Summer Intensive Auditions and Recurring Ankle Issues

Julian returned to the School of American Ballet (SAB) only to learn that his MRI actually had shown a small tear in a tendon in his right ankle. I’m not really sure why the physical therapists here didn’t know about it, but the doctor in NYC only received information on the left ankle…twice…and didn’t notice. So, when Julian was told to he could return to dance, he actually should have been resting. Had he not danced for five or six weeks, he might have healed the tear. Instead, he danced and it never had a chance to heal.

Now, Julian is facing a tendon torn in such a way that it has split and become swollen and enlarged so it can’t move through the small area it has to move through. He is going to physical therapy in NYC, and dancing some. He isn’t doing large jumps or anything where he lands on just his right foot. He saves himself for auditions and for the upcoming big Workshop, the show that all the advanced men and the graduating class performs in.

If the tendon doesn’t heal, he may face what I’m told is a fairly minor surgery to repair the tear. He’ll be in a boot for four weeks and then have a four week recovery period with physical therapy and some dance. No summer intensive.

In the meantime, he is hoping it will heal with massage, acupuncture, laser stimulation, and some care about what he does. And he continues to dance and to audition for summer intensives–and soon for companies.

As for summer intensives, that’s been interesting. Although some of the other boys got large scholarships to Boston, Julian did not. He also got only a partial scholarship to Pacific Northwest Ballet. He did, however, get a full scholarship (even housing) to San Francisco Ballet, and his name will be placed on their training list. That does not mean that he is a shoe in for their training program. It means that if they like what they see while he is there, they will offer him a spot.

Now…we just need to get his ankle healthy enough to do a summer intensive. The good news is he’ll be close to home. He can go for all the great therapies that helped him while he was home — if he doesn’t need surgery.

This intensive is only four weeks long. So, if his ankle is healthy, maybe he’ll attend Complexions later in the summer again. We’ll have to wait and see.

Oh…I’m wondering if he’ll be able to audition for Juilliard. He has a piece choreographed, but he can’t really rehearse it right now because of his ankle.

So, that’s the news.

Don’t forget to get your copy of The Summer Intensive Handbook! Click on the cover on the right…

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  1. says

    Hi Nina,

    Thanks for your informative post about Julian. His injury, and the manner in which it was not fully discovered is unfortunate indeed.
    Nina, there is a science-based nutritional intervention that could prove very valuable in supporting and accelerating the healing of Julian’s tendon. It is StemEnhance2 (SE2). Please do go to and read about it and the double-blind research study that proved its efficacy, and view a video about it, at my website, StemEnhance helped me recover quickly from an L5 ruptured spinal disk injury, and avoid what looked like certain back surgery. At my website, click on the photo of the bottle of SE2 and read the valuable information there, and then watch the short video featuring StemEnhance2’s formulator, Christian Drapeaux, a wonderful, caring man with excellent experience and credentials. Feel free to call me at 247.9167. Wishing Julian a speedy and successful recovery, Eliahu

  2. MominTX says

    My son went to Boston on a full tuition scholarship last year and was accepted this year but didn’t get a scholarship. Weird. I wish I knew how it all worked. He did get a full scholarship to the Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory under Peter Stark and is very excited and going to attend that one. We’ve heard wonderful things about his work with boys. Have you interviewed him yet?

    I hope Julian heals soon and gets to attend an SI. He is an amazing dancer!

  3. Nina says

    I haven’t interviewed him, but I’ll do some research. I have a long interview I need to post on someone else. That will be coming up soon.

    Yeah, how they decide is weird. On company/school can be so excited about one child (SFB even called Julian on Friday) and the others can be lukewarm. So strange.

    Congrats to your son! And thanks for the compliments.

  4. Melissa says

    Nina – so sorry to hear about the undiagnosed injury. My son has been battling ankle and hip pain because of all tha auditions, travelling and continued training at home.

    After 2 years of scholarship offers from Boston (and phone calls), my son was offered nothing this year from them. Full tuition/housing from Milwaukee Ballet, full tuition from PNB and turned down completely from SAB. You just never know what they are looking for! He was in NYC to audition for Houston and Austin this weekend…did Julian audition for either of them?

    We have SFB, ABT and Juilliard this weekend…the journey continues!

  5. Maria says

    Wow! I just stumbled onto your blog. How exciting! My 8 yo son has been in ballet for 4 yrs. He did his first audition for a non-home studio today, just for the experience (he said he didn’t really like it, but I want him to at least see how another studio looks!). I am looking forward to reading your past blogs.
    Reading about your son’s injury, I am sure you are receiving many unsolicited suggestions about treatment. So here’s mine ; ) I am a physician who specializes in osteopathic manipulation, a hands on approach to healing using manual medicine. If you have done all the appropriate ortho workup, PT, and acupuncture, which it looks like you have, consider locating an osteopathic physician in your community who specializes in traditional osteopathy. I’d be happy to send you a referral list if you like.
    Anyway, thank you for a great blog. It often feels isolating to have a dancing boy.

  6. Nina says

    Thanks, Maria. How does osteopathic medicine work? Julian is in New York City. We would need someone there. Nina

  7. Nina says

    Julian was supposed to audition for Houston and Ballet West, but he bagged it. Not sure why. I guess because of his injury and the fact that he has already decided to go to San Francisco, since they have offered him a full scholarship and a spot on the trainee list. You can’t get much better than that. I guess he decided that it wasn’t worth putting his foot through the extra class. He knows the person from Ballet West, and they already had voiced interest in him, as had Houston–both when he was at RDA and at YAGP. But he wants to go to SFB. Hope your son’s pains go away. Try acupuncture. It cold be the start of tendonitis.

  8. Maria says

    Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine train in the same curriculum (4 yrs med school) as MDs but they get extra training in hands on medicine.
    This is the link to the national organization for more info:
    This link will get you a doctor who specializes in OMM. Select the left hand link to “find a professional” and enter your zip. You want someone who lists their OMM practice as 90-100% of the time:

    I have been thinking hard about some of the topics you have raised. How are we, as parents, supposed to know how hard to push our boys? And when? When does the transition occur from just loving ballet and class, and wanting to focus on technique and getting into the right programs? ABT had 3 principle male dancers out on injury last year. It seems boys are expected to do much more strenuous work, more frequently (but that is just my supposition). I will need more time to peruse your blog to see if you have already addressed these topics!

  9. Nina says

    I don’t think we can push them…at least not with ballet…except to tell them they must take ballet. At some point they choose to pursue it seriously. I hoped Julian would pursue contemporary ballet not classical. Yes, they are asked to do much more physical and strenuous work…all the jumping and turning. Maybe a ballerina would disagree. That said, they don’t dance as much…they are the barre for the women and only perform their big moves occasionally.

  10. Meghan says

    In response to MominTx;
    I attended the summer course at Next Generation Ballet on partial scholarship in 2011, and was very impressed with the program. Peter Stark is excellent and the work that he did with the boys in the program was incredible. He worked with every level in the program at least three times a week, and the boys had mens’ classes with him every day. Some of the boys had never done partnering before, and the way he explained things to them was really amazing. The program was very good and everyone there seemed really nice! If your son decides or has decided to go to the program, it was really fun and an excellent summer intensive!

  11. Nina says

    Thanks Meghan for leaving your comments about another program. It’s good for other people to get such feedback. I really appreciate it since I can only report on the programs Julian has attended.

  12. vicki joseph says

    Nice great therapies.This therapies is very helpful without surgery treatment .I like it very much.

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