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Ballet Talk for Dancers

SI advice and politics -- no sugarcoating, please!

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Hi! I'm new here, so fingers crossed that I am following posting guidelines properly.  

Hoping that a current professional or ballet parent with years of experience can give me some (harsh, if needed) advice. My daughter is hardcore, the real deal, and ideally aiming for top tier professional company one day. (And I'm the admittedly pathetic ballet mom at her side.) Here goes...

Is the SAB SI or ABT NY SI at age 12 better?

Some background:

ABT is our daughter's future dream company. Nevertheless, after doing the ABT NY SI at age 11,  we declined their invitation to JKO for full time training this past school year.  She instead accepted a spot at a small school also in NYC with Vagavona method training, which is the style of training she has focused on for the past 2.5 years.

Here is our dilemma:

Given that my daughter eventually dreams of joining ABT, is it a mistake to miss a summer there and to do SAB instead as a new experience this summer? Or, if she auditioned for ABT again, might they remember/notice that she rejected their JKO invitation for a different school also in NYC and take offense, making this the wrong choice?  (We told JKO -- after they very thoughtfully gave us sooo much of their time as we asked question after question -- that it was "premature" for our daughter to attend JKO.  We didn't precisely mention that she was going to instead attend a different school, also in NYC, versus continuing to study privately full-time in NJ where we live. More on our reasons for that super tough decision another day...) 

In short, we are now caught between the ROCK of definitely not wanting to offend anyone at ABT -- and we talked to so many kind and truly amazingly knowledgable people there before refusing their offer to attend JKO, gulp --and the HARD SPOT of still also wanting to show my daughter's continued interest in their programs and in ABT in general.

My daughter is also, on the other hand, somewhat curious about the SAB SI but doesn't want to offend there either by auditioning and saying no.  (Full disclosure that she has been accepted at SAB year-round twice, as well as to their new to 2018 "Young Dancers SI", and  declined all times. She is currently registered to audition for their upcoming traditional SI -- for which she is now eligible since she has turned 12 -- but how many times can we say no to SAB as well before looking bad?) If the ABT NY SI is the wiser choice for her this summer and long term, I will simply withdraw her from the SAB audition so as not to decline a 4th time.

I know how political ballet can be and am concerned about burning bridges, even at age 12. Please help! There is a high likelihood that she will be accepted wherever she auditions, so, in my opinion, we need to decide where to audition now, as well as where not to, so as not to continue to say no thank you repeatedly.

Thank you for reading this TEXT BOOK of a posting and also for any advice you can offer.

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GTLS Designs

We do not permit comparing and/or recommending one SI over another. Therefore, I am closing this topic. 

For more information on each SI, please find direct content on the individual Review & Research thread. 

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ManicOrganic79, as GTLSDesigns said, please review the dedicated threads in the SI Forum to help you make determinations as to which SI might serve your DD and family’s needs, wants, desires, etc at this particular time in her development.

For the larger issue that seems to be giving you angst:  No, which particular SI she attends at age 12 does not impact her ultimate career path down the road.  At that point in time, only the training she’s incorporated into her technique and skill levels will matter.  No one keeps track of polite declines to SIs or schools.  At the end of the day, it is the talent, technique, and skill level —and being in the right place at the right time with the tongue held in just the right spot and the moon and stars aligned in just the right spot, etc. that rules the day.

I would invite you to pull up a chair and a nice cup of coffee or tea and spend some time reading through the various Forums, dropping in on threads that interest you, and just getting a good overview of how training of a professional dancer develops and what are the important considerations to keep in mind along the journey. It is a journey that should be enjoyed.  The destination often changes. :wink:

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