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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Have we been kicked out of the club?


finallykf

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So after much thought and stress I decided to relax and just let my son do whatever he wants to do. He wants to be a dancer/performer on Broadway. So we are letting him stay at both dance schools - the recreational school where he takes jazz, hip hop, tap, and ballet with the kids on his competition team and the pre-pro ballet school where he takes an all boys class, a class with girls, and a half hour tap class for the first time this year. He also takes a tumbling class at a gym. Happily the pre-pro school has gotten some new boys just a bit younger than my son who is 8. So the pre-pro school is nit happy that my son is taking dance somewhere else which is knew was going to be the case. But yesterday a comment was made about how these new little bits take ballet seriously so they are going to luck my son's ***. Okay, first my son is 8. Do we really need to be talking competitively like that about students? Second, my son DOES take ballet seriously - to the tune of 4 hours a week of ballet alone. Not to mention the additional 6.5 hours of other forms of dance that he takes per week. We decided to let this be his trial year to see what he likes and how much ge can handle. I'm already worried enough about it, the last thing I need is someone telling me that me kid's *** is going to get kicked because if the choice we made. I feel like we have just been kicked out of the "My Son Loves Ballet Club." even though he just got made fun of AGAIN for it today.

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Seriously? At a pre-pro school people are saying that your son is going to get his behind kicked by the new boys?

 

What are people thinking now a days???

 

If he is happy, if he is thriving then thats what matters at this point.

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Who made this comment? Another parent at the recreational school? A parent at the Pre-Pro? A teacher?

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I'm guessing - though perhpas incorrectly - that it is a comment meant figuratively rather than literally. If so, then ignore it. If it was, in fact, meant literally, then watch for signs of aggression and if anything transpires bring it to the attention of the responsible party immediatley (teacher, director, parents, etc.) If these comments are coming from the parents, then best to stay away from them - they will only breed negativity and ill will.

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Sadly this comment was made by one of the administrators after the conversation that I knew was coming: the fact that my son does other forms of dance at another studio. She wanted to talk to me after she and the owner discussed my son's curriculum for the year. It wasn't said aggressively but more as a warning that because my son obviously isn't taking ballet seriously these other little boys are now going to surpass him. The funny thing is that my son is still taking more hours of ballet at THAT studio than these new little boys. My son has actually increased the number of hours of class he is taking at this studio from 1 hour a week to 2.5 hours a week. So it's not like we dropped classes and they are making less money off us because my son is also taking classes somewhere else. Funny enough, he was also taking classes at the other studio last year. But this year he also increased the number of classes he takes there and made the competition team (the ballet studio doesn't compete). My son's favorite form of dance is ballet but that doesn't mean that he doesn't want to try other forms of dance. If he didn't take ballet seriously we wouldn't drive an hour each way to the pre-pre school twice a week. So the other thing is that it used to be that boys tuition was 50% of girls tuition (that's the standard at EVERY dance school in our area). But I was informed yesterday that because this school can't be considered my son's primary school he can'tbe given the boys "scholarship" that all the other boys receive anymore. We can afford the full tuition just fine but it really ticked me off. It has never been called a scholarship before. There us an application process for the scholarships at the school and I know for a fact that the other boys did not apply for a scholarship for their 50% discount. Sadly there are NO other quality ballet school within a 3 hour driving distance (each way) in our area. So we have no other options.

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Ok. So The admin at the "pre-pro" ballet school used the terminology to mean that the other little boys in his ballet classes at the pre-pro school will 'surpass' your child technically (i.e. "kick his" donkey) since he is taking classes at a competition school?

 

If I have that right, I will say this; it is best for Classical Ballet if a youngster can be studying in one method rather than beginning serious training in one school, and dabbling "over there" because the comp school will likely be having him work on "steps" that are beyond the level of technical understanding causing bad habits to emerge. Bad habit are far more difficult to break than simply instilling good ones in the first place, so I agree to some extent with the admin that it is possible for the other boys to surpass him technically.

 

BUT-

I do not like the way it was handled at all with you. :)

 

It sounds as though the pre-pro school has been in "competition" with the competition school for students, and they are behaving badly as a result rather than taking a look at their product and methods to ensure that what they have to offer is so superior that the serious ballet student will gravitate towards them.

 

AND-

He is only 8 years old!!!!!! Cheese-and-crackers, people. :rolleyes:

 

I do think that at some point in the future, he will need to focus on getting the very best training possible, but I think we have a few years before that becomes necessary. I would say that by age 10-12, he needs to be in a serious professional environment training in one methodology. I would say that it is something to think about- the development of bad habits at the current comp school too.

 

Since he is 8 years old and today, he wants to dance on Broadway, but tomorrow he will want to be a fireman, and the next day he will want to be a "fireman who plays professional basketball and sings and dances on broadway at night", I would let their comments roll off you like water off a duck's back.

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Clara,

 

You've got it. I completely understand the two schools of thought on dance - focus solely on technical ballet vs. exposure to other forms of dance early on. I danced when I was younger but started older and didn't have good training. So personally, I lean toward the opinion of focus solely on ballet. However, I say that with hindsight. But it's not my life it's my son's and as you point out - he's 8. So that's why we decided that if he wants to take other classes and compete, fine with us. At this point I'm more concerned that he continues to love ANY form of dance as he gets older. I have talked to him and he understands that if he decides he wants to focus on ballet he will have to stop the other forms of dance for a while. But I was just shocked about the comment that was made. These other two little boys just started taking dance (my son actually knows them - he met them at a theater camp this summer) and they are all friends, are not at all competitive, and are just happy to see more boys! No one is out to kick anyone's rear end so the comment was a but surprising - especially since this is the school that doesn't take part in competitions because they do nothing to develop a dancer. Umm, isn't that just creating competition within the school?

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Ignore it. It's not a problem unless your son is treated differently in class. We had a problem that was not unsimilar, though it was a sport that vied for DS' attention. We dealt with the snide comments and the yelling and even tirades (he was throwing everything away, what a waste, what a lack of discpline, you're making a poor choice, etc.). By the way - this was supposed to be motivational for him. Or so I was told when I called to complain. We declined scholarship offers because we knew there was a conflict of time and we opted to pay tuition instead. He has done fairly well so far. There are some (from that stage in his life) that have come around and have since become supportive. There are some to this day that don't speak to him. Whatever. There's too much else in life to worry about!!!

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Is this common? Depending on how this year goes we're considering moving my son for ballet to one of the serious ballet schools in town because they have male teachers and boys classes, but he wants to stay at his current recreational school for his tap, and I want him to take classes wherever his love of dance will continue to grow.

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Let's hope it's not too common.... :thumbsup:

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