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sophika9899
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My DD Is at vocational ballet school. We have just spent 5 weeks back home in Greece which is where we come from but we live full time in london. During this time my DD has done no ballet at all, no stretching, no excersice etc. She has had a very hard year: GCSEs, auditions here and abroad, YBDY, a gala at ROH, and has worked her socks off, getting great gcse results. She was utterly exhausted by the end of the summer term and was yearning for the hols so she could see friends, family and just relax. She is starting a Elmhurst in September in 6th form. I am so proud of what she's achieved and how hard she's worked. My concern is this. Other girls in her year who have had an equally stressful year have done summer schools (sometimes more than one), NYB , open classes and have kept up their ballet. My DD has basically partied, stayed out till late, and turned day into night and night into day. If it wasn't for the ballet I wouldn't bat an eyelid. It would be a perfectly normal post gcse summer - lots of fun, sun and partying. But she's going to arrive at elmhurst stiff as a board barely able to do a Demi plié. Am I worrying unnecessarily?

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Here's a link to Kathryn Morgan's YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Tutugirlkem, it's a fantastic resource for barre workouts, training videos (including turnout and pointework) etc etc. I'm sure your daughter could make use of them over the next week or so if she feels like she needs to!

 

Also check out Lisa Maree's channel https://www.youtube.com/user/BalletLisa. Lots of simple, follow-along conditioning videos with some good exercises!

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Congratulations to your dd on her gcse results.

 

Sounds as if she has had a well deserved holiday and seen a bit of life away from Ballet. And her body will have had a well earnt rest before the rigours of sixth form.

 

As long as she now starts preparing herself gently before Elmhurst she should be fine. And if she finds herself a bit stiff, well its not a bad time to discover that in future it may be prudent to maintain dance fitness during long breaks.

 

Good luck to her!

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A rest and fun with friends sounds like it was more than deserved and is so vitally important for long term physical and emotional health. While it might take her a little while to get back to full fitness at school she'll probably be better off for it in the long term.

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I agree with hfbrew in that she should start preparing herself again now in terms of her fitness levels.  Her summer break has probably done her a world of good and I would try not to worry about what other dancers have done over the summer.  All of them will be exhausted after the first week of sixth form regardless as it is really hard work and she will probably be better prepared for it both physically and emotionally as her body as had a rest.  DDs vocational school actually suggests to the dancers that they do not dance at all during October half term as they recognise the importance of rest for long term achievement.

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Sounds like your daughter has done well anyway so far... Congrats to her on all she has achieved.

I too had concerns of not doing summer schools, however my dd's dance teacher has said just doing everyday stretching and keeping loose should be enough!! Sometimes this is when they get injuries doing far too much and not having a rest !! Also not everyone has money for summer schools on top on vocational full time school!!  Surely in the school term should be more than enough to learn, or something is wrong if its not enough that you have to spend more money on summer school fees....as well.

 

Nice that she can have a normal life for a few weeks I say. x

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The start at any ballet school will be gradual anyway and they will build up. If she can get going on some pilates to get core etc strengthened and get to a few classes she should be fine. Might be worth 'reacquainting' herself with pointe shoes as after a long summer break the skin on feet will have softened so will be more prone to blisters or bruised toenails especially if pointe load is greater than she is used to.

Best of luck to your daughter.

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Agree with others sometimes time off is good and ......in this case very well deserved......and gets the batteries all renewed.

 

At 16 she should not take long to get back into it all and there's still a couple of weeks or so to start preparing.

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I can remember when I was at school, we had a six week summer holiday. Sometimes I took a two weeks summer course but not always. I spent most of my summer very relaxed, hiking, swimming etc. When I came back to school my balance always was miraculously improved, I could turn better and it was much easier to stretch, too :) .

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Sophika my DD has had a similar summer to your DD apart from the partying (she isnt much of a party animal), it has been a good rest for her and now she is raring to go (she begins at Ballet West on Monday). She has just been doing some strtching and pilates over the last couple of weeks so she doesnt feel too sluggish. She has probably lost some muscle tone but it will cone back quickly, we could not afford summer schools either so there was really no option but I believe her mental state is much healthier now from the complete break and in the long run this is the most important thing. I dont think you need to worry she will be fine!

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Thank you much everyone for your reassuring replies. Feel much better now. Thanks also to money penny for her lovely PM. Fiz, the term begins 3rd September so she's got a bit of time. Saw her today stretching etc...not easy in 39 degree Athens heat. But pleased she's getting back into it. I also agree that a bit of "normal" teenage life does them the world of good. Thanks again all of you.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's another question about summer breaks (as this happens over Dec/January in NZ). DD is being moved from RAD Grade 3 this year to Int Foundation next year, due to improving heaps this year and being at the older end of her grade. I have booked her into one summer school Jan 20-24, but am not sure how much to do with her over the summer break. I am bothered about not knowing what she will be missing in Gr 4 & 5. I have bought the IF DVD but don't know what her gaps are. Should I be chasing up every opportunity to dance (her private lesson teacher has offered some lessons), or let her have a break? I'm tending towards thinking a bit of a break over Christmas so she doesn't get fed up with the whole business!

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I wouldn't worry about missing grades 4 and 5, I'm sure her teachers will be aware of the gap between grade 3 and intermediate foundation. DD went straight from grade 4 into IF and had no problems. Obviously your DD's teachers consider her capable of moving into IF and I'm sure they will introduce the new expanded terminology and steps carefully and without rushing. Perhaps you can both watch the IF DVD to familiarize yourselves with the look of the syllabus and in the hope that the new class wont be too much of a shock.

 

In terms of a break or otherwise over summer, I would defer to her teachers after chatting to your DD about how she feels. If there is anything her teachers feel she needs to work on then perhaps a few private lessons would help; or she may want to start on bridging the gap between grade 3 and IF in a private lesson or two, which would give her confidence in joining the new classes?

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