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Ballet Talk for Dancers

8 yo DD wants to change schools


myrrha

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I have recently moved my 2 DD's (11 yo and 8 yo) to a new ballet school. The move was mainly for the sake of my 11 yo that basically outgrew her previous school. My 11yo loves the school and is doing very well. It is a really great school and have turned out many professional dancers. But my 8 yo who seemed to like ballet a lot before is now saying she wants to quit. The reason she is giving is that it's too hard for her, she can't do a lot of the things the other kids in her class can do easily and she is one of the oldest children in her class. But, the class seems to focus more on stretching and gymnastics type of things rather than ballet. My DD says almost all the kids in the class can do cartwheels really well and a backward bridge into a walkover but she can't. I think it's a little odd that they are even doing those type of things in ballet class, it could be b/c the instructor for that class was a rhythmic gymnast rather than a ballet dancer. I know that in the upper classes they are learning ballet b/c my older DD is and she doesn't have any sort of tumbling type things she has to do. I also think my younger DD really still wants ballet b/c when I asked her if she really wants to just quit or go to a different school, she says she wants a different school. So, should I encourage her to stick with this school b/c she will eventually be learning some real ballet? I don't think at her age she could learn that much real ballet yet anyway and all the stretching and tumbling will make her nice and flexible.

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I would consider the gymnastics a HUGE red flag. It is supposed to be a ballet class not a gymnastics class, yes? To give you perspective, most serious pre-pro ballet schools begin training in a real way at the age of 8. Not to mention, is there any sort of safety equipment in a ballet studio that would support teaching gymnastics? Like proper mats and spotting? It sounds like your 8 yr old really knows what she wants! LOL I would ask to observe a class to get a proper feel for what is going on, or conversely ask the AD. Good luck!

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This appears to be a recurrent concern for your younger daughter since moving to this new studio.

 

Personally, I'm with her. The 'stretches' you have described in previous posts occuring in that class are not ballet and are not needed for ballet. This is gymnastics pure and simple (well, not 'simple gymnastics' even). If your younger daughter wants a ballet class, I'd have to agree with her that this is not it.

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If that is taking place in the 8 years old's class, I would want to check on what is going on in all of the classes. You might need to find a new school for both of them.

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Now I'm starting to think things over. I feel like this is a great school. It is a small school, not affiliated with a company, Vaganova based training. For the older dancers, they have a pre pro track. For all the ages, they provide the appropriate amount of training hours wise. My older DD loves the school and she has been really improving since coming here. I have been able to watch my older DD's classes and they have purely ballet training only, they don't do any sort of tumbling at all. Many dancers from here have gone on to professional careers. They send some dancers to YAGP and RAD each year. In YAGP , many dancers place pretty high. Does this seem like a good school?

 

I think I want to keep my older DD where she is. Can someone recommend some good schools to look at in my area for the younger one? I have already looked at the big name school in my city, my older DD auditioned for it when she was 10 and wasn't accepted. I don't want to put my younger DD through that and maybe have her be rejected as well. it's hard for a little kid. I just want to know if there are any good schools I might have missed or don't even know about.

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Have you looked in the Finding a Pre-pro Ballet School Forum? It is arranged geographically and alphabetically. That's probably the best place to ask for schools in your area so that the information is all in one place. :thumbsup:

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