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Ballet Talk for Dancers

High school Ballet Programs that don't require summer intensive au

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I am trying to find a high school ballet program for my dancing niece who is 14 years old. I am worried that if we pick the wrong summer intensive and she isn't picked up for the full year program we will miss out for the year.


I am wondering if anyone knows of any full-time programs that do not require attendance at their summer intensive as part of their audition process.


I heard that Miami city Ballet offers an audition day in August for their full time program but I can't find anything about it on their website though.


I appreciate that CPYB would usually be an option but they don't accept foreign students into their year long program and my niece is Canadian.



Thanks very much.

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I know that Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's audition lets you simultaneously audition for their year-round program by asking as part of your audition form. You get the results for both the summer intensive and the year round program. I think they then require the student to attend the summer intensive if they want to attend through the school year, but you'd already know you were accepted before you go or commit to summer.

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I believe both Walnut Hill and Nutmeg do not require attendance at their SI.

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University of North Carolina School of the Arts has a high school ballet program.

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Auntie - are you sure that CPYB doesn't accept foreign students? My son goes there and there are two boys from Israel and Switzerland that are students there.

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I would venture to say that as long as there are spots open in the program, they will be happy to fill them with interested, qualified students---whether they attended the preceding SI or not.

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I know with certainty that Nutmeg accepts foreign students AND that a student doesn't have to attend their summer program for admittance into the year-round.

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I agree with dancemaven, if there are openings before a program begins a new year, if the fit seems right, physically speaking, students maybe accepted to high school programs without attending the SI.

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It's always interested me that the perception is the best/only way into a pre-professional high school is through Summer Intensives. While many SI's will offer places to students for whom there is mutual interest, I believe that the best way to find a school that is a perfect fit is to visit and interview the school. The school will audition and interview prospective students but parents need to critically assess the quality and hours of training, the quality, hours and dedication to academics, and get a good look at the residence, meal plan and options, health care provisions, and speak with the residence administrators. Also, speaking spontaneously (not with students chosen by the school) may help parents assess student adjustment and sense of accomplishment. So take a deep breath and realize that choosing a school is a two way street. If you have the time and means, choose a few schools after reading here on this board and arrange for your dk to audition. Maybe it's just my dd's own experience but both schools she attended admitted students at any time during the year after auditioning as well as from the SI's. Personally, our family was not comfortable with the last minute decision that a SI offer means for the student. Even after doing research and our dd being offered a spot at one of the world's top schools at YAGP, we insisted that our dd attend the SI and that we would commit after speaking with the director and Pastoral staff. It did not hinder our dd's standing one bit with the school and we felt we were doing our due diligence as parents.


If you have already interviewed schools for year round, it puts the whole SI "will they want me to stay frenzy" in a different place. The more information you have from others who have kindly shared their experiences and with your own personal interviews, the more empowered you will be and the better chance for a good fit for your dk and your family.


edited: I realize that you are the "aunt" but I would try to direct the student's parents to actively interview schools and maybe you can go as well to give a third set of eyes and ears!

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While I agree with most of your post swanchat, it has been my experience that fitting into an academic program at the beginning of the year and at the start of the 2nd semester is the best time to make a move. Academic credits may be lost otherwise. Discussing entrance into a ballet program, is an entirely different discussion. HARID does take students if we have not filled our dormitory with academically and physically suited students for our program in early August and mid-year. This is done either through a previous onsite audition process or by dvd/video link. All nationalities are welcomed to apply. A working knowledge of English is a plus although we do provide English language courses for those who do not speak English well enough to thrive academically.

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If your niece is in Canada, then a good place to start would be the Canadian schools. Will she be entering Grade 10 in the fall? If so it is probably easier from an academic perspective to move within Canada I would think.


That said, Canadian schools tend to be more particular about attendance at the SI as part of the audition process for year-round. This is not to say that it's impossible to be admitted without attending the SI, it's just more of a challenge. With the current value of the Canadian dollar tuition might be a bit more doable at a Canadian school, and the likelihood of grant money is higher. Provinces vary widely with respect to grant money for students, so I would highly suggest researching that well in advance.


All the best!

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vrsfanatic, I completely agree that the best time to start any residential program is at the first of either semester. I was trying to point out (and should have been more clear) that there are all sorts of circumstances where a student is able to enter at different times so that a student need not feel pressure to be invited during the SI, make an immediate choice and move within weeks. Many students do enter a school in that way too and it works for them. I just really hated the way that some schools turn the whole summer intensive into a contest for admission- especially when that is not the only way to be auditioned, interviewed and invited. Mom2 has knowledge about Canadian schools that may be more pertinent for Auntie and it may be necessary to go through that process.


Our family is research oriented and an important decision about a child's training and education just wouldn't work without prior investigation of the school-for us. If a dk is attending an SI with the intent of starting at that school in the fall, I would encourage the family to tour and interview the directors, academic and pastoral staff when they drop the dk off for the SI. Let the directors know that your dk is thinking about training with them year round and that you are checking different options. Be aware too that the SI environment is not the same as the year round environment so interviewing students will not likely yield pertinent information.

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Very well said and very worth repeating. As we know, BT4D is in full agreement with this advice, as historically, this advice has been given repeatedly by many here at BT4D.


Thank you for the reminder. ?

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for all the helpful insights and information.


Since writing this post she has been accepted into a few very good SI's and into two year round programs as well, Gelsey Kirkland and the Rock have both accepted her into their full year programs. This helps put us at ease so that should she not be accepted into her first choice where she will attend the summer SI there will be a plan b.

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