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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Boys at Vaganova based SIs


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I have a general question about Vaganova based SI's but I'm asking it here because I wonder if the answer might be different for boys/men.


My son goes to a Balanchine studio. He did the ABT YDSW when he was 9 which he had no problem with - there were a few things that were a bit different, but nothing he couldn't pick right up when they showed him how they wanted him to do something differently. ABT teaches a classical style but not one specific technique. Similarly since Balanchine isn't a technique, any student could go to a Balanchine based SI and do just fine, even if they haven't had Balanchine training before - it would just take some getting used to.


I'm wondering about schools that are very strictly Vaganova like the Bolshoi or the Kirov - where students progress through a graded curriculum. When those school have SI's - are the students who audition also generally students who are from Vaganova schools? Or can students who haven't been Vaganova trained audition and be accepted? Someone had mentioned to me that one of the Bolshoi programs had a lot of boys and her daughter had a great experience and thought my son would love it but she knows my son has only attended a Balanchine school.


Has anyone here had their son attend a strictly Vaganova SI without having previous Vaganova training?

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Yes, students who are not Vaganova-trained can be accepted to Vaganova SIs. The thing is, if he is younger it would be good to either:

A ) Have him audition for the Vaganova SI with the door being open to possibly switching his year-round training to Vaganova, or being open to what might happen if he is accepted to their year-round programs.


B ) Staying with an SI that is more similar to his year-round training.


If he is 16 or 17, then it should be fine. It's just that when they are young (the last SI you mention was when he was 9) it is usually better to have consistency of training in both the year-round and the SI.

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Thanks Clara, that's good to know. He is 12 now and we are starting to think about residential programs for when he would be entering high school at 14. We are limited here because our only decent pre-pro school is our Balanchine school so we really don't have any way to change his year round training to Vaganova now. We are mainly looking at SI's with year round residential programs, so it sounds like we should focus on Balanchine schools (which we have been) or schools that are classical but not strictly one particular technique, and not start looking into the Vaganova schools.

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similarly the other way round can be difficult- my DS (who had been training vaganova recreationally for about 2 years) was adamant he couldn't do Balanchine and would never get the hang of it. After 18 months of full time ballet school (also vaganova) he did a Balanchine ballet (allegro brillante) and loved it! I think at an earlier stage of training it's really hard to switch between different styles- once you are more solid in your technique it becomes more possible to adapt ....

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Young Dancers Summer Workshop

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finallykf - Glad to see someone asking the question. Plan to keep tabs on this thread for my own 12YO DS!

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finallykf - Are you in the Houston area now? - I remember you were looking a moving here a few years ago. If so, I was wondering what studio in the area teaches Balanchine?

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I'm not saying to NOT look at Vaganova-influenced schools- what I am saying is that training needs to be consistent, so if a Vaganova-influenced school is out of the question for year-round training, then I would wait until the child is older before sending him to a Vaganova-influenced SI.


If any of you are in the Houston area, there are several very fine schools that teach clean classical ballet technique without any stylized affectations, and they will prepare a dancer for a professional career.


J66B11J06- you could private message finallykf in case he or she does not want to reveal their location :)

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I am in a Vaganova studio and I did my first SI auditions this year. I am 13. I thought the Balanchine was really fast compared to what I do normally. I got into ABT Alabama so far, but the others haven't come back yet. Should I go if I'm not used to that style?

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What do your teachers recommend, cwc-od? Also, since this is the "Parents of Boys" forum, perhaps I could move this post into a new topic in the Young Dancers 13-16?

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That would be ok. Moving it, I mean. My teacher say if I don't get a scholarship, I shouldn't go. My parents say it couldn't hurt to go for the experience.

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We ended up not moving, but we are considering Houston Ballet as a possible SI for my son this year.


Also cwc-od: my son goes to a Balanchine studio and that is what most people say about Balanchine if they are not used to it - that it is faster than what they are used to. Our home studio has a 6 week SI and we have students who come from other studios who are not used to Balanchine and they do just fine, it just takes them a little while to get used to the pace.


On the flip side when my son went to his first non-home studio SI and it wasn't Balanchine, he found it painfully S-L-O-W and was concerned that he was going to be very bored. But then he figured out that slowing things down gave him time to concentrate on working on things that he knew he needed to work on and he found that quite helpful.

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