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benefits of a small school


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I currently attend a very small school, but with excellent training! I started pointe when I was 12 (minimum age is 11, first year is 15-30 minutes of pointe after some technique classes, usually only 3-4 girls go on at the same time but by the second year everyone has caught up with eachother). Now, I take 5 1.5 hour technique classes and 3 1 hour pointe classes, in addition I take once a week pilates mat classes, modern, and jazz. I have 4 ballet teachers, plus a modern and jazz teacher. I also sometimes take master classes. My school has trained professional dancers, never with "major" companies, usually small. My classes are very small so I get lots of individual attention. I like the "homey" atmosphere, and I like getting lots of parts in our shows (because we have a small amount of students)! :)


There are downsides also. I am in the second highest level (pre-release). Our release time I and II were combined into just release time because of the amount of students (we only have one senior this year!). So sometimes there is level mixing. I am lucky because my level is one of the biggest and everyone has roughly matching abilities. Also, there are only 4 guys at my school, and they are all in the same level! So, I will never get the chance to do partnering, except at SI's when I'm older.


It is my goal to dance in a company someday. And I want to do all I can to achieve that. I was wondering a small school limits my chances, or restricts me from becoming truly the best dancer I can? :thumbsup: Do the benefits cancel out the downsides? Will a "big name" school with more dancers, but equally as good training, help me out more for the dance world? Thanks! :yes:

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This is a difficult question to answer, because we can't see what the dancers produced by your school look like. What every dancer needs is a high level of challenge in an atmosphere congenial with their ability to learn. Having available high-functioning advanced students for comparison and modeling purposes doesn't hurt either.

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I dance in a small school, we dance ballet 6 days a week, with rehersals and pointe, and contemporary, i think the small school so so fantastic because I get such individual training, I am in teh highest level, and I am working to perfect my technique, which far from superior....

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Guest cheeriodancer10

I have to agree, I love the warm atmosphere of a small studio and the individual attention you recieve. The one thing I wish my studio had was more studios! Then maybe we could get more classes in each week. And bigger dressing rooms, we only have 2 and they are so crowded!

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I am wondering if somebody can point me in the right direction... I don't know if a small school is the best for me and my learning abilities. I NEED to be a dancer someday. :) Is quality training all that matters? Or is the competition/ability of others? I was talking with one of my closest friends about this and she said "if your a good enough dancer they will take you no matter where you trained". Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Thanks!

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Your friend is an optimist. You need to have the ability to conduct yourself well in a group, and sometimes under stressful situations. Further, a dancer has to be challenged in order to improve, and then of course there is always dumb luck. Small schools just don't give you the ability to learn about these things.

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