<B>bek</B>posted the following in ISSUES forum, where the washington kirov school was being discussed from the financial backing point of view. i have moved it here for more interest in the lifestyle aspects, from parents, teachers, and students.....thanks, bek!
<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The first year the Kirov school opened...two of my graduates (extremely gifted kids) went (against my better judgment...but that didn't matter) to this school.<BR>It was named something else at the time.<BR>Since then I have had a few other students switch to this school after graduation.<P><BR>In the USA we have very few "sleep-away" dance schools.<BR>The students that study ballet/dance here take ballet at their local levels till one of two things happen:<BR>1: they reach a certain age, and quit.<BR>2: they are gifted enough to join a professional school that is affiliated with a company that is located somewhere in the this county.<P>This second thing happens usually at ages 12-15 yrs old.<BR>Most students MUST be at a professional summer program by 15 or lose ground, or recognition to their competition.<BR>Most kids will start to go "out" during the years of 13-14.<BR>They spend the summer for 4-6 weeks at a school.<P>Example: SAB: where they will get two to *if lucky* three classes per day.<BR>SFB: two - three classes a day + can take extra lower levels.<BR>Long Beach, (small new beginning company) where they spend 5 classes a day and 2 on sats. working on something.<P>Many of these schools have a boarding situation:<BR>SAB now has dorms, but they are only available to certain students. The others who come to NYC must find shelter of their own. Sub-lease an apt. stay at a YMCA, hope to have a relative in the area. Joffrey's school has a certain agreement now with NYU Dorms, but not a real chaperoned situation.<P>Long Beach, and others, like SFB rent out college campus dorms for the kids to stay at.<BR>These are usually a good 20-60 mins away from the dance school.<P>This is the NORM in the USA.<P>After being accepted and going to the summer programs for say 2 or so years, if the kid is good enough, they might be asked to stay all year round. This is a great honor for any local studio, as well as for the student. But creates a logistical nightmare for parents......<P>……...do they allow a 16 yr old to live in NYC by themselves, all year round, even in a dorm situation? Our dorms are not well supervised, at least (this is where the kirov thing comes in) not the way some parents would like. And, many,( SFB) have NO dorms during the regular school year, or even a regular high school where they can attend to finish school.<P>So.....most kids will do one of four things:<BR>1: not leave home, and therefore put their career in a certain amount of jeopardy....why? because they need to be at the company school to get into the company.<P>2: Go to the school, and hope to find a place to live and a school to work with them to finish their high school work<P>3: quit high school, go live at the city of the company, and hope like crazy they get a scholarship so they can pay rent.<BR>Or Mom or Dad switch off and stay with them, and they find a school or do home study.<P>4: finish high school one year early by doubling up on credits, graduate by 16-17 and go off to the company school.<P>Now, after these choices are made:<BR>The problem is:<BR>What happens at 18?<BR>Do they get into that company?<BR>Not normally, but much better chance than just auditioning.<P>Some do, but the only way to get in is to make sure you have been seen there for at least 2 or more years. Our kids are given lots of freedom, but at a price....nothing is certain. You can have a scholarship to SAB, and PCS (high school for performing kids..I went to it) and still never get into NYCB. Or any other company for that matter.<P>We have many choices to make when it comes to becoming a professional dancer. All difficult routes, but all determined by the individual.<P>So: this leads me to the Kirov school.<P>We have maybe 6 sleep away ballet schools in this country.<BR>Most are not affiliated with a ballet company, so even after the kids graduate from these schools they go on the "company hunt". They may or may not get into any company, same as the other kids. <P>Naturally, the kids who have been at the company schools have an edge over the other kids::: Why: they have trained in the style of that specific company, they have worked with the company school, know the teachers, directors etc.<P>OK: NOW<BR>These sleep away schools.....North Carolina School of the Arts, Central Penn, Ballet, Walnut Hill, Virginia School of the Arts, Interlochen (mainly for modern tho), And the Kirov.<P>Most of the sleep away schools have dance classes, and regular school classes. They live in dorms, and a pretty much chaperoned, but not to a degree where everything they do is supervised. (Many parents will not send their kids to these schools since they feel it is not a good thing for our kids to be away from home before they graduate high school.)<P>(In the USA we do not LIKE our kids to go away.<BR>WE want to raise our kids at home and be with them.<BR>Only very rich, mainly east coast high class families send their kids to "boarding or prep" schools. Those are usually the kids being geared to go to the Ivy league schools, like Princeton, Yale, etc etc. <P>The normal kids, (96+%) stay at home, do their work, and take their chances to get into the college of choice: So....USA parents like to hold and have control of their kids.)<P>BALLET parents: have a difficult time: they have the same problems. So, many will not send kids to these sleep away schools..(thereby only 6 or so schools in the entire USA) ..besides who can afford $20,000.- 40,000. a year, for the schools......it is easier to spend the 5000.00 for the summer courses.<P>Now, the parents who do send the kids to the sleep away schools, get to see the kids when ever they want, the kids can go home at holidays, they can have parents visit whenever, etc etc.<P>They also have modern ideas, like the dorms have rules but not too strict. The schools are co ed. So there are the usual problems: like any other high school, sex, drugs and video tapes...(sorry, that was a sarcastic remark about a movie, bad pun.....)<BR>But true.......the schools don't monitor the kids really closely. They are teens and they do pretty much what they might do at home. Some are "good" kids...don't smoke, drink, drug or have sex......others do some of the above and others do all of the above.<BR>And they DANCE!<P>So: then comes the Kirov:<BR>This school was set up with the mentality of being the total guardian of the kids.<P>The kids who go to this school, are told when they CAN go home. The students (who came from me), were not allowed to come back home over thanksgiving Vacation....(.that is a biggy in the USA.....College students all go home over those 4 days.)<BR>But, the Kirov kids, were told NOPE.....Too much time off, can't do it, not good for you.<P>Then came X-mas.....they were given all of less than one week.<BR>Most schools have two or three weeks at x-mas in the USA, this is when families get together, go on trips etc. So, the same with Easter, etc.<P>All the holidays that "normal" kids (even boarding school/prep school) would get to go home, or parents to visit. Not the Kirov. Parents were not allowed to take the kids out of school, they were not allowed to go home.<P>They were bussed to the local high school, in the AM, and as soon as they were done, they were bussed back to the Dance/ dorm school. They danced from the time they got home till dinner, then they were supervised with their homework, etc. Told when to go to bed.<P>They could not go out to a mall, or shopping, they were told what they could view on TV, and what movies they were allowed to see.<BR>They were carted to and from their churches or synagogues.<BR> <BR>Everything they did was always structured and supervised.<BR>They had almost no free time, to think on their own, to make up their minds........sort of like being in the army.<BR>They were given dessert only like three times a week, their menu was carefully chosen for them. And they were kept on strict diets, if they tended to be "over dance weight".<BR>They were not allowed to have candy or any other type of treats. <P>(What they are doing NOW, in the past 4 yrs. I don't know.)<P>Every minute of every day was scheduled out for them.<BR>They either had a dance class, or a homework session, or a food session, or a recreation session, which was all planned. Their whole life was driven by the school.<P>This is not the normal USA way.<BR>Be USA (us) right or wrong.....the USA kids are not like this.<BR>Many of the graduates had a hard time when they graduated 4 yrs later, making the adjustment to a normal "ballet life", getting along in a company. Some were so burned out, they quit ballet.<BR>(that is what happened to one or two of my former students).....They had never had a "normal" teen age life.<P>As for Royal Ballet School, it has been my impression, most of the kids there do a similar thing. If they are accepted, they live at the school, the school determines what they do, when they do it, and how they do it.<BR>I know China does this, Russia did this, and so do many other of the "state" schools.<P>So, the Kirov school, as it was, is very anti-USA in its mode of operations.<BR>_________________________________<BR>A side bar: EXAMPLE OF WHAT A NORMAL USA PARENT WILL HATE:<P>PERSONAL: my daughter went to Boston Ballet Summer Ballet program at age 11 yrs. She went for three weeks.<BR>During that time, we were only allowed to speak with her by phone for 5 mins one time a week.<BR>I almost had to call the cops to get her on the phone in an emergency, when my mother fell and was hospitalized.<BR>We went pick her up the last few days of the summer courses. We got there a day early. We wanted to take her out to dinner.....and were told she was not allowed to leave campus, and couldn't even see us.<BR>She was only ALLOWED to wave to us from a window from her dorm.<BR> I was so outraged. This is NOT how we do things.<BR>We were going to have her stay with us at our hotel over night......NOPE.....not allowed.<BR>Have dinner......NOPE ...not allowed.<BR>Watch classes the day before the "parents" day.<BR>NOPE..not allowed.<BR>My husband and I were furious at the administration, and let them know it.<BR>I do know that program did not continue for many years past the year my daughter was there. And believe me, I would never have sent her there again.<BR>There was no freedom, no self choice, no self determination.<BR>I feel, as many USA parents feel, this is what makes our country great......we have FREEDOM....we allow our kids to make mistakes.<BR>Sure we have a lot of problems too, but if you are a good parent and take the responsibility for them, as one should, then they will be fine. Mine are.<BR>But all that is personal.<P>It just points out how different most USA parents feel about raising kids than many other countries, where the norm is to send kids to boarding schools, or to have them know what they must do at a certain age. Take tests to put them in to the correct careers at age 13.<P>As I said all the above was a Personal triad which has to do with how the Boston School worked, so similar to the Kirov school.<P>As I said: I do not know how the Kirov school is being run now. This was as of 4 or so years back.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>------------------<BR>bek<BR>CCA CREATIONS<BR>Website: <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/~Casalino" TARGET=_blank>http://members.tripod.com/~Casalino</A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited September 09, 2000).]