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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How many ballet classes does/did your 7 year old take?


momtofour

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My daughter is 7 1/2 and begging to take another ballet class. She will take a 1 hr ballet class and 45 jazz/tap on the same night...this was her schedule also last year.

 

Will the second ballet class benefit her? It sure will throw a kink in the family schedule. She is not in the level that requires twice a week ballet.

 

I'm so torn as to what to do.

 

Thanks for your input!

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My daughter did not take ballet classes twice per week until she was almost 9 years old. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I think now that by 8 years old, children who are serious about ballet (and yes, 8 year olds can be serious about ballet!) need to be in classes twice per week. Since your daughter is 7 1/2, twice weekly ballet classes would probably be just fine for her. Also, since she'll be turning 8 mid-school year, starting her off in twice weekly ballet classes in the fall would, IMO, be an appropriate number of classes for her at this stage, if she has the interest (which it sounds like she does) and the energy to attend 2 classes per week. When my daughter was 7 1/2, she was taking 2 jazz classes, and one ballet class per week, so the same number of hours you are considering, and she was just fine with this time commitment.

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I agree with BelaNina.

My daughter who turned 8 last October did three 45 minute ballet classes per week along with an hour long stretch & strength class. She thrived with the schedule and never once complained. To help my daughter with her schedule; I made sure she ate a small meal before each class as well drank plenty of fluids.

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My 8 year old has been in 2 1hour classes for last year. It's definitely made an improvement in her technique. She understands more about turn out, arm placement, and such.

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Two classes per week, for students beyond the pre-ballet level, should, IMO, be required. :thumbsup:

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I agree with Victoria. Our program requires 2 ballet classes begining at age 8. It is necesarry to get the technical reinforcement during the week. Otherwise it seems as if they are starting over each week!

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Yes, to what everyone else said. In fact, we're coming off a year where we totally overdosed on dance, but in a good way. She took 2 90 min ballet classes a week, a 1 hr ballet class that was less intense (we were straddling schools), a 1 hr jazz/tap class, 1 hr modern (Creative Mvmt for 8-9 yo's) and a 1 hr performance group. There were times I thought we would go nuts with 3 different year-end performances to learn and rehearse, but it all worked out. One was in April, another in May, and 2 in separate weekends in June. I wondered how she could learn all the different pieces and not get confused, but it all worked out. My intent was that it was a year for her to try everything she was interested in so that we could figure out what she wanted to focus on going forward. We survived and she made those decisions, and next year we're cutting out a school but still dancing 7.5 hours a week. She's completely into dance, it's her thing, and it's all she wants to do. She's said on the mornings of the days she doesn't dance, ugh, I hate Wednesdays, because I don't dance tonite. I'll also note that all the schools were within 10 minutes of our home, so the commute was nothing, but I think if a kid wants to dance, let 'em. Of course, watch them to make sure exhaustion doesn't set in and school work doesn't suffer, but let them soar.

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Mine took two one-hour ballet classes per week as a young 7-year-old (meaning that she turned 7 just as the ballet year was beginning) as well as a tap/jazz class. Honestly, I can't tell you if it was benefical or not, but she has always has good technique, has been very focused and likes to practice barre work and stretching at home and is adept at remembering her training. Our studio has windows to the outside world in a couple of the rooms, and DD likes to stand in front of the window during pre-pro class and "take" the class with them.

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Thank you for all the responses. I really did not want to hear that :blushing: I was thinking the response would be oh the slow process will be just fine! She will probably thrive on the schedule.

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I was thinking the response would be oh the slow process will be just fine! She will probably thrive on the schedule.

 

Let me clarify my remarks:

While the two lessons are required at our school they have the option of only one additional ballet lesson. (Mind you this is the begining of formal training at our school which is age 8 typically.) They are discouraged from that additional ballet lesson if they also take additional disciplines i.e. jazz or tap. While some students love their lessons and if it were up to them they would rent a room at the studio to be there all the time, in a few years burn out becomes a factor. Unfortunately, the student doesn't realize that until burn out hits and it's too late. There is a fine line between appropriate training schedules and overload. So, our two required lessons is what I would consider the 'slow', but appropriate schedule. Obviously as the student progresses and gets older the lesson load increases. By the time they are in our pre-professional program for example they are doing 12.5 hours of lesson work in addition to their rep/rehearsals. But that's a much older student. Age 7 or 8 should not be training that much in my opinion. Now, for those out there who have their DD/DS doing that much training please don't attack me! It's just my opinion and experience that the "slow boil" works.

 

Someone also mentioned 'straddling' studios. My two cents: I would not recommend that. Particularly for your ballet lessons. It will be very difficult to find two studios working off the exact same syllabus. Your DD/DS needs consistent training from a school using a unified syllabus especially in the younger years. The less confusion the better.

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When my daughter was 7 her Ballet School only required 1 (hour long) class per week but allowed kids to take as many as 4. I left it entirely up to her and she took at least 2 classes a week, often 3, as well as participating in Company's Nutcracker performances and related rehearsals. I'm not an expert by any means. but apparently her technique has improved at a greater rate than her classmates who attended fewer classes, based on the fact that she was promoted faster despite being younger.

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At 7, DD took 2 1-hour ballet classes per week. At 8, she had 3 1 hour and 15 minute classes per week.

 

At 9, she moved to 3 1-1/2 hour classes per week.

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