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Texasdancemomx2

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We just got our schedule options for the fall. Both girls made the prepro team this year. I'm trying to figure out whether they will burn out on the proposed load. 

DD8 -- Last year took 5 hours, including prep team. Proposed for fall 2 hrs ballet, 1 hr jazz, 1 hr tap, 2 hours team, 1 hr acro and 1 hr leaps and turns for a total of 8 hrs. (Acro and leaps are optional.) DD8 is super efficient with homework.

DD10 -- Last year took 6 hours, including prep team. Proposed for fall 2 hrs ballet, 2 hrs jazz, 1 hr hip hop, 2 hours team, 1 acro and 1 hr leaps and turns for a total of 9 hrs. DD10 is not effcient with homework, but is less efficient when not dancing. In fact we started down this road as an alternative to occupational therapy because she NEEDS to spin.

Money aside, it feels like a lot. But they are super excited about the optional classes and frankly both need concentrated work on leaps and turns. They were frustrated last year that they didn't get enough time.

Thoughts. (And let's pretend (albeit falsely) that I'm not thinking about money.)
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dave9988

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My first gut is that seems like normal to heavy for the 8 year old but light to maybe normal for the 10 year old.

But there are so many variables. Are rehearsals included in those times?  Were the kids overburdened this year? How do other kids at your studio/school handle it?  Are you worried about burning out from dance, or burning out from all activities (dance, homework, friends, etc.?).  When does homework get heavy at your school (not until maybe ages 12-14 here)?

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Jinkerbelle

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Really doesn't seem like too much to me personally, seems like it averages out to a little over an hour a day.
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Texasdancemomx2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988
My first gut is that seems like normal to heavy for the 8 year old but light to maybe normal for the 10 year old.

But there are so many variables. Are rehearsals included in those times?  Were the kids overburdened this year? How do other kids at your studio/school handle it?  Are you worried about burning out from dance, or burning out from all activities (dance, homework, friends, etc.?).  When does homework get heavy at your school (not until maybe ages 12-14 here)?



There are Saturday rehearsals once a month and then of course the competition/convention season itself. I'm a single mom, so essentially this means that THIS is their extracurricular activity. I also never danced, so I have no clue what is normal. I'm more worried about the younger one, since it is such a big jump. 
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Texasdancemomx2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
Really doesn't seem like too much to me personally, seems like it averages out to a little over an hour a day.


Except for DD10 it is crammed into 4 days. So one day is 3 hours... not a big deal, but she seems to need downtime before transitioning to homework. Trying to get her to knock it out in the car or while I fix dinner is always a big fight.
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Jinkerbelle

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdancemomx2


Except for DD10 it is crammed into 4 days. So one day is 3 hours... not a big deal, but she seems to need downtime before transitioning to homework. Trying to get her to knock it out in the car or while I fix dinner is always a big fight.

This might be a conversation to have with your daughter before signing on the dotted line then. I would make it very clear to her that there needs to be no fighting when it is time to start homework. Put stipulations on how homework will be handled and what the consequences will be with dance for not following through. Stress the importance of school first and taking initiative when it comes to homework. Explain that you want her to dance as much as she wants, but will not let it strain your parental relationship by having to battle about homework or take its toll on her grades! Good luck, I really hope everything works out! I know it can be challenging!
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prancer

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The amount of dance seems typical to me. Your 10 year old is old enough to understand that she has to be responsible about homework in order to earn the right to dance on the team. I would definitely get her on board before you sign.

I want to emphasize though that you should consider the cost very seriously in the context of your budget and what you hope they will get out of dance. My bet is with this load for two girls you are easily at $1000 to $1500 per month for dance bills. It really is ok to say no to team if it is not a fit for your family.

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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdancemomx2


Except for DD10 it is crammed into 4 days. So one day is 3 hours... not a big deal, but she seems to need downtime before transitioning to homework. Trying to get her to knock it out in the car or while I fix dinner is always a big fight.


My DDs do typically need downtime.  When there are 5 hour days (DD14), then the car and/or dinner prep time might be all that's available for downtime.  Yes, that means a late homework night ... or early morning, or working on assignments before they are due (if given 2 days) ... but it is what it is.
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cynmckee

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I would say try it but with the caveat that if they are unable to stay on task with their homework that the optional classes will be gone until they bring their focus back to school.  If everyone is on board and there is a weekly check-in on how it is going, seems like it will be okay. 

We had Pilates at our studio that was optional and it was a really wonderful class, but it was just one hour too many and my dd dropped it in order to get an extra hour of homework time.
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heidi459

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I just want to throw out that leaps/turns improve more so with better strength/control and technique, less so with hours and hours of practice (which, actually, when you don't have the strength/control/technique can often just hard wire bad habits that are harder to unlearn later on).  So while I understand that a separate L & Ts class is a thing for many studios, it's really not necessary.  Especially when they're so young and still getting up to speed on their foundation.  

So, fwiw... if I were to give anything up that'd be what I'd give it up.  And I'd give it up without hesitation. 

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tendumom

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At 10, dd had similar hours when you counted rehearsals, which were mainly Saturday but not all year. She also had one day that was very tight. I had to be organized and so did she. My part was just making sure she ate in the car both directions that night. Her part was the homework. Homework in the car often did not go well for us, but if she ate on the way home, she needed little down time to get it started. She was always most efficient when she was the busiest!

It does seem like a lot at 8, but it sounds like she as the personality to manage. My thought is to also look ahead a bit. Hours seem to ramp up from year to year. What will the future look like if they continue? It can be hard to cut back later once they start on a path like this.
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Texasdancemomx2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
The amount of dance seems typical to me. Your 10 year old is old enough to understand that she has to be responsible about homework in order to earn the right to dance on the team. I would definitely get her on board before you sign. I want to emphasize though that you should consider the cost very seriously in the context of your budget and what you hope they will get out of dance. My bet is with this load for two girls you are easily at $1000 to $1500 per month for dance bills. It really is ok to say no to team if it is not a fit for your family.


It will be somewhere in the middle there. I make a good salary and we live very modestly in other ways. I talk to the girls a lot about choices and I had them sign a "contract" when we agreed to go with the upper level team. Our experience last year was very good -- some amazing life lessons about the value of hard work, perseverance and supporting their team (and each other). My kids are the type that are going to need some passion besides school to get them through school. My only suprise is that DD8 has ramped up this fast. DD10 has been copying dance steps since she could walk. So the fact that we're here is not a surprise. I just don't want them overwhelmed -- too much of a good thing.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Sounds good Texasdancemomx2. My dd needs the physical outlet dance offers. Dance almost always improves her time management. I think they should be able to manage it. If the long night is ever too long, perhaps you can skip her least essential class. Good luck!!!
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdancemomx2


It will be somewhere in the middle there. I make a good salary and we live very modestly in other ways. I talk to the girls a lot about choices and I had them sign a "contract" when we agreed to go with the upper level team. Our experience last year was very good -- some amazing life lessons about the value of hard work, perseverance and supporting their team (and each other). My kids are the type that are going to need some passion besides school to get them through school. My only suprise is that DD8 has ramped up this fast. DD10 has been copying dance steps since she could walk. So the fact that we're here is not a surprise. I just don't want them overwhelmed -- too much of a good thing.


The thing that I have noticed most as my dd17 has ramped up over the years, is that I worry about it more than she does and she does better than my worrying ever gave her credit for.  The best thing to do is to talk...and talk...and talk.  On Sundays, we talk about the week ahead as a whole.  What things can she do early to make her life better later.  How should she prioritize her obligations.  It's a good thing to learn young but you can help them multitask and get that skill down now.  Let them tell you how they want you to help them.

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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #15 
This sounds fine to me if money's not a problem. Our studio does tuition on a sliding scale so after 5 hours, the cost per class added is minimal until you hit 10, then it's unlimited. Whether it's too much of a good thing or not depends on your kids. Every kid is different. 

DD9 is also very efficient with homework. She is also one that needs dance as a reason to excel at school, though. Here was her load this year (aged 8-9):

Ballet: 4 hours; Jazz: 2 hours; Jazz Leaps & Turns: 1 hour; Tap: 1 hour; Hip Hop: 1 hour; Acro: 1 hour; Aerial - dance studio: 1 hour; Aerial troupe: 5 hours; Rehearsal: 1.5 hours 
Total: 17.5 hours a week, 12.5 at her dance studio and 5 at her aerial studio. 
This sounds like a lot, but she has been cleared by her pediatrician, who says that the aerial work basically amounts to physical therapy as it stretches her body in all directions and prevents overuse. She is still far from burning out as she would like an hour or two more of ballet per week and would like to take tumbling at a gym as well and wants to take contemporary and heels (dancing in heels) at another local studio in addition to her load, but I seriously have to draw the line somewhere. She even goes to the optional aerial open studio 4 hours every Sunday to work on skills and combinations and conditioning with her teammates and does extra chores so that I'll take her on what should be my day off lol.

My advice is to make sure you communicate frequently and keep them wanting more so they don't burn out. I make sure there are always at least 2 classes that she wants in addition to her load that she is not taking. I know that may sound kind of mean, but it prevents her from burning out and helps her feel thankful for the classes she has. What you decide to cut should depend on your dancer's goals. Next year, in order to participate in the aerial troupe, DD will have to cut tap due to scheduling, and she's trading in hip hop for that extra tumbling class. But she has friends who don't care about acro and would always choose hip hop over acro and friends who would never drop tap.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #16 
It sounds like,e a lot to you because yiu are used to less, but this is quite a normal schedule for competitive dancers of their age, if not a little on the light side, especially for your older DD. A few months into the school year and this will probabaly feel very normal to you.

The optional classes sound good, acro and leaps and turns both really enhance their training in all dance styles and they are a lot of fun and the sort of classes where kids can set exciting goals and work towards mastering them, which is an incredible life skill.

Many kids find homework easier when they are busier and have less available time. When they have endless hours to do it, it is easier to go "oh well, I will do it later or I will do it tomorrow". But this way they have to be more organised which structures the time better and just makes it easier.

In my house we don't worry about homework, dance comes first and if there is no time for homework so be it. Dance improves their concentration, memory and executive functioning, which in turn improves their school performance significantly. While research shows that at 8 and 10 years old doing homework has no positive effect on learning outcomes, so I know which I choose.
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LeapYear0208

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My DD is 7, she was dancing 5 hours most of the 15-16 season, upped to 6 hours the last few months. When she made team at a different studio for 16-17 she had 9 required hours and did 2 additional for 11 hours. She made team again, not sure what our schedule will look like come August. They are likely going to revamp groups this year due to the age of those trying out because right now our average age is no longer a mini team. We will see what they do. 

Over the summer, granted there is no homework, she is dancing a lot more. The past two weeks she has had 12 hours of intensives on top of regular classes. She also swims and dives competitively so we have that too. Next week is insane because of pictures and recital but then she has a few weeks off of dance and 2 more weeks of intensives in July.

Homework is not an issue for DD7 at all. She knocks it out on the way to dance. I am not sure how her 2nd grade homework will be, she will have a different teacher than my oldest had. She reads before bed and a lot on the weekends. She is way ahead of where she should be, third grade reading, comprehension and mathematics. 

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Kfish1987

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdancemomx2


Except for DD10 it is crammed into 4 days. So one day is 3 hours... not a big deal, but she seems to need downtime before transitioning to homework. Trying to get her to knock it out in the car or while I fix dinner is always a big fight.


My daughter needed downtime too. Then she had two 3 hour days but had an hour after school before I needed to take her to dance. If homework was not done in that hour, I wouldn't take her to dance. It happened once. She learned her lesson and it didn't happen again.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
At 8 DS had tap (2 hours),  ballet (3 hours), lyrical (1 hours), acro (1 hour), jazz (3 hours), mt (1 hour), and jazz tech (1 hour).  I was lucky that I had a live in at the time and he got out of school early enough that homework was done as soon as he got home and he had dinner before classes.  Anytime that homework was too much we skipped class that night and it didn't happen very often.
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heidi459

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The real concern, imo, when kids get involved in one singular activity to such an extent at such a young age, is that it makes it almost impossible for them to sample other activities. Both organized activities & social activities.  To each his own, I know, but there's something to be said for having time available to do other things when they're that young. Something to be said for NOT having dance become their identity at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that.  

[& I know people are bound to jump in & talk about how their child never wanted to do anything else but dance but kids don't know what they don't know.  that's why they have us :-) ]


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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
The real concern, imo, when kids get involved in one singular activity to such an extent at such a young age, is that it makes it almost impossible for them to sample other activities. Both organized activities & social activities.  To each his own, I know, but there's something to be said for having time available to do other things when they're that young. Something to be said for NOT having dance become their identity at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that.  

[& I know people are bound to jump in & talk about how their child never wanted to do anything else but dance but kids don't know what they don't know.  that's why they have us :-) ]




I hear you. My kids dance a lot. One clearly loves it. The other... idk. We have found a way to work in many other activities for her to try. The challenge is she does well at everything so finding what she loves and wants to work at to improve is the catch. We do what we can in the year (Saturday for her and Wednesdays) and has the summer as a big time for other activities. We did the same for our other daughter too. Now she has found something I suspect she loves more than dance. We will balance both as long as possible. But she's got serious obvious potential in this new activity and her SO has noticed and even commented. So I suspect she will work with us to keep her in longer too.

As for the Original Post. My 8 year old dancer 8 hours this past year. My older was was 11 last year and danced about 16-18 hours this past year and similar the year prior
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
The real concern, imo, when kids get involved in one singular activity to such an extent at such a young age, is that it makes it almost impossible for them to sample other activities. Both organized activities & social activities.  To each his own, I know, but there's something to be said for having time available to do other things when they're that young. Something to be said for NOT having dance become their identity at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that.  

[& I know people are bound to jump in & talk about how their child never wanted to do anything else but dance but kids don't know what they don't know.  that's why they have us :-) ]




DS was heavily involved but since he was our only child we were able to have him in other things as well.  At that age he had Kung-Fu, swimming, guitar, church and a couple of school clubs.  Once he got older he had A/V club, school musical, chaplaincy, guitar and a part time job and danced 15-20 hours/week through high school.  It was a lot of scheduling but he loved them all and wanted to do it all.  My attitude was that as long as school didn't suffer and I didn't see signs of stress I was willing to let him be.
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
The real concern, imo, when kids get involved in one singular activity to such an extent at such a young age, is that it makes it almost impossible for them to sample other activities. Both organized activities & social activities.  To each his own, I know, but there's something to be said for having time available to do other things when they're that young. Something to be said for NOT having dance become their identity at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that.  

[& I know people are bound to jump in & talk about how their child never wanted to do anything else but dance but kids don't know what they don't know.  that's why they have us :-) ]



The past two years Jess played violin and sang in the school chorus in addition to performing on the studio's dance team.  Now that she's leaving elementary school and her dance hours are likely to increase (tentative schedule says 7, could be 8, plus privates for specialty if she's selected), I said no more activities that have concerts during recital season because they're stressful.  Right now, it looks like she may be dancing 3 days a week so I did tell her if she wants to do private violin or voice lessons, she may be able to do one of those on a nondance night or Saturday.  She's planning on joining the school's tv department. She did that in elementary and had a blast; it's right after school and since school ends at 2:30, she'd be fine at getting to dance on time.  I do ask her, before signing the dance contract each year.  So far, dance has won over everything else but we'll see what happens each year (she's already told me she's dancing this coming year).
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Rushhourmom

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Reply with quote  #24 
At 8 my DD did 2.5 hours of ballet, 2 hr jazz, 1.5 hr tap and 1 hr hip hop plus roughly 4 hours of weekly rehearsals. She's a high energy kid and that never felt like too much.

At 10 she did 4 hrs ballet, 3 hrs jazz, 1 hr each tap and hip hop and 2 hours of stretch classes plus about 4-5 hours weekly rehearsals. It sometimes felt like too much and we were glad to see the year wind down. I didn't see an appreciable growth in skill for the higher number of hours.

But if your dancers are enthusiastic about dance they will make it work with homework. It looks like you have lots of room to cut back if they aren't. One for the great added bonuses of dance training is developing those time management skills.

Another consideration is less about hours and more about when. Will either child have a day off? Do the hours go late or through meals? Are there breaks before or after dance for homework? Studios can structure a lot of hours AND breaks if done creatively. But sometimes the schedule is just smack dab in the middle of the evening - too soon after school to feel like a real break, right through dinner and too late into the night to have energy left for homework. So that's a consideration too.
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Rushhourmom

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
The real concern, imo, when kids get involved in one singular activity to such an extent at such a young age, is that it makes it almost impossible for them to sample other activities. Both organized activities & social activities.  To each his own, I know, but there's something to be said for having time available to do other things when they're that young. Something to be said for NOT having dance become their identity at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that.  

[& I know people are bound to jump in & talk about how their child never wanted to do anything else but dance but kids don't know what they don't know.  that's why they have us :-) ]




Yes! This! Part of my deal with my dancer is that she HAS to explore other interests too. I don't think the singular focus on one sport or activity is healthy for many reasons. There has to be balance and more to their self identify at such a young age, never mind that they can't possibly have a real opinion on what their passion is if they don't explore other things. If it was all we could afford or had time for I'd likely cut back to make time for other things especially at that age. By highschool if they want to solely focus on dance with a college dance career or beyond in mind then I'm all for it. But even if it's only during summer, exploring other things is so important.
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