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Ballet Schools in California - San Francisco Bay Area

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Thank you nynydancer, danceimatter and Melody78 for your feedback on MDT and CCB - it's what I had heard and thought about MDT, it's a bit of a drive for us across the bay - CCB is closer but it's been difficult to find information about them. I really appreciate you all taking the time!

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Alameda Ballet Academy is very good as well. Small program. My DS did some classes with Robert Greer from Alamda and he trained a young lady who has made remarkable progress there. 

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  • 6 months later...

seagirlmom: not sure if you are still looking but just wanted to add to the info about CCB. We moved there from a smaller studio when my student decided she needed to be challenged more. CCB is much larger with 7 levels of instruction, the 7th being the CCB Company which seems to be mostly made up of dancers who have been training at the school since they were young pups. The style is a mix - there are instructors who are Balanchine-focused and ones with a more classical bent - but all of the instructors are top-notch former professionals who went very far in their careers. There are multiple opportunities to perform - 7 Nutcracker shows and both a spring rep performance (3 shows) and a spring student showcase (also 3 shows). The main drawback I see is there are very few boys in the upper levels so partnering opportunities are limited. Otherwise it's a fairly large program with I believe 16 in my student's level all very supportive of one another and a great community. Lots of alums in pro companies - the listing on their website is out of date but you get an idea of where they get placed. Hope this helps.

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Thanks so much for the info on CCB. Unfortunately we had a negative experience with the school director, though I don't doubt the teaching staff is first rate, and the office manager was fabulous.

Our first impression was definitely soured by this woman, which turned us off from their program.

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So sorry to read this.  I would agree with everything you mentioned.    I would look into Berkeley Ballet or Alameda Ballet if you are in the East Bay.   Much opportunity to learn partners with teen boys at Berkeley Ballet  who are experienced and dedicated to ballet.   

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I'm glad it wasn't just my lone impression.

I originally posted last August, and since then things have shifted at her current school and are much better. I thank everyone for their feedback!

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Would anyone have experience with Bayer Ballet Academy in Mountain View? We will go for a trial class sometime but do not know anyone around my daughter's age there (12, almost 13). She currently dances 15 hrs including other forms of dance but at a recreational school, and is hoping to focus on ballet in a pre-pro environment.  Thank you in advance for any thoughts. 

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Bayer is a very good school, with good results at YAGP, and beautiful dancers, and a beloved (my dd loves her!) former Ellison teacher is there.  My kiddo took a class there and it was pretty hard core atmosphere.  The director was nice and friendly, however we (me, dd and dd's coach) did observe an 11 year old YAGP contestant being cursed backstage at by Bayer faculty and we decided it wasn't the school for us.  It was a little too hard core for us, but to each their own.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi. Our DK has been accepted into Oakland School for the Arts.(OSA) for middle school next year.    Our DK is enrolled at a good ballet school now.  But Oakland School of the Arts would also be their academic place.  We have heard different views from former parents.   

I am also concern if our DK gets burned out from doing dance at two places and risk of injury? 

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I have had several conversations when considering OSA for our dancer over the years (on other boards), and with current OSA parents. Here are the impressions I took away:

1. The dance program is not at all strictly classical ballet, and the person who runs it has a big personality and can be very intimidating, especially for young dancers.

2. The academics, particularly in HS are not what you'd find at, say, a college prep program.

3. We knew of one student (HS level) who went to OSA and also trained at a local dance school, it became too much and there were injuries.

I would say that if your student is interested in modern/contemporary forms of ballet and not strictly classical ballet, and is thick skinned in terms of criticism, they should be ok.  If you are more interested in having them attend an 'arts school' than a college prep school, particularly for HS, then they should be ok. If you think that eventually they'll drop their outside classes (which I've heard are frowned upon) their chance of injury is less, though obviously all dancers are susceptible to injury at any time. 

I would encourage you to seek out current OSA dance parents for more feedback (which I'm not sure you'll find on these boards) - you might try Berkeley Parents Network for more info.

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Seagirlmom, Thank you.   Yes far more interested in classical more.   We have heard that big personality, lol.    Not sure if our 11 DK s ready for that.   We live closer to Contra Costa Performing Arts School.   Not great academics but seems more okay with our student doing ballet elsewhere. Our student wants to attend an “arts school”.  

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So much to consider, not the least of which is the commute through the tunnel every day - all things being equal I'd go for the closer school.

Good luck with your decision. In the end, our dancer wanted to stick with her classical training and also attend a college prep school - lots of dance opportunities in non-arts schools these days, in high school and beyond.

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Atari87,    We were considering OSA a few years ago. but warned about the injuries as well not only from former students but other teachers in the Bay Area. . My student is  more interested in classical as well and we knew it would not be a good fit for that reason.   We didn’t go with the Contra Costa  Performing Arts School  (COCOSPA) at the time  because it was new and had growing pains.  But the new building looks amazing. [. . . .]. Best of luck with your decision. 

Edited by dancemaven
Removed second-hand comments per BT4D Rules and Policies.
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Please remember that we require first-hand information ONLY on these threads.  That’s the value of them—-that we are trading only in first-hand experience, not rumors, impressions, or “telephone” :gossip” or unverified information.  :thumbsup:

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