taking ballet classes, pre ballet classes, other little dance classes to compare notes on what is
worthy and what is a vainty :-) and share
ideas, problems, fears, solutions, emotions
associated with little girl taking pre ballet or dance class
of any shape color or nature or name..
anyone intersed to join? WELCOME!!! please step right this
way and take comfy pink fluffy seat, cookies and tea
will be served in a silver cups in just a second..
royal treatement on the way. adjust your tutus ladies!
lets talk dance...
I might begin that my LO has started her first ballet class
at the age of 3.5 almost exactly and being stay at home kid
she had zero exposure to the classroom environement..
she cried at first class only because some kid
set on her spot on the bench.. but I was there to
rescue her from the dissapointment..took her out
to the bathroom gave hugs and dried her tears
and explained her that she does not need to go back
if she does not want to but also explained the rules
of the class and told little made up story staring
"when I was a little kid.. the very same thing
happened to me.. and I did this and this and
I it all turned good" she turned to me smilling
and said shor: "mama, I want to go back in"
She did so, she danced beautifully with others and
played wild and she is a hungry ballet dancer ever since :-)
I am so happy for her as she was dancing her
toes out every day and we thought to eachother..
ballet.. not because it is in but becuse she
really felt like it... she choses her own ways and
we make it possible.
so.. does anyone want to share? or just discuss
which ballet shoes are the best, where to buy
cheep and great ballet tights, tutus.. what is cool
and what is too much, what is right and what is wrong?..
welcome in the ballet circle then :
She started classes at the beginning of this year and now goes twice a week.
so sweet about the names... where did she saw the ballet?
did you go to the liver performance or from DVD?
my daughter would insist me to put on the channel of ARTS
that they show ballet dancing among other"arts" and when she
was tinny baby by whinning and pointing to tv as I was fleeping
channels to get to weather channel and once I got back to
the ballet she would get this happy smilly all over face and would
fussy again when the piece would end. :-)
going to ballet twice a week is so much fun, we have class here once a week but that is all we can afford anyways.. it is soo expensive here.
does your LO is into Angelina Ballerina?
how does the girls dress in the class?
here it is so funny because half of girls is dressed in plain pre-ballet like outfits
simple leotard and sipmle skirt as in ballet schools for older girls
and the other in all kinds of tutus and whatnots :-)
how is your ballet class structured? do they do any acutal dancing and how much of instructions do they get? our class is not so much ballet really.. lots of different games and stuff but they only do like 15 minutes value of few positions and so on and that is without some indepth explaining or showing but just doing the same routine of theree steps all the semester long..
how is it in your ballet place?
The classes here aren't that expensive, but we're lucky in that my daughter was so obviously obsessed that the teacher invited her to come along to the second one every week for free : Her class is called DancePlay and is aimed at 3 - 5 year olds so it's a bit like you described, they don't do much formal stuff but lots of role-playing where they will practice certain positions but call it "a rooster scratching in the dirt" instead of tendu etc. To start with DD wanted to wear just a leotard like the older girls but these days she is enjoying wearing a white tutu and pretending to ve a dieing swan Lots of the girls wear fairy dresses, the only rule is that they need to have proper ballet shoes.
I can't stand Angelina Ballerina, there seems to be so much bullying in every episode I've seen. Thankfully DD wasn't too interested in it when she saw it, I think there was too ,much storyline and not enough dancing
We've already gone through one pair of ballet shoes and we're working on destroying another. She wears them everywhere. I can get them second hand pretty cheap, so I don't mind. When she starts dance class, those shoes will be reserved specially for the class.
We want to find a class for her soon. We do take a little girl that I babysit to dance every week but I don't like the school and don't want to enroll my daughter there. They are focused too much on recitals and competition and they are not a classical ballet school- they do a lot of cheerleading and whatnot, and the dances for the older girls are a little too sexualized for my taste.
But when we do take her, my DD insists on bringing her own ballet bag and changing her ballet and tap shoes at the same time the girl's class does. It's annoying but very charming!!
Anyway, she is obsessed with ballet. She'll watch Angelina every now and then (I also limit it because it focuses a lot on the bullies) and of course we have a book (no bullying in it) that we read all the time.
lots of things that it easily could do without.
My DD mostly loves all the books but once she saw DVD's there
was no way out, on the other hand I watch them with her and
we both discuss and analize good and bad behaviors and learn from it
as unfortunately in US where we are based there is lots of this
attitude amongst older "ballerinas" as I learned it from taking
my nices to ballet classes... somehow it is inherent in some neiborhoods
that kind of girls that takes them behaves in special snooty way and
is really borderline dissgusting so I think that watching Angelina
acutally provides certain ground for accustoming my DD to
certain behaviours and immunize her to what might come
and how to react or behave should she experience something liek that.
She picks up instantly what is right and what is wrong and I think
that it works rather along and expands here sensitvity to what is wrong
rather then accepting it. She never exhibited any such behavior herself
towards any other girls in her class, she is very kind and polite... helpful
and sharing also likes to invite other girls to dance with her before or after classes..
but I wish too that they made the Angelina more care free movie.. but maybe because ballet world is full of this kind of unhealthy stuff they reflect it in it as the person who made it just could not separate the two?
It is not Dora that's for sure :
I totally agree also with the concern of little girls being exposed to
dance centers that teach too sexy dances and or too much competition.
We actually are trying to take out all competition out of my DD love for ballet and just keep her enthusiasm and love for the dance itself as in not to do it better then the next girl but do it as best as she wants, feel or likes to do for herself without even ever wanting to introduce the competitivness
as one can be good in something for those very reasons. I have myself long record of things that I have achieved not because I wanted to be better then the next girl but because I wanted to be the best I could do and I never cared if someone was better then me if he or she was because I knew I always did my max :-) I am trying to teach her that instead of ripping her guts out to be better then someone else as this kills all the joy of life and sens of self and sens of comfortable achievement and all that.. and might lead to low self esteem once someone is ever better then her :-) and it will happen often that is for sure..
we also went through the second pair of ballet shoes, partially because she dances so much and partially we lost to the joys of growth spurt :-)
are you guys such a sentimental bunnies like myself? I inted to keep the first ballet shoes and first tutu and what not firsts.. for keepsakes.. memorysakes..
I just dont' haveheart to part with them.. the next ones will come easier but firs is first.. the super tinny ballet shoes just melt my heart as I hold them in my hands.. all worn up and dirty.. sooo beloved, I want to kiss them inside out where my baby's little dear feet were ;-)
what kind of shoes do you guys use? do you use this hard type or soft type?
I tried here the deluxe kind but it was disaster.. leather is way too hard for little feet and so we bought the student version.. much more glove-like feel to them. I searched low and high far and near and finally got them online.
local stores charged arm and leg and we have no second hand places that I would see any.. probably popular item.
I waould like to buy her some super cute tutu on her plain leotard so I could take few nice pictures as they look so cute in the fluffy tutus.. later girls do wear mostly plain and simple so it is time to be fluffy isn't it?
gotta go.. see you again.
DD will start her first class in August, just for a week to see what she thinks of it. I fear there will be no turning back at that point; she already plies and pirouettes around the house with no actual instruction. I think with a couple of classes she'll be relentless.
I like the class where I've signed up for the summer program. Kids advance at their own rate, and are not pushed to be on dance teams or to get into competition if they don't want to do so.
I'm feeling cautious because DD is not short and skinny and tiny; she's tall and solid and I don't think she'll ever have a "dancer's body." My SIL used to be a ballet dancer for years and years when she was younger. She weighs approximately a hundred and five pounds. And was told that she'd need to drop some weight if she was really serious about ballet. Ugh. I keep telling myself that self-confidence is something we'll develop in DD at home, but I still hate the thought of her being made to feel badly about herself sometime in the future. I guess we have years and years to worry about that, though.
Thanks for starting the thread; I'll be following it with interest to see everyone else's dance experiences!
My daughter (3.5) started ballet only about 3 months ago, and she loves it. She comes home and shows me all the moves and tries to teach her little 18mo old brother. ("Ok, MISS Kiyoshi, it's ballet time!")
She never really cried or seemed nervous there, for being a stay-at-home child. But she also has an amazing teacher who is able to get all their attention and forget about their mommies for the full hour.
After the recital, she came off the stage and she said she wants to do it again.
My husband is joking that we are raising a cheerleader (she goes to ballet and gymnastics).
Mama by day, crafter by night. Midnight Stitches.
My DD is not a frilly girly girl. At school she loves her jeans and tees, and is much more likely to play star wars with the boys, and has never been in to Angelina. However, she loves ballet and jazz, dances for hours in her room to all different kinds of music, her dance teacher says that DD's concentration and focus in class is very unusual for her age. She loves her costumes (her school has a dress code of just leotard, tights, and shoes, so she never got into the twirly skirt thing...yet anyway) and putting on a performance, though.
DD does not have a "dancer's body". She is tall (already almost 5' at 7 year years old) and solid muscle. However, her dance school has girls and women of all shapes and sizes (including en pointe), they are non-competative, and it's very important to the instructors that the kids learn to appreciate dance (even if they'll never do it professionally) and don't lose their love of dancing themselves.
I love her dance school! I really appreciate that you only have to look at the kids to get the impression that dance does not belong to one body type of dancer. That was frankly the most important thing to me, that and an excellent teacher! Our excellent teacher bought the dance school last year (yay!) so as long as DD wants to, we'll be going there!
So I wanted to encourage you youngest dancer parents, even when the all-the-time dress up obsession ends, it doesn't mean that the kiddos love dance any less! I think the outfits and "pretties" catch the eye first, but after 3 years my DD's passion for dance has only grown!
Dear Lalalala, I know what you mean.. I am also quite tomboyish myself
and for me the whole ballet and dancing thing is uncharted area so relating to it is very funny feeling. Then again, I decided not to project on her my own tendencies or history and let her be and do what she loves and she clearly developed love to the dance. At the same time I am exposing her to other activities so she can choose what she wants, she loves playing pirate dress ups, astronaut that travels into space and soccer seem just natural to her as she had been kicking ball ever since tinny preffering that always to any handling ball.. guess takes it after daddy who is just grand soccer palyer
Other then that it was painful to read aobut your SIL that was suggested to drop some weight in order to fit in. This is part of ballet I have problem with .. and more.. things like how the proff.. ballet shoes change and impact the structure of foot and how the whole prof. ballet dancers niche has all kinds of problems with body issue to the degree of being infrertile and having all kinds of female issues because of underwaight.
that is why I would like my LO grow more into doing it for herself and for the love of it but not as a proffession to any degree as I consider it very unhealthy proffession..
I do think that ballet as a hobby and done just for the love of it in adequate amount might be huge self esteem bust, giving sens of achievement of some skill and mastering it to some deceant degree.. as a hobbyst pianist that can play chopin on good level witout ending being starving musician playing in the hamburger joint.. kind of thing :-).. just doing it for the love..
and being proud of it.
I think also that ballet for little ones is great in terms of better posture, movements, flexibility and giving them bit of grace that I really don't seem to have and I think that this is something that one can aquire thorug those things..
Competiotion teams - just not for me.. I hope always to find ballet school
that will have clean atmosfere and free of any competitivness. It is very imporant to me because I don't want any of that or things that come with it... so we will see.
We do classes through the town and they are very laid back. There is no competition team which I like. Even if they did, my DD would not be doing it because we could not afford it.
I hope at least one of them sticks with dance, because they look SO CUTE in the little wrap skirts and leotards. It makes my hear melt every time.
I have found 3 or 4 places I could sign her up but I can't decide what would be best. The thing is she has some sensory processing sensitivities and doesn't so well in environments that are chaotic, and all the "Creative movement" class descriptions that ballet studios seem to offer for her age groups sound like they might be too much noise and activity and kids running around for her. I think she'd do great in a class where they actually just held onto a barre and moved their legs around.... but not so much if the kids are running in a circle and singing at the same time or whatnot.
Although I have been guilty of egging her on in front of friends to perform a Plie or Arabesque because it's just so cool that she knows how to do it already.
Also, at some places the recital costume fee is astronomical! $65 to dress my kid up in a sequined monkey costume!??! Hell no! I'd much rather her learn simple, classical dance and wear a simple leotard, tights, and skirt. I don't mind the tutu frillies for dress-up and play-dancing, but when it comes to actually learning ballet, I'd rather the class be focused on the beauty of the dance, not the beauty of their outfits.
Okay enough my negative ranting..
I am coming at this from two different perspectives (ok, maybe a few more than that)
1) a former professional ballet dancer turned dance/movement therapist turned psychologist!
2) mom to a kiddo who certainly has the dancing gene in her. I swear this kid is a natural when it comes to dancing and moving. From when she was itty bitty (mind you, she isn't even 3 yet) this kid has been dancing and moving....people would ask me if I taught her....nope! We certainly dance all the time together, as I am still a mover. As of recent, I have taught her a few moves, but I am much more enthralled with her musicality and passion.
With that said, I would never hope that my daughter would enter the world of professional ballet...modern, maybe. I wouldn't ever change my own experiences, but IMO, it is not a healthy atmosphere (the professional route, not just recreational classes) for many, many reasons. I do want her involved in dance classes, but it will be very important for me to choose the right atmosphere (I am very picky). I am very much in support of dance in general....dance that gets you moving, dance that makes you feel and dance for pure expression - in whatever form that might take!
I would love to put DD in a creative movement class right now, but there are none where we live. If I spoke the language here I would consider starting my own since I used to teach all levels in the past, but that won't be happening anytime soon.
Sooooo, I would love to hear more thoughts on the subject!
I can understand some of the fears about performances. I didn't like that angle of it either, but DD loves it. (it is totally optional at our dance school) The winter performance is of the nutcracker, and everyone gets loaner costumes, free, from the school for that. The spring recital costumes can be spendy, though for all but the teenagers they try to keep the cost under $40 (still, that can add up). It's the ticket price that I tend to grumble about, though some of that is just because of the policy of the theater they hold it at and isn't so much in the control of the dance school.
At our school they don't dress in costumes for classes. Not even dance skirts (except for older girls, like 10+, if they prefer to wear a dance skirt for modesty or by preference). I can't imagine that other dance schools encourage kids to wear tutus all the time, do they?
This is one of my favorite dance videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnLVRQCjh8c DD loves it too. Dance is for everyone who wants to dance, and you don't have to look like all the other dancers to kick butt!
For the pre-school "recital", the kids in her program just have a small skirt and some type of head peice ($10). She did the real recital this year and it added up fast and we tried to keep the cost down of it. It was $45 for the custome, another $10 so I could go to the recital and something like $15 so her younger brothers and dad could watch the dress rehersal (They don't let under 6 come to the recital and she wanted her brothers so see her on stage). If you bought you alloted 4 tickets, the DVD, the pictures and everything it would really add up (thankfully, the rec program does not push the pictures and DVD (they actually encourage people to do their own at the dress rehersal). I think they only really offer them due to parent requests.
As far as classes, they are not allowed to dress up. Dance skirts are fine but nothing else (black leotard, pink or black tights, pink ballet shoes or black tap shoes).
this fall semester.
We had a deley with beginning because of travel arrangements but
now I am starting to wonder should we sign up or wait out and see
how the whole H1N1 thing play out.
Did you sign up your little one to fun class? or do you play low
through the winter?
We didn't even take H1N1 into consideration when we signed up. Of course, I have a 14 yo in a public school where H1N1 has been circulating for the past month so I'm pretty sure that is where we will get it from. However, I did notice that at our school, there are hand sanitizer dispensers throughout and the teacher encourages the class to use them prior to the class and just after.
Good luck with your decision.
Bella Dancerella: Let's Dance! is a good introductory ballet class. (They now have Swan Lake Bella Dancerella Home Ballet Studio, but I have not seen it).
Learn Nutcracker Ballet Dances with Me was a good for a child who has already taken some ballet.
Rosemary Boross has many videos/DVDs available. Some, like A Fantasy Garden Ballet Class, are not for beginners and have very little, if any, dialogue about what you are supposed to do. I believe her other DVDs like Baby Ballet, Ballet Beginnings for Children and I'm a Ballerina Now are meant for beginners. She also has DVDs for other genres of dance like Land of Sweet Taps, Tot Tap, and Junior Jazz.
I have not checked out Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake. What do you guys think?
but please help me if it is just me...
I went to couple of classes just to show her the practice
and I can't help but notice that most of the girls that are doing
it for couple years or so have really muscular tights...
is this just me? or the group?
somehow they seem very.. muscular in the lower body part
and that is something I was assuming might spring out
of little kids doing too much of a strenght involving activiters
in the young age.
I don't like this type of body built and I was just wondering
if I might be wrong.
I don't want my dd to end up like that.
she is very skinny tinny and very much into ballet not so much
into gymnastic but she was remotly interested so I now
am asking you for your suggestions
I'm actually on the Board and I'm enjoying being part of this world again. We're gearing up for Nutcracker right now - it just isn't Christmas without Nutcracker (even if you've been hearing the music since August)!!
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha
And Caj, nice to see you again!
My almost 5 year old daughter is doing afterschool ballet (really more of creative movement, with a few positions and passes thrown in), and loves it. My 2 year old insists on bringing her own (sissie's old) ballet shoes and watching and practicing on the sidelines. It warms my heart every time!
I used to do ballet , and LOVED it. I was never good enough to go super far, but I learned so much from it, not just dancing, but self discipline, time management, plus doing something you LOVE and are passionate about throughout those stressful high school is such a wonderful thing. My only fear is that I am SO into them doing ballet that I'll become obsessive or push it too much... Luckily they're strong willed enough to make their needs known!
Anyone else have their ds's in ballet? There are so many opportunities for boys in dance (and especially ballet), I hope that he can stick with it at least for a little while.
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha