Ballet unsuccessful at aged 5, worth trying again at 6?(10 Posts)
DD1 did gym from age 3 to 4 then persuaded me to change to ballet (thank you Angelina Ballerina). She loved the twirling around in a pink skirt but lacked the concentration and self control to get on. She got held back a couple of terms while the other girls moved up and I decided to cancel and try another class. The second teacher was really honest and said DD just was too immature and maybe to try in a year or so.
DD now back at gym and she has matured a lot. Her concentration has improved, she is stronger and better coordinated. She has recently started diving and absolutely loves it. The gym lessons have helped, they're held at the same leisure centre as the diving.
However now she has asked to give ballet another go. I'm not sure if DD will ever be the ballet type to be honest. She's not a delicate girly girl being tall and solid. She's fidgety and not graceful! She loves music and has good timing though. I'm wondering whether a jazz/disco type class would give her a fun dance opportunity as I think ballet will frustrate her.
She also fancies karate or tae kwon do but as I only have two week day evenings and weekends, and we don't have limitless funds, I need to find just one thing at the moment. She is already doing swimming and diving. DH thinks she does too much already.
So can you help me decide, back to dance, try a martial art or continue with gym?
(or more days in the week and a pay rise.)
I'd give ballet another go before any other dance style - it's a good foundation for all types of dance and any dance class needs concentration and maturity so she wouldn't get on any better at a jazz class if she were still not ready for it.
But if she can concentrate in gym, maybe she just didn't really like ballet? Or perhaps she only wanted the Angelina aspects and didn't realise there was more to it! She might do now, though.
I have never heard of a child "failing" at ballet!!! Our dance school has toddler lessons from eighteen months so I feel the fault is not with your dd but with the teachers you have tried.
Ballet is the foundation of all dance, so I would try to give it another go tbh. Can I ask what the classes she tried consisted of? Our tiny dancers follow the RAD Melody Bear syllabus and do some skipping around, good toes and naughty toes, stretching and making shapes with their bodies and a couple of little dances to the telletubbies music and the grand old duke of York. Then they have a scarf and do some free movement before getting a sticker at the end.
I would let her try again if she is keen. It matters not a jot that her body is not the "ballet type" most children who dance will not go on to become professional dancers, but it is worth doing for lots of reasons- the focus, discipline, fitness, concentration, self confidence etc.
Actually it sounds like your daughter wasn't the problem. It sounds like a teacher who doesn't run classes that cater to young children all that well. My friends' boys have been happily doing ballet since 2 because they go to a class that makes it interesting to them and suited to their level of concentration.
Devonian - that sounds about right for pre-schoolers, but my DD went from 'baby ballet' classes (which also included 15 minutes of tap) at the age of 4. She had taken her first exam just before she was 6, so classes had become a lot more structured and repetitive by then.
I agree though - I would probably be looking for a different dance school if you are going to try again OP. Children at that age don't fail at ballet. All abilities, shapes and sizes should be successful!
Also whilst other dance forms may appear less formal, teh lessons are still just as intense, and need concentration and commitment from the students.
but my DD went from 'baby ballet' classes (which also included 15 minutes of tap) to proper classes at the age of 4.
No harm in trying.
Having a DD who moved from ballet, to gym and trampolining (and who's DF does gym and diving), I'm not certain she'll like the restrictions of ballet.
DD practices gymnastics for hours at home (she started to late do anything other than recreational). She gets a real sense of achievement from being able to do a back walk over that no ballet lesson ever matched.
Yes seeline, all of mine have been doing proper classes by the age of four, in fact my current four year old does primary ballet, primary/ grade 1 modern, primary Greek and song and dance classes. But there are other children her age still doing the "baby"/ preschool classes as we don't have a particular age they move up. It's when they are ready, socially/physically and ability wise!
Interesting feed back, thanks. The classes she did were as devonian darling described. DD loves dancing but seems to want to do her own thing rather than follow the teacher , although she didn't seem much different some of the other children in her class.
I might phone up a couple of teachers and see if she DD can try a class. It might be after one class she remembers why she wanted to stop last year and she won't ask again!
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