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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I was told not to take anymore classes....

Guest SpiritIvy

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Guest SpiritIvy

I started late (14) and I will be sixteen in about 2 weeks. I have nearly caught up to the level I should be at for my age, but I want to continue to be able to advance and what not... In any case thats not the point...


I am in 5 classes a week for ballet. they are 2 hours long each. 2 are at a slightly lower level because there are only 3 classes a week at my level. Pointe is the last 15-20 minutes of class, 25 minutes if we are really lucky. I know that this isn't enough. Besides that I love my dancing and I'd like to be in more classes. I hate that we have so little pointework... I was used to taking full classes on pointe, I used to be able to do clean double pirouettes en pointe and I had been learning fouettes. I feel that I am not as confident on pointe anymore... we don't get anywhere in our pointe classes because they are so short.....


I talked to my teacher about being in more ballet classes, she knows that I want to be a professional dancer. She told me five is enough, that I shouldn't be in anymore.


I was surprised because a lot of teachers encourage you to take a lot of class. I doubt it's because I don't have talent... I've had a teacher who danced with ABT tell me twice in one class that I have talent.... my current teacher says I also have talent, and she is very impressed with my progress since I have moved.... why would they lie?


I also don't get any variations or pas de deux. THOSE classes are reserved for only advanced and company.


My teacher says I will be in advanced soon, which means I would take class 5 days a week plus a variations/pas de deux class. But sometimes the advanced level classes are only 1 hour and 30 minutes because they don't do pointe in all of them.... I'd be taking LESS time....


There aren't any better studios around so I guess I am stuck here for a while but what should I do? Should I try to talk to the artistic director or someone else? I worry that they will all tell me the same thing but I don't think thats true... a lot of people my age take a lot more class than I do... I am so confused...

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SpiritIvy, 5 classes a week of two hours each is not bad for an Intermediate level student. You have had less than two years of training, so this is way more than most students receive who have been dancing such a short time. If you are in the best school there is in your area, and the school has turned out good dancers, then you will have to trust them. If the school does not have a record of training professional dancers, then you may need to find one that does before too long. If you find that their advanced students are not strong enough to be competitive with others of their age and length of training because they don't get enough class time, then you may need to try to get into a full time academy like Harid, Kirov, NCSA, Walnut Hill, etc. At the moment I don't think there is anything you can do except to keep working as hard as you can, and maybe do some extra pointe work on your own after classes. Do you plan to audition for an SI this summer? Have you thought of going somewhere which also has a full time academic and residential program?

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Guest SpiritIvy

Thank you, Ms. Leigh.


I am still fairly new to the area and I really don't know very much about how good the studio is compared to other places. Apparently they have had some people go on to professional companies, although they never told me where. I have a feeling that if they had gone on to larger companies like Boston Ballet or San Fransisco they would have stated so... I learned the hard way that they like to "bluff over" some things and they love to brag about anything remotely big that happens for publicity. They are big on getting their name out there, I have a feeling I'd know if someone had made it to a relatively large company. I'm not totally positive so once break is over I will ask around a bit.


They have had a couple people make it to Interlochen Arts and one girl spent last summer at Boston Ballet's SI in the top level, and another has been to Kirov. Both have been to ABT's SI. Apparently one girl spent last year at a school in PA, although I am not sure which school. I guess it can't be so bad lol.


The people in advanced don't seem to have any trouble making it places when they try, but it seems that only about half the class is really motivated to dance. A few of my friends from that level have told me bluntly that they only take it so they don't get fat. They are good, but just don't take it too seriously.


I do plan to audition for a few summer intensives. I am not really sure which ones yet because I might not be able to afford to attend ALL the audition classes, but the tours that come to my area are Kirov (I seriously can't remember their new name...), Boston Ballet, Ballet Met, Walnut Hill, Burklyn Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. ABT's tour goes to a city about 7 hours away from where I live, and my best friend (who also wants to audition for them) lives somewhere in between my city and the city where the audition is. Right now I'm trying to convince my parents to drive us there as a really really awesome sweet sixteen present :cool: hopefully that works out :D other than their Studio Company they don't have anything year round, but my dream is to be in their company, so I still want to audition (: I probably wouldn't make it to that one but it would definately be a good experience. I am probably going to apply for the Jillana School and I am also going to apply to some smaller intensives.


I've definately thought of a full time school, so I'm trying to attend auditions that have year round programs because they invite people from their SIs to go year round. I've thought of going to Interlochen but the academic part scares me- I'm homeschooled and am used to 4 hours of work a day... not 4 hours of class and then 4 hours of homework later on top of a ton of dance.


Thanks so much for the advice!

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