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ABT Ballet School in Costa Mesa, CA

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Hi --


I wasn't sure where to post this, maybe it can be moved to a more appropriate place.


ABT just announced partnership with Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Classes to start September 2015, ABT levels up to level 4, ages 3-14, no auditions.


Link to news article: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ballet-642535-school-abt.html


Too bad no higher level pre-pro classes, maybe in the future......

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Interesting news for sure. I know that Charles Maple (Maple Conservatory in Irvine - very close to this new facility) also uses the ABT syllabus, as do several of the other teachers on his staff. His program offers pre-pro training for dancers above the age of 14, which is a plus. Alaine Haubert was a guest teacher at Maple, and Melissa Bowman had a school in Mission Viejo.


I hope things go well for this new school.

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A former student of mine is currently studying at the San Jose Ballet School, which also teaches the ABT syllabus.

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As I read the article(s), the difference is that this new school is directly associated/linked with ABT, not just teaching/using the ABT syllabus.


Perhaps I misread, but that was my understanding. Lots of schools now use the ABT syllabus and have exams with the ABT folks, but those schools aren't directly associated/linked with ABT.

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Right, UNC-SA is also directly linked with ABT and that has meant the following: a) Faculty can recommend students for ABT SIs; B) The ABT studio company comes and visits; and c) UNCSA cannot have their own ballet intensive but must allow the use of their studios for ABT programs.


I have spoken directly with UNCSA people who believe that the focus of the relationship was a financial benefit for ABT.

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  • 1 month later...

This new school is actually going to be considered a second ABT school. My daughter tried an introductory class there this week, while the parents sat in a seminar given by Raymond Lukens and other staff members from the JKO school. It is my understanding that they intend to add levels above 4 in the coming years. This is the only year there won't be auditions for students over the age of 8. It's all very tempting to me, but the tuition is much higher than we pay at our current studio.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't think it is fair to call this an entrepreneurial trick. ABT is opening The Sleeping Beauty in Costa Mesa because Segerstrom is giving them the center for a full week. They do their Nutcracker in Costa Mesa. There are more YAGP entrants coming from Southern California than anywhere else in the country (for whatever that is worth). I think they see a potentially large market in Southern Calfornia and I think they are always playing second fiddle to NYCB in New York. When a large financial donation was made by William Gillespie to start a school in Costa Mesa I think they were very wise to accept.There is a bit of dearth in cultural opportunities in Orange County so Segerstrom Center has been a success story. If they can make a go of it and expand into higher levels of training in the future, it will be a wonderful opportunity for serious dancers in Southern California who currently move away from home for more advanced training when they turn 16.

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There are students who have been accepted into ballet companies from both Maple Conservatory (San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Ballet Idaho, Oregon Ballet Theater, Sacramento Ballet) and Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet (Ballet West, Tulsa Ballet, Boston Ballet). So, not all serious students must relocate to continue training, after age 16. Both schools also have very strong student companies, putting on high caliber performances throughout the year.


Of course a good school is a good school and is always a welcome addition for those wishing excellent training.

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There are many great ballet schools in Orange County, which was probably the biggest knock against ABT opening a school here, especially since they will initially only be going to Level 4. I was referring more to students who go away to do training during the day and do online schooling. I don't work for ABT and my daughter isn't enrolled for the fall term, but I understand why they have chosen to make this move. For all I know they are just doing this as a way to generate more revenue, but I hope that isn't the case. I think on the part of the bigger donors, they are trying to transform the image of Orange County and believed partnering with ABT would help them work toward that goal. I tend to be a cynic by nature, so I'm not sure where my sensitivity/defensiveness on this issue is even coming from!

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  • 1 month later...

I will be there. My daughter is going to do a placement class. We had to pay the registration fee, but then they hold your spot for two weeks after you get your placement. We are still on the fence, mostly because of the very steep tuition. She definitely needs to change schools for the fall, though, so it's worth it to me to explore it further.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone attended any of the placement classes that were held on May 2nd or will attend the one this Sunday? If so what were your thoughts and were you happy with the level your child placed?

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