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when should a male begin intensive training


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at what age should a young male (16) transfer to a ballet school instead of a studio which is a mult dance studio? this is a huge decision, d/t my son leaving tons of friends and loved instructors, but he wants to become a professional ballet dancer. so when is the best time to transfer over to a ballet school who has already accepted him into their program?

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Changing schools during the summer is often a great time. Usually the summer sessions are a little smaller than the regular classes and will give him a chance to meet a few new friends/dancers before the hustle and bustle of the school year sets in.


Usually when you truly are ready to ask the question when?, the time is NOW!



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As a mom of a boy I can tell you that now would be the time. We actually waited until after high school because of the friendships and good training. It's a great school but no company affiliation. He would have been better off making the move sooner rather than later by about a year. It also depends on the child and how well they handle stress but at 16 they should be really where the best training is for ballet, if ballet is what they want.


My ds was a littler slower in the physical development stage didn't break 115 pounds until after 10th grade. Did most of his growing in 11th and 12th but I still think he would be further along if he had made the change sooner. The training at his school was very good but I think the other school would have pushed him more towards clearer cleaner dancing. He had some bad habits he had to unlearn, not the teacher's fault completely, but they were tolorated. The boys tend to want the big tricks without learning to do clean connective steps and sometimes the teachers let them get away with it. The problem is when you try to take it to the next level you have to have the whole package. No one cares if your double tours are beautiful if you can't do a glissade.

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Thanks for the reply, we are very lucky to have a professional company with a school attatched to it in our area. this school is very interested in him after he took a placement class. he is 6 ft and 140 pounds with great feet and legs but only takes ballet at an advanced level twice a week. he states he is ready to move to a more intense program, but i worry about ill feeling from his current studio once he moves. has anyone dealt with this type of problem, where their current studio or instructor feels insulted when their student moves on to a different school?

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The thing is, it doesn't matter what his current instructors think. It is his life and his career, and if they can't get him there, then he has to make the move to where they can get him there. He needs daily training and he needs it NOW!!!

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If he wants ballet only the other school should understand. Everyone wants their students to find their passion and succeed. I have pointed students in the direction of advanced tap teachers when they needed it. We teach tap but they get it twice a week and ballet 6 days a week. There is clearly a focus at our school and it is not fair to hold someone back if they want something different.

At 16 he needs daily classes. He needs it yesterday, sooner than now. It is his responsibility to get the training he needs to follow his goals.

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I agree 100% with Ms. Leigh and momof3! :angry:


Don't worry about what the other school thinks (if they get mad, they are not a good school wanting your son to succeed). If they don't offer your son what he needs, then move him now. You have already questioned his training. If you thought it was adequate, you would not question it, so the best thing to do is move him now....not a month from now, but tomorrow. (if possible). Ms. Leigh gave me this advice last year after seeing my son. My son had no idea just how bad he was until he moved. Moving was the best thing for him. Oh, and 2 times a week is NOT enough.....especially at that age. My son is 13 and goes 5 days a week.

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........ but i worry about ill feeling from his current studio once he moves. has anyone dealt with this type of problem, where their current studio or instructor feels insulted when their student moves on to a different school?



On the moms and dads board...bottom of page 3.....you will see a topic called.......switching dance schools (should you tell them).


You will see a wide variety of experiences from people who have not only left a very loved school where the children were ONCE thought of as wonderful, but they gave ADVANCED notice that they were leaving the school and believe me, the reaction from some of the schools is not warm farewell wishes for future success. My son was lucky. He was loved by the students and teachers and they gave him a going away party.

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Let me add a male dancer/teacher's voice to this, which will largely confirm the advice above which counsels NOW! After all, last year is out as an option.

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Guest PAmom

robinmc, I am glad you posted here and want to welcome you to Ballet Talk for Dancers.


Change can be hard and I can appreciate why you would reach out for advice on this forum. It can also be an exciting time for new growth and opportunities. I agree with the advice given above, especially with your information that the school change your son will be making is so close to your current home. He is very fortunate to have an offer made to him that requires much less inconvenience than young dancers who move away from home at your son's age.


My son chose a school away from our home when he was close to your son's age. He also tried their summer program on for size during the months before. Some schools hate to see their young "up and coming" dancers go but I am sure that it is only because they will miss seeing him around. The friends he has made at his old school should be proud to see him going for his dream and will probably look forward to seeing him perform with his new school. I hope we will hear more about how he is enjoying the new challenges that are now available to him.



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This is a subject that's dear to my heart, as on my recommendation, our one male student (16 years old) is leaving us to attend a full time vocational school abroad. When I realised two years ago that he was developing into a talented classical ballet dancer, I first suggested the idea. As he has remained dedicated to his goal of making ballet his career, we decided this year to turn the dream into reality and applied by video for several schools. He has been accepted by an excellent one and has decided to take up the offer. As he has to leave both home and country, this is a huge undertaking, but I'm happy to say that he can't wait!


I think that it is very important for a teacher to know when to give up a student. I have done everything I possibly can for him, sending him off to SI's, arranging for coaching with a male teacher, allowing him to attend master classes and spending hours and hours giving him private coaching in boy's work. I believe that in order to fulfill his potential, he needs to receive intensive training with other boys and with male teachers. He can't get that here, so he needs to go away. I'm just delighted that his parents are so supportive and that he is able to do so. I've done my bit, now it's up to him.


If you are able to send your son for high level full time training with other boys, please do so. Boys need the energy and motivation that they gain from working with other boys. They need the input and mentorship of male teachers. They need a timetable that's geared specifically to their development as male dancers. If your son truly has the talent and potential to be a professional ballet dancer, then in my opinion he needs to study where he can get the best training as a male dancer, and his current school should be prepared to accept this.

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Hello Hamorah, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! How lovely to have a teacher from Israel here. :wub: I hope you have found the Teachers' forum. It's not quite as active as some of the others, but we are always hoping there will be more participation there. Your post above is wonderful, by the way!

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Thank you very much for the wonderful replies. My son and I know that now is the time for a more intensive training. He is going to the Rock this summer at a level 4 and is very excited. This is his second SI, he went to NCSA, his first. Thank You all again for helping us making this decision easy for us. :thumbsup:

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good luck with your son! as a young male dancer i know what it can be like, but in the long run if your passion is ballet you can't make your decisions based on social factors. no matter how hard it is, sometimes you just have to do whats right for your dancing.

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