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Ballet Talk for Dancers

attending different schools simultaneously to acquire enough hours


dascmom

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I've been reading a lot about hourly requirements for a fourteen year old in grade eight. The ballet school my dd attends has excellent instruction, but is very small so it offers limited hours. Generally speaking, she has the opportunity to attend a two-hour class (three days ballet and pointe, one day ballet only) four days per week. If we were to seek additional hours, it would have to be on a Saturday at a different dance school. DD also takes private lessons weekly for an hour focusing on pointe. How do you feel about a student attending several schools, taking most classes at one primary school, but supplementing the hours at a different school? Will that be confusing to the student or does it enhance their experience? Also, the school she attends doesn't offer modern or jazz- just ballet- so she already goes elsewhere for those subjects which she takes for 1.5 hours each weekly. After reading what some of the other fourteen year olds are taking, I feel that her weekly hours are insufficient. ( By the way, dd's aspirations are to be accepted to an excellent dance college, and to have a career in dance including performing. )Thanks for the help.

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  • Administrators

Two hours 4 days a week, plus a private, is not bad at 14. When she gets to the next level will the number of classes increase? Quality and quantity are both important, but quality is first. I would rather see her do a lower level once a week for an extra day than to go to another school, unless the other school is of equal quality AND her teacher approves of this additional class.

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Thanks for responding. I think that I could get five classes per week for my daughter, but one of them may be at a lower level. If she wants significantly more intensive training/hours at this studio, I believe it would have to come through private lessons. This school really offers the best in training, and considering that we live in a rather remote area, we are very lucky to have this. Most of the studios in the area are competition schools and ballet is a requirement yet not a focus and is often not of a very high quality. To supplement dd's ballet, we'd have to drive 2 hours to the nearest city where she could get some quality ballet classes, as well as her modern and jazz. I could do this, if it was what needed to be done. I'm not sure that her current school would be very thrilled about it, though.

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  • Administrators

A lower level is not a bad thing once a week. In fact, it can be a good thing. Are there higher levels at her school, or she in the highest? If this is the case, you may need to be thinking of a residence program in another year.

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This is the highest level, and right now my daughter is in a mix of lower and highest levels. DD had a late start to the intensive study of ballet and is very challenged with all of her classes at both levels.

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  • Administrators

Okay, then that is fine for now. But I think that if it takes a mix of levels to get 4 days a week, then after this year she will need to make a change. Is she attending an SI this summer?

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DD will be attending the SI offered at her dance school which is three full days per week throughout most of the summer along with about 8 hour long privates. We didn't feel that she was ready to audition for the more well-known SI's as she's only been highly focused on ballet since the fall. Before that, she took what ballet was offered/required by her competition school. We'd like for her to audition for SI's this winter. We really aren't sure which ones, but probably we'll stay in New England/New York.

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