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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What's a Mom to do...


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In my 14 year old daughter's ballet class they have combined 2 levels in to one rather large class. The school is semi-well known on Long Island, but they only have 7 levels for ballet. My daughter takes two level 6 classes and one level 5 to help with pointe technique.

However, the enrollment for the level 5 class was very small (5 students) so they combined it with a level 4 class (15 students). Inititally, I didn't mind because my daughter was more advanced than all of the girls in the class, and was frequently used for demonstration, etc. But the class seems to be going slower and slower, with a great deal of time being taken up with the teacher telling the level 4 girls to quiet down (giggling, chatting, etc. between exercises) The teacher has tried to separate them, but to no avail. My daughter is bored, and since the level 4 girls require so much attention, she doesn't feel that she is getting enough of a workout, and her technique isn't really improving :)

Do you think it will be detrimental to leave her in this class, or should I look for another class (Unfortunately, the scheduling at that school is such that there isn't another level 5 class available at a time we can make). Most of the level 5 and level 6 classes occur at about the same time, which makes getting enough classes a challenge :wub:

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rlj, a minimum of 3 technique classes per week is essential for a student to be on pointe at all. What I don't understand is the school allowing a student to not take all the classes at their level, assuming there ARE more level 6 classes? How can the class remain at level if some of the students do not attend all of the classes? I would also have to question the school as to how a 14 year old could be in the next to the top level without daily classes. It says to me that the school is recreational, not professional, and that their idea of an advanced level is questionable. Have you considered a different school?

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Yes, we have considered another school, but not many of the schools on Long Island offer enough classes. We had been attending 2 schools until this year when my daughter started high school. The school thinks that they are a professional ballet school because they were once under the direction of a man that danced with Balanchine. But there are no more than 3 or 4 classes at any level. And unfortunately, pointe is still only the last 1/2 hour of a 2 hour class. :P

My daughter has been fairly discouraged by this school, wrong feet, wrong body, etc, so is going to pursue modern and jazz, but still loves ballet and she knows it is necessary for any form of dance (and really just loves ballet). She really is a gifted dancer, but just doesn't have all the right parts. :thumbsup:

Going into Manhattan is really no longer an option, she has pretty much given up on ballet so going in for daily classes and trying to balance homework is not worth it.


You have really answered my question, I really need to go back to attending 2 school to get the right number of ballet classes, it would seem.

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Hi rljdance --


The same type of issue cropped up for my dd last year. Our class was very small and we were combined with the level below us. At first we thought it was a temporary situation due to the ballet school adding on more studio space. However, it was not temporary and we spent an entire year with 3 days of this combined class and one day of our own class per week. The girls in my dd class definitely were held back by this situation. We ended up feeling as though we wasted a year of development.


If you can make other arrangements at a different studio or whatever -- I would definitely suggest it.


Good luck to you and your daughter!

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