Bouncing around from program to program is NOT one of the ways.
A quality ballet school will employ a very deliberate syllabus designed to bring a young “baby’rina” from age 3 to the level of a professional dancer by age 16. There are various routes that a teacher might successfully take to help a student get there, but any reputable school/program/teacher will have diligently outlined a systematic, well-planned, and time-tested method that works.
Perseverance, longevity, discipline, commitment – these aren’t just buzz words. These are things that children actually learn when they stick with what they are engaged in. And it’s wonderful to learn that stuff because it really does help in life.
...But it’s more than that. It’s also the plain nitty-gritty, pure-and-simple learning how to tendu correctly, and how to jete correctly, and building good technique, and beautiful artistry, and graceful port de bras, and the disciplined yet creative mentality required of artists - all of which requires students to stick with what they’ve picked!
No one in their right mind would willfully engage three or four different contractors and ask them to construct a house by picking up where another left off without any knowledge of methods, materials or prior work. Certainly no one in their right mind would do so and still expect a solid home at the outcome.
It is the same thing whether you’re building a house, a dancer, a child’s character, or really any worthwhile end.
This is more than just a shout out to my own students who have stuck out the ups and downs, the frustrations, the happy/unhappy roles, the scheduling conflicts, the inconvenient travel (but sure, it’s a shout out to them too) … ...because I feel the same way when I’m discussing this issue with students that come to me from other schools. If a student comes in to take a placement class from a solid (and its fine to be picky about what you consider ‘solid’) program, my advice as a teacher is always, always, always to stay where they are. (This is NOT true for sub-par programs and if you’re unsure – you’re probably in one – to which I say: get out before it’s too late!)
If you are relocating (or realized that you’re in a shoddy program), that is one thing –...but moving around from program to program because you’re impatient with the training is another. Dancers and parents need to trust their teachers and know that they want to see their students fulfill their maximum potential too. Probably even more so than the student does. Your teachers have a plan. And their plan has worked for many dancers before you and will work for many dancers after you.
As I tell my two year olds when it’s time to pick out a prop for freeze dance: STICK WITH WHAT YOU PICK! (But make sure you’ve picked wisely).