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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Need help understanding pre-pro vs residential programs

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Can some one please explain the residential school route vs pre pro school route? And what criteria do people use to determine what is best for their child?


I get it that a res. program is a high school boarding school structure, and a pre pro is where the kids have to supplement with their own education

( on line or brick and mortar school). Do most pre pros offer housing?


I would love to hear how others have determined which is the right path for themselves or their DK.

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The reason we chose a residential school for our daughter was that we live in a very small town where it was impossible for her to get the training required for her to pursue ballet professionally down the road. (We also live too far away to commute to areas where she would have been able to get good training) We got the point where we knew she was at the age where if she did not take the opportunity to attend a residential school, she would have to give up her dream of dancing as a professional ballet dancer, and she really wanted to give residential school a try.


If we had had the option for decent training, we would have not sent her away.

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My understanding of how it works is there are really three types of pre-pro schools; residential with academics, residential with support (but the student has to online or commute out to an academic), and without formal housing or academic support. Here in the US there are not too many residential with academics.

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A residential ballet program offers a full spectrum of dance activities with a concentration on ballet along with an academic program that is recognized by its particular State. In other words, it is a diploma granting educational organization that allows a students to continue their education in a university system at some point in the future as well as a full spectrum dance program. I cannot speak for other programs but at HARID, for example, our students have their academics from 7:30AM-11:30PM. Ballet class, by level, begins at 12:50PM and ends at 2:30. From then on, the day is spent in various dance related activities (see the HARID website at www.harid.edu if you are interested in our curriculum) finishing up at 6:00PM. Six hours of dance activities on a daily basis is more dance than a "pre-pro" school is able to offer to each level of student. Those hours add up to more dance overall, which generally speaking helps to make a stronger dancer in various dance forms. By 6:00PM dance is finished. Time for eating, homework and socializing. The students are in bed by 10:00/11:00 depending upon age group.


I cannot address the "pre-pro" system of schooling as I have been far removed from that circumstance for over 30 years.

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