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Babyballerina

Junior associate hours of training.

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Our little girl is 8 years old and has recently started to train with the Royal Ballet junior associates.  She is training with RBS for 2 hours most weeks.  It is the training outside of this time that is worrying me.  We removed her from a dance school that insisted that she should be doing RAD interfoundation syllabus at 7 and that she was nearly ready to go en pointe!!.  Their attitude was do the classes or go.  The dance school she is in now is quite low key and has only just opened and her training has gone down from 5 hours a week to 1 and a half a week.  She thrived whilst doing the 5 hours a week and now going to class can seem bored!!   She loves the RBS classes but says she spends time waiting around for the other children to catch up at her usual dance class.  Advice please,  should i move her again or not.  Is the hour and a half a week enough for her to stay up to speed with the RBS class?  Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Babyballerina

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It sounds like you've gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to dance schools, are there any other schools in your locality which you might be able to consider?

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Our little girl is 8 years old and has recently started to train with the Royal Ballet junior associates.  She is training with RBS for 2 hours most weeks.  It is the training outside of this time that is worrying me.  We removed her from a dance school that insisted that she should be doing RAD interfoundation syllabus at 7 and that she was nearly ready to go en pointe!!.  Their attitude was do the classes or go.  The dance school she is in now is quite low key and has only just opened and her training has gone down from 5 hours a week to 1 and a half a week.  She thrived whilst doing the 5 hours a week and now going to class can seem bored!!   She loves the RBS classes but says she spends time waiting around for the other children to catch up at her usual dance class.  Advice please,  should i move her again or not.  Is the hour and a half a week enough for her to stay up to speed with the RBS class?  Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi,   I am shocked that any reputable RAD teacher would even begin to suggest a child studies IF at 7 yrs old.

 

My daughters studio wait until a student has reached Grade 4 BEFORE they will even consider IF.

 

RAD won't allow anyone to take the exam until they are 11! And as far as Pointe is concerned is beyond belief.

 

You obviously did the right thing and moved your daughter. She is still very young and must still be in the lower RAD Grades. I would suggest to continue to support her at RBS JA but possibly open up her training to other genres. One for stamina with flexibility i.e Greek or Modern and also preparing her for the future. With no idea how she will physically develop over time or her passion change, to focus on pure ballet might be just too much, especially as you are not entirely happy with her current studio. 

 

Ask around, ask other mothers at her academic school for ideas. Dance festivals are also an excellent time for schools to showcase their students. Even if not taking part try to visit some in your area. Take your time and visit the studios.  Your childs welfare is important and I can see from your post that you care more about that than the prestige of flying through the Grades and going on pointe even possibly picking up any long term issues with feet and ankles that may put a stop to any dancing future.

 

Good Luck. Keep us posted. 

 

PS  Check out another recent post "going on pointe too early"  Sorry not sure how to copy the link over to this post.

Edited by balletbean
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My dd is a JA and at age 8 was doing 1.5hrs ballet a week at her dance school and this was more than enough to keep up at JAs. JA work is very straightforward, especially in the first couple of years, and concentrates on getting the basics absolutely right. She is only now at 10.5 starting interfoundation alongside grade 4, but pointe work won't be studied for at least another 12 months or more as my dd ballet teacher is firmly of the opinion there is no rush. If you speak to your JA teacher they say the same and would rather girls wait until high school to go en pointe. My dd does do other genres so she dances more often and this helps with picking up choreography more quickly. Hope that's of use, and you did absolutely the right thing moving her!

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My DS does only 45 minutes of ballet a week at his dance school but attends RBS JA's and another JA's on sunday - is that too little.  He also does tap and modern during the week as well.

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Too little for what?

 

Our 8 year old boy is doing 3 hours associates, three hours of ballet class and a (very) pre-pointe half hour strengthening class, an hour of jazz/modern and an hour of tap. He'd do more if he could - he loves it, but I consider his hours full now - and if he's cast in the show his hours will climb coming up to showtime anyway.

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If you are concerned then perhaps speak to your DD's JA teacher? They may have suggestions about teachers in the area.

 

I thought I had read that some if not all RBS JAs in Y6 were buying pointe shoes, possibly on the specific recommendation of their JA teachers? Presumably these would then be worn for a short time in JA classes? (I very much stand to be and hope to be corrected in this, as DD was never an RBS JA.)

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From what I remember, there was no pointe work in JA's yr 6. However, I do think JA teachers like to check that what is being bought for pointe work outside of the associate class is suitable. They like to see them too, as well as the local teacher.

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No pointe or even talk of it in my dd year 6 JA class. And not for a while in MAs either I understand from MA mums.

Of course it may be different in other centres ????

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No MA is year 7 so 11 nearly 12 for most I believe. There are quite a few already on pointe, however my student is currently only on Demi pointe

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That's interesting bluebird. So these children will be minimum age 11 and many will have turned 12 if the end of second term (so Easter?) (Edited to say looks like I was posting at the same time as bluebird)

 

I wonder if that ties in with what I was told, in that they start to bring pointe shoes to MAs from year 8 or if now they actually start taking them from year 7. Must be tricky as the classes are yr 7 8 and 9 mixed aren't they? ... so quite an age/ability range X

Edited by Balletmummy55

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Thanks, sorry, I can't keep track of the assorted labels for years and age groups in assorted school systems.

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No currently the year 7s are separate I believe (think there is only 5) do bear in mind my information comes second hand from an 11 year old desperate for pointe shoes!

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I thought I had read that some if not all RBS JAs in Y6 were buying pointe shoes, possibly on the specific recommendation of their JA teachers? Presumably these would then be worn for a short time in JA classes? (I very much stand to be and hope to be corrected in this, as DD was never an RBS JA.)

Towards the end of Y6, the majority will already have turned 11, so some of them will probably have started pointe at their regular dance school. Whether that is on the suggestion of their JA teacher or not, I don't know (DD was never a JA).

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Thank you so much for all your replies.  My little girl also does an hour of modern and an hour of tap throughout the week as well as the hour and a half of ballet.  My concern was that she wasn't getting enough ballet.  I have no experience of dance at all and value everyone's advice.

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Thank you so much for all your replies.  My little girl also does an hour of modern and an hour of tap throughout the week as well as the hour and a half of ballet.  My concern was that she wasn't getting enough ballet.  I have no experience of dance at all and value everyone's advice.

As a mum with DD's that are older and was a dancer myself. Everything at this age, is everything in moderation. At just 7 years old they are still in the early days of their academic schooling. Tiredness is not unusual for them after school along with homework, so an hr of each genre per week I would personally say is about average. It also allows the time for your child to experience other interests or attend friends parties and other school events. Rest assured as she grows up and may show a keen interest in ballet there will be more lessons at the studio on offer. It will become your second home and you will be on first name terms with the local dance supply shop. Enjoy the calmness it might not last for long.................. ;) PS Save the pennies you will need them.  

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In case it helps, I've created a new "tag" (buttons under the thread title) called "Hours per week", as this is a subject that often comes up. If you click on the tag, a list of all previous threads discussing "how many hours training per week" will be shown. Might be some useful info therein. :)

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If I remember rightly you have a review appointment/telephone appointment with the JA teacher at some point this term. They generally ask about teacher/classes at home - or you have the opportunity to ask. They will certainly know of suitable schools if you feel you have to change. (Mind you ds was a RBS JA 11 years ago so things may have changed! He probably did about 1 1/2 hours a week - 2 ballet classes - back then). No need to rush the grades, as others have said.

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My dd's old ballet teacher wanted to put my dd on pointe age 10 I had a real concern about it as I thought what's the point of going on pointe unless she really needs to! I had a word with my dd's JA teacher who asked me to ask my dd's teacher at the time to wait until she was nearer 11. Thankfully she took notice.

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My dd's old ballet teacher wanted to put my dd on pointe age 10 I had a real concern about it as I thought what's the point of going on pointe unless she really needs to! I had a word with my dd's JA teacher who asked me to ask my dd's teacher at the time to wait until she was nearer 11. Thankfully she took notice.

Out of interest, what Grade was your DD when her regular teacher mentioned Pointe?  Thanks

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DD was studying for Grade 4 at that time and had been allowed to join in the Inter Foundation age 9 but didnt do both those exams until age 11. Even when she started on pointe it would only be ten to twenty minutes per week.

 

Just an added note my dd fell off a tree swing and broke a bone in her foot that same year so didn't do any pointe work for several months and only went back on pointe some 17 months ago she has gained strength in her feet again and has recently danced parts on pointe in her own school and EYB. The gap in pointe work certainly hasn't affected her dance and she seems to be where she needs to be in terms of her Mid associate peers.

Personally I wouldn't be in any hurry to put a child on pointe . . . The Royal have their own system of training so while some children maybe doing more pointe with their own teachers the Royal would never encourage children unless they thought them ready and it would only be for short periods of time.

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