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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Changing Studios

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gabby's mom

My daughter (14) took a hiphop class the other day, the first one in about 3 years.  It got squeezed out of the schedule by ballet when she was about 11, as did tap, acrobatics, and musical theater.  This past year it has been all ballet and one weekly modern class.  She's mentioned hiphop off and on, and I finally found a place that seems like it will work with her schedule next year.  She was nervous and feeling pretty awkward.  The studio owner, teacher, and students welcomed her.  They did a warm up and started in on their recital dance, which they started over a month ago.  DD took the place of an absent student.  Halfway into class she'd learned the choreo, was keeping up with the kids in class, and starting to get the "flavor" of it.  She came out happy and is looking forward to taking class next year.  I guess my point is, missing a year or two of other genres of dance doesn't have to mean the end, as long as the quality ballet training continues.  Not sure about in your area, but in our area there is at least one studio that offers tap, musical theater, jazz, acro, pretty much anything you'd want, and has ballet dancers that place at YAGP NYC and go on to work in ballet companies. 

Just wanted to offer some food for thought.  We've had to make several adjustments along the way to try to keep my daughter in the "right" place for her training based on her goals, which have changed a bit over time.  I'm sure a good solution will start to "feel" right by fall.  

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Wow DanceDaddy! Mid-July is pretty late. I called two dance studios where dd could possibly take non-ballet classes, and they both told me that their schedules won't be out until the end of June. But our ballet studio will want a 50% deposit for next year before then so we have to make a decision fast! :wacko:

And yes, Elf Font, I considered BDC. They mostly have Saturday classes, so I was hoping dd could possibly go there in the afternoon following ballet. Based on their evaluation of her, she'd be placed in their intermediate-level classes, which are also held Saturday morning at the times of ballet. I haven't considered their drop-in classes. I thought drop-ins were for adults, but teens could attend with the instructor's permission. DD is only 10 & looking for something consistent that she can attend weekly with other children.  

Thank you so much gabby's mom for sharing your experience! You reminded me that ballet dancers are usually the most fluid & can pick up other styles quickly. To my knowledge, NYC ballet schools don't participate in YAGP, but the ADs do attend and scout dancers to join year-round. I don't know much about the smaller studios.   

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On 3/27/2017 at 10:22 AM, Noodles said:

Any thoughts on how to approach a dancer who feels that she is ready for more, knows she needs more, but is still very attached to her home studio?

In reading this thread, I noticed my own question from a year ago. I just wanted to update that we made a move to a new studio and it has been the best thing ever for my dancer. I know change is hard, but wonderful things evolve when you push outside of the comfort zone. The sad thing was leaving friends behind but she did what was best for her and has absolutely blossomed this year. Good luck to all of those facing this challenge! 

DanceMumNYC...can you further explore your 3rd option? You mentioned that there was a school that was a possibility but you were not sure that the quality of ballet instruction is as good as your dancer currently gets. It sounds worthy of further investigation, and you may be incorrect about the training. Good luck!

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I'm glad everything worked out for you & your dd, Noodles! The 3rd option school that I mentioned is one where she can take everything. However, it's not a pre-prof ballet school like where she is now. My biggest fear is that leaving this big-name school means she won't be able to return mid-year or next year if we learn that it was a mistake switching schools. There is always a long wait-list & someone will gladly take her spot. I did call this 3rd option school though, & they are the ones who won't have a schedule out until late June, but dd's current ballet studio will already ask for a deposit in early/mid-June. :wacko: I am trying to see if dd can at least get into a trial class.

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