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to think that encouraging your daughter to learn ballet is cruel

(507 Posts)
morningpaper Thu 16-Apr-09 13:07:02

Because BASICALLY, ballet is all about body image and is a money-making racket to boot (silly costumes and unecessary shoes).

There just AREN'T curvy ballerinas. You have to have the perfect body - thin, willowy and in perfect proportion. I well remember when my 11 year-old best mate was rejected from the Royal Ballet School because her 'shoulders were too wide'. She cried for weeks. Ballet had been her life.

Basically, they either get sick of it themselves, or they stop because they realise that their BODIES ARE IMPERFECT. Either way, the time could be better used doing some sort of more useful modern dance that you can learn in £1.99 Asda trainers which isn't dependent on having a perfect body.

Please take your daughters to something more useful instead.

FAQinglovely Thu 16-Apr-09 13:08:23

what if they enjoy it?? <<<<<<<has no daughters>>>>>>>

Mamazon Thu 16-Apr-09 13:09:22

im trying to find DD a dance class that doesn't involve ballet for these very reasons. its proving a lot more difficult than i had imagined

cocolepew Thu 16-Apr-09 13:10:18

YANBU I took my DD a few years ago, her decision, and she stayed just the once. She's quite clumsy and tubby and it was so rigid. I thought it would be fun exercise, not an audition for the bloody Bloshoi Ballet.

ForeverOptimistic Thu 16-Apr-09 13:10:33

It is something that every little girl does around here.

If I ever have a daughter I don't think I will be encouraging ballet for the reasons you have listed.

My friends little daughter is already talking about being too fat and asking for salad for dinner, she is only 4! I don't know if she has picked that up from her ballet classes but it wouldn't surprise me.

LouIsAHappyLittleVegemite Thu 16-Apr-09 13:10:46

So the fact that they migt enjoy it, develop a good posture, gracefulness, coordination etc means nothing? Doing something as a child does not mean that they are going to become professional. And how is modern dance more useful?

aGalChangedHerName Thu 16-Apr-09 13:12:14

My dd1 who is 5 in August does a class consisting of Ballet/Tap and Disco and recently asked to stay behind and join the cheerleading class.

She loves it,adores her teacher and has made friends.

I should make her give up it up even tho she loves it.

Nah i don't think so.

What should i make her do instead??

LouIsAHappyLittleVegemite Thu 16-Apr-09 13:12:39

Oh I hated ballet,odd as I am quite good at it now. I ended up playing doing squad swimming. I was rejected from this for being not good enough. Same thing really.

traceybath Thu 16-Apr-09 13:12:47

I did ballet as a child and its a wonder i didn't develop an eating disorder.

Such an obsession from such a young age about looking good in your leotard - not great.

So you're not being unreasonable.

morningpaper Thu 16-Apr-09 13:12:53

Modern dance is a sociable activity. It does not focus on the one, "princess-like" "graceful" girl. It teaches coordination and is good exercise etc. It is a useful skill that will give you confidence while boogying on the dancefloor and it is an all-age activity.

aGalChangedHerName Thu 16-Apr-09 13:13:05

Oh and dd1's class is fun and they don't talk about fat or diets etc!!

ForeverOptimistic Thu 16-Apr-09 13:14:35

If I have a daughter I will encourage her to take up yogabugs.

Yoga is good for posture.

scienceteacher Thu 16-Apr-09 13:14:41

My seven year old loves her ballet class. I think the discipline is good for her. I imagine it will give way to team sports when she is older.

The kit is expensive though.

DarrellRivers Thu 16-Apr-09 13:14:44

Am trying to encourage DD to horse ride or learn a musical instrument rather than ballet.
Can understand why people want to to do it, but it just leaves me a bit cold

M44 Thu 16-Apr-09 13:14:51

ballet has been wonderful for us-it has given my daughters confidence, something they enjoy, and the way they carry themselves (deportment)is lovely. DD1 started when she had been extremely ill and it was a great way for her to build up her muscle tone and stamina again-she used to practice-own choice in between lessons and I mean really practice. I wouldn't make them do ballet-it is their choice. The shows they have been in are superb and have encouraged friendship and teamwork and the summer school the dance school run (£50 for 3 days total) is fantastic and gives them a taste of other dance genres. So, no if it is approached in a healthy balanced way I don't believe it is cruel. Dd1 is G4 at the moment and is looking forward to moving up-she really enjoys it and has a very healthy attitude toward her body-but she is naturally very slim and willowy, unlike her mother!

Even her 4 yr old brother wants to start lessons as he wants to learn how to lift the ladies!!!!

Mamazon Thu 16-Apr-09 13:14:59

if they like it then fair enough but i find a 4 year old saying she is too fat deeply disturbing.

The posture thing is a plus i guess but at least with a modern dance class they will have a much better work out and is a fantastic form of excercise.

i just think its far more relaxed

cocolepew Thu 16-Apr-09 13:15:05

Ballet would do sod all to help my DDs posture, you can't tell by looking at a group of girls' posture who does ballet.

TheProfiteroleThief Thu 16-Apr-09 13:15:33

My dd was expelled for not following instruction! She is more sporty really, but liked the outfits!

I am a bit anti becuase of ballet exams in school time, endless competitions, extra costs and expectation that whole family life revolves around dance.

atigercametotea Thu 16-Apr-09 13:16:03

It's not ALL about body image. They don't have to contine professionally to a point where body image may become important.

They may enjoy it as a form of exercise and it also encourages good posture and co-ordiantion. Perhaps it's a way of making new friends or meeting up with existing ones.

It's up to the child to ask to go, to choose to go. The parent shouldn't force it but neither should they discourage it either.

islandofsodor Thu 16-Apr-09 13:16:06

Ballet is an excelelnt activity and can greatly help in all other formas of dance. A couple of dd's ballet teachers happen to be rather on the large size, but they are still amazing dancers/teachers.

I wiould say that if my dd ever were God forbid to develop an eating disorder it would NOT be because of ballet but because of all the misguided healthy eating stuff they are promoting in schools.

She is developing several alarming misonceptions through that.

LouIsAHappyLittleVegemite Thu 16-Apr-09 13:16:48

Maybe my charge goes to a differnt kind of school but nothing is mentioned about diets etc.

morningpaper Thu 16-Apr-09 13:18:04

I don't understand why it is acceptable to dress little girls up in leotards and tights which basically focus entirely on their thighs

how is that healthy?

TheFallenMadonna Thu 16-Apr-09 13:18:19

There's ballet classes and there's ballet classes though I think. DD is a baby elephant really, but she loves her class. She'll never be a ballerina, but she enjoys charging around the hall to music.

My ds is rubbish at football. He went to the easy-going, parent-free after school club for three years and enjoyed a charge around until recently when he realised he didn't want to do it any more. I don't think there's a problem with children enjoying doing something they're not good at. You ust have to pick the right environment for them. So for DD it's village hall ballet and not some fancy-schmancy dance school, and for ds it was after school football and not weekend league stuff with competitive dads bellowing fromt he sidelines.

FAQinglovely Thu 16-Apr-09 13:18:55

and surely proper modern dance still doesn't require the use of trainers - surely that's more "street" dancing??

Modern dance sprung from ballet, and most "modern dancers" have the basis of ballet training.

FAQinglovely Thu 16-Apr-09 13:19:50

but who is putting the focus on their thighs? The children - or the parents???

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