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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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My dd age 14 is serious about her ballet training. The plan is to be in a position to apply for full-time training at 16 if she stills wants to. The limitations of training in the UK are that most classes are syllabus based, are rarely longer than 75 minutes and there aren't separate pointe/ classes.

I think my daughter is lucky to be able to take 5 advanced foundation/advanced 1 level classes over 4 days a week. Most include some pointe work at the end. So she is doing about 6 hours of ballet a week, which is the same as when she was 10!

I can see that normally you would recommend 9 hours a week plus pointe work, spread over 6 days for a child of her age.

There is the possibility she could do a further two classes a week at a lower level, but it would be on the same days as the other classes. She would know the sylabus quite well. No local studio seems to offer classes on other days. So is there an advantage to doing the extra classes, which would give her another two and a half hours a week, but potentially leave her tired for the more advanced class?

She also does modern, street, contemporary and jazz with 2 body conditioning classes.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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It sounds to me like she is getting all that she can right now, so the lower level syllabus classes would not be really adding anything but hours to her schedule. If they were open, or non-syllabus classes I might say go for it,

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speaking of training... My 13 (14 in january) dd is in a not-quite-perfect training schedule. its good, but the schedule they have right now is the same for the higher level dancer (yes... Just one). Basically, she has 1 1/2 hrs technique, 6 days a week with one of those classes being variation and en pointe for the entire class. the other classes she will do pointe for the last 1/2 hr. Plus there are rehearsals saturday afternoon which usually have 1 to 2 hrs en pointe. So... Here's the question. there is really only one studio in my city that has what i would consider a really professional training schedule outside of private lessons but its a bit far for me as I have a son who has his stuff too! the one girl who is in the level above my dd just does all the classes except the contemporary class en pointe. Is that advisable? maybe not right now, but next year if they do not change the schedule to add a pointe class after the technique classes?


thanks for your thoughts.



Oh... Also - this highest level dancer, when doing combinations across the floor, will go with her group (1 or 2 others) but then continue to go with all of the other groups (behind them). I think this is a good idea asi t builds stamina - but is it considered rude?

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I feel that that 1.5 hour technique classes should be technique classes. Separate pointe classes are essential. Maybe not as many per week as technique, but at least 2 for Int. and 3 at the advanced level. I am not a great believer in doing all of the classes on pointe, especially not before the very advanced level, meaning at least 16 years old, generally, Even then, I prefer that they have separate pointe classes. Variations and pas de deux should also be included at that top level. (Unless there are no male dancers for pas de deux.) I allow my most senior advanced students to do the center on pointe in some classes, but not all of them.


As for going with other groups, that is up to the teacher's discretion and would depend a lot on the size of the groups and the room. Adding anyone to a group in some studios makes things across the floor more difficult for the others.

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