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 Post subject: 12 year olds amid 15 year olds
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
Hi, all. Time for another gut check here with our daughter's training. She's all set to return to NBS this next summer and quite possibly stay for the year if offered a spot again. In the meantime, just to help us understand more about all the different schools out there, we have been letting her do some auditions for various other programs. The response frankly has me puzzled because, while on the surface of it, it is very flattering, for a variety of reasons it doesn't sit right with us parental units. But it is prompting our daughter to question whether she needs the kind of push that this one particular program would give. Simply (but vaguely put because I don't want to identify the program), they offered her a generous scholarship but want to place her in a level with no other 12 or 13 year olds, but rather with 14-16 year olds. This is a big enough program that I thought there would be other 12 year olds like her, but apparently not. She is also an absolute beginner on pointe, and I know this level's technical skills are in the intermediate to borderline advanced range. I just can't make sense of it, yet I know this is a very highly regarded program so they must have their reasons. Is there any good reason to escalate a 12 year old's training the way it seems it would be in that program? Part of what we like best about NBS is the slow pace and plenty of peers so we're not inclined to ditch that strategy, but I'm just trying to educate myself about other training philosophies. Thanks in advance for any input!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Petaluma, California
Hello, JaneH...I think it is good that you are allowing your daughter to audition for a few other programs (SIs). The auditions are great experience for her. If she gets into any of them (and, apparently, she has) it just gives you some other options when summer arrives. I think that if she is all set at NBS and really enjoys it, why not? It must be a very good school as it is associated with the National Ballet of Canada. And, I would imagine that if she goes up through the school, there might be a chance that she could be chosen to dance with the company. As far as your question regarding 12-year-olds amid 15-year-olds, I don't think you should worry about this. They have placed her there for a reason. You say that it is a very good, reputable program. They want to challenge her because they must see talent. I'm pretty certain that they will only have her do the pointe work that she is strong enough to do. There are ways of altering combinations in pointe class for students of slightly differing levels of profiency to ensure that students will not be injured. Or, perhaps they may have her take a different, more basic level pointe technique class until they feel she is strong enough to join her regular level pointe classes. When I was young, I was often in class with students who were two to four years older than I was. I loved it! It didn't bother me at all...I thrived on the challenge. It just depends on your daughter and what she feels comfortable with. But, again, I don't believe (IMO) that there is anything wrong with 12-year-olds in class with 15-year-olds if they are all somewhat matched in level and ability. Good luck to your daughter and I hope she has a great time dancing this summer!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
thanks, Gina! that's exactly the kind of positive perspective I was hoping someone could give me. We just want to provide our daughter with enough options so that she'll never feel trapped into any one option. and we're also coming at this with the "emotional baggage" of her having been in a school earlier in her training which definitely did push her along technically too quickly. We just want to avoid that ever happening again, but I can see where, once she has started on pointe, that challenges are needed and can be managed intelligently. I think right now at her current year-round program she's feeling a little unchallenged so that's why the prospect of challenge is very attractive. We shall see! thanks again for the thoughts!


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