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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Time Commitment For Young Boys


Clpretzel

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Echoing CeliB's post #9, another thing to consider is that there are many wonderful activities like music and sports that young boys can do early on and that will eventually

come to complement their ballet training. Although my son's primary foci now are ballet and music, he had quite a balance of activities as a young boy, and

I can now see how all them them helped to make him a better dancer.

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DS danced once a week for an hour at 7. He also participated in sports and scouts and ran around the neighborhood doing little guy things. He was 11 before he gave up any other activities to increase dance hours.

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My DS started at 7 yrs. old with 1 1/2 hours of ballet each week. He also had soccer and piano. The next schoolyear he quit soccer and went 2 days a week to ballet with 1 1/2 hours of ballet each of those days. At 12, he quit piano and focused just on ballet.

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Our experience has been that DS (who took his first dance class when he was 10) has benefited from starting later. Like other parents have already posted, he tried various other activities (swimming, soccer etc) before taking some tap classes. He liked that a lot but was only doing it once each week. When he was dragged into his first ballet class, things changed quickly and he was in the studio several times each week. He loved it and felt that this was the activity that suited him the best. I am glad that he has non-dance skills and interests (like playing the guitar). Not only are these the activities he turns too during his spare time (hah!) but it also gives him interests he can share with non-dancing boys (including all the males in his extended family!). I think that our sons are at risk of being so isolated from their peers that having some outside interests is important. Once they get into the dance world, it seems pretty difficult to develop new interests. It seems to me that the time when they are still children is invaluable for establishing interests. Now that DS is 16, he is in the studio virtually full time. He doesn't have time to learn a new skill!

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Thyme's point is really important. It is jazz band that keeps my son connected socially at school. I'm glad he took the time at a younger age to cultivate this interest. Now if we can find an s.i. that will let him bring his trombone along.....

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I know that there are different paths to the dance world, but we have found it beneficial for our son to have started in gymnastics. For one, there were many more boys, he developed various areas of his body and a good body sense, and competed which I think taught him the importance of pushing yourself and teamwork. So far, it has translated well into the dance world. Gymnastics was also a safe way for him to express himself without being bullied (which happened when he first went into ballet).

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Ballet is my son's second activity. He will never give up his first activity, so he'll never be able to put in the kind of hours that some boys do.

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Members - please be careful with offering advice (advice on BT4D is left for the teachers and moderators). Only state your experience with your dancer and remember that we do not compare the experience of our dancer with that of someone we do not know.

 

I hope my comment didn't come across overly didactic. I just didn't want to mislead anyone by giving an incorrect impression of our experience. I think what also should be made clear is that DS wanted to train in the Russian method and there simply aren't enough Russian ballet teachers in the UK to get the number of classes someone aged 14 plus would need. So vocational school was our only option.

 

If another style of ballet teaching suits and you can gain sufficient hours outside normal schooling this would of course amount to the same thing...

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MIn, If he really wants to both do dance and trombone for a summer program, have you looked at Blue Lake in northern Michigan? They are a Fine Arts camp that with a major, minor system allows more than one type of performance opportunity.

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