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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Should she stay or should she go?

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]You might consider what your DD dance curriculum will be in the new program in your home school. At 14, in residential programs, partnering, ample pointe classes, repertoire, modern, character and pilates are offere..

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Since, for the most part, a full curriculum is offered, it may not be a bad idea to keep your DD home for one more year. Of course, any program is only as good as the teachers, be it a local studio, a company school or a residential program. All the best to you and your DD.

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From personal experience I can say that the maturity factor can have a huge effect. Many of my younger classmates in residency (15-16) were perhaps more "talented" or prodigies since they were technically advanced for their age, but they were often not mentally as mature as the ones a few years older-- which was really important for us because we were living more or less completely independently with no supervision. So the younger students were often (not always, but often) the ones who were more susceptible to problems with partying, smoking, eating disorders, injuries, irresponsible behavior etc. This is sometimes even the case if students live in dorms and are "set free" at a certain point without developing necessary life skills. Plus they often get burnt out and have a difficult time at the beginning of their careers-- or the "head start" they had at the beginning gets canceled out by having to take time off due to injuries/personal issues due to the lack of maturity. So I would definitely try to get some "inside information" if possible on the living situation/peer pressure/pressure in general at the schools you are looking at. If the training in your area is at a high standard, a year or two more at home will probably benefit, not hurt your dancer. Of course, if she is very mature she could go off on her own with no issues! Also in my case it may have been more extreme because all of us were living in a different country and most were finished with academic schooling already.

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