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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Auditioning- Young age for Residency Program


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Thank you Ballet Master for your words of encouragement. He has progressed this year, with his extensions getting above ninety, and his alignment has improved. He is very strong, jumps very well and turns extremely well. He also studies jazz, modern and hip hop, so is keeping his studies well-rounded. But he seems to have matured this year, has talked to other guys and has found out that many male dancers don't develop until later on and that there are many different paths to a successful dance career.


He seemed to hit it off with the teacher at the RWB audition and said he loved the master class. They have also given him a partial scholarship for the summer for which I am very grateful.


I find that the best thing I can do is give him my support no matter where he chooses to go - we do not have the same summer school choice here in Canada as the US. I just keep driving, writing cheques and sewing!!!



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Hi DancemomCA,


My daughter is at RWB in the fulltime program so if you need more info I'd be happy to talk to you. She turned down NBS to go and is very happy with her decision.




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I've been reading this thread with interest and want to say "Thank you!" to all the people who've posted and shared their experiences and opinions.


DancemomCA, your son's heartbreaking experience was so upsetting to read, but, in reading the latest news, I am so glad to hear that he didn't let this extremely negative experience ruin his outlook for long. Three cheers for his determination!!! And I applaud your support, as well.

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This is the first time I have written something after reading and learning from all the wonderful conversations occuring on these forums.


My son was also at The NBS summer program in 2002 and was told something similar to DancemomCA's son. He has not attended a ballet class since. At 13 years (14 this year) of age, he had been dancing since he was 6 years old and had auditioned for ABT's summer program while we were in New York last spring. He was accepted into ABT with a half-tuition scholarship but we chose NBS because of his age, the cost of housing in New York and he could still be at home to attend NBS as a full-time student if accepted after the summer.


Slowly, he is coming back to the possiblity of starting class again but we are not pushing him. He has flat turnout, very good feet and a well proportioned body for a dancer. (NBS's description not mine) but he was 'unco-ordinated' in their opinion. He also had just finished a growth spurt that left him at 5'9" tall and suddenly even walking was challenging. They judged him in four weeks for a lifetime's worth of a dream without showing either patience or confidence in the inevitable return of his co-ordination.


My heartfelt congratulations to your son and his decision to pursue his love of dance. I wish we had pursued other summer programs more thoroughly before we made our choice.

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Balletparent, welcome to Ballet Alert! Online, and especially to the Moms and Dads forum!


I'm sorry to learn of the negative experience in Toronto. I think it is most likely their loss that they did not give this young man a chance to grow into his body. With all the other attributes you describe, I would certainly have given him a lot more than 4 weeks to see how that coordintion developed! I hope he will come back to wanting to dance again, and the sooner the better!

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Thank you for your kind words. My son doesn't mention his feelings about dance and is currently involved in hockey. He is an average player and is on a house league team select, meaning they hit each other. I cringe whenever he gets hit and think of how much damage is possible with hockey injuries. He had given up playing hockey years ago in favor of dancing.


He has mentioned that he is tighter now and the reason he would return to ballet class would be to work on his flexibility to improve his hockey potential. I think this might be his way of gracefully returning to dance and regaining his confidence. His older brother dances and is approximately two years away from dancing professionally. The younger boy is watching his older brother very carefully and feels proud of him while trying to find his own way.

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Let me add words of encouragement for your son. The world is a dull enough place without enough male dancers in it. This is one job in our part of the world where taking up the challenge meets the Hemingway description of "guts" in a totally unique way - "grace under pressure"! It's tough enough to suffer slings and arrows from the yahoos who don't dance, and then have to take them from the people who are supposed to be on your side. So, "Illegitimi non Carborundum" as the motto runs - Don't let the Bastards grind you Down!

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I have heard a story that might interest the 2 parents of discouraged male dancers. I have no idea how accurate this story is, but it's good food for thought nonetheless.


A young man left nbs rather abruptly, saying that the school "didn't know how to teach boys". This young man went to another school, ultimately joined NBOC and is now a principal dancer.


I think that nbs is a great school, with a wonderful reputation internationally, but, like anywhere else, it's not for everyone. There are other schools out there, even in Canada, although it does seem like we have few choices in comparison to our US friends.


All the best to you and your dancers.

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I want to offer a heartfelt "Thank you!" to both Mel and mom2. Both of you put it so succintly and so well... Mel, with your views in a mini essay and mom2 with your annecdotal case in point.


I hope the two previous posters will share these thoughts with their sons, if they feel it appropriate.

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Hello BW - yes, I did show my son the posts and he in fact does remember the other boy who was not accepted at NBS. He also feels bad that he is not dancing anymore. Hopefully he will return next year when he has regained his confidence.


My son also appreciated BalletMaster's adage "Don't let bastards grind you down!". He has been told over and over again that he should be playing soccer or hockey, a boy's sport, not dancing. He has been called every name for years. It has settled down the last two years; his classmates have finally accepted who he is, but boys still feel threatend by him I think. Probably because he is doing something outside the accepted "norm". But he also firmly believes that he was given this talent and he is determined to develop it and see where it leads him. Another bonus - the girls love to dance with him at the school dances!!!


tutu14 - thank you for your offer of RWB information. I do have questions. For one thing, it's sooooo far away!!!

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