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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Going away for an SI instead of staying home?


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I am 14 years old and I have been taking serious ballet classes for almost two years, and recreational ballet for many years before that. The level I am in at my studio right now is equivalent to the RAD Intermediate level, and I want to catch up to the other girls who are my age. Last summer, I went to the summer intensive at my home studio. I improved a lot from it, but it wasn't as ballet-focused as I would have liked, there was one technique/pointe class every day and the rest of the day was spent on other forms of dance. This year, I've registered for the CPYB summer intensive but I'm not sure if I will be allowed to go to it or if I will have to stay home. The artistic director of my studio thinks I should stay local, and doesn't think going away would benefit me any more. Do you think staying home would be a better idea? I really just want to focus on improving my ballet technique.

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I wish I could answer that for you, balletbunheads, but, not knowing the training at your home school, and where you are in your technique, that is difficult. You do have to consider that your home school may really believe that where you are right now in your training is best kept at home, or, it is possible that they are financially motivated and want to keep you at home so they have more students. I'm not saying this is the case, but sometimes it is. You have to look at the options for you, CPYB or other programs, and then figure out what you feel would be better. Keep in mind that while CPYB has a lot of technique classes, most programs do not have that many. They feel that one really good, solid, well taught technique, and one really good, solid well taught pointe or variations class are what is needed and the other dance forms are important too, perhaps especially so because some of them are not available during the school year at the home studios. At 14, you are still at an age where they look for potential more than for highly advanced dancers, which is good. But next year, you will need to be able to audition at a different level and for a different level. So this summer is important in your training. The more and the better training you can get this summer could make a big difference.

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I don't think it is financial motivation, but they don't recommend dancers going away until the summer between their sophomore and junior year. Is that usually what is recommended by others?

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That is a bit late for most these days. Some start quite young, but I tend to think that 13-14 is about the right time. Between sophmore and junior year one is usually 15, or almost 15. You might think about it for this year, maybe do a few auditions and see what happens.

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