Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Auditions

When and how do I register for a live audition?


Please refer to the Auditions page for a list of locations near you. Advance registration is highly encouraged, as auditions fill up. To register for the proper age group, please be guided by your age as of June 22, 2020 when registering for an audition. New families must create a profile on Program's Portal. Returning families should use their existing profile on Program's Portal.




Is there a fee to audition?


Advance registration fee for a live audition is $35. On-site registration fee for a live audition is $40 (space-permitting). Fee for a video audition is $45. All Fees are non-refundable. Please visit the Auditions Page for more information.




Are video auditions accepted?


While attending a live audition is highly encouraged, video auditions are accepted when a dancer can’t attend a live audition. You must register for a video audition first and then submit your video in accordance with Program's instructions. BBASI accepts video auditions in the form of links (uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, etc). For instructions on registering and uploading a video audition, please visit the Auditions Page.




What are the requirements for a video audition?


Video auditions should be no longer than 10 minutes long and filmed within 3 months of your submission date. Video audition requirements depend on dancer's age specific requirements CLICK HERE.




What do I wear and bring to a live audition?


Dancers who pre-registered on-line:

- Please make sure your headshot and first arabesque photo are uploaded to the Program Portal! If they are, you DO NOT need to bring photos with you.

- If you registered less than 48 hours before the audition, please bring a print-out or screenshot of your registration confirmation.

For dancers registering on-site:

- Please bring a headshot and a photo in first arabesque. Dancer's name and age (as of 6/22/2020) must be written on the back of each. Photos do not have to be professionally done, but must fit in a standard 8 x 11” envelope.

- Fee of $40 in cash.

Attire code:

- Female dancers should wear a black leotard and pink tights. Bring pointe shoes, if you have been training for a minimum of 3 months.

- Male dancers should wear dark tights/shoes and a white fitted shirt.




Should my 9-15 year old dancer audition for BBASI CT or Bolshoi Prep?


Dancers are encouraged to specify the program they desire to attend. If a dancer is open to attending either of the programs, or is interested in a specific one, please indicate so during the on-line/in-person registration.

Both BBASI CT and Bolshoi PREP follow the same age appropriate curriculum designed by the Academy and are taught by its leading teachers. As such, they are both equivalent in the intensity, quality, and integrity of the ballet training.

BBASI CT offers a complete supervised residential option and attracts dancers from all over the country and the world. The available openings in that program are more competitive and a greater number of groups allows for a more targeted approach to age/level appropriate placement. Dancers also participate in a performance showcase at the end of each session.

Bolshoi PREP attracts families who prefer to spend a summer in NYC. A limited number of residency options are available, with a requirement that a parent/guardian must fully supervise and live with the participant. This program is also a suitable entry point for serious dancers who have not been substantially exposed to Bolshoi’s rigorous training.

The two programs also differ in the extracurricular, non-ballet activities offered. BBASI CT is structured as a comprehensive cultural and summer experience with diverse activities throughout the day, off-campus trips, provided medical care and age appropriate supervision. BBASI Prep is structured strictly as a day program offering only ballet classes, with a possibility for optional Russian language classes at the end of the day.




What should a dancer expect at a live audition?


BBASI auditions are organized as a ballet technique class which will include group barre and center work. For female dancers who have been training on pointe for 3 months or longer, there will be a section on pointe. Male and Female dancers audition together, but male dancers will be requested to showcase some separate skills. As the Bolshoi Ballet Academy is in session, the auditions are NOT taught by teachers from the Academy. For more details visit the Auditions Page.




When will I be notified of my audition results?


You will be notified within two weeks of your audition via the email provided at registration. Please make sure to provide an accurate email and check it regularly. If after two weeks you have still not heard from BBASI, please email your Program contact.

Individual feedback on performance at the audition will not be provided.




Is there a limit to how many times I can audition?


Dancers who desire to re-audition may do so, but will need to re-register for another location.




When will waitlisted dancers be notified of possible acceptance?


Those who are waitlisted will be notified via the email provided at registration ONLY in the event that their status changes. Program staff will start reviewing waitlisted candidates in mid-March. If a BBASI program is your dancer's first choice, please feel free to email that information to the Program Director.




If there are two auditions listed for my city, which one should I register for?


BBASI always recommends registering for the earliest audition possible. The closer to the end of the audition tour, the fewer enrollment spots open in the program, and the higher the competition for a spot.




If I am 14.5 at the time of the audition and will be 15 by the start of the program, which audition should I attend?


Pick your audition group based on your age at the start of the program. So, if you turn 15 before June 22, 2020, you should audition with the 15+ group.




How early should I arrive to my audition?


Please arrive with sufficient time to get dressed and stretch/warm up. Arriving 45 min prior to the start of the audition would give you sufficient time. Late arrivals may not be admitted.




What does BBASI look for at auditions?


BBASI looks for dancers who demonstrate their hard work and their love for dance! Be attentive and respectful during class, abide by BBASI's audition dress code, and strive to show your professionalism.





BBASI NY, CT, & PREP

I am an advanced dancer, but am younger than 15 years old.  Can I be considered for the resident program in New York City?


NYC housing regulations do not allow the Program to accommodate anyone under the age of 15 years. Additionally, in keeping with age-appropriate training, dancers who are not 15 years of age during the start of the Summer Intensive are not typically considered for BBASI NY.




Will I be able to choose where I live in New York and be able to select roommates in New York and at the Loomis Chaffee School?


Registered dancers will receive a Program Manual closer to summer time and will be able to select roommate preferences. The Program makes its best effort to meet such requests, but cannot make any guarantees.




How are placement levels determined for the accepted dancers?


Dancers are placed in levels appropriate for their age while taking their current training level into consideration. The audition process and/or past enrollment in a BBASI program serve only as a limited indicator for dancer's group placement. All dancers are evaluated during the first few days of the program and placement may be adjusted at the exclusive discretion of the program.




Is there an option for private instruction during the Summer Intensive?


Enrolled dancers will be able to sign up for private instruction with the Academy Teachers for an additional fee, subject to availability. Detailed information will be made available closer to program start.




Can I commute to the NY or the CT program or do I have to live in the housing?


Both the New York City and Connecticut programs have a Day Student option. Enrollment in Program housing is not a requirement.




Are there scholarships available for dancers who have been accepted into the Summer Intensive?


The Russian American Foundation offers a number of different typoes of scholarship opportunities. Please visit FAQ Page - Scholarships Tab for full details.




How many students are in a class?


Class size is kept at about 30 students.




Are there medical and other program forms required for enrollment?


Important program manuals and forms will be provided to BBASI NY, BBASI CT, Bolshoi PREP families during March. All programs (except Teacher Certification) have a thorough medical review process, which requires a Physician’s Report to be completed by the dancer’s regular physician and then be reviewed by the Program. If you will be requesting an exemption from immunizations, you MUST contact the program in advance to obtain a determination if such will be granted.




Should my 9-15 year old dancer audition for BBASI CT or Bolshoi PREP?


Dancers are encouraged to specify the program they desire to attend. If a dancer is open to attending either of the programs, or is interested in a specific one, please indicate so during the on-line/in-person registration.

Both BBASI CT and Bolshoi PREP follow the same age appropriate curriculum designed by the Academy and are taught by its leading teachers. As such, they are both equivalent in the intensity, quality, and integrity of the ballet training.

BBASI CT offers a complete supervised residential option and attracts dancers from all over the country and the world. As such, the greater number of groups allows for a more targeted approach to age/level appropriate placement. Dancers also participate in a performance showcase at the end of each session.

Bolshoi PREP attracts families in the tri-state area and/or those from other areas who prefer to spend a summer in NYC. A limited number of residency option may be offered, with a requirement that a parent/guardian must fully supervise and live with the participant. This program is also a suitable entry point for serious dancers who have not been substantially exposed to Bolshoi’s rigorous training.

The two programs also differ in the extracurricular, non-ballet activities offered. BBASI CT is structured as a comprehensive cultural and summer experience with diverse activities throughout the day, off-campus trips, provided medical care and age appropriate supervision. BBASI Prep is structured strictly as a day program offering only ballet classes, with a possibility for optional Russian language classes at the end of the day.




How do I get from the airport to the program?


The Program does not provide transfers to/from the airport to the program locations. Participants are responsible for their own transportation arrangements. Recommendations on different options will be provided to those enrolled.





Scholarships

What type of scholarship support is offered for BBASI NY, BBASI CT and Bolshoi Prep Programs?


The Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive is a selective program which offers its Participants a one of a kind, unparalleled training and cross-cultural opportunity with the leading teachers of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy who have trained and continue to train some of the biggest stars on the world’s ballet stages. Because of our commitment to limited classes and the high caliber of the program, only a small number of scholarship opportunities are available as follows:

  1. MERIT-BASED FOR EXTRAORDINARY TALENT – RAF recognizes the enormous talent and dedication of many students interested in its Program. Due to a commitment for an impartial award process, RAF awards merit-based scholarships through the Youth America Grand Prix Competition. For further information and registration please visit YAGP.org. In rare instances, RAF may award merit-based scholarships to students participating in its live auditions. Such awards are by invitation only.

  2. NEED-BASED FOR EXTRAORDINARY TALENT – RAF recognizes that some extraordinarily talented students are prohibited from participating due to financial constraints. In such cases, RAF suggests that families contact the BBASI Program UPON RECEIPT OF AN ACCEPTANCE LETTER AND WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE EXPIRATION DEADLINE. Please be advised that any request for financial aid must be accompanied by the following:

    1. Two (2) most recent official and filed Federal Tax Returns. Please do not submit W-2 or 1099 forms and black out your SS#.

    2. Please ensure that any submitted narrative is no longer than one page.

    3. Please verify that your 2020 Headshot and First-Arabesque photo are uploaded to your BBASI Dashboard

    4. FOR RETURNING STUDENTS ONLY – did you apply for the 2019 International Education Week scholarship? If not, please explain why.

    5. Please send your paperwork to the Program Coordinator for the specific Program you are applying. Complete contact information is listed on the respective Program page.

    6. PLEASE AWAIT PROGRAM’S RESPONSE PRIOR TO REGISTERING. The response will be sent to the email address(es) on file.

  3. TRAINING AND PERFORMING SCHOLARSHIP AT THE MOSCOW BOLSHOI BALLET ACADEMY – RAF is proud to continue its tradition of awarding full scholarships for one female and one male student from its summer program to travel to Moscow, train for 2 weeks at the Academy, and perform in a Gala Performance alongside Academy's students. The recipients are selected during the Summer Intensive by the Program’s Master Teachers and RAF Executive Staff. To be eligible, the student must successfully complete the six-week program. *1st Place Male and Female Winner will be provided with visa support, economy air travel from NYC to Moscow and back, accommodations at the Academy, and training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for a 2 week period;**2nd Place Male and Female Winner assumes all costs associated with the travel.

  4. NSLI FOR YOUTH RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE THE RUSSIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION AND BOLSHOI WAY MOSCOW SUMMER INTENSIVE– The Russian American Foundation is a long-term implementing organization of the highly prestigious NSLI FOR YOUTH, a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. NSLI FOR YOUTH offers merit-based full scholarships for intensive study of the Russian language and culture and ballet training from Teachers at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Students must meet specific criteria to be considered. For detailed information please refer to the NSLI for Youth Program page.*

All scholarships are subject to availability.




What is the RAF's International Education Week Scholarship ?


The International Education Week (IEW), is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the exploration and appreciation of diverse cultures in today’s global world.

As part of the RAF / BBASI family, participants experience firsthand the impact of a cultural exchange. In support of IEW's mission, RAF engages all of our Program participants, past and present, to participat. Every year RAF awards six $250 scholarships to BBASI and/or NSLIY alumni for outstanding presentations. The opportunity is announced early October to all Program alumni in good standing.




What is the RAF's Training and Performing Scholarship at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy ?


RAF proudly continues its tradition of awarding full scholarships for one female and one male student from its summer program to travel to Moscow, train for 2 weeks at the Academy, and perform in a Gala Performance alongside the Academy's students. The recipients are selected during the Summer Intensive by the Program’s Teachers and RAF Executive Staff. To be eligible, the student must successfully complete the six-week program. *1st Place Male and Female Winner will be provided with visa support, economy air travel from NYC to Moscow and back, accommodations at the Academy, and training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for a 2 week period;**2nd Place Male and Female Winners assume all costs associated with the opportunity.




Who do I contact for further questions?


Please contact the specific Program Coordinator/Director for the Program that you are interested in. Full contact information is available on the Program page.





NSLI-Y Moscow

What is the main focus of RAF's NSLI-Y Program?


The goal of RAF's NSLI-Y Program is to immerse American high school students in Russian language and culture and to inspire a lifelong pursuit of such studies. RAF's unique program combines intensive ballet instruction with the study of Russian language and culture. While the training offered by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow distinguishes RAF’s NSLI-Y Program from other NSLI-Y programs, the primary focus remains on Russian language acquisition and cultural immersion.




What are the components of RAF’s NSLI-Y Program?


The NSLI-Y RAF and Bolshoi Way Program is designed to integrate classical ballet training with immersion in Russian language and culture. The program focuses on the study of Russian language and building awareness of local culture. A typical day has 4 hours of Russian language classes and 3 hours of ballet classes. All ballet classes are taught in Russian by Academy’s teachers with no translation, allowing for maximum immersion in Russian language. Participants reside at the Academy during the week and with local Russian host families on the weekends. Host family stays allow participants to experience firsthand the customs, traditions, and life in Moscow. On some evenings and weekends, participants also enjoy cultural opportunities including day trips, visits to cultural institutions, seminars, and more. Many of the activities emphasize interaction with Russian peers.




What costs are covered by RAF's NSLI-Y Program?


  • Economy domestic round-trip transportation (air/train/bus) from home city to New York;

  • Economy international round-trip air-ticket to Moscow and back to home city, and fee for one piece of luggage (if not included in ticket fee);

  • Pre-departure orientation in NYC and virtual activities;

  • Travel arrangements in Moscow for all organized group activities;

  • Tuition and related academic program costs in Moscow;

  • Educational and cultural programming in Moscow;

  • Dorm type housing, host family accommodations and three basic meals each day in Moscow;

  • Visas for entrance into Russia;

  • Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefits as described at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.




What costs are NOT covered by RAF's NSLI-Y Program?


  • BBASI NYC Tuition/Housing
  • Costs associated with obtaining a valid U.S. passport or other documents required for the visa;
  • Required medical examinations and immunizations for the NSLI-Y medical review and/or visa requirements;
  • Pocket money for personal items;
  • Excess/Overweight baggage fees;
  • Funds required for payment of rendered medical services, if the Program medical insurance is not accepted at the facility and/or the service is not covered
  • Exclusions specifically enumerated in the Participant Terms and Conditions;
  • All other expenses not listed in the previous section.




Who funds this full-scholarship opportunity for the selected students?


Program implementation is subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.




What are the eligibility requirements for the RAF NSLI-Y Program?


Please click here for detailed information regarding NSLI-Y eligibility requirements.




What are the requirements regarding possession of a U.S. passport?


  • Participants’ passports must be valid for a minimum of 18 months-after the date of the program’s end (i.e. until at least February, 2022) and must have at least 2 blank visa pages.
  • A participant is responsible for covering all the costs associated with obtaining or renewing a U.S. passport
  • A participant is responsible for submitting a copy of the passport along with the NSLI-Y Program application. The copy of the passport must be in high quality and in color. The passport must be signed.




What are the requirements regarding U.S. citizenship?


All participants must be U.S. citizens. Due to Russian regulations for holders of dual U.S-Russian citizenship and those born in Russia, such individuals cannot be admitted to this program.




What are the requirements for obtaining a visa to Russia?


Russian Educational Visa: If selected, participants are required to provide the following materials as part of the educational visa application. It is the participants’ responsibility to ensure that the passport is valid as per stated terms, and to provide RAF with the necessary completed forms and materials in a timely manner. Participants are responsible for covering all the costs associated with obtaining or renewing a U.S passport and other documents required for the visa.

Required Visa Application Materials (*may change at any time):

  1. Participant’s US passport (must be at least 2 blank visa pages in the passport. Passport should be valid for at least 18 months after the visa expiration date). The passport must be signed.
  2. 2 recent passport-size photos
  3. An application form visa.kdmid.ru
  4. Original HIV blood test (AIDS) Certificate. This certificate is valid for three months oly (HIV blood tests should taken not three months before applying for a visa)
  5. Additional documents for participants younger than 18 years old
    - A copy of student’s birth certificate
    - Copies of both parents’ passports (first page). The passports must be signed.
    - If student’s mother changed her maiden name, a copy of a marriage certificate is required.




What are the Medical and Immunization requirements for RAF's NSLI-Y Program?


All finalists are required to provide medical forms and required medical test results at their own expense. Finalists are provided with necessary forms to be filled out by their physician. In order to comply with all host country and host institution laws and policies, it is mandatory for the participant to show proof of certain required vaccinations/medical tests. No exemptions for those vaccinations/tests will be granted.




What is the application and selection process?


Please click here for information about the application and selection process. If you are interested in applying for the program, please submit the Notification for Intended Application. Application materials and instructions will be sent out by mid-January.




Do I need special Health Insurance?


Each family is required to have medical insurance in order to be enrolled in the preliminary BBASI NY Program. For the RAF NSLI-Y program in Moscow, each participant will be enrolled in the Health Plan offered by the Program at no cost for the overseas portion of the Program. It is the participant’s responsibility to become thoroughly familiar with all relevant policies and procedures. Information on the Health Plan offered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs can be found here (https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos).




What can I expect in terms of safety and guidance in Moscow?


Please click here for information regarding supervision and program preparation.




Can students with alternative eating, medical, religious and lifestyle requirements participate?


RAF welcomes all qualified participants to its programs, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious affiliations. However, RAF’s NSLI-Y Program takes place in Russia, on the territory of Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet Academy, which is a Russian federal government institution. Like all foreign countries, institutions, and hosts, Russia and the Academy may have different laws, rules, and regulations which may not allow for exemptions, waivers, or other accommodations. By applying to RAF’s NSLI-Y Program, all participants and their families acknowledge and agree to abide by the Russian Federation’s and the Academy’s laws, rules, and regulations in all respects, and in addition to the laws, rules, and regulations of the United States, NSLI-Y, and RAF.




Are there health limitations which need to be considered?


All participants are required to have the physical, emotional and mental capacity to perform the essential functions of the Program for the full period of 9 weeks (3 weeks in NYC and 6 weeks in Moscow) without unreasonable disruption due to health problems and to be able to meet the relevant enrollment conditions of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy. It is important to keep in mind that the level of healthcare in Russia is substantially different than what you may be accustomed to in the US. Additionally, certain laws and/or regulatory restrictions of the Russian Federation and/or the Bolshoi Ballet Academy may preclude enrollment at the Academy for participation in the Program. RAF does not set nor does it control that process. Once a candidate is selected as a potential finalist, the medical records will be forwarded to the Academy for review that they comply with all local laws and/or regulations.




Can home-schooled students participate?


Home-schooled students are welcome to apply.




What are the requirements for teacher recommendation letters?


Teacher recommendation letters must be completed by an applicant’s academic teachers, not their ballet teachers. For home-schooled students, academic recommendations must be completed by an adult who is not related to the applicant, but knows them well and can attest to her/his readiness to travel and study in Moscow. Possible individuals may include, but are not limited to, scout leaders, coaches, clergy members, volunteer coordinators, and instructors.

View the Teacher Recommendation Letter requirements for your teacher.




What happens if I am not selected?


If an applicant is not selected to participate, an applicant remains enrolled in BBASI NYC and are able to take advantage of free Russian language classes and other peer-to-peer opportunities. Pending the availability of ongoing funding from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, those not selected are welcome to apply again to the Program in the future.




Will selected participants have any special privileges during the BBASI NYC program?


No. RAF is committed to treating ALL participants of BBASI NYC equally in order to make sure that the program is fulfilling, beneficial, and inclusive. However, RAF NSLI-Y Program participants are required to attend Russian language classes two times per week and pre-departure orientation sessions during the 1st three-week session. For other participants, Russian language classes are optional.




If I am selected for RAF’s NSLI-Y Program does that mean that I am accepted for a year-round enrollment at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy?


No. RAF’s NSLI-Y Program is designed according to the guidelines and goals of the NSLI-Y Program with the main emphasis placed on Russian language and culture immersion, with ballet training as a supplemental benefit. The participants are selected based on their interest and dedication to Russian language and culture, academic excellence, and demonstrated maturity. On the other hand, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s year-round program is solely designed and operated by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy with the goal of training professional classical ballet dancers. The Academy selects participants based solely on their talent, training, and Academy specific requirements. Within two weeks after the conclusion of the BBASI and NSLI-Y Programs, RAF will send out acceptance letters to participants invited for the year-round enrollment at the Academy. Unless otherwise expressly stated, RAF has no affiliation with other programs operated or sponsored by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia or other parts of the world.




What is the difference between the RAF NSLI-Y Program and the RAF Training and Performing Scholarship in Moscow?


At the end of the 6-week session of BBASI CT and BBASI NYC, RAF awards one female and one male student who completed the 6-week session a scholarship opportunity to travel to Moscow to rehearse and perform with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in their Annual Gala. The main focus of this scholarship is the opportunity to work with the Academy’s Teachers in preparation for the Gala performance and perform on stage among some of the most talented young dancers in the world. Find more information about this scholarship select the "Scholarship" tab on the FAQ section.




How is the Host Family placement organized?


There is no typical host family experience. RAF looks for host families who will actively immerse participants in their daily life, introduce them to Russian culture, and support them in the language learning process. Students are usually placed two to a family. In the cases where only one student is placed in a family, Program strives to ensure that at least one member has a minimal command of English language. Prior to placement, all families undergo an interview process and a site visit by the Program.





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ADDRESS

Russian American Foundation, Inc.

1560 Broadway #500, New York, NY 10036

jdirenfeld@russianamericanfoundation.org

Tel: 212-687-6118 ext. 201

Listed programs based in the United States are a partnership between New York based Russian American Foundation (“RAF”) and Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy (“Academy”). The Programs are operated by RAF, based on a ballet curriculum designed by the Academy and taught by its ballet teachers. Unless otherwise expressly stated, RAF has no affiliation with other programs operated or sponsored by the Academy in Russia or other parts of the world. The Programs are not formally affiliated with Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet Company.  PROGRAM DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

*NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, implemented by the Russian American Foundation in Moscow, Russia in collaboration with local independent entities in Russia and U.S. Program implementation is subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  PROGRAM DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

© 2018 by Bolshoi Ballet Academy