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Noel

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Reply with quote  #1 
DD is trying to find her new home and unfortunately all signs are seeming to point to the best studio being about an hour and a half from our home. We have one more to try close to home... so what are your limits?
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's too far for me...that's three hours in the car each day she has dance.  In my DD's case, that could mean sometimes up to five or six days a week during peak rehearsals and three hours a day would simply be too much.

We chose to drive by many studios that were much closer to our home so that my DD was able to dance at a studio of higher training, and it wasn't around the corner, so I understand where you're coming from, but that's a long time in the car several days a week.  

Everyone has to do what's best for themself, their dancer, and their family, but I would urge you to think about school work, school functions, family time, and a social life for your DD.  Those things are all important too.

I understand you're trying to do what you think is best for your DD's dance education, but just try to look beyond that too for what is best for everyone involved.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #3 
I hear you. Loud and clear. It's frustrating to know that we are so far away from simple, solid, comprehensive training. The competition based studio is all about tricks over health and technique; the smaller studios seem to emphasize recital over technique, fall is spent preparing for a holiday show and spring is spent preparing for spring recital... and not much actual foundation gets accomplished. I feel like I'm weighing hours per day wasted in transit v. hours per day wasted where DD is really not advancing, learning, growing.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think a lot would depend on how old the child is and what their goals are.  We drove about 40 minutes each way with traffic 5 days a week when DS was older.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #5 
She's extremely driven, and unfortunately, at 10, smart enough to already recognize when a teacher is just going through the motions v. actually instructing and correcting. She'd say drive... but I'm in agreement that spending that much time in transit takes away a lot once you add in extra rehearsals etc. . I'm wondering how much can be addressed w/ intensives and private lessons?
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3dancinggirls

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Reply with quote  #6 
I would not drive more than 20 minutes because my DDs have other interests besides dance (school sports teams & community volunteer work) and some nights they have to go from one activity to the next. I also have other children that do not dance. These are some things I need to consider when deciding how far I can be from any of my children's activities (not just dance).
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #7 
Never. Our studio is 10 minutes from our home. Had I gone further away my kids would have quit. Also when my kids turned 16 I wouldn't be comfortable driving an hour and a half
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #8 
We have an amazing studio about an hour and fifteen minutes from our house. Neither my dd nor I are willing to drive that far.

I wonder if you have other options in town? A ballet or performing arts school? A new or small studio with time to devote to your dancer?

If you really wanted to try the other studio, do they have a summer intensive or could you take technique there just one day a week and then train other days remembering those corrections?
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gandalf

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Reply with quote  #9 
Is it possible to arrange the schedule so that you are just there 2 days a week? Two long days, but only 6 hours a week driving
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Right now we are only 5 minutes from one studio and 10 from the other, the difference of a few stop lights and a mile. Next year if DD14 doesn't go to ballet boarding school as we hope to afford, we are looking at about 40 minutes each way, 2-3 days a week and the other 2-3 days will be in town. That is a stretch for our family with our work schedules, but it's necessary to attain her goals. I wouldn't go farther than that or more days than 2-3 out of town because of the impact on our family life.
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #11 
I am 15 min away from our new studio. I was 25-30 min away from our old one and going 3x a week. Now we go 5x a week and sometimes on weekends, but 15 min isn't horrible. 

I wouldn't drive 1.5 hours for dance, especially multiple times a week. There already isn't enough time in the day, that is wasting a huge chunk of it (plus wear and tear on the vehicle and gas). 
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #12 
We were driving almost an hour down and 45 minutes back 5-6 days a week until we moved in the middle of last year and reduced the commute to 30 - 40 minutes each way.  Luckily DD is an only child and I have the flexibility to drive.

We're facing similar issues as we try to figure out where she will dance next year, when she is 14.  

The summer program she's going to has great training but is about 90 minutes each way.  I can handle that for 5 weeks, especially since there will be opportunity to car pool and my Mom will do some of the driving.  Its just not feasible during the year.  

The closest place would be 45 minutes at least, and is not her first choice.  There are two others about an hour away.  She wants a lot of ballet and pointe.

It is possible to go to one of the schools 3 days a week with a lot of hours on Saturday, and if two of the local studios don't change their schedules in the fall we could get her some good classes her twice a week, but I don't know where the money would come from for 3 separate dance studios.

I'm trying to keep an open mind, talking to other parents at masterclasses and events in hopes of discovering some hidden gems, and taking DD to trial classes at different studios in the next 2 months. 

I'll be interested to hear what you decide.
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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #13 
With 3 kids to have to schedule, it would not even be an option.   We are considering one that is about 40 minutes away, but that would mean redoing my whole work schedule since I work evenings and nights. 
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #14 
DDs ballet studio is 35-50 minutes depending on traffic, we are there 4 days a week. She also goes to a comp studio one day. That studio is one hour without traffic and up to an hour and a half with traffic. I wouldn't do that more than once a week. It's a lot and my DD is 17 and extremely committed. I think with a 10 year old, no matter how devoted, that would be extremely tough. I don't know many 10 year olds who could even handle what we do.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #15 
DD12's studio is 45 min away, up to 90 in rush hour traffic (we're in a suburb of Chicago).  Definitely not happy with the commute but we love the SO so for the moment it is worth it.
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #16 
When my daughter was little, I drove about an hour once a week to get her to Chinese dance. I'd still do that if she wanted to take it because there is nowhere closer and I'd consider it my responsibility to keep her connected to her birth culture if she wanted to go there.  For regular dance which is available at numerous local studios, I think about 20 minutes would be my max.  Her studio is 10 minutes from our house.
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theyarg

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Reply with quote  #17 
I do 25 minutes, 4 days usually, but she is there for 2 hours minimum, and I go to the gym nearby. Otherwise I think that would get on my nerves. We were going once a week to NYC for 4 hours of classes, but that was because DD had won a scholarship for the classes.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #18 
Prancer, yes we are looking in to summer intensives absolutely. Auditioned yesterday as a matter of fact. Do you think with adequate local training that is feasible? I can't wait to get her placement at the local "best choice" done on Tuesday so that we can see if it's something we can work with. DD was absolutely delighted with the rigor and level of instruction she received just during the audition. She knows a good teacher when she sees one.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #19 
Gandalf, yes, trying to work that out. But attempting to get that information out of the "best choice" is like pulling teeth... I'd love it if we could handle her needs w/ a MWF type schedule, but they really won't discuss it until they've had her placement class (which is tomorrow) can't wait.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #20 
Will keep you posted, GGSmith
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Angel2228

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Reply with quote  #21 
Could you ask the studio if there's a dancer who's there the same times and lives in your area. It could be possible to arrange a car pool.

We do have a dancer who lives in the next town 35 mins away, and another just over an hour. In winter the roads are horrible! The further away one drove herself, but quit this year.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #22 
Good luck with the placement. Yes, I think it can be feasible. I think at 10 they will look quite a bit at her potential and ability to take corrections. I hope it works out!
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thank you, Angel and Prancer.
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #24 
We are about 25-35 minutes away depending on traffic and that's the max for us. My dd's best friend is a competitive rhythmic gymnast and at 9 she is committed enough that they drive an hour and a half each way 4 times a week for 3-5 hour training sessions. It's extremely tough and they are switching to homeschooling. She also dances at our studio.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #25 
Thank you for the perpsective, EJIDance... I feel like at (just turned 10) DD is at a sort of pivotal age.... go all in and really give it everything we can to take this as far as she chooses, or knowingly step back and let go of giving her the best training.
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