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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Should an 11 year old audition for SI if not en pointe?


trythis

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My youngest DD will be 11 in december and should get her pointe shoes this spring. Her older sister was put en pointe at 9 years old. So when older DD auditioned at age 11 she had her pointe shoes, and was in the apprentice level of the company already it seemed right to take her to audition for those SI's that accepted 11 year olds. Now my younger DD is age wise a level behind her older sister, but I believe (and i am not a dancer so this is to my untrained eye) that she has better feet and better legs for ballet. Older DD got a lot out of those audition "master" classes and I would like to take younger DD to auditions this January but since she won't be en pointe I don't know if it is a good idea.

As you can expect she is bothered by the fact that she doesn't have her pointe shoes and that she is a level behind where her sister was at her age. I think if she were to attend an audition and be accepted to a SI it would go a long way to improve her confidence. I have been telling her that it doesn't matter when she gets her pointe shoes, what she needs to do is be sure she is ready to use them correctly when she gets them. An acceptance to an SI would also back me up in this!

What do you all think?

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You are right. She is much better off NOT being on pointe yet. Nine is waaaay too early. And it should not affect her chances of being accepted. She is not behind.

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When the part of the audition comes that is done in pointe shoes, should she just say that she doesn't do pointe yet?

 

(and yes we learned the hard way with my older DD, she started too early and has had to work hard to overcome bad habits).

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Yes, she should tell the teacher that she is not yet on pointe, but will be by the summer. :yucky:

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Something happened to my post! :yucky: I can't remember that far back, but it seems like most intensives do not allow students to attend unless they are 12 at the time of attendance. Have you looked into young dancers programs? I don't believe those programs include any pointe, so she wouldn't feel behind. Which of course, she isn't.

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Last year my DD had just turned 12 and was not on pointe. We had no previous SI experience and didn't know what to expect. For some of her auditions she was the only one not on pointe. However, she had a successful audition season. It was totally fine. The one thing I wished we had told her before her fist audition, was about what to do when they did the pointe part at the end. The auditioners asked if she wanted to leave or stay. She left because she was embarrassed. She should have chosen to stay and watch. For the later auditions, that is what she did and I think it made a better impression. Also she know what that part of the audition is like for this year.

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Guest coupe66

Actually, there are many SI's that begin taking students who will be age 11 at the time of the program. The Rock School is one (they actually begin at age 9), but there are also many others, such as Kansas City Ballet, Chautaqua, etc.

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My daughter was in the same boat last year. One audition she was the only DD not en pointe. She still got accepted and had a wonderful summer experience. I specifically remeber 1 auditoin where some of the girls were grabbing their pointe shoes and the They were told that would not be needing them for that auditon. Just have fun.

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Most intensives that require the dancers to be 12 years of age, probably expect the dancers to be on pointe, but any program that accepts younger dancers will accomodate dancers not yet on pointe. Of course, you should read through all the information on the intensive to find out what the requirements are before attending.

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As you are probably aware since you have an older DD, the 12 year old thing is mostly for the dorms. The Rock is a great SI and does take younger kids. Also all of the young dancer programs - Walnut Hill, ABT and Joffrey to name the few that come to mind offer programs for the younger students.

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Yes, it's a dorm thing I believe as well. NCDT accepts 11 year olds but they are not allowed to stay in the dorms, so if they get accepted, they must come with a chaperone and stay somewhere other than the dorms. We did this with my older daughter and she had a great experience. I think I've posted this somewhere before, but it's worth mentioning again. DD had just gotten her pointe shoes about 3 months prior to the audition and the auditioner would NOT let her audition en pointe. Needless to say she did cry when she came out of the audition and was disappointed, but she also got an acceptance letter the next week. The auditioners definitely know what they are doing and their actions certainly showed me they were operating in the dancers' best interest. I would just reassure her that they would not hold it against her at all.

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CPYB does not require an audition, and there are dancers attending not yet on pointe. They will even take a dancer off pointe if they think she is not ready! There is also a 2 week program where no one is on pointe. There are many housing options. You can read more about it in the Summer Intensive section. :angry:

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Ballet Austin is another possibility for an eleven year-old not yet en pointe.

 

Ballet Austin uses the dorms at St. Edward's University, which allows students as young as 11 stay in the dorms. (As Mobadt and bunbun stated, age restrictions are dictated by the housing university. Occasionally, younger students may be accepted to an SI with the understanding that housing cannot be provided for them, which isn't a problem for commuters who don't require it, students who have family in town with whom they can stay, or parents able to travel and stay with them.)

 

Students can also choose to attend either the first or second session, each three weeks long, or the full six-week session. Most younger students, though not all, select one of the three-week sessions.

 

Students at the lower levels of the senior intensive have pointe classes a few times per week, but strengthening technique is the main focus at these levels.

 

As might be expected, the younger students are in the lower levels of the senior intensive, and those students do not dance en pointe in the final performance, and so a student relatively new to pointe work would not have an occasion to feel left out of any choreographic opportunities based on her limited experience with it.

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I have moved the last several posts regarding SAB's new LA Summer Workshop to the Summer Intensive forum. Please continue discussions of specific SIs on their dedicated threads.

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