Web Exclusive - Ask Amy

Published in the December 2012/January 2013 issue.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

I want to go to a company school next year, but I feel behind for my age and need to improve if I’m going to get into a good program. Should I ask my teacher for private lessons? What exactly should I ask her for? —Sydney

Private lessons can be a great way to get a head start. You’ll receive concentrated attention, the combinations will center around your specific needs and the corrections you glean can then be applied to your regular classes. However, private lessons are more expensive, so talk to your parents first to make sure they’re on board to pay for them.

Sit down with your teacher, explain your goals and see her if she has time to work with you. Ask her for honest feedback about which schools you might be a fit for and about where you need improvement. Then, discuss scheduling (will you be meeting once a week, twice a month?) and fees.

Don’t forget to ask about pointework. Strong pointe technique will be expected of you at a pre-professional school, so reserve time to focus on your footwork. In addition, take an extra conditioning class (like Pilates) to help improve your core strength.