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sylya

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

So DS and i are at American dance competition this weekend (ballet competition). And completely out of the blue DS was offered a summer intensive scholarship, we didn't really expect this because ADC is really big. 

Now that is awesome of course but there is one thing about the scholarship that has me doubting if DS should accept. It's a 6 week ballet intensive at a very big ballet school, the scholarship includes room and board but it would mean sending my then (just turned) 11 year old to a different city on his own for 6 weeks. It's to far away to travel back and forth and the program is set up in a way that they also train on weekends. Another boy from our studio (3 years older than DS) got offered the same scholarship last year and had a terrific time. His mom told me that the kids are well cared for at the school and are housed with their own class/age group. They also do excursions on sundays to explore the city and see shows. DS really wants to go and i promised to think about it.

What do you all think? Is 11 to young to do this or should i just get over my "mommy heart" and let him go?
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think summer intensives are really important for boys.  It's a time where he will be able to hang out with boys his own age who love to dance as much as he does.  Boys just don't get that opportunity.

I sent my daughter away at 12, she loved it, she started sleep away camp after second grade never had an issue being away from home.

Any program that takes 11 year olds (and scholarships them) will be able to handle all the needs of a kid his age.  If he's excited about going and can be trusted with basic self care (he's going to have to do his own laundry, wake himself up in the morning) then you should let him go, he'll have a fantastic time and you can tell him he has to skype you on weekends.

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PasDeChatMom

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Reply with quote  #3 
My daughter went to her first SI at age 11 - it was on the other side of the country and although she was only there for the 3-week portion, I would have felt comfortable with her attending the full 6-week session. If he's mature enough for it then I say let him go and enjoy a summer of new experiences.
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tendumom

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The answer really depends on the child. 

My dd went away for an overnight camp for a week at age 9 and had a blast. She needed to be hosed off afterwards as she never got the hang of working the showers apparently. [redface] She would have loved an experience like this at 11 and would have been ready at without question. 

 

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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think it might depend on the ballet company. My nephew started fairly young. He’s a professional now.
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joriebelle

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If it were me, I would wait another year but it appears I am the minority here.  I sent my DD away when she was 12 (turning 13 a couple of weeks after she got back).  You said your son was just turning from 10 to 11.  If it were only 3 weeks I would do it but I think 6 is too long.  He's got plenty of time to do long SIs.


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AnnaBeav

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I think it depends on your DS. How much experience has he had being away from home in a camp/school setting?

 

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sk8jdgca

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Reply with quote  #8 
Mine went at 9. He was a very clingy kid and I didn't know how he would do. He loved it! There were so many boys. He had been the on,y male ballet dancer at the two studios he was at.
Does he want to go?
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sylya

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DS hasn't been away from home for that amount of time, he has had sleepovers of course but never for more than 2 days at a time. He really wants to go but the distance is not something we can easily drive so if he would want to go home suddenly we wouldn't be able to go get him instantly. The thing is that the scholarship is very competitive and we don't know if he will ever get it again, money wise we would never be able to pay for it ourself so a scholarship is the only way for him to go.
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Dancergirlmelody

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Reply with quote  #10 
Speaking as someone who has been an RA for some of the youngest kids at a well-known ballet intensive, please make sure your kids (regardless of age) know how to take care of themselves. Be sure they can do laundry, figure out how to eat well in a college cafeteria setting (especially true for kids with food allergies/intolerances), wake themselves up on time, and in general are responsible enough to follow the rules and get themselves to and from classes every day. You'd be surprised at the very basic things that I've seen even 13 and 14 year olds not be able to do.

Also, in my opinion as a dancer, intensives aren't really necessary for kids under 12 or 13. Often, they'll get better training staying at home with the teachers that know them and know how to work with them best. Intensives can be great experiences and really fun, but they're also big commitments and very different from the studio and dance community they're used too.
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PasDeChatMom

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Reply with quote  #11 
Good advice Melody, at 11 my daughter was teaching 14 and 15 year-olds how to do laundry at the SI.
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sylya

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancergirlmelody
Speaking as someone who has been an RA for some of the youngest kids at a well-known ballet intensive, please make sure your kids (regardless of age) know how to take care of themselves. Be sure they can do laundry, figure out how to eat well in a college cafeteria setting (especially true for kids with food allergies/intolerances), wake themselves up on time, and in general are responsible enough to follow the rules and get themselves to and from classes every day. You'd be surprised at the very basic things that I've seen even 13 and 14 year olds not be able to do.

Also, in my opinion as a dancer, intensives aren't really necessary for kids under 12 or 13. Often, they'll get better training staying at home with the teachers that know them and know how to work with them best. Intensives can be great experiences and really fun, but they're also big commitments and very different from the studio and dance community they're used too.


Well DS does meet the requirements you mentioned because my husband and i work a lot he is used to doing all those things if necessary. The reason why an intensive for us would i think be a good thing is because we are from a small town studio which really doesn't have a great standard of ballet training. He can learn a lot in 6 weeks and we are actually looking into ballet schools where he can train more seriously. In those 6 weeks he can see if he likes the way a ballet school works and if he can handle the standard of training. 
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #13 
Don’t discount your mom gut. Don’t be afraid he won’t get the opportunity again. He is 11 and already got 1 great opportunity. He is a boy. Scholarships are more accessible to boys. He will likely get others. At our home studio he would even get his classes free because there are so few boys in the area that dance.

On the other hand, my DDs first SI was at 12. I took her and spent two weeks in a rental house with her and chaperoning some other girls from her home studio to balance out the costs. They had an amazing time and I witnessed the SI up close and saw the kids were well chaperoned and she would have been safe going on her own. If you can get personal positive feedback from mom’s whose boys have gone then use that to help you decide. My dd has been to 4 SIs now at 3 different companies and she has been glad she went to all of them.

Bottom line, If you think he is ready, If you can bear to be away from hm that long, if you can ensure he will stay in contact with you daily so you won’t worry, if you can get firsthand accounts on their safety practices and good experiences, and if you can get there if you really needed to, then let him go.
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PasDeChatMom

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Reply with quote  #14 
If you're comfortable sharing which SI it is, some of us here may have had first-hand experience with it and can share more specific information.
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