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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Texas Ballet Theater- Professional Division

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I did not see this in the list of residence/year round training programs. My DD has been accepted to this program beginning this fall. I am wondering if there is anyone on BTFD who has experience that they could share. 

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Balletgem, is it possible for DD to visit the site and get a feel for the program? Sure, things may change from one year to another, just thought it may be worth a try.

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We are actually going down this Thur and Fri and she is going to take some classes and tour the studios. In addition, there will be an In Studio performance by some of the Professional Division (PD) dancers. I think it should be a nice opportunity.  

Macameli, do you have someone in the PD? If so, have they been happy with the level of training? Do the students feel "company ready" by the time the finish? What is the age range in PD? I saw that 2 of the PD were promoted to Apprentices,  what are the other dancers doing?

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There is one dancer who is 16, a couple 18yr olds with most being 20yrs old.  The training is intense with full days and they are kept pretty busy throughout the year. They are fortunate to have such close access to the company and Artistic Staff.  PD has several performance opportunities throughout the DFW area along with roles of varying degree in company productions.  The are fortunate to have close workings and interaction with Artistic staff and the company that, yes, I'd say they feel they are "company ready".  This year 2 dancers were promoted mid-year (one was a PD member last year and the other came through the SI this past summer).  In years prior, one or two dancers is usually picked up to the Trainee level and one was promoted to Apprentice then full company member.  

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Thank you macameli. That all sounds very promising. While we are down there I was going to check on apartments.  Are the some near the studios that most of the dancers live at? If you have any advice regarding housing/apartments I would appreciate it.  

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there are various complexes that many of the dancers have lived in together...some closer than others.  I suppose it would depend on if your dancer was living with parent or needing roommates and your budget.  The school should be able to give you ideas and, I'm sure, that some of the dancers could give reviews.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I would follow up with DD's experience with the Professional Division preview day. The day involved an hour and half class with the PD students, taught by Kathryn Warakomsky who is the head of PD. It was held in the largest studio and was a great class and DD really enjoyed the combinations. Afterwards there was a luncheon and tour, followed by an In Studio performance by the PD students. The pieces were a mix of Classical pieces, a modern piece and 2 contemporary pieces. All were well choreographed and very clean. Between pieces, Ben Stevenson, Kathy Warakomsky and the executive director spoke. The atmosphere is very positive and everyone seems focused on making TBT the best possible.  They definitely see the PD as a bridge between the school and the Company. The other students were extremely welcoming and invited DD to join them at Starbucks afterwards.  It was a nice chance for her to talk further with the girls. We were given a list of apartment complexes, and had some time to drive around and see the neighborhoods. 

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Balletgem, I am glad the visit was fruitful. I hope the rest of the details will fall into place quickly and smoothly.

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an older thread, but does anyone have any more recent experience with Texas Ballet Theatre's Professional Training Division? DD was accepted to their 2020-21 program, but not sure how it is all being affected right now. Going to contact them now, but was interested in hearing from anyone having more recent experience with this program. Their PTD Preview Weekend was canceled obviously, but going to see when it will be possible, hopefully, later this summer to visit. Any information on their program and apartments and part-time job opportunities is especially appreciated (DD will be turning 18 in August and just finished her online high school, so will be able to help with costs by doing part-time job).

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From our interactions last year and this year, the former PD in Ft. Worth is now the Studio Training Company (with more of a second company structure), and the PTD is now located in Dallas and is more training, less performing, particularly with the company. I am not sure (as DD turned down an offer there) if the PTD feeds into the Studio Training Company, or if it is considered an entirely separate program since it is in a facility in a neighboring city.

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Thank you for the info on that. I had not realized it was an entirely different faculty and was thinking there was some overlap since I had assumed they were both in the Professional Division, albeit in different locations. I just placed the deposit for the PTD due to the timeline but need more information, which is so hard to get with this situation. They canceled the May info weekend, so hoping to get out there later this summer to get a better picture and overall understanding. As a 17-year-old, we are really interested to know what her opportunities will be for interacting and training with and progressing into the Studio Training Company and Company.

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This was posted on Harid Conservatory Instagram yesterday. From the post, sounds like movement between the two programs is possible...

"HARID Alumni Spotlight! Another move upward. Recent HARID graduate, Lauren Leb (Class of 2019) has been promoted from Texas Ballet Theater’s studio training company to a trainee position with the main company."

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  • 9 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Does the Studio Training Company perform with the main company? What would a typical day of training look like? Thanks!


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