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Ballet or Gymnastics or both?

(16 Posts)
Ellokitty Tue 16-Feb-10 19:19:45

My DD (6 and in year 1) goes to both ballet and gymnastics. She is in the development squad at gymnastics and does 4 1/2 hours of gymnastics a week, split over two sessions which she loves.

She also does ballet, once a week. However, she has just been asked to do an extra class of ballet - for girls who "show promise" at ballet.

But the ballet class is on the same night as her gymnastics class.

So Do I....

A). Say no, it clashes with gymnastics and she does enough already?

B). Try to swap one of the classes to another day? If I do this, then she will be doing classes up to 4 nights a week after school, which I feel is too much.

C). Let her start the ballet and drop the gymnastics?

She says she wants to do both. On the one hand, I think if she's quite good at it, and enjoy it, I ought to let her try these extra classes, I ought to let her make the most of the opportunities that come her way. But then on the other hand, I think she does enough already. DD says she loves both and wants to do both.

Obviously, we're going to have to make a decision for her, but I really don't know what to do, so am interested to hear what others think?

KentuckyFriedPenguin Tue 16-Feb-10 19:22:28

Why does she have to do extra lessons? Can she not move up a grade in ballet?

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 16-Feb-10 19:23:56

Message withdrawn

Ripeberry Tue 16-Feb-10 19:28:17

Keep with the gym. Ballet is not that good a workout and IMO it makes girls worry too much about their weight.
Gym, tones you and keeps you strong.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 16-Feb-10 19:30:35

Message withdrawn

frakkinaround Tue 16-Feb-10 19:35:01

Doing both seriously is a bad idea - the turnout and technique required are too different. I did it for a year when I was a touch older than your DD and it was tough. Is she more of an enthusiastic, energetic ball of energy or a controlled, precise child? Which suits her temperament more? Which would you rather she did as an older child/teen?

I fought with my mother to do gymnastics, it's not a decision that I regret but at 23 I'm too 'old' to do it any more and acro ruined my knees. I have, however, restarted ballet recreationally! I kept up a ballet class during my gym years because a lot of people did it not very seriously and it didn't matter if my line/turnout wasn't great. I think maintaining the ballet helped my gymnastics though, particularly in floor and beam work.

The thing is, IMO, that you can ramp up the ballet at a later age, but it's difficult to get back into gym because it's a young sport. You start young, you train young and you finish young. Can she delay starting the extra ballet class and see how the gym goes? By 7 she might have a better idea of which she prefers/which she shows more promise in.

That hasn't helped, has it?

KentuckyFriedPenguin Tue 16-Feb-10 20:05:14

Ballet is only easy to get back into if you never want to do it professionally.

Gym AND ballet (most dance actually) are "young" things. The techniques do differ but i don't know how detrimental one would be compared to the other.

frakkinaround Tue 16-Feb-10 20:14:25

Depends how young you would consider to be young though - as Pixie pointed out her DD only started extra classes at 8 so one class a week would be fine. At 8 I would doing at least 8 hours gym a week and any less I would have been dropping behind fast.

KentuckyFriedPenguin Tue 16-Feb-10 20:18:33

OP - does she want to carry on doing GYm and/or ballet and progress thru and potentially have either as her career?

Ellokitty Tue 16-Feb-10 21:07:31

Thank you for your comments, they have been helpful. We think we are going to say no to the extra ballet for now, and carry on with the gymnastics.

If I'm being honest, I don't think she is good enough to turn either into a professional career, but then she's still only 6, and I'm only her mum - so what do I know?

Everyone seems to be in agreement that she should do one or the other, and I think we are going to go with that. She is going to hate the decision though!

Thank you for helping to clarify the options, and helping us to make a decision.

princessparty Tue 16-Feb-10 22:23:12

I do think you have to be conscious of the long term effects on developing joints My youngest DD (nearly 5) loves gymnastics .She only does it recreationally for 2 classes a week totalling 3 hours (although she does it herself a lot more at home) but I have noticed that since she has moved up a group and doing a lot more tumbling she has been complaining of her knees hurting a bit .I took her to the doctor and she said that it is very very common for children doing a lot of gymnastics to have knee problems especially when they are a bit double jointed

frakkinaround Wed 17-Feb-10 09:40:46

Valid point, princessparty. As I said further up the thread my knees are pretty much ruined from acro, I also have shoulder problems and a kink in my back from the presentations. I could be in worse shape though and I do wish I'd followed the advice my gym coach gave me about strenghtening my core muscles (I was a lazy child and didn't see the long term benefit...). There's a lot you can do to mitigate the damage but the risks do exist.

flyingdolphin Wed 17-Feb-10 11:30:34

I had the same situation with my 6yo (now seven). she stuck with the gym because in the end she decided she enjoyed it more, and she still does 1 hour ballet a week.
I doubt my dd will go on to be a pro in either, but at the moment gymnastics is her world.

Anyway, for what it is worth - if you really have the talent then you can get into ballet slightly later and still be professional - Sylvie Guillem did gymnastics as a child and only took up ballet when she was 11, and there is an extremely talented girl called Natalie Carter who is training at the Bolshoi ballet school, she only took up ballet when she was 9, before that she just did dance classes.

Less famously my MIL did rhythmic gymnastics as a child, took up ballet when she was 10 and was accepted into her national ballet school two years later (not in the UK), and had a good career as a professional ballet dancer and then choreographer.

campocaro Wed 17-Feb-10 11:45:30

My DD 10 does contemporary dance-this combines gym type things-e.g. tumbles, cartwheels with funky dance type stuff-she loves it. Very much doubt she'll ever be professional but she has a good time.

Ellokitty Thu 18-Feb-10 00:48:21

Thanks for the extra comments. I spoke to my DDs ballet teacher and she said pretty much the same as the posters on here, she could always pick up the extra lessons in a couple of years (if the offer is still open) whereas if she leaves gymnastics, I think she would pretty much be closing that door. So we're going to stick with the gym and keep the ballet in the back of our minds if DD has a change of heart. DD is at a very good ballet school and I trust her teacher, so I think this is the option that keeps most doors open for her. Although, I could see her wanting to do something a bit like campos daughter when she's a bit older, finding some way to combine the two would be ideal!

RsaMum Fri 03-Jul-15 17:03:51

Ive been asking myself the same thing. My daughter is 6 and was picked up by a coach at school to join a gymnastics club . She was doing ballet when she was 4 but I didnt see much progress as she was still struggling with her speech so she couldnt express herself nicely.

Now her speech is up to stratch and her gymnastics is on point but she keeps talking about the love for balle and i dont knw if she should do both or not.

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