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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pre-pro schedule?


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For those of you with younger dancers at "pre-pro" schools, what is the normal schedule like? My DD is thinking of auditioning for one, and it looks like it's 15 hours a week total, counting 6 or so hours of modern. She's coming from a school where the full schedule (including modern) is only 4 hours. So it's a huge shift and I'm wanting to make sure it isn't too much for her age. (She took two additional hours of classes under her level last year.) She'll be 11, in her fourth year of classical ballet study. She's had what I believe is solid technique thus far, but her studio can't provide the hours she needs now to really accelerate her training. :/ (they don't get into 1.5 hour classes until they are on pointe, at ages 12,13,14,15...the oldest dancers do cobble together enough hours to put on a pretty show at the end of the year and occasionally make it into some decent big name intensives. They aren't scary on their toes...)

Of course, this is all a moot point if she doesn't make the audition. Lol. I've been told she has the archy banana feet, high insteps, hyper extension, long legs, etc. but given the small size of the program I'm not at all sure she'll get in. Ugh, mommy nerves.

My options in this town are a) scary one day/wk "ballet" at comp schools, B) 4-6 recreational studios, none of which have the "recommended hours," and c) this program, which at age 12 transitions to full-time 6 hours a day....?

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Oh! ETA, "variations" takes up 4.5 hours/wk, I didn't realize that wasn't counted as ballet in the "hours". So it's 4.5 hours/wk of ballet! :)

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I think this thread has the best guideline, it was helpful to me! http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=54927


DD's classes at our prepro had our kids like this last year: (this group was kids ranging in age 10-15 (most of them were 12 or 13).


Classes ran 4 days a week, plus one day only for pilates.


4 days technique 1.75 hours

3 days pointe .75 hours

2 pilates classes

1 contemporary

1 jazz

+ rehearsals


The level below them had less pointe (age range 11-16, mostly 12,13 too)


The level above has one more day of pointe and technique. (age range 11-15, mostly 13, 14)


I have no idea what next year looks like for us as we've not received our schedules yet, but I am guessing it'll be an extra day of pointe and technique. I cannot imagine doing much more than that at this age though, but that's just us. I am sure there are kids who do more!


Good luck, I hope your DD gets into the school she wants!

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Thank you! When I looked at that list I got hung up on "ballet-only." Lol. Obviously it's not tap or jazz, but does "improv" or "variations" count? (I'm not sure I know what either of those even is...) ?

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Just another Mom, but my experience is Variations class is where they learn choreography, usually well known excerpts from different ballets.


Improv has been a modern class when my daughter has taken it, at workshops and summer programs. Her school hasn't offered it.


I wouldn't count variations or improv as "ballet" classes. I only count ballet technique classes where they do barre and center work as "ballet."


DD is going to be 13 in the fall. Last year she did 6 hours ballet, 3 hours pointe, 75 minutes modern, 90 minutes jazz, an hour of tap and an hour of conditioning at her regular school, sometimes taking an extra day of ballet and pointe. Rehearsals were held on Saturdays for an hour or so for a couple months in the fall and spring, with some extra full rehearsals just before performances.


Good luck to your daughter at her audition!

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I don't think variations counts in the ballet only. I think that means technique classes with barre and center. 6 hours of modern seems excessive...I've researched a lot of pre pro schedules and never seen that even for the higher levels. Are there any more schools you could check out?

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That is a big step-up in hours from what she is used to, Satinslippers, and interesting that the modern hours(6) are more than the ballet hours (4.5)--that seems somewhat unusual for a pre-professional ballet school. Then again, many different programs are "pre-pro", so it may be one of the common ways it is done, just not what I have heard of before, based on our region of the country. The link above to the training guidelines is one of my favorites. I think it is a great guideline, and certainly for the ballet hours (4.5) you mentioned, the program fits the hours recommended on this board.

For what it is worth, since you asked, this is what the 11-12 yr olds typically do at our professional-ballet-company affiliated school (which graduates professional dancers from its program and also has many go to college to study ballet):


5.5 hours ballet technique per week (pointe added at the end of technique classes a few months into the year)

0-3 hours per week "extras": jazz, musical theater, character (modern is not an option at this level)

0-6 hours per week for rehearsals on saturdays and sometimes sundays, depending on what the student chooses to do (Nutcracker for those who are cast, audition-only performing group for 11-14yo, spring program/workshops which involve all students).


Best of luck to your DD at the audition!

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Thank you all!!

Your explanations were really helpful. :)

I thought modern ran all week but it's just one day for 1.5 hours. Late night! :) 4 days a week of ballet technique and 3 days a week with variations. So 9 hours a week total. Which makes me much happier!! :D (she can take anothe 2 hours of tech at the end of the week and one more class but they are optional.)

Once she turns 12 and no longer in the junior program, the technique classes jump up to 2-3 hours/day (split, one 2 hour block and usually another 1.5 of technique or pointe later in the day, I think that depends on where she is in her training...)with anatomy, nutrition, modern, improv, character, etc. throughout the day. It's a full-day program at that point running 6 hours a day 4 days a week with another 4 hours on day 5. 3 hours of that time each week is non-dance, either conditioning or anatomy/nutrition/history.

There are no other options for her unless we move across the state or the country. I'm not willing to live in a big city, so this is as good as it gets! ;)

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Thank you for all the good wishes. :) She's nervous re:auditions. I've told her they are by invitation only so it will be less "cattle car" than the annual Nutcracker madness where Half of the state turns up. I hope. Anyway, we're looking at it as a great class with some fantastic teachers and if she happens to land a spot we can re-evaluate at that point. ?

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We are at what I lovingly refer to as a pre-pre-pro. Very nice training but the kids who go onto professional careers all leave by junior/senior year to get more hours and finish their training. The ones who stay have gotten into very good college ballet programs.


Dd12 just finished up her second year of pointe work in a level that required:

90 min ballet 3x a week

Pointe 2.5 hours over 2 days

And optionals:

-60 minutes modern

-60 minutes jazz


Most of last year she actually took 4-5 90min ballet classes a week as they are allowed to take extra in the level below or above.


IF she gets promoted this fall, he schedule would require:

4 90-min ballet classes

3 hours of pointe over 3 days


And optionals:

Extra ballet (if promoted she will take at least 1 extra ballet class)

90 min contemporary

60 min modern

60 min jazz

60 min conditioning


In addition, outside the studio she plans to continue doing 2-3 hours a week of pilates into the fall.

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SatinSlippers, are you talking about a 6 hour day from age 12? Is this a residential program, or do these kids go to school. or are they all on home school programs?

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They are either home schooled are partially public schooled but live at home. It's a daytime-hours program. I *think* the 12-21 year olds have the same length of day but I'm not totally clear on how scheduling, class sizes etc. work.

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(I don't know if I can message you but I'm happy to send you the link to their website if you want to look over the curricula, I would be thrilled to hear your opinion!)

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You do not have enough posts yet to PM, but Contact Us comes directly to me.

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