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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Rehearsing for a Show during Regular Technique Class


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I would love your input on a situation that is really bothering me and my DD (age 8).  She takes a 1.25 hr ballet technique class 2 days a week.  My daughter has been blessed with the "perfect ballet feet" (per her instructors -- not from me as I am clueless about stuff like that).  She started out at the age of 3 taking creative movement and is now 8 yrs old in Ballet 3 at our local studio.  My daughter takes ballet very seriously and literally loves it.  She spent two weeks at the UNCSA Preparatory Dance Intensive this summer and would have loved to have stayed longer.  Here is my dilemma.  Every year, my DD's studio does their own modern version of the classic Nutcracker.  My daughter is not that big of fan of their version of the Nutcracker, as she much more prefers the traditional one.  Every year, the studio puts out emails saying that while they would love for everyone to perform, they understand if you don't and that no regular class time will be used to rehearse as there are special rehearsals set aside for the show.  Since my DD is not crazy about the studio's Nutcracker (and there are only 3 performances), she decided to take a chance and audition for an almost all adult cast of A Christmas Carol at the most respected theatre in our city.  To all of our shock, she got in and has a pretty large part (divided between 3 characters).  She had to tell her ballet studio that she would not able to participate in their Nutcracker this year because she will have 23 performances of A Christmas Carol -- none of which will interfere with her ballet classes at all.  Everyone at the studio said they understood; however, for the last 2 classes, my DD has been asked to sit down on the floor for 20-25 minutes while the teacher has been teaching the others choreography!  I am livid to say the least and this is only October!  The studio sent out multiple emails assuring us that technique classes will not be affected by Nutcracker rehearsals.  My question to you is, how would you handle it?  Would you say something directly to the teacher or would you say something directly to the director?  Or would emailing the director be better?  I know the emails saying that class time would not be affected came from the director.  I don't want the teacher to take it out on my DD by not giving her corrections when needed, etc.  My daughter really wants to excel at ballet and I refuse to pay for her to sit out on part of class.  Any insight would be appreciated.  Thank you in advance. 

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I would probably just respond to the director's email and ask if all the teachers had been made aware of the policy of not rehearsing during class time and mention that your daughter has been asked to sit during parts of her technique class. That way the director is aware that it is happening. Hopefully she would then just remind the teachers of the policy without naming you as the person who brought it to her attention. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Don't look at sitting out as being a waste of time.  When DD (15) or her fellow students have had injuries, it is common practice for the students to sit and observe the class as opposed to not show up despite the fact that they can' physically take part.  It is an opportunity for them to take note of other people's corrections, familiarise themselves with choreography, and be able to recognize the music.   My DD has been cast in one part for Nutcracker this year but has also been asked to watch rehearsals for another part and mark it in the event that she will need to fill a spot. There is more that can be learned.

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I Agee with your comment about watching rehearsals, in general. But sitting out in this instance means class time she's paid for...& she's already stated her dd's lack of interest and availability for the studio's production. So not quite the same thing.

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Main point is that it is stated in writing that class time will not be used for rehearsals. Therefore, it needs to be addressed with the director. 

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