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heidih

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Reply with quote  #1 
My daughter (8) loves ballet.  We are in Orlando and don't have a great ballet company.  At what age did you start having your daughter go elsewhere during the summer for instruction?  What are some of the best places you would recommend?  Any information you can provide would be great.  We also may be going to New York this summer for a few days and wasn't sure if there are studios that do drop in classes.  I am just now starting to look into all of this stuff for her but you all seem to know so much I thought I would check here too.  [smile]

Thank you.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #2 
My daughter would love to go to Orlando Ballet School for the summer.  She's been to their spring workshop and was invited to attend the summer intensive but unfortunately we were unable to send her (finances.)  OBS dancers that we've seen compete at YAGP stand out with their beautiful technique and expressive movement.  We very much enjoyed a recent Orlando Ballet performance. 

There is a wealth of information on a ballet board called "ballet talk for dancers."  They are sticklers for the rules they've established there and you will need an ISP or AOL email address to sign up to see some of the posts and ask questions.

8 is very young for a ballet dancer.  In some schools kids are in pre-ballet classes up to the age of 7 or 8 and are only beginning their ballet education.  Many of the bigger summer intensive programs have minimum ages of 12, though a few accept younger students and of course many smaller, more local programs have workshops and camps for the younger ballet students.

Best of luck to you and your dancer!
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #3 

You do have a regional ballet company in Orlando. It's not one of the biggest names (like NYCB, ABT, SFB, Houston, Boston or PNB), but it is certainly known in the ballet world. 

I think Orlando Ballet School may have some sort of a junior summer program for dancers that young. DD went to their SI one summer. 


I am not aware of open ballet classes in NYC for 8 year olds. If you are there longer, there is a junior ballet intensive at Manhattan Youth Ballet (near Lincoln Center) for a period of time (maybe 2 weeks) in July. 

Most places, but not all, do not have open classes for younger children. Usually it is more like age 13 and up. 

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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #4 
My daughter's teacher thinks that kids should go away in eighth grade.  That they need to see other teachers and see their competition. 

I don't think there's a real benefit into going away until your child is strong on pointe and there can be some problems (for certain programs).  Dancers shouldn't be put on pointe by a summer intensive and they also don't need to be pushing their pointe work much beyond what they've done at home.

At the younger ages it's more of a summer camp alternative (with dance) which is fine, but there's no real benefit to going away vs doing a local program at your studio or a local studio.  That doesn't mean that younger kids won't have a lot of fun and learn a lot it's just the cost difference.
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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #5 
My daughter did a local SI through a pre-pro ballet school last year when she was 9. We only allowed her to do one week. She is doing it again this year but she'll be doing all three weeks. We seek out opportunities to learn from others as much as we can. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #6 
My own dd (now 17) didn't go elsewhere for a more formal ballet SI until she was 13.   Actually, she didn't even start doing her home studio SIs until 11.  Like others have pointed out, I think it's going to be challenging to find something for an 8 yo.  I'm not personally aware of any that accept anyone under 10.  Some, as others have stated, don't even accept them that young.

Can I ask why the rush?  Honestly, at that age a more local dance camp is probably the best bet.  True ballet is slow boil.  There's really no advantage to trying to get ahead of the game at that age.  
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heidih

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you all so much for your input.  I am not thinking of trying to put her anywhere yet.  I was just trying to find out what some of you did with you daughters as they got older.  Also, where you thought was a good place to study for a couple of weeks once she was older.  I couldn't imagine having her go anywhere at her age.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #8 

When they are older, they audition for these ballet programs, at least the vast majority are by audition only. Programs are anywhere from 3-6 weeks for ballet in general. There are many good places to study but it is hard to recommend any in particular because there are so many and it will depend on the needs of the dancer as well. 

I would suggest starting to read at Ballet Talk for Dancers, as mentioned above. It's a heavily moderated board with various rules about posting, unlike here. You need an ISP based email to register (but you can use a free aol account which is how I got around that rule). Look around the various forums on summer intensives and on ballet training itself, especially starting pointe just to educate yourself. 

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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #9 
Orlando Ballet actually has several half day and full day summer programs for one and two week sessions in June for students as young as 8.  It really seems to be an excellent program.  My daughter has asked me to move to Orlando so she can attend:

http://orlandoballet.org/education-training/summer-programs/#junior-summer-intensive

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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #10 
You are so lucky to have a regional ballet with summer programs offered for the younger ones.    We will be taking advantage of having some close when  DD will try one next summer when she is 13, and even then it will be either the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Jr Intensive or the Point Park workshop.   Luckily with both of these I can drive her in and pick her up each day so we don't have to pay for housing.
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mackiecat

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think the Orlando Ballet program looks good. If you are set on NYC the Manhatten program is excellent. My son did his first SI at age 9 going on 10. It was for 4 weeks and he loved it ( and he was definitely a keep close to mom kid)
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