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Ballet Talk for Dancers

5 days or 6 days


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I was hoping the moderators could evaluate my dd's schedule. She is 13 and in a level with girls that are mostly 14 and 15. She has technique 6 days per week, 1 hr, 45 minute class. She has Pointe 2 days per week, 45 minute class. One day of Variations, 45 minute class. One day of Pas de Deux, 45 minute class. Variations and PDD are on Pointe, so she is wearing the shoes 4 days. She then has a private lesson one day per week, which then has her wearing Pointe shoes 5 days.


I'm wondering if I can cut out one day of classes, reducing her from 6 days/week to 5 days/week. And if 5 days with Pointe shoes is too much.


Thank you.

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  • Administrators

It is a lot, Miodus. She is at a vulnerable age due to growth spurts. I would cut the private, and then talk to her, and her teachers and see how they feel about one day off. I would cut the day that has classes and the private, so she would still be dancing 5 days. With pointe 4 days, I would probably cut the day that does not have pointe, which looks like it could be the same day she has a private?


Is there an important reason for the private, like coaching for YAGP or something like that? If not, it just really should not be necessary with such a great schedule. Also, she might be fine on that schedule, and if she is thriving and strong and healthy, doing well in school, and you feel she gets enough rest, great. But if there are sign of her being too tired, growing very quickly, not keeping up grades or losing sleep to be sure she does keep them up, have a conversation with her AD or main teacher.

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Thank you, Victoria. Yes, the reason I want to cut one day is because she is small in frame and gets tired easily. She also has a lot of academic school homework, so she is getting less sleep. My preference is to keep the private because it has helped her tremendously. Since she is so young in her level, so the teacher has been working with her individually in ways he cannot assist her in class. I've seen the improvement. And yes, they then use the last 20 minutes to prepare for YAGP.


I'm debating about cutting one of the days during the week, or Saturday. Saturday is the only day with just 1 technique class and nothing else. But then she's still wearing the pointe shoes 5 days straight. I suppose I could have her skip one pointe class on occasion.

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  • Administrators

Is skipping one pointe class once in a while really going to help with the fact that she is getting tired easily and getting less sleep because of the homework? I think she needs a day off at least for this year. But, her thoughts count here too, and you know her better than anyone. :)

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Sorry, I wasn't clear in my earlier response. I'd definitely like to cut from 6 days to 5. I'm thinking of alternating which day....sometimes a Saturday when there is just Technique and sometimes a weekday when there is Technique & Pointe. I still need to pay for the 6 days, so I don't need to tell the studio that we'll never be there on a specific day. (they still require us to pay for the full schedule, even if we don't attend). When I mentioned cutting back, it seemed to be discouraged, but I'm sticking my ground.


I'm just pleased to hear you say that it is OK to cut from 6 days to 5. I was concerned I'd be holding her back. I feel much better :)

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  • Administrators

That's good, Miodus. You can play it according to how she is doing. If she feels like all 6 days sometimes, fine. But if not, then 5 will be okay this year.

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I have thought about the same thing regarding my daughter, she is in a similar situation being the youngest and scheduled for 6 days. I have found their young, growing bodies need the break during the week. Saturday doesn't make as much sense as they don't have the homework pressure that they have during the week. So I would do my best to break up the week more in the middle.

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I am constantly concerned with my daughters schedule and check in with her regularly. I do not see a problem when it comes to homework or dance classes, just attitude at home. lol That is most likely related to being a teen rather than a dancer.

She has picked her schedule and gets mainly A's (a B+ sometimes in a really hard class) She too is with mainly older girls (is 13) and has been for a couple years. She is in 8th grade this year and we have already started talking about high school. I spoke with a councilor at the high school recently and talked of our options. (I feel I should mention that I have an older child there so they know us) They are willing to have her have an open period at some point during the day to give time with homework. This will still give her enough time to get all the required classes she will need to graduate. At some time during high school, online school is a possibility. We have public school options for online school but she wants to attend high school for at least a year.


this is her schedule. She does not do any competitions


mon - Ballet technique 4-6

Lyrical Jazz 7-8:30

tue - hip hop 4-6

ballet rehearsals 6:30-8

Wed- ballet technique 4:30-6

pointe 6-7

thu - ballet technique 4-5:30

modern 5:30-6:30

possible ballet rehearsals 6:30-8

Adv contemporary 8:30-9:30

fri - helps teach a jazz 1 class 5:30-6:30

sat - ballet technique 9-10:30

dance tricks 11-12 (this class she wanted to add just for fun because it is a new class and we are trying the schedule. otherwise ballet will be at 11-12:30)

ballet rehearsals 1-3

pointe private 3-4 (she does this due to being unavailable for the tuesday ballet and pointe pointe classes)


During the summers she mainly focuses on ballet training with choreography camps where necessary.


Never thought when she was 4 and started a dance class with her friend that this is what we would be doing. haha

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  • Administrators

Lizzyholts1, I am not thrilled with the Tues. and Thurs. schedules. She should have the ballet and pointe, not hip and then rehearsals. No ballet class before rehearsals not a good thing. Thursday is too long. If there are not rehearsals does she sit around from 6:30 to 8:30 for the contemporary?

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The hip hop class is a company class at another studio. She has been with them for over 5 years and loves it. Not more than ballet just loves it :-) They are a performing group, NOT a competition team. The instructor is amazing and is quite bit more technical based than most hip hop companies. Next year the times will change because she will be moved to the next level in the company so she will possibly have to pick between that and the ballet performing group (which aside from nutcracker season, they do contemporary pieces, modern and ballet) Nutcracker season my daughter had the pleasure of being clara last year and is hoping for sugar plum fairy this year.


Thursdays if there is not any rehearsal, she comes home and eats dinner and homework. Yes, we watch the thursday late class. This class was called adv lyrical last year and this year is adv contemporary. This class is at the other studio as well. It is a technique based class.


I really appreciate the feed back!

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  • 3 weeks later...

My daughter is also 13. It seems the extra classes your daughter is taking at the other school may be what is making her dance schedule so busy. Does her ballet school know that she is going to another school during the week? How do they feel about it? I'd be concerned more about her schedule and possible fatigue and stress injuries from overuse, more than anything. My daughter's classical ballet school is very protective of their dancers and also their training. They also have a concern about training outside their school and how it affects overall technique.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd like to piggyback onto this thread and inquire about what are the reasons that a seven day per week schedule is not a good idea and whether too much ballet time can be determinental due to lack of rest and recuperation time. My DD, age 15, is dancing seven days per week this semester. This will change to six days per week for the 2nd semester as one class is a full class period warm up class before Nut rehearsals.


In sum, she has ballet/pointe (sometime combined and sometimes separate classes) six days per week for her level. She also takes all the offered ballet and/or pointe classes in the level under her. She also takes one ballet and one pointe class for the level two beneath her. Therefore, she has two technique classes in a row (sometimes a short break between) three days per week and then on the only rest day in the week for her level, she takes two classes at a lower level.


She chose this schedule because she wanted to have the opportunity to take class with the teachers of those other levels (she feels that they all offer something different in terms of her learning and she doesn't want to lose any of those lessons), because she feels she can work on foundational technique in those classes, and because she thinks that more class time equals stronger dancer and more progess (they do it over the summer and at residential schools, so why wouldn't/shouldn't it be ok is the thinking.) I am concerned about her health, her stamina, and her schoolwork. But her schoolwork is keeping up just fine and she is insistent on keeping this schedule. She seems to be doing fine, but I'm not sure that progess wouldn't actually be better with some more rest time between classes. I'd like to get some facts on whether this is too much for a 15 year old who wants to pursue dance and, if so, what are the downsides. This way, I can share it with her when we choose her schedule for next semester.


Here is her schedule. The ballet classes that she is taking at her level are in bold. The rest are for levels below her. I will add that taking classes a level below is common at this studio but no other dancer is doing this much. I will also add that she often finds that she does really well in the 2nd ballet class of the day and so is loath to drop having two classes in a day.


Day 1 – Ballet technique 75 minutes, pointe 45 minutes, ballet technique on pointe 90 minutes (no break)

Day 2 – Ballet technique on pointe 75 minutes, pilates

Day 3 – Ballet technique on pointe 90 minutes, ballet technique on pointe 75 minutes (hour break between)

Day 4 – Ballet technique 75 minutes, pointe 45 minutes, character

Day 5 – Ballet technique 75 minutes, pointe 45 minutes, jazz

Day 6 – Ballet technique 90 minutes - Nut rehearsals 2-3 hours

Day 7 – Ballet technique 90 minutes; ballet technique 90 minutes (hour break between)

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  • Administrators

Seven days a week is not recommended for anyone, not just teens. The muscles need a day to rest and recover, and so does the brain! There are certain weeks during Nutz or other major performance times when 7 days may happen, but they should absolutely never happen on a regular basis every week for many weeks. Her schedule is, in my opinion, a bit overloaded anyway, and a 7th day is just asking for trouble.

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