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balletgem

Texas Ballet Theater- Professional Division

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balletgem

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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labrador

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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macameli

I maybe able to answer some questions.

 

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balletgem

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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macameli

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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balletgem

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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macameli

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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balletgem

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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labrador

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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