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Sparklymommy

How many hours of dance?

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My dd1, 13, has just had her schedule through for September. If she does every class she is eligible for (which she will) her hours at the studio, before group rehearsals/privates, will be almost 20hours a week. How does this compare with others?

 

She is advanced foundation ballet, inter foundation modern and grade 6 tap, also does song and dance, contemporary, jazz, Greek and body conditioning.

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I'm 16, and only managing 12 hours a week (it's as much as I can get in my city including associates 3 hours away) Ive only just done my advanced foundation (what a disaster!) so I would say your dd is doing a lot of hours. Speaking to people at vocational schools seems they're doing about 25 hours a week, in my dreams!

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I think a lot of young dancers would go to dance class every spare minute they have, as they love it so much. Don't forget though as regards training, it's not necessarily the quantity, but quality that counts. It's far better practicing say 8 hours doing it right, rather than 3 times that with some bad habits. 

Edited by Vonrothbart
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My DD is 11, and in September will be doing 10 hours a week of assorted dance, singing and drama. I think its is a bit much, but she REALLY wants to do it all!

 

She really wants to do associates or similar as well, but currently her weekends are free, and I want to keep it that way so she has time to rest as well as fit in private lessons and practice!

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20 hours is an awful lot for children who are also attending an academic school as well. I would be looking at the timetable & evaluating the types of classes eg ballet, jazz, contemporary, stretch/Pilates etc & seeing if there are any that are just being done for the sake of it. Sometimes an hour private lesson is worth more than several general/fun dance classes.

 

My dd is 14 & at vocational school. Last year she did about 17 hours of dance per week (including stretch/conditioning etc) plus an hour each of drama & singing. Of that approx 10 and a half hours are ballet.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Sparklymommy, 20 hours a week is a lot!! What ambitions does your dd have - is she interested in pursuing a performing career? If so, then at the age she is now, she needs to start concentrating her training in the areas which will be most helpful to her if she is going to be auditioning for vocational training at 16/18.

 

If she's very keen on ballet, for instance (and has the specific physique/facility for classical training) and wants to audition for the main ballet schools, RBS, ENBS, Elmhurst, Central etc, then she will need to drop some of the classes like tap, greek and and song & dance, and increase her ballet/contemporary/jazz training. On the other hand, if she's more interested in all-round training for performing arts & musical theatre, ie Laines, Bird, Performers etc, then she can concentrate on jazz, tap, song & dance etc, and just keep going with ballet, but not as the main focus. 

 

GCSE's by the way, take up a lot of time and effort, and she's probably going to find that she can't do as many hours of dance as she wants to, so focussing on what she's best at and dropping others will probably have to happen one way or another.

 

Over the next year, it would be a good idea to keep an eye out for as many workshops and audition experience days that she can possibly attend, which will give her an insight into the training offered at the various places, and will also open her eyes to the standard of other students the same age.

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My dd is 16 and does about 16 hours a week.  She has done up to 20 when she was doing drama and singing, but it was too much so we dropped the drama and singing lessons.  I think 20 hours at 12 is very heavy and children need to be children at some point in the week.  When would she fit in homework, friends and relaxing?

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DD is 13, at a good non-vocational school.

 

For several years she has done 10-12 hours per week:

- 3-3.5 hours of non-pointe ballet

- 45 minutes pointe

- 1 - 1.5 hours body conditioning / stretching

- 1 hour each modern theatre + tap

- 0.5 hour private lesson

have been the absolute constants. 'Extras' include singing, an extra lesson each week for exam coaching in 1 or more of the disciplines (so for example she took Intermediate Modern and the same grade in Tap last term, which meant 2 extra hours), and 2x 'festival performing groups' sessions, because she dances in 2 age groups. She's good- Distinctions in exams, is at a good level for her age, does ISTD Ballet Awards and Janet Cram, wins stuff at festivals every now and again - but her destination in dancing, if she continues, is along the Laine / Birds / Performers / LSC type line not RBS.

 

To balance this, she maintains the highest possible effort grades in school, where she excels in academic subjects. She does some additional work in Art for school. She plays in school sports teams year-round (netball and hockey in the winter, rounders in the summer). She has a good group of friends at dance, and a separate group of school friends - mostly swimmers or gymnasts, who understand her lack of availability.

 

I think that if DD went up to 20 hours, yes, there is a possibility that she might get 'better' at dance, or do 'more styles' - but she wouldn't be able to maintain balance with the rest of her life, and specifically her school work would suffer..  

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