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Splitting Time between 2 schools


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I was wondering how many out there tried splitting time between two schools for their boy students. Presently my child is on part scholarship, there is only 3 to 4 hours max per week on ballet available at his level. Though still a preteen, there isn't anything more when he is older, of course like now he is taking other dance forms.


I thought a high level ballet class or 2 at another school would be helpful, or at least couldn't hurt. Who has tried this before and what have the results been? Also were you able to get a scholarship on tuition as a part-timer?

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When my son was twelve, it was suggested by his ballet teacher that he supplement his weekly classes with an additional Sat class at another studio. She chose a particular studio/teacher who trained in a similar manner and who she had a great respect for. This worked out well, perhaps because it was initiated and planned by his teacher.


At fourteen, my son studied dance at three different places. While each place was respectful of this involvement, both with my child and with the other studios, it was difficult because of some occasional rehearsal and performance conflicts. I have to say the directors were very patient and cooperative with one another, which was very generous. The real problem was that on some days he had multiple technique classes, not good for a major growth spurt year (we just didn't know this). For example, at school he had dance classes all afternoon; then he would move onto a studio in the late afternoon or evening and have a second technique class, partnering, men's class, or rehearsal. My advice is first, to be careful of possible overuse problems, and secondly, to make sure all parties are OK with the plan. Talk this over with his teacher.

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We opted to have our DS take technique at a lower level. He dropped modern in order to do this (he was more than happy to drop modern anyway.) That way he was able to move up to technique 5 or 6 days a week instead of the 4 that were scheduled.

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We've had to work to come up with ways to get classes as well. We've tried two technique classes back to back at one studio, one at the correct level and one below, as well as going to another studio to get classes at the correct level. Right now, neither boy has can take appropriate level classes back-to-back at our regular studio, so we've had to go the other route. Also, the other studio offers a male teacher, which I thought might be necessary, but now I'm not sure of that at all...that's another topic entirely.


Regarding going to another studio for additional classes: I think each studio has tried to remain respectful, but there's been some hard feelings as well, though none has rebounded on my boys. Going to more than one studio is definitely difficult for us because of constantly changing schedules to keep track of, as well as rehearsal and other conflicts. The directors of these studios don't communicate with each other at all, probably more a function of distance and a lack of interest in communicating with each other than anything else.


And yes, it's wise to be aware that multiple technique classes can be disastrous during a growth spurt periods; my oldest was literally out for a solid year, and still is struggling with constant overuse injuries. And no, we didn't know this either.


I'm not sure about talking everything over with the teachers, because my experience has been that there's always a bit of defensiveness and disappointment that the teacher can't be everything a student needs. On the other hand, not being open is probably a bad idea too. Let's just say that I'm not the most popular person. But it hasn't affected my boys, so it's okay with me.


I highly recommend having your boy take technique at a lower level at the same school if it's possible. I think it's an excellent way to improve technique, as well as stamina. There's nothing like working slowly and carefully to build strength.

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:blushing: Hi Dancetaxi2 - my DS has had no experience at two schools, but has gone through a knee injury during his growth spurt period at 12. Too many classes will contribute to over-use injuries, especially when they are still growing. Back to back tech classes is alot to ask of a small pre-teen fellow. Up to the age of 13, my DS only took 4 hrs ballet per week, plus other dance forms.


How old is your son? Is he happy at his current school? Is there another school that offers more ballet classes? Does your son want more ballet classes? If there are still only 3-4 hrs per week even at higher levels, you may want to search out other ballet schools in your area.

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In my opinion, making sure that he's getting good, consistant training is very important. Perhaps finish out the year where he is, and then search out a school that can handle the rest of his training from then on. If it's a large enough school, there very well may be financial assistance &/or scholarships available. :jump:

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My son started dancing at age eight. I thought this was just going to be a "phase" and that at any moment he would want to become a veternarian or a plastic surgeon. I never danced myself. I had no idea that there were scholarships. I paid for everything and did exactly as told. I was rarely in the studio, preferring to drop my son off at the corner! He took two "technique" classes, I guess. Let's just say, had I known better (or anything) I might have questioned the quality of this studio. He was also told to take a half-hour private lesson each week with the Artistic Director of the company. The school is associated with a "professional" company. Then, this man needed a double hip replacement. He stopped teaching for many months without suggesting anyone to "cover" his regular students. It was summertime, most of the teachers were company members. They were gone. So, I thought nothing of having my son continue his private lesson per week with another teacher at another studio. (I did tell the first school about this!) He continued taking classes at the first school. This continued in the autumn. Let's just say that things got really, really bad. My son was punched in the stomach on two different occasions by other young, male dancers that thought he was "betraying" the school. We moved to the other school. This school, too, has a "professional" company. At age ten, my son auditioned for one of the name summer intensives, only one. I'd never heard of a summer intensive. My son ripped the notice out of a Dance Magazine at the studio. (We started subscribing soon afterwards.) The new teacher thought he wouldn't get in. When he did, the new teacher literally screamed and yelled at me. He had to come out to the parking lot to do this because I'd learned not to enter a ballet studio long beforehand. I couldn't believe all this "high drama" over a little boy! My son turned eleven before the summer program started. He absolutely LOVED it. He was asked to stay for the year round program. I said no. That autumn, I was told that it would take several private lessons and many, many classes to correct all the things improperly taught at the summer intensive. I was up to $1000 per month in fees. By January, I couldn't take all the stress and negativity I was getting even though my son swore he'd "die" without ballet. I sent a fax to the school withdrawing him and called another studio. This studio was not connected to a company. Amazingly, they didn't charge me anything for technique classes and actually called them "technique" classes. There wasn't any times or instructors available for private lessons. Other studios were even suggested for this! I almost fainted. For a half a year, my son (now riding his bicycle as I refused to drive anywhere near a dance studio) went to THREE different places. I only paid for private lessons and not even all of them! So, my experience with multiple studios is this: If it works, it works well. If it doesn't BEWARE! It will be nasty. By the summer, my son was back in the summer intensive and has been in the year round program ever since. He grew six inches the first school year. He had no injuries and I think it was because the program saw him all day, every day and knew exactly how to handle it.


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My son added a second school last year because school #1 only offered classes 3 times a week. (only ballet). Both schools knew of each other and had no problem with it. School #2 knew they were only going to be a temporary situation as they were helping him with an audition to the school he is currently attending. All 3 schools mentioned had/have no scholarships (or at least none were offered and I never asked since the classes seem rather inexpensive here as compared to the States).


I think if you can't get exactly what you need from one school, then adding a second one is definitely needed. Sometimes attending the ideal school just is not an option for reasons such as cost or geography.

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My 11 yr. old DS attends two different schools. One school is at a slightly lower level than the other. So far, the scheduling has worked out fine, but it may not in the future.


DS loves class at both schools. At one school, he has a male teacher and a few other boys in class with him; at the other a female teacher and no other boys at the studio. He says he doesn't want to part with either of the schools, at this point.


He is dancing a lot, but none of us (parents, teachers, DS) think its too much for him right now. I think if all his classes were really challenging, or if he was dancing at a more advanced level, it would be a different story and I would be very concerned about about injuries.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest arabento

My 11 y.o DS also attends two different schools. Like Tuesday, so far the scheduling has worked out. Now that we are coming to the Spring recital phase things are starting to get tricky though. His first school is an all boys class of 4 boys and male teacher, they are working with the girls for the recital, so the director wants them to come an extra day a week. Unfortunately it is a day when he has class at the other studio. The second studio he is in a class of 4-5 girls, female teacher and one other boy. He likes both studios and as long as the schedules are compatible I am not going to make him choose one. I have told both of the directors that because of other classes he is not available on extra days, unless for some reason one studio or the other has cancelled classes. So far it has worked and I am hopeful that it will continue to work. Fortunately one schools' show is in May and the other in June, so after May we won't have anymore conflicts.

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