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Open Classes - CPYB

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It's great to be a part of this wonderful group!


My dd, who is 10, is currently taking 2 classes a week at her school. She started ballet just over a year ago, and loves it! She's quite serious about ballet, and practices on her own every day (stretching and balancing).


We will be taking her to CPYB in a few weeks so she can take drop-in classes. She'll be in an hour long placement class, and then will be placed at an appropriate level for her ability.


Her classes at her school are very small, 3 or 4 students, so she's a little anxious about being in a new environment, with new teachers, new kids, etc. up at CPYB. I'd like to prepare her for what she should expect, if possible. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


I also want to say that I've been learning so much on Ballet Talk! My dd is actually balancing on releve thanks to a post on finding your center. She's very excited! This is just one example of how helpful this forum has been!



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hi Momof5,

What kind of information are you looking for? Is your daughter taking a specific audition class for a General Mills Scholarship or is she going to take a regular class to see where she places?

The experience will be different depending on your answer. The General Mills classes are usually attended by students with little or no ballet training. The students are given basic instructions in movement and placement and then try the movements together. There is not an atmosphere of pressure and is handled well by most new young dancers. They are looking for potential, not training.

If your daughter is taking a regular class to judge where to place her for future classes, she will probably be in a class with other young dancers. The lower levels usually do a simple barre focusing on beginning movements. The class is usually slow with concentration on doing the movements correctly.

In either case, have your daughter wear a black leotard and pink tights. She will eventually need black ballet shoes. She should have her hair back in a bun with no bangs. Do not be surprised if she is started in a level lower than you expect, but students who are a little older and can grasp the instruction can move up through the levels faster.

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Hi lillianna,


Here's a little background of dd. The summer of 2002, we let her take a summer class which was just an intro. to ballet, and more of a fun class than anything serious. The other parents in the class were telling us "you mean she's never taken a class before!", and other similar comments. So, we enrolled her in a pre-pro school that fall (she was 9 the fall of 2002). After 2 weeks, she was moved up to a level 2, and her teacher asked if we could bring her twice a week. We were also told that by the time she reaches high school age, we'll need to find another school for her. It's a very small school, and her teacher wants her to be someplace where there is some competetion for her. The Rock School was suggested. This was all very new, and very scary to us! We new she loved to dance, as she spent a lot of her time when she was little spinning, twirling, and trying to copy ballet moves from her Nutcracker video. She's very strong, all muscle, slim.


We're really not worried about what level she's placed at. In fact, it might be good for her to be placed in a lower level where she will have a successful experience, for her first time taking outside classes. Do you know what the class sizes are for levels 1B or 2A (I'm totally guessing at placement)? This is one of the things she's asked about.


Oh, to answer your question, she's just taking classes for the day. We hope to take her at least every 6-8 weeks. It will be about a 3 hour drive. Her teacher wants her get used to friendly competition, and to be under the instruction of another teacher. I'm not familiar with the General Mills scholarship. Maybe I'll give CPYB a call for info.


Thanks for letting me share.



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I had dds attend CPYB for about 11 years but we are not there this year--moved to the other coast. So, someone else will have to tell you about this year's class size in 1B and 2A. I'm sure it will be a larger class than she is used to, though.

When my oldest started at CPYB it was just a drop-in class her first year also. She was attending a school near our home that she loved and where her friends were. She , also, was told to look for a school with more intensive training and CPYB was recommended. It was about an hour and a half away, so was driveable. She wasn't sure it would be what she wanted and she was doing all the lead roles at her other studio, so we started going on Saturdays and one other night of the week. Saturday was good because she could get a lot of classes in one trip. It did help her improve, helped her understand placement better, and being older, she could work on those things in class at her other studio. She was not included in any of the CPYB performances, etc and felt a bit left out as the others were there 6 days week. So, after a year of that, we made the leap to go full time, and never looked back.

Since your daughter usually only takes 2 classes a week, she will be taking far fewer classes than CPYB's beginners. I'm sure from reading the board you know that CPYB's 10 year olds are often taking 2 or 3 classes per day. You will find that others are also making drives to the school like you will. There are always a number of families driving long distances for the weekend classes. It is a great school. I hope that your daughter enjoys the class.

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She's quite nervous about going. She thinks she has to be able to do everything perfectly, like her splits, which of course isn't true. We're looking forward to getting a different perspective, as her teacher says, "a fresh pair of eyes". She's developed a couple bad habits with hip placement, and her teacher is hoping that CPYB may be able to help her with this. She's also not very flexible, but she's been working every day, and I've seen a lot of improvement.


Thank you for your encouraging words. I wish your family great success! It sounds like your daughter is doing wonderfully!



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