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Is it possible to do 'too many' different dance styles?

(16 Posts)
LerablesDuManitoba Tue 01-Jul-14 10:57:48

DD goes to ballet, jazz and Chinese classical dance classes, each once a week. Her Chinese dance classes carry on through the summer, her ballet and jazz don't, but we have found her weekly summer lessons which are supposed to be a mix of jazz and beginner acrobatics. She will carry on with ballet in September, and is also doing a ballet and modern summer camp thing next month. DP and I both know nothing about dancing and are very a bit clueless, we've really just followed DD's lead so far.

She has now asked if she can start Irish dance classes- this would be in addition to the other dance styles she does. While I'm thrilled she's enjoying dancing so much and wants to do more, I am wondering whether it's better to focus on a couple of dance styles rather than do lots of different ones? Can you end up mixing them together, or is it easy to do different styles alongside each other?

ginafery Tue 01-Jul-14 11:30:39

Sounds good to me. As much variety as possible I'd say grin That's what we do. But we focus on ballet as the main dance, doing hours every week.

Biggest change we find is from gymnastics to ballet, remembering to make the quite different bodily changes needed for positions. But it is manageable

fubbsy Tue 01-Jul-14 11:48:37

It's not unusual IME. If she is enjoying it all, why not?

My dd does ballet, contemporary, tap and is in a youth dance company. Many children in her dance school do similar.

When she first started tap, dd had to be reminded not to 'turn out' her legs the way you do for ballet. She was annoyed at the time, but once she got more tap experience, it stopped being an issue.

ginafery Tue 01-Jul-14 11:53:23

Yes, they do seem to get used to switching between dance types.

LerablesDuManitoba Tue 01-Jul-14 11:58:53

All our local Irish dance schools seem to offer both Irish and Highland dance but in different classes, not sure which of those would be better? confused We've had a few comments (other parents, not teachers) that the Chinese classical is going to 'come through' in her ballet. She would love to do tap too fubbsy, I'm hoping the hard shoe dancing in Irish dance would keep her happy for now for conveniences' sake!

dancestomyowntune Tue 01-Jul-14 13:22:03

My dd is 11. She does ballet, tap, modern, jazz, street jazz, contemporary, song and performance, Classical Greek, commercial... Anything and everything that she can do. She does about 20 hours a week.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 01-Jul-14 13:25:17

if a child is a good dancer then they will be able to separate the styles, you don't go into a maths lesson and write a story or try to make words with numbers in english lessons so dancing is the same, you get in a swimming pool and do different strokes. I can't see a difference. I am not sure I have ever seen Chinese classical but I would have thought that the only way classical dances will 'come out' in each other would be through an enhanced ability to present and expression. Mine both do ballet, tap and modern theatre dance. I would have liked them to try irish dancing too but we can't fit it in or afford it plus it would be somewhere else. I would quite like them to do scottish country dancing for fun because it is quite a social dance but nowhere near us does that.

Not sure the difference between Irish and Highland (Irish Highland I assume from what you have said but my first thought was Scottish Highland). I would ask if she can watch a bit of each and then see which she prefers.

JulieMichelleRobinson Tue 01-Jul-14 14:18:57


If it's "proper" Scottish Highland, then it's completely different to Irish dancing. Highland is taught in some of the full-time ballet schools as it's very good for ballon (jumping) and it also turns out, unlike Irish dancing. However, in Highland you don't put your heels down, whereas in ballet you really need to push them into the floor. It's something they need to remember as they can have a tendency not to get the heels down in ballet if they do both.

Lots of our girls do ballet, modern, tap, Highland and in some instances street dance. The older ones also do Greek and National (various) on occasions - last DWC they did a tarantella group. Usually it's the ballet training that you can see in the other dance forms, rather than vice versa.

ginafery Tue 01-Jul-14 14:24:31

Some of the girls at ballet (not all, some of them do it) say they found most difficult the transition to street dance when they've been required to do it for something or other. It all being so 'loose' and the big difference in posture. Apparently anyway

LerablesDuManitoba Tue 01-Jul-14 17:48:21

This is not DD's class, but very similar to what she does in her Chinese classical class, I think this is probably a couple of grades higher than she's at. The performance routines can look anything from very western contemporary to traditional Mongolian folk dancing.

It's Scottish Highland, the schools closest to us seem to do both Irish and Highland dancing, there are some a bit further out that do one or the other and most of the 'big' dance studios near us do Highland alongside ballet, tap, jazz etc. We're outside the UK but in an area with a lot of Scottish and Irish descendants, which could possibly explain why some places teach both, and the Highland in the jazz focussed studios. Or maybe the quality of the Irish/Highland is going to be better at a school that teaches just that?

DD watching both first is a good idea- I think she'll go for Irish dancing for the hard shoes, but we'll see!

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 02-Jul-14 21:03:48

what an interesting style of dance, thanks for posting that. It isn't something available around here.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 02-Jul-14 21:04:55

and I would say having done both ballet and street dance (and taught street too) that it is a very hard mix, completely different posture and the looseness required for street is just so different to other dance styles that it is hard not to look wooden.

taxi4ballet Thu 03-Jul-14 18:59:45

Irish tends to be a dance style that people concentrate on in it's own right, and in dd's experience the technique wasn't compatible with either her ballet or tap. She dropped it after about a year.

Lerables - how old is your dd?

combust22 Mon 07-Jul-14 08:58:13

I don't know much about Chinese dance, but my DD finds it easy to switch between styles of Western dance. She does ballet ( 3 hours a week) tap, modern and street dance.

woolfieoma Mon 07-Jul-14 09:02:29

My dd does ballet every day. She can switch between other styles fairly easily, but had a try at street dance, only this weekend, and decided it was too different.

Chinese dance looks so interesting!

mantons2 Tue 25-Nov-14 11:38:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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