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Houston Ballet Academy


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The chaperone is there if the girls have a problem. She will make sure that the curfew is enforced. The girls have to sign in and out for classes, trips to the grocery store etc. and she checks that as well. The townhouse is owned by the company and in okay shape. There is someone who does maintenance and that is handled through the chaperone.

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Just a couple of questions. How many kids are in the year round program at Houston? Is it a super opportunity if a child is offered a position in the program? Just seems it's easy to caught up in the hype.

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Wizard, in my opinion it is indeed a super opportunity. Houston's training is excellent, and they limit the numbers of out of town students very strictly.

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I agree with Victoria, it is a super opportunity. How many dancers depends on level. Classes are no different in size than most home studios, sometimes even smaller. It is like any other academy. There are 8 levels in the main school program as well as HBII and there is an open class program for children as well as adults, (The main school is by audition only.) so trying to peg how many are in the year round program is difficult. The training is top quality and master classes are occasionally given by renowned instructors & choreographers. If the opportunity to study year round is offered, it should be taken and considered very seriously. Depending on what your dancer's aspirations are it can be the opportunity of a lifetime.

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It seems there is general agreement that this is a top notch program and a great opportunity. My dilemma for my 15 yo DD (16 by the time of SI in Houston) is that there is lack of a good academic program attached to the Academy. There is an educational coordinator but it appears each kid is pretty independent in finishing HS. Is this people's experience?

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VERY independent. The education coordinator is very nice and a good teacher, however he teaches high school English and dd was needing help in calculus. She loved the dance instruction at HB and improved in her technique so much, but lets just say she's back home this year to finish up high school... As she wrote on her college letters.... "internet schooling was not conducive to my learning style"... :thumbsup:

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my daughter went to Houston at 15 just turning 16 and completed her high school diploma in her third year at HBA through the Keystone program. It was definitely difficult but she did it. She is self motivated and did her studies whenever possible. But she needed down time too because the dancing schedule is quite rigorous. It is not for everyone, but it worked for her. It is true that any time off at home on vacation was spent doing homework and exams non-stop. Without devoting this time to her studies I don't think she could have finished. Several of her friends finished high school online through their hometown high schools. Those dancers didn't have as much free time to relax because they had to comply with their high school's deadlines. My daughter took an extra year to finish through Keystone, compared to when she would have finished HS at home. I have always been thankful that I started her in kindergarten when I did because it gave us that extra year for flexibility age-wise.

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When we were considering the program, we discussed the academic situation with the HBA education coordinator. He held a 2 hour study hall once a week, and helped where he could but that was it. The kids are on their own to complete the academics. If your child needed tutoring, the school was able to recommend tutors or you could find your own through Rice University or the University of Houston. We talked with parents of dancers already in the program. They emphasized the lack of time and the difficulty in getting the academics done. Reality didn't hit us until she was in the program and experiencing the same difficulties. Internet high school is not for everyone. If your dancer is a procrastinator by nature, has a learning disability or is weak in a particular subject area, the academics need to be seriously factored into the equation. Most of the dancers were able to complete 2 courses per year, but as Happyface said, that required doing homework on vacation breaks and any downtime at the academy. I also concur with Happyface that the dancers needed time to relax because the program is rigorous. Also consider that if your dancer is accepted into HBII that their schedule is more time consuming than level 8, leaving less time to work on the academics. My daughter went to HBA as a junior and placed into level 8. Academically, she was ahead in her language, math and science. She used the Florida Virtual High School and Indiana University High School programs. She did manage a couple of AP courses during that time. In her senior year she was promoted to HBII and she finished high school 5 months after her peers graduated at her high school back home. Thankfully, my daughter was accepted to state and liberal arts colleges with academic scholarships despite her reduced academic load. I think her ACT scores helped here. Her current and past roommates were also accepted to state and liberal arts colleges as well. It can be done, but takes a lot of effort. She will tell you it was worth it.

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my daughter went to Houston at 15 just turning 16 and completed her high school diploma in her third year at HBA through the Keystone program. It was definitely difficult but she did it. She is self motivated and did her studies whenever possible. But she needed down time too because the dancing schedule is quite rigorous. It is not for everyone, but it worked for her. It is true that any time off at home on vacation was spent doing homework and exams non-stop. Without devoting this time to her studies I don't think she could have finished. Several of her friends finished high school online through their hometown high schools. Those dancers didn't have as much free time to relax because they had to comply with their high school's deadlines. My daughter took an extra year to finish through Keystone, compared to when she would have finished HS at home. I have always been thankful that I started her in kindergarten when I did because it gave us that extra year for flexibility age-wise.

One of the mother's mentioned her daughter was only able to complete two full year courses while in level 8. I, too, am considering letting my daughter go to level 8 at Houston next year. She is currently attending a local private school and takes one course online with Keystone. I believe she would be taking the rest of her coursework online if she went to Houston. I am wondering if you or any of the other mothers could tell me if it would be ridiculous for my daughter to try to take four courses online next year while doing level 8?

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My daughter's roommate who is a pretty smart cookie, (got accepted into Smith) took 4 courses during her time in level 8 and got an average of 4 hours of sleep per night. She was exhausted and her mother felt that her ballet really suffered.

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My daughter's roommate who is a pretty smart cookie, (got accepted into Smith) took 4 courses during her time in level 8 and got an average of 4 hours of sleep per night. She was exhausted and her mother felt that her ballet really suffered.

Wow, thanks for the incite. You see, we haven't totally given up on the college thing, but I have decided that we (mostly meaning her father and I) can't have such high academic expectations of her if we are truly going to let her "go for it" in the ballet world. She goes to a very good ballet school now, but I would be sending her to Houston only because I thought it would help her professional chances. I guess the question is how much of the academic world are we willing to let her give up. Thanks to all you parents out there who help us figure it out.

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Many thanks as well. We are facing the same situation now and received great advice from one of DD's dance teachers - if they are interested in her now (at age 15), they will still be interested in 2 years. Houston is enticing because of the quality of training and the company. But after some reflection and with the info from this discussion, we decided that we will not compromise DD's academics. Luckily, DD is in an excellent dance program which will continue to improve her prospects on becoming pro. There'd be offers in 2 years that she'd be taking advantage of.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone have experience with the "turnover" at the Dunlavy dorms for the beginning of new school years & how that is handled? Is there a waiting list for that particuliar housing option? Any experience with that process would be great!

Thanks!!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Noodles changed the title to Houston Ballet Academy

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