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how much is too much?


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My 12 yo would like to pick up extra classes, but I'm wondering how much is too much. Her teacher told us the more time in the studio the better, but hmmm. Our school did not move any of the intermediate/advanced students up this year, but did move some beginning students up, including a handful into her level. As a result, she and a few friends are at the top of her class and she's not feeling especially challenged. Some days she doesn't even break a sweat in class which is very unusual for her.


Here's her schedule:

Mon: 90 min technique, 30 min Nutcracker rehearsal

Wed: 90 min technique, 30 min pointe with beginning students

Thurs: 90 min technique, 30 min pointe with beginning students

Fri: 90 min technique, 60 min charcter


She's going to a satellite studio on Tues to pick up another 90 min + 30 min pointe with a great teacher who has only 5 students. All of those girls are repeating this level, so the class is taught at a higher level and she feels like it is sort of a semi-private. Now she wants to attend two extra 90 min classes, one before her Wed class and one on Sat with her primary teacher who is giving her a lot of attention with turnout and alignment right now. She would do the barre on flat and the center en pointe. One class is one level below her, and the other is two levels below.


I think the slow practice would be good for her, and she wants to work in pointe shoes to strengthen her feet, but I'm wondering about burnout and overuse. On the other hand, she needs tons of work in flexibility and pelvic alignment, and more studio work just might help that. I'm not in a position to pay for privates or yoga/pilates right now, and all these extra classes are free. I'd love to hear some second opinions and thoughts from other parents.

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Laura, I would be careful about adding too much for this age child. She will be growing a lot for a while, and I would worry about overuse injury. I think the 5 days a week, with the Tuesday class at the satellite school is okay, but I would not add the extra classes on Wed. and Sat. Especially not the Wed. I don't want them doing two technique classes at that stage of their development.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you, Ms. Leigh. As the real schedule of life set in, she regulated herself, and realized dancing 6 days wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Plus she was called in to understudy a second Nutcracker part and has to attend those rehearsals, and her bruised toenail just fell off, then she stubbed it really bad at a theme park two days later. Looks like the natural course of things works itself out sometimes! ;)

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