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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"intensive" or break from regular schedule


napnap

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DD was accepted on scholarship to a major ballet school for the summer. However, the hours she will be dancing will be less than the hours she is dancing now. I look forward to this opportunity for her as a nice break and a time to learn a new form of ballet. However, other parents who seem to be in the know tell me I am making a huge misstake. I have been told I should send her to this school when she is done being properly trained. Any advice on this dilemma??? Thanks!

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You might try reading through the thread for the SI she has been invited to as typically this kinds of issues have come up in previous years. Not sure in the specific case, but that is where I wuld start.

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Operative words here are "in the know." How do YOU know that they are really in the know? Only you can evaluate the training for your child, and after adding some more research, as calamitous suggested, you should be able to make a good determination of how this training will benefit your daughter.

If I had "listened" to others' opinions on my daughter's training, I'm pretty sure, in retrospect, that things wouldn't have gone as they did for her. Weigh the pros and cons, and you should be able to figure this out for yourself.

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The number of classes/hours in an intensive's schedule can vary quite a bit from program to program. It is the intensity of these hours that count. More isn't always better. It is also possible that these other parents are jealous of the opportunity your child has been given. If you do your research as has been suggested, you and your dd will be at peace with your decision, whatever it turns out to be.

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I have read through all threads and am pretty confident that this is the right choice for my DD this year. The threads indicate that the quality of the number of hours is really intense at this SI. I think you hit it on the head when you suggest the intent of others' remarks may be jealousy. Also, everyone in my corner of the world seems to HATE the style of ballet that is being studied at this SI and describe it as ugly and argue that it will ruin her. I guess I will have to see for myself and my daughter will ultimately make the decision as to what style of ballet is for her.

 

Has anyone heard of a 13-14 year old being "ruined" because she went away to an SI whose style is different than the one she is currently learning?

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Well, maybe not "ruined", but I have had a few who were messed up badly enough to take a long time to fix. This is rare, but it has happened.

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I'm scared now. Am I doing the right thing? This is a very prestigious school where people are stressing about getting in or not. I shouldn't be feeling uneasy about my daughter going here. Some say it's the best training in the US; some say it's not what it used to be.....???? Any ideas on how to make myself more secure in our decision? What a gamble of a summer!

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I've spent days researching, investigating, angsting over what is right for my child. I believe a person who wants to be a professional performer needs to be able to adapt to different styles - both within ballet and into other dance disciplines. We heard similar concerns when my daughter was younger (she's 16 now). I'd ask myself, and more importantly her teachers, if her technique is stable enough that she can adapt quickly during the summer and when she returns home for fall.

 

Three years ago, our teachers said 'no, she's not ready for that yet'. Last year, they had no concerns - it was a great experience for her to really experience the differences between her home style and the one at her intensive.

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napnap, I think this is a situation where you need to really listen to your child's teacher. Do what puzzler said and ask if she is ready to handle this or not, and also ask the teacher why she is against the child going to this SI. I have had a few students who are so well suited for that style, and it is what they really want, so, they go. Do I disagree with it? Yes, but, in some cases it's probably right for them if they have a realistic chance with that company or that style company. I just do my best to keep them classically trained and working clean the rest of the year.

 

Ask the teacher, in addition to what puzzler and I said above, if your child has realistic potential for working with that program and ultimately that company. It's possible that she does, however, her teacher really might feel that she is, at 13-14, not technically secure enough to be ready for this program.

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Thanks so much puzzler and Victoria for your very apt responses. I have spoken with her teachers, and they would like her to stay home with them. They also think that spending five weeks at this SI will not be a problem for her. I also speak regularly with a former SAB student and NYCB career-long dancer. They couldn't be at more opposite ends of the spectrum on what's best for my daughter. I guess the only answer for us is to take the plunge into the unknown and figure out for herself/ourselves if this would be a fit. And pray.

 

Thanks again for you input. Any ideas out there are always welcome......

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napnap, I think this is a situation where you need to really listen to your child's teacher. Do what puzzler said and ask if she is ready to handle this or not, and also ask the teacher why she is against the child going to this SI. I have had a few students who are so well suited for that style, and it is what they really want, so, they go. Do I disagree with the it? Yes, but, in some cases it's probably right for them if they have a realistic chance with that company or that style company. I just do my best to keep them classically trained and working clean the rest of the year.

 

Ask the teacher, in addition to what puzzler and I said above, if your child has realistic potential for working with that program and ultimately that company. It's possible that she does, however, her teacher really might feel that she is, at 13-14, not technically secure enough to be ready for this program.

 

How do i know if my child is suited for this style????? How will I know if she has a realistic chance with that company?

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I hope it's okay if I reply here (daughter is not quite 13). If not, I apologize. Napnap, what does your daughter want to do? Did she love the SI's audition, such that she came out saying that she really wanted to train in the SI's style? Or does she strongly prefer the style in which she is training now? I would ask her to really reflect on her audition experience -- was she excited and energized by the audition class, or not so much? It's tough to put aside the prestige of certain schools, but if she can do that and really think about what her gut reaction was to the audition class, I think it may help her sort out where she wants to be this summer. Good luck to her! ~boxwoodgirl

Edited by boxwoodgirl
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napnap-

A 13-14 yr. old dancer is not being considered for the company, period, no matter where she is attending.

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IF she is suited for the style physically, her teacher will know. If she is suited for it mentally and emotionally, well, I don't think there is really a way to know that yet. So, I suppose if she is suited physically, then the only way to know is to try it and see. However, if her teacher does not think that she is, and does not want her to go yet, I would listen. If you are putting your time, money, energy, and trust in her teacher, or teachers, then I think it is best to listen to them. If the trust is not there...well, that's another ball game.

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Napnap, I see fantastic advice already from Ms. Leigh and Clara.

 

I can tell you what I did to help my DD (and me) decide. For each program, I read, read, read the board. I took the information from each program and put them side by side (yes, I created a spreadsheet). I listed things like # weeks, # of classes, whether there was rehearsal, or performance, whether there was partnering, # of students in class, etc. For the most part, the styles were close enough this year that I didn't list that but you could certainly add that were you to make a similar list. For the most part they were all about the same price so I didn't take that into too serious consideration.

 

Although I ultimately left it up my DD, I think I did steer her in the direction of one. I was most interested in the number of classes and number of students in class. There was one that only offered 3-4 classes and a long bus ride from dorm to studio with 35+ students. Since this was about the same price as the others, to me, it wasn't the logical choice.

 

DD (age 13) ended up choosing the SI with 4 classes/day (plus rehearsal), which also happend to be the one that had a smaller class size and more individual attention (the other choice was a 3 letter SI and had class sizes of 35-40). So, she chose exactly the thing that would benefit her dancing the most, not pad her potential CV.

 

Good Luck!

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