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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Modern - when necessary?


Clementine

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My 11 year old dd has been taking RAD ballet classes for two years now. She currently takes 3-4 hours of technique class per week and is hoping to go to her first SI this summer. The fall she added a modern class. She really didn't enjoy it and it reluctant to sign up again in January (last class was yesterday for this term). She liked the teacher and a lot of her dance friends were in the class but she didn't enjoy the dancing. I am not sure if it is because it was unfamilar and thus more difficult for her or what. I gave her a choice between adding another day of ballet or staying with the modern and she wants to do the ballet. Am trying to figure out how hard to "encourage" her to stick with the modern. Would it matter if she dropped it for now (knowing that she will need to pick it up again at some point)? At what age does it become important? Thanks

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Not important now. More ballet is important. Most younger dancers don't really appreciate modern dance. She can wait a few years.

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For subteens, modern is nice if they like it, but most don't. It only becomes actually important in the teen years, when the student becomes a more advanced student. It becomes a necessary vocabulary for a dancer wishing to pursue professional-level stage skills. My advice to you would be to let the modern slide for a few years, so that when it becomes a necessary skill, she won't be turned off by it.

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Many modern dance techniques are not really intended for children, anyway. Graham, for example, while she did have a special program for children, would not teach her technique to anyone under age 16--and that was really pushing it, as she preferred adults.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our kids in the Pre Pro stream learn a basic intro to Modern tech class 1x a week starting at 7. At that age its just an intro and intended to help the kids understand the stylistic differences. It's the kids favorite class because it tends to incorporate improv and face acting and rhythm at this age.

 

We dont do lyrical or contremporary until the kids are in their teens.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for a great subject! My daughter love classical ballet and really dislikes modern, lyrical, etc. I keep hearing that most companies are wanting more well-rounded dancers these days- even the classical ones. A little worrisome. It sounds like we can hold tight with the classical training and wait until she is much older to pick that up-- good news!

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