Monday, January 30, 2012


To add chaos to our already busy lives, we decided to have a baby right in the middle of Summer Program Audition season (for ballet). This time of year all the major ballet schools are auditioning for spots in their summer dance programs. Summer dance is a great way for students to experience other schools, instructors, and programs, and gives them a taste of what a career in dance feels like -- training from dawn to dusk and living and breathing dance all day for a couple of weeks. The age ranges of the programs vary, as do the length -- older kids have intensives that last for 5 or 6 weeks, including room and board. Most schools also have programs geared at younger dancers, some with and without room and board. J's at that in-between age where he could qualify for either type of program, but given his relative inexperience (he's only been dancing for 2 years) and immaturity, we've decided that a day-program at the younger dance level is the best fit for him. This has reduced the number of appropriate programs greatly.

Number one on his list of preferences is the American Ballet Theater's (ABT) Young Dancer program, which is held for 2 weeks in New York City for dancers that are 9-11 years of age. Auditions were held this past weekend in Boston, and J attended along with a bunch of his classmates (see photo above). His instructors drove him up and back -- I really wanted to be there, but Rosebud still can't go out in public yet. I hear he did great at the audition, and suspect he will be offered a spot in the program, but the expense of having to stay in NYC for 2 weeks means that we'll only be able to afford to send him if they give him a scholarship (which I figure is fairly unlikely, but you never know!). So everyone keep your fingers crossed for that! We should hear back sometime in the next 10 days, then we can decide which other programs he will audition for this season.

Last summer he attended the 2 week intermediate intensive at his regular ballet school (plus the one-week Modern Intensive). Honestly, I'm OK with him doing that again, and continuing his private lessons through the summer (the expense would come out about the same). He's still young enough that I feel like he's got plenty of years ahead of him to attend programs at other facilities. But since this is the last year he qualifies for the young dancer program at ABT, I figured we'd give it a shot, as I'm sure it would be a very valuable experience for him, and give him a taste of what living in a big city is like, which can only serve to help him in deciding whether or not ballet is a suitable career for him, or if he'd rather keep dancing as a hobby rather than a profession.

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