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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How many hours a week?


Gremlin

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I have read the topic on the parents board about too many hours of dance and find that the girls seem to dance way more hours than my son. Maybe I am not considering they are adding pointe, character, jazz, etc in to this figure :blushing: and currently my son is only doing ballet. (and no company classes with rehersals). Some say it is because there are so few boys in the ballet world that there is no boys only programs and that is where they lack, but my son does all the classes with the girls unless it is a pointe class (or jazz or hip hop, etc). He goes Mon-Fri and I just don't see where there could be more classes. He also goes to 2 different schools to get this much training.

 

My question is (if I am allowed to ask in detail)........

 

How old is your son, how many years of ballet, how many days a week, how many classes and most importantly....description of classes. I'd appreciate your response so that I can compare with my son's schedule.

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Hi Gremlin!

 

My son is 10. He has been dancing for 6 years. He has been to 4 different ballet schools (we moved a lot.)

 

Current school is 4 90 min. ballet technique classes a week. The school director did say that he could do 6 days if we wanted, but that was just too much driving and not enough family/homework/downtime for such a young boy.

 

He also takes a semi-private class with a friend of his from a teacher at a small school twice a month. This is really not necessary at all, but his new school is doing a lot of basic foundation work, so the semi-privates allow him to cut loose and do some more "across the floor" type combination work. It has proven to be a very nice balance for him. B)

 

Some of his other schools have had other jazz/character/modern classes added to his schedule, but given the choice, he prefers ballet only, so that's what he is doing now.

 

Hope this helps! :blushing:

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Gremlin,

 

My DS is 15 and has been dancing for six years. He is an apprentice to the senior regional youth ballet in our area and is in a pre-profesisonal training program. in addition to classes, he does have rehearsals for about four performances a year, including Nut, a June show, a story ballet, and an adjudicated gala. His schedule is as follows:

 

M

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(sorry - new kitten pranced across the keyboard before my post was complete)

 

Monday 1.5 hr technique class; .5 hr rehearsal; .75 hr modern class; .75 hr

rehearsal

 

Tuesday 1.5 hr technique class; 2.5 hr rehearsal

 

Wednesday 1.5 hr technique class; 1 hr Pilates class; 1.25 hr technique class

 

Thursday 1.5 hr technique class; 1.75 hr rehearsal

 

Saturday 1.5 hr technique class; 3 hr rehearsal

 

There are a few breaks of .5 hr in the above schedule, often while the girls are in pointe class. However, DS is likely to begin about 30 minutes of pointe per week at the request of his teacher and choreographer.

 

Hope this helps.

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DanceTaxi, my son's schedule is same except for an extra day of class a week and he also has an extra class each month with a guest instructor from a local ballet company.

 

Avalon, my son is 13 and this is 5th year. Having your son in a pre pro program does give me a better insight of what boys normally should be doing. Aside from the modern and pilates, my son's schedule is just about the same....just your son has extra tech class on Wed.......and no rehersals since my son is not attached to a performing school just yet.....hoping this will change next year.

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Mine works about 16.5hours per week including pilates and rehearsals. Rehearsals are kept to a minimum. Class is the priority. Especially this year when he is growing so quickly and the body is changing so quickly :)

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More hours are not always good; fewer hours are not always bad. It's not entirely uncommon for hours to decline due to injury and growth. And that should not be a cause for worry. There's a good article on the Adolescent Dancer on the IADMS website on this subject.

 

In other words, I think its best to not compare too much and recognize that there may be a need to be flexible.

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More hours are not always good; fewer hours are not always bad.

 

I totally agree with the above statement from Werlkj. I want to add to say that quantity of hours is not always as important as thequality of hours. My son is taking fewer hours a week now than in the past two years at his previous schools. However, since the current quality of instruction is so high, his skills have increased dramatically. (As well as his feelings of satisfaction.)

 

 

So I suppose that the old cliche' has some merit to it. :)

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I absolutely agree but if you are talking about an adolescent dancer who goes twice per week and wants to be on a professional track honestly it is just not enough. They should be in daily class whenever possible. Quality is important yes but daily practice is needed to improve. :)

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Memo

You are also absolutely correct. I should have clarified, but since Gremlin already indicated that her DS is taking classes M-F, I thought that we were addressing such a schedule. :blushing: I suppose the point behind my answer is that if an adolescent dancer is taking 5 very high quality technique classes a week, and the student is doing well, that perhaps looking for more days/hours to add on may not be necessary. :unsure:

 

Perhaps, though, since we are addressing the special needs of boys, maybe Gremlin can look into whether or not special men's classes are available to add.(no lifiting, mind you)

 

:):D

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My son has taken daily technique classes(1.5) hours since he was around 12. At 13 he started once a week men's classes, gradually increasing to 3 a week(1.5 hours). Once a week partnering(1.5 hours), once a week modern (1 hour). In addition to classes also had 6-12 hurs of rehearsals, but that is in the 16+ age. It looks like total class hours are around 16.

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Memo

You are also absolutely correct.  I  should have clarified, but since Gremlin already indicated that her DS is taking classes M-F, I thought that we were addressing such a schedule.  :blushing:  I suppose the point behind my answer is that if an adolescent dancer is taking 5 very high quality technique classes a week, and the student is doing well, that perhaps looking for more days/hours to add on may not be necessary.  :unsure:

 

Perhaps, though, since we are addressing the special needs of boys, maybe Gremlin can look into whether or not special men's classes are available to add.(no lifiting, mind you)

 

:)  :)

 

Yes, my son is taking classes 5 days a week, BUT not multiple classes on those days....just 1-1/2 hour technique classes. His 2 schools have very good reputations. Teachers have wonderful backgrounds and currently associated with local ballet company school of my sons future choice. They know exactly what his goals are for the VERY near future. They are preparing him for the audition and say he will do just fine.

 

I agree with the saying that quality is far better than quantity. My son is actually taking fewer classes (no rehersals and no character classes as last year) but the quality of training is better and my son knows he has improved greatly since starting classes in Sept. :thumbsup:

 

Men's/boy's classes are difficult to find here (boys few here in Italy as well). He is one of 2 boys in both of his schools, so at least he has someone to compare himself to unlike before. While the schools don't have seperate boy's classes, they do a good job of giving seperate instruction for boys during class and they also do partnering minus the lifting, which is important.....however, that is not a seperate class. He has a guest male instructor once a month. Not as frequent as my son would like, but the instructor has a very high reputation (can't get much better) and some male input is better than none. My son gets alot of attention from him too, which I feel is important.

 

I guess my worry is when I compare what is being done in the States (multiple technique, etc classes each day) vs what they do here in Italy, I get nervous. (maybe that schedule will change if he is accepted to the new school....I don't know). Afterall, eventually we will be moving back to the States(a few years from now) and I don't want my son to fill out an audition form listing classes and have the auditioner cringe at the few amount of classes he is taking. (or would that matter if he has good technique, etc.)? .....Or if level of advancement is different for here and we move back and have him behind according to American standards. I don't know. I guess I just worry too much after having him completely retrained this year and he feeling like he wasted the last 4 years. I don't want him to suffer that kind of blow later in his training when it might be too late to fix.

 

One other question...... I see mention of Pilates classes. I have tried to do search on this topic here at BT, but I can't quite find what I am looking for. Pilates is not offered at either school. I am not really sure what Pilates is........is it with or without equipment? Anyway, he describes some exercises they do at one of his schools that he has never done before. Involves stretching and flexibility. They don't do it for long as it is not a seperate class. What I was wondering was is it wise to take him to the gym on base, which has a certified Pilates instructor? Do people certified to instruct Pilates know the needs of dancers? Would being a dancer make a difference in Pilates instruction? Would all instructors be able to work with children even though they only work with adults? Oh, I feel so uneducated when it comes to ballet needs. :blushing: I want to keep my son in training similar to what he would take in the States, but yet i don't want to kill him by taking him only to *what I can find* rather than what is necessary.

 

I'm sorry for so many questions and having a long response. Thanks to everyone for your input. This is my only source so it is very important.

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Gremlin - Where are you located in Italy? Have you ever heard of the Body Code System developed by Pino Carbone. He is located in Florence. It is very similar to Gyrotonics. He visited Boston Ballet School last year and worked with the children using Art Form equipment - if you look up Art Form you can check those out. I believe he may have several studios in Italy that teach his system. I know of one young man at Boston Ballet school who is originally from Italy and worked with Mr. Carbone. The boy had very limited ballet training, but has progressed very nicely at the Boston Ballet school. The young man attributes part of his success to the training he had with this gentleman in Italy. You can PM me with any questions.

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