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dancindaughters

Age 10 - The Perfect Age for Ballet?

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dancindaughters

Did any other Canadians read the article in the National Post this Wednseday? It stated that 10 was the ideal age to begin the serious study of ballet; the child is strong, yet flexible; able to focus and work towards a goal, but still young enough to be creative and uninhibited in movement. I was wondering if others agree with this.

As my older daughter is approaching 10, this brought back my previous worries that she may not be receiving adequate training. I have searched the archives, but have not been able to determine the appropriate number, length and type of classes for this age. I see so many "advanced" 12 year-olds; how do they get there? Would anyone be kind enough to post thier childs schedule, and the yearly progression in the number of classes? I realise that quality is as or more important than quantity, but I still need to know. Thanks!

 

P.S. The article featured photos of students from the National Ballet School. Even my 7 year old commented on how thin they were.

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BW

I haven't read the article, but will look for it in the Links forum on the other board, however there's an old thread that might be of interest while you're awaiting some new feedback from teachers or parents of 10 year olds, etc. Number of Classes?

 

Now, I'm off to look for that article.

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msd

My daughter is 10 and, at her prepro school, that's when the "real" ballet starts, with syllabus exams in spring for each of the levels. My daughter takes 3 ballet classes weekly, each 1 1/2 hours in length. For kids 8-9, there is primary, which is pretty durn "real", twice weekly for an hour. Preprimary is for kids 6-7, once weekly, one hour. Before that, it's creative dance. I, too, am curious to see what other studios/kids are doing at this age.

 

msd

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mom1

Most of the 10 year olds at our school have 4 days of ballet which translates into 8 hours of technique. Sometimes there are 9 year olds at this level as well. At the level below that they attend two 1 hour technique classes per week.

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Veronica

My DD started ballet at the age of 9, although she has always been physically active. Her schedule at that time was 1-2 hours of class a week. She moved up rapidly (we think) because of this. Her body, desire and focus happened to all happily come together at that age. By thte time she was 10 1/2 she was taking 2-3 tech. classes and one pointe class a week. These increased by a class or two each year untill she was 13 at which time she was taking 10 classes/wk consisting of 4-5 tech., 2-3 pointe, variations, character, flamenco, tap and jazz also thrown in there at various times. Apparently this was enough classes for her as she started dancing with a professional company at 17, (just turned 18 on 02/01) and doing quite well there. Of course, her training was done at a very good local studio and she only went to one SIS when she was 16 and two at 17 which were really more like extended auditions for her.

When I see how many classes some of the very young dancers take, I often wonder if they are over training!

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ToThePointe

Many of the major schools have their requirements available on line. :lol:

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balletmom311

NBS Schedule for Grade 6 is 1.5 hrs technique class 5 days per week body conditioning 2x per week, character/historical 2x per week.

 

The students shown are typical of the bodies you will see at NBS for that age group. These are healthy and happy children and are certainly not too thin. However, these bodies are not typical in our society.

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Mel Johnson

And the selection process for the school and getting as far as grade 6 is rather rigorous.

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dancindaughters

Thanks for the replies. Balletmom311, just to clarify, I wasn't saying these girls didn't look healthy, they were lovely, but I'm not sure that my dds fit this mold, and therefore we need to find training that bases its selection on other criteria. While I understand that NBS mandate is to train professional dancers, I want my dds to have good training even if they do not have what it takes to become professionals.

 

I have looked at other schools schedules online, and that is what confuses me. PNB, for example, seems to offer only about 2-3 classes/week for this age, and I think SAB is similar. People here seem to have their kids dancing more. Mom1 says her daughter dances 8hrs/week. This seems ideal to me, but there are few schools in my area which offer daily ballet classes.

 

I would love to read more schedules, too.

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mylildancer
Steps in the right direction

At 10, students are physically and emotionally ready to commit to ballet

 

I found this interesting. It was at the age of 10 that my dd insisted that she needed more classes to improve. She took her own level classes which were 3x per week and also took lower level classes to supplement. She also had Jazz 2x per week. All together she danced 3 hours a day M - F. By the time she was 11, she added a Sat. class to that same schedule. Now that she's 14, she lives at the studio!

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dancemomCA

The major schools take in more younger students than older students, at the age of 10 or 11 they are training them from square one. At an older age, the student must have already received some decent prior training and some schools are simply not willing to expend the time/money to re-train an older dancer. Plus, the attrition rate is very high - the schools may start out with say 60 younger students out of maybe 110 students, whereas the graduating class is usually very small - maybe 10 students.

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chauffeur

Our 10-year-old does three 90-minute technique classes, one 60-minute modern and one 30-minute pre-pointe each week. Twice a year she is involved in productions that can consume varying chunks of time, depending on how close to the show it is. She would happily do more dancing each week, but we think this is plenty for now. She also swims twice a week with meets thrown in once or twice a month.

 

It's been our experience that some schools, particular those using a "Russian" syllabus, will have their 10-year-olds doing more, both time and skill wise. We're at an RAD-oriented school which tends toward a longer, more gradual learning curve. Any teaching method has its champions who will insist that their way is the best way. But I think it's a very individual decision and one that you, as the almighty parents, are best-equipped to make, because you are the best judges of your child's limits and capabilities. Educate yourselves thoroughly, and don't be afraid to pay attention to those gut instincts!

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