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How would you deal with this? 7 yr old DD 'nervous' about dancing show

(19 Posts)
bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 09:47:02

DD has started a dancing class straight after school on mondays. She wanted to do this. They have a few more weeks to go, then there is supposed to be a show at the end of the practice. DD is saying she's too nervous to do the show. Would you let her persist with the dancing, or take her out as she has no intention of taking part in the show?

Background - DD never had a problem with 'being nervous' about this stuff until about a year and a half ago. She had been happily taking part in a drama group after school, had successfully gone through one show, enjoyed it, then suddenly got 'nervous' when it came to the 2nd show 6 mths later. There seemed to be a lot of talking about being nervous, as the teacher made reference to it, and also about one of the girls 'helping' the others because they were nervous. DD hadn't shown any signs of being nervous at all before this was mentioned. I suspect that someone was nervous, and DD has decided that she's also nervous, and now uses this as an excuse. I can't prove that but it's my gut feeling.

DD stopped her drama group partly because it clashed with something else she wanted to do, but mainly because I didn't see the point of her doing this if she didn't want to do the show at the end.

Part of me wants her to continue with the dancing as it's good exercise, and she might come round to the idea of of doing the show - she says she's the only one who doesn't want to do the show. Is it worth persisting if she won't take part in the show?

Whistlingwaves Mon 22-Oct-12 09:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 09:55:55

Thanks, I wasn't sure of that was an option tbh. I'll speak to the teacher today and see if she can say if it would be OK to not take part in the show. The boosting confidence bit is what bothers me too as I think if she is nervous, it might help her if she does the show. I'll speak to the teacher and see what she says.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 22-Oct-12 09:58:48

It sounds as though she doesn't like perfoming in front of people.
If she really doesn't want to do it, i wouldn't make her.
There are loads of dancing games she could do at home if you are worried about excercise.

bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 10:26:18

pumpkin, that's the thing - she did like performing in front of people. That was the reason I thought she'd enjoy the drama group, and she did, until the last show and then there seemed to be a lot of talk about being 'too nervous' etc. It was never something that she said to me, or expressed in any way. DD does tend to take on board something that might be talked about/suggested, and I'm always very careful on what I say to her about certain things because the next thing would be she'll feel the same/think the same etc.

I'll speak to the teacher and see if she can still do the class but not do the show. I just think she needs to do something that keeps her active.

seeker Mon 22-Oct-12 10:32:03

I wouldn't mention it to the teacher - ( and I do have performing children!)

I uld just say "yes, everyone's nervous- you can't perform well if you aren't. Would you like an apple?"

Honestly- the more you talk about it to her and to other people the worse it'll get. Bright, breezy and move on. Chances are she'll be fine when the time comes, and if she isn't, the time to deal with it is then.

EdithWeston Mon 22-Oct-12 10:40:25

I'd be the opposite, and talk to the teacher.

If it's a major show, all the classes will be geared to the performance. Now, the teacher might be brilliant and steer DD through her nerves. Or at least she would welcome the chance to adjust the choreography so DD is not in an important role so a last minute decision either way does not wreck how the rest of the group needs to move around. Or she might agree it's counter productive at this age and recommend you suspend lessons until after the show is over. Or she might be really unhelpful, and then you'll know to look for a different class.

EdithWeston Mon 22-Oct-12 10:43:52

I also agree with seeker's approach btw in terms of what you say to her about everyone being nervous. Be breezy and confident yourself, with a can-do attitude. It'll help in the longer run, whatever the final decision on this one show may be.

bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 11:15:58

Thanks, I've already done the 'bright and breezy' thing as she was due to be in a 3rd show with drama, so for the 6 mths after the last show, she was part of rehearsals but saying a lot that she was 'too nervous' to do the show which I brushed over in much the same way seeker suggests. In the end she didn't do the show as she was ill, but when given the choice between drama and rainbows, she chose rainbows (they moved the time the drama class was on so it clashed). I just think she's now at the stage she's convinced herself that she's 'too nervous' and it would do her good to actually be part of it and go through with it. But, it's not fair for the teacher to plan the show, with people in places, if DD will just refuse to do it when it comes down to it.

I think to be fair to the teacher, and her planning, I'll speak to her about it and see if she will keep an open mind re DD so that she can join in but if she really can't face going through with the show, she can drop out and the teacher's plans won't be too affected.

seeker Mon 22-Oct-12 12:52:52

Ok. But under no circumstances let your dd know you've had that conversation with the teacher!

bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 13:56:45

wink noted, I will be very discrete!

Whistlingwaves Mon 22-Oct-12 14:07:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whistlingwaves Mon 22-Oct-12 14:08:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Mon 22-Oct-12 14:12:48

My DD did her first show at about age 5. She was nervous. When she came off stage after her first dance her eyes were sparkling and she said "I love it when people clap Mummy".

Do try and persuade her.

mudipig Mon 22-Oct-12 17:36:39

I think maybe they become more aware as they get older. Mine used to take part when she was younger, now at 7 she goes on stage with everyone in school plays, but refuses to read anything out or speak any lines. She says she gets "stage fright". She was the only one of 60 dc on stage recently who refused to speak a line. She very reluctantly played a part in last year's nativity and attempted to leave the stage when it came to her part. I'm trying not to make an issue out of it.

I think it's quite common to do dance but not do shows. Is she really the only one?

bananaistheanswer Mon 22-Oct-12 19:12:26

mudipig I think that's a big part of it too - she is more aware, plus I think more exposed to other kids around her who tease a little about mundane stuff. She is a bit sensitive about that kind of thing, so combined with being more aware, and other kids maybe wynding her up, it's made her more self conscious.

Picked her up earlier and intended to have a word with the teacher but before I got there, DD said she really enjoyed her class. She said she'd changed her mind about it, so I decided to leave it. I'm hoping she'll not focus on the show, and just enjoy the classes, and we can worry about the show nearer the time. It's not 'til the 21st November so we have a while to work on it. I'll still let the teacher know she's reluctant to do the show, and hopefully she can either encourage her, or give her such an insignificant part it would make no difference if she wasn't involved.

I really think it would do her good to go through with it but I'd rather not force her. I'll just not mention the show and hope she just gets carried along with all the preparations, it won't occur to her to refuse <hopeful>. I also think a wee chat about nerves, everyone has them, and they are a good thing but not something to stop you doing something fun etc. is how I'll approach it when she does start on about being nervous again. Then it'll be up to her if she does the show or not.

Thanks for the replies.

mudipig Mon 22-Oct-12 21:37:39

I think that sounds a good plan. A small part that wouldn't be missed too much if she decided not to do it. That way you can say you don't have to do it but you'll miss all the fun if you don't. Or she'll just get carried along with all the fun of it and hopefully join in.

conorsrockers Mon 22-Oct-12 22:24:28

I'm with seeker. My kids are natural performers/show-offs but I seem to remember a couple of times when they got the jitters and I just skimmed right over it ... 'never mind, on you go dahhhhling - break a leg' .... she may well have picked it up from the teacher or other kids and noticed that the 'nervous' ones got extra special attention wink

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 10:17:00

We talk a lot about the importance of adrenaline in qngood performance, how you produce adrenaline by being a bit nervous. So being a bit nervous is a good thing.

However, I have always been very hot on how infectious nervousness is, and how it is completely unacceptable to "infect" someone else with your nerves. My dd was a bugger for this for a while- going on and on about how terrified she was, and how she wouldn't be able to play/dance/sing/speak/whatever, then being as cool as a cucumber on stage/playing field/arena- leaving a maelstrom of nerves behind her in the dressing room! I had to work hard to stamp that out.

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