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jamquint1

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Our local ballet academy's schedule does not seem to meet the criteria of what I have read is standard for ballet training. Years 1-3 are one hour once weekly starting at age 7 years old. Ok, fine. Then year four is "pre-pointe" and two one-hour classes weekly. Year five (first year of pointe) still looks like only two hours weekly. Starting in years 6 or 7 (hard to tell from the website) it appears that you join their "company" with up to 4-5 1.5 hour classes weekly. All of that is just technique; rehearsal time is separate. The owner of the ballet school's training does seem good; has had extensive training in ballet education and was a ballerina herself. My first thought is that this is all due to being in a small community and not having enough ballet teachers to give the amount of hours recommended, but she's doing what she can? IDK. From what I know of the academy owner, it just surprises me that she wouldn't go by what the standards are.

What say you ballet mamas and papas?


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LilMama

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I don’t know. According from BalletTalk, DD9 is supposed to have at least two 1.25 hour long ballet class a week. During my research out of all the ballet school I’ve came across, only one of them offers 1.5 class once a week. There’s actually another school, but it’s those pre pro program where they dance literally all week at age 9 which is too extreme. And I thought we have enough options in Toronto. This has been a question for me as well.
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elastigal

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At our comp studio, my DD9 is doing the RAD “Graded Levels” syllabus. We don't offer "Vocational Levels" classes, if you want those you have to go to the local ballet school that teaches RAD and ABT curriculums. My DD's in Grade 2, working towards her exam, and she must take 2 ballet classes per week. And that will be the same for all Graded Levels she completes, two classes per week. 
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joriebelle

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At our school, the lowest level (primary) only goes to 3 one-hour classes a week, but Levels 2 and 3 jump to 16 hours a week, and it keeps increasing from there (Level 6 is 22+ hours).

Two hours a week for pre-pointe just doesn't seem enough to me? 
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nyklane

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I can only speak from the bottom up. 😉  The 7-8-9 year olds range from schools around here.  Some are 1hr a week like that one, and others are 2 classes 1.5hrs each.  Moving up to pre-pointe it seems to be 2 classes per week.  Then on pointe - most of the girls are taking both classes on flat and pointe - but they seem to be there more than 2 hours per week.  I would say that is typically4.5+ hours.  So when I read your description - it seems like that 1st year on point is light.  But everyone has their methods right?  Why not ask the SO her philosophy - perhaps there is a method that she specifically employs (outside the number of dance teachers available) - and maybe you'd agree with it.  OR not.  Doesn't hurt to ask!  😉 
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Jacaranda

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I wouldn't pay too much attention to opinions in how many hours a child should be doing at a certain age or how long classes should be. It's all relative and will depend on the teacher and class structure. More time, does not always mean more progress. Some teachers can get more done and taught in a 45 minute class, that others can do in a 1 1/2 hour class.

Look at the results they are producing at the end of the day instead, what do the senior dancers look like? Wyat are they achieving?
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacaranda
I wouldn't pay too much attention to opinions in how many hours a child should be doing at a certain age or how long classes should be. It's all relative and will depend on the teacher and class structure. More time, does not always mean more progress. Some teachers can get more done and taught in a 45 minute class, that others can do in a 1 1/2 hour class. Look at the results they are producing at the end of the day instead, what do the senior dancers look like? Wyat are they achieving?


For the most part I agree with this, except for ballet I think you need a minimum of an hour and 15 minutes in order to get a good barre and center done.
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tiptoemom

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My daughter attended a pre-professional ballet school from 5-15. At 7 and 8 taking class once a week for an hour is fine. You should then move up to 90 minute classes at @ 9 years old. The year before you go up on pointe should be three ninety minute classes a week. I think by daughter was taking five 120 minute classes by 12 years old.

I'd respectfully disagree with @Jacaranda. There is no way to have a quality ballet class in 45 minutes. I'd argue that you need  90 minutes at least. Our classes were 2 hours at a well known ballet school. You simply cannot rush a ballet class. They often had classes where the barre alone was 45 minutes.
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ballet Talk for Dancers has a standard schedule they say is necessary to learn proper ballet technique.
http://dancers.invisionzone.com/topic/54924-general-age-appropriate-training-guidelines/

My dd at 16, gets about 11.25 hrs a week of pointe and about 20 hrs total of dance with rehearsals. Even more during major performance seasons. She does quite well.

Fair warning: when they get this age ballet/dance is all consuming. It affects vacations, weekends, family plans, family time and finances. It requires a commitment from the whole family. My DH and I think it is totally worth it for her dreams but not everyone understands or wants to commit to that much time for their own families.

However, I say if you think there is a chance that she wants this and you can support it: make sure she gets enough good training. No sense in wasting time and money.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Do you know if there are classes that are not on the website? It seems odd that there is no gradual increase in hours. 

Dd's ballet school 1; Ages 5-7 are in 3 separate levels, each meeting once a week. After that, the classes increase to twice a week (90 min and 2 hours for the two weekly classes), then three times a week which the pre-pointe level, then 4 times a week (beginner pointe) and up. All classes are a minimum of 90 minutes once they hit about age 8. 

Ballet school 2 only took students starting at age 7 or 8. They started with twice a week classes at that age and then increased by one day each week as the levels went up. 

At both schools, rehearsals were not included in those class hours. Those were completely separate.


ETA: While the number of classes increase for each level, kids do not move up a level every year in either program. 
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #11 
agree with @tendumom, ages 5-6-7 were pre-ballet. You would not start ballet I until 7, but usually 8 years old. 
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