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I have a 13 year old who is almost 14.   This year she danced 5 days a week for 11 hours.  She is not on the most dedicated team this year and compromised with this number so she could also try more theater.  She was in 2 large theater productions this year, will do one this summer, and was just cast in a huge holiday regional production that will perform 50 times.  She takes voice lessons now too.

Since she started part time dance she focuses on ballet with pointe and then tap.   Anything else is gravy.   Her studio has spring recital tonight and tomorrow!  We need to figure out what she can do over the summer.   She is also going to a musical theater camp for a week this summer.  

She started with 1 class in kindergarten! Ramped up to level 1 in 1st grade which was 2 days a week maybe 4 hours.   Level 2 was 3 days, level 3 was 4 days, level 4/5 was 5 days.   Now that I think about it she is probably only doing 2-3 hours less than the performance team.   She is not dedicated and focused and as naturally flexible as some of these girls.  

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22 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

My dd is 13. She dances 6 days a week, about 17 hours of class time and usually 4 hours of rehearsals.  No, between school and ballet there is not much time for other things, but she loves dancing and has great friends at the studio, so it's become her social outlet as well.

 

Maybe I need to look for another place

The 13-15 year old girls and boys on average don't dance that much at our school. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

What are all the dancers doing this summer?  

Regular classes? Intensives? 

I don't know anything about dance, as I never did it.  I am hearing different things from other parents and am wondering what you think is best.  Some people of older dancers are taking the summer off, some are going the intensive route. 

What camp do you fall into? 

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On 5/15/2018 at 7:33 PM, mommyoffive said:

 

Is your dancer just taking ballet classes? 

Sorry, I missed this. 

My daughter has 5-6 ballet classes (1.5 hours each) per week. She takes 4 at her level and 1 extra class that is 2 levels lower, she does that class en pointe, most weeks she ends up with one of her other classes en pointe too. Then for a couple months of the year she has an extra ballet class at her level to help prepare for exams (RAD). She takes modern and jazz (required at her level) for 1 hour each and she takes an hour of Tap (optional). 

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On 5/16/2018 at 6:56 AM, mommyoffive said:

 

Maybe I need to look for another place

The 13-15 year old girls and boys on average don't dance that much at our school. 

I think instruction quality is more important than spending a huge number of hours in class. If my dd took just the required number of classes she would have 8 hours a week. The most committed dancers at our studio probably max out at about 12 hours of classes. Rehearsal times increase a lot as they get older and get more/better parts, most weeks dd has 2-5 hours of rehearsals (for 2-3 months before nutcracker and 2-3 months before our June show). 

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23 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

What are all the dancers doing this summer?  

Regular classes? Intensives? 

I don't know anything about dance, as I never did it.  I am hearing different things from other parents and am wondering what you think is best.  Some people of older dancers are taking the summer off, some are going the intensive route. 

What camp do you fall into? 

We have a 3 week (9am-4pm) intensive at our studio that dd will do (has always done so far). Next year she will likely audition for some other intensives, our director likes the girls to be about 15 before they go away to intensives. 

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34 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

What are all the dancers doing this summer?  

Regular classes? Intensives? 

I don't know anything about dance, as I never did it.  I am hearing different things from other parents and am wondering what you think is best.  Some people of older dancers are taking the summer off, some are going the intensive route. 

What camp do you fall into? 

At our studio regular classes are not offered during the summer, but there is a four week intensive. It is M-F, 2:30-8:15. This year both my dancers are old enough to participate. 

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42 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

What are all the dancers doing this summer?  

Regular classes? Intensives? 

I don't know anything about dance, as I never did it.  I am hearing different things from other parents and am wondering what you think is best.  Some people of older dancers are taking the summer off, some are going the intensive route. 

What camp do you fall into? 

 

I was just looking at this.  I think DD8 is going to do a week long day camp at her studio, and that will be it.  They offer weekly drop-in classes, but I don’t think she will do those this year.  

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Can we talk about pre -pointe work? 

Sorry for all the questions, but I have no dance experience. 

 

Is this with different shoes?  Meaning do you need pointe shoes for this? 

Do boys do pre-pointe work?   Do boys go up on pointe?  They don't wear pointe shoes right? 

What is pre-pointe work? 

 

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41 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Can we talk about pre -pointe work? 

Sorry for all the questions, but I have no dance experience. 

 

Is this with different shoes?  Meaning do you need pointe shoes for this? 

Do boys do pre-pointe work?   Do boys go up on pointe?  They don't wear pointe shoes right? 

What is pre-pointe work? 

 

 

Pre-pointe is for strengthening the leg and foot muscles to prepare them for pointe in the future.  It usually does not involve different shoes- just regular ballet shoes.  The class does not work on performance or recital pieces- it's strictly about working the muscles and preparing the body for the strain that is to come.  Students in pre-pointe are often given specific exercises to work at home every day when they are not in class.

It's a great class.  Even if you're not interested in going up, the strengthening is excellent and beneficial for all styles of dance.   In my experience with two different ballet programs, girls generally take two years of pre-pointe before being recommended to go up, but I've seen strong girls who only take one year of pre-pointe before going up.  I've also seen older girls decide they want to do pointe, but have not had the benefit of a couple of years of pre-pointe.  It totally showed! But how do you tell a high school senior who wants to try pointe after all these years that she should have taken pre-pointe first.  ?

Boys generally do not do pre-pointe or go up, but there are some who do.  Very few schools offer boys pointe- and yes the ones that go up do wear pointe shoes.  I can't even imagine trying to find pointe shoes for my son! Lol! We have enough troubles with tap and jazz shoes!

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2 hours ago, Lady Marmalade said:

 

Pre-pointe is for strengthening the leg and foot muscles to prepare them for pointe in the future.  It usually does not involve different shoes- just regular ballet shoes.  The class does not work on performance or recital pieces- it's strictly about working the muscles and preparing the body for the strain that is to come.  Students in pre-pointe are often given specific exercises to work at home every day when they are not in class.

It's a great class.  Even if you're not interested in going up, the strengthening is excellent and beneficial for all styles of dance.   In my experience with two different ballet programs, girls generally take two years of pre-pointe before being recommended to go up, but I've seen strong girls who only take one year of pre-pointe before going up.  I've also seen older girls decide they want to do pointe, but have not had the benefit of a couple of years of pre-pointe.  It totally showed! But how do you tell a high school senior who wants to try pointe after all these years that she should have taken pre-pointe first.  ?

Boys generally do not do pre-pointe or go up, but there are some who do.  Very few schools offer boys pointe- and yes the ones that go up do wear pointe shoes.  I can't even imagine trying to find pointe shoes for my son! Lol! We have enough troubles with tap and jazz shoes!

 

Thanks for all the info. 

It sounds like it would be great for my 12 year old girl.  I am just trying to figure out if my son should or should not do it.  I talked about it with their teacher, and I think she thought it would be good for him.  But I had 3 kids tugging and climbing on me so I can hardly remember. 

So if some boys do pre-pointe work is it just to go up on pointe?  Or is there some other reason to do it? 

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At our studio, the boys are with the girls in co-ed classes until the level before pre-pointe. Then they have all male classes until the girls are in intermediate pointe. At that stage, they return to taking some classes with the girls again and learning partnering.

In conversations I've had with people, it sounds like one of the primary reasons for boys to learn pointe is to become dance teachers themselves. It's not done on stage often at all.

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My ballet boy - who adores ballet so, so much - didn't advance his level for next year. Sigh. His toe line is too tight. He works on it constantly, but I don't know if genetics is just going to bite him in the butt on this one or what. They'd like him to switch to contemporary ballet, but he thinks that's absurdly lame and has zero interest. I'm trying to figure out what to do next. He can return and redo the level next year, which he wants to do, so we'll do that. One of the best teachers at the school - who danced for ABT for many years and has overseen so many young dancers over the years - told me once that she thought he'd eventually be a good modern dancer. And he enjoys modern. But none of the training for modern is on the level of classical ballet training and he loves the rigor. And I don't know enough to know if his tightness in getting his toe line right will hinder him on that path either.

Sigh. It's hard when your kid has a strong passion and it may not matter how much they work for something.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Farrah, I'm sorry your boy didn't move up. It's so hard on everyone when they worked hard and biology gets in the way.  We are waiting for our levels still.  Our director left mid-yearish and our new director didn't start until summer classes had already started.  Daughter was going to start doing privates with the director's wife when they left (she was offered a position she could not say no too).  We are worried she won't move up as she's been on the border all year.  The new director has only seen her a handful of times.  

At her other school, Nationals did not go well.  It was quite disheartening and overall I feel daughter has been stagnant.  We are hoping to change things up next year but a lot depends on where she lands.  We are nearly positive she will move up to the senior team and hopefully that will bring more advanced instruction.

Daughter did a week intensive at the ballet school, then we did Nationals, and then this month she will do dance intensives this month in a variety of genres.  She got a lot out of the ballet intensives and I wish we had been able to do all three weeks.  She's also taking ballet twice a week, tap, and modern for three weeks.  

How is everyone else doing this summer?  What are you looking forward to this fall?  Anyone use dance for high school credits?  I think I'm going to use her conditioning class for PE.  It's an hour a week and is basically a specialized workout class.  Have debated giving her a fine arts credit with all the classes she takes. 

 

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We are going to us dance as PE for my oldest this year.

 

Older 2 did a dance intensive and loved it.   It was ballet only.  That is what they want to focus on, but is it a mistake to not take other intensives with other styles of dance too? 

Our biggest problem right now is what school to dance at this year.  I am going to write up a post and ask you guys. 

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15 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

We are going to us dance as PE for my oldest this year.

 

Older 2 did a dance intensive and loved it.   It was ballet only.  That is what they want to focus on, but is it a mistake to not take other intensives with other styles of dance too? 

Our biggest problem right now is what school to dance at this year.  I am going to write up a post and ask you guys. 

 

It depends on what their end goal is. My daughter loves to dance but her goal is not to dance professionally. She might use dance to make extra money on the side, maybe teach at a local dance school or somesuch, but dance/dance teacher isn't her goal in life.  She also loves the competing part of dancing.   So she dabbles in all kinds of dancing.  She has to attend intensives for her competition school so she does what she has to there to be on team.

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We are enjoying the last day of our one week off.  ?  Even though, technically it wasn't a full one week because Sunday was our last day of nationals, and then it took us two days to drive home.

The kids did great at Nationals.  We have gone to Hall of Fame for nationals 3 years in a row now and we really like how they are run.  Our studio's production number won the production challenge, and the team my kids are on had two dances place in the final showcase at the end of the week.   DS and his duet partner were so close to making it into the solo/duo/trip shootout for the second year in a row so they were really bummed with their score- even though their 6th place overall at Nationals is actually very excellent!  They have both been scouring youtube for some new lifts they think they can do to ramp up their game and make it in next year.  I love how they desire to be challenged!

Next week we begin a four week session in which the competition kids will be sorted into teams.  We'd decided to let DS audition to move up a level (DD is not interested) only to learn that we cannot let him due to logistics.  One of the days the higher level team meets is the only day of the week I can't drive him, AND the team meets at our other location 45 minutes away.  If it was my local studio I could drop him off and pick him up at my convenience.  45 minutes away? No bueno.  SO he's staying put this year and DH will drop a bug in the competition director's ear that they should consider moving the day they are required to be at the other location for next year.  She keeps talking about things she wants to do with DS, which is exciting to hear, but he's not moving up a level if we can't get him where he needs to be.   He could spend his junior and senior years in Company, but there is another level between here and there to cross through first.  Once he's driving and can drive himself we'll have a different conversation of course, but he's got a couple years yet!

After the 4 week session, we may have another week off, we might not.  Once the teams are put together, we do a two week intensive for the teams to get to know one another and bang out some new choreo.  Then, after the summer intensive we'll get at least two weeks off.  

Our studio is completely changing up the ballet program this year, which we're excited about.  Mostly because there will now be a boys only ballet for higher level boys, which we haven't had before.  DS is actually excited about going to ballet again. 

DD is planning her senior solo ? with her teacher/mentor.   She is going to dance to a cover of The Last Goodbye from one of the LOTR movies.  Her and I will design and make her costume and it will be a contemporary/lyrical piece.  I don't think I'm ready for senior year for her!!  She's also going to be working with the staff at the studio, doing shadowing of teachers, administration, desk staff, etc. in preparation for college. Hopefully she'll also do some teaching- she has been a student teacher for 7 years now, so I think she can manage a class or two on her own.   She's chosen a school with an excellent dance program with an eye towards being a dance teacher in the future.  

 

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1 hour ago, dancingmama said:

 

It depends on what their end goal is. My daughter loves to dance but her goal is not to dance professionally. She might use dance to make extra money on the side, maybe teach at a local dance school or somesuch, but dance/dance teacher isn't her goal in life.  She also loves the competing part of dancing.   So she dabbles in all kinds of dancing.  She has to attend intensives for her competition school so she does what she has to there to be on team.

 

As of right now (which changes) the two older ones want to dance professionally and they only like ballet.  

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

What does your male dancer where?  Tights or leggings?  

What age do boys need to start wearing a dance belt? 

When the instructor tells them to?  I suspect that a time will come when the jiggly bits need to be contained so it will be preferable anyway.  Up to this point, no one in our studio has ever worn a dance belt- compression shorts have always been enough.  However, we have a new ballet director, so that might change.  

DS also just wears basketball shorts and a black tank for ballet- most of the boys at our studio do.  The oldest boys (who have also stopped growing) seem to favor lululemon athletic pants.  They're the specific pants for men with extra room in the crotch area.   But again, with a new ballet director, things might change.  

I wouldn't purchase anything for a guy to wear for dance classes without checking with the studio first for preference- that may also change depending on the teacher. 

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8 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

As of right now (which changes) the two older ones want to dance professionally and they only like ballet.  

 

On 7/6/2018 at 5:17 PM, mommyoffive said:

We are going to us dance as PE for my oldest this year.

 

Older 2 did a dance intensive and loved it.   It was ballet only.  That is what they want to focus on, but is it a mistake to not take other intensives with other styles of dance too? 

Our biggest problem right now is what school to dance at this year.  I am going to write up a post and ask you guys. 

You are never, ever going to regret the ballet-only focus for dance.  If they end up deciding to dance other styles as late as when they go to college, they'll catch on quick, but that ballet foundation will be SO solid and so beneficial.

Ballet truly is the foundation for everything.   This last year a new girl joined our studio who had years of ballet-only instruction and very, very little of anything else.  Like, not even a full year of any other style.  She totally rocked this dance year- placing in the top three at every single competition with her contemporary solo.  You could totally see how her extensive ballet training just made her lines and poise so magnificent and precise.  

So I don't think it's a mistake to focus on ballet only since that is where their passion lies for now.  If it changes, make that change, but you really can't go wrong with the ballet focus, regardless of future possibilities.

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2 hours ago, Lady Marmalade said:

When the instructor tells them to?  I suspect that a time will come when the jiggly bits need to be contained so it will be preferable anyway.  Up to this point, no one in our studio has ever worn a dance belt- compression shorts have always been enough.  However, we have a new ballet director, so that might change.  

DS also just wears basketball shorts and a black tank for ballet- most of the boys at our studio do.  The oldest boys (who have also stopped growing) seem to favor lululemon athletic pants.  They're the specific pants for men with extra room in the crotch area.   But again, with a new ballet director, things might change.  

I wouldn't purchase anything for a guy to wear for dance classes without checking with the studio first for preference- that may also change depending on the teacher. 

 

At the two ballet schools we attend they have the boys were tights and suggest a dance belt.  I was wondering what age you should be doing that. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

At the two ballet schools we attend they have the boys were tights and suggest a dance belt.  I was wondering what age you should be doing that. 

At our studio, they suggested it at a certain level, and required it for performances where he had to wear white tights at any age.

I think they don't need it until two seconds before puberty, honestly. I understood why they wanted it for the tights on stage though. I thought it probably made it look a little better.

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So, I had a lesson this week.

I took ds to a dance physical therapy specialist. I did it practically on a lark and I didn't really think anything would come of it. But I thought, if a medical person who knows this stuff can look at his body and help him in some way that his teachers are missing, then I owe it to him to try. I wanted to cry afterwards, but ds looked so giddy that I also ended up feeling really happy as well. Basically, many of the things that his teachers are telling him are maybe just personal limitations are being caused by some repetitive injuries. It also turned out that he was in more pain than I ever realized. Like, he plays off pain like nothing and is very hard to read about stuff like this - that's been true since he was a tiny kid, so it's not like dance did it. But basically, his knees have been bothering him, which I kind of knew, but it's because they're getting slowly messed up because of uneven growth (normal) of the bones and muscles. The physical therapist was obviously a little frustrated with the teachers. And I am as well. Like, this is a renowned studio that routinely sends kids on to great places, especially boys. The teachers all have impressive, top name pro backgrounds. They don't do competitions. They focus almost solely on technique. And I'm always impressed that they have a really diverse set of kids - not just diverse in terms of race, though that's true too, which is a nice thing, but in body type, which is sometimes an issue in ballet. Watching the upper level girls in their performances is really interesting because they're kind of a motley crew of heights and sizes - there have been a few girls who were not at all ballet skinny (I mean, not overweight at all, but not like stereotypical ballet thin by any means) and I LOVE that about our studio.

But this... I mean... I'm still processing. They've basically been telling him for years that his leg line was either something he needed to work harder on or something that might basically just be a genetic limitation and it turns out that a huge part of it is actually him developing a repetitive stress injury that was so obvious that anyone who knew anything about dance and sports anatomy (aka, not me) should have been able to see. To say that I'm frustrated is a massive understatement. Like, it's still true that he doesn't have a typical ballet body, but his leg line doesn't need to be like it is.

Like I said... I'm still processing.

On the bright side, it turned out that only three of the boys in the upper levels passed their level, so ds was in good company. It's so hard to know sometimes! I know the girls routinely don't, but in the past the boys usually did unless it was bad. Now I think maybe they finally have such a strong boys' program that they can treat them like the girls.

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40 minutes ago, Farrar said:

So, I had a lesson this week.

I took ds to a dance physical therapy specialist. I did it practically on a lark and I didn't really think anything would come of it. But I thought, if a medical person who knows this stuff can look at his body and help him in some way that his teachers are missing, then I owe it to him to try. I wanted to cry afterwards, but ds looked so giddy that I also ended up feeling really happy as well. Basically, many of the things that his teachers are telling him are maybe just personal limitations are being caused by some repetitive injuries. It also turned out that he was in more pain than I ever realized. Like, he plays off pain like nothing and is very hard to read about stuff like this - that's been true since he was a tiny kid, so it's not like dance did it. But basically, his knees have been bothering him, which I kind of knew, but it's because they're getting slowly messed up because of uneven growth (normal) of the bones and muscles. The physical therapist was obviously a little frustrated with the teachers. And I am as well. Like, this is a renowned studio that routinely sends kids on to great places, especially boys. The teachers all have impressive, top name pro backgrounds. They don't do competitions. They focus almost solely on technique. And I'm always impressed that they have a really diverse set of kids - not just diverse in terms of race, though that's true too, which is a nice thing, but in body type, which is sometimes an issue in ballet. Watching the upper level girls in their performances is really interesting because they're kind of a motley crew of heights and sizes - there have been a few girls who were not at all ballet skinny (I mean, not overweight at all, but not like stereotypical ballet thin by any means) and I LOVE that about our studio.

But this... I mean... I'm still processing. They've basically been telling him for years that his leg line was either something he needed to work harder on or something that might basically just be a genetic limitation and it turns out that a huge part of it is actually him developing a repetitive stress injury that was so obvious that anyone who knew anything about dance and sports anatomy (aka, not me) should have been able to see. To say that I'm frustrated is a massive understatement. Like, it's still true that he doesn't have a typical ballet body, but his leg line doesn't need to be like it is.

Like I said... I'm still processing.

On the bright side, it turned out that only three of the boys in the upper levels passed their level, so ds was in good company. It's so hard to know sometimes! I know the girls routinely don't, but in the past the boys usually did unless it was bad. Now I think maybe they finally have such a strong boys' program that they can treat them like the girls.

 

I'm so glad you took him in. When dd14 was 11, we switched schools. I moved her from a school that was known for its technique and intensity to a school that also teaches good technique, but is not quite as strict and has a "friendlier" atmosphere, although they are absolutely still committed to good ballet training. Imagine my surprise when, after a few months, my kid who was having a hard time getting her knees straight was showing hyperextension.  And her feet started looking amazing.  And the pain she had been having in her Achilles and heels went away.  She had been working wrong for a long time, and her training wasn't appropriate for a growing body.  A friend of hers, beautiful dancer, quit dancing for reasons similar to your son. I always wonder if she'd still be dancing if she trained somewhere else.

 

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It's so hard for me coming at this as a basically uninvolved parent and a parent with zero athletic experience. Dh is also totally not athletic in any way. We have no clue.

I've had to really trust this studio and this is really shaking my confidence in them. At his level, there are no other options that are ideal. I don't like the atmosphere at Washington Ballet. Kirov is obviously a no. And his friends are all at this studio. Everything else is less intensive or far away. I'm not sure what to do. I have to go in and talk to them Monday. He's doing the intensive right now. Sigh.

 

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9 hours ago, Farrar said:

At our studio, they suggested it at a certain level, and required it for performances where he had to wear white tights at any age.

I think they don't need it until two seconds before puberty, honestly. I understood why they wanted it for the tights on stage though. I thought it probably made it look a little better.

 

Silly question.  What style dance belt do you get?  I have seen thong, brief, and short styles of ones. 

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

It's so hard for me coming at this as a basically uninvolved parent and a parent with zero athletic experience. Dh is also totally not athletic in any way. We have no clue.

I've had to really trust this studio and this is really shaking my confidence in them. At his level, there are no other options that are ideal. I don't like the atmosphere at Washington Ballet. Kirov is obviously a no. And his friends are all at this studio. Everything else is less intensive or far away. I'm not sure what to do. I have to go in and talk to them Monday. He's doing the intensive right now. Sigh.

 

 

Wow.  First I am glad you took him in.  

Second I think it is good that you are going to talk to the studio. 

What did the physical therapist tell you?  Does he have to stop dancing?  Does he need to do p/t?  Does he need to take a break?  

 

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9 hours ago, Farrar said:

It's so hard for me coming at this as a basically uninvolved parent and a parent with zero athletic experience. Dh is also totally not athletic in any way. We have no clue.

I've had to really trust this studio and this is really shaking my confidence in them. At his level, there are no other options that are ideal. I don't like the atmosphere at Washington Ballet. Kirov is obviously a no. And his friends are all at this studio. Everything else is less intensive or far away. I'm not sure what to do. I have to go in and talk to them Monday. He's doing the intensive right now. Sigh.

 

Wow, I don't envy you having to go in and have a chat, BUT I will be hoping for you that they are receptive to the conversation.  It would be fantastic if they were willing to work with the information from the PT to help him achieve his goals!

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Silly question.  What style dance belt do you get?  I have seen thong, brief, and short styles of ones. 

Ds prefers the thongs. ? It’s basically overpriced underwear. I’d avoid it except for performance as long as the studio lets him. And then he probably has to pick his style he likes - I got one brand that ds refused to wear.

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Wow.  First I am glad you took him in.  

Second I think it is good that you are going to talk to the studio. 

What did the physical therapist tell you?  Does he have to stop dancing?  Does he need to do p/t?  Does he need to take a break?  

 

 

27 minutes ago, Lady Marmalade said:

Wow, I don't envy you having to go in and have a chat, BUT I will be hoping for you that they are receptive to the conversation.  It would be fantastic if they were willing to work with the information from the PT to help him achieve his goals!

The gist of it was that he needs to ease off the leaps big time for awhile. There are all these specific exercises she has his doing and he's supposed to go back in for some more work with her. When his intensive is over, she wants him to stop for awhile and maybe do some cross training. She thinks he should swim the rest of the summer because it's so low impact for those knees. That's the only piece that's a hard sell. He can swim, but he has zero skill at it. I was like, can I get you a lesson or two so you have enough technique to just go to the pool every afternoon and swim laps for an hour and call it done. He was like, no. He's the most stubborn kid ever sometimes.

I think his teachers will be open to it. I guess my hope is that knowing this changes their paradigm about him.

She came recommended because all the young teachers at this studio (who are not ds's teachers anymore) all see her themselves. They raved as I took her info down, oh, she's the best, she's wonderful, etc. etc. At one point while we were there, she sort of shook her head and was like, they should be doing screenings for the upper level kids. I know she's also just thinking of her business, but I was like, yes, they really should. How helpful would a 20 minute pt screening for these kids who dance 7+ classes a week be? And how totally appropriate too. I mean, even if they weren't doing it in house, now I'm like, they should have encouraged me to take him in. Instead, they actually discouraged it at one point.

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23 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

As of right now (which changes) the two older ones want to dance professionally and they only like ballet.  

Then I wouldn't worry about any other styles, except maybe hip hop and tap.  If they think they might be interested in teaching hip hop, I recommend starting younger vs older.  Our ballet exclusive girls have a hard time shifting to hip hop.  Tap is a little easier but again, better if starting younger vs older.  But if they are thinking just teaching ballet, lyrical, contemporary, modern, jazz, than it'll be fine.  And I wouldn't do intensives in tap or hip hop either way.  A one hour tap class during the year wouldn't be a bad idea for a kid interested in teaching in the future.  At least here in Il, many of the preschool/K classes are 1/2 ballet, 1/2 tap or 1/3 ballet, 1/3 jazz, 1/3 tap.  If they have the basics to tap, they could teach preschoolers/Kindergarten. 

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Farrah, I'm glad you took him in.  Dd did p/t last year and the year before.  I wish there was a dance p/t around here.  I'd love Tom have her looked at.  I'm hoping this new director at her ballet school will be good for her. I've already seen progress in areas she's always been told she's not good at.  I think she's had alignment issues.  

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10 hours ago, Farrar said:

It's so hard for me coming at this as a basically uninvolved parent and a parent with zero athletic experience. Dh is also totally not athletic in any way. We have no clue.

I've had to really trust this studio and this is really shaking my confidence in them. At his level, there are no other options that are ideal. I don't like the atmosphere at Washington Ballet. Kirov is obviously a no. And his friends are all at this studio. Everything else is less intensive or far away. I'm not sure what to do. I have to go in and talk to them Monday. He's doing the intensive right now. Sigh.

 

 

If you can't switch studios, maybe there is someone there that he could do privates with? If he got some one-on-one help applying the things the PT wants to see, and can start feeling how he should be working in class, then that should start to transfer to his other classes.  And hopefully if his other teachers are aware of the issues, they can check on him as well. 

I hope he starts to see improvement quickly!!!

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

 

The gist of it was that he needs to ease off the leaps big time for awhile. There are all these specific exercises she has his doing and he's supposed to go back in for some more work with her. When his intensive is over, she wants him to stop for awhile and maybe do some cross training. She thinks he should swim the rest of the summer because it's so low impact for those knees. That's the only piece that's a hard sell. He can swim, but he has zero skill at it. I was like, can I get you a lesson or two so you have enough technique to just go to the pool every afternoon and swim laps for an hour and call it done. He was like, no. He's the most stubborn kid ever sometimes.

I think his teachers will be open to it. I guess my hope is that knowing this changes their paradigm about him.

She came recommended because all the young teachers at this studio (who are not ds's teachers anymore) all see her themselves. They raved as I took her info down, oh, she's the best, she's wonderful, etc. etc. At one point while we were there, she sort of shook her head and was like, they should be doing screenings for the upper level kids. I know she's also just thinking of her business, but I was like, yes, they really should. How helpful would a 20 minute pt screening for these kids who dance 7+ classes a week be? And how totally appropriate too. I mean, even if they weren't doing it in house, now I'm like, they should have encouraged me to take him in. Instead, they actually discouraged it at one point.

Farrah - would he like water aerobics better than just swimming?  It is low impact on the knees and really does help with the I need to keep fit but I know I need to rest thing.  Here some of the instructors will do private lessons ( or maybe he might get a friend to do it with him) and they have it for multiple age levels.

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Can we do something fun? 

What are your dancers favorite leotards or for guys tights/leggings? 

Brands or links. 

I ordered some online a few months back and didn't like a few of them.  You just couldn't touch everything.  I should just go to a store but it is 2 hours away that is an all dance store. Some day.

 

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Alright help me make the choice over where they should dance

 

Ballet School 1

Small school.  100 students at this point

Last year had a company of 12 dancers.  This year will be 4

Only one show to dance with the company this year.  End of year small recital that takes 2 weekends to get ready for.  Just variations.    Hopefully if they can figure out the $ side of  things they can have more later. 

My older kids would not be doing pre or demi pointe there this year unless they moved up mid year. 

Great teachers.  This is where they have gone so they have friends and like it there.  

They have classes for all my kids there, an open schedule there.  So I can get classes for all kids on the same day. 

It is 60 mins one way from the house. 

Men's class is extra and  Lot every month.  Every extra class like conditioning or jazz or contem. is more. 

live piano is supposed to be in every class, but it isn't always. 

My older kids would be in 1.5 hours of classes a few times a week unless we added other things on such as Mens.  I don't think they would add on anything for my 10 year old. 

 

 

Ballet school and Academy 2

We haven't gone there yet

Has 4 locations (they had 600 students with just 3 locations)

Building a new building for one of their main locations

Their company has 24 dancers, plus I trainees, and their own orchestra. 

They have usually 4-5 shows for the kids to be in each year.  2 school showcases and 2-3 with company (you have to audition for So I don't know how much of a chance you would get). 

they say live piano in every class

Each location is 1 hour each way from us

Class is 2 hours 3 times a week.  Men's class could be added for 2 times a week there.

Includes character and folk class in the week. 

The 2 levels my oldest would be trying for are either $260 a month or $340 a month

If they placed high enough they would be doing pre/demi pointe

Classes for all my kids, but it would work out that I would have to be there everyday of the week.  They are all on different days. 

 

 

 

Ballet Academy

Only 3 years old. 

Great teachers

No company at all.  

No live piano at all

2 shows

My oldest 2 would be doing pre/demi pointe this year.  

It is 1.2 hour each way from my house

They do not have classes for all my kids. I would have to run some where else for my youngest 2

281 each month for my 2 oldest.   187 for the next kiddo each month

Older kids would get classes 3 days a week

2 days 3 hours a day.  The 3rd day 4 hours.  That is practice for the show and pre pointe.

3rd oldest would get 2 days at 1.5 hours and one day of rehearsals. 

They can take any lower level class too.  No charge. 

They could also take any specialty class for free including Mens, jazz, floor barre , character 

I might have to be there everyday if I didn't have my 3rd oldest drop one of the days. 

 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on which one we should go with. 

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Mommyoffive, 

It's so hard to advise you. Those are all long commutes.  

My first consideration would be the quality of the teaching. Where will your students get the most attention and corrections?

I'd also consider: what is the general atmosphere of the school?  Encouraging? Inclusive? Are the other moms and students friendly?

What is the surrounding area like (are there places you could go/things you could do while you wait?)

I like the idea of your oldest being able to add in lower level classes, especially if you are coming from more recreational dance recently. Working on the basics can really help with forward progression.

Performance opportunities are great, but become more important as the dancers get older. At this stage I would focus on technical training quality.

Hopefully this helps a little.  And when your students try classes at the potential studios,they will hopefully get a good feel for which one is right as well.

 

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3 minutes ago, lovelearnandlive said:

Mommyoffive, 

It's so hard to advise you. Those are all long commutes.  

My first consideration would be the quality of the teaching. Where will your students get the most attention and corrections?

I'd also consider: what is the general atmosphere of the school?  Encouraging? Inclusive? Are the other moms and students friendly?

What is the surrounding area like (are there places you could go/things you could do while you wait?)

I like the idea of your oldest being able to add in lower level classes, especially if you are coming from more recreational dance recently. Working on the basics can really help with forward progression.

Performance opportunities are great, but become more important as the dancers get older. At this stage I would focus on technical training quality.

Hopefully this helps a little.  And when your students try classes at the potential studios,they will hopefully get a good feel for which one is right as well.

 

 

My oldest will switch to where ever.  She is for the last one because it will give her more dance time.  

My ds only wants to go first one because he has friends there and feels comfortable.  I think he has strong bonds to the teachers.

My younger ones could sway depending on the day.

Quality of teaching is great at the 1st and 3rd one.  We have been to both.  I would assume the other is good too.   I think class sizes at the two are about the same.  I am not sure how big the school is at the 3rd one.   Teachers are very encouraging at both. 

We just started going to the 3rd one over the summer so we don't know any of the moms or students really at all.  I can't judge that. 

The 1st place where they have been with since a year ago, they students are nice and most of the parents are too. 

 

Yes we are coming from a recreational dance background.  

My son really really really likes to perform so that is why I put that there. 

 

Yeah long commutes stink.  The 2nd choice would make sense to switch too so we could also move closer to dh's work which is about 10 mins away. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

How was everyone's summer?  

How did the intensives go? 

My older 2 did 4 weeks of intensives and loved it.  I wish that we would have done more. They hadn't done any before this year and we didn't know that they would like it.  I hope next year we can do even more, because they really grew with those.   I will start saving now.  ?

Can we talk about auditions for a little bit?  This is for shows. 

Best advice

Make up or no? 

Best way to prepare? 

Edited by mommyoffive
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We don't do intensives, but my two have just begun their week long "Intensive Week" for our studio.  This is six days of very intense working out and choreography to try and get all of their team dances learned for the year.  By the end of next Thursday they should have their contemporary, lyrical, jazz and tap pieces set, so that when they come back in early September they begin the long trek of polishing and cleaning.    This year hip-hop will not have an intensive time.  Last year they finished the dance and by Christmas it was completely ready to go and they spent too much of the year with the teacher feeling like they were wasting time in class.  So he opted out of intensive week and they'll work on hip-hop at their regular class time.

Yesterday was 4 hours of contemporary and my son absolutely loves the new dance- it's exactly what he was hoping this teacher would set on them.  They have a whole new team this year so it will be interesting to see how they gel and work together.  Last year's team was not so great, it was large and there were too many chiefs who wanted to run the tribe.  This year is a smaller team and the only senior is DD, who wants to try really hard to act as a leader for the team and keep everyone working together and on the same page.  I am hopeful that her senior year will be a good one.

Personally, I am looking forward to being beyond intensive week.  We have THREE full weeks off of dance.  This is the only time of the year that we have this much time to not run to the studio.  I'm sure I'll still have to run them a few times for open studio time, but it will be nice to have that family break. 

OH! I forgot to report on the Boys Ballet class!  This was the BEST class ever.  DS absolutely loved it.  By the end of the first session they'd had such wonderful conversations with the new ballet director about boys and dance, and she decided right then and there that she was going to offer boys ballet year round.  WE had to go buy black tights and white tees and DS didn't complain a lick about them.  The teacher posted a pic of the boys on Instagram and my heart just soared to see all these boys together in class doing ballet together.  It's absolutely wonderful!  The class DS is in is for level 3 and up, and they have about 8 boys at the studio who can take it.  She's also working out offering a boys class for the lower level boys, as they were invited for the last week of summer session to try it out, and of course they loved it.  She's also now working on the details for offering an actual partnering class for these boys.  It's going to be a VERY exciting couple of years for DS!

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Oh, @mommyoffive, for auditions hair in a bun as usual and make-up would be one of those things dependent on how your dancer usually is.  If your dancer is the type to put make-up on for regular classes, then they should behave as normal and apply it- normal face, not stage face.  If your dancer is not a make-up for class person, skip the make-up.   Make-up and boys are a no-no unless specifically directed to do so.

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9 minutes ago, Lady Marmalade said:

We don't do intensives, but my two have just begun their week long "Intensive Week" for our studio.  This is six days of very intense working out and choreography to try and get all of their team dances learned for the year.  By the end of next Thursday they should have their contemporary, lyrical, jazz and tap pieces set, so that when they come back in early September they begin the long trek of polishing and cleaning.    This year hip-hop will not have an intensive time.  Last year they finished the dance and by Christmas it was completely ready to go and they spent too much of the year with the teacher feeling like they were wasting time in class.  So he opted out of intensive week and they'll work on hip-hop at their regular class time.

Yesterday was 4 hours of contemporary and my son absolutely loves the new dance- it's exactly what he was hoping this teacher would set on them.  They have a whole new team this year so it will be interesting to see how they gel and work together.  Last year's team was not so great, it was large and there were too many chiefs who wanted to run the tribe.  This year is a smaller team and the only senior is DD, who wants to try really hard to act as a leader for the team and keep everyone working together and on the same page.  I am hopeful that her senior year will be a good one.

Personally, I am looking forward to being beyond intensive week.  We have THREE full weeks off of dance.  This is the only time of the year that we have this much time to not run to the studio.  I'm sure I'll still have to run them a few times for open studio time, but it will be nice to have that family break. 

 

Neat to hear how it goes at other places.  Do they compete all year then, or are competitions a certain time of year?

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2 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Neat to hear how it goes at other places.  Do they compete all year then, or are competitions a certain time of year?

Our competition season runs from end of February through summer nationals at the end of June.  We do 4 regional competitions and one nationals, with at least one convention in January thrown in for good measure.  We travel out of state for almost all of them.

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Summer has been a game changer for daughter.  She did a week intensive with our new director at the ballet school and loved it.  After Nationals with her competition school, she decided to quit the comp team and go to the ballet school full time.  I'm in the middle of applying for a scholarship for her as we just can't affor that many hours a week.  If she gets even a partial scholarship, she will attend at least four days a week with a possible fifth, taking 1.5-2 hrs of ballet each day as well as modern, contemporary, tap, and jazz.  

She was moved up a level but more importantly the written feedback we received was completely on point and exactly what she heard during intensives even though it was written by the previous director (but approved by current director).  She has a lot of stage presence but needs to work on musicality, strengthen her core, and refine her technique.  Lots of bad habits.  However, in the week of intensives, her turnout improved drastically and I can see her using her core.  I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with her.  My only concern is that we will have a huge class as they are combining the top three levels a couple times a week so there will be 23 girls If they were all to show up.  

This week they are doing maintenance/warm-up classes.  We start classes next week. Ten days until Nutcracker auditions.  Not ready for that already.  

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DD and I just returned from a 5-week ballet intensive across the country. She had a great time and the training she got there was invaluable. 

She is looking forward to a few weeks off from dance now.  Well, I should say that she is looking forward to having a few weeks before going back to her regular schedule at her studio. She will take this week off completely, but then she will take some open classes at another ballet school until hers begins again.  I am not really ready to go back to that routine yet!

 

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2 hours ago, dancingmama said:

Summer has been a game changer for daughter.  She did a week intensive with our new director at the ballet school and loved it.  After Nationals with her competition school, she decided to quit the comp team and go to the ballet school full time.  I'm in the middle of applying for a scholarship for her as we just can't affor that many hours a week.  If she gets even a partial scholarship, she will attend at least four days a week with a possible fifth, taking 1.5-2 hrs of ballet each day as well as modern, contemporary, tap, and jazz.  

She was moved up a level but more importantly the written feedback we received was completely on point and exactly what she heard during intensives even though it was written by the previous director (but approved by current director).  She has a lot of stage presence but needs to work on musicality, strengthen her core, and refine her technique.  Lots of bad habits.  However, in the week of intensives, her turnout improved drastically and I can see her using her core.  I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with her.  My only concern is that we will have a huge class as they are combining the top three levels a couple times a week so there will be 23 girls If they were all to show up.  

This week they are doing maintenance/warm-up classes.  We start classes next week. Ten days until Nutcracker auditions.  Not ready for that already.  

 

Fingers crossed on the scholarship.  

That is great that the summer was so valuable to her.  It was for my oldest too.  Amazing to see them blossom.  Good luck on Auditions.  We had some Nutcracker ones this past weekend.  We have more to do and then we will decide where they do the Nutcracker this year.  It may not be the place we did last year.   

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2 minutes ago, edelweiss said:

DD and I just returned from a 5-week ballet intensive across the country. She had a great time and the training she got there was invaluable. 

She is looking forward to a few weeks off from dance now.  Well, I should say that she is looking forward to having a few weeks before going back to her regular schedule at her studio. She will take this week off completely, but then she will take some open classes at another ballet school until hers begins again.  I am not really ready to go back to that routine yet!

 

 

Ha.  Laughing that you are not ready for it.  It is work for us too isn't it?

Neat to hear that you went with your dd to the intensive.  I wondered what some people did.  We were going to go to one out of the country and then decided not too because we would have been out of the country over a month because it was right up against our already booked vacation.  If they are still serious next year I see our vacations just being them at intensives at different places. 

But I did just add up how much we paid for intensives and classes this summer.   $$$$    That doesn't even include the gear, gas, and on on.   

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First ballet class for one dd was Saturday. She found out she will be dancing Clara this year. Very excited! She already signed up for YAGP, so this is going to be a particularly ballet-heavy year. The chauffeur in me is already dreaming about next year when there will be more class overlap between my girls and, well, maybe just more overlap.

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1 minute ago, SusanC said:

First ballet class for one dd was Saturday. She found out she will be dancing Clara this year. Very excited! She already signed up for YAGP, so this is going to be a particularly ballet-heavy year. The chauffeur in me is already dreaming about next year when there will be more class overlap between my girls and, well, maybe just more overlap.

I am at the beginning of my second season with my kids on the same team and in the same ballet levels.  Other than DD's solo, DS's duet and DS's boys ballet, their schedules are identical.  It's absolutely glorious. 

The bittersweet part of this is that it is the last season like this.  DD is a senior, so this is her last year.  Next year we'll probably let DS ramp it up since we'll only be paying for one. 

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