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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter just turned 4 and really wanted to take dance lessons. Her older sister is in gymnastics and I think she wanted something of her own like big sis. So I signed her up for a creative movement class today and it starts in about 2 weeks.<br><br>
The dance center is a religious place, but they accept those of all faiths. (which is good for us) They are also so much easier on the monthly finances! And if we can't pay, they'll still let us go because they give scholarships. Same with costumes for recital.<br><br>
I was nervous about registration because even though they have hip-hop classes and dance to R&B music.. the fact that I knew they were Christian, had a modest dress code, and mentioned that they did dance to some contemporary Christian music had me worried. I expected to see the stereotypical Christian looking families in the waiting room. (Thats not meant as an insult either, my best friends family is Christian and I grew up in their house. Modest dress, no pants, no make up, long hair, no shorts only culottes, etc.. could also be called the stereotypical Christian homeschooling family as well. ) I was nervous because even though they say they accept people of all faiths, I was afraid I'd feel really out of place. Or afraid that they'd try to convert me, or hand out tracts. And being pretty much as far away from Christian as I can be as a practicing Pagan.. I didn't want to offend them, and I didn't want to be confronted, or worse.. have them deny my daughter the chance to dance because of our faith.<br><br>
I'm happy to say, nothing like that happened at registration! The place was filled with regular looking people that could have been from any faith. I even dared to put my email address on the line that asked for it, even though its clearly Pagan in nature. I'm feeling really good about this place. But she hasn't had her first lesson yet.. which leads me to where I need reassurance...<br><br>
This will be my daughters FIRST class of any kind, EVER. We're homeschooling, so she hasn't been to preschool, or anything else. Never been to daycare. She has had social interaction with peers, friends, family, etc.. My daughter is spirited. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: I have never done this with a child like her. My oldest was mellow, and timid. NOT dd! She is loud, boisterous, energetic, and has some trouble with boundaries and listening. We do still have problems with her hitting when she's mad, and when playing with friends sometimes she's involved in scuffles over toys, etc.. She's not always aggressive though, and its never just out of the blue. I believe its totally age appropriate for a newly turned spirited 4 yo.<br><br>
However.. I'm wondering how she'll do in dance classes. Like I said, its only creative movement.. nothing really formal... But ANY class is formal compared to just being at home. She is so very excited to be going. And I'm excited for her.. but I'm nervous of her.. not being able to control herself I guess.<br><br>
Any tips? Anyone BTDT? I read her the rules from the paperwork and she said as cute as can be, "I will be good mama. I will not hit peoples. I promise! Theres no being mean in dance classes!" I explained that if she did those kinds of things, that she'd have to go home and wouldn't be able to dance with the other kids. She seems like she understands.. but ... I'm worried. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I want her to do well ya know?<br><br>
And yes, I can watch the first 2 classes and then after that I can't be there. And they are only 30 minute classes, so not bad at all time wise.<br><br>
I thought I'd find reassurance on the Internet, so I looked at some dance teachers forums.. and uh.. I found the opposite. I found stories of "The little girl that hit me today!" etc.. and all the teachers basically were like, "I wonder what happens at home.." and "That child needs a spanking!" "Spoiled!" "You can tell the child that gets away with everything at home, they don't listen to you in here."<br><br>
Now I'm horrified. I know I shouldn't be but.... yikes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> The posts really didn't sound like teachers who knew about the behavior of 3&4 year olds at all! .. or.. maybe my child IS odd?
 

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Relax. Maybe they'll be wonderful, and she'll love it! Either way - worrying about it ahead of time won't do any good. My daughter is starting her second year of dance lessons in two weeks, and she LOVES them!!! The teachers are wonderful - hopefully, you'll have a good experience like us. Good luck.
 

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My 4 yo dsd starts her first dance lessons in a couple of weeks, too!<br><br>
I'm sure it will be a lot of fun for her! Dance teachers are accustomed to teaching all sorts of children. They teach because they love dance and they love kids (it pays crap).<br><br>
Also, a lot of children who are rather loud and have trouble listening at home are complete angels when another adult is in charge. DSD is like that.<br><br>
She'll have a great time, you'll worry for a couple of weeks because you are a mama, then everything will be cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ColoradoMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8982457"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Relax. Maybe they'll be wonderful, and she'll love it! Either way - worrying about it ahead of time won't do any good. My daughter is starting her second year of dance lessons in two weeks, and she LOVES them!!! The teachers are wonderful - hopefully, you'll have a good experience like us. Good luck.</div>
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Was it that obvious I was worrying? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have a lot of anxiety in social situations, so I think thats mixing into the normal mama worries too.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pinksprklybarefoot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8982508"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My 4 yo dsd starts her first dance lessons in a couple of weeks, too!<br><br>
I'm sure it will be a lot of fun for her! Dance teachers are accustomed to teaching all sorts of children. They teach because they love dance and they love kids (it pays crap).<br><br>
Also, a lot of children who are rather loud and have trouble listening at home are complete angels when another adult is in charge. DSD is like that.<br><br>
She'll have a great time, you'll worry for a couple of weeks because you are a mama, then everything will be cool.</div>
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I'm really hoping thats the case with DD. She's never been anywhere with anyone except family, so I don't know even how she'll do with a "stranger." Omg.. this is literally her first time away from me for an activity and probably the closest thing to her "first day of school."<br>
No wonder I'm a wreck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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For a spirited child, dance is <i>great!</i> My almost three year old started creative movement, and it has been fantastic, and she too is tres spirited <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Basically, when she began (well also still now) she doesn't understand at all waiting for turns. She gets up and does every turn with the other girls. It's just that she is so enthusiastic and not cognitively mature enough to understand "turns." The teacher is totally chill. She reminds Lulu but then just lets her go. The other girls, older, ages 4-6, just ignore her when she joins them for their turn.<br><br>
Lulu is not a hitter, but she's pretty bouncy and loud. The teacher can work with this, and sometimes she uses it to get some quieter girls involved.<br><br>
I don't know, we love dance for our little wild one, and so does she! As for hitting, hopefully the teacher is wise enough to know that it is a phase. And similarily,I hope the other parents are understanding. And your little gal may just surprise you!<br><br>
Niether of my girls currently hit, but they have been hit many times. I figure it is very normal behavior. As long as the "hitter's" parents react appropriately (remind the child not to hit, remove the child if appropriate til they stop) I am totally chill with it. The one time I freaked was when my child was seriously decked by a very big girl and her mom took a very meek approach w/her daughter and didn't really apologize to me. And, in retrospect, it was nobody's fault. I was just scared so got upset.<br><br>
good luck to ya!
 

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I think you just happened to find a particularly nasty dance teacher forum.<br><br>
That, or it was a bunch of sweet, loving people who just needed a safe place to vent.
 

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My DDs loved dance class at that age! Neither of my kids went to preschool and dance was their first experience away from me. Their teacher was amazing and quite used to having kids in their first "class" experience. She taught the kids so much besides just dance -- liking having them say their name in front of everyone else -- little things that they just hadn't had any experience with. It was lovely and my kids had a great time (and they were too busy having fun to misbehave!)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8983430"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My DDs loved dance class at that age! Neither of my kids went to preschool and dance was their first experience away from me. Their teacher was amazing and quite used to having kids in their first "class" experience. She taught the kids so much besides just dance -- liking having them say their name in front of everyone else -- little things that they just hadn't had any experience with. It was lovely and my kids had a great time (and they were too busy having fun to misbehave!)</div>
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Exactly us. Last year, DD1 had never done any sort of class, anything away from me. She LOVED it, I sat there the first class, and at the second class she told me to go away. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Just take a deep breath and relax. Even if she isn't on her best behavior, what's the worst thing that will happen? I'd guess it's that you'll decide she's not quite ready for a class and pull her out and try again later. Is that anything to get all stressed about?<br><br>
I'm sure she'll be fine and have a great time. Just make sure you keep breathing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My dd (4) is spirited but in an introverted way. She is also very sensitive.<br><br>
And dance classes have been amazing for her.<br><br>
Like with your daughter, ballet was the very first thing she ever did without one of her parents with her. I was nervous about so many things. Would she pay attention? Would she freak out without me there? Would she get nervous and overwhelmed? Would it work out?<br><br>
She had a very lovely and gentle teacher her first year (and will have the same one this year as well!). It went really, really well.<br><br>
And think of it this way: The worst case scenario is that it doesn't work out. She isn't ready. Or she hates it. And then you stop the classes and wait till she's older or find something else to do instead.<br><br>
But I think she'll be brilliant. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Good luck to her and to you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nature</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8982424"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
This will be my daughters FIRST class of any kind, EVER. We're homeschooling, so she hasn't been to preschool, or anything else. Never been to daycare. She has had social interaction with peers, friends, family, etc.. My daughter is spirited. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: I have never done this with a child like her. My oldest was mellow, and timid. NOT dd! She is loud, boisterous, energetic, and has some trouble with boundaries and listening. We do still have problems with her hitting when she's mad, and when playing with friends sometimes she's involved in scuffles over toys, etc.. She's not always aggressive though, and its never just out of the blue. I believe its totally age appropriate for a newly turned spirited 4 yo.<br></div>
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My DD1 took dance last year for the first time at our doctor's advice to help her with bodily control and boundaries.<br><br>
It was great. The first couple weeks were chaotic and crazy and I thought it wouldn't work. But things settled down. The dance studio has a one-way mirror so parents can watch but the kids can't see you there. She did great, and it got better as the year progressed. She wasn't perfect, she did act up a little, but she seemed to listen to her teacher better than to me!<br><br>
BTW, this was a combo ballet, tap, jazz class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone! I'm feeling a bit better about it today. I think yesterday I was just overwhelmed with it because I actually registered and paid for the class. It felt final and decided and that that brought a bunch of anxiety with it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Today we're going out to buy a leotard, skirt, and ballet shoes. She is so excited!<br><br>
They require the Creative Movement class wear black ballet shoes. Tell me.. which combo of colors works best there? All black? All pink? Pink leotard, black skirt or the other way around? (yes I'm know I'm slightly obsessing.. just work with me here.. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) I can't seem to think which way will look best with the required black shoes.
 

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Any combo looks cute. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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So much depends on the teacher!<br><br>
My daughter is in her 2nd year of dance classes (at her request). I was nervous about the school at first, because they do the Nutcracker and spring recital every year (rent out a local theater and everything), parents only watch on the last class of the month, ect.<br><br>
However, when I met the teacher I felt great about it, and my DD adores Miss Amanda. I was kind of worried about going to a dance school that goes all the way up to and including pointe and that has try-out only jazz companies for the older kids (along with regular classes) because I was worried about the competition aspect. However, at least with their teacher of little ones, she is very gentle spirited, emphasizes fun over form (at least in the creative movment and pre-ballet/pre-tap classes), and her philosophy is to encourage the kids to love and appreciate dance no matter what they end up deciding to do (or not) later.<br><br>
It's been a wonderful experience for my DD. Even the late night (for us) dress rehearsals were a blast for her and she loves watching dance now. I know a "Bad" teacher can have the opposite effect. Common sense parenting applies though, go with your gut and you'll probably have fun. And try not to project too much nervousness onto your DD, if you relax she probably will too, if she even notices in her excitement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Don't judge a group of people based on an internet vent board. I mean realistically, with some of the crabby vents on here, I hope you wouldn't want to be judged based on someone else's angry (and momentary!) vent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerchild</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8992719"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Don't judge a group of people based on an internet vent board. I mean realistically, with some of the crabby vents on here, I hope you wouldn't want to be judged based on someone else's angry (and momentary!) vent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Thats totally true. And you're right. It was just a bad time for me to find that particular board ya know? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
Another good thing has cropped up with this dance class too. I talked to a friend of mine, and she decided to put her dd in the same class mine is in. So my dd will have a friend she knows in there, and I'll have a friend for support while <b>I'm</b> there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Black skirted leotard bought! now just to find some soft ballet shoes in size Medium. Every store I went to was out of her size. I hope they restock soon.
 
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