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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

I think 14 shows in all? He's in two of six casts.

I really thought that being at a youth ballet was better - I mean, it was still a pre-pro program, with a "pro" company - the kind that's all teens and not actually professionals. I had in my head that it was better because they weren't training them for a specific body type/look like so many companies have and that they were the real focus instead of being a pool of potential future dancers for the company who would inevitably all be winnowed out. I'd always heard that being at a company school, all the kids were just fighting to get into the junior company one day. And while it's true that now ds's dream is to get into the training program there, so far I'm not finding it to be the case. Like, yeah, he'll never be able to have a big part in their productions because that will always go to the adults. But he gets the benefit of so many more teachers - his main teacher is a company member who he just loves. And they do showcase performances three times a year instead that are focused on the kids - all level 5 and up. So, like I said, it's possibly still the honeymoon, but overall we're finding it to be better.

 

I am glad you found a good fit.  We are at a school that sounds like the one you are at now.  I think it is so neat for my kids to have all their teachers be the pro company members.  We don't get the feeling at our school that they are looking to train these kids for the future company either.  

Here is a prayer all of us dance parents get through Nutcracker season.  

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13 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I am glad you found a good fit.  We are at a school that sounds like the one you are at now.  I think it is so neat for my kids to have all their teachers be the pro company members.  We don't get the feeling at our school that they are looking to train these kids for the future company either.  

Here is a prayer all of us dance parents get through Nutcracker season.  

At ours, they definitely are in some ways... I mean, the girls in ds's level all top out at a certain height. It's clear they're not training for certain places. But it's not as bad as I feared. The boys get a pass on fitting the body type, thank goodness. Ds will never be a tall enough dancer for, say, the SF Ballet. He needs a short company! Washington is shorter, but we'll have to see how much he grows, I guess.

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2 minutes ago, Farrar said:

At ours, they definitely are in some ways... I mean, the girls in ds's level all top out at a certain height. It's clear they're not training for certain places. But it's not as bad as I feared. The boys get a pass on fitting the body type, thank goodness. Ds will never be a tall enough dancer for, say, the SF Ballet. He needs a short company! Washington is shorter, but we'll have to see how much he grows, I guess.

 

I am learning so much here.  So certain companies are looking for a specific height of dancer?  I never knew that. 

 

I am having trouble looking at the auditions for intensives.  ODD is 12 and lots of places say that even when you audition at that age you need to bring your pointe shoes.  Already some of the places have gotten taken off her list because she isn't on pointe.  Yes we have only been at this school less than a year, but our school puts girls on pointe later anyway.   Most girls are at least 13. 

Any thoughts on what I should do for her?   Do you guys know intensives where the girls don't have to be on pointe? 

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47 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I am learning so much here.  So certain companies are looking for a specific height of dancer?  I never knew that. 

If you see professional ballet, you can sometimes see it - some companies (Ballet Canada comes to mind) are a huge mix of heights. Others (like ABT) are on the short side and all the same height. Others (like San Francisco) are all the same height but on the tall side. A girl's height can determine her career options.

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9 hours ago, Farrar said:

Also, any small dance gifts? I drew BalletBoy's stocking in the stocking draw.

 

Have you ever purchased from the boysdancetoo website? They have some logo shirts and things that are nice looking. 

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9 hours ago, snickerplum said:

 

Have you ever purchased from the boysdancetoo website? They have some logo shirts and things that are nice looking. 

 

Yep, we love that site.  My ds wants everything they have. 

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21 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

If an intensive says all girls over 10 need to bring pointe shoes and your 12 or 13 year old is not on pointe, they can't go to that audition correct? 

 

Our ballet master just told me that my 12 year old that is not pointe should still go to these auditions.  Thoughts? 

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Yes, she can likely still go to the audition.  Most places say that, so they can assess the girls that are on pointe.  But they are well aware that not everyone is on pointe at that age.  She would just stay on flat for the whole audition.  It seems to be fairly common in the auditions that my daughter has attended.  

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2 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Our ballet master just told me that my 12 year old that is not pointe should still go to these auditions.  Thoughts? 

 

I will be honest and say that in all the years my dd has auditioned, by the time the girls are 12 they are all bringing pointe shoes. Most programs state on their website that girls should have at least a year of pointework before attending the intensive, and pointework is built into the daily schedule, so it’s assumed they will already be on pointe at a January audition.

One of dd’s friends started pointework at age 12 and had only been on pointe for a month at an audition she attended, so when it was time to switch shoes, she told the adjudicator that she was new to pointe and not ready to wear pointe shoes for center work yet. She was dismissed from the rest of the audition.

I’m sure it depends on the program (and maybe location?) but this has been our experience.

 

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Wow, that's interesting. DD stopped doing ballet a couple of years ago, but I don't think she would be on pointe yet. She is 12 and has not had a growth spurt yet. Her feet are only a little kid size 3! Our studio owner is very conservative about when dancers go on pointe since she thinks her feet were damaged from doing it too soon.

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I do think that it depends on the intensive.  DD15 said that she has definitely seen 12 year old girls audition at various places without pointe shoes.  However, she has attended two intensives at the lowest levels (when she was 11 and 12) and there weren't any girls there that were not on pointe at the actual intensive.  

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5 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

Wow, that's interesting. DD stopped doing ballet a couple of years ago, but I don't think she would be on pointe yet. She is 12 and has not had a growth spurt yet. Her feet are only a little kid size 3! Our studio owner is very conservative about when dancers go on pointe since she thinks her feet were damaged from doing it too soon.

 

Oh wow.  Does size go with the feet being ready?  My dd who is 12 is a 8.5 in womens.   Just she has only been a quality place for almost one year.  She has only done pre pointe in the summer and this fall. Our school is late to put girls on pointe too.  They are normal 13 or older.  Even for girls that have been at that school for 7 years. 

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7 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

 

I will be honest and say that in all the years my dd has auditioned, by the time the girls are 12 they are all bringing pointe shoes. Most programs state on their website that girls should have at least a year of pointework before attending the intensive, and pointework is built into the daily schedule, so it’s assumed they will already be on pointe at a January audition.

One of dd’s friends started pointework at age 12 and had only been on pointe for a month at an audition she attended, so when it was time to switch shoes, she told the adjudicator that she was new to pointe and not ready to wear pointe shoes for center work yet. She was dismissed from the rest of the audition.

I’m sure it depends on the program (and maybe location?) but this has been our experience.

 

 

Thanks for putting that in there too.  The programs I have looked at it don't say to have a year of pointe work.  

By saying they are dismissed does that mean that they can't get into the intensive?  Or they are just over with the audition. 

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25 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Oh wow.  Does size go with the feet being ready?  My dd who is 12 is a 8.5 in womens.   Just she has only been a quality place for almost one year.  She has only done pre pointe in the summer and this fall. Our school is late to put girls on pointe too.  They are normal 13 or older.  Even for girls that have been at that school for 7 years. 

The studio owner requires dancers to have a note from a doctor saying their feet have stopped growing. DD's feet grow very slowly, bump up a couple sizes, and repeat. She was still wearing toddler size shows at age 10! I doubt she'll have big feet (like me), but I don't think they're close to being done growing.

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7 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Thanks for putting that in there too.  The programs I have looked at it don't say to have a year of pointe work.  

By saying they are dismissed does that mean that they can't get into the intensive?  Or they are just over with the audition. 

 

Yeah, it must just be different depending on the intensive. If the intensive doesn’t require them to already have pointe experience, then that makes sense. 

For the girl who was dismissed from the audition, I don’t know if she was considered or not, but she didn’t get in...

 

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7 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

 

Yeah, it must just be different depending on the intensive. If the intensive doesn’t require them to already have pointe experience, then that makes sense. 

For the girl who was dismissed from the audition, I don’t know if she was considered or not, but she didn’t get in...

 

 

I did find one that said they needed a year of pointe work last night.  But most don't don't really say that.  Hmm I wonder if that is how it would go everywhere.  I can't believe our ballet master would tell her to still go to the auditions if she wouldn't have a chance of getting in because of not being on pointe. 

What places has your dd auditioned for? 

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15 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Oh wow.  Does size go with the feet being ready?  My dd who is 12 is a 8.5 in womens.   Just she has only been a quality place for almost one year.  She has only done pre pointe in the summer and this fall. Our school is late to put girls on pointe too.  They are normal 13 or older.  Even for girls that have been at that school for 7 years. 

My dd has been to have her feet x-rayed twice.  The first growth plates to start closing are the heel apparently, and then the foot bones.  My dd's heel bones have JUST started to fuse a little and her foot plates are still wide open he says.  She is almost 13 and wears a child size 2 or 2 1/2 shoe.  The doctor said come back when she is a size four but who knows when that will be! He said she is about 2 years delayed bone growth, so I am glad she is waiting.  

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2 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I did find one that said they needed a year of pointe work last night.  But most don't don't really say that.  Hmm I wonder if that is how it would go everywhere.  I can't believe our ballet master would tell her to still go to the auditions if she wouldn't have a chance of getting in because of not being on pointe. 

What places has your dd auditioned for? 

 

SAB, PNB, SFB, Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey Chicago, ABT, Houston, Boston Ballet, Suzanne Farrell, Jillana (this one actually might be fine for girls starting pointe later), Ballet West. 

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5 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

 

SAB, PNB, SFB, Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey Chicago, ABT, Houston, Boston Ballet, Suzanne Farrell, Jillana (this one actually might be fine for girls starting pointe later), Ballet West. 

 

I will look into Jillana.  I haven't ever heard of that one.  Which ones has she gone too? 

Hmm I looked at Joffery Chicago and I don't remember them saying anything about pointe.  I will have to go back and look at that again. 

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Did everyone make it through Nutcracker alive? 

We have one more show the day after to do.  I have 3 sick kids right now.  Two of them who are in the show that is coming up.  Hopefully we can rest up tonight and Christmas day.  It would be sad to miss the last one.  And they need one of the kids for sure since there is nobody to take that spot.  The other one they could adjust.

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5 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Did everyone make it through Nutcracker alive? 

 Our performances aren't until the first weekend in January. Saves the director from competing against mandatory choir/band/church performances and rehearsals. Enjoying a solid week off before tech week begins next week. I imagine it is also easier to book the professional Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. 😊

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1 minute ago, SusanC said:

 Our performances aren't until the first weekend in January. Saves the director from competing against mandatory choir/band/church performances and rehearsals. Enjoying a solid week off before tech week begins next week. I imagine it is also easier to book the professional Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. 😊

 

Wow really?  I haven't ever heard of anyone doing it after the holidays.  Do you have good ticket sales? 

That sounds really nice actually.   Yeah you probably get first choice that way hmm? 

Oh try and remind me of this next year ok guys?  I went to almost every show last year.  Kids are almost the same parts so I didn't feel the need to see the show that much this time.  I went to the 3 dress rehearsals.  But my youngest would have happily watched the show all 10 times.  She saw the show today and wanted to come home and watch another Nutcracker on Youtube. 

But anyway I should have gotten tickets to everyone, because it is just so much fun to see your kids up there.  Shhhhh don't tell dh because he was right. 

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17 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Wow really?  I haven't ever heard of anyone doing it after the holidays.  Do you have good ticket sales? 

That sounds really nice actually.   Yeah you probably get first choice that way hmm? 

Ticket sales are whatever they are, the data isn't shared. They did say sales are better this year, presumably because they figured out how to set up online ticket sales! After 30 years of doing three performances always on the first weekend in January, the whole community knows and comes (or doesn't). 

I'll be backstage, but my parents are visiting for that weekend. I bought them tickets for all three shows in different parts of the theater. It looks different on the floor, where you can see faces, versus the balcony, where you can really see the choreography.

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We’re also not done with Nut yet. First performance was Thanksgiving weekend. Ds’s cast still has two more shows. He had to work Christmas Eve as well.

It has been such as easy Nut though. I had heard parents from this studio moan about it but now I think they don’t know how good they’ve got it. It probably helps that the theater is right downtown so it’s close for us. The old studio had to head further into the suburbs to perform theirs.

And yes, ticket sales seem good. Professional ballet, I guess. I know they added shows to make up revenue for some of their other offerings. They’re in transition from the old, mildly more avant-garde director to a new, much more traditional director. Not that this effects the school much.

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On 12/22/2018 at 6:16 PM, mommyoffive said:

 

Oh wow.  Does size go with the feet being ready?  My dd who is 12 is a 8.5 in womens.   Just she has only been a quality place for almost one year.  She has only done pre pointe in the summer and this fall. Our school is late to put girls on pointe too.  They are normal 13 or older.  Even for girls that have been at that school for 7 years. 

X-Rays with indications that the growth plates are closing up is kind of standard.  Maintaining a shoe size for a length of time can be an indication, but as we all know, growing kids can be in one size for two year and then suddenly shoot up or hit a growth spurt.  The X-ray is the only way to really know if the feet are done growing. 

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

We’re also not done with Nut yet. First performance was Thanksgiving weekend. Ds’s cast still has two more shows. He had to work Christmas Eve as well.

It has been such as easy Nut though. I had heard parents from this studio moan about it but now I think they don’t know how good they’ve got it. It probably helps that the theater is right downtown so it’s close for us. The old studio had to head further into the suburbs to perform theirs.

And yes, ticket sales seem good. Professional ballet, I guess. I know they added shows to make up revenue for some of their other offerings. They’re in transition from the old, mildly more avant-garde director to a new, much more traditional director. Not that this effects the school much.

 

I bet it does help to go to another place to see how that experience compares.  I am thinking of doing that in the spring.  But the auditions for the shows start next weekend the same time as an intensive audition.  Trying to figure that out. 

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3 hours ago, Lady Marmalade said:

X-Rays with indications that the growth plates are closing up is kind of standard.  Maintaining a shoe size for a length of time can be an indication, but as we all know, growing kids can be in one size for two year and then suddenly shoot up or hit a growth spurt.  The X-ray is the only way to really know if the feet are done growing. 

 

I have heard of the x-ray.  I know the school doesn't do that.  Do you think it would be best for us to go and do that on our own? 

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On 12/23/2018 at 4:05 PM, mommyoffive said:

 

I will look into Jillana.  I haven't ever heard of that one.  Which ones has she gone too? 

Hmm I looked at Joffery Chicago and I don't remember them saying anything about pointe.  I will have to go back and look at that again. 

 

Jillana is a Balanchine-based program in New Mexico. Two of dd’s friends have attended and enjoyed it. It’s a lot of dancing and they have a daily Pilates class, so lots of strength building. 

I looked at Joffrey Chicago’s website and you are right, I don’t see anything about x years of pointe training being necessary. I think this is because they have a 3-week beginner-ish program that offers pointe OR pre-pointe classes as part of the program; this program is available for dancers up to age 14. So if they like a dancer but they don’t think she will be ready for the pointework of their advanced program, they can offer acceptance to this program instead. 

Dd has gone away each summer since she was 12. So far she has been to SAB twice (once to their young dancer program in CA and once to their NYC intensive). She has been to Kansas City Ballet’s intensive once and Suzanne Farrell’s program once (she is no longer offering this program, unfortunately - it was a really lovely program).  She liked them all for different reasons. She had a friend go to Joffrey Chicago this past summer and she thought it was a strong program as well.

 

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I know every school has very different requirements for starting pointe. Our school doesn’t ask for a doctor’s note or x-rays. The youngest they will put girls on pointe is 11. They have to pass a pointe test and show that they have the necessary strength and balance, can keep their knees straight, etc. I’d say the average age for girls to pass is around 12.

Dd started pointe at a different studio when she was 10.5, but she only did a 30 minute private lesson once a week until she was 11. Then we switched studios and she had a beginning pointe class twice a week. She was dancing five days a week at this point and was pretty strong, but had just started her growth spurt. Her foot grew 2.5 sizes since she got her pointe shoes and has stopped now. She never had any issues... but of course this is just anecdotal. She also has “good feet” for pointework and is light on her feet - she gets a lot of time out of every pair of shoes.

 

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5 hours ago, lovelearnandlive said:

 

Jillana is a Balanchine-based program in New Mexico. Two of dd’s friends have attended and enjoyed it. It’s a lot of dancing and they have a daily Pilates class, so lots of strength building. 

I looked at Joffrey Chicago’s website and you are right, I don’t see anything about x years of pointe training being necessary. I think this is because they have a 3-week beginner-ish program that offers pointe OR pre-pointe classes as part of the program; this program is available for dancers up to age 14. So if they like a dancer but they don’t think she will be ready for the pointework of their advanced program, they can offer acceptance to this program instead. 

Dd has gone away each summer since she was 12. So far she has been to SAB twice (once to their young dancer program in CA and once to their NYC intensive). She has been to Kansas City Ballet’s intensive once and Suzanne Farrell’s program once (she is no longer offering this program, unfortunately - it was a really lovely program).  She liked them all for different reasons. She had a friend go to Joffrey Chicago this past summer and she thought it was a strong program as well.

 

 

Thank you for your thoughts on those different intensives.  Wow going to SAB 2 times, that is so great!

 

Our ballet master just informed us that our oldest is going to start pointe this January.    She did demi pointe over the summer at a different place.  And started pre pointe this summer with our current place.  But this is just regular pointe.  She is so happy.  

I am happy for her.  It wont help her at auditions, but maybe if she had to do pointe at an intensive having 6 months of it or so would be good. 

All my other kids got moved up too.  They are doing awesome here.  Hardly anyone gets moved up in the middle of the year.  And each level is meant to take a few years.  Odd took half a year in one level.  Ds took 1 year in level and same with the younger 2 dds.  Their hardwork is paying off. 

Edited by mommyoffive

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10 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Thank you for your thoughts on those different intensives.  Wow going to SAB 2 times, that is so great!

 

Our ballet master just informed us that our oldest is going to start pointe this January.    She did demi pointe over the summer at a different place.  And started pre pointe this summer with our current place.  But this is just regular pointe.  She is so happy.  

I am happy for her.  It wont help her at auditions, but maybe if she had to do pointe at an intensive having 6 months of it or so would be good. 

All my other kids got moved up too.  They are doing awesome here.  Hardly anyone gets moved up in the middle of the year.  And each level is meant to take a few years.  Odd took half a year in one level.  Ds took 1 year in level and same with the younger 2 dds.  Their hardwork is paying off. 

 

Congrats to your dd! That’s really great. I hope she has a fantastic audition season and enjoys her new pointe classes!

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Do any of you have ballet bars at home?   We sort of made one but it isn't working very well.  

I was looking at one like this

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Portable-Double-Freestanding-Ballet-Barre-Stretch-Dance-Bar-Height-Adjustable/183370643244?hash=item2ab1bdf72c:m:m2PA_QYzPVs6cUk9ILD-_6w:rk:7:pf:0

 

But I am wondering if it is any good at all.  One of the problems is the one we have moves around when you are using it. 

 

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Two of my three dancers had great Nutcracker experiences. Our oldest, however, fractured her 5th metatarsal the Saturday before opening night. She was devastated. She was supposed to do 5 shows as a party girl, one as Chinese and 4 as candy cane. She helped get the little ones dressed during a few quick changes backstage in addition to other backstage duties, but she was so sad, especially watching others perform her roles. Her cast came off yesterday, but we’re looking at 3-4 weeks in a boot and physical therapy. I’m hoping she can be back on pointe for spring performance. 

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13 hours ago, snickerplum said:

Two of my three dancers had great Nutcracker experiences. Our oldest, however, fractured her 5th metatarsal the Saturday before opening night. She was devastated. She was supposed to do 5 shows as a party girl, one as Chinese and 4 as candy cane. She helped get the little ones dressed during a few quick changes backstage in addition to other backstage duties, but she was so sad, especially watching others perform her roles. Her cast came off yesterday, but we’re looking at 3-4 weeks in a boot and physical therapy. I’m hoping she can be back on pointe for spring performance. 

 

Oh wow.  I so so sorry.  That had to have been so hard for her.  

I am trying to figure out what they should do next weekend.  Both days there are auditions for ballets at other studios or both days there are auditions for summer intensives.  I can't figure out which one they should do.  AHHH.  I don't know the chances of them getting into either thing. 

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My dd (age 11) is just starting to become serious about dance this year. We live in a rural area (in a rural state!) and while there are several dance studios around, they weren’t what I wanted for dd (most focus on competition, little ballet training, etc). Dd has danced on and off over the years and as I’ve tried to get her interested in other things, she always comes back to dance. Last summer, she tried a different studio and fell in love. They are much more serious with a focus on ballet, but I seriously doubt that the studio even compares to what many of you have available. Dd has worked hard - she takes two ballet classes, tech and prepointe. She also assists with some lower level classes, which has been good for her. She takes a private lesson with the director once a week and practices often. She found out before Christmas that she passed her pointe shoe test and we are going to pick up her shoes tomorrow   (they had to be ordered from the dance store). 

I am a newbie dance mom and still struggle with doing simple things - like a ballet bun (dd has long, very wavy hair and is very tender-headed). Anyway, a few weeks ago I got an email from our studio about a Joffrey audition. I didn’t do anything with it and honestly forgot about it. On the last day to sign up I received a text from the studio director asking why dd hadn’t signed up to audition. I happen to be sick that day with the stomach bug, so after a few texts I just went online and signed her up, thinking that it will be a good learning experience. Then  I learn that each girl needs a photo of a leap and arabesque and my studio hired a professional photographer to take those photos. Okay, so I will pay for that (my little learning experience for dd is getting more expensive). Finally, last night it occurred to me that since I was sick when I initially signed dd up, I never looked at the website to see where these intensives take place. Oh my...NYC, San Francisco, Georgia!? These places are FAR from where we live. I had assumed that dd wouldn’t be chosen because she is a bit behind in tech (but catching up every day!), but in my research I also saw that it isn’t very difficult to be chosen For a Joffrey intensive. Anyone have any knowledge about this? Like I said, I’m new to all of this and while our little studio is busy, they are just so tiny compared to others. Would love to hear your thoughts!!! 

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Yes, Joffrey does not turn anyone down. If your daughter auditions, she will receive a whole list of location options that she can choose from. It is also my understanding that she will be notified in subsequent years that she is also "accepted" again without re-auditioning.  Joffrey is not at all selective like most other intensives. They have a variety of levels at each site and would put your daughter in an appropriate level at the beginning on the intensive based on a placement class.  

(Disclaimer: My daughter has never attended Joffrey but we know people who have)

 

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Just Kate-- Could you clarify what you mean about your daughter passing her "pointe shoe test" and ordering her pointe shoes? Were her pointe shoes ordered without her ever trying them on?

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1 minute ago, edelweiss said:

Just Kate-- Could you clarify what you mean about your daughter passing her "pointe shoe test" and ordering her pointe shoes? Were her pointe shoes ordered without her ever trying them on?

 

 Oh no...dd tried on many different shoes before choosing the ones that were best for her. They didn’t have the size she needed though; it was determined that she needed a half size larger than a specific shoe and the dance store didn’t have that size available. The dance studios director also came with us to help make sure that we chose the correct shoes. 

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12 minutes ago, edelweiss said:

Yes, Joffrey does not turn anyone down. If your daughter auditions, she will receive a whole list of location options that she can choose from. It is also my understanding that she will be notified in subsequent years that she is also "accepted" again without re-auditioning.  Joffrey is not at all selective like most other intensives. They have a variety of levels at each site and would put your daughter in an appropriate level at the beginning on the intensive based on a placement class.  

(Disclaimer: My daughter has never attended Joffrey but we know people who have)

 

 

Huh...that’s what I was worried about. Originally I thought that just auditioning would be a good experience. I didn’t really think that dd would be chosen (and I talked with her about this before signing up - would she like to audition even if she wasn’t asked to participate?). I wish I had done a bit more research before moving forward with this. 

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1 minute ago, Just Kate said:

 

 Oh no...dd tried on many different shoes before choosing the ones that were best for her. They didn’t have the size she needed though; it was determined that she needed a half size larger than a specific shoe and the dance store didn’t have that size available. The dance studios director also came with us to help make sure that we chose the correct shoes. 

Ah, ok! Hope she loves her new pointe shoes! I remember how excited my daughter was when she first got hers!

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Just now, edelweiss said:

Ah, ok! Hope she loves her new pointe shoes! I remember how excited my daughter was when she first got hers!

 

Oh yes...she has worked so hard since starting at this studio and it is because she wanted pointe shoes so badly. And it was kind of fun because the studio director and a few dance friends surprised dd (and two other girls who passed their test) at the dance store. Dd didn’t know why we were going. When we walked in, everyone was there and yelled surprise. It was a fun experience. 😊

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6 minutes ago, Just Kate said:

 

Oh yes...she has worked so hard since starting at this studio and it is because she wanted pointe shoes so badly. And it was kind of fun because the studio director and a few dance friends surprised dd (and two other girls who passed their test) at the dance store. Dd didn’t know why we were going. When we walked in, everyone was there and yelled surprise. It was a fun experience. 😊

Oh, that's so special! It sounds like a fun and supportive place for your daughter. Those aren't that easy to find!

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10 hours ago, edelweiss said:

Oh, that's so special! It sounds like a fun and supportive place for your daughter. Those aren't that easy to find!

 

I agree.  We are staying at our place just for that reason. The teachers have been so great with our kids. 

We decided to not do Miami City Ballet and Joffery Chicago auditions this weekend.  The kids are instead at a show audition at another studio.  So we will see how that works out.   I don't know that we are going to do many auditions for SIs.   I think I am so stressed about the logistics of it for my kids.  All my kids dance and have to keep it somewhat fair btwn them over the summer.  They would all have to magically get into the same place because we are not going to send any of them off on their own this year.  Or it would have to be each kid got to go somewhere different at over the summer.  I think in our case something like CPYB would be better for us.  Or maybe the RWB.  We still might due a few auditions for experience and see if something perfect would work out.  Or we maybe just will do local intensives.   I feel bad that I am not giving them enough chances to dance, and I just don't know how it will all work out.   I don't know what the chances are of them getting into intensives. 

My 2 older ones only did 4 weeks of intensives at their home studio last year, plus some classes weekly.  We didn't know if they were really serious about dancing and would want to do it so much.  There are some good local intensives around us. 

I wrestle with how to keep if fair for the kids and what is in their best interest.  Is it more important for them to get as many weeks of dance over the summer or is going somewhere other than their home studio? 

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7 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

I agree.  We are staying at our place just for that reason. The teachers have been so great with our kids. 

We decided to not do Miami City Ballet and Joffery Chicago auditions this weekend.  The kids are instead at a show audition at another studio.  So we will see how that works out.   I don't know that we are going to do many auditions for SIs.   I think I am so stressed about the logistics of it for my kids.  All my kids dance and have to keep it somewhat fair btwn them over the summer.  They would all have to magically get into the same place because we are not going to send any of them off on their own this year.  Or it would have to be each kid got to go somewhere different at over the summer.  I think in our case something like CPYB would be better for us.  Or maybe the RWB.  We still might due a few auditions for experience and see if something perfect would work out.  Or we maybe just will do local intensives.   I feel bad that I am not giving them enough chances to dance, and I just don't know how it will all work out.   I don't know what the chances are of them getting into intensives. 

My 2 older ones only did 4 weeks of intensives at their home studio last year, plus some classes weekly.  We didn't know if they were really serious about dancing and would want to do it so much.  There are some good local intensives around us. 

I wrestle with how to keep if fair for the kids and what is in their best interest.  Is it more important for them to get as many weeks of dance over the summer or is going somewhere other than their home studio? 

Honestly, I don't think it is important for anyone to go away for a summer intensive until they are older (maybe 14 or 15) if they have good options for summer training.  And I say this as the mom of a daughter who has gone to summer intensives since she was 10 (she is 15 now).  CPYB is a great place for training if you decide to go that route.  But if you have excellent training at home, which it sounds like you do, I wouldn't be concerned about doing an "away" intensive at this point unless you just really want them to experience that.  

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1 minute ago, edelweiss said:

Honestly, I don't think it is important for anyone to go away for a summer intensive until they are older (maybe 14 or 15) if they have good options for summer training.  And I say this as the mom of a daughter who has gone to summer intensives since she was 10 (she is 15 now).  CPYB is a great place for training if you decide to go that route.  But if you have excellent training at home, which it sounds like you do, I wouldn't be concerned about doing an "away" intensive at this point unless you just really want them to experience that.  

 

My oldest will be 13 this summer so I guess it is getting to the important stage for her?   I guess it would be good to experience different teachers and schools.  

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We also eschewed the Joffrey audition, though ds is doing the Miami one in a week or two. Ds is hoping to go to Boston, though he's plotting with a friend to go somewhere together - possibly Pittsburgh. I outlawed any of the west coast auditions.

Just Kate, I don't know where you live, but intensives are probably going to be more important for a dancer who doesn't have the best year-round training options. Like Edelweiss, ds has been doing his home intensive in the summer and not going away, but you might consider it younger. This summer might be too soon, but you might want to plan ahead for next year. Does she have a grandparent or aunt and uncle in a city where she might go stay for a shorter intensive? A lot of smaller studios that are excellent have summer intensives that are more geared toward slightly younger dancers.

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Just now, mommyoffive said:

 

My oldest will be 13 this summer so I guess it is getting to the important stage for her?   I guess it would be good to experience different teachers and schools.  

There are definitely benefits to experiencing different teachers and styles (Balanchine if you primarily study Vaganova, etc.).  No doubt about it.  But if you are asking if it is necessary for your children at this point, it really isn't.  Even your oldest is on the the young side.  Like I said, my daughter has gone away to an intensive every year since she was 10 years old.  Did she gain a lot from her experiences? Absolutely.  But was it necessary? Not at all.  She will be 16 this summer and I do think that it is necessary for her now.  I don't regret her going to "away" intensives at a younger age and it was not a financial hardship for us to send her but, in hindsight, I really don't think it was necessary. 

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I agree, Edelweiss. I wish ds had gone away last summer, but mostly because I think it would have been good for him to go away - not because he needed to for dance. He's in high school now and he wants to dance at a high level for as long as he can - so now I think he needs to go. I do think if you don't have access to really great teaching at home, it might be more important for a student whose goals include dance long term. But even then... you do what you can and there's only so much a younger student, new to pointe is going to learn.

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On 2/11/2018 at 10:50 AM, edelweiss said:

 

 

How good an intensive is can be somewhat subjective. What is good for one person, might not be good for another.  And what might be a good intensive for someone one year, might not be good for them another year at a different point in their training. You honestly need to assess each intensive each year to see if it is what you "need" that year.

 

That being said, there is definitely a hierarchy of intensives as far as prestige goes.  The top tier includes all of the "three-letter programs" like ABT (American Ballet Theatre), PNB (Pacific Northwest Ballet), SAB (School of American Ballet), and SFB (San Francisco Ballet).  Other top programs include Miami City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Chautauqua Institute.  There are also top International programs such as Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

 

These are all fabulous programs, but sometimes smaller less "prestigious" programs can be a better fit.  The main thing is that the program is addressing whatever the dancer needs to work on at that time and that she is getting enough attention and corrections.  There are definitely some smaller, less known, hidden gems out there. And one well-known program with very solid training doesn't even require auditions at all.

 

My daughter has gone to 4 different intensives at this point. She went to two different programs her first two summers. Then her third summer she did two programs, neither which were the same as the first two summers. Her fourth summer she went to one of the same programs that she did her third summer. This summer she will be attending that same intensive (for the third year) as well as adding a completely new one. So, after this summer, she will have attended 5 different intensives.

 

As far as what is "done", that varies as well.  Some people love an intensive so much that they keep returning to the same one each year.  Others go to a different intensive every year.  There really is no wrong answer.  If an intensive is helping a dancer grow and improve every year and it is one that she enjoys, there is no reason not to continue going there.  However, if someone wants to sample different intensives and styles, that is okay too.  

 

No, you don't need to stick with Balanchine style intensives.  There are some people who believe that it is best to stick with the same style of ballet when a child is young, so it doesn't confuse them, but then it is great to expose them to other styles as they get older, so that they can get more well-rounded.  Others think it is fine for them to take other styles when they are young.  Your daughter's teachers might have an opinion about that.  My daughter has taken intensives in ABT-style, Balanchine, and hybrid styles.  This summer she will be studying at one Balanchine intensive and one Vaganova. Vaganova is what she studies at her home studio.

 

To learn more about specific intensives, you might want to check out a board called Ballet Talk for Dancers.  It has a ton of information, but it can be a bit overwhelming.  I should also warn you that they are super super strict over there.  They do not allow any comparison between programs at all. The moderators seem to be omnipresent and are quick to reprimand people for discussing things in the "wrong" way.  Just a warning! Still, you can learn a lot by reading over there.

 

Fire away with any other questions you may have!

 

Is this the same place? 

 

https://national.ballet.ca/Explore/In-Studio/Summer-Dance-Intensive

I am confused because it says that is for rec and not a pre-pro place? 

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