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Lpr3

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I got an email from DD6's ballet DT letting me know that when recs come out next week she's recommending that DD skip the second year if ballet 1 and move straight to ballet 2! She also said that even though they know she's too young officially to join mini lyrical and jazz comp teams, SO wants to see her for auditions. Assuming maybe DT gave a Rec to SO that maybe she could keep up and DT doesn't want to let on that maybe she'd be asked to join?! We switched from a strictly ballet studio to a comp studio and DD has just totally thrived. Her flexiblility, strength, and movement has grown in overwhelming ways. I know DTs liked her (she'd been picked for 2 special parts in two different pieces this year) but this is very out of the blue and flattering! So happy for her that she's getting noticed and having so much fun!
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Billpayer2000

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's exciting!
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tappinmom

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I don't think I would want a child that young skipping a level of ballet.  It is so important to get all the basics correctly before you move on to the next level.  At our studio you have to take and pass your exam with commended or merit before you are allowed to progress.  Ballet is a slow boil and should be learned at the proper age and level.  Skipping a level may make her miss out on some important fundamentsl.
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Lpr3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
I don't think I would want a child that young skipping a level of ballet.  It is so important to get all the basics correctly before you move on to the next level.  At our studio you have to take and pass your exam with commended or merit before you are allowed to progress.  Ballet is a slow boil and should be learned at the proper age and level.  Skipping a level may make her miss out on some important fundamentsl.


You know, truthfully, the more I've thought about it, the more I've had the same concerns as you. It was really flattering that she was singled out by her dance teacher like that.  She certainly has some very nice qualities as a dancer at her young age, like her flexibility, lines and toe point, but her feet and ankles need a lot of strengthening and core strength and balance on releve needs a lot of work at even the basic levels and movements.  I'm guessing her DT thinks that she could move faster and that repeating ballet I isn't necessary (that's the "level skip", dancers do 2 years at each level before moving to the next level, she would only do 1 year of ballet 1), but she isn't bored by the class and we both love the teacher.  I'm actually thinking about asking to watch a ballet 2 class and talking to her DT about it more detail.  I think if that's her rec, than that's what we're expected to do, but if I think a ballet 2 class will move too fast, I'm thinking of maybe asking that she do both a ballet 1 and ballet 2, at least for the beginning of next year?  I might also ask for a few private lessons over the summer so that both she and the DT can be really sure that it will be a good fit.   I don't know how that will be received though.  I assume that when DTs give out their recs for the following year you're supposed to follow them and I try very hard to not get involved -- i.e., do what I'm told as a dance mom.  
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Let's be real. Ballet at age 6 should really be preballet. You mentioned she was at a ballet school first. Ballet for a 5 year old at a ballet school would be preballet without a doubt. So skipping a second year of Ballet 1 may not be bad if she has already mastered whatever it is they expect from Ballet 1. It's not like she is completely skipping a level, she is just not spending two years in the lowest level.

It is possible they set an expectation that dancers will spend two years in each level when it may not be a reality. Dd's first ballet school did that. Most did spend 2 years in a level at some point, but most did not do 2 years in every‚Äč single level. Does that make sense?
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #6 
agree with @tendumom. At her age it is or should be preballet. I would not be opposed to skipping a preballet level. I am not a big fan, in general, of skipping actual ballet levels. My daughter is 17 and we see the results of skipping levels. She has a friend whose mother forced the school to skip multiple levels (that is a different issue!) and the friend missed the levels where there is foundational work done. 
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Is there a recital? You would be able to see the difference between your dd's class and the next level at the performance. Ideally, they would only be performing skills they have mostly mastered. A low level pre-ballet class would be pointing their toes in tendu, some skipping, some jumping, press pointes, things of that nature. The next level would include things like simple balances in passe. Her own level may even include that. There should be a slow and steady progression of skills between the levels. 
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tendumom

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No, but the next level might, depending on how they set it up. A simple passe is in level 1 or 2 in the ABT curriculum. Preballet is labeled A,B and C. It really depends on how they set every thing up.  I'm thinking simple tendu to the side, and leg then first, then passe. A combination of steps used in an early level of ballet. No way to know if she is really moving up from pre-ballet to actual ballet or what. 
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Lpr3

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Reply with quote  #9 
Well it's a comp studio, not a traditional ballet studio so I'm not sure that they're following a specific curriculum. They might be, I don't know enough about it. A ballet 2 is offered at the same time as her ballet 1 so I'm going to watch it next week.

I saw DT today. Turns out she did not know her age (as I thought). She isn't old enough to do the companies she wanted her to do and they don't make exceptions.

I gently and respectfully raised some of the issues we've discussed here. But she still said she should go to ballet 2. She said she'd rather she spend 3 years in ballet 2 (if necessary) than spend another year at ballet 1. She said that the purpose of ballet 1 is to get them use to basic positions, terminology, and some very basic movements (so I'm guessing yes a pre-ballet?). She says she has all of that already and she wants her to be challenged which she wouldn't be in ballet 1 next year. She also said that if she starts in ballet 2 and is unfomfotable for any reason or DT says she's not ready she can always come back to ballet 1, but she said that probably won't happen. So I'm going to take her rec. she's the DT and she's been working with DD all year and knows the program.

Thanks for all your advice.

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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #10 
Congrats to your DD, that sounds amazing! When DD was 7, she went from the last level of pre-ballet to the 2nd level of academy ballet and she was totally fine (outside a couple of very catty girls in her class). At our comp studio, levels are primarily based on your ballet level so that also meant she went into level 2 tap, jazz and lyrical as well. If DT says she'll be fine, I'm sure she'll be fine. Sometimes it's about the composition of kids in the levels, too, as DD and a few friends are also allowed to take level 4 (they're level 3) due to the fact that they're advanced for level 3 and the level 4 kids are primarily a bit slow to pick up. I wouldn't worry. At our studio you typically spend one year per level until level 5 through intensive and pre-pro.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #11 
Regimented level and time to spend in each makes a lot of sense in a world where every kid learns, grows, and matures at the same pace.  They don't, so a teacher who recognizes a need to challenge a dancer by reasonably tweaking a schedule or placement is good in my book.
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Savira

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm wondering if you could register your daughter to a ballet summer camp to help her with the transition?
My daughter skipped a level and it was a bit overwhelming at first. It took a few months to catch up on her technique.
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