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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Academic advice for high school dancers at year round programs


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baltroj, yes it does get very difficult to work out if the academic qualifications from a "foreign" institution will be accepted by a University in the future. The ideal high school qualification would be the International bacclaureate (IB) but it is very rigorous and requires a huge commitment which would not have been possible for my DD with her dance schedule.

To my knowledge, the IB is the only worldwide universally accepted higher education qualification and it is highly regarded by Universities.

In regards to high school educational qualifications for dancers, I think it is vitally important that they get the best well rounded education possible which is not at the expense of their dance training. Students who have successfully completed their high school education are looked upon favourably by further training institutions in our experience, although talent always wins out.

I think it is better that a student completes their high schooling, then goes on to 2-3 years of pre-professional dance training and starts auditioning for companies at 19-20 years of age than going straight into pre-professional training at 15/16 years without having completed their high school training even if they are a "prodigy". It doesn't matter how brilliant a dancer you are, there are unfortunately a huge number of obstacles to achieving the goal of a paid contract as a dancer, particularly in ballet. Much easier and cheaper to complete your high schooling whilst you are a teenager, supported by teachers and family than when you have just had a career ending injury.

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When attending school out of state, do students follow graduation requirements in their home state (since we parents can still claim them as dependents/residents) or in their "adopted" state?


Also, is there any type of consensus on the transferability and/or academic credit of high-school credits earned before high school? (I'm thinking math, science and foreign language here)

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Students use the graduation requirements of the institution that is granting the diploma, regardless of the state they are in. Every high school institution has its own rules regarding credit transfers, but in general if the credits were earned at an accredited institution, then it shouldn't matter what grade level those credits were earned.

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Unless it has changed, when DD attended high school out-of-state at a residential ballet school and a bricks-and-mortar high school, she had to follow that state's graduation requirements. Although all of her previous high school credits (from our state high school) showed up on her out-of-state transcript, she did not get actual credit for having taken an AP course because the out-of-state school did not offer that particular AP course. Her transferred credits were not factored into her GPA


When she finished high school on-line with another out-of-state school, she had to follow their requirements set by that state. Her previous credits appeared on her transcript, but were never factored into a GPA. We made sure she graduated with all the courses we would have expected her to take if she had followed our original school plan in our home state.

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Thanks! The AP credit is interesting - will have to keep an eye out on that one. Also, probably best to keep to the core subjects at first and save the fun electives for the end!

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I highly recommend North Star Academy! It is an online school with flexible due dates. Courses just have to be completed in 12 months. The teachers are really friendly and are always there to help.

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