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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dance Studio vs Ballet Studio


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This reminds me of our first trip to Colorado. I had made reservations for the Durango-Silverton Railroad and we had to be at the station at 8:30 in the morning. I thought, no problem, it's just "an inch" distance on the map from where we would be staying. Well, an inch in Texas is quick trip. An inch in Colorado took 2 hours over some of the most beautiful and most terrifying roads I've ever been on.


My commute really isn't bad. It's mainly highway travel and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Some moms at the ballet school have longer drive times because of traffic. I share the duties with another mom and quite honestly have enjoyed the company of my daughter and her friend. We've had some great conversations. When we went for parent's observation week, my husband and I both knew it was the right decision to leave the old studio and well worth the commute.

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Our experience has echoed yours in many respects. Who knows...maybe we are neighbours!!

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Wow, over an hour, we are only about ten minutes away and that's counting getting into the car. Sometimes we walk and that doesn't take long. However, my sister in another town has about half an hour drive to the ballet studio.

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Here's my two cents worth from a Canadian city with limited access to large ballet schools, except for the National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg and Quinte near Toronto.


My son, now 13, spent two years at a dance school with a heavy emphasis on competition and the dance "troupe". Nutcracker at Christmas, months of rehearsal, etc. and in the end, very little time spent on coaching for ballet exams. Because he wasn't interested in competing, he was put into a ballet assessment class, but ended up doing the exam in June. The following year more pressure to compete, more and more classes, pressure to do tap, no interest in allowing him to take modern. The final straw was when the director called me and informed me that another boy's parent had offered to pay for my son's tap classes since I was a single parent. Somehow I kept my composure, but wrote a letter informing them that he would not be returning in the fall - end of story.


He now attends a much smaller ballet school, with an emphasis on ballet and has simply blossomed under the tuteluge of an excellent teacher in her 60's. She teaches him privately twice a week free of charge to work on boys curriculum, plus his regular classes. But, he must be prepared to work very hard for her and yes, he is the only older boy at the school. He also does jazz, modern and hip hop once a week each, with the exception of jazz, where he also takes the senior class, as jazz seems to be his forte.


He has been very successful at SI auditions and was accepted at every school he auditioned for this year, so I personally don't think that you have to be at a larger school associated with a company to succeed. I truly believe in quality over quantity; however, what remains questionable is whether or not his suburban school can fully develop him as a vocational dancer. And not having enough boys for a boys class is also a drawback to his training. That is why attending SI is so important for him, they enable him to be taught by men and also to experience a month of boys' class and hopefully this summer some introduction to partnering.


And finally, to echo other sentiments, serious ballet training does require an enormous amount of discipline, time and energy and respect for the teachers. And, as he admits to me some evenings, ballet class is not always fun, but a challenge which he loves. Also, not many kids these days are willing to put in the time to fully develop their potential, whether it be dance, soccer or any other sport or artistic pursuit. However, those teens who do stick with it or refuse to abandon their passion and talents are truly rewarded in the end.

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