The Brandywine Ballet is a very great pre-professional ballet company. They are extremely professional and all of the dancers are very talented. There are a ton of performing opportunities and the dancers are able to train under great teachers. The students learn professionalism, dedication, and exceptional Vaganova technique. However, the Brandywine Ballet does need some work behind the scenes. It is evident that there is a lot of favoritism and politics involved. I also can't see the difference between the Brandywine Ballet Company, Theatre, and Trainees. They usually get the same parts and the same amount of performing opportunities and the same dance classes. Some students received more attention because their parents paid more, while other students were ignored. Students are also told not to audition for other summer intensives. Money seems to be a driving force with this organization. Even though there is work to be done behind the scenes, it is without a doubt one of the best dance schools in the area. I would recommend it to serious ballet students, but they should be aware of the politics.
I have seen multiple shows by the Brandywine Ballet Company and Theatre, among them The Nutcracker, Dracula, Voices. The quality of dance is generally good in the older dancers. However, I see no versatility when the dancers perform other styles. All of their performances have the same balletic choreography with little to no variation. If these dancers wish to pursue professional careers, I hope that they are being exposed to different styles and aren't being trained as "bun heads" who aren't able to let go of their technique if need be. Also, personal interaction with some of the dancers has revealed that there have been quite a few experiences with eating disorders. I understand that there is a certain image expected of ballerinas; however, I DON'T understand how such an organization could put the health of their dancers (none of them over the age of 25 and many of them in their teens) as a second priority to a quality performance and a stable company. Of course, this company is very good at ballet and their ballet performances; perhaps the best in the area. I just think that perhaps it needs work behind the scenes.
I am thankful The Brandywine Ballet is in my hometown of West Chester, PA. This organization has provided me with high quality training and performance opportunities I couldn't have received anywhere else in the area. I am an advocate of art education and Brandywine Ballet has exceeded my expectations. I will forever love the company and the wonderful people involved. As I take my career to new heights I will take everything I've learned along the way with me.