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Dad'oDancer

SAB vs. Houston summer intensive for young male?

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Dad'oDancer

My son was accepted to the SAB and Houston Ballet summer intensives. He will be one of the youngest at either one. Does anyone have insights into how well either program does meeting the training needs of young male ballet dancers? Anyone who can compare them? Both sound like terrific opportunities, but it's hard to tell if one is better suited to male dancers in the youngest age group.

We're in a place were there aren't people who can give us advice from direct experience.

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dancemaven

Dad’oDancer, it is BT4D Policy not to make direct comparisons between or among specific programs.  What we DO provide are dedicated threads for major programs ( including the two you are considering) where our members share their first-hand experience and information regarding the individual programs.  It is for each dancer and family to evaluate that information in light of their own personal wants, desires, needs, training, circumstances, etc. 

Please take a bit to review the dedicated threads in the 2018-2019 Summer Intensive forum and ask any specific questions you may still have on the appropriate thread.  That forum is arranged alphabetically so it is easy to locate the threads. 

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Clara 76

We do not allow comparisons of programs in that manner, Dad'oDancer, simply because what works really well for one child may be the absolutely wrong direction for another.

Both program acceptances are wonderful, so the next thing to do is to read the reviews of both programss, and see what kinds of things the responses give that might be good or bad for your child.

 

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Dad'oDancer

Thanks for alerting me to this. Sorry for the rookie error. I'll check out the threads you recommended.

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dancemaven

👍🙂

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Clara 76

HAHAHA!!!!!! Your advice is true. I shall copy and paste it. 

From a parent of a female dancer:

Dado'dancer:

A tip if I may help --

When you go to these two threads and read the SI reviews, notice that one of the questions on the template is "other SI's you've attended."  You can pay extra attention to students who have attended the two programs you are looking to compare.  In other words, if student is reviewing program A, and you see they attended program B, and in the review they say "most rigorous dance technique we've ever had!" well that gives you a little bit of context, if not direct comparison.  Read enough of the reviews and you will definitely get a sense for how programs compare in terms of certain characteristics, which is more valuable than hearing which is "better" because "better" varies by dancer.  Hope that is a little helpful so you aren't overwhelmed!

 

edited: OH SHOOT!!!  I'm not a mom of boys!!  Moderator, feel free to remove!!!  

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MomtoSamtheDancer

My DS attended Houston last summer as a 13 year old. Feel free to read the review I posted. Happy to discuss Houston off this board as well. 

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5uptown

It can be hard to find reviews about boy experiences, even in quite lengthy threads. Congratulations on your son’s acceptances and good luck making a choice. Those are both excellent programs with great reputations and there will be plenty of boys. 

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dancemaven

MomtoSamtheDancer, we strongly encourage members to share on these threads so that all may benefit from questions and answers. 

These threads serve no purpose if the conversations occur behind the scenes and off-Board. 👍

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fourseasons

Hi Dad’oDancer, my son attended HBA at age 11. He was too young for the dorm, and he wasn't ready for that level of independence, so I went with him and we lived with another dancer in an apartment. He loved the program from start to finish. He was in level 5 but took classes combined with the level 6 boys most days. He was already in a pre-pro program at the time, but the number of hours he trained at this SI was a big jump from his school year schedule. The HBA SI is 6 weeks long and each day including Saturday is packed with classes. Very intense training. Boys are in classes with other boys in most technique classes (maybe 4 out of the 6 per week) and also take rep/variations and rehearse for mens' pieces with the other boys. There is a performance at the end of the 6 weeks which featured many of the younger boys. he loved getting to meet and watch the older boys take class and rehearse and that was encouraged by the faculty. He went back to this SI at age 12 and stayed in the dorm--he had a great time that year as well. He was paired with a boy who was closer to 14 or 15 in the dorm, but the older boy was very encouraging and kind to him. No personal experience with SAB to share. My son is now 16 and studying in a full-time company school in Europe and we credit HBA for giving him a great start to training away from home. 

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balletteacherandmom

My DS did the Houston program last year, level 7 at 15 years old. It was a challenging program at that level, I cannot speak to the younger age groups. But, I can tell you my DS had to make a quick adjustment in style (he is Balanchine trained), which did not make it easy for him. He’s also small for his age so he was having to work very hard to keep up with the men in his level. It was a life changing experience for him personally, but I am not sure really how much he gained from trying a different style.  The men’s program is however quite amazing. I have never seen so many talented men in one class! All this being said, that you may want to consider your son’s style of training and what would suit him best. 

I don’t have any direct experience with the SAB summer programs. 

Good luck and  congratulations to your son! 

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dancemaven

Members, this points up the importance of you adding Reviews for your sons’ experiences on the dedicated SI threads each year, then linking those review in the thread in this Forum that alerts folks to your Review from a male dancer’s perspective.  

It will be harder for folks to research and learn of your son’s experiences in the future if you don’t share on the dedicated threads. :thumbsup:

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