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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Intensive Question


Guest Pease-blossom

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Guest Pease-blossom

I am wondering what type of summer intensive is best to go to in the summer after the junior year of high school. Would it be better to choose a program that seems to be the best for me right now -- in terms of intensity of training, location, and everything else -- or to choose a program that is affiliated with a company that seems like it might be a possibility for me one day?

 

I'm not really sure about how the process of auditioning for companies works (and perhaps it is different for each company), but it seems like a dancer who is recognized by the people holding the auditions as having gone there last summer would have a bit of an "edge." On the other hand, choosing the program that is the best fit and getting the most intensive training possible seems like it could give a different kind of "edge!"

 

I have spent the last two summers at a very prestigious program attached to a company, and I have done very well there in terms of being placed above my age level and getting attention, but I am not sure that joining the company would ever be a realistic possibility. One thing that makes the situation more complicated is that I am young for my grade, so I will really be competing for jobs with girls who are a year or more older than I am.

 

I guess what I am really asking is, how necessary is it to get exposure in the summer before my senior year of high school? Thanks a lot.

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Pease-blossom, how nice to see you again :) Welcome back!

 

That is a difficult question, and I don't think we ever really know what is best. There are valid reasons for both options, but I usually do try to steer students towards a program where they might have a realistic possibility for the company. However, there is also the chance of being able to stay in a trainee program, when you finish high school, at other programs like the one you have attended before. Lots of dancers are really not quite ready to audition for professional companies during their senior year, but could well be ready for a trainee situation. Doing that might get you ready for that company after a year or two.

 

If there is a company you are really interested in and think you have a good chance there, then I would seriously consider doing your last two summers there.

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Would a trainee program be like the ABT Studio Company? Or is a trainee program like the advanced level at WSB or San Fransico and so on? Because I began late I doubt that I will be ready to audition for a company by the end of my senior year. I too am very young for my grade. My birthday is in Augest so it would allow me another year to train before I turn nineteen.

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Medora, trainees are somewhere in between the school and the company :) They are graduates, but not yet under contract like apprectices are. They perform with the company but also receive a lot of special training. Although they receive some pointe shoes and a stipend, they are not salaried. I think ABT Studio Co. has contracts and salary, but not sure of that. They are however, not a part of the Advanced level at WSB. Not sure about SF. If they are not in rehearsal they might take the Release Time class, but usually they take company class and then have rehearsals or some special coaching. Watch for the next issue of Ballet Alert! (print edition). I have an article coming out on just this subject :)

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Excuse me, but to whom am I speaking here? Balletmama is one of our parents, no? Is that you, Pease-blossom?

 

Trainees sometimes come from the school, sometimes from the company auditions, and sometimes from the summer course. I believe that our director is planning to hold a couple of trainee positions open for people from the SI.

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Guest Pease-blossom

:eek:! Sorry about that, Ms. Leigh...somehow I ended up on another BalletAlert member's computer! :)

 

Thank you so much for your response -- it's great to be able to come to this board and get great advice.

 

For anyone who is confused, here is the post that Ms. Leigh answered:

 

"Ms. Leigh, thank you so much for the welcome (although I have always been here reading, even though I haven't posted in a while!) and for your helpful response. I will definitely keep your advice in mind as I go through the process of deciding what to do this summer.

 

I have another question: do companies generally get their trainees from their summer program or from their company auditions?"

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Thank you for deleting the other one, Pease-blossom! :)

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