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SI Acceptance & Rejection


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This year DS15 tried out for some big name SIs - and was rejected. A couple of his classmates also auditioned and were accepted. DS was fine about it, but it really bothered me. As a parent, you worry about all kinds of things. You wonder what's missing and if your child will ever be good enough for those "elite" company schools. Fortunately, DS took the rejection well. I'm the one that's upset about it. DS is currently enrolled in a pre-professional school, and I called the ballet master and we had a good talk. I was told that DS has a great facility for dance, he works very hard, and that as a late bloomer, things are just coming together for him. He told me not to be concerned. We also talked about SIs and he recommended that we not send DS to a large company school SI. He needed the summer to work on strong, clean technique. An SI with reputable instructors and one-on-one attention that focused on technique is what DS needs.


I felt so much better after talking to DS's teacher! My hope is that this summer will be one of tremendous growth for DS and that maybe next year I will be able to come back and post that he is now getting acceptances into those big name SIs.


I would like to hear from parents or teachers about their experiences with boys. Do any of you have rejection stories with happy endings? It would be valuable to me and to other parents who might be experiencing the same thing.

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My DS applied to Royal Ballet Junior Associates twice aged 10 and 12 and didn't get offered a place either time. Aged 13 (with not much additional training)he was accepted to 5 big name SIs in UK and USA and went on to get a full scholarship to vocational school in USA. Aged 14 he got acceptance to all his chosen SIs and one 50% scholarship. Aged 15 he stayed at his home school SI. Aged 16 he got offered full scholarships to all 3 SIs he applied for. Aged 17 he has been accepted into Prix de Lausanne where is is currently competing. So evidently the Royal didn't agree with everyone else about his potential.


I take from this that schools/programs/teachers aren't infallable and not all dancers suit every type of school/program/teacher!

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I am one who thoroughly believes that all things happen for a reason. Last year my DS (12 at the time) did not get into SAB where he REALLY wanted to go. He actually handled it well because he got into several other very good SIs with scholarships and so he ended up going to another SI and ultimately ended up leaving the studio he was at and we relocated so he could attend the year round program at one of the other SIs he did receive a scholarship to. If he had been accepted to SAB last year he would have gone, he never would have attended the other SI, and he would not be dancing at his full time program. His dancing has improved so much in just six months and it all goes back to NOT being accepted by SAB.


Fast forward to this year's SI auditions - even more scholarships to great SIs and . . . this year he was accepted to SAB. But . . . he is choosing to go back to the SI he attended last year! He received another great scholarship from them and he really feels like that program is a really good fit for him and for what he needs to work on.


My DS dances with a lot of boys at his full time ballet program and they all have different ideas of where they want to end up. Many want to go to different companies in Europe, several want to dance with various different US companies, only a very few are aiming for NYCB. They all hope to be employed as ballet dancers and know that means going to where the companies are interested in THEM, not the other way around. That means that, especially as they get older in the SI process, they need to be aware of the places that are the best fit for each of them as individuals - it doesn't matter where anyone else is getting accepted or where anyone else is getting scholarships. They need to focus on the places that are showing the most interest in them, even if those places might not be where they were originally dreaming of. But when they do that, they will very often find that those places really are a good fit.


My son has told us that the place he is returning to this summer "feels like home." Luckily this place continues to give him great scholarships, great level placement, and has shown personal excitement and interest in him when they saw him return at his audition this year. Right now it seems to be a good mutual fit but DS is only 13 and a lot can change so each year he will have to revisit the best fit for him. Who knows, at some point maybe he will feel like SAB is the place to go.


I guess the moral of my story is that we say the best thing for our son's ballet training is that he did NOT get accepted by SAB last year. He ended up exactly where he was supposed to be. And that just because your child gets accepted by an "elite" school for the summer doesn't necessarily mean that is the best place for him at that point in his training - you need to really consider what it is that your child needs to work on and work with his teachers in helping him determine the right "fit" for his summer training .

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Celi and Finally - we are so lucky to have you on the board - and that you have the time to share your amazing perspective. A great big thanks to you - and the others on here who help us newbies navigate these choppy waters. :clapping: We will pay it forward someday....


I know this isn't dance related - but a life lesson that I learned. When I did sorority rush in college, there was one sorority that I really wanted to get into. I was so upset when I didn't get in - but in looking back - the girls there were who I thought I wanted to be, not who I was at my core. The sorority I ended up in, was who I truly was. It felt "like home". Our sons should be so lucky as to find a place that they feel "at home" - if it be for a summer or for a 20 year dance career.


I view my job as a ballet mom to present our son with options that he can try on. I always ask him what he thought of the auditioner - as that is an important data point. Perhaps next year you might try checking out Si's that are outside the "3 letter box" in an effort to find your son's home?

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Chatting with some moms at an audition and one told me her daughter was accepted one year to a 3 letter program and the next year was not. This year she decided she didn't want to audition for them. Life's a gamble, isn't it?


Also, sometimes you can learn a lot better in a smaller program with better attention too.

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DS (now 15) has been rejected over the years at top programs. We have always auditioned at a range of programs for this reason, and we don't take any acceptance for granted.


I think boys do get rejections. The news just isn't posted as often as the acceptances are.


From our experience, opportunities really change as boys mature. And it's not just because programs need partners.

Boys themselves change so much between 13 and 16.

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This is a very important thread for all us Parents of Boys. It would be easy to think that our boys get a 'free pass' because of being boys. I have heard parents of girls basically say this in the studio foyer )'Oh he got an offer because he is a BOY'.


We all love to post the acceptances and scholarships because it is so exciting etc etc. Aside from anything else, this has to give us a skewed view of the dance world and give us unreasonable expectations of our sons. We are at risk of getting a sense of entitlement to scholarships and offers plus it cant make our sons' good partners and studio members for all the girls out there. It also diminishes the hard work all of our sons put in and the real significance of getting an offer. We don't want our sons to think they are benefitting from some kind of reverse discrimination to 'make up the numbers'. So bravo for posting about any rejections! It is a great reality check for all of us.


I am new to the SI scene so I cant offer up a list of rejections but perhaps we should have a thread dedicated to that. It would keep our feet on the ground and our expectations more grounded, dont you think?

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My ds didn't get into SFB this year. He came out of the audition feeling like it hadn't gone as well as others. I really appreciate that

he's getting a sense of when he dances well and when he doesn't.


At his PNB audition this year, he felt like he danced very well, and he did get in. Last year, however, he had an off day at the PNB

audition, and he wasn't surprised to get a no from them.


The dancing does matter for the boys. Ask any boy who's had an off day. Or ask any boy who has improved enough over one or two years to get into a program that previously rejected him. That happened to ds this year, too, with a third program.

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thanks mln. I suppose when I think back, now 15DS didnt get into the Dutch National Ballet (is that the right name?) SI when he was 14. He knew that he didnt make it but that was fine. It was great experience, his first en masse audition.

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This is our son's first year auditioning after his first year of serious classes. His artistic director gave me a list of SIs for him to audition for and said he would get into all of them. We ended up going for the experience as he wants to do local intensives this year, but these programs were out of his reach. I've never seen him so nervous. He can sing and/or dance in front of hundreds of people, but these auditions really rattled him.


Anyway, he experienced rejection right out of the gate. He's beautiful, works hard, and loves it. Eventually he will be accepted.

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Yes I think we need to take comments like 'he will get into all of them' with a grain of salt. Clearly no one can know that. Perhaps what our beloved teachers are expressing is that they are proud of their student, they think he is marvellous and if they had it their way, our sons would be accepted. Beyond that, our sons' fates are out there in the stars like everyone else. From what I hear, our kids need to be good at handling rejection. Apparently there is alot of that coming their way out there in Dance Land!

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DS didn't get into Houston last year because we missed the audition due to weather and threw a terrible dvd together at the last minute. He's gotten into everything else he's auditioned for but for those acceptances that come with no scholarships, he considers them no's just the same. I think it's a good thing - teaches them they aren't "all that" and brings them down to earth a bit.

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I actually welcome "no's" because it tells me that for that year anyway he wasn't a good fit. I have read on these boards that many times that information will help a dancer hone in on the company that is a right fit for them (if that is their aspiration).

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