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ABT Jackie Onassis School


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Just wanted to add that Princeton Dance now offers boarding.

 

Hmmm.....interesting? Where do they offer boarding? Do the students have to attend private school?.....or do they have to stay with a host family?.........if that is the case, I called the nearby school districts (West Windsor, East Windsor, Plainsboro, Princeton) and the students can not attend the public schools. What do you do then? I just want to understand how the school education works with boarding in NJ. As far as I can tell the public schools are very good and competitive. Not to mention the high taxes, now I know why they do not want additional students attending the public schools. The private schools in the area quite pricy (25,000 per year) if you combine that on top of ballet tuition and boarding cost, OUCH! I’d be interested in additional details.

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dluna,

 

My daughter received her waitlist letter on Monday and after getting over her disappointment, went to speak to Mr. DeVita on Wednesday. After thanking him for considering her for the JKO school, she asked what she needed to work on. She said he was very approachable and seemed to be impressed that she went to speak to him directly rather than having mom call.

 

If you would like to speak to him, I would do it today. He will not be at the summer program for the last two weeks. He is very good about returning phone calls. If your daughter wants to speak to him, let her know that his office is on the fourth floor. If you should be unable to touch base with him today, he will be back on July 31st for the Young Dancer program.

 

dancingthrulife

 

Too bad I did not know this earlier today so I could tell my dd. I just got home from my ds SI classes at NJB where I have been since noon. He is in a good group and has good teachers plus a boys class once a week. I will have to try calling him in August. Thanks.

 

Dluna

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My dd would like to know why she was not accepted. Do they usually say in the letter? Hers did not, but she does have Mr. Davita as a teacher. Is it okay for her or me (at observation) to ask?

 

Dluna,

I would encourage any student baffled by their placement, acceptance, or rejection from a program to inquire about areas in need of improvement. Additionally, serious ballet students should not be deterred by a negative evaluation because there will undoubtedly be plenty along the professional audition trail. Presumably, there are many talented dancers who have been unfairly overlooked. Since ballet not only requires technique and facility, but artistry as well, judgment in the professional field is bound to be partly subjective. Encourage your dd to persevere.

As balletpop notes, JKO, SAB, PNB, SFB or any other chicken soup letters, no matter how prestigious, will not insure a dancer of a professional career.

 

I am just concerned about her training this coming year as we don't think her current school prepared her well enough for this audition the past year and don't want to have the same thing happen again next year.

 

As a controversial thread on the Orlando Ballet School site notes, there are always students dissatisfied with their placement at summer intensives and professional schools. On that note, many also feel they are poorly evaluated at overcrowded auditions. While the OBS thread notes that programs should not be maligned while students express their disappointment in their program, I would also avoid

blaming a program for a students’ audition results. Sometimes, it is a matter of length of training and or immersion in the training environment (ie. Ballet boarding school where class time, commuting, and outside social commitments don't rob students of dance time) that makes the positive difference.

New Jersey School of Ballet appears to provide superb training by professional dancers from world-reknowned companies: Kirov, Bolshoi, ABT, Joffrey, NYCB. As a matter of fact, many 13 -16 year old students at that school were placed in classes taught by professionals such as Natasha Girshov (Kirov; ), John Prinz (NYCB and ABT; ), Eleanor D’Antuono (ABT, Ballet Russe, Joffrey, Kirov guest; ), and Carolyn Tener-Brown (ABT, Joffrey, Broadway; who coaches “fire” and “attack” in artistry). Teachers provide ample individual correction and show genuine concern for their students. Class size rarely approaches the number of students in summer intensive programs. Students from the school are regularly accepted into top ballet summer programs, as evidenced by your daughter’s participation in ABT NY summer intensive. I'm sure you know this, but others reading your post may misunderstand the quality of instruction.

 

Prior students accepted to SAB have been invited to stay year round, generally after a second year at their summer program. Perhaps that is the program to which your dd’s Russian teacher was referring, because only last year JKO invited a former NJB student to join their year round program during her first and only summer attendance at ABT NY.

Clearly , NJB provided that student, who turned 15 years old this spring, with the coaching and experiences necessary to cultivate her skills or “prepare” her for participation in the summer program or "extended audition".

No program can be all things to all people. Clearly, programs must make decisions relative to class size and student placement which enable the program to survive and dare I say, remain profitable. However, students will generally draw from any experience commensurate to their input, even in a class of mixed ability where some have more natural facility than others. Nonetheless, subjective judgment will come into play when professionals make choices at auditions. By all means, investigate other programs if you remain doubtful as to the quality of the training/prepartion at your daughter's current school. I'd encourage any student who thinks they're being treated unfairly at their dance school to "move on". However, I would caution anyone from program shopping in response to a rejection. “Romance on a rebound” rarely remains as attractive with the passage of time. Indeed, NJB has even seen students return for training after attending NY schools.

 

Finally, I would encourage anyone contemplating professional ballet training in the NJ vicinity to visit the New Jersey Ballet school website faculty link New Jersey School of Ballet

and , more importantly, make an appointment to visit the school and speak to the director and teachers.

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Perhaps I did not explain properly. My dd has had all the wonderful teachers and training you mentioned at NJB. There are two problems. First, she is one of the oldest in her level since many other students her age left a few years ago and were replaced with younger students who were not as far along, so she is not being challenged. There are a few other students in other levels in the same position. Perhaps NJB does not have enough students among the older ones to have enough levels. That is why we decided to send her to ABT this summer. There she is in the middle of her class by age and proficiency. Second, Intensive students have no choice about teachers, and some teachers are not great like the ones you mentioned. I have known students who have taken open classes just so they could pick teachers. My dd has loyally stuck it out. I am well aware of the good points you mentioned since I have been involved with the school for 8 years with 6 of my children. Thanks for the kind words about the teachers at NJB. My children and I love the teachers there. My ds has great teachers and a great class this summer at NJB.

Dluna

 

[edited by moderator to remove unnecessary quote of long, immediately preceding post. Posters, please go to the bottom of the thread and use the "ADD REPLY" button. :rolleyes: ]

Edited by dancemaven
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dluna,

I don't know if your daughter's experience at jko is that significant in terms of her dancing or future. A friend of mine, who was told by her prestigious school that she would never get into their professional division, was accepted into the professional division of an equally prestigious school. I have come to the conclusion that you just need to keep trying and not to look back too much.

All the best to your daughter.

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dluna, (and anyone else in this situation),

 

I have been following this with interest and empathy because my DD was in a similar situation last summer at her first SI and was not invited for year-round. It helped to know the reason for the lack of invitation, although the hurt remained, but at least she knew what to work on. In the end, we had to conclude that all things do happen for a reason, and it isn't still clear to us what that reason is, but she has had positive things happen in ballet since, so she has had to move on with hope and hard work. I just want to say that we understand how you and DD feel, but we do congratulate your DD for making it into ABT NY SI! So many people try for that SI at that location and are not accepted for summer! She must be a fantastic dancer, so don't lose hope. The right fit at the right time is truly out there, and we empathize with the process of trying to find it, but, for right now, CONGRATULATIONS and we hope that her injury is quickly healed. Please keep us all informed.

 

 

pointeprovider

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Guest cuppatea

I have a few questions- 1) I'm confused.The JKO School is only taking 15-20 new students- in all- for this coming year? Or is it 15-20 students per class including returning students and any openings for new students?

 

2) Did any new student aged 14 -16+ get accepted for the coming year-ie. has anyone heard?

 

3) Anyone notice any height/body type preference? There is a suggestion that youngest students tend to be quite petite for their age-not sure if it appears to hold true ' in the upper levels."

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Remember that a dancer can be "good enough" to get into a school, an SI, or a company, but the simple truth is that if there are ten dancers who are "good enough" and there are only three openings, then seven dancers are going to be disappointed.

 

Go ahead and ask what your dd needs to work on (even the ones who were accepted have things they need to work on), but it may just be that there were not enough openings to accomodate all the students that they would like to have.

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Frank Devita said 20 students was the limit per class for next. The class my daughter audition with was the advance class, it had about 20-22 students. They have younger division now, not sure how many are actually in the class. But I explain do the math, only one class will be added next year, which will make the age group divide up. from ages 12-14, ages 14-16, ages 16-18. The current classes are age 12-15, 16-18.

How many opening do suppose will be left? My point to this is there are not many openings compare, and a large amount of auditioner. Maybe as the program grows more class will be added. So don't lose heart. Everything happens for a reason.

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I have a few questions- 1) I'm confused.The JKO School is only taking 15-20 new students- in all- for this coming year? Or is it 15-20 students per class including returning students and any openings for new students?

 

2) Did any new student aged 14 -16+ get accepted for the coming year-ie. has anyone heard?

 

3) Anyone notice any height/body type preference? There is a suggestion that youngest students tend to be quite petite for their age-not sure if it appears to hold true ' in the upper levels."

 

Cuppatea,

 

I know of at least one 14 year old. I know of one 15 year old who was accepted but is opting to stay at the program she is in. A third 15 year-old from another school , who will probably go. Clearly, most of the openings, probably around 15-30, depending on the openings in the upper levels, will probably be in the youngest age group, as most of the Elementary students from last year are being moved up. I think Mr. DeVita is going to take a very careful look at the new Young Dancer group, ages 9-11, who are coming in August for two weeks, and will probably choose a few 11.5-12 year-olds from that group. Again, he is extremely approachable, and while it may take a while for someone like Molly Schnyder ("Shnee-der") to get back to you about your questions about the JKO program, I find them (eventually) very responsive. Finally, as for 'body type', well I guess the common denominator I have seen is slender and muscular at the same time and leggy, more or less,( i.e., no long torsos w. comparatively short legs,) nice-ish feet, the usual "classical" look, if there really is such a thing. But then again, there are always exceptions. I think he is looking, above all, for potential, potential, potential! Again, best of luck!

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Again, he is extremely approachable, and while it may take a while for someone like Molly Schnyder ("Shnee-der") to get back to you about your questions about the JKO program, I find them (eventually) very responsive.

 

Thank you. We have talked to Heidi who is in charge of the Studio Company several times. She made the appointment for my dd with Dr. Hamilton. She even offered to call us about the audition results in case my dd was not able to attend the rest of the SI due to her injury. I could call her since she knows the situation. My dd is recovering and has clearance from the doctor to try pointe and jumping this week. He told her to focus on being able to do the final performance and that he was proud of her for being careful so she would recover better. He is a wonderful person and has a great reputaion. I would highly recommend him to anyone near NYC who needs an orthopedic Dr. DD feels better about things and told me that observing her classes was teaching her some things she would not have learned if she were dancing more.

 

Dluna

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dluna,

Just thought I let you know...my daughter said that Mr. DeVita was in his office today. You may want to try to get in touch with him.

dancingthrulife

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Someone asked me to pm her to reply, but I get a message saying I am not permitted to use that feature. Does anyone know the rules about this? I looked in the help area and it does not say why it would be restricted. When I joined I did not say I wanted it disabled. Thanks.

Dluna

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