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Ballet Talk for Dancers

14 year old requirement


dascmom

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Thank you for the welcome Clara 76. Reading through these posts is like eating potato chips. It's so hard to stop. I'm glad I was able to contribute something back since I've been learning a lot through this message board. It's a God send.

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crazyforballet

Hate to be a stickler - but Clara can you clarify a couple of points?

 

- 1.5 hours of technique 5-6 days per week with pointe class following - how long should the pointe class be?

- should there be a combined jazz/modern or one jazz and one modern class per week?

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The length of the pointe class would correspond to the level of pointework. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2-1 hour would be normal.

 

Modern and Jazz classes should be separate as well. Typical time length for a Jazz or Modern class should be about the same as a technique class, with the advanced levels having at least a 1.5 hour class once per week.

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Guest coupe66
Clara 76 Your post is a succinct answer to a complex question! Full of wisdom and worth becoming a "sticky"!

 

 

I second that, and it was also full of realistic encouragement, too! Thank you, Clara76, for your words. Even to those of us who have been on this road for a bit now, your post was a welcome reminder about how satisfying the journey can be regardless of the final outcome and how important it is to maintain balance as a family. I just had a conversation about this very topic yesterday with a non-dancing mom who was very negative regarding the lifestyle of families who have a child in a pre-professional program (of ANY kind - music, sports, dance, whatever!), and I ended up walking away from the conversation feeling quite down. It was such an encouragement to find your post this morning. Thank you :)

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  • 1 month later...

"As she gets closer to job age"...what age would that be? I know it varies from person to person, but what age would it be for the average dancer?

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Victoria Leigh

In terms of the context of that quote, I usually think in terms of the last two years of SI programs before the dancer will be graduating from high school and looking for a place to train and work. If there is a program that has shown great interest, like a scholarship for instance, that might be a place think about. Or, a program she has attended where she felt she would like to dance. If that has not happened yet, hopefully it will happen before the SI following graduation, because at that time it would be good to attend a program where she hopes to stay.

 

So, starting in the sophmore, or at the latest, junior year, she needs to talk to her teachers and start making a list of the places that would be realistic for her and that she would like. But, audition for everything and keep all options open!

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Do you feel that the SIs that are not company-related , but may be prestigeous and have faculty who have associations or histories with a number of companies, can be as helpful to a dancer as he/she approaches graduation? Is it wise for them to return to a program like this because they like it and its faculty like them after sophomore year, or better to go somewhere with a more direct link to the actual company they want to dance for?

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And another question...

 

DD just turned 14 last May but is starting her sophomore year of high school. She'll be young 16 starting her senior year and barely 17 when she graduates. Wow. Do second companies pick up such young dancers?

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Victoria's post above is a very good one for those with children on the cusp of a performing career.

 

The term "2nd Company" can be interchanged with finishing/apprentice/trainee programs. Here is the description of Houston Ballet II:

"Houston Ballet II is Houston Ballet's second company and part of Houston Ballet Academy." &

"Houston Ballet II consists of students from the second company". &

"•To provide students the opportunity to dance leading roles in varied repertoire;

 

•To allow the dancers to develp technically and artistically by actual performance experience;

 

•To serve the greater Houston community by providing quality, professional performances."

 

Boston Ballet II:

"Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting lecture-demonstrations and special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast."

 

ABTII:

"ABT II is a small classical company of twelve young dancers of outstanding potential." &

"The dancers (ages 16-20) are handpicked from around the world by the artistic staff of American Ballet Theatre. ABT II dancers will train in the program before joining American Ballet Theatre’s main Company or other leading national and international professional companies."

 

Some of the 2nd companies still require tuition payments, or do not pay their dancers, or only offer pointe shoes, or do pay dancers and do provide pointe shoes, so read carefully about each one.

 

Bottom line is- there are many ballet companies out there, and as a dancer moves towards a professional career she will need to be pretty good at figuring out what she needs at each stage of the game, so she can decide whether a training-only SI without a company affiliation would be the best fit for her, or whether she is ready to start looking only at company-affiliated SIs to get a bead on their interest in her, and to see if she likes the way they do things.

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