should 6 yo boy audition for SAB


ezhinsky

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Hi, I am new to the site.My youngest son (6) is a born dancer. Dances everything he hears. We live 50 ml away from the city. He has been attending local ballet school with good reputation for the past year and a half and likes it a lot. We also started going once a week to a very nice dance school in the city (and paying just nominal fee for the year which is less of what we are paying for the month here). He shows a lot of promise . I am torn if I should audition him for SAB (which I am almost certain he will get in). It will mean that we will have to commute twice a week (and it will be around 3 or more hours round trip just for the road). Financially it will be almost the same as it is free for boys in SAB. (So I would spend about $260/month on the commute which is the roughly the same as I would pay for his classes here). Would this be a toll on the family and is Nutcracker there a good thing or bad for a really young child to be involved.

Should we wait? I am afraid if he continue to study here he will encounter teasing and will give it up. He is very socially oriented and popular child, so peer pressure is a big factor.. However if he is in New York at Lincoln center this is something big and he would not be ashamed but really excited.(He is already boasting even before we decided to audition) He does love ballet and at this point he is proud of his progress, teaches everybody positions and jumps, It is such a joy to watch him I never want it to end.

Edited by ezhinsky
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JacquelineInAus

Hi ezhinsky,

 

You're probably in the best position to decide whether commuting would take a toll on your family. Things to consider might be: other children, other extra-curricular commitments, how your son would cope with the school/ballet/travel balance, other family commitments (including time just spent together).

 

I do understand the concern about peer pressure and not wanting your son to give up something he loves. If it were me, I would wait another 2/3 years, only because 6 seems rather young. But that is purely my personal opinion - you know your son, and he may well thrive in that environment! Good luck with your decision.

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Are there other boys in the program at his local school? He is going to react better to other peoples comments if he has a peer group he really enjoys at his current program. If he does have a peer group and the local school offers quality instruction then I would not be in a hurry to move him to SAB. The time commuting can be hard on a young one (and on parents and siblings). He may be exuberant about dance anywhere he goes, but you will enjoy it more if you can maintain a balance between playing chauffeur and family time.

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Re: Nutcracker, I don't think NYCB uses students as young as he is in their production, so no need to worry about that yet. It would be more around age 10-12 that he would be allowed to audition.

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Thank you for the info. He does not have a peer group at his ballet school, just one other boy his age and they are not close. There are girls that are his friends. (He is a big heartthrob:-) He really likes it there and he loves his teacher, He also loves the teacher in his school in New York City. When I talked to him just now he said that he wants to continue here, and he wants to go Saturdays to his other school, and he wants to be in big school in Lincoln center. But JacqelineInAus and chel, you probably both right that family time is important now, and spending time with his brother and his Dad. It is just... he is just so crazy good! So I think twice a week here and once a week with good teacher in New York will do the trick for now.The other thing about SAB ... I also wanted to hear a professional opinion what kind of potential he has or it is all in my head. Do you think they will be able to tell me this at audition? And if we decide to wait and forgo the acceptance will he be able to audition again in couple of years.Thanks .

 

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HuckleberryDawg

Just my opinion; but nothing is going to happen in the next two or three years that will make that huge of a difference for him. If he's getting good training now, don't take on the burden of travel just for the SAB name. If he's good he'll get into SAB in a couple of years when he's more aware of the commitment. If you tie yourselves into a long commute (which seems unnecessary just yet) he's going to miss a lot of time when he could just be a kid. I don't see a reason to take that away from him no matter how much he enjoys dance. If it were me I'd hold off; but you know your child better than I do and only you can make the right decision for him.

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So we decided not to try, just to stay here . He requested more classes, and we are happy to oblige. I am wondering what are the good teachers in New York city, specifically oriented to teach boys . Also completely unrelated, but may be somebody knows... any good hip hop classes in New York city? ? My 10 year old who moves very well, but adamantly against ballet would love to attend, preferably on Saturdays, when my other one in ballet. (or together afterwards, they both love it) They offer some classes here at local Dolly Dinkle school, and it is just pathetic . And my boys understand the difference, they watch SYTYCD, and copy Twitch , and Cyrus, and Alex Wang in that famous video. Any advice on both accounts will be greatly appreciated!

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Thank you, Kristine! 8*

BTW I am also costume designer, Tish grad.(On long sabbatical though now) Curious if we ever met.

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ezhinsky,

 

You will find Ballet Talk so useful! So much valuable information if you spend the time.

 

We have probably not met since I actually graduated with a BA in Business from UW. I am more of a hobby costumer but seem to be working a lot these days:) Not sure if my hands or eyes could successfully do tutus for a living. Working on Dew Drop headpieces at the moment. Off topic, sorry;0)

 

Good luck with your DS. You do have lots of years to bring this together and your current decision to split your time will probably work out great!

 

Kristine

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Kristine,

thanks! I looked at the hip hop at Steps, will try to see if it will work, unfortunately they don't offer the open classes, and I am not sure that I will always be able to bring my older son with me. But we will give it a try. Wonder who that teacher Meade is.. could not find any info. Oh well, will go see myself. Luck should have it that with my education I would have 2 boys who like to dress in black. No Dew Drop for me :-(

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You could also try the Broadway Dance Center for classes for your other son. If you give them or Steps a call, I'm sure they could point you in the right direction.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi. I am a ballet dad. My son, 12, is in his sixth year at SAB and we live 55 miles away from Lincoln Center. I asked my son his thoughts about your question. He responded going to SAB has meant everything to him and that if your son loves ballet he should absolutely audition. My son has performed in a number of NYCB productions including Nutcracker for four years starting from age 7.

 

The commute is not easy and it does take its toll. I will say your commuting estimate was light as our cost tended to be around $50 per trip because of parking.

 

my son's attendance at SAB requires contributions snd sacrifices of the entire family. For our family the benefits have far exceeded the cost and sacrifice.

 

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Thank you, Frank! 55 ml is same as us. I just saw NYCB Nutcracker on 24th, it was truly beautiful! I did not take my little one, he was resting, just finished doing his Nutcracker here and danced extra 2 shows (simply refused to live the theater until they let him join other 2 casts). I am torn though, even once a week on Saturday seems to wear him off. (However it is not boys class). Do you have other kids? If so, how is it working for the other one? How many boys were in class when he started?

I 've heard that is crowded, and what "crowded" means? How many times a week he is doing now, and what school he attends, public where you live, or somewhere in the city? Very happy for you he is so determined. Mine seems to be very determined as well I am just afraid to burn him off too early.

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My experience of this journey has been somewhat different that others have posted. I am not adding this to be a wet blanket- just to give another experience. My 14yo DS used to be that freakishly good and 100% enthusiastic 9yo- dancing every hour he could and getting rave reviews as 'the next big thing'. Suddenly the tap was switched off at 13yo. He refused to keep going to dance and we are in recovery now. He might resume a few hours each week but only with a teacher he knows and loves. No ballet. No exams. Only contemporary/ lyrical dance. No more rushes to practice after school. He quietly put his foot down and is unable to tell me why other than 'it isnt fun anymore'. I dont fully understand this but I assume it is a result of adolescence, fatigue and burnout. He was never self conscious of his love of dance and assures me that he is not embarassed, that it is not because of peer pressure. He just wore out. In hindsight I think I shoudl have not been seduced by the keen teachers and the pressure to get his class hours up. Maybe this would have gone differently but maybe not. I should not have rushed his development as a dancer and kept things abit 'cool'. Just a thought. dont risk losing the whole show just because your child is talented. They throw it away very easily. The praise is seductive to us as parents and perhaps we let the kids run the show too much because they love it. Just a thought.

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