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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Moving up a level


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Hello! I’m 13 years old and I want to be moved up a level and skip a level in my studio we have one level 4 class another more advanced level 4 class and I was in the less advanced class from 2021-2022 school year and they placed me in more advance for this year. And I really don’t feel like that level is good for me because I’m more advanced than any of the girls in my class but there is one girl who is very good but she hates ballet even though she has amazing turnout arches and flexibility. I talked to the head of my school a few weeks ago I just don’t know what I should do. Thank you!

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Hello matchaeonpointe and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers!  Please head over to the welcome forum and make a post there telling us a little about yourself and your training goals. :)

As to your level situation—there are many reasons why a student may be placed in a certain level, and it does not have much to do with the other students in that level.  The idea of a level is that there is a certain standard and vocabulary to achieve, not that when one is “better” than everyone else, one should automatically move up.  Instead of looking around the room, try focusing on perfecting your own craft.  Listen to the corrections you’re getting and apply them.  Ask if there is anything you should be focusing on.  Set goals for yourself and strive to meet them.  Physical predisposition (high arches, flexibility) is not the only thing your teachers are looking for.  When I’m evaluating a student, I do so on basis of personal improvement and readiness to take on the next group of difficulties, not how she looks next to Susie Q!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you but I try the hardest and everyone knows that tho I don’t have the most perfect turnout or flexibility but my arches are really good and my technique is pretty good too. I just don’t get it?

Edited by Miss Persistent
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Again, you’re comparing.  “Trying the hardest” is a comparison to others.  And while effort is admirable and sought after, it does not mean that you should move up.  Moving up a level means you are ready for the challenges of the next level, usually new vocabulary.  Every level has things that a student must be able to do before moving on, for example, promanade in retiré.  Ballet is a “slow cook” art; by progressing too fast through levels, the chance is higher that you may miss special details that are being worked on in each level.  Artistry is something that develops over time, not something you can speedrun through by learning all the steps.  

On a more personal note, I understand where you’re coming from, I do.  You’re looking around and wondering what’s going on, and why your effort seems to be going unnoticed.  I was in a similar boat not too long ago—in fact, if you look at my earliest posts you’ll see evidence of that; I’ve been on this board since I was a young teen.  Looking back, with perspective and understanding, and on this side of a lot of pedagogy classes and teaching my own students, I understand why I wasn’t as good as I thought I was; the things that I didn’t even realise I was missing.  I’d tell myself exactly what I’m telling you, and what mods on this board told me at the time:  have patience.  Focus on you, not those around you.  It’s easy to be a big fish in a small pond.

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