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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am browsing the old threads on the forums and learning so much and realizing how different all the studios are! I am struck by how many hours some of the younger dancers are allowed to dance by the studios. Our studio policy is that a dancer should not dance more than their age - 2 hours up until they hit teen years. So my DD7 could not take more than 5 hours of class even if she wanted to. We are at a non-competition studio so maybe that factors into it. Do other studios have limits like that in place?
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #2 
We do not have any hard and fast rules, but I know our SO has certain guidelines she likes to follow based on the child. For instance, when my DD was 7 I was told she couldn't do three hours of dance in a row. That she was too young and might injure herself. Now that she's 10, three hours is fine as long as acro isn't the third hour.

I think she does a great job of balancing the kids' needs while still being safe.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #3 
Our kids don't have a limit on hours, mostly growing up they have done around about the same number of hours as their age. Ie around 5 hours at age 5, 10 hours at age 10. But there just isn't the option at our studio for kids to be doing really high hours, like we do hear about on here. ,y eldest DD does 17 hours but she does every single class available for her age at the studio and she is 17.

Gymnastics is a different story, my middle DD was doing 32 hours a week by the age of 11, she only does 20 now as she is no longer on the international pathway. But in gymnastics high hours are the norm.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #4 

This is an interesting question. I like this concept from a developmental viewpoint.

I do not think dd has ever been at a studio with a limit on hours per se, but there were only so many hours available to younger dancers. This is especially the case at the ballet school she mainly grew up at. A 7 yr old would probably be in a twice a week class which would be 2.5 hours total. They could add on the tap/jazz combo for an hour and hip hop for an hour for a total of 4.5 hours each week. Of course, they could also participate in a full length ballet but that would also be about another hour each week until they started running the show. 

Thinking about her comp school at age 7, most on the team were taking 5 hours each week. 3 hours was the minimum to be on the team. 5 hours was the max available, however, there was a dancer who had a parent who worked at the studio. She took far more by taking a level below and some years, a level above and anything else she could take. She was the exception.

DD's current ballet school does not start until age 8 (or 7 turning 8 in the fall). The lowest level has 3.5 hrs per week scheduled. 

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #5 
No stated limit but the studios only had a limited number of offerings for younger kids, and no team opportunities for minis or petites, so it was never possible for kids to dance a lot of hours.  My dd danced 3 hours at the age of 10.  Even if she had taken everything available to her, she would have danced only 5.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #6 
Both studios never had a limit on hours but there were only so many classes available to the little one until they reached about 8 years old.  The first studios bumped up alot at that age if they were in everthing which most of them were.
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StepLeap

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Reply with quote  #7 
Our old studio never had any limits- the hours danced were based on the groups that you made after auditions. I never really thought about it. Now that they are older- it doesn't really matter. 
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dancedivasx2

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Reply with quote  #8 
Last year my 8yr old did 9 hours. This year 8 hours and my 12 yr did 13 hours. This year I have her doing 9 until we see her work load for jr high. From what I know there is no max limit but there is a minimum for competing .
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #9 
Interesting! There is a minimum for the performance company that starts at 6 years old and that's 3 hours. There is no max starting at the age of 13 but until then DD will only be able to add 1 additional hour a year. I am perfectly ok with that. I am shocked over the comment about 11 year olds doing 30+ hours a week of gymnastics. I can't even imagine fitting that in without homeschooling. DD's bestie, also a 7 year old, is a competitive rhythmic gymnast and is doing 15 hours a week. I thought that was a lot!
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jeanne4379

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Reply with quote  #10 
For us, going to a ballet school, there were no limits other than what was available for certain age groups.  For instance, there was only two Mommy & Me classes and only one beginning ballet class a day.  There was no reason for a child to take a beginner ballet class on a daily basis, although they could take twice (or even three classes) a week if they wanted.  There were more options available as the years grew.  The studio owners were very careful to bring the dancers along carefully as they understood the demands fo the discipline on the body.  They also knew that the best dancers had a happy, well rounded childhood filled with other events and family outings.  It was typical to hear the happy chatter of pumpkin picking, caroling with church groups and visiting relatives coming from the dressing room.  
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Daniella03

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Reply with quote  #11 
We don't have a limit other than the number of classes available. A lot of the girls don't do all 5 genres available at my DD8's age. Mine does everything available to her, she dances 3 nights a week and Saturdays. Her total hours at the studio excluding solos and nutcracker(if she gets it) is 6.25, to me that's a pretty reasonable amount for an almost 9 year old to dance. They increase what the girls can do gradually at each level. This year another genre is open to her and 3 extra optional classes are open to her as well. The next level she will gain 1 more genre, and her hours will go up a bit more as extra technique classes almost double at that level.

She does a once/week swim class as well and we get one full evening at home or for birthday parties and Sunday's off which will change if she gets Nutcracker.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #12 
We don't have a limit per se, but there are only so many hours of class available at each age. At 7, DD is maxed out at her studio for her age at 8.75 hrs of class. This is split among ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, leaps/turns, acro, hip hop and aerial, though. The most she takes of 1 discipline is 2 hrs. This does not include rehearsal for company, though, which is an extra 1.5 hrs/week. DD made petite company this year so the minimum requirement went from 3 hours to 5 hours. In DD's case, you can't stop her from dancing. If she wasn't dancing at the studio, she'd be doing it at home, the grocery store, Target, etc, anyway, so we figured she may as well have some professional guidance[wink]
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RainySun

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Reply with quote  #13 
We don't have a limit here. DD is 8 and this year is dancing 13 hours. She could do more but chooses not to at this time. We are at the studio 5 nights a week fro anywhere from 1-4 hours a night.
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gandalf

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Reply with quote  #14 
Did Serena & Venus Williams have a limit to the number of practice hours a week?
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Daniella03

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Did Serena & Venus Williams have a limit to the number of practice hours a week?


Did they actually have childhoods as well?
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniella03
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Did Serena & Venus Williams have a limit to the number of practice hours a week?


Did they actually have childhoods as well?


Anyone who gets to their level has to have devoted much of their childhood to training, but it sounds like they had pretty happy childhoods in part because their parents didn't just follow the path that everyone else was taking.  And it seems like they probably had much nicer childhoods than they would have had just being regular kids in Compton.

http://blackathlete.net/2007/04/venus-serena-reflect-as-they-prepare-for-fed-cup/
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Did Serena & Venus Williams have a limit to the number of practice hours a week?


Probably not, but not everyone is trying to raise a Serena Williams.
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Dancingdd

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Reply with quote  #18 
I'm laughing at these hours because DD8 can take 2 classes back to back without being exhausted and unable to do her homework. She's currently in 3 hours a week and will likely stick with 3 hours next year with a focus on ballet. If she can handle it we may add lyrical. Every child is different. My friend has her 9 year old in 10 hours a week but half of those are for comp. we don't do comp. also she said her grades are terrible since she added the hours of dance. Again, every child is different and I have one that would prefer to also do choir and voice lessons and play with her friends.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingdd
I'm laughing at these hours because DD8 can take 2 classes back to back without being exhausted and unable to do her homework. She's currently in 3 hours a week and will likely stick with 3 hours next year with a focus on ballet. If she can handle it we may add lyrical. Every child is different. My friend has her 9 year old in 10 hours a week but half of those are for comp. we don't do comp. also she said her grades are terrible since she added the hours of dance. Again, every child is different and I have one that would prefer to also do choir and voice lessons and play with her friends.



I'm NOT laughing at some of these hours for very young ones.   Good grief. 
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #20 
I posted this in the summer and then posted a few more times about DD7 actually wanting more than 4 hours a week. Well, fast forward to now, and the SO is under huge pressure to add hours and add a competition team (we only have a performing company). Parents of promising 7-8 year olds are leaving for studios with big names and strong competition teams that require 10+ hours commitment. It really is sad. There needs to be a middle ground. I don't know. Rambling. But we just got an email last week that our studio is adding a comp team and is expected to compete in at least the last few competitions of the season. The auditions are sometime end of February and I have been approached by the DT that's in charge of the effort asking DD to audition and basically telling me that she is one of the girls specifically expected to join and one that they feared would leave. I don't know how I feel about that. It's flattering but when I considered leaving it wasn't to join a comp team. While 4 hours is not enough for her, 10+ is way too many for me. I would have much preferred more technique classes because we do tend to focus too much on choreography... Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. Decision, decisions. Ironically, we might have to leave IF they add the team rather than the opposite. If all the best teachers and kids go to the team and the focus shifts there but our family isn't able or willing to commit the time and money, we will have no other choice.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #21 
I think the middle ground needs to happen in ballet schools as well. The big, professional ballet school is really all or nothing. They don't really want kids who don't want to be professional ballerinas. Not every 16 year old WANTS to take 12 hours of ballet a week. Some just want to do it for fun.
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa745
I think the middle ground needs to happen in ballet schools as well. The big, professional ballet school is really all or nothing. They don't really want kids who don't want to be professional ballerinas. Not every 16 year old WANTS to take 12 hours of ballet a week. Some just want to do it for fun.


I agree.

However, there are lots of little gems out there. We happen to be at a ballet school like that. It's small so they aren't able to offer enough classes for kids 16-18 who want to be professional, so those ones usually go to a residential school their last 2 years of high school to finish up. 


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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #23 
That really is sad that so many are leaving. Our studio only requires 4-5 hours of technique class and 30 minutes of rehearsal per dance for this age group weekly, and it's known as the more "intense" one in the area lol! However, most girls take more than what is required. Maybe you can ask SO to only require 4-5 hours but offer more if people want to take more?

Also, it seems really late in the season for auditions. I think it's risky to start so late and then be up against teams like ours who have been learning and refining their dances since August. Especially at this age where it takes a while for kids to learn and get everything clean. Unless she's going to take your performance numbers and clean them for competition?


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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #24 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa745
I think the middle ground needs to happen in ballet schools as well. The big, professional ballet school is really all or nothing. They don't really want kids who don't want to be professional ballerinas. Not every 16 year old WANTS to take 12 hours of ballet a week. Some just want to do it for fun.

This does exist some places. There is a regional company in our area that actually has a middle ground of sorts. They have solved this problem at most age levels by having different tracks. As a 16 yr old, you can be in the level/group that they call some sort of "junior company." They have the usual more rigorous schedule. They also have available regular ballet  classes but once they are in pointe shoes, they are expected to attend 3 days a week. That is much more doable for a 16 yr old who wants to pursue other activities than the normal pre-pro schedule. We know several dancers from dd's former studio, one that offered only one track, who switched over there so they could more easily do school shows, music programs, etc. 

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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #25 
jazzminesun, I am not sure what the level of commitment will be yet, the 10 hours is just what's floating around in the mom circles. They are planning to reuse the production numbers but the problem is that those dances have a lot of entertainment value but not really that much technique. I am guessing they will enter at the lowest comp levels, not sure what they are. I don't know how rushing all this will help but I can see why the SO panicked. At the winter showcase, during the finale, we were all pretty shocked at how skewed the school has become towards the very young age groups 5-9 and after that there is almost no one. We know this would be a lean year going in because we had a lot of graduating seniors last year, but it really because apparent that it went much deeper than that. SO started researching why people were leaving and it turned out quite a few left for studios with comp teams. I am not really sure if that's as simple as that but the SO chose to focus on that and start scrambling to get a comp team going. 
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