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@mommyoffiveNo - TN has had terrible numbers. Especially the last month. But hardly any restrictions in the state, though Nashville does have more than other areas. But throughout the state pretty much everything has been open this whole time and I only expect TN to be more open than other places. Just seems as though they are planning to hold it and as likely as anyplace to be open.

My dd, in another part of the state, has only missed four weeks of dance back in April. Sounds crazy, huh? She just had a Christmas recital. I know of several studios that have put on some kind of winter recital. Adapted, but still dancing. 

I realize that is going to horrify alot of people but hopefully we won't derail the thread questioning my choices. I have questioned them plenty!  

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20 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

Come to Florida! They don’t even seem to realize there’s a pandemic going on here! 🤪 Even though MCBS has been very careful and responsible, there’s no way they would have remained open in most other states (for better or for worse?)

Ha. Yeah. Unfortunately, it's Balanchine and my kid won't do it. His trainee teachers urged him to go Vaganova anyway for the summer. Right now he wants SFB again to get the experience he was denied last summer. He'll maybe consider Kaatsbaan. I don't know.

17 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I don't think it sounds awful at all that you want him to dance in person.  That is what I want too.  My kids haven't been in person since March.  There are 2 ballet schools an hour from us and one has been running in person this whole time.  I would honestly just want them to dance at their home school or the other one this summer if they could do it in person.  That is great that he will have the vaccine.   My kids are currently not old enough to get it.  Honestly with all the news of the slow roll out of the vaccine, I am wondering if that puts us further out from getting it? 

It is so hard to decide things because while a state looks bad right now, it might not in 6 months.  

I thought your son's school was going back in person? 

The slow rollout makes it hard, but I honestly assume (not a political statement, just a practical one) that the new administration is more likely to make the rollout faster. At the very least, I'll bet they dole out the millions of Pfizer doses just sitting in cold storage. Sigh. I think it's unpredictable, but our current plan does have students before healthy adults who can work from home, so... I don't know.

Washington Ballet was planning to bring the trainee levels back... and then the surge hit. Everything is closed here. Indoor dining, all the museums... everything. They're re-evaluating when they can.

Nashville is probably not on his list (I assume Tennessee will never shut anything down). Pittsburgh may be his backup. I suggested Kansas City or Ballet West. To him, it's like, why go to somewhere like Pittsburgh or KC when he's already at a studio where the instruction is likely superior. But I'm like, dude, in person. Like, Missouri is not going to shut things down. 

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11 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Ha. Yeah. Unfortunately, it's Balanchine and my kid won't do it. His trainee teachers urged him to go Vaganova anyway for the summer. Right now he wants SFB again to get the experience he was denied last summer. He'll maybe consider Kaatsbaan. I don't know.

The slow rollout makes it hard, but I honestly assume (not a political statement, just a practical one) that the new administration is more likely to make the rollout faster. At the very least, I'll bet they dole out the millions of Pfizer doses just sitting in cold storage. Sigh. I think it's unpredictable, but our current plan does have students before healthy adults who can work from home, so... I don't know.

Washington Ballet was planning to bring the trainee levels back... and then the surge hit. Everything is closed here. Indoor dining, all the museums... everything. They're re-evaluating when they can.

Nashville is probably not on his list (I assume Tennessee will never shut anything down). Pittsburgh may be his backup. I suggested Kansas City or Ballet West. To him, it's like, why go to somewhere like Pittsburgh or KC when he's already at a studio where the instruction is likely superior. But I'm like, dude, in person. Like, Missouri is not going to shut things down. 

Oh that stinks that you guys had a surge and he wasn't able to get back in the studio.  I wasn't aware of that.  I am trying to not follow it as much as I was in the spring. 

I would feel so much  more comfortable sending my child if they had a vaccine.  I wish that was an option for my kids. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Oh that stinks that you guys had a surge and he wasn't able to get back in the studio.  I wasn't aware of that.  I am trying to not follow it as much as I was in the spring. 

I would feel so much  more comfortable sending my child if they had a vaccine.  I wish that was an option for my kids. 

I mean, we all had a surge. There's nowhere in the nation that didn't. Sorry... I'm just... there's almost no one that should be dancing in person at this point. It's not that we are having more of a surge (it's actually much less than a lot of the country), it's that we just have a government that's doing a better job closing things down than everywhere else.

Regardless, yeah, I was thrilled that the vaccine was approved for 16 and up. My dancer will be first in line of our family. We all want him to get it the moment it's available for phase 2 here. Hopefully by late spring.

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22 hours ago, Farrar said:

I mean, we all had a surge. There's nowhere in the nation that didn't. Sorry... I'm just... there's almost no one that should be dancing in person at this point. It's not that we are having more of a surge (it's actually much less than a lot of the country), it's that we just have a government that's doing a better job closing things down than everywhere else.

Regardless, yeah, I was thrilled that the vaccine was approved for 16 and up. My dancer will be first in line of our family. We all want him to get it the moment it's available for phase 2 here. Hopefully by late spring.

Yeah I saw the DC area had a surge before the election, but since then I haven't paid attention to everyone's numbers.  It is just to hard for me to do that mentally. 

Our state has been open since May.  Even during our surge.  Schools were open sports have been going on and still are.  It has been up to the city or county to run things and close things down. The city where our ballet school has had different periods of being open and closing things down.  That is probably the only reason why our school isn't open at this point.  I know other schools and studios in other cities that have been open this whole time. 

I am not saying they should be, just that they are.  

Maybe your school can bring in the older kids in spring?  

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On 12/30/2020 at 8:57 AM, Farrar said:

Ha. Yeah. Unfortunately, it's Balanchine and my kid won't do it. His trainee teachers urged him to go Vaganova anyway for the summer. Right now he wants SFB again to get the experience he was denied last summer. He'll maybe consider Kaatsbaan. I don't know.

 

I heard from a friend whose daughter did Kaatsbaan last year (virtually) that while they are doing the day program in person next summer, they aren't offering housing.  Not sure if that information is completely up to date, but that is what I heard! 

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16 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom said:

I heard from a friend whose daughter did Kaatsbaan last year (virtually) that while they are doing the day program in person next summer, they aren't offering housing.  Not sure if that information is completely up to date, but that is what I heard! 

All of this is good to know.  The last time I looked at Miami City Ballet they were not offering housing for summer either.  

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Ok, I am working on not a lot of sleep, but this is my plan for auditions

 

ABT- Love that they have the virtual option

SAB-  Virtual option for one of my younger kids

PNB- Thoughts that they might run virtually if they need it. 

Not doing Miami because of lack of housing and the they are doing it in person

Houston, Boston, The Washington Ballet, and maybe Colorado Ballet

The first 3 all have virtual options

And then maybe the 2 schools that are within an hour of us.  

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Hi all! I came here looking for advice on balancing (home)school and desires to become a professional dancer, so I’m really glad to find this thread! 

My DD has been dancing (mostly ballet) since she was little. She is 13-years old now. Last January at her annual evaluation her artistic director told her if she wanted to dance professionally it was time to start thinking about going away to train in the next few years. We were thinking she’d go away at 15-16, but Covid has made it both more and less likely for her to go away next year. On the one hand, it makes more sense to just go away in the fall since she is currently between studios. Her old studio is all in person classes for her level, and we are not comfortable with their safety protocols. So she is dancing at home with a pair of teachers, but no studio. On the flip side, it’s unlikely Covid will be totally under control by fall and we’d prefer her to be a bit older before she flies the nest. Anyone have advice on balancing school and dance once she does go away (assuming that happens).

We aren’t sure her plans for summer. Last year (12-years old) was supposed to be her first away intensive after doing her home studio intensive for a couple summers. She auditioned for a handful of programs, decided on and was supposed to go to SFB, but Covid meant she did the virtual SFB program instead. This year, she would rather go to an in person program, but knows I want her to be in a safe environment as well. That adds an extra wrinkle for sure.

At any rate, that’s my long winded intro, and I’d love your best advice for balancing training as well as staying on track for college in case a contract doesn’t work out or if she somehow changes her mind. If it makes a difference, she was already young for grade then skipped sixth grade at her school before we brought her home, so she’s currently a young high school freshman and on track to graduate when she is 16.

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Kristini2 said:

Hi all! I came here looking for advice on balancing (home)school and desires to become a professional dancer so I’m really glad to find this thread! 

My DD has been dancing (mostly ballet) since she was little. She is 13-years old now. Last January at her annual evaluation her artistic director told her if she wanted to dance professionally it was time to start thinking about going away to train in the next few years. We were thinking she’d go away at 15-16, but Covid has made it both more and less likely for her to go away next year. It makes more sense to just go away in the fall since she is currently between studios. Her old studio is all in person classes for her level, and we are not comfortable with their safety protocols. So she is dancing at home with a pair of teachers, but no studio. And less sense in that it’s unlikely Covid will be totally under control by fall and we’d prefer her to be a bit older before she flies the nest. Anyone have advice on balancing school and dance once she does go away (assuming that happens).

We aren’t sure her plans for summer. Last year (12-years old) was supposed to be her first away intensive after doing her home studio intensive for a couple summers. She auditioned for a handful of programs, decided on and was supposed to go to SFB, but Covid meant she did the virtual SFB program instead. This year, she would rather go to an in person program, but knows I want her to be in a safe environment as well. That adds an extra wrinkle for sure.

At any rate, that’s my long winded intro, and I’d love your best advice for balancing training as well as staying on track for college in case a contract doesn’t work out or if she somehow changes her mind. If it makes a difference, she was already young for grade then skipped sixth grade at her school before we brought her home, so she’s currently a young high school freshman and on track to graduate when she is 16.

 

 

 

I have no real experience.  My oldest is a freshman too and none of them have gone away. 

One thought since she is going to be so young when she graduates, could she go away when she is done with school?  

Or is taking a heavier load this year or next so that when she goes away she could take less classes?  

My kids are at home dancing from home since March.  Their school hasn't done in person classes since then.  My 3 oldest were going away for the first time last summer too.  They were going to go to SAB, ABT, and Miami.  Of course that didn't happen and they just did them from home.  I have no idea what they are going to do this summer.  None of them will be old enough for a vaccine.  I would love for them to be in person, but they are auditioning for ones that have virtual programs set up for now too. 

Good luck to her this audition season.  

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My dd is graduating at 16 this spring. We decided not to have her go away until she graduated. We’ve managed to balance school and a very full ballet schedule and even several DE classes. The plan for next fall was for her to either leave home to train at a company school full time, or go to college. With everything going on last year with Covid and how that is affecting ballet companies, she decided on the college route. I have to admit that I am relieved because at college she will be in a more insulated environment for 4 years, and can double major so she has a backup option. She’ll graduate at 20 and will hopefully be able to find a job doing what she loves! It seems like more companies are open to hiring college trained dancers now, and we specifically looked at schools that have a good track record, with lots of dancers getting hired upon graduation. We all feel at peace with the decision!

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4 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

My dd is graduating at 16 this spring. We decided not to have her go away until she graduated. We’ve managed to balance school and a very full ballet schedule and even several DE classes. The plan for next fall was for her to either leave home to train at a company school full time, or go to college. With everything going on last year with Covid and how that is affecting ballet companies, she decided on the college route. I have to admit that I am relieved because at college she will be in a more insulated environment for 4 years, and can double major so she has a backup option. She’ll graduate at 20 and will hopefully be able to find a job doing what she loves! It seems like more companies are open to hiring college trained dancers now, and we specifically looked at schools that have a good track record, with lots of dancers getting hired upon graduation. We all feel at peace with the decision!

Which college dance programs is she considering? If you’d rather pm or wait until after auditions/decisions are made, I completely understand.

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Thanks, mommyoffive. We had planned on getting most of her credits out if the way, then letting her go away either for senior year or waiting until right after she graduated. However, Covid left her without a home studio, so we are reevaluating. We need to decide if it makes sense to go back to where she was (even though she has now had a taste of better training through her online classes this year), or if it is time to reconsider our earlier plan. Time will tell. 
 

lovelearnandlive, how exciting for your daughter! It is important to us that my dancer keeps on track to go to college. She can always go to school after or while she’s dancing if the stars align and she gets a contract. Otherwise she will be able to go right to college. So much can happen in a few years. I’m glad your daughter is at peace with her decision. I have a senior this year as well, and it is such a strange year to graduate even without factoring in dance. I’m glad yours found her path. 

 

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@Kristini2, my son is in a "full time" training program - he's 16. We sort of went the other direction. Especially with how things have changed I may actually reclassify him down a grade. He's already young for grade. I think his options will stay broad if we wait on graduation. But we have the benefit of living near the training program. Other young people have moved here for that purpose to do his program. If he had to go away, it would be different.

Some of the options for going away at this age are full schools like Nutmeg. Others, of course, just give the kids time to do whatever they want. I know at PBT, they have some dual enrollment options and some time set aside, etc. but that it's all flexible. At Washington, they give zero guidance at all. 

It's a tricky path! I am still a bit... at sea about the whole thing even as we try to navigate it.

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19 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Which college dance programs is she considering? If you’d rather pm or wait until after auditions/decisions are made, I completely understand.

Here are all of the schools that were on her list (she didn’t end up applying to all of these - the requirements were brutal!)

UNCSA

Virginia Commonwealth (they have a partnership with Richmond ballet)

U of Utah

Butler U

Oklahoma U

Indiana U

U of Cincinnati 

Mercyhurst

U of Arizona

Point Park

Texas Christian

 

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46 minutes ago, Farrar said:

How'd the first weekend of SI auditions, go, everyone? Kids on edge checking for acceptances?

After all of the college auditions, dd was so burnt out! She was offered an extended acceptance from a couple of the summer intensives she auditioned for last summer and decided to take one of them up on their offer. I have to admit I was relieved!!

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31 minutes ago, lovelearnandlive said:

Here are all of the schools that were on her list (she didn’t end up applying to all of these - the requirements were brutal!)

UNCSA

Virginia Commonwealth (they have a partnership with Richmond ballet)

U of Utah

Butler U

Oklahoma U

Indiana U

U of Cincinnati 

Mercyhurst

U of Arizona

Point Park

Texas Christian

 

This is literally every school that I would have named off the top of my head as "good for ballet." Well, I didn't know Oklahoma was? But otherwise. Good luck to her. I hope you'll update with wherever she chooses.

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Farrar, we have told my daughter all along that we may reclassify her down a grade if it makes sense. The whole dance thing adds another wrinkle to all of the schooling decisions. 

My dancer has been pretty relaxed about waiting on audition results. I think not getting to go away last year, and fully expecting to not go away this year, has dampened her excitement. Last year she was checking email continually. This year she's more zen. She does have one acceptance under her belt, so that makes it easier as well. Best of luck to everyone waiting on auditions and results!! 

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16 minutes ago, Farrar said:

This is literally every school that I would have named off the top of my head as "good for ballet." Well, I didn't know Oklahoma was? But otherwise. Good luck to her. I hope you'll update with wherever she chooses.

Thank you! And I’m glad to know it looks like a comprehensive list! 😁

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6 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

Here are all of the schools that were on her list (she didn’t end up applying to all of these - the requirements were brutal!)

UNCSA

Virginia Commonwealth (they have a partnership with Richmond ballet)

U of Utah

Butler U

Oklahoma U

Indiana U

U of Cincinnati 

Mercyhurst

U of Arizona

Point Park

Texas Christian

 

Best of luck to her. Keep us posted.
 

I grew up in Indiana and met my husband at Butler (two of my sisters and my father also graduated from BU). It’s a great school well beyond ballet! I never really appreciate that lovely residential neighborhood and Indianapolis, as a whole, until after I moved away. And you can’t go wrong with IU either! I’m not as familiar with the other schools on her list, but I hope she’s happy wherever she lands. 

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

How'd the first weekend of SI auditions, go, everyone? Kids on edge checking for acceptances?

No auditions for my DD yet. She’s doing one via Zoom 1/24 and planning the film a vid to send to one other program near the end of the month. Just coming back from an injury, I think she’s inclined to stay put at MCBS, but it wouldn’t feel like January without doing a few auditions!

Hope everyone gets good news!

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8 hours ago, Farrar said:

@Kristini2, my son is in a "full time" training program - he's 16. We sort of went the other direction. Especially with how things have changed I may actually reclassify him down a grade. He's already young for grade. I think his options will stay broad if we wait on graduation. But we have the benefit of living near the training program. Other young people have moved here for that purpose to do his program. If he had to go away, it would be different.

Some of the options for going away at this age are full schools like Nutmeg. Others, of course, just give the kids time to do whatever they want. I know at PBT, they have some dual enrollment options and some time set aside, etc. but that it's all flexible. At Washington, they give zero guidance at all. 

It's a tricky path! I am still a bit... at sea about the whole thing even as we try to navigate it.

Can you explain this to me?  Just wondering.  We got Zero guidance from their ballet school on where to go from here.  It is really hard for me because of course I know nothing about dance at all.  There were very few kids at their school who were thinking of going farther with dance.   Maybe 3 others last year?    

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8 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

After all of the college auditions, dd was so burnt out! She was offered an extended acceptance from a couple of the summer intensives she auditioned for last summer and decided to take one of them up on their offer. I have to admit I was relieved!!

That is so great some of her programs did that.  I kind of wish more would have.  The ones my kids got into didn't do that.  

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8 hours ago, Farrar said:

How'd the first weekend of SI auditions, go, everyone? Kids on edge checking for acceptances?

I think there were some auditions in December for places?  I wish I would have known that.  Oh well.  3 of my kids did ABT last weekend.   2 have PNB this weekend.   We put in a video to SAB.   I am trying to figure out what else.  Maybe Houston and Washington.   It is so hard to know.  Will my kids be able to go away or not?  At this point I say no. But in 6 months will it be different?  Better?  

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7 hours ago, Kristini2 said:

Farrar, we have told my daughter all along that we may reclassify her down a grade if it makes sense. The whole dance thing adds another wrinkle to all of the schooling decisions. 

My dancer has been pretty relaxed about waiting on audition results. I think not getting to go away last year, and fully expecting to not go away this year, has dampened her excitement. Last year she was checking email continually. This year she's more zen. She does have one acceptance under her belt, so that makes it easier as well. Best of luck to everyone waiting on auditions and results!! 

Yeah, I think this matches my kids.  They are excited because they want to dance.  But they are not thinking that they are going to go away because of Covid, so it isn't the same as last year.  Nothing is.    I am really hoping they can get back into their home school over summer.  

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9 hours ago, Kristini2 said:

Thanks, mommyoffive. We had planned on getting most of her credits out if the way, then letting her go away either for senior year or waiting until right after she graduated. However, Covid left her without a home studio, so we are reevaluating. We need to decide if it makes sense to go back to where she was (even though she has now had a taste of better training through her online classes this year), or if it is time to reconsider our earlier plan. Time will tell. 
 

lovelearnandlive, how exciting for your daughter! It is important to us that my dancer keeps on track to go to college. She can always go to school after or while she’s dancing if the stars align and she gets a contract. Otherwise she will be able to go right to college. So much can happen in a few years. I’m glad your daughter is at peace with her decision. I have a senior this year as well, and it is such a strange year to graduate even without factoring in dance. I’m glad yours found her path. 

 

Are there any other studios around you guys?   Or when things are better do you think she will go back to her old studio?   That is really hard, I am sorry that happened to her. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Can you explain this to me?  Just wondering.  We got Zero guidance from their ballet school on where to go from here.  It is really hard for me because of course I know nothing about dance at all.  There were very few kids at their school who were thinking of going farther with dance.   Maybe 3 others last year?    

I mean... there's three basic approaches as I see it.

1... Graduate them early so they can go off and focus on dance. Just get their core courses done. Make sure it's all good enough, but then assume they'll be living apart and you can't really oversee their education closely anyway. Lots of flexibility for choosing a program away and less worry about having to get them to finish high school while they're gone. They could start community college on the side while dancing potentially.

2... Keep them on a normal schedule. Either do a program close to home and have them continue high school work (maybe in a slightly lighter or more flexible way, depending on the kid's needs) or send them to a ballet school like Nutmeg that has a decent academic program incorporated. 

3... So... this would NOT be the norm. But because of how things have worked out, I may graduate my kid a year late. He's so busy with dance and he's not that academic and he's on the young end for grade anyway (just met the kindy cutoff by 3 days). He's training from home anyway and his studio is here. So, if we want to keep our options open, it may make sense to just reclassify his grade level and finish him the following year so he can get a bit more academics in. He's had a slow path through high school, which is fine. He'll have enough credits to graduate at the end of next year, but... he won't be in a good position to apply for colleges. We always assumed he would be auditioning for companies. But... given everything, this may make more sense. And it also may make sense just to keep options open. We're deciding... he's anxious about both ways, honestly.

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What we did for dd was to start her in DE classes in 9th grade at our local CC. She was accelerated and was taking mostly high school courses as an 8th grader, so this worked well for her, and enabled her to finish high school in 3 years.

When we decided on DE, she wasn’t sure if she would be going to college or dancing straight out of high school. The DE was meant to be a head start, so she could continue getting her gen ed classes out of the way while she was dancing and then transfer to a 4-year college later, either after her dance career or once she had settled down somewhere. She earned over 40 credits and now that she is going to college, we are hoping she will be able to put them toward a double major and still graduate in 4 years. 

It was sometimes *very* challenging for her to juggle the academics and dance over the past few years, but I’m very glad now that she did it. 

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5 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Best of luck to her. Keep us posted.
 

I grew up in Indiana and met my husband at Butler (two of my sisters and my father also graduated from BU). It’s a great school well beyond ballet! I never really appreciate that lovely residential neighborhood and Indianapolis, as a whole, until after I moved away. And you can’t go wrong with IU either! I’m not as familiar with the other schools on her list, but I hope she’s happy wherever she lands. 

Thank you! I have heard from many people that both Bloomington and Indy are great. We’ve never been. College visits are so tricky this year. 😞

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4 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

That is so great some of her programs did that.  I kind of wish more would have.  The ones my kids got into didn't do that.  

I was very, very grateful. This is such a stressful audition season, with all of the unknowns and the new audition formats. I wish more places had done that too! Or just ask for a 2-3 minute video or recording of a variation. They aren’t going to watch more that 2-3 minutes anyway!

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2 minutes ago, lovelearnandlive said:

I was very, very grateful. This is such a stressful audition season, with all of the unknowns and the new audition formats. I wish more places had done that too! Or just ask for a 2-3 minute video or recording of a variation. They aren’t going to watch more that 2-3 minutes anyway!

What did your dd do last summer?  Maybe I missed this or we didn't talk much about it.  

Is she in the studio now? 

Yeah putting together a 15 min video is a lot.  I like the zoom auditions soooo much more.  We have never put together a video before and if times were normal it would be something we would have a teacher help with.  I am so thankful that most of the ones that we are looking at have zoom auditions.  It is so much harder this year than normal, and I think normally it is hard and confusing.  Especially if you don't have advice and guidance on it.  

I am hopeful that my kids get in somewhere.  I think it would really be a positive thing for them this year.  But I am not sure that they  are where they should be.  They haven't had an in person class since March.   I know there are some other people in this situation.  I am so proud of them for getting through this year.  Sticking with dance when so much of the fun and joy of it got stripped away.  It has really helped them get through this pandemic too.  

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Only one summer program my daughter got into last year offered automatic entry this year. She decided not to take it because it's more of a contemporary ballet place and she still wants to focus on classical. I think down the road this school might be a good fit for her, but for now it likely makes sense to continue with something more similar to what she does year round. She's only 13 after all. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 11:51 PM, Kristini2 said:

 

At any rate, that’s my long winded intro, and I’d love your best advice for balancing training as well as staying on track for college in case a contract doesn’t work out or if she somehow changes her mind. If it makes a difference, she was already young for grade then skipped sixth grade at her school before we brought her home, so she’s currently a young high school freshman and on track to graduate when she is 16.

 

 

 

Hi! Just getting around to responding to this. Our DD3, now 16, attended her first away SI at PNB at age 12 (stayed with my sister/cousins) and then went to SAB the following year. She fell in love with Balanchine technique and, unfortunately, our only studio options locally were heavily Russian (they cringed when my DD took class there). We found a private-coaching/small studio situation 1,200 miles from home (but only 15 minutes away from extended family), so at age 13 she moved there to train for the year. She returned to SAB the following summer at 14, then began the year-round pre-pro program at Miami City that fall. She’s now in her 2nd year at MCBS. 
 

Throughout this whole process, she has continued a very rigorous load of live and asynchronous online classes. We arranged for her to take the PSAT and AP exams at the local high school in Miami Beach. While home during the pandemic, she squeezed in driver’s Ed, ACT prep, an extra summer elective class, and had her wisdom teeth removed.
 

Somehow, we’ve coordinated trips home so she never missed a well-visit with her pediatrician, a dental cleaning/exam, or an orthodontist appointment. It’s honestly been pretty smooth and joyful throughout. BUT, and this is a huge but, I’m very organized, she’s remarkably mature and disciplined, and we’ve lucked into some wonderful/free family housing that made it all (just barely) affordable.

I’m not sure if you’re planning for her to go away, but it can be done while also prioritizing academics.  The all inclusive schools were WAY out of our budget, but I can see how having dance and academics all under one umbrella would be very appealing.

We have seen a few (and heard about a lot more) kids who have done too little school, too much partying, and just generally did not benefit from going away from home too early. Honestly, neither of my two older girls would have ever been good candidates for it; my DD3 is uniquely well-suited for the situation. 
I hope hearing another’s experience is helpful. Feel free to ask any specific questions you might have or DM if you’d prefer.

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Thank you, fourisenough. Very helpful. Mine is also my third girl. There are just so many moving parts. It’s an interesting ride she’s taking us on. I never danced so it’s all new to me. 

Edited by Kristini2
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Checking in~  We have only heard back from ABT.  All 3 of my kids who are old enough got in there.   I am so happy about that, as they way they have set up how they are handling it gives me peace.  My kids all did their online intensive last year and loved it.  Very well done.  They have another audition this weekend that I signed up for on Monday and then heard from ABT on Tuesday.  Boo.  I wouldn't have signed them up for it if I had heard back.  Oh well.  Extra class I guess. 

Oldest DD got moved up a level at her school today.  Next level is trainee!    She has worked really hard since June and honestly online ballet has been a pro for her.  Not that she doesn't want to get back in the studio.  But she is just really enjoying doing it this way.  Her teachers have been raving about her lately and I am just so happy she at this point.  She has danced since she was 2 or 3, but it was recreationally.  We didn't have her start at this school until she was almost 12.  Where she has gotten to in just a few years is really impressive.  I remember their first week at this school and how lost they were in class.

Hoping that they can get back in the studio in some form this summer.

How are the auditions going for everyone else? 

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How is audition season going for anyone?  Have you made a choice on what your dancer is doing? 

I have been noticing that a lot of the programs have lost their housing.  ABT doesn't have housing at any of their programs if they run, Orlando, Miami, Nashville, Boston (although I think they are working on it), Ballet West (I think they lost it? ).   It sure makes this even harder to figure out if you have a younger dancer or can't stay with them.  

I am 99.9% sure we are going to stick with ABT for the summer.  

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Hi all,

My dd had a great audition season this year and is having a really tough time having narrowed it down  between two programs and would love all feedback you can offer. Her top choice was one that she and her sister have both attended, so it’s a known. She was very happy and had assumed she’d be returning this year. However, she was accepted to MCB and was elated with the news. She loved the audition, loved Aranxa and loves Balanchine. 
 

When looking at previous year intensive attendees that she can find online, all the high school aged girls attend year round prepro schools and have flat turnout. My dd is a beautiful dancer who brings a lot to the table, but she doesn’t have flat turnout. 
 

She doesn’t mind the idea of attending and being the bottom of her level provided that she’s not in a level composed of her and 12 year olds. Looking at the photos from one year, it seems that this could be a possibility (Levels 4 and some of 5). My dd is turning 16. 
 

Everyone she has reached out to who loves MCB has been placed well and in an upper level. My older dd had attended an intensive where it wasn’t leveled mostly by age, and it was a very uncomfortable vibe overall. Of course, there will be some flexibility in leveling, but she doesn’t want to be placed in a middle school level. 
 

Can you all share what you know and give us the worst case scenario you’ve heard? She has stars in her eyes for MCB and wants to go but is seriously concerned.

Thanks!

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Did MCBS not include level placement in the invitation? My DD is there in the pre-pro program, but has never done a summer, so I’m not sure how their leveling works. However, she will likely stay for this summer. Arantxa is warm and tough and all kinds of wonderful. The training is excellent and very intense. Housing is easy to find very near the studios and is relatively less expensive in summer because it’s low season for tourists. They WILL have an in-person program based on the fact that they were in person last summer and they have been all year (except for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas). 

I’m not sure which other program she’s considering, but for the reasons above, we really like and can vouch for MCBS.

(My DD does have great turnout, but she’s not super flexible and is still ‘trying to become a jumper’, so everyone has something they need to improve! I wouldn’t worry about her turnout a bit.)

Edited by fourisenough
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Just a PSA for everyone that is thinking about ones in-person.  I am seeing a lot of people on a ballet board saying that they just got an acceptance email and went to log in to register and the levels are full and then they are being put on wait lists.  

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52 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

Did MCBS not include level placement in the invitation? My DD is there in the pre-pro program, but has never done a summer, so I’m not sure how their leveling works. However, she will likely stay for this summer. Arantxa is warm and tough and all kinds of wonderful. The training is excellent and very intense. 

Fourisenough they didn’t include leveling. Normally I’d not worry and just celebrate the acceptance and have her attend. But, with a happy previous experience somewhere else, and the potential for strange leveling, I’m concerned.


She’s agonizing because she’s been saying she’s going to get closed out if she doesn’t register now. I emailed them and would love a basic confirmation that she won’t be leveled with real young ones. All her acceptances are competitive, so I’d like to say she’s overreacting, but I don’t want her to be miserable if it’s possible and happens. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, cuckoomamma said:

Fourisenough they didn’t include leveling. Normally I’d not worry and just celebrate the acceptance and have her attend. But, with a happy previous experience somewhere else, and the potential for strange leveling, I’m concerned.


She’s agonizing because she’s been saying she’s going to get closed out if she doesn’t register now. I emailed them and would love a basic confirmation that she won’t be leveled with real young ones. All her acceptances are competitive, so I’d like to say she’s overreacting, but I don’t want her to be miserable if it’s possible and happens. 
 

 

Have you been to this ballet board?   They are super helpful.  You could ask the question there as people have done the summer program at Miami.   A few of the ones my kids have been accepted to didn't level them.  It has worked out so far for them to do those, no complaints.  I can see what you and she are worried about.   I hope they email you back.  I have had a really hard time contacting Miami.  

Miami City Ballet SI Reviews & Research - 2020/2021 Summer Intensives - Ballet Talk for Dancers (invisionzone.com)

 

Miami City Ballet SI AUDITION-Who’s Going? 2021 - 2020/2021 Summer Intensives - Ballet Talk for Dancers (invisionzone.com)

You can read reviews and ask questions from other people who have gone. 

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We didn’t do a great job planning my daughter’s audition season because we were leaning towards in person when we registered, but with the new variants we are thinking virtual might be a better for for my dancer. She will likely try something local in hopes she loves it and will have a new studio come fall. 
 

I don’t know anything about MCBS, but good luck deciding! My daughter did her first non-local intensive (virtually) last summer (SFBS), and their levels seemed very much based on age though that likely could have been different if they had been in person. 

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4 hours ago, Kristini2 said:

We didn’t do a great job planning my daughter’s audition season because we were leaning towards in person when we registered, but with the new variants we are thinking virtual might be a better for for my dancer. She will likely try something local in hopes she loves it and will have a new studio come fall. 
 

I don’t know anything about MCBS, but good luck deciding! My daughter did her first non-local intensive (virtually) last summer (SFBS), and their levels seemed very much based on age though that likely could have been different if they had been in person. 

It is such a hard decision isn't it?   Today I am totally torn up about it.  When we were thinking about it back in Nov or December things were different and I was leaning 100% towards virtual.  Rates were high.  They said kids wouldn't have a vaccine.  

As of last week I changed my mind.  Rates are falling.  Vaccines are rolling out.  Faucci said kids would have a vaccine by late spring or summer.   The new variants of Covid could turn this all upside down.  Anyway we leaned towards mostly virtual programs for auditions.  We committed to a virtual program (ABT).  They might decide to run in-person in April and then you have a chance of being invited.  I am feeling really bad about making that choice.  I feel like everyone else is going in-person and they will be missing out.  Some of my kids really need to be back in the studio.    This year is so hard. 

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3 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

It is such a hard decision isn't it?   Today I am totally torn up about it.  When we were thinking about it back in Nov or December things were different and I was leaning 100% towards virtual.  Rates were high.  They said kids wouldn't have a vaccine.  

As of last week I changed my mind.  Rates are falling.  Vaccines are rolling out.  Faucci said kids would have a vaccine by late spring or summer.   The new variants of Covid could turn this all upside down.  Anyway we leaned towards mostly virtual programs for auditions.  We committed to a virtual program.  They might decide to run in-person in April and then you have a chance of being invited.  I am feeling really bad about making that choice.  I feel like everyone else is going in-person and they will be missing out.  Some of my kids really need to be back in the studio.    This year is so hard. 

This is where my husband, a very decisive person, would just say you made the best decision at the time for your situation and just don't look back.  I used to think there was a "right" and "wrong" answer to every decision in life, but I am much better at framing them as the best decision with the type of information I have at the time. 

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My dd will do an in-person intensive, but only for three weeks. She will be heading to college in the fall and wants time off to do some fun stuff, shopping, and hopefully a family vacation before she leaves. 
 

Hopefully it’s the right decision. It’s so hard to know what to do right now, and the info is changing daily.

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I agree with SanDiegoMom that you shouldn't judge the decisions that you've already made. Covid has really illustrated how we just can't predict what will happen from one day to the next even with lots of due diligence. Life is about embracing where you are and making the most of it.  Of course, I'm better at giving that advice than taking it 🙂

Every year choosing a summer intensive is such a difficult decision and depends so much on each dancer, family and summer intensive. And,  it's all so situationally specific under normal circumstances. Now we've only ended up magnifying  the number of all the possible variables even more! Our family is very cautious and has been since last March, and yet, we're thinking that our dancer will be dancing in person. There's a good bit of keeping my head down and praying that's accompanying that decision. If our situation was different in terms of dance, finances, space for zoom, family dynamics, social exposure, she'd be staying home and taking a virtual summer again. It's all situational, and I think everyone is just doing the best that they can. 

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Dance parents, does this kind of thing happen at your studio and, if so, what do you suppose causes it:

My dd has danced at the same studio since she was 3. It's a fairly large studio for our area, is well respected, and has been around for a long time. It has amazing professional recitals, the teachers are hardworking and respectful, and the dance training is decent. In the past few years we've had several dancers go on to professional careers in NYC and LA and several with full college dance scholarships. Anyway, every few years a large group of the most dedicated dancers, those who were competition team members or danced many hours, leave the studio and show up at other studios. They are often around middle school age. I know that many kids move on to other activities at that age, but I'm talking about those who still dance. It's not like they've outgrown the studio and are going for higher dance training, as many of the studios they move to would not be considered a step up in dance training. I know the reason some of the dancers have left. Our studio doesn't do solos at competitions (only group dances) and some want solos and move to studios that will allow them to do that. One girl left because her group of dance friends dumped her and, while the studio could prevent outright unkindness, they couldn't really stop the more subtle girl bullying, so the girl and her sister went to another studio. Some move because their best friend from the studio is going somewhere else, so they move too. Then there's all these dancers who don't seem to fit into any of these categories who all seem to go to different studios around the same time.

Is this "grass is greener" syndrome? Maybe they want to be the big fish in a smaller pond? Do parents and/or kids just want something new or a new start at that age? Is this the time when they think they'll develop more by dancing under different teachers? Is the honeymoon period at a new studio, when they think it's perfect and everything the old studio isn't, what they need to refresh their love of dance? Any or all of these?

I'm always trying to understand why people do what they do and this is one of those things I've seen happen several times and I just can't figure it out.

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@mom2scoutsI think what you see with kids changing studios is common and not just to dance but to other kid activities/sports/etc. 

Friendships change both with kids and moms and people want fresh starts, personality conflicts with teachers or other students, people think they will have a better chance for solos, better parts, etc. somewhere else. Sometimes by that age some students will think that the teachers play favorites and they will never get their chance as long as they are in the same studio with the "favorites", another situation is a real or perceived better value financially, etc. 

My oldest son was a baseball player and players constantly changed teams trying to upgrade their place in the pecking order or get on a team that won more games. Or one that travelled more or travelled less or to get with the perceived best coach. Grass can sure look greener on the other side when you are so invested and trying to do the best by your kid. It isn't just dance.

My 12 yo dd, who is not as serious of a dancer as others on this thread, switched studios this past year after five years. It was hard but the right move. She was having girl drama in her classes, teachers were not giving many corrections, and the studio was so big she was just kind of getting lost. Plus, recitals were a big sold out auditorium and  were a ton of drama and expensive and a real pain. She switched to a tiny one room studio in an old office building that gets about 50 people in attendance at recital. She gets much more personal attention and performance time and has only 2 -4 other students in her classes and it is much cheaper. Whenever I talk to people from the old, big, busy studio they are perplexed why we changed to this rinky dink little one room studio but it is much better for us. One girl also followed her over and it is a better fit for her too. 

But it isn't just dance. People get dissatisfied with one particular thing and it makes them start looking around and thinking of trying something else. And the grass often does look greener elsewhere. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't!

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