Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Added classes because of skill or more boys


SonDoesDance

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, this is my first post- I've been spending a lot of times going through other threads before deciding if I needed to post or not.

 

My son is 7 years old and this is his second year dancing. Last year, ( his first year) he only did hip hop and tap. This year we added in jazz and contemporary per his interest after seeing the previous years in recital. After a couple of weeks into his class jazz class he asked if could try ballet because he noticed similar vocabulary and moves between the two classes. Our AD loved the idea of him doing ballet ( obviously lol) so she suggested Ballet I. My son seems to be really enjoying himself in that class, he talks about it all the time, and his teacher seems very surprised by how he's been picking it up ( I think it could just be his "experience" in taking other dance classes and knowing how to listen), And even shared his ballet moves to his classmates at school.

 

BTW, There's only one other boy that does ballet in the studio and he is about 14/15.

 

Recently, our AD suggested ( more like wondered aloud) that my son take another ballet class because of his interest and for more/better parts later on. She also mentioned in a off-handed semi- jokingly comment that she was grooming my son to be the other boys understudy. I know at the this point it's definitely not a possibly lol, but it is kind of worrisome, that she's already thinking this so early. Or maybe I'm just being overprotective, I haven't really had time to talk to her about it because we're in the middle if Nutcracker rehearsals.

 

The Ballet class that he would do (starting in January) would be Ballet II. I dont know much about the differences between the two classes except that ballet II Is twice a week for practice. He would stay in his current Ballet I class to continue learning the basics. Is this something that typically happens with dancers? Taking different levels of ballet at the same time?

 

I talked to my son and asked if he would be interested in taking two more ballet classes, he of course said yes. He just loves it. But going from five hours of dance to seven seems like a lot to me. And I feel like the reason for it happening isn't nessasarily based on skill but more of a need...is that pretty common as well. Here's his current and possible schedule.

 

Current schedule

Monday- Jazz (1 hour), Tap (1 hour), Contemporary (1 hour)

 

Tuesday - Guitar (45 min)

 

Wednesday- OFF

 

Thursday- Hip Hop (1 hour)

 

Friday- OFF

 

Saturday- Ballet I (1 hour)

 

Possible schedule

Monday- Jazz (1 hour), Tap (1 hour), Contemporary (1 hour)

 

Tuesday - Ballet II (1.50 hours), Guitar (45 min)

 

Wednesday- OFF

 

Thursday- Ballet II (1.50 hours), Hip Hop (1 hour)

 

Friday- OFF

 

Saturday- Ballet I (1 hour)

Link to post
  • Administrators
Victoria Leigh

Well, it is a lot for a 7 year old, but, if he shows both the interest and ability, and can handle the schedule without getting worn out, it's not totally a bad idea. As long as he still has the Ballet 1 level for basics, if the teacher feels he is ready, you might try it and see how it goes. I normally do not believe in pushing them too much too soon, but the difference between the two might not be beyond his capability. I would suggest that if you decide to do it, you make an arrangement with the teacher that if it does not work well for him that he can drop the Level 2. (I'm thinking in terms of if it is a studio where you have to pay for a full semester, rather than monthly, that is a big commitment.) Or, perhaps you just ask her if she is willing to let him try it for a couple of weeks before committing.

 

Oh, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Tayperry88! :)

Link to post

When my son started ballet 3 years ago after many years of hip-hop, he was in Beg. Ballet and Int. Ballet. The mix of the two proved very useful as he could see the purpose of some of the exercises in the beg. level actually applied in the int. level. He was able to advance faster and is now in the advance level with his peers. I know every child is different, so you should set a timeframe to test it out and then make a decision whether or not it is beneficial/working for your son.

Link to post

I'm worried about the number of hours for a 7 year old. Dancing 4 days a week even if they are different styles is a lot of wear and tear on a young body. I also fear he might burn out. Talk to the AD and see if he can try it for a week or two. See if he comes out energized or exhausted. A 1.5 hour class is normal for Ballet II, but can be a long time to focus for a little guy. Welcome to Ballet Talk and good luck with your DS.

Link to post

Based upon my own experience with my DS I agree with chel. I see what Victoria has said also which tells me it must be ok for some boys to dance this much. ALL the boys and young men I know find the years between about 11-15 very challenging and many seem to look for other activities at that age. I think that you wont regret holding him back for awhile, keeping his interests broad and leaving the intensity of dance for a few years yet. Boys travel a different path than girls and our experience is that they are easily 'lost' along the road. Just tread carefully, he has a long time to get serious. My other bit of advice is his enthusiasm can disappear as quickly as it appears. My DS almost quit as a result of a very keen teacher who jumped all over him (metaphorically) and wore him out emotionally and psychologically. Just be careful. A boys relationship with ballet can be fragile. When you can, find him a male teacher to mentor and support him. Our experience is that the men 'get it' (the journey your boy is on)and tread carefully with our boys.

Link to post

My son did this as well when he moved from a rec studio to a pre-pro school. He was 11 at the time. He was dancing in two levels to get caught up in the basics. This only was necessary for less than 1 semester because he caught on so quickly and was personally driven to do so. I would be very careful about pushing him too fast though. He doesn't need to be groomed, he needs to be nurtured. The best advice I ever got was from the ballet teacher at the rec studio before we moved. She was the one who told me he needed more and needed to move. We will always be grateful to her. She told me to make sure to protect him from AD's and rehearsal directors who were only interested in rushing him along in his training. Be sure to find someone who is interested in developing him and his skills correctly for his sake, not for their sake. Educate yourself on what a boy his age should be able to handle in regards to his physical growth. His current teacher is the absolute best - they expect a lot out of him but also make sure he doesn't do things that could cause injury.

Link to post

Thanks everyone or your advice! I talked her his current teacher and let her no that he would be adding the next level of ballet classes to his "dance load". She was very supportive and she thinks he would do well in the class. She said her only concern would be that he is "typical boy" and can become distracted during class and/or gets outs of position when she is correcting others (which concerns me, because I think it also reflects on some level he isn't mature enough to be in the next level of ballet when it comes to behavior/discipline). She told me she will talk with the teachers and give them information about him and current style/technique. We will do a two-three week trial and see how he's fitting into the classes and handling/managing the schedule. I am worried about burnout, so if it because too much for him in any way we will definitely pull back.

Link to post

Oh, also he's on full scholarship so money isn't really an issue as far as classes go.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

If he is already on scholarship, it might be worth it to have him try out the classes and see if he likes it. If it is too much for him, then you can cut it back and try again when he is a little older. Or wait another yr and have him try it then.

 

I also have a seven year old and he would not be able to handle the schedule. We do 2 1.5hr ballet classes a week and a 1 hr tap class. Next year we'll add a 1 hr jazz class. Will probably not add the 3rd ballet class until he is 9 yr old. At our studio they move to pre-pro around age 11 and dance 4 days/week.

Link to post

I have 7 y o and he would be just fine with this schedule. He currently takes ballet 2/3 times a week, but very intensive, fencing 2 times/week in advanced level class and pretty much moves non stop all other times, (he also goes to Sunday school where he takes 4 classes, language and science). We don't have a good hip hop studio (he had additional hip hop last year, but it was pathetic). Boys at this age need to move all the time, so it is not really an effort but rather need of his body. It all depends on the child, but mine seems to want more. I wish we had a scholarship though, it is pretty pricey.But our studio don't have the policy of it yet. My pediatrician says he needs an active movement at least 2 hours/day. Good luck!

Link to post

Kr12, good point. I probably should take advantage of it since he's on scholarship. His first class is this Thursday so we see how it goes. I've already arranged to speak with the teacher after the first class to see watch she thinks. Ezhinsky- my son is definitely a little mover and has a "need to dance"! I fear burn out for him, but I don't want him to miss any possible opportunities. Tough tough... I did mention his schedule to his pediatrician a couple months ago and he said trust my son will tell me when he's tired/overworked..:/

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

My son is 7 and he takes 12 hours of ballet a week. He started with tap and a ballet class then ended up at a pre pro school for ballet. We started the regular season after an SI and the regular year seemed like nothing compared to the SI, I guess he just got used to going every day. If we dont go he asks why we arent going. I think they absolutely can tell if a child at that age has the mind, facility and interest in it. The ones that dont wont last that long usually. If he wants to take it then let him do it, its fantastic for them!

Link to post

Tayperry88, Am parent of 16-year-old male dancer who started at 5 so have been there. Just make sure his enjoying himself so he dosent get burned out. Follow his lead with other interests, tiredness, etc.... He may need to cut back while going through growth spurts. You have to be his advocate and be very proactive with managing this. My experience is even the best intentioned AD will be thrilled to have a boy in the studio and may suggest too much. Every child is different and you know him best so follow your instincts and do what is best for him, not the the studio or anyone else. He has time!

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...