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AIBU or is this OTT? 5yo's Ballet show

(185 Posts)
Emergencyblueberries Sat 06-Apr-19 08:25:40

DD is 5yo and does a weekly 30 minute ballet class. All the children in her group are 4 or 5. It mostly seems to involve skipping and running around in a circle waving a fairy wand but they all seem to enjoy it. At last weeks lesson their teacher told them they were going to do a show and that all their mummies and daddies would be able to watch. No further details given but we were told we'd get an email. The children were all very excited.

Yesterday we received a very lengthy email informing us that the dance school are putting on a show this summer at a local theatre, there will be a matinee and an evening performance on the same day. It was emphasised that all children must perform in both shows. It's on a Sunday, in term time, each performance is 2.5 hours long but they have to be at the theatre in costume and make up an hour before it starts. The evening performance doesn't finish until 9pm! DD is usually fast asleep by 7pm.

It went on to say there will be a dress rehearsal on the Friday before the show for which the children are expected to miss half a day of school and a parent must be present to chaperone them. No acknowledgement that some parents have jobs and might therefore be unable pick their DC up from school at midday, drive them to the theatre and hang around for hours on a working day. The Sunday before that there is a 4.5 hour rehearsal which finishes at 6.30pm.

It also said "each one of you is expected to volunteer to help backstage for at least one of the performances". In those words. No "please" or "we would appreciate it if you could.."

Tickets to watch the show are £16 each (is that normal for a kids dance show??) and apparently we will be recieving a bill for our child's costume/costumes in due course.

AIBU in thinking that it's completely OTT to expect this level of committment from a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds?? I realise that most of the other dancers will be older, have probably been dancing for years and are taking proper ballet exams etc. so of course for them it's different. But WIBU to tell the dance teacher I don't want DD to be in the show as I feel it's too much pressure and she'll be too tired? I don't want her to feel like she's missing out but she's usually shattered by the end of a normal week at school as it is.

Friedspamfritters Sat 06-Apr-19 08:27:48

YANBU that sounds really ott. A half an hour show fur mummy and daddy's instead of the ballet class one week would be fine at this age.

alwaystimeforcakeandtea Sat 06-Apr-19 08:27:52

My DD is 3.5 and had a similar ridiculous email about a dance show. Hers one cost £50 to sign up and just take part before tickets and costume. She is not taking part.

IceRebel Sat 06-Apr-19 08:28:04

That is batshit crazy shock

talkingjapeneseireallythinkso Sat 06-Apr-19 08:30:35

tbh i wouldn't engage with any of this nonsense at 4 /5 years. 2.5 hour show ? ffs.

MIdgebabe Sat 06-Apr-19 08:31:27

It would be normal for the smaller children to be on first and allowed home afterwards, they just miss the finale. Ditto, the full dress rehearsal .

It would also be normal for a parent to have to remind the dance school of that!

Term time is most common as so many families make last minute holiday plans that a show out of term is a nightmare

They will love it , and going on stage young usually builds great confidence for things like public speaking when they get older

amy85 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:32:21

Normal for the dance world

pelirocco123 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:32:27

It's perfectly normal , I am assuming the dance school has all ages ? We have loads of dance schools where we live and they all put on shows at our local theatre (at a huge cost ) .Be prepared if your child carries on dancing ,it's going to be a huge commitment both in time and money

MIdgebabe Sat 06-Apr-19 08:33:38

Friday rehearsal unlikely to be authorised by schools

EmperorBallpitine Sat 06-Apr-19 08:34:34

That sounds standard for a dance show. There will be girls from the older classes performing, it is taken seriously because to be a dancer involves a lot of hard work from the ground up. It is a lot for the younger classes to manage and if I were you I would first chat with the dance teacher about your concerns.
But any dance mums out there will tell you, this is normal in a serious dance school which has pupils going on to become dancers, and does grades etc.

LynetteScavo Sat 06-Apr-19 08:34:38

From what friends tell me this is normal.

This is why DD gave up dance classes when she was 3yo she also displayed a lack of talent and obedience

Hahaha88 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:37:30

Everything else aside, there's no way I'd be taking my child out of school for a rehearsal. So nope my kid would not be involved

TheVanguardSix Sat 06-Apr-19 08:38:29

Awful.
And it’s exactly why DD doesn’t do any dancing.
We had what you’re dealt with at age 4. Never again.

KneelJustKneel Sat 06-Apr-19 08:38:33

We did dance for a little while but with a year 2 child.

Just say no. I helped in the rehearsals etc and some of the reception and younger children were truly miserable. Unused to all the waiting and being away from mum for such lomg times, the late nights, the difference with being on stage to prancing around in the hall.

I know parents loved to see their kids perform... but I wouldnt put young kids through it.

TheVanguardSix Sat 06-Apr-19 08:38:53

what you’re dealing with
Sorry

JudgeRindersMinder Sat 06-Apr-19 08:38:56

@Midgebabe the rehearsals my dd was involved in were all after school, from teatime onwards, so no problems with time off school.

My dd was involved in dance and ballet shows from the age of 3-17, and whilst it’s tough when they are tiny, the “baby ballerinas” are one of the best parts of the show! It’s one weekend out of the year and in my experience the tinies love taking part, and you see them improve year on year.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 06-Apr-19 08:39:39

Ours was exactly as you describe (2 X 2.5 hours etc, similar ticket price etc).

Our two kids were on stage for about 8 minutes each. Between DW and I we spent around £200 and 20 hours to facilitate this (4 costumes, several extra practices etc).

Personally I would not bother.

hipslikecinderella Sat 06-Apr-19 08:40:33

It is normal for our dance school too. We can keep the costume, I still have dd's first tutu dress when she was 3.
The bit that's out of order is asking you to miss school and I wouldn't have done that.
But ywnbu tonsay you don't want your child to participate.

RedHelenB Sat 06-Apr-19 08:43:18

Most children will love it and get a lot out of it. Definitely gave dd1 a lot of confidence. Cost doesn't sound too horrendous either. But obviously it's up to you.

EmperorBallpitine Sat 06-Apr-19 08:43:22

I always volunteered in the baby room, to make sure they were OK (all three of my children have been three year old ballet dancers). This year is the first show in 9 years that we don't have to go to (they've all given up for one reason or another). Dds football can be tiresome and wet but no shows! grin

MudCity Sat 06-Apr-19 08:43:26

Yes this is normal although I’m personally not aware of any dance school that has had rehearsals during a school day....that seems very odd.

As a previous poster said, they could let the very young children dance first so they go home early and there is less waiting around for them. In terms of commitment though, this is normal for dance shows. Shows involve an enormous amount of hard work. And they are also an amazing opportunity for young people to learn, demonstrate teamwork, build confidence and see a project come together. Probably less so for a 5 year old though...I think I would probably want to stick to her usually routine in your case unless both she and you are feeling resilient!

BarbarianMum Sat 06-Apr-19 08:43:50

It's totally normal. Dont forget that your dd's class will be one of the youngest in a school that probably goes up to 18.

Anyway, two choices. Get used to it or find another hobby. Ds2 did his first show age 4 and I felt the same way about it as you. But he loved it and 7 years later is still dancing and loves performing and now it seems normal. In the dance world they expect a lot from them very young.

YourEggnogIsBetterThanMine Sat 06-Apr-19 08:44:06

That is ridiculous!! DD (6) has been dancing for a couple of years so this year will be her 3rd show. There are 2 shows on the day and the younger children only take part in one show, not both. Preschool classes are first on and collected from backstage straight after. It's only a few minutes of disruption then the show continues. Preschool and rosette classes only take part in their own parts of the dress rehearsal and can then go home. Tickets last year cost £6 each. Parent helpers were requested. The show lasts an hour because so many children only do one show. Saturday class kids do the morning show for example, Tuesday class kids do the afternoon.

WelliesAndPyjamas Sat 06-Apr-19 08:44:52

I wonder if you live near me, OP 😄 my DD attended the local ballet school for a year and yes for that age it was basically a lot of skipping around, but hey it’s exercise so I didn’t mind. But the summer production was incredibly over done - multiple performances and dress rehearsals over a few days at parents’ cost, late nights, not allowed to take little ones home until the very end of the 3 hour show, parent volunteer chaperones and guilt trips for anyone who didn’t or couldn’t help. I fell out with them on the last day when my 5 yr old was utterly exhausted and due to unforeseen circumstances I had to be in several places at once and they refused to release my DD half an hour early so that I could avoid leaving one of my sons standing on the roadside alone in another town waiting to be picked up from a trip away. Rude and inflexible and totally absorbed in their own little world. Have since found out I am one of several families that ditched them for similar reasons.

DD now goes to a lovely, smaller and friendlier dance school where they prance around with pom poms instead 😂 but with only one short show a year. Far more sensible.

Starlight456 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:45:03

Perfectly normal except the time off school.

I think because people pay it is almost accepted . I would not join but then that’s me.

I think most people forget its a hobby

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