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Under 13 Parents-- Mid-term updates

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Guest pink tights

Now that the academic and dance year is well under way, I though it would be nice if the parents of under 13's shared how the year is going for our DK's and their families....I'll start:


DD's 3 classes a week schedule has turned into a 6 day affair. Everyday, it's rush home from school, change, and head to ballet! She has picked up an extra technique class, in addition to Nut rehearsals, twice a week (with barre before rehearsal begins). She loves being in the Waltz of the flowers and is enjoying her second year in the battle scene. DD just turned 11, so naturally pointe is on her mind.... She's has pre-pointe class 3 x's per week--constantly working her feet. Also she's very focused on her turnout and alignment. Academic school is great--about 1.5 hours of homework per day + projects. Sometimes she's up pretty late working on school work, but she doesn't complain--unless she is exhausted. She knows she has to keep up her grades is she wishes to continue ballet. I think she's making all A's! Piano is still a big part of her life--I think music is so important for dancers. She manages to squeeze in a little practice in the morning before school and on the weekends, she spends about an hour at the piano on Sat and Sun.


I'm fairly frazzled in the afternoons--running back and forth to the studio. My husband is starting to grumble about the weekends being monopolized by Nut rehearsals (they rehearse on Sundays too!). I'm still trying to cook healthy meals--Dd is always starving when she gets home from ballet. Must be a growth spurt! I think I need a new crock-pot and some new recipes. We need to swap recipes!!


It's hard to balance it all, but we seem to manage, don't we?

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We do manage somehow - and husbands adapt...well most do even if it is kicking and screaming!


We are on a 6 day/week schedule from afterschool till 9:30pm - technique every day, pointe every day, gyro once per week and variations, and stretch . I don't count nutcracker rehearsals, or any rehearsals for that matter.


We are very fortunate to have an academic school with very accomodating teachers. They assist with keeping my daughter up to date on homework, allow her to use phys ed time for projects etc if she needs the extra time, making all assignments due on a monday and so far the year has been very smooth.


I did have a bit of a heartattack in the beginning as we were placed in a class with a pregnant teacher (academically) - no offense to pregnant teachers out there!



When asked what I do for fun...my answer is "drive"!


..though I knew I was close to losing my mind when I dropped my daughter off at school on Friday...when there was no school. Promply had to drive and pick her up again!

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You may have read about my auto accident. So many people are pitching in with driving my dks, plus they've been walking, biking or skatboarding to class (we're only 2 miles from ballet). Everyday I ask dd how are you getting to ballet this afternoon? DD is over 13 so I'll leave her out of this discussion.


DS2 (age8) got demoted a level. He was in level 1 and 2 but his teachers felt he needed to mature some more. So he's just in level 1. I agree. Level 2 Vaganova is too much for a ADHD 8 yo boy. Even though once he's focused his technigue is pretty good for a little guy, once he's focused. He's too busy trying to be the "Star Dansuer" to pay attention to what the teacher wants him to do. He's the Captain of the soldiers in Nut and the "pushy boy". He pushes a girl down in the party scene (not Marie/Clara). I think that one was type cast. He's also struggling with school. "Won't sit still. Distracts other students. Doesn't complete classwork. Talks during class. blah blah blah" Oh well, he's a busy little boy.


DS1 (almost 12) got promoted a level to Level 2. The the teacher says "He is a smart boy." (Imagine male Russian accent.) He is also taking the Men's Basic class and helping with the stage crew. He's rehearsing Fritz. We don't know if he'll get it though. Even if he doesn't it's quite a compliment since he's only been taking class for 4 months. Accademic school is going better than last year. He's more focused in class and better organized. After going back to homeschool last spring, he's now more motivated to be in public school. He really missed the other students. One of his teachers commented "you've matured some over the summer." I'm not exactly pleased that this backhanded compliment was in front of the entire class, however he's going to need to learn to deal with different types of people. I can't come to his defence everytime and I certainly can't homeschool him.


So considering I can't walk or drive, they are doing pretty good. They are learning to take more personal initiative in finding their ballet gear, school books and clothes since mom can't go upstairs and look for them. It looks like it's going to be a good year.

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Hooray for your self-reliant boys, vicarious!



OOPS! Edited because I forgot I was in an under 13 thread!

Never mind me...just a bit dotty from driving, too!

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Some of you may recall that I was fretting a bit before the school year started regarding dd's (10 y.o.) dance schedule: there were not enough hours available for her age/level at her school. Dd did end up asking her teacher, who is also the owner/director, if she could take an extra class. Her teacher was so pleased that dd wanted to take more ballet! She had dd stay in her age-level classes (where she's also the oldest now), which are two one hour classes per week. She also had her add a one hour per week Teen/Adult class which is faster paced, and apparently, exactly at the level my dd is currently dancing.


This arrangement has worked well so far, but it looks like it may change again! Dd's teacher just left on a short maternity leave, but asked dd to take barre with the 12-15 y.o. once per week while she's gone. She also mentioned something about thinking about dd specifically, and wanting her to audition for particular intensives in the not too distant future, so my head is swimming a bit. I've decided to interpret that information as a complement to dd's hard work these past few months, and as a nod to her improvement. It also answers a question I had earlier: Do the teachers see enough potential in dd to warrant extra classes at her age?, etc. So that feels good to me. I'd let her take as much dance as she wants to/we can afford anyway, but it's nice to know that her teacher sees potental in her as well.


Academics are going very well. I don't want to explain too much about our current situation, because even though I was short-sighted enough to use my name as my user name, I'd like to try to keep some anonymity for my children. Our situation has involved a neighbor and I spearheading neighborhood meetings, meetings with the Board of Supervisors, lawyers, politicians, letter writing campaigns, etc. I've been interviewed by several newspapers, and been quoted in them (sparking numerous phone calls of the OMG! type), and I've been on the T.V. news in our local area, as well as a major metropolitan area. It's been crazy!!! And there' a lot more to come. Meanwhile, we're having a major remodel done on a house we'll be moving into, hopefully before Thanksgiving, and I'm contracting the remodel myself! Oh, and we homeschool... My kids are in a public school program, and go to classes 6 - 10 hours a week, but we're responsible for all the core academics at home.


I'm so proud of my dd, because she's really stepped up to the plate, and become quite the responsible, independent student this year. I'm loving 10 years old! I'm remembering it was a great age for my son as well. I'm proud of myself, I guess, too, because through it all, I've gotten my kids to every class, and every activity they participate in.


I'm so glad we skipped Nut again this year - little did I know :party: - and I'm hoping our neighborhood crisis will be resolved soon, and life will go back to its normal level of hectic. :unsure: (Not to be interpreted as smiling about our neighborhood situation. Here's the appropriate emoticon for that: :wub: ).

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DS is 11 and is pretty busy this year. He joined the youth ballet, which means he has been in weekly rep rehearsals and soon will have youth ballet Nut rehearsals. He is also part of another children's company that rehearses once a week. This weekend he will audition for the company Nut.


He takes three intermediate tech classes/week, one private, one pilates, one jazz, and one tap class each week in addition to whatever rehearsals are on the schedule. We are at the studio every day but Sunday! At home he has been diligently stretching each night and he's noticing some results.


Things are going well in ballet class--I think the private lessons and the pilates are really broadening his understanding of ballet technique and increasing his body awareness. His private lessons consist of a very slow barre and a little bit of center work. He says they are very challenging, but he really likes them.


I think his involvement with the performing groups is a just a bit too much for all of us, so next year I am hoping he will choose either the youth ballet or the other group.


Academic school is going great. He attends a montessori school and doesn't have too much homework as homework is something that they feel takes away from family time. He just has weekly reading assignments and occasional research projects throughout the year. He will also have some sort of community service project in the spring, which will be great.

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Things here are going well. DD takes her two classes a week, and she starts a once a week, one hour (max) rehearsal for Nutcracker this week. School is great, and she loves it. All in all there are no complaints here! :D

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DD is doing great, class 2x a week, and Nut rehersals on Saturday afternoons, academics are fine, she gets pulled out for reading and math - she is way above grade level, plus I think it gives her teacher a break LOL. She is in the school play as well with practices 2x a week for that, and is annoyed she can't start piano lessons until January (I just don't have the time to drive anyone anywhere else right now). Non dancing sons are doing well although one gave us a major scare last week falling in the bathroom at school and rasing a half dollar sized goose egg on his head - all he was upset about missing his float ride in the homecoming parade and his football game on Saturday! Oldest is doing well at college, grades are way higher than anything he ever managed to do in high school! picked up throwing discus AND hammer in addition to the shot put - which is what he went to college on scholarship for. having not thrown discus since junior high he is throwing 120 feet - not sure if that is good or not LOL, and has thrilled his sister by promising to attend every nutcracker performance. :D can you tell who her idol is!

Edited by petnzoo
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In 2 months.....

My dd turned 11, left her old studios, joined a new studio, then missed both her old studios, and went back to them.

First, the teacher called her from the old ballet studio and dd couln't tell her no, so she started doing one class a week with her.

Then about a month later, she decided she missed her friends at her competition studio, so she is doing jazz and lyrical, yes lyrical!, one day a week. Thankfully she doesn't miss competing!!

She is loving the new studio with 4 days a week, plus 2 days of Nut rehearsals, and the drive is perfect to finish homework, play a game with Mom, take a nap, practice the violin, or just read. She has made lots of new friends which I think was my biggest fear with a shy dd.

Yes, that equals 8 days in a week!! Luckily gas prices are starting to drop!

I don't think I have cooked dinner in a month, and my sister who lives 2 streets away from us, actually misses me!!

DD also quit her last tumbling class and is looking into SIs for next summer. She has her heart set on RBS, thanks to the Royal Ballet Diary books. She got over not being chosen for the Sugar Plum Fairy quickly, so maybe we can find a closer SI!!

I think that's it!

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My DD is still little, so things aren't crazy yet. She's starting 3 ballet classes per week, plus violin, homework (~30 minutes/day), and an after-school computer class.


She wants to add swimming and soccer to her schedule, but after I showed her what her schedule looks like in a chart, she's backed down on those a bit. :D

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Things are moving pretty quickly for us here. DD and DS both doubled their dance schedule this year with her taking his one level up class, and him taking her one level down class. He is the prince and she is Clara in our Nut, so I am living up to my screen name with all the rehearsals! I don't know if it's the age, good teaching, or both, but there is a marked improvement in their dancing over the past few months. Times like this really motivate me to keep on driving and writing that check. (As opposed to those growth spurt phases...... :D )


Piano lessons had to be dropped temporarily :D but we're hoping to pick them back up in Janurary when things might slow down a little. DS is also working on his Eagle Scout project on top of everything.


Academically, this is the best year for us homeschooling in the sense that we are accomplishing much and the kids are getting the rest they need despite six days a week of dancing and getting home later. DH is being wonderful considering he arrives home home before us and has dinner alone (which I prepare around 2:00!) A plus, though, is that we can have mini date day while the kids are at dance all day on Saturday!


Really, this is a great thread. There's something carthartic about being able to share a glimpse of your daily life with people who are experiencing the same type of crazy schedule!

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I'm enjoying reading this thread, and this forum too. As the parent of a younger child who isn't doing ballet nearly as often as some other children, it gives me a glimpse into what life might look like should she continue on with it. (At this point, she gets irritated with the mere suggestion that there might come a time when she wants to stop ballet. :wink: ) I'm enjoying the slower pace for now (both with ballet and with school), because it seems like once things ramp up, they stay that way for quite a while!!

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Yes, JETandGES, the busyness can ramp up literally over night!


I forgot to add in my long-winded post above that dd is also taking two one hour jazz classes per week, for a total of 5 hours/week, possibly increasing to 6 when her main ballet teacher returns from maternity leave. Was that really me worrying about not enough hours not so long ago? :thumbsup:


Like your daughter, hippiechicken, my daughter isn't ready to let go of her old studio, and (darn it) she was able to fit in a jazz class there once per week. She also takes jazz at her ballet studio - thus the two classes per week. ,

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DD is doing great. Schedule is fine; 10- 12 hours tech/pointe not including rehearsals for two productions. (not much different than last year) I saw her in class recently and was impressed at her technique.


She studies hard and maintains strait A's.


She is healthy and happy...life is good.

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My 12yo takes class M-F (5 classes) and has Nut rehearsals on the weekends. She is also in the school musical coming up. I'll be glad when I don't have to juggle the two types of rehearsals--first of November!


My 10yo takes class M-Th (4 classes) and has Nut rehearsals on the weekends.


My 8yo takes class T-Th (2 classes) and has Nut rehearsals on the weekends.


In all, I'm at the studio every day. They love it though and I enjoy watching them.


Now that it is cooler (even in Alabama), I've picked my knitting back up. This year's project is leg warmers--at least I'm attempting them. I'm only knitting at the studio--but that is a lot of hours to knit. I'm almost finished with the first pair (started during class last Friday night). A teenager at the studio asked me tonight how much I charge for them. Gee, I've never thought about knitting for hire. :wacko: It's just something I do to relax me and kill the time. I told her to let me finish pairs for each of my daughters and then I'd see if I was still interested in making them. I might do it and just let her buy the yarn. I know that I can buy leg warmers more cheaply online or on ebay so it wouldn't worth her while for my inexpert, hobbyist knitting skills. If only I could figure out how to do stirrup ones. I'm not sure when or how to put the hole in. Does anyone know? It needs to be simple. I don't like patterns because having to count very much loses the relaxation factor for me. :o Oh, and I knit in the round as well as straight.

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