Bellevue >Pacific Northwest Ballet
"Uptight"? No. Demanding? Yes..
Responding to the earlier review by bluebudgie, here's my take.
It's clear this was not the right place for bluebudgie or her child. It's not a recreational school. It's serious. But I'm the uncle (and tuition payer) to 3 kids who’ve been @ PNB for 4 years now & this review doesn't reflect what I've seen. PNB teachers DO have high expectations; after all, PNB IS one of the top ballet schools IN THE COUNTRY. My experience is that the teachers are the same on watch days as on other days: firm but caring. But contrary to bluebudgie's claims, the kids DO have fun. There are always LOTS of smiling kids in class -- & huge grins @ the recitals. Yes, bluebudgie might have seen an unsmiling class. It happens. Most likely they knew they weren't performing up to their teacher's expectations. This simply shows that the teacher has a rapport with them & that they know her expectations & want to please her -- but I'm a schoolteacher myself & often see something completely different than a parent does in a classroom setting.
I am curious how bluebudgie knows "what most moms are looking for." In fact, many DO want their kids, even @ age 4 or 5, to experience a disciplined art like ballet. I also wonder how she "can 'garuntee' that any child would do better elsewhere."
Some of her information is just wrong. Yes, in the ballet tradition, PNB does have a uniform & hair must be in a bun. However, there is NO class for 4-7 year olds during the school year. 4 year olds are in "Tots," 5-6 year olds in "Creative Movement" & 7 year olds in "Pre-Ballet." Kids do NOT need to dress and undress there; students (tots thru teens) must arrive & depart wearing street clothes, not dancewear, but this is simply because they don't want a lot of little girls in leotards outside attracting weirdos. Most parents of little ones simply put street clothes over the dancewear. Not sure why that’s a big problem for bluebudgie.
"Body dysmorphia?" Really? Yes, PNB allows skinny kids to take ballet classes. Also chubby & average kids. What does that prove?
I do agree that the parking spaces are WAY too tiny & I've personally complained to the property manager about it. I don't think PNB as tenant can do much about that. Their neighbor 3-2-1-Bounce has the same problem.
Very uptight for a kids ballet school!.
Short advice: GO ELSWHERE!! This school 'tries' to be the 'it' school for ballerinas - and I can understand that for those in serious training for a profession in ballet - but for what most moms are looking for..ballet for 4-8..a fun, nurturing, kind place for ballet ... this place is NOT! I have pulled my daughter from this place after the first watch day. Why? because they rule with an iron fist there: you must dress and undress your child THERE, very strict attire rules, hair MUST be pulled up with a hairbun, specific leotards/tights, etc. The teacher in the class (this is for 4-7 yr olds) is STRICT! She was very harsh with the kids, this I got to see on "Watch" day - a month into the program, otherwise parents are not 'allowed' in. I can only imagine how she is on non-watch days. She was very disparaging with the kiddos, saying things like, 'how disappointed I am with your performance'..or..'how sad this class is'..CMON! teaching by guilt trip, thats not a good thing. There was not a smile on the childrens faces throughout the whole class.
Myy honest objective opinion to another mom is, not to join this place (unless you want your daughter/son to be a professional ballerina) if you want to just do ballet for fun, join another center - I can garuntee that any child would do better elsewhere. My daughter has already told me ' I want a fun ballet class' . So rather than spend $250 (like I did) ... go elsewhere. I encourage the school to email me personally if they need further detail (ie, teacher names, other specific examples that I have seen there specific to body dysmorphia in girls). thebluebudge-ju@yahoo dot com
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