Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Can pre professional school wait?


Recommended Posts

My son is considered to have potential - great feet and flexibility, technique good from 10 years of training, slim build. However he is only just heading into puberty so hasn't the strength, power or height of his peers. He is also pretty challenged on the organisational front with ADHD. I can't imagine sending him away to a preprofessional school until he is at least 16, as he couldn't cope with distance school work or even managing himself and stuff properly.


I realise he is now falling behind boys who are in full time training, but wondered if there was still any possibility of a career on the slower track. Or shall I disrupt the family in the next year or so and move me/us to a city with a school?

Link to comment

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers Hellyh!


A career in ballet depends on so many factors: You've touched on a couple of them: nice feet, flexibility, & technical proficiency. There are also other things like physical proportions, musicality, artistry, determination, and an ability to persevere despite hardships. Since we are unable to see your son, we are not in a position to decide on if he has what it takes for a career in ballet.... so we'll focus on other things.


Great training is paramount. It does not matter if your son trains in a small school, or a huge pre-professional school attached to a company, as long as the training is solid. You might want to check our guidelines for a male dancer here: http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=58306 The path for males is also slightly more accommodating due to the percentage of males to females and the jobs that are available to each. This means that if it takes a couple more years for your son to mature, and he has to go to college, there still might be positions for him in the future.


Since you are new here, we'd love for you to stop by the Welcome Forum and introduce yourself & your son there. You mention 10 years of training - how old is your son? How many technique classes does he take per week? How many hours per day? What is his favorite aspect of ballet?


Then, spend some time reading.... We have lots of information on this site. There will be "pinned" topics at the top of every forum and there will be a rules and policies link on the bottom right corner of every page. You can also easily search for topics with a couple keywords in the top right corner of any page.


Welcome & enjoy!!

Link to comment

Thanks so much for your advice and I realise it was an impossible question. I have posted an introduction to myself and to him on the Welcome page. My son will be 15 in Oct. It sounds like he is doing around the minimum for his age 13 hours a week RAD and variations, 1 hour each limbering and contemporary - but no light weight training - only flexibility. Having only just started growing and being slight, he is pretty weak in the upper body, injuring his shoulder lifting a girl in a recent troupe dance. His teacher has a real thing about weights - worried about bulking I think, but maybe we should talk to the pilates studio about some weight exercises?

Link to comment

My DS went to vocational school just as he was turning 14. We were told categorically if he left it later he would still be able to be a dancer, but wouldn't realise his full potential. I honestly don't know how true this is- how can you ever tell? (we couldn't try it both ways!!). He wants a career in classical ballet and isn't really too interested in anything else. he begged us to let him go and hasn't regretted it for one instant.

He is still (at almost 17) considered to be a bit 'behind' in terms of technique, but is expected to have caught up by the time he is 18. Several teachers have suggested an extra year of training would be beneficial (he is young in the school year with an end of Aug birthday so he would still only be 18 as he finished).

I agree it's a bit impossible to answer this question definitively but I would note that DS currently does about 25 hours a week, sometimes more when he is in rehearsal. He couldn't possibly have managed this without being at vocational school. We were told the window of opportunity for ballet is short and early. I guess we were convinced (tho without the scholarship it wouldn't have been possible no matter how convinced we were!)

Link to comment

If your child goes to a school that has good teaching, thorough studies in partnering, men's work, character, jazz, modern, Spanish dance, Pilates, repertoire and music studies, no your child does not need to change schools. The reality is that more often than not, professional schools offer a spectrum of dance studies that young people not enrolled in professional schools do not have at their finger tips. When comparing dancer to dancer, those who have an education that enriches their abilities as performers tend to rise to the top more quickly than those who do not. When reading through the biographies of corps de ballet members vs soloists and principles in top level companies, you might compare those who were enrolled in professional programs of study and those who were not.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

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

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...