Ask BalletScoop: Visiting a U.S. Summer Program

Bolshoi SI students

Bolshoi US Summer Program students / Photo courtesy of Bolshoi Ballet Academy

Dear BalletScoop,

As we live in Europe, it is very difficult to ascertain the SI programs from others with similar experience – I am relying primarily on google reviews.

As we consider the different programs, apart from the list that you indicated of what one should look for in an SI, for me number one is safety for my young daughter – given that she will be so far away from home.

Is it possible to give a general advice on the schools we are considering?

  • Miami City
  • Bolshoi CT
  • CPBYP
  • SAB-NY

At all schools, safety is certainly a priority. The schools you are considering, particularly the last three, have an enormous amount of experience hosting students from other countries and an excellent track record of doing so safely.

My best advice to you is to arrange a call with each school and have a conversation with someone who is ultimately responsible for the care of the students and can speak with authority on their precautions and safety. I also advise creating an account and logging into Ballet Talk (http://dancers.invisionzone.com/) for more clear reviews on these schools. Best of luck!

 

 

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2017 Summer Intensives – Top US Ballet Programs

Credit: Rosalie O'Connor

Credit: Rosalie O’Connor

Happy Turkey Month! And what a busy month it is – Nutcracker rehearsals, finals and the start of audition season.

Last year BalletScoop discontinued the big list of all summer intensives. This was a tough decision, and I know how many of you enjoyed it and relied on it year to year. In the future I hope to collaborate with a colleague of mine to develop a truly interactive and more easily maintainable database of programs (stay tuned for more on that next year)!

In the meantime I’ll continue share with you links to the finest programs that every dancer should know. As far as these schools go, if you are within driving distance of an audition location, don’t think twice about – go!

 

American Ballet Theatre (NY, AL, TX, CA)

School of American Ballet (NY/CA)

Bolshoi Ballet (NY/CT) – Click here to learn about the BBS SI approach.

Pacific Northwest Ballet (WA)

San Francisco Ballet (CA) – This year’s site has had a beautiful overhaul!

Ellison Ballet (NY)

Boston Ballet (MA) – Also featuring a new updated website!

Houston Ballet (TX)

French Academie (NY)

Gelsey Kirkland Academy (NY)

Kirov Academy (DC)

The Rock School (PA)

Need to find a regional program? It’s worth looking at the Pointe Magazine list.  Keep in mind that it’s based purely on opt-in paid placement (so Pointe won’t list programs that don’t pay them money), but it’s still a solid starting point. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll help you out if I can!

Ballet in Film: Ballerinatips

RachelSilvermanI’d love to introduce you guys today to a youtube channel called Ballerinatips by young dancer Rachel Silverman. Follow Rachel as she shares her experience and takes you into her world of being a serious dance student.

Videos on Rachel’s channel cover everything from what’s in my dance to how to make a great ballet bun, audition vlogs, and of course there is a Yumiko collection video! For those of you preparing for an SI this summer, you’ll particularly enjoy Rachel’s video on how to pack for a summer intensive. There are also a bunch of fun videos of Rachel and her friends in class and rehearsal with, of course, some tips on what they have learned.

Check out Rachel’s channel, and maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own ballet youtube vlog for me to feature one day!

2016 Summer Dance Intensives Update

Students of Ellison Ballet

Ellison Ballet SI 2012

I know you’re all waiting with bated breath for the annual list of summer intensives. While unfortunately the vast majority of programs that I typically include have not yet updated their 2016 information, the major top programs in the US have. So I thought I’d get those up here for your reference now.

Once most of the other programs have their houses in order, I’ll post the usual mega-spreadsheet with details like ages and dates. For now, in no particular order (and please don’t try reading into who I’ve included and excluded, though I know you guys love to do that!), here are the top US programs who have posted their 2016 main summer program details:

School of American Ballet (NT)

American Ballet Theatre (NY+)

Bolshoi Ballet (NY/CT)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (WA)

San Francisco Ballet (CA)

Ellison Ballet (NY)

Boston Ballet (MA)

Houston Ballet (TX)

French Academie (NY)

Kirov Academy (DC)

The Rock School (PA)

Let me know if this is helpful either in direct message or down below in the comments. Remember there are plenty of resources here on BalletScoop (starting here) to help you decide where to spend your time auditioning and how to find the best training for your needs. Merde to all!

Summer Intensive Decision Time

Hi everyone. I’ve received a number of requests lately that go something like this:

I/my child got into the SI programs at X, Y, and Z schools. Are they good or bad? What do you think we should do? X school has a different technique than I/he/she studied in the past. Is that good or bad? What do you think we should do?

With messages like this, what I really hear is, “Please tell me where to spend my money and also which school has the magical touch to create professional dancers!”

Well unfortunately the answer to those questions are ‘I don’t know’ and ‘There isn’t one.’ But fortunately, I have created many resources to help, from first summer audition plans to decision time. Especially for newer readers I thought it would be nice for me to list it all together as a guide for you. Take a look below.

Should I Audition for a Summer Program?

Summer Training: Workshop, Intensive, or Camp?

Selecting Your Summer Intensive Auditions

Preparing Your SI Audition Season

DVD Auditions for the Distance Dancer – Part 1

DVD Auditions for the Distance Dancer – Part 2

Getting Accepted: What are “They” Looking for at SI Auditions?

You be the Judge: Choosing Your SI

Prepping for Summer Partnering

In order to expand the usability of this site, I have also added a menu sub-item for Summer Intensives on the left hand menu. Just hover over Pre-Professional Training to access it. That category has nearly every article related to summer training. Let me know what you guys think in the comments if you like.

2015 Dance Summer Intensives!

Update 3/17/15: Added two programs from Charlottesville Ballet Academy – audition is very soon!

Update 2/7/15: Added Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Ballet Royale Minnesota changed dates.

Update 1/18/15: I have added Ballet Royale Minnesota.

Update 1/13/15: Correction to Ellison Ballet dates as well as a few new courses added (though some sites are still out of date like Anaheim and City Ballet School in San Diego). Check it out!

Update 1/6/15: I overlooked two intensives, now added: Oklahoma City and Indianapolis. Sorry guys, you’re on there now. Also, I was too lazy and didn’t verify the hyperlinks before, but now they should all be working!

Dancers, thank you for your patience and encouragement on this year’s list. I’ve received many messages asking for me to post it this year, and it meant so much to me that’s it’s become something you all look forward to. I considered not posting, only because there have been a few other websites that have begun providing the same data in more manageable formats. However since I remain the only free of charge solution, and because providing free access to this information is the reason I started BalletScoop, I re-committed myself to making it happen once more this year.

The reason for delay is due to some exciting personal news. I am very happy to be moving to New York City at the end of this month for family reasons as well as professional ones. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be moving to a city where dance and ballet of the highest quality are simply everywhere. It is a pleasure I never enjoyed as a young dancer in a small town. So I’ve been pretty busy packing and spending as much of my time as possible with local friends and family before I leave.

So that’s the news, now let’s get down to business. I have to admit I was very rushed making this happen despite it’s lateness so a few notes:

1. Everything is updated as of this blog post publication date and time, but schools can change dates and requirements at any moment, so please verify the details for any programs of interest by clicking the web url.

2. About half of the intensives have tweaked their age requirements since last year, so be prepared to forget everything you thought you knew about who takes what age ranges.

3. Lots of programs have either shut down or STILL haven’t updated for 2015, so I made the decision to cut those programs entirely this year, except for those who have such longevity that I can be 95% sure they are just running behind.

4. In addition to the usual Excel spreadsheet, I have made a Google Doc spreadsheet as well since that is easier to use for some of you. In the future I hope to eventually create a very user-friendly database, but I simply don’t have that technical capability right now.

I’ll add updates as they are available directly to the sheet with occasional notes here at the top of this post. As always, let me know if I have any mistakes that need correcting or if I miss any important updates so we can all help to have the most accurate information. Merde to all of you this audition season!! Click below and have a great summer!

2015 Summer Intensives (Microsoft Excel version)

2015 Summer Intensives (Google Doc version)

Should I Audition for a Summer Program?

I’ve talked about so many aspects of summer training, including preparation for summer auditions, choosing between types of programs, finding the best men’s ballet training, choosing between different audition opportunities, auditioning by video, what audition judges are looking for, choosing between school‘s you’ve been accepted to and even interpreting scholarship offers.

One of the questions I haven’t answered is whether these summer programs make financial sense to consider in the first place. For me, it’s a foregone conclusion that you have decided they are if you are here reading about them, but ultimately that is up to the individual – it will be different for everyone depending on what’s already available locally, what you can afford, your goals, and so many other things. However, Dance Channel TV has made a great video that’s a wonderful starting point for considering the issues surrounding this topic. Enjoy!