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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Balance (in life)


Thyme

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Oh and I should say that this is apparently not a long term pursuit- several months of it with a very gradual build up- barre work mainly.

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  • Thyme

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My son does 5 classes of classical technique a week- each class is 1.5 hours. When the girls go on pointe the boys do jumps, push-ups, etc. He does 2 contemporary classes a week. Our studio does not have jazz, stretch, etc. During winter and spring performance season, he has approximately 2-4 hours of rehersals each weekend. So I guess that adds up to 10 hrs/week plus rehersals in performance seasons.

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My son is 13.5 and is at a small studio where the students have serious professional aspirations. Here's his schedule:

 

Monday: 1.5 hour Ballet, 1 hour Men's Technique

Tuesday: 1.5 hour Ballet, 1 hour Tap, 1 hour Contemporary

Wednesday: 1.5 hour Ballet (then sometimes joins a 1 hour pointe class, but doesn't wear pointe shoes)

Thursday: 2 hour Variations, 1 hour Jazz, (could go to a 1.5 hour ballet after this, but does Boy Scouts instead)

Friday: 1.5 hour Ballet (doesn't always attend, because he has an active Friday-night social life)

Saturday: 1 hour Ballet, 4 hours Rehearsals

 

So, he could be attending Ballet classes 6 days a week, but he usually just attends 4 days.

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ballerinomom

So far I am taking Clara 76's advice to "avoid the fever", but, of course, I second-guess myself all the time! My 10 year old DS takes 3 hours of ballet technique, 1 hour historical, 1 hour jazz and 1 hour modern. He went to a summer intensive last year which bumped up his total and will go again this summer, but he is still on the low end. He also does musical theatre, choir, takes music lessons etc. While ballet has an edge over the other activities, I can't say with any confidence that another activity won't rise to the top over time. If I follow his lead now he would pick ballet and drop the others. I want him to keep his options open. My approach right now is to keep him in all of his favourite activities until he absolutely must make start making choices on his own, which I see occurring around 8th grade. I realize this means he will not have time to do ballet competitions and that he will improve at a slower rate than many of his peers, but I think he will be able to catch up in high school if he chooses to put everything into ballet.

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Wow slhogan! your boy has real tenacity to go every night! How do you do things like get homework done? That is one of our challenges- a dance night really punches a hole in getting other things done. I am honestly intersted in how you fit in the other 'have toos'. :shrug: you are my hero!

 

Thanks ballerinamom for adding to this. I absolutely agree with letting kids keep their options open, especially at 10 years. My 13.5 year old tried lots of other things before settling on dance. I think that is our job- to show them doors and let them check them out.

Edited by Thyme
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I always go back to this analogy:

One child learns to read aged 2; another aged 10. When they get to aged 18, will it make a difference???? Nope. Not one bit.

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Wow slhogan! your boy has real tenacity to go every night! How do you do things like get homework done? That is one of our challenges- a dance night really punches a hole in getting other things done. I am honestly intersted in how you fit in the other 'have toos'. :shrug: you are my hero!

 

My son goes to a small private school that offers more scheduling flexibility than most public schools. At our studio, most of the pre-pro kids are homeschooled or have worked out flexible scheduling with their school. The ones who still do the traditional school route tend to be a bit stressed and usually can't be in the studio as often.

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  • 2 weeks later...
twinboysmom

My son is 8 and his schedule is as follows.

Tuesday 2 hrs. classical ballet technique

Wednesday 1 hr. Stretching/ flexibility

Thursday 2 hrs. classical ballet technique

Saturday 1.5 hrs Russian Character Dance, and 2 hrs. classical ballet technique

Sunday 2 hrs. Boys Ballet Class, and 1 hr. Contemporary Dance

 

 

I feel like it is a really big commitment for an 8 year old but he loves to dance.

Edited by twinboysmom
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Hi twinboysmom- He is really busy! how do you manage everything else? Is he home schooled?

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, twinboysmom!!!

 

He has a very hefty schedule for a child.

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twinboysmom

Hi Thyme and Clara 76. My son goes to public school. His weekday classes are scheduled later in the evening which is both a blessing and a curse. He is able to come home and do homework and eat dinner before classes. The downfall is that sometimes we don't get home until almost 9 PM. Dance is the only activity that he is involved in but I also have 2 other boys that I'm trying to get to their own activities, so needless to say I'm spread very thin. My house has never looked so disorganized but I have decided that since we are never home it doesn't matter LOL :)

Edited by twinboysmom
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Well I've always believed cleaning is overrated! :wink:

 

Provided he loves it, it should be fine. Just remember that ballet very quickly has to become a daily regimen when a child hits the crunch time around the teen years!

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Raleighrocks

Interesting thread......my DS has danced since 5, but only seriously for 2 years. He moved to a pre-pro studio with more boys which is quite a family commitment because of the drive. He just turned 15 and takes 11 hrs technique, 2 hrs partnering, 2 hrs variations, 1 hr men's, 2 hrs jazz. Plus company class and rehearsals on Saturdays. At first I worried about "balance" but he loves it and is happiest there. Some of those technique hours are him voluntarily going to a lower level class to get stronger.

 

This is five nights a week. I reserve veto power over one night if I feel he needs a break, more homework time, or family time. I use that sparingly but I do use it. The AD and teachers are supportive.

 

One big difference I have noticed about boys vs girls in dance (both older sisters danced) is that since they grow so much longer the boys tend to have more uneven performance. One week they can do everything and the next they are a mess. It is important the instructors understand and make allowances. This is even true for the 17-18 yr old boys, although not as often as for the younger ones.

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Great topic. My DS is 14. He is doing 2 SI's this summer. One locally ( an hour away) for 3 weeks (all that is offered) and then off to CPYB for 5 weeks. We live remote so some of his classed are local and some are an hour drive away. We have to go to a total of 3 different studios, just to get the advance classes.

 

His schedule for the school year.

 

Monday 1 hour tap then hour drive to another studio. There he does 1.5 hour classical ballet technique

Tuesday break day, mainly because there are no classes at his level.

Wednesday 1.5 hour classical ballet technique

Thursady hour drive to studio where he takes 1 hour partnering followed by 1 hour Broadway dance (his favorite class)

Friday 1.5 hour classical ballet technique followed by 1.5 hour social/latin dance

Saturday hour drive to studio 1 hour stretch followed by 1.5 hour classical ballet technique

 

I had to start home schooling him, because he couldn't get his school work done. I still worry that he will get school done with all his dance. But I also worry that he will not get the right dance classes to go pro. He's at the top now in all his dance classes and still in middle school! Dance is his life and he says quiting is not an option. I however, sometimes use not going to dance as punishment, when he doesn't do what he is suppose to. Where's the balance? And how do you know if to continue to support their dream? I'm afraid that he will need to leave our state to go to residental program if he is to continue, but he is not motivated to do school. So doubt that will work. How do we as parents help them to make the right decision at such a young age (especially a boy who since puberty has lost all brain cells, except the ones that keep him dancing)?

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If he is not motivated to do his schoolwork it is my understanding that he will not be accepted to a residential program. Being a well-rounded, educated person is very important for a developing artist. Ballet can be his first career, yes, but what happens if there is a freak injury? What will he do for a back-up plan? He can't teach unless he can physically move well, so I wouldn't let him get away with throwing off a comment like, "Well if I can't dance I'll teach". It doesn't work like that. If he is truly serious about becoming a ballet dancer, he needs a reality-check.

 

His priorities are off. Schoolwork comes first; then family, then dance. :thumbsup:

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