Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to Train in Ballet Before You're Too Old

High school age students have a dilemma with ballet training, and balancing the demands of the academic and the artistic. However, the structure of education is actually quite flexible. The easiest solution is to get accepted into a full time ballet/academic school, but that is not possible for many. Here are some ideas dancers and parents may want to explore.

Finding out the audition schedules and possible audition tours of the full time ballet/academic schools is not difficult.

Use a search engine and type in "full time ballet schools in (name your country or area)".

Search the web site for auditions, audition tours, or "about us" if you cannot find the audition information. Usually that and scholarship information, or financial assistance, is available.

If it is not possible for you to even consider leaving home and attending a full time training school, then calculate the number of hours you can train at a local studio, each week. If you can add three hours a day of academic training on top of that, then you can spend those other hours doing dance training.

In the US, home schooling is legal and very organized. Registered schools, of which the details may be different in each state, are usually organized by parents. A home schooler registers with a school. The school may offer a curriculum for the school grades. or not. If they do not, then the student and the parent put one together. It is not difficult because there are many models to use. Here's another thing that helps - home schooling high schoolers, at least in California, can register in community college courses for NO cost, and get college credits for the courses. This is in place because many home schoolers have finished high school by the time they are thirteen years old.

When you factor in the legal requirement in spending three hours a day in school, and how much work a student can do in that time, without all the extra time spent just going through the daily motions of a public school - three hours is all it takes. Additionally, hours of ballet can count as physical education and - well, more time for dance training!

There is a lot of philosophic and political discussion going on about home schooling, but this article is not about that. If a young person is extremely talented and motivated to train in the arts, the regular 7 hour school day is a waste of time.

Also, check to see if your state provides a high school exit test which can usually be done in the later semester of Grade 11, if the student has turned sixteen. This gives a high school diploma and the student can then go on to further training. In California it is law that the school inform students of this option, although I've never heard that schools routinely do this. I found out from a home schooling mom.

An arts intensive curriculum can be created at any grade, while still fulfilling general education needs. If you want to train in ballet before you're too old, you do have options.

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