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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Switching Ballet Schools


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Hi everyone!

I'm new around here!


I recently switched ballet studios after 9 years at the same studio. The Director at my old studio was abusive, and I didn't think it was a positive learning environment for an aspiring ballerina. I also felt that I was behind in my training. I went away to a great summer program and learned more there in just a few days than I had in 9 years.


So, fast forward to now: I've been at a smaller studio for a few months now. It's not great. I definitely don't want to stay after summer intensive, 2017. The problem is, I want to go to a high caliber ballet finishing school in 2 years, so if I move again at the end of this year to a bigger school in my Metro area, I will have made 3 moves in 3 years. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I'm being exposed to different styles, different teachers. I really don't think I can stay where I am for 1 more year before I head off to the finishing school.


I would love your input!









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  • Administrators

Welcome to our forums, firstloveballet!


The most important thing is to get the best training that you possibly can as soon as you possibly can. If your school is not a pre-professional ballet school, with excellent teachers and a strong schedule of classes, then you need to go to a different school. Sooner rather than later, meaning why wait until next year?


But first, it might help us to help you if tell us more about you. How old are you? (I'm thinking around 16 or 17, if you are planning on a "finishing school" in 2018?) Also, by "finishing school", do you mean a pre-pro company school with a trainee program? And what kind of a schedule do you have now in your current ballet school? Was your SI this past summer at a large school, with a 5 or 6 week program? What level were you placed in for that program? Is there a professional company in your area? Are there really strong pre-professional schools?


All of these things will help us to answer your questions more thoroughly. :)


******Young Dancers, this topic is not yet open for your input. Give me a chance to learn a bit more about our new member so that I can answer her questions with more knowledge of her situation.

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

Is it bad to switch schools 3 times in 3 years?

Any guidance is helpful!!

Thank you!

Edited by firstloveballet
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  • Administrators

Oh, Only 13! By "finishing school" you meant a residence school. :) Okay, that makes a difference, and I understand why you are staying at your school for the rest of this year. But, I'm wondering why you want to go away at 15, when you do have good options for training in your area? Washington Ballet is a very good school, and you also have Maryland Youth Ballet and the Kirov Academy there. All three have excellent records of training dancers to the professional level. Why go away from home if you don't have to?


Switching schools 3 times in 3 years is not such a bad thing. Everyone has to find the school that is the best fit for them. If you are not happy at your current school, then make a change for next year, but do check out the schools first. Go to the school and take a trial class sometime in the spring. Meet and talk to the director of the school, find out your level and the schedule for that level, decide if you like the teacher, the class, and the general atmosphere there. You might find that you are happy there and would not have to leave home before high school graduation. If not, then you and your family have to do some real research on the Residency Programs. It's a very big decision with many, many things to be considered, and there are more programs than the two you listed. :)

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Thanks for your thoughts, Victoria Leigh! I agree with you on getting the best training and trying to find the best fit. I just needed some reassurance. :) I am a very focused dancer, even though I'm young! I'm committed!



Thanks, again!

Edited by firstloveballet
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm switching schools in two weeks, Victoria Leigh! We decided you were right when you said, "Sooner rather than later, meaning why wait until next year?"


Thanks for your advice!

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You are most welcome, firstloveballet. Please keep us informed on how things are going after you get started at your new school. :)

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I feel bad for my mom. She's getting a lot of criticism for the decision to switch studios mid-year. People are telling her it's the wrong decision. We know the current studio is awful. So why do people feel the need to insert their opinion? We were warned about this studio, and now we see why. We feel like it's better to leave now than wait another 5 months.

Edited by firstloveballet
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As long as you and your mom are on the same page, that is great. What other people think is not important. Move on! :)

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi there


I'm kinda having the same story. Loads of people have started to leave my dance school because the teacher is so disorginised but on the other hand I've been there since I was two and has only recently got bad. I've made so many great friends there but at the same time I don't feel like I have learnt much in the last 2 years. I don't feel pushed enough and most of the students just muck around. I recently joined an extra ballet class at this other place and it is so different. Bars, mirrors, sprang floor and just very positive. The teacher is patient and kind too. Do you think I should stay at my original school or look for a new school.


What do you think?


Dark Horse Dancer

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  • Administrators

Dark Horse Dancer, if you do not have barres, mirrors, and a sprung floor in your current studio, then it is definitely time to move on.

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