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Hello Everyone! I'm New :D


Alright, so here's the story:


When I was 13, I decided dance would be a great way to stay healthy and in shape - and it was similar to skating. (I used to be a serious skater, but my rink closed). I started taking a Beg/Int Ballet and Jazz class at a local studio. After a year of this, I realized dance was something I truly loved.. Something I wanted to do FOREVER. So, I started going to a more serious studio just this past year. I started out taking 5 classes a week, then in January, I moved it up to 7 - and now I'm at 9. Now I'm 15, and will be 16 in December. I am OBSESSED. It's basically all I want to do - ALL the time. I take Int/Adv. classes - though by huge professional studios I'm sure they would be considered just Intermediate. I will be starting pointe by the end of the summer at the latest.


Some Other Facts:

I'm of average weight - 5'4" and 105 lbs.

Basically all I do when I come home from dance is practice!

I take: 2 1/2 ballet classes, 1 1/2 pointe classes, 3 jazz classes, and 2 hip hop classes (I realize this isn't good for technique.. I just enjoy them very much.. It has improved my strength and flexibility though!). There is only one more ballet class at my level that I could take. I am signing up.

There is another studio in my area that is equally respected. If need be, I could take more classes here.

My studio seems to be a very high quality institute. It is very focused on technique, has a strict dresscode, and is very very cautious about future pointe dancers. I worry though, because most classes besides company classes and very advanced ones are only an hour in length. Does this suggest lack of professionalism? Some of the teachers were part of the SFB.. So I assume they know what they are doing.

My teachers seem to think I'm improving at a stunning rate, and say I have much promise - but I am not near being the best of my age group.

I live in a small town in Central California.


So Basically What I Want To Know Is:

How far do you think I could take this? What do you advise I do? How many classes should I attempt to take? Do you think I could work up to auditioning for a SI? What SI do you reccomend for me? What am I capable of? Should I even consider taking dance more seriously? How far can my love for dance go? Do you have any tips/advice for a newcomer to the huge world of dance?


I feel so confused - and am very unsure of what to do.


If I left out any information that would be helpful to you in helping me - please let me know!


Thank you for your help!

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  • Administrators

Hello HappyGoLucky, and welcome to the Young Dancers' forum here on Ballet Talk for Dancers! :D


It sounds like you have done very well in a short period of time, but I'm curious about the "2 and 1/2" ballet classes, and 1 and 1/2 pointe classes. You are not on pointe yet, so why the pointe classes? More ballet technique classes would seem to be in order here. By intermediate level the classes should be at least one hour and a half. One hour classes in ballet, beyond the very beginning levels, are not sufficient. I suggest checking out the other school and see what they have to offer.


As to how far you can go, there is just no possible way for us to assess that without seeing you. It depends too much on your own natural abilities and facility for ballet, and of course on the quality and quantity of training. You might get a better idea of where you stand by auditioning for some SI programs next Janurary/February. Audition for any and all that you can get to, and see what happens. Keep in mind that at 16 you will be expected to be advanced level, and that could present a problem with the major programs.

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Ms. Leigh -

Thanks so much for your help! Here is the story behind the pointe classes. Basically at my studio, there are 2 main teachers who decide whether or not the student is ready for pointe. Ms. Eppenheimer teaches nearly 20 classes a week, so I take quite a few with her. When the time came to consult with her about which classes to take in the following year - she commented that she thought I was getting close to going on pointe. So, as is routine at our studio, she suggested that I go and take a few classes with Elena, the other pointe judge.. (They have to agree in order for someone to go on pointe). Elena thought I was very close to going on pointe, but not quite there yet. She still wanted me to stay in the class because it would stregthen my ankles, and she could keep a close watch on me.. That was back in September, but I'm still not on pointe! So, I'm in a pointe class on flat... I don't regret it though, because she is a wonderful teacher and I have learned tons of technique and stregthening methods. Wow, that was rather longwinded. Sorry about that!

As far as the half classes go, I have a class which is half on pointe and half not - for all students, regardless of experience. When you say I need more ballet training, does that mean that you want me to take classes at both the other studio AND this one? Or does it mean that you think my studio sounds..... amateur - and I am better off at the other one?? Just from what I have heard, this studio is more reknowned for ballet and the other more for jazz.. But of course, I should always experience it for myself right? At the other studio, they seem to do it by roman numerals and letters.. And you are part of one group, and you have to take certain classes. For instance, ballet from 3:30-5:30 M T Th... At our studio, It says the level on the syllabus, but you are free to take whatever you want. Which method is more... professional?


Thanks Again!


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I'm not really sure, Happy, but I would say the one that offers the most classes of the proper length, that would be an hour and a half for technique, and also the most regulation and discipline. Students should not be able to take whatever they want, regardless of level. If the level you are placed in meets 3, 4, 5, or 6 times a week, that is what you take. If you are Intermediate level, or nearly, then you need at least 3 technique classes. And, if you have pointe, then you need additional hours for pointe work. Not all studios have enough classes for this level, but I'm not recommending mixing studios, at least not until you determine where the better ballet training is. Do not go on hearsay. Check everything out for yourself.

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