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MummytoIzzy

Extra privates lessons in school holidays?

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Hi,

 

the ballet school my daughter goes tok has 4 week breaks over Easter and 9 weeks over the summer.  

 

A number of parents asked for privates to keep technique up for their children.  My daughter started last September and is doing a pre associates class.  Is this something I should also be doing or should I let her do her own stretches from class/practice and rest during these holiday times?

 

I don’t want her to feel she’s missing out but also want to make sure she gets ‘down time’ if that’s best.  Just curious to know what others do.  She won’t be able to audition for Royal ballet associates until next year due to when her birthday falls.  

 

The summer holiday is after her RAD exams.

 

Thank you in advance. 

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Sounds like she is still very young so I'd say chill! Maybe a good time to explore other areas of performing though? Often local theatres/colleges/leisure centres/schools (check out state & private) run holiday clubs/courses in drama/music/film making/animation...all sorts! All using skills that will enhance her dancing I'm sure!

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She is very young still.  Saying that 9 weeks is a long time.  I think most local dance schools I know of only close for 5-6 weeks over summer.

 

My dd used to do a week long general performing arts put a show on in a week summer school, then from the age of 8/9 onwards her dance school also did a dance summer school.  From the age of 11 she started to do a residential dance/ballet summer school.

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Your daughter is the same age as mine and I would also have concerns about stopping lessons entirely for 9 weeks, while also recognising that she is very young. 

 

Our dance school doesn't stop at all through Easter or the various half term holidays but they do take 2 weeks off at Christmas and 4 over the summer. The 5th week of the summer holidays is when they run their own summer school which is generally attended by almost all kids who are fairly serious about their dancing (as well as lots of others - it's a very fun week) and then classes re-start straight after summer school. 

 

Other local organisations may run summer schools she could attend (with permission from her own teacher) whether that's dance based or musical theatre/gymnastics etc. We've always viewed summer hols as a good chance to try out something slightly different as, for my DD, in term-time the week is pretty full with dance and gymnastics. 

 

I'd definitely encourage her to keep stretching as 9 weeks is a long time and she may really see a difference if she isn't in class doing it regularly. 

 

I'd actually be more concerned about 4 weeks off over Easter as presumably if her exam is pre-summer holidays it is falling in May or June? Missing 4 weeks of class just prior to that around Easter time seems a lot. Perhaps you could arrange a couple of privates over the Easter break and have more of a chilled out summer? 

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My children’s dance school also used to have long holidays Xmas, Easter and summer. At this age we just enjoyed the time to explore other activities and have fun together and catch up with friends and family. My Dd attended her first summer school (WL) age 10 and it wasn’t until she was at vocational school we looked at private lesson or other extra holiday courses. 

If your daughter remains serious about dancing it becomes such a huge part of their lives it is important to have times when they can look back on that are non dance related. 

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33 minutes ago, Jane said:

My children’s dance school also used to have long holidays Xmas, Easter and summer. At this age we just enjoyed the time to explore other activities and have fun together and catch up with friends and family. My Dd attended her first summer school (WL) age 10 and it wasn’t until she was at vocational school we looked at private lesson or other extra holiday courses. 

If your daughter remains serious about dancing it becomes such a huge part of their lives it is important to have times when they can look back on that are non dance related. 

 

Would totally agree with the above. Your Dd is way too young to be worrying about stretching and technique  during the holiday or to benefit from doing so. She can keep active through swimming or gymnastics in the garden or anything else that’s fun! Summer holidays are about resting and having fun in the fresh air. Some local ballet/theatre schools do a lightweight summer school which wouldn’t hurt, but believe me, you should make the most of it and create those dance free memories while you can. By 10/11 there are plenty of summer schools to choose from and then there’s no going back!

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Posted (edited)

Nine weeks is a long time not to stretch - though I totally agree with you about there being no need to 'worry' about it. I certainly wouldn't be expecting my DD or any others to do it if they didn't want to but i don't think there is any harm is reminding them regularly to do something they are already encouraged to be doing at home - even in term time - anyway. Why lose flexibility which you've been working hard to improve by stopping doing it for over 2 months? 

 

EDITED to add that I also would be encouraging her to stretch before doing any gymnastics or dancing in the garden - which seems to be what her summers mainly consist of - because that's our general rule for doing tricks and flips at home anyway.

 

I think stretching at home is a separate issue to privates, which I don't for a minute think are necessary over the summer at 8 years old. 

Edited by Waverley

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59 minutes ago, Jane said:

My children’s dance school also used to have long holidays Xmas, Easter and summer. At this age we just enjoyed the time to explore other activities and have fun together and catch up with friends and family. My Dd attended her first summer school (WL) age 10 and it wasn’t until she was at vocational school we looked at private lesson or other extra holiday courses. 

If your daughter remains serious about dancing it becomes such a huge part of their lives it is important to have times when they can look back on that are non dance related. 

could not agree more. My DD had routine that she made for holidays when every morning she was running few laps around the block/ park and then had stretching and conditioning for an hour at home. Then back to enjoying time with the family. Never even considered privates (even now at vocational school).

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16 minutes ago, Waverley said:

Nine weeks is a long time not to stretch - though I totally agree with you about there being no need to 'worry' about it. I certainly wouldn't be expecting my DD or any others to do it if they didn't want to but i don't think there is any harm is reminding them regularly to do something they are already encouraged to be doing at home - even in term time - anyway. Why lose flexibility which you've been working hard to improve by stopping doing it for over 2 months? 

 

If you’re Dd enjoys doing safe stretching in the holidays, then why not? Agreed.

My Dd hadn’t even started dancing at 8 and hadn’t a clue what flexibility was. Happy days, sigh.

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I think I may do a couple of privates over Easter holidays.  Reading the opinions of you all the point about her having her grade exam in June makes sense to not stop completely.  She does some stretching everyday routinely which she enjoys as part of her pre associate course.

 

We are away one of the weeks at Easter anyhow.

 

Summer will be a long relax.  I have no doubt she will be stretching and dancing inside and outside.  Hopefully on the beach if the sun comes out :) 

 

Thank you for all the comments.  I appreciate it. Sorry for any typos I can’t seem to find an edit button!.

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That sounds like a good plan.  As everyone has said, there is plenty of time before you need to start thinking about private lessons, summer schools and so on.  At 7 my dd was still doing Brownies, swimming lessons and messing around in the garden.  Once you get into the world of private lessons and summer schools, things can get very expensive! 

 

Just a note about “stretching” - daily or otherwise - actual stretching should only ever be done when the body and muscles are fully warmed up. 👍

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My DD didn’t attend her first SS until she turned 14. Just chilled out and relaxed over the holidays but still remained active. She never auditioned for any CATS or Associate schemes. Just attended her regular dance school and took part in as many lessons available. Mix and matching her training between ISTD/RAD Ballet & Greek. Our geographical location was also a hinderance. But never prevented her from reaching her vocational school goal at 16. Each child and their family needs are too varied to give one definitive answer that is the correct path to follow.  Just do what’s best for you and your family. 🙆‍♀️🥰

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