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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Intensives, Workshops, Pre-Pro, Regular Classes


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The more I read on this forum, the more I feel like I am totally clueless. For instance, I didn't even know there was a difference between an intensive and a regular summer workshop or camp until very recently. I was hoping someone could explain the difference and why a DD should pick one versus the other. I also am unsure of which schools qualify as a pre-pro schools for during the year. At our school, the teachers do not run a recreational program, but a classical ballet program. My DD is 11, takes ballet three times a week, for 1.5 hours each time plus a half hour of pre-pointe. Next year, the time in class would increase just slightly with the addition of regular pointe work and if she makes the youth ballet, the time spent in class would increase significantly. Is that enough for a DD who does hope to someday be a professional dancer, or should I be working three jobs in order to send her to a residential program like Walnut Hill? Is that was is meant by pre-pro? I feel like the job applicant who doesn't know to what to wear to the interview! :)

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In terms of learning to muddle through the terminology here. It's important to note the goals of each of the types of programs you've outlined.


A Ballet Based Summer Intensive would most likely be run the a professional ballet company sometimes with a professional school attached and sometimes not. The goal of the summer is immersion into a high level of ballet training as it's main focus. Any outside activities are generally done to keep the kids busy and to give them a bit of down time but they are minimal and not the focus of the program. Workshop can be used interchangeably in some instances and may or may not have a different meaning. It is important to note though that many smaller schools do call their programs workshops instead of intensives.


For our purposes here, those that call themselves camp generally are not total immersion in strong ballet as it's primary focus. In general terms, most camps focus on fun, frolic, camp-ing, etc. There are some Ballet camps that are held in a traditional camp environment where you still do all the other things: swimming, crafts, hiking, etc. Ballet and other activities generally are equal in the day's schedule.


For the majority of our members, they are here to review and research the Ballet Intensives because of their childs interest in ballet as their main focus. We have many threads here about dance schedules and what constitutes the differences between a pre-pro school and a regular dance school. Again, focus and intent are key to those definitions with the vast majority of pre-pro schools aiming to provide instruction that should a graduate want a career in ballet, they have been trained sufficiently enough to have a decent shot at it. That is different from a school that offers ballet that may or may not produce dancers ready to try for jobs at graduation time. Most schools affiliated with professional comanies will be pre-pro schools, but there are also some small non-attached schools that do as good a job also. Whether you need to look at residency schools or not greatly depends on the training available in your area and how your family sees that option. Many of our members do look at residency programs and others do not consider that a viable option for their family.


Here is a link to start your help: What constitutes a pre-pro school?

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Momof3Darlings, thank you for your reply. I will continue to search on this site for information regarding pre-pro programs per your suggestion.

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checkwriter-you were replying as I was going back to add you a link. I hope you can come back to follow the link.

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