Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

Dancing time question
By LochNessiePremium member
On Sat Jul 11, 2015 07:13 PM

What's the typical amount of dancing time per week for a pre pro dance program? My 9 year old was offered a spot at two different dance schools. The school she goes to now has placed her in a level that would have her dancing 5 hours of ballet per week and an additional hour of modern dance next school year. Seems like a lot, right? Last year, she was dancing 3 hours of ballet and one hour of another form of dance per week. This felt like a lot and now the next level feels like a massive leap forward. Maybe too much dancing for someone so young? The other dance school is just ballet and would require only 3 hour of dancing per week. The ramp up at the latter school is much slower. My daughter loves the idea of dancing more but I have a hard time allowing her to commit that kind of time so early on. What's the typical program look like?

2 Replies to Dancing time question

re: Dancing time question
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sat Jul 11, 2015 09:02 PM
This is from the Ballet Talk for Dancers site:

GENERAL AGE-APPROPRIATE TRAINING GUIDELINES:

Age 9- at least 2 ballet-only classes of at least 1.25 hours in length per week; other dance genres like Tap or Improv could be perfectly acceptable as an add-on, as are rehearsals/classes for a performing group

Age 10- at least 3 ballet-only classes of at least 1.50 hours in length per week; other dance genres like Tap or Improv could be perfectly acceptable as an add-on, as are rehearsals/classes for a performing group, and some sort of floor exercise class

Age 11- at least 4 ballet-only classes of at least 1.50 hours in length per week; other dance genres like Tap or Improv could be perfectly acceptable as an add-on, as are rehearsals/classes for a performing group

Age 12- typically this is the approximate age for beginning pointework, so a typical schedule would be similar to age 11, but with an extra pointe-only class of approximately .5- .75 hours following a ballet-only technique class at least once per week, hopefully twice

Age 13- at least 4-5 ballet-only classes of at least 1.5-1.75 hours each, followed by pointe class at least 2-3 times; other dance genres appropriate for these levels are: Character, Jazz, Modern, Ballroom, Rep and Variations, Pilates or Floor barre/other exercise

Age 14/15- at least 5-6 ballet-only classes of at least 1.5-1.75 hours each, immediately followed by pointework classes at least 4 times per week. other dance genres appropriate for these levels are: Character, Jazz, Modern, Ballroom, Rep and Variations, Pilates or Floor barre/other exercise

Age 16/17- at least 6 ballet-only classes of at least 1.5-1.75 hours in length, followed immediately by pointework classes. Other dance genres appropriate for these levels are: Character, Jazz, Modern, Ballroom, Rep and Variations, Pilates or Floor barre/other exercise, and Partnering

My own caveat: I don't necessarily agree with the above guidelines.

Starting age 10, the Vaganova Academy has children dancing every weekday, at the least. If her body can take it, and she enjoys it, and is willing to give up other activities, I would go for the higher number of classes. BUT, this is only if she is truly passionate about dancing.

School of American Ballet starts at age 8 with their serious training. They take 2 classes per week, three the next level, four in their third year, then 6+ thereafter. All but the first year are 90-minute classes. In other words, their second year students take 4 HOURS per week, third years take 6 hours per week, then it jumps up quite a bit from 4th year onward.

I don't think your child's 5 hours are that out of line for her age, in light of the two different examples. Quality is really the most important, though.
re: Dancing time question
By Gaudium
On Wed Jul 15, 2015 08:32 AM
I feel the class time you posted is not excessive if your daughter is passionate with the dance, on the other hand if she is unhappy or complaining it is a bit excessive. I started Ballet at age 7 and the first two years I took 3 hours, when I was 9 I found that my love of the Ballet was my life's goal and took about 6 hours, when that worked out I increased my time depending on my work load at school and personal time and of course cash flow. It all depends on your daughter's goals and passions.

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