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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Morning class and return for afternoon classes


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Guest Yknuby

I have read on the SI thread that there is a year round program that has a morning class for the last two levels of their high school early release program. I would imagine there may be other programs that have these morning classes, but this is the first I have heard about them.

 

I have since looked into this program. From what I have learned, the dancers come to the studio first and take an hour and a half technique class (8:00-9:30). They then go to school and return to the studio for afternoon classes that start at 3:00. Since the morning class is optional, the dancer/family pays for the full program that includes the am class, or opts out and pays for just the afternoon. Dancers that choose the morning classes attend a high school that has a relationship with the studio that allows for academic classes to be arranged accordingly or they homeschool or cyberschool.

 

The afternoon and all day Saturday classes alone would be considered a full schedule with daily technique and pointe, in addition to variations, pas, jazz, contemporary, and character interspersed throughout the week.

 

 

I have heard from teachers on this board that more than one technique class in a day is not healthy for the dancer. Does the long break (almost 6 hours) in between technique classes remove that concern?

 

I'm curious what the moderators, or other parents that have advanced dancers and been around the ballet block a few times, think about these morning classes.

 

Are there advantages to these morning classes? Disadvantages? Won't help, won't hurt????

Edited by Yknuby
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  • Administrators

I would be hesitant for a student to do this on a daily basis while still in school, if the afternoon/evening schedule offers sufficient training. Most students have enough difficulty managing all their school work without putting them into that kind of schedule. Two technique classes a day, are, in my opinion, not necessary as long as the one technique, one pointe/variations/pas de deux/, and rehearsals or whatever additional dance classes they have provide the amount of technique work and hours needed by dancers at this level. Over-training can lead to exhaustion which leads to injury.

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ohh...I would like to know too...CPYB has more than one ballet class a day....three in fact...with usualy abotu 1.5 hours break in between...good/bad??

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In my opinion, that is over-training, particularly with growing bodies and school work. Three technique classes, which means THREE BARRES in one day, provide a definite path to overuse injury. I do not believe that anyone needs three classes of ballet technique, which includes a full barre. I would not have done that much, even in my most obsessive dancer mode, when I tended to overwork on a very regular basis. :)

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AmaG520, are the ballet classes ALL technique classes? Or is one a technique, one a pointe class, and the last one something like variations or character?

 

Regarding the morning classes followed by school, then more ballet: My daughter never could manage such a schedule during her high school years. Her afternoon ballet classes followed by rehearsals were taxing enough.

 

But after she left high school, she's occasionally taken a morning technique class and then, later in the day, taken another technique class. It really depends on what else is on a dancer's schedule, I think. But especially during the growing years, I'd be afraid about how taxing it is on the dancer's body. My kiddo has commented that it's all so much easier now that high school is out of the way.

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From what I have seen of the school in question- most days dance classes are over by 5pm or 6pm. I think this is better for getting school work done than situations in which ballet classes go on to the evening- and then homework must be done. PE and health are taken care of by the ballet program, so there are just academic classes.

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From the description this would appear to be the school my sons attend or attended (one has graduated). My older son particularly liked the morning class because he felt rested; my younger son likes it because he feels it has helped him improve more quickly. Four days of the week the second class is a technique class, one afternoon they have jazz and character. On other days there are rehearsals, partnering and pointe for the girls. As pointed out by Dufay they are usually done by 6:00, sometimes by 5:00PM and can be home in time for dinner and homework.

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So they don't take 3 ballet technique classes a day? Good. That is a relief.

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IMHO taking too many technique classes in one day is the quick road to burn out.

 

I took the proficiency exam when I was young and got out of high school at 16. Once I left school, the director had me taking a minimum of 2 technique classes 6 days a week, and some of those days I took 3 technique classes (plus pointe, character, jazz, modern, rehearsals, etc.) :grinning: . I practically lived at the studio and I worked down the street at a fast food restaurant in between morning and evening classes.

 

Within a year I could barely get out of bed in the morning to make myself go to class.

 

I never realized what had made me burn out until I was reading this topic.

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Guest Yknuby

To be clear, the program I was addressing is not CPYB. AmaG520 asked an additional question about 3 techniques at CPYB.

 

The program I am asking about has an hour and a half technique in the morning, a 6 hour break to go to school, then return to the studio for another technique, then pointe or variations (one day a week they don't do pointe work, instead have jazz, character or contemporary). Jazz, character and contemporary are taken once a week. They are finished almost every weekday by 5:30 or 6:00. On Saturday they have technique, pointe, pas and rehearsals.

 

I'm really asking about this program from strictly a ballet training/development angle. Each individual dancer and parents must decide what academic/ballet schedule is manageable. I want to know if there is benefit in considering the extra class. If there is, the next step would be to determine if it is workable with all the other priorities and needs that have to be met.

 

So, strictly from a ballet training perspective, does this morning class add benefit to the ballet training process? Is a six hour break enough rest that these two technique classes will not cause overuse injuries?

Edited by Yknuby
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Yknuby, I don't think there is a definitive answer to that question. It might be fine for some students and not for others. There are too many variables, such as amount of school work, overall health, strength, stamina of the child, and the demands of the particular classes. Then there is transportation time to consider, as well as eating time, etc. If the schedule works for her, and for you, fine. If not, that should be fine too. Our high school age students do not do a morning class, and I think that we turn out some rather fine dancers. :rolleyes:

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Sorry Yknuby, I didn't mean to get off the subject, I was just asking for the summer sake...CPYB is supposed to have two ballet tech classes, and then a pointe/modern class, and then an optional class at night. Since its the summer, it seems fine, and I wanted to take teh night class, but is that too much? (it would equal 3 ballet, adn one other class.)

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That has already been answered. Three technique classes in one day is too much. Period.

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