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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer training between high school and college ballet program


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Not sure if this question needs to be asked here or under the Summer Intensive forum. My DD is a graduating senior, she will be pursuing a BFA in ballet in the fall. I want to get an idea whether or not it is important to go away to a Summer Intensive or is it ok to keep up training at home and save some money? As college deposits roll in, I'm not sure how important summer intensives are when entering college in the fall. Pros, cons please.

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I've known any number of college dancers who did not do SI programs during the summers, primarily because they were holding jobs to help pay college expenses. They all usually continued with classes as they could at their home studios. And worked out cross-training opportunities to help build stamina, muscle balance, and stay in shape.

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Hi, I also have a graduating senior and we (DD) decided for the first time in years to not have her go away and to enjoy this last summer. We did first check with the colleges she has narrowed down to in order to make sure they don't require attendance at theirs or another program. We are pretty certain which she will attend, but are awaiting to hear back from the other to confirm. Both do not have their own summer intensive, no specifics are required, so she will be continuing training at home. I would check with the school, as other students had the colleges "strongly suggest" they attend a couple weeks of their intensive which is held at the university.


My daughter doesn't graduate until late June, when dance years also ends, then will be going to college mid/late August. This really then leaves most of July, when we will also be vacationing, so we will just have her take classes in between time home. She will babysit and since first summer home in years, also enjoy living by the beach, which she really hasn't enjoyed much in years because of ballet. She mostly did 6 weeks intensives away around the country at various intensives, then the home studio intensive.


Pro- big savings and last summer at home with family & friends

Cons- not much IMHO, unless the college requires it.

Have you chosen college, and is it ok to ask where? Soon as my daughter decides, I will post and hope others may be going there too!



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I didn't think about the college requiring their intensive. Her top choice right now hosts one but it is not their SI. Still waiting on two more results. It will be a much needed financial break if she can train at home!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have also decided to save money this summer before college by not pursuing an out-of-state SI. It will be a nice chuck of money to save.

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If one doesn't attend an SI during the summer, I think it is still good to keep in mind that in college programs that are performance-based, just like in any other studio situation, decisions (and impressions) about new dancers in the program (and casting for fall performances) will likely be made early that first semester. And, the intensity of college training is balanced with academic classwork (i.e. not the intensity of a pure training program), so a dancer would do well to arrive with their "skill set" ready to go-and stay polished-through the year-not rely on the program to sharpen skills that have been lost over a long break. Many competitive college programs are more like being "in a company". It becomes the dancer's responsibility to keep themselves performance-ready, and there can be consequences when choreographers come to cast. So, summer training of some kind to keep/sharpen skills is, I think, still important, even if not at an expensive SI!

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  • 2 months later...

I just found this topic-my DS has committed to Uof A and though they don't require an SI per se, he has decided to go away this summer . It's what makes him happy but I'm sad that I won't have as much time with him at home-He will have to leave the SI 3 days early and go directly to college. Financially if he hadn't gotten a full scholarship the decision would likely be he would stay at home. On the flip side we were told that casting happens in the first few weeks after he gets there so he should be in good form.

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Sheahuang--Actually, casting happens in the first few days of fall semester!  Our DD did attend an SI the summer before attending UA.  She was happy that she was in top form for the auditions.  On the other hand, this summer she has a summer dance intensive at the beginning of June for two weeks, then she's off to Spain for a medical internship for the rest of the summer.  She is already concerned about auditions in the fall due to the internship.  She has thought about trying to find classes to take in Spain.  I think your DS will be very glad to be on the top of his game for auditions this fall!!  I think he will love UA!

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Oh Mackie- Thanks - He knew it was relatively early but wow , first few days- yikes! That helps soften the sting of him being away. Hopefully we will meet up in person at one of the performances!

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  • 8 months later...

Glad i found this. This has been a question on my mind. Our DD has not had time to audition for SI programs with college auditions. (one of her options is UA as well)

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  My dd only did one SI audition for consideration to a trainee program she would like to consider.  You must attend the Si to be considered.  Other than that, she's looking forward to spending the summer at home.

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