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What advice should I give to my sister?

(23 Posts)
gemmasky Sun 06-Dec-15 09:53:56

My sister's children are 9 and 11 and both go to the same dance school. The 9 year old isn't as serious about dance but the 11 year old wants to be a dance teacher when she is older. At the moment the older on is doing 1hr 15mins of Grade 2 ballet a week and 1hr 15mins of Grade 2 tap/Grade 3 modern a week. The younger child is doing 45mins of Grade 2 ballet and 30mins of Grade 2 modern/Grade 2 tap a week. The two children have been doing this for a while now and my sister is getting worried, thinking that they should both, but especially the older one, be doing more dance every week.

SocksRock Sun 06-Dec-15 10:24:33

My daughter has a friend who is pretty seriously about ballet and tap - age 10, in year 6. IIRC, she dances 3/4 nights a week, a total of about 10 hours. Can she not ask the teacher about it?

WildStallions Sun 06-Dec-15 10:34:39

Grade 2 aged 11 seems very low for someone who's 'serious' about dance.

On the face of it it doesn't look like a realistic dream.

dodobookends Sun 06-Dec-15 17:43:33

At 11, the majority of female vocationally-minded dance students are likely to be doing grade 4 or 5 ballet, plus inter-foundation and thinking about starting pointe soon; and probably at least grade 3 tap and grade 4 modern. The talented ballet dancers will probably also be auditioning for associate ballet programmes at the big vocational dance schools (eg Tring Park School/Royal Ballet School etc).

I agree with SocksRock, around 10 hours at that age is pretty usual for those who are serious about it. Perhaps your sister needs to have a chat with the teacher.

gemmasky Mon 07-Dec-15 08:18:01

At the dance school where my sister's children attend they only run classes on Thursday and Saturdays and the grades take a while to get through.
My sister also rang me last night about moving her children to another nearby dance school. What advice should I give her?

LIZS Mon 07-Dec-15 08:25:11

Id agree , I think her expectations may need managing. dd is no dance pro but had taken Grade 3 Ballet and Tap before she was 12. It isn't necessarily the time she is spending but what it is spent doing and how often across the week. If she loves dance it seems relatively limited in terms of progression and range. Ours take an exam every 3/4 terms unless a show intervenes even on one lesson a week until the term before.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 09:53:35

Gemmasky, perhaps it might be worthwhile for your sister to investigate other local dance schools to see what they offer. A couple of things to look for would be the number of classes each week, (particularly at a higher level) and how successful the school is with regard to getting students into vocational training and associate programmes. Also go for teachers who have themselves trained at a very high level ballet-wise, and who may also have been former professional dancers, now with good teaching qualifications from recognised examining bodies.

In the meantime, would the current teacher allow the 11-year-old to join the grade 3 ballet class as well?

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 09:54:45

As well as continuing with the grade 2 class is what I meant to say (drat no edit feature)

Witchend Mon 07-Dec-15 13:34:03

I'd agree with the others here. The dc were,at,a dance school that is generally slower to do the,grades than most round here, and only has 2 classes a week, and both my girls moved into grade 3 by the age of 10yo, or just after, and they're at the older end of the age group.

gemmasky Mon 07-Dec-15 16:03:15

I'll ask my sister about talking to the teacher about also doing a Grade 3 ballet class. But, the Grade 3 ballet class is for only 45mins once a week and all the other girls, from what I know, are 14+. Also, when I used to take my daughter there the classes never really started until 5-10mins after they were due to start. By the way, I moved my dd because she wants to go to a full time ballet school at eleven and the other school only did classes up to Grade 3.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 17:14:23

Hang on a mo.... WHAT??????

GRADE 3 AND AGED 14plus?????

There's no other way of saying it, I'm afraid - the school is utter crap. Jesus, tell your sister to get her kids the hell out now -they are wasting their time and your sister is wasting her money.

LIZS Mon 07-Dec-15 18:17:45

It does sound as if they have a ceiling level at grade 3. However if the 14yos are just doing it for fun rather than grades then grade 3 is probably fine.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 18:22:48

As long as they know that it's just a fun class, but honestly, any decent teacher should be able to get recreational 14-year-olds considerably further along than that. Apart from anything else, they'd be bored silly being in a grade for so long.

For anyone who is wanting to take dance more seriously (or as a possible career option in some way) it is totally inadequate.

gemmasky Mon 07-Dec-15 19:03:03

I know, but my sister is really reluctant to move her children to another dance school. Also, my sister's oldest dd has two different teachers on different days and they both have different styles of teaching.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 19:23:21

How does your sister feel about it - has she explained her reluctance to move them?

LIZS Mon 07-Dec-15 19:40:00

Do they offer private tuition? Those I've known who have progressed to vocational school or even other performance groups have had one to ones to add performance and technical skill beyond the grade curriculum. Not cheap though.

jelliebelly Mon 07-Dec-15 20:06:18

I don't know much about dance schools but to be honest it sounds rubbish! Can't she go to the same place you moved your dd to? How old is your dd - if she wants to go to ballet school I presume you are pretty clued up on all this actually.

gemmasky Mon 07-Dec-15 20:16:05

My dd is 9, 10 in march. My sister does want to move her girls to our school but both the girls want to stay. Also, where we go, the fees are quite expensive. £5 an hour.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 20:16:54

Do they offer private tuition?

This can be very effective with a talented teacher, but if this school can't even get teenagers past Grade 3 then it probably wouldn't be a terribly good ideagrin

LIZS Mon 07-Dec-15 20:48:32

Tbh £5 ph is cheap. If her dd wants to progress it will probably cost her far more unless she is talented enough to get funding. One to one here are about £25 for 30 minutes.

dodobookends Mon 07-Dec-15 21:03:56

Sometimes dance schools will offer a discount for siblings, so it might be worth asking.

LIZS - I think she means the regular classes are £5 an hour, not the private tuition.

LIZS Mon 07-Dec-15 21:43:00

I meant £5 cheap for group lessons. But they need to know if it is a realistic ambition or just a dream before splashing out more.

dancingmuppet Wed 16-Dec-15 14:26:26

My 9 year old (10 in February) dd, who wants to be a dancer, does around 8-9 hours each week, she does grade 3 and 4 ballet plus quite a lot of non syllabus work. She'll also be auditioning for associate schemes this year.

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