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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Classes before the SI


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My DD classes end 2 weeks before her SI starts, should we find drop-in classes to fill in the gap or take a rest before the SI? Would just like some other opinions. Thanks!!

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What does your daughter think? Last year my DD took about a week to 10 days off, and then took class for the 4 days preceding the SI. She had no class the day we traveled and registered, but then had placement class the next morning. She felt it was a successful approach, as she didn't feel so out of shape as she did the first couple of days back from the break.

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DD will only have a one week break between classes and the SI. Her teacher was very addiment that this be a quality very restfull break as her body is young and growing and needs the rest. My dd goes to the same school year round. There is a one week break between classes and the SI. The first week of the SI is an optional one week program. Her teacher asked if she was going to take that and finish the last week of year round classes. Boarding students usually are gone the last week of classes because the dorm closes. This gives them a two week break if they take the extra week program or three if they don't. DDs teacher feels it's important to get a break between. The length of time depends on the kind of break. The plan during that week is for her to lay on the couch and drink milk shakes to bulk up. If your looking at a more active break (going camping, swimming trip to the beach ect.) I'd allow more time off. The mental break and break in routine is important but resting the body is vital if they're going from one intense program to another. It's hard to say how much of a break your dk will need. It all depends on the schedual and program they're finishing (dd is homeschooled so her day routine is less intense than others), the program they're going to, if they have a minor injury, their general condition (does dk seem tired?) and the kind of break they're going to have. Typically I think a break is two or three weeks. Depending on the dk I would just leave the discision to them. Some won't stop dancing for anything and parents need to step in so they'll stay safe strong.

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I think that your dancer would have some idea about what a 2 week break would do for her body and how it might affect her ability to dance immediately afterwards. I know that mine would not fathom taking a 2 week break preceding an SI. My daughter just took her last technique class yesterday and this whole week has been very light. Next week she will not be dancing during final exams. She has told me that she will find time to give herself some classes during that week as none are available at her residency school. She is not happy about her circumstance, but has little choice. When she comes home she will have had another week off before her SI. She plans to take some open classes during that time. As an older teen, she has figured out what she needs to do to be ready to dive into her SI after a 2 to 3 week layoff. I frequently hear teachers telling students that they need to take time off. As logical as it sounds, for mine a whole week or 2 weeks without one dance class doesn't feel right to her. If she were to take a week off and then have the pressure of taking a placement class the first day of her SI, she would not feel very confident, nor would she have an optimal class. To make things even worse, she would be very sore the next 2 or 3 days. For my daughter, taking a rest means lightening up her load but still dancing a few times a week. She has taken 3 or 4 days off consecutively, but would not elect to take a whole week off without paying a consequence.

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When my daughter has had a break with no classes available, she and a couple of girlfriends have asked one of their teachers to do a series of semi-private lessons with them. If none are in town, one year they asked company dancers (who are always looking for funds). The cost was not too high, with 3-4 girls splitting the cost. They have done 3-4 classes each week, usually just one hour long due to the small class size and the ability to move through the class quickly.


I think most would say that a break of about a week is good, after that, they need to have at least 3 classes a week to get their bodies into good shape to arrive at their SI ready for placement class the first day, casting (which often is done after just one or two days of class), etc. The older the dancer gets, the less time they can take off without noticing negative results. :dry:

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Mine has 4 weeks off before her SI with no classes available :dry: ! I wonder what will happen?

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We have a 2 1/2 hour class in place, five days a week for the two weeks prior to our SI's. It's a bit of a cut back, especially when you consider rehearsals as well but hopefully it will be enough. Some of our schools dancers will be vacationing for at least that amount of time and they don't seem concerned at all. For us, that just wouldn't work. We need the classes. I think each somewhat mature dancer can decide what is right for them. Teachers often know our children very well and I know ours have their best interest at heart. Therefor we have our classes set and we won't miss. I honestly think it's a case of different strokes for different folks.

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Although my DD is not going to an SI she will be taking classes at her school. What I find about her lightended schedule, which will probably get worse when classes end, is she is so annoying. DD's body and mind are so used to the schedule that she is up much later at night, up earlier in the morning but somehow at a loss for what to do with herself. She had 3 more days of regular classes and then switched to a much less intense summer dance schedule. I am not sure I will survive.

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For the past several years, DD has taken a week to ten days off after spring performance, which is how long the studio goes on break after the school year/before summer classes resume, and then done a five day week or two at the home "intensive", which is busy, but not too intense. She then has a weekend off before the (away) intensive begins. That way she gets a good rest, and I mean REST, home, on the coach, sewing and drawing and yakking with friends and watching T.V., and then several classes a day in a familiar environment to get her back in shape before the SI experience. She's never gotten injured (cross my fingers on that one) and she think's it's because she's in shape when she goes away, but not worn down or exhausted.

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my dd has only one week between the end of her regular program and her SI, and I am taking her on a trip, whether it's wise or not. She hasn't spent time with her grandmother in forever, and I need a break to see some old friends who live far away, so we are just going! There will be a little opportunity to take some open classes where we are going, but we're just going to wing it and hope for the best. The director of the summer program told her she needed some rest during the summer, so I am taking him at his word...

Hope this isn't just foolish, as the placement is the first day...

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