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lorrainegd

Appropriate number of classes

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lorrainegd

I am sorry - I have searched and can't seem to find a simple answer to my question.

 

DD is 12. She has been on pointe 1 year 3 months. We are looking for a school for the fall where she will be able to progress (eyes on a dance career). She was offered a year-round spot in the residential program where she is currently at SI but we agree (she and dh & I) that she is too young to live away from home.

 

I am looking at a number of schools, but I want to make sure that they will be able to offer the number of classes that she will need - this year and in the years to come...at least until maybe she will be ready for residency (HS). The number of classes and lack of time on pointe (even for the older girls) are the problems where we are now, as well as quite a bit of leniency in class which drives my dd nuts (girls late, no one following dress code, talking during class).

 

So what am I looking for - how many technique classes. Pointe classes? SHould pointe classes be available separate or s it OK to be incorporated into the technique class(some seem to offer the last 1/2 of the class on pointe)? How many days a week should dd dance ideally?

 

DD is loving the intensity of SI classes. She WISHES she could dance 6.5 hours a day 6 days a week all the time!!

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mom2

Lorraine,

 

I do think that your question was answered by Ms Leigh on another thread (how much is too much). Here is what she said:

 

14 is still considered very young. I don't like multiple technique classes even if they are fully grown. One really good one, of proper length, plus pointe, is quite sufficient for a student still in school. A young adult can do two technique classes if desired, but hopefully they are separated by a few hours.

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

m2

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lorrainegd

Thank you - that's a good start - actually it's an answer to a question I hadn't thought to ask yet but one I am glad to know!

 

But what is a proper length technique class and then how long for pointe in addition.

 

And I am wondering how many classes/hours a week.

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Victoria Leigh

A proper technique class is a minimum of 90 minutes. A pointe class is an hour for older students, but at 12 a shorter time, 30-45 minutes would be okay. They need at least 4 days a week of technique, and 3 or 4 pointe classes would be good.

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jvonsc

Just a mom -- so I'm not sure I should answer this...moderator delete me if need be?

 

In looking for a school for your dancer, I'd be more concerned (especially at her age) with the quality of instruction than the number of classes available for her in her future.

 

When I went through the same search, I encountered so many different opinions of how ready dd was for pointe, for example, and how many classes would be appropriate for her per week. So, I had her evaluated by a teacher I respected whose school was too far away from us. Then I looked for a closer school who seemed to be of like mind. The one I found is a longer commute than the local schools, but I trusted dd would get all she needs without risking injury. Her teacher tells me how many classes per week she should take, and I trust her advise and follow it. (I raise the daughter side and she raises the dancer side.)

Incidentally, both the teacher I sought advise from and her current teacher had the same philosphy as Ms. Leigh. Now, you just need to find a school near you...

 

So, based on my own experience, I'd find a school with the best reputation and follow the advise of the director as far as how many classes she is ready to take.

And, if you go by reputation, I'd expect you'll find a school that doesn't allow students to enter class after 10 minutes late, and doesn't allow talking at the barre.....the things you already seem to identify as "not so good"....

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flyingpersimmon

Please redirect my question if I'm in the wrong forum.

I have a 15 year old dd who is a freshman in high school. She loves the studio she is at (6+years). She is doing well there and has been offered scholarships to SI's in years past (and current). We are considering year round programs and homeschool. We are not quite ready to take that giant leap. My current hurdle is to first consider if she is getting the proper training where she is at. While I love her teachers and the AD, I'm afraid they are not maximizing dd training hours at the studio. When ever I ask dd, she tells me that she is fine and to stop asking because "mom you never danced". When I ask teachers, they insist she is getting enough. My main concern is her pointe work. They have no set class for pointe. They have variations twice a week for 30-45 minutes and all the studio rehearsals are on pointe but not actual pointe class. While dd is a beautiful dancer, I feel she is falling behind en pointe. Her technique classes are M-F 5:30-7:00/7:30, variations T&Th 7:30-8:00, and studio rehearsals on MWF from 7:30-9:00, also class for an hour and more rehearsals on Saturdays (sometimes for 3-5 hours). So she dances roughly 18-19 hours per week. How do I get her more "classes" en pointe? Should I even be concerned? After all, I have no personal dance experience. By the way, her YAGP scores are good, but comments have been standard and that she needs to get stronger en pointe.

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Victoria Leigh

While she is certainly getting enough hours, I would like to see a bit more time dedicated to pointe work. When they have the 5:30 class and it goes to 7:30, do they do pointe in those classes? At her age, pointe technique classes are more important than variations.

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flyingpersimmon

She sometimes gets pointe in the 5:30-7:30 class (maybe 20 minutes) but it is sporadic. It mostly depends on her because if she knows she has rehearsal, she won't put on pointe shoes during class (because she knows she will be en pointe for two hours). There are no corrections during rehearsals only memorizing the dance. I'm afraid she might be picking up bad habits during rehearsals because of this.

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Victoria Leigh

Rehearsals with no corrections? Oh dear, that bothers me. Especially with a two hour rehearsal slot.

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Lady Elle

I'm also feeling the need for more specific pointe technique classes as well - and in the near future, regular technique classes. But my dd is not sure she wants to try to get into a company. She wants college - probably a dance major, possibly a ballet major with a double major or minor in another field. However, one thing that I am noticing is even though she is at a studio that does not have the number of classes other prepros migt have - she has very very small classes - sometimes just two or three girls so they get a lot of attention and time to go across the floor - not much down time waiting for other groups to go. I guess when she asks for it, and/or stops improving - we'll look into something else!

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flyingpersimmon

That is my fear. When there are 12-15 girls rehearsing a dance, teachers are not worried about corrections, just teaching the piece. Any suggestions on what I can do? I have considered changing studios but dd would be crushed because she is so loyal to her teachers and friends there. Should I take a more serious approach at this and find a private coach? I'm afraid that if dd continues there, she will miss out on the prime time of her learning years.

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flyingpersimmon

Thank you Ms. Leigh for the above replies. I have to go with my gut on this one. It is not the first time I have been concerned about the amount of time set aside for pointe work. If dd wants to continue towards a professional career in classical ballet, I know we must look into other options. Thank you for your time.

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Stressedoutmommy

Flying persimmon and Ms. Leigh thank you for your comments! I continue to struggle with this thought "how do you get strong on Pointe" if you only have a 1 hour variation class & 1 hour pointe class a week plus production rehearsals on pointe. My dancer is 16 and dances 6 days a week with a 1 1/2 hour ballet class daily. She attends an excellent pre-pro school and it still feels like she will not reach her goals for dancing in college and good summer intensives.

 

My daughter also says to me " not to talk to the AD" and " Mom I know what I need to work on". I am supporting her decision but wonder if I will kick myself next year when she is a senior, we invested yet another year and her pointe work and lack of performance opportunities continue to hold her back.

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