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Will it be hard for a 10 year old to catch up in ballet?


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My dd is 10. She has been taking ballet, jazz, and tap at at dance studio since the age of 8. She has also been involved heavily in Musical theater doing two plays per year so her primary focus was not on dance although she loved her dance classes.


This year she has been taking (2) ballet technique classes and a jazz technique class with the studio's ballet company teachers. DD loves these classes and decided she now wants to study dance seriously. She absolutely loves her ballet classes and the jazz class, which is finally enough for her to give up MT for now.


Will it be hard for her to catch up to peers her age who have been pursuing dance more seriously? What will she need to do to catch up?


PS - I'm new to the forum as I'm researching threads on how to best help DD. I'm glad I found the board. :)

Edited by jennad
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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, jennad. We are glad that you found us, and hope we can help. :)


If she has been studying two years, with two ballet classes a week, she is probably not that far behind most kids of her age. However, we don't know the quality of the training she is receiving, and cannot know the standard for her age group at that particular school. Have you talked to her ballet teacher? Perhaps she can add another class to her schedule, and you might also think about finding summer training for her.


But don't worry, because if she has the physical facility, the passion to dance, and good training, at 10 years old she can be on track in no time! :yes:

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I can speak as a parent of a now 14 yr old who was once in a similar situation.


Dd made the switch from a strong competition school where she had ballet twice a week (two one hour classes) to a ballet school where she had ballet three times a week (90 minute classes) around that same age. At first, we compromised and she continued to do a musical theater camp in the summer. Later, it became clear that she really needed the extra attention that the summer programs offered.By 12, she doing a 4 or 5 week "summer intensive" at the local ballet school (In quotes because the intensive is less intense for that age group).


She did repeat the first level she was placed in. That was tough for her ego to swallow at first. But, her eyes were always on the prize and she understood, worked hard and has definitely more than caught up.


As an aside (or maybe not), you mentioned the studio's ballet company teachers. Those words can mean many things. I had thought my dd was getting good ballet instruction at her previous school. Her classes were taught by the teacher who taught the "company." In our case, those words meant the competition group, not an actual ballet company. As a former student myself, I did wonder why she wasn't being taught certain things, but I thought they knew what they were doing and it would all come in time. I was wrong. Just something to consider.

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Thank you Miss Leigh for your response. I'm definitely learning a lot from reading threads. I do believe after questioning the teachers about additional classes for dd just before winter break and comparing to what it takes to train via what I have read on this board that we need to switch schools asap. The school she is attending used to be a ballet only school that was made into a performing arts school. The studio is not big enough to have enough ballet classes for my child to advance up in if she wants to seriously advance in dance.


I've been taking winter break to research schools in our area which has a lot to look at. I'm hoping to make the transition over the next week or two when schools return from break and can see dd to recommend placement. I feel like my head is spinning trying to make the right decision.


MelissaGA, thank you for your response. It helps to hear another experience that is similiar to this. I'm finally figuring out what constitutes a real ballet school from reading posts here. It is good to hear your daughter did so well and handled placement so gracefully!


I had a talk with my daughter already about having to work in a lower level possibly and even possibly repeating if necessary. My dd has the attitude of whatever it takes, she will do it. I know she is serious too because she is giving up Musical theater and acting entirely to pursue this. She is very aware that other girls have been more focused on their dance training than she has been. She comes home from every ballet class inspired and wanting to do more so I think that is where her heart is. Now it's up to me to find the right school for her. :wacko:

Edited by jennad
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Jennad, you are indeed in an area with a lot of ballet schools! If you would like to contact me off board, just write to Contact Us, and that will come to me. I might be able to help you with this.

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My son started studying ballet at 8, three years ago. He was put into rec level for the first year and then moved up to the Pre Pro level the next year.


They all did their Grade One exam last year and he passed it with the rest of the class. However, he choose to not do any other forms of dance (except hip hop this year) for the first 2 years to concentrate on ballet only.


Now at 11 he is on level with his age group.

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Thank you Albini for sharing your son's experience. I feel better about dd's track now that I have some feedback! DD is going for placement in a recommended school in our area next week. She is very excited! :clapping:

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