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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Balancing Dance and School


Guest Aurora

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Guest Aurora

Last year I took 5 ballet classes a week, the most I have taken since I started. My grades, however, went down slightly. I used to get all A's, but last year I got several B's. My schoolwork is more important to my parents, and they only want me to take one ballet class and one pointe class next year-eek! How do you all find time to keep your grades up and take as many dance classes as you do? I think I'm going to try to write a schedule to show my parents that I will have plenty of time.

Thanks

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Aurora, it's a matter primarily of organization and prioritization. It has been my experience that the top ballet students, the ones who dance several hours a day, are also top students in academic school. They have the discipline to maintain, and excel, in both areas. I'm sure everyone has their own system for doing this, but I know that many of them arrange their school schedule to have study time there, and then they study before or after ballet classes as well.

 

It may mean that they have less time for hanging out with friends, going to malls and movies, etc., however, if ballet is their priority, then that is what they do. Most of our students in the top level of ballet are accepted into the colleges and universities of their choice, including Harvard and Princeton, Georgetown, Smith, Juilliard, etc. Some of them choose to stay in dance and go to a university with a strong dance department, and then of course some of them also choose to delay college and work as a professional dancer if they are fortunate enough to be offered a contract.

 

If you are a good student to begin with, there is no reason that you cannot dance every day and still be a very good student. It just takes a bit more focus and discipline! :)

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Guest Aurora

Thank you, Ms. Leigh, your advice was greatly appreciated! :D I have another question, I'm not sure if I should post here or start a new thread (sorry), but your response made me think about it: How many hours of ballet a week or a day are good for a serious student? I'm not going to try to get into ABT or anything, but I would like to dance for a career (teaching, possibly). Thank you!

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Jessica, I believe that one should have a daily technique class of at least 90 minutes, plus a pointe class of at least an hour. In addition to that there should be some modern and jazz training, maybe pilates, and of course rehearsals. Six days a week of dance should be sufficient, as the body does need a day to recover! :D

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