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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Intensives


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Looking for input on 12 yr old applying to summer intensives.  Dance teacher says to hold off on sending away as she’s young and pandemic.  Dance teacher also recommends to only attend a summer virtual program for a short period and the rest of summer to be in person. Last summer we had pre professional instructors from ballet schools in NYC tell us she has the “facility” for classical ballet and she worked hard.  She came out of those programs, even though virtual, very strong.  We are on the fence of what to do and whether at this age it really matters.  Thoughts on what others are doing for their dancers?  

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AnastasiaBeav

We have been very conservative when it comes to COVID so travel is out of the question for us. Everything I have read is that our dancers will not fall behind so I am only concerned about keeping her busy. Even without COVID my DD11 is too immature to go out of state for a program. Maybe in 2023. 

It sounds like we are doing what your dance teacher recommends with a combo of intensives. DD will turn 12 over the summer and has auditioned for ABT and Colorado Ballet since they have all virtual programs. We have not gotten the results yet. The plan is hopefully to get into one of those and then attend her local SI in-person for four weeks.  

 

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DanceDaddy

At 11, we sent our daughter to a local "Jr Intensive". I think it was like 9 am - 2 pm daily for 1 week at a different studio. Last summer (12), she attended several smaller socially distant classes at home studio that were approx 2 1/2 hours in length. 

I would say at 12 if you can wait, then do so (especially at 12). I have my concerns that when she gets going to Summer Intensives, then she won't want to start. I can pay for some, but not sure how I will come up with 3-8k every summer.

 

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How do you choose which SI is best?  

Edited by Cgmom
Irrelevant
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The best comparison I have for choosing an SI, is choosing a college.  Each person/family will have a different list of what is important to and best for them, and no two lists are really alike.  There are hard to get in SIs and easier to get in SIs, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the harder to get in programs are the best ones for your DK.  It is a personal preference and choice and it is about what might be the right fit for your DK at this moment in time.

That being said, here are some things to consider....distance, cost, size of program, size of class, types of classes offered (pointe, partnering, modern, injury prevention, etc.) facilities (flooring, air conditioning, room size, etc.), food, activities/socialization, performance opportunities, dorms, rules for minors, location (city, rural, suburb), length of program, teachers, rigor of program, friends going, psychology of program, travel from dorm to studios, on sight PT, connections for employment/future training, and I am sure there are things I am forgetting...It has been a while since I was involved in the actual choosing.  You should probably make a list that shows what is more important, what would be nice but isn't a must have, and what isn't important at all.  Then you will have to do the research - read the different Reviews and Research threads for each program, look at the descriptions each of the SIs have on line, ask your DK's teachers, etc. Nobody can really tell you and your DK which program to choose.  I think your DK's teachers might be able to make some recommendations based on their knowledge what your DK needs to work on and their knowledge of different SIs.  However, you know your DK best and will be able to judge the other categories. 

I would also advise you read some of the other summer intensive threads.  I think there are some others who've asked how to choose an SI, there's some FAQ threads and I remember a thread about what you should teach your DK before they go away for their first SI, and maybe one or two about what the dancers have learned from SIs.  There's lots of really good information and advice.

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AnastasiaBeav

Amie is right, a program that works for one dancer and family may not work for yours. 

Our priorities this year are very different from what I expect the upcoming years to be. Our #1 criteria for this summer is COVID safety so for my DD11 I first looked for SIs that guaranteed a virtual option.  Location, performances, housing etc were not factor in our search.

Next, I sought out feedback about about last year's virtual programs and narrowed down the options to those that handled the remote situation well. Then I prioritized auditions based on programs that had weeks available that did not conflict with our local program. Finally I narrowed it down to curricula that included other dance styles like character, jazz, modern etc. because my DD currently only takes ballet. 

I keep a spreadsheet with potential options and then fill in the details as more information is provided. I rank them in order of our choice. It is like a jigsaw puzzle figuring out how to piece summer training together. 

You will have different priorities but the process is the same. Cast a wide net based on your must have requirement and then whittle it down to a smaller number of programs.

Good luck!

 

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My DD did a 5 week virtual program with BAE last year.  It was very last minute with all that was going on.  It was very well done, so we do have that on our list and will be auditioning. Her dance teacher likes this program specifically because that have great teachers and they remember my DD well, and dance teacher thinks that’s very important given it is virtual.  We also sent in video for NYSSSA ballet.  But they have yet to set a deadline or dates for the program.  
 

I appreciate all the feedback as I’m so unfamiliar with the dance world.  Given that people think we have time, I’m hoping to next years do what all of you are doing and research everything very early and plan better.  

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DanceDaddy

I'll mention that AAB (Academy of American Ballet) is having some virtual options this year. My daughter did a virtual winter break with them and enjoyed it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
AdventurerMom

My daughter is so over virtual. The asynchronous music and movement drives her batty as she really loves dance for the musicality of it.

Even though her favorite summer program (she attended the two week option at age 10 preCOVID) is doing virtual auditions for their in person intensive being held this summer, she doesn't want to do it. Instead she's opting for the little local one week ballet intensive at her home studio and a hand full of private lessons throughout the summer to supplement. And tons of swimming and rock climbing just to keep active.

I feel that at 12, they're really not getting to far behind. It's more important for the time being to keep them healthy (physically and mentally), moving, and happy with their choices around ballet. 

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