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Ballet Talk for Dancers
odette922

AM I taking enough ballet?

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ella_ballet

Ok, I will try to do more. Thank you so much for your advice!

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Heidi_Byman

The closest ballet studio is 45 minutes away and I only take one 1 and 1/2 hour class. It's the only one available and if there were more we can't afford them. ?

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Kittylovespointe

Hello! I am 15 years old and switched to a non-residential pre-pro school a year ago that teaches strict Vaganova style. I started ballet when I was 10 at a recreational studio- the technique there was not great, but not awful either. (None of the teachers there were even former professional dancers.) I'm not sure if I'd like to pursue a professional career, but I'd like to have the opportunity to and not be hindered by technique. I attended a good summer program last year, but I'm nothing special and have a lot to catch up on still. I've also been dealing with a health problem the past few months so I didn't audition for any summer programs, but am finally getting better. I am going to do my studio's summer intensive, so I'll still have the opportunity to dance intensely this summer. Here is my schedule:

Monday:

1 hour pilates for dancers (the studio is owned by former professional dancers and one is a current teacher at ABT OC)

1 hour character dance

1.5 hours technique

.5 hour pointe

 

Tuesday:

1.5 hour technique

.5 hour pointe

 

Wednesday:

1 hour pilates

1.5 hour ballet

.5 hour pointe

 

Thursday:

1.5 hour ballet 

.5 hour pointe

 

Friday:

1.5 hour ballet

.5 hour pointe

 

Saturday: 

1.5 hour class en pointe

Usually some sort of rehearsal in the afternoon

 

I also always stretch every day and do exercises that my pilates instructor and ballet teachers tell me to do. I try to stay after class and practice any steps I need help on. One of my biggest problems is my flexibility, which has gotten way better since I switched schools and learned how to stretch correctly. Pilates has helped SO much, I've only been doing it a few months and have noticed a huge difference in class. I used to take an hour private to rehearse for YAGP. 

I think once I feel 100% better I should add more classes, but jazz, contemporary, and another character class that I don't take start working on their recital dances soon so they will be more like rehearsals than classes and I won't be in their dances in recital. There are no variations classes or partnering (that starts in the next level), so I will have to take regular technique classes. 

I see some people my age dancing 45 hours a week and wonder what the difference is between dancing enough to improve and dancing too much, enough to cause injury will be. 

Edited by Kittylovespointe

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Victoria Leigh

Kittylovespointe, I think your schedule is good, for now. My question is, at the next technique level will you get longer pointe classes?  Getting some everyday is good,  but I would like to see a bit more time for each pointe section of your training.  

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Kittylovespointe

Thank you for looking at my schedule, Ms. Leigh! I feel that I should work on my pointe work for longer as well.

Every class is 2 hours with the last 1/2 hour en pointe, so next year won’t be any different. Most girls at my school take privates to work on variations or technique during the ballet competition off-season and are en pointe for long rehearsals during the weekends, so maybe they don’t want to cause overuse injuries? 

The older girls are strong en pointe and have been accepted into well-known companies so I know the system works, but it does seem like a short amount of time for such an important skill. We have frequent shows (Nutcracker, which we preform 17 times, spring show, recital, summer intensive, fall show, plus ballet competitions for those who want to compete), so we’re always rehearsing for something en pointe a few hours each week, which increases as you get more advanced. I’m excited for summer intensive where we will have dedicated pointe and variations classes. 

Do you think that class combined with rehearsals (I know that they aren’t the same as class, but dancing in pointe shoes for long periods buildes confidence and strength), privates, and working after class and at home will be enough? 

If I want to become a professional dancer (which I am not sure about yet) I think I’d be good to attend a finishing school when I am older. 

 

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