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boys classe


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My son is a 10- year old ballet dancer and this year he went away for the first time to a Summer Intensive Program. The program included every day boys classes which were new to him, since the regular school he attends, doesn't provide boys classes for that particular age group. He found out that he was quite behind compare to the other boys (10-14 years old) who do attend boys classes and did already a lot of jumps and pirouettes etc.and learned new tricks from their male teachers to get them more perfect. Do I have to worry about this, do I have to look for a school that is offering boys classes or will he be fine once he will enter men classes,when he's about 15 or 16? He has been dancing for 5 years and the girls in his class are already on pointe.



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Having boys' class is not essential, but nice to have, but as soon as the girls go to pointe, then the boys should be given their own separate things to work on. Men's class should occur at the same time that the girls start having their own dedicated pointe classes.

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Zampa- Where are you located in Massachusetts? Boston Ballet has dedicated boys classes for nine and ten year olds at their Newtown studio. I don't know how advanced they are, but you could ask.

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Hi Zampa,


My son is 11 and is also without boys classes at his studio. He hasn't yet gone away to a summer program, so we don't really know if he is behind other boys or not technique wise. He does single tours (but is trying to get those doubles) and single and double pirouettes, but that is about it right now for his boy technique.


As a reference point, he is starting the intermediate level at his ballet studio this September--the girls in his class will be starting their second year on pointe.


My son will be focusing on his flexibility a lot this year, and will be going to an extra pilates class. Since we don't have boys classes (or any other boys his age at our studio), we take a private lesson once a week. Sometimes this has been with a male teacher, but other lessons are with a woman who is the most experienced and confident teacher at our studio. Another thing we did over the summer that seemed worthwhile for his jumping and general coordination were tumbling classes. My son also has his own set of exercises (push ups, abs exercises) that he does before classes.


I really feel for you because we are in the same spot, though you might be closer to studios that have great training for boys.


Best wishes to you and your dancing son,



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Thank you for your replies. Boston Ballet does provide different boys classes, but only for boys 4-11 who are in the basic levels. As soon as you move up to the Intermediate levels there are no boys classes anymore for at least 2 years. After that you will join men classes. So I am really worried about the years in between, because at this age his body is also changing a lot and he's full of energy and very fanatic. He's doing push ups and Abs at home every night and tries to do as many pirouettes, jumps etc. as possible, but I have no idea if he's doing it in the right way. When you're the only boy in class you're just hanging at the barre when 19 girls are doing their pointe work.....


Thanks, Zampa

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At my son's school, the lower levels do not have a dedicated boys class. The boys are taught to dance like a man and the girls taught to dance like a woman. There is no danger in our boys becoming "flowery". The class is divided boys/girls upon center work. When boys are dancing, girls are resting and vice versa. My son feels this works well for everyone involved. Everyone is given equal amount of dance time.


Just find a good school that has some boys in the classes. My son found out how important that was 2 years ago. I have found that sometimes, a kid can do 2 pirouettes, but are they actually doing clean correct pirouettes? My son thought he was at age 12, but later found out he was only doing "turns". At age 13, he joined a pre pro school which concentrates on slow, but correct training. They pay attention to every detail. He is in class with other boys his age/dancing ability. They did not even start jumps and pirouettes until halfway through the school year. This school may not have a class of 10 year olds doing triple pirouettes, but those 10 year olds are doing what they do correctly. I think that is most important with training. Otherwise, you waste so many years thinking you are doing a fine job, only to discover you have to start all over from position 1.


Remember, when it comes to that boys class you mentioned, there is a HUGE difference between the body of a 10 year old and a 14 year old. I would hate to think my son might have had to compare himself at age 10 with the ability of a 14 year old if they were just placed in the same class because it was a boys class rather than a class based on ability.

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knock-knock... :innocent:


Remember, when it comes to that boys class you mentioned, there is a HUGE difference between the body of a 10 year old and a 14 year old. I would hate to think my son might have had to compare himself at age 10 with the ability of a 14 year old if they were just placed in the same class because it was a boys class rather than a class based on ability.


I just could not resist throwing in my support of Gremlin's observations and knowledge of professional level training. Bravo Gremlin! La vita bella in Italia!

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A boy student of mine did the Royal Ballet School summer school for the first time when he was 13. The senior summer school was at the time age 13 to 16. There were three classes of girls, so it was easy to divide them up correctly. There was only one boys' class and there were only two or three younger boys - the majority were 15 and 16 and very advanced. My poor student was highly challenged by the level, but the teachers were wonderful and took his age and level into account all the time. He left there with a very positive attitude and totally changed in his work ethics. However, this worked because the teachers were so sensitive to his abilities ( or lack of them!). The interesting thing was that the following year they changed the age limits, so that 13 and 14 year olds were placed together for the two weeks and the senior summer school became 15 to 18. I always wondered if my student's struggles prompted that change.


What I'm trying to say is that you need really sensitive and experienced teachers to cope with such a wide range of age and abilities, when the boys are slung in together into one class. I think, therefore, that all parents of younger boys, however keen they are to have their sons dance with other boys, should check if the child can realistically cope with the challenges of the SI's that have one general boys' group. It might be better for him to be in a class of his own age and level even if it's mainly girls, than have him lumped in with much older and stronger boys. All in good time............

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:grinning: I would like to add that my DS was in a mixed class up to age 12/13 - it was perfectly fine and he learned the RAD curriculum for boys while girls did pointe. However, once he left home to study at residential ballet school, for the first year he was still in a mixed class and second year moved up to Jrs. Mens' - he needed that year of concentration on technique. It was the BEST thing for his training at that time. And, I must say that now that he is older, he still takes ballet technique class from a female teacher (wonderful) and boys' class/pas de deux from a male teacher...it all evens out in the end. And, at his current school boys' classes are based on ability not age.


And I would like to echo Gremlin's thoughts that yes, the 10-12 year olds may think that they are doing double/triple pirouettes, tours etc. just fine, but it wasn't until my DS was a few years older that the technique really takes hold and that "ah-ha" factor really kicks in. In fact, this summer at his SI in Italy he worked and worked on double tours - starting and ending in fifth - so now at 16, he is finally starting to feel completely confident of double tours done correctly and with consistency.

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