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Training Advice for Talented DD


liflrnr

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My DD is 13 and from what my husband and I have been told from many instructors is that she has it all - body, feet, neck, wrists, talent, athletic ability, musicality, ability to apply corrections, etc. She loves ballet and it seems that it is in her 'blood'. My question is if my child is talented and loves the art, as parents, what should we do to make sure she has every opportunity to succeed in this profession? She is already in the best ballet school in our area and dances about 12 hours/wk plus 3 hrs of rehearsal. She went to her first SI at SAB this last summer. Should we be doing anything else now or in the future? We are not familiar with the ballet world and don't want our inexperience to be a barrier to her success.

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Hello liflrnr, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :P

 

It sounds like you have a talented daughter who is on track and doing well at 13. As long as she is getting what she needs at her home school, and attending SI programs, I don't think there is anything more you need to do right now. :o

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Whew! Thank you, Ms. Leigh. As for SI's, her artistic director feels that once she is in the 'majors' (SAB, SFB, PNB, etc.) she should stick to the majors, but she should try a few to determine what style she likes. Does this make sense? Her artisitic director danced professionally for SFB about 20 yrs ago.

 

Also, from my research, if she has the talent and wants to do ballet professionally, it seems to me that she should move to a ballet school with a professional company during high school. Is this true and how does this happen? Is it an outcome of SI's?

 

I apologize if I am way ahead of my daughter, but she is growing up so fast and I want to be prepared. Thank you for your time and much appreciated advice!

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It might be good to move when she gets to high school, but then again, it might not be necessary. It depends on whether her teacher has the ability to take her all the way or not. Many times the teacher is good, but the school too small to have the amount of training needed for the advanced levels. It just depends on the situation where she is. I'm not in favor of the kids leaving home unless it is necessary.

 

If and when that time comes, it can happen through SI programs, and it can happen through direct auditions for the company schools or residence schools. We have a lot of information on the board about all of the programs.

 

I think she should definitely experiment with other programs, at least for SI auditions. The ones you mention are all Balanchine style programs. She might like to experience something different. :P

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I'm also not in favor of her leaving home before she graduates high school, so if it is necessary for her to move on before then, it will be a family move. I will see how it goes over the next couple of years. I will also check out the info you have on other programs too. Thank you again and Happy Holidays!

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What part of CA are you in? Northern or Southern?

Southern CA seems to have a much larger selection of good quality schools as opposed to Northern.

There are so many different summer programs out there that teach in a broader selected style.

Introducing your dd to other styles is a great idea and will help her become a more rounded dancer.

 

Good luck to you and your daughter.

Let me know if you are in the Northern area and will be attending auditions in SF. It would be nice to meet!

 

Suggested SIs deleted by moderator. See reply below. :shrug:

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Redstorm, while I know your intentions are good, I think it might be wise to allow liflrnr to read the general topics forum on the SI board and the specific SI threads and come to her own decisions about which programs might offer a style/culture that would be a good match for her daughter. :) There are several threads there about the styles offered at various programs and of course many details about the programs themselves. :shrug:

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Sorry to not get back sooner, I have been sick with the flu. :) We are in Northern Cal and most of the auditions my daughter wants to do are in SF. I am going to check out all the info on this board as far as styles and programs. Thxs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, we, too, are from northern California. Our dd's are about the same age as well. I know what you are going through as far as wondering what the next step is as far as training goes. I really have to step back and let the AD of the school where she is dancing tell me what comes next.

 

I'm not ready to let her go away from home for the summer (to a big city where there is little or no supervison) when she can have a good experience dancing at home in the SI here. Maybe when she goes to high school :yucky:

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  • 1 month later...
Guest costumier
It depends on whether her teacher has the ability to take her all the way or not. Many times the teacher is good, but the school too small to have the amount of training needed for the advanced levels. It just depends on the situation where she is. I'm not in favor of the kids leaving home unless it is necessary.

 

 

In our case the teacher IS good, I wouldn't consider going anywhere else in our town, but the school IS small and classes get scarcer as the less serious students start to drop out at the higher levels. Are there any disadvantages to just paying for private classes all the way? (Other than the cost! :D ) It's still way cheaper than relocating/going to a residential school, and I do want my kids at home. I worry a bit about lack of peer support, but DD does open classes too for pointe, floor barre and repertoire. It's only my older DD who has this problem, she's in a small cohort (just bad luck), my other DD has a good-sized class.

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Personally, I am not in favor of primarily private training. Classes are better for most dancers.

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Thanks Ms Leigh. So what would you say the disadvantages are, and would you prefer privates with a better teacher or classes with a less qualified/talented teacher? The main reason my DD's teacher has some trouble attracting pupils is that she does serious classical ballet only, no jazz, hip-hop, tap, funk etc, which a lot of people around here want. Even if we went to another teacher who offered "intermediate" and "advanced" classes, they wouldn't be every day, another reason our teacher is not favoured by many local parents, they don't see why they should pay for all those lessons with this teacher when another teacher says they can do it for two lessons a week. I just wish I could magic her up a dozen talented dedicated kids with supportive parents! I'd love DD to have a real class.

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Supplementing the classes with a private lesson a week is fine, even two if necessary, but it would be preferable to also have classes, though not with a less qualified teacher. If you have a good teacher, stay with her, take all the classes she offers, maybe even doing some lower levels on days when there is no class at her level, and add a private or two. Ultimately it may be necessary for her to go away to a residential school in order to get the training needed.

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Hello catdancer, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :angry2:

 

You quoted a post, but did not get your message in there. Just hit the Add Reply button and you can post your own message without the quote, or, click the Edit button under the post where you quoted a post and add your message there after the quote. :o

 

[Edited to add that I deleted catdancer's first post, which was only a quote.]

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Whew!  Thank you, Ms. Leigh.  As for SI's, her artistic director feels that once she is in the 'majors' (SAB, SFB, PNB, etc.) she should stick to the majors, but she should try a few to determine what style she likes.  Does this make sense? Her artisitic director danced professionally for SFB about 20 yrs ago.

 

Sorry, about my last posting, I am new to these boards and so I wasn't sure how to post. Anyway, regarding the above question.... my two cents is this. Your artistic director is correct about sticking to the "majors" and I'll tell you why, from personal experience. My daughter is 12 and has been attending SAB's year round program since 10. They have 5 childrens levels and then you go on to the more advanced levels. I have been told (by other parents only), that you better make sure you don't want to come back if you choose to leave. In other words, it MAY be a strike against you. Also, it becomes somewhat addictive to be there. You get caught up in "where" you are and then it becomes impossible to find any other program that would carry the same weight. The allure of attending the big wig school, becomes kind of limiting once you are there. I don't know if this makes any sense to you, but I hope you understand my meaning. Also, very few girls that are taken into the childrens division actually make it all the way to the advanced levels. From what I have witnessed over the past 3 years, most of their older children come from the outside, some coming in only for a year or two before asked to be apprentices. So my advice to you is to stay where you are right now if you feel the training is good. In a couple of years, your daughter can try for the "majors".

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