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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Can someone give some advise on this schedule


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Hello - would appreciate advice for a  small 14 year old boy.  We are putting off going to the big prepro for one year and will use this year to prepare for that.

His present studio has three 14 year old boys.  1 of these boys is pure recreational.  The other  2, including my boy, are very seriously pursuing a ballet career.  The only other boys are young beginners.  All of the technique classes are with girls.

Here is the schedule,  which doesn't include rehearsals.  I don't expect him to  be well cast or have many parts for nutcracker so he likely won't have  much :)

45 mins Pilates session for boys
45 mins of strength training for boys

1 hour 45 mins hours technique
45 mins boys class (and possibly pas de deux) - with  a male teacher
45 mins pilates mat class

1 hour of private coaching for  yagp (with female coach)
1 hour 45 mins technique

1 hour 15 mins contemporary
1 hour 45 mins technique

1 hour 45 mins technique
30 mins boys class

1 hour 45 mins technique - with a male teacher
45 mins boys class -with a male teacher

Possible 1-2 hour private with male teacher (may be able to  move  this to another day)

In  addition, I  am really really nervous that my kid will be going to a school of the arts high school "dance" program.  The dance program  is  low quality and I am just worried about extra wear and tear on his  body. He wants to try it because of course he wants more dance and not having to  do  PE, and he is  looking forward to being friends with other boy dancers. He will try to build in another evening at the gym with a friend.

Interested on your take if this is not enough, too much,  or just right for a career bound student.  It seems to match the guidelines that are pinned on this forum, but it's far less than the residential programs.   Does the high school dance  program seem  like a bad  idea? Or am I being  silly.

Thank you!

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My son is 18.  He trained at a local school through 9th grade then transferred to a large company-affiliated training program in 10th grade.  A few thoughts...

1.  Don't worry about him being small right now.  Once the growth spurt kicks in, they grow rapidly and gain a lot of strength.  He'll probably grow a ton this year, so you he'll have to take good care of his body and be on alert for stress injuries that can occur during rapid growth spurts.

2.  15 is a great age for a boy to transfer to a big pre-pro.  In part, because they have mostly completed their growth spurt and have a nearly-grown man's body.  It's difficult to really master the essential men's skills until you have a man's body.  

3.  Daily technique 5 days a week is great.  As long as he's getting really good training in clean technique nearly every day, he doesn't need a ton of hours.  

4.  Does he do any other dance forms like jazz, modern, or contemporary?  Most major pre-pro programs will include some training in these genres.  

5.  I have mixed feelings about the high school arts program.  On the one hand, I can totally understand his wanting to make more guy dance friends.  On the other hand, I would worry about his learning poor technique with an emphasis on tricks.  There's no easy answer there!

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I don't know details about your high school of the arts situation, but my son has just finished a first year at a performing arts middle school, and I think he learned a lot from the classes and we considered it "cross training". He had jazz dance 90 minutes, acting twice a week for 90 minutes each time, singing for 90 minutes and "ballet" (which was easy and technically a little sloppy) for 90 minutes. The ballet was a littl silly for him, but I told him to just spend that period thinking about the corrections he gets at his regular school and focusing on really perfecting the details. There was no emphasis on tricks. 

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Both, thanks so much for the reassurnace and advice!  Im happy to hear that it makes sense to move at 15. I was kinda doubting myself. I just spoke to him and had him read thr feedback. He said he wants to try the dance program in high school and it's not good, he will drop it. 

He does have one contemporary class a week and will also prepare a yagp contemporary piece. Perhaps the high school thing will cover other kinds of dance. 



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Assuming he has good training available at home, I think 15 might even be young for entering the "finishing" type schools. Where my son goes (and he is younger than this), I see the biggest influx of boys seems to be more around age 16 and older. While they certainly continue to grow and physically mature, they are already past the big growth spurt and have gained the strength and coordination that comes a little later for many boys. It makes sense to me that they are physically ready to learn the advanced male technique at that point, and not as vulnerable to the overuse injuries that kids get when they are growing rapidly. Older teens are also probably socially and emotionally more ready for the independence that is required to move away from home for ballet training. 

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Okay that's great and very reassuring!  Sometimes I feel so dumb about this ballet stuff and afraid to make a mistake.  I really appreciate your insights!

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Me too nynydancer. My son is younger than yours, so I'm not yet at the point you are. His schedule looks very reasonable to me, and it sounds like he's willing to be flexible and give things a try. Good luck!

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