The academic needs of ballet dancers and ballet students are often distinct from their non-dancing peers. As with many performance-based careers, the training regimen begins at a young age and frequently disrupts a normal school experience. Dancers have to be available for technique classes, rehearsals and performances at times when other children are focusing on math or science or even recess. At the same time, that intense training generates an extraordinary level of focus and discipline. It's a bit of a catch 22: ballet training engenders the qualities needed for academic success (focus, discipline, creativity, attention to detail), but the same training often keeps the dancer out of the traditional classroom.
Given the odds of making it as a professional dancer, it is absolutely necessary for young dancers to lay academic foundations that leave their options open. Dancers in training are recognizing this trend -- taking classes at local colleges (~40 from the NYC Ballet attend 1-2 classes a semester at Fordham), retaining tutors to ensure that they don't fall behind at their traditional schools, and even homeschooling to stay on grade-level, as was the case with a School of American Ballet student who was recently cast in Billy Elliot on Broadway.
Partners with Parents has a wide range of educational services to aid families who have a child that is a gifted dancer, from subject tutoring to test preparation to reinforcing executive functioning skills. For serious prodigies who simply cannot accommodate a normal school schedule, we provide a complete homeschool education, K-12. We create the course of study and academic calendar around each student's unique circumstances. Regardless of the situation, our educational consultants, will help you identify your goals and the services that will carry your child to his or her academic destination . . . perhaps by way of American Ballet Theatre or the New York City Ballet!