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Would you let your child go to a dance class that you disapprove of but which she enjoys?!

(24 Posts)
Tinkjon Thu 02-Oct-08 12:07:47

I hate the after-school dancing class that my daughter has just started going to. It's way too competitive and focuses on getting it right rather than having fun. The teacher clearly wants the kids to do it properly and reflect well on her, rather than caring about whether they enjoy it or not. So I'd much rather that DD not be involved in it (hate that other kids have to stand up and be praised where she and others have to sit down as one of the 'not good at it' ones etc. - what an awful message to send) but she says she loves it and wants to keep going. What do I do - let her carry on?

Morloth Thu 02-Oct-08 13:58:10

Well obviously she is having fun or she wouldn't enjoy it.

Competition can be a good thing, teaches kids how to win and how to lose.

The world isn't fair and I don't think it hurts kids to learn that pretty early on. If you work hard at something you get better at it, losing can be an incentive to work hard or an indication that the chosen activity is not right for you.

Anna8888 Thu 02-Oct-08 14:04:33

If she likes it, I would let her go. Competition is a good thing and if your daughter can manage not always being one of the better ones, good for her - she will be a resilient soul.

PoorOldEnid Thu 02-Oct-08 14:06:04

I think if she can cope with not being one of the 'standing up' ones then good on her! Will be a better education for her than ballet itself

coochybottom Thu 02-Oct-08 14:23:16

I was never allowed to pursue the hobbies I really wanted to as a kid and I regret that. I had to do what my father thought I should do. If she enjoys it, I would let her continue.

cory Fri 03-Oct-08 09:13:34

Once again, I praise the wisdom of our local ballet school which only allows parents in once a term. In the days when dd could dance, I was much happier not knowing every little detail of her (failure to make)progress. Not sure I'd like to sit in on her maths lessons either... These things hurt us more than they hurt our kids. Why don't you just go for a nice walk?

Tinkjon Fri 03-Oct-08 09:26:38

Cory, I wasn't in on the lessons - no mums are. I got there a few minutes early to pick her up and overheard the teacher then. Competition in itself is fine, I'm not denying that - it's when the less able ones get ignored and made to feel bad that I disapprove. They should be praised for effort, not for success. What about the ones who try really hard but can't do it - surely they're worthy of as much praise as the ones who find it easy and get it all right without putting any effort in?

kitbit Fri 03-Oct-08 09:30:37

What about getting her interested in a different class and steering her towards deciding for herself?
Can you talk to the teacher about her methods?

twentypence Fri 03-Oct-08 09:33:51

When I am coaching children (music not dance) in a group then I very much do focus on getting it right. It is enjoyable later when you have worked at it and finally get the praise, or get an exam or win a competition, or hear the audience clapping.

"they should be praised for effort not for success"

but where is the desire to make an effort coming from if there is no clear idea of what success means?

solidgoldbrass Fri 03-Oct-08 09:34:41

Let her get on with it. Stop projecting your insecurities onto your DD. If she starts not liking it, then is the time to find her something else, otherwise, remember that she is herself, not an extension of you an she;s entitled to see things differently.

cheesesarnie Fri 03-Oct-08 09:35:52

maybe its the competivenes about it that she enjoys.if she loves it id let her go.

Twiglett Fri 03-Oct-08 09:41:26

it sounds like you disapprove that it's a strict class where she can't be a free dancing spirit but is made to learn the steps / moves

and it sounds also as though DD is really enjoying the firm boundaries

and it sounds as though this is totally opposite to your possibly more nurturing parenting style

so you have to decide whether to move her away from something she loves because you don't like firmness in her life or not .. really wink

Gettingbiggernow Fri 03-Oct-08 09:48:04

Possibly the teacher could recognise the effort involved on the part of the children. If she only focusses on those who are actually darn good at it then unfortunately there are some who will never be the ones marked out as excellent, because some kids aren't the best at dance and never will be.

Also, surely the teacher will find herself marking out the same (best) children week after week after week?

What would be useful is if she could do the stand-up for the most improved or the best effort that week, with or without the stand-up for the actual technically best.

Your DD is probably enjoying trying her best to see if she can be one of the few "chosen" ones. This is good as it gives her something to aim for rather than just an easy win. Just like the hardest-to-please judge on say, X Factor, is the opinion that people want most. Learning to aim (and achieve) is a very important lesson. This motivation carries on through life, from school to career and helps kids achieve their best.

I expect

Gettingbiggernow Fri 03-Oct-08 09:50:09

I expect your DD wouldn't understand why you were stopping her from going and it would be a hard one to explain!! "It's because the teacher only marks out the best and you haven't been marked out" is the truth but what is that saying to your DD?

DaddyJ Fri 03-Oct-08 10:12:51

Have you asked her what she enjoys about it?

My experience of life is that you don't get a huge amount of
real, satisfying praise for effort alone - ultimately it's results that count.

You might feel that the teacher is hammering home this point
with too much vigour but as long as your dd copes well
let her continue - she is getting some useful life skills here!

dinny Fri 03-Oct-08 10:18:09

if she likes it, keep her going I would

cory Fri 03-Oct-08 15:25:20

She may not mind that other children are better than her. But if you stop her going, she may think she was really awful, worse than anyone else since their Mums didn't pull them out. I'd leave the decision to her.

Tinkjon Sun 05-Oct-08 17:45:49

"Stop projecting your insecurities onto your DD."

LOL! Where on earth have you got that from?! I'm not insecure about anything - I'm crap at anything like dancing and proud of it I simply object strongly to the idea that the children who try yet aren't very good are ignored, whereas those who are naturally good at it without making any effort are praised. Fine, praise those who do well, but that's a world away from showing up those who don't do well.

"but where is the desire to make an effort coming from if there is no clear idea of what success means?"

They know what they are supposed to do but that's irrelevant to whether they are capable or not.

Gettingbiggernow, I agree wholeheartedly with your post - you've echoed my thoughts exactly

ShyBaby Sun 05-Oct-08 18:07:57

Hmm...not sure.

Ds has been going to karate for three years. When they get so many stripes on their belt and sensei feels they are good enough they are sent for a grading. (Which ds has passed every time because they dont send them until they think they are good enough to pass).

But he has a new sensei now. He got all his stripes months ago and she has told him that when he feels ready, to tell her and he can go to a grading.

This is no good for him whatsoever tbh. If its left to ds, he will never go to that grading because although he is good, he doesn't realise he is good.

Im paying £30 a month for him to piss about really.

He needs that little push in the right direction.

tigermoth Sun 05-Oct-08 18:26:45

How much do you trust the dance teacher's judgement? Do you feel she is picking out the best dancers for praise or does she have favourites? Do you think if your dd improves, the teacher really would single her out and praise her, in other words?

I remember being not very good at dance classes as a child. It didn't matter if I was not in the good set, as long as I felt the teacher was fair to us all. But with one or two of the dance teachers, I remember feeling that the teacher had set views on who was in the good group and that nothing I did would ever make me part of that group. I remember there was an slight element of bullying by the teacher but I was so conditioned that I accepeted it but I also think it eroded my confidence later on when I went through a very self conscious phase as a teen.

I think to be on the safe side, Tinkjon, I'd get your dd to do another class in something she is really good at, just in case she gets the wobblies about being in the 'not good group' in her dance class.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sun 05-Oct-08 18:29:38

What coochybottom said. Though it was my mum who stopped me. Apparently she didn't believe in after school activities. particularly dancing and horseriding. Though I now understand why she did not believe in dancing. 'Tis a very expensive habit.

If she wants to go let her.

twentypence Sun 05-Oct-08 20:24:09

"those who are naturally good at it without making any effort are praised."

Are they naturally good, are they not making any effort - really? Or could it be that this teacher is experienced and knows how to turn average dancers into good dancers and these good ones now are the try hard ones from a year ago, the ones that practise on the driveway in the school playground, their bedroom?

FWIW it drives people who are "naturally good" at something wild when people think they don't work at it. Michael Phelps might be "naturally good" at swimming but he still is in that pool for 6 hours a day. I was "naturally good" at music - but I would spend 4 hours a day working at it. Ds is "naturally good" at reading, but he reads all the time.

IME you get less praise if you are good at something, not more, so it's actually quite refreshing to hear of a teacher that feels able to praise.

Just think how proud you dd would be if she got stood up one day - knowing it was real praise that wasn't given out unless you were really really good.

Cappuccino Sun 05-Oct-08 20:28:18

are there not any other dance classes around?

if she likes dancing but you think she'd flourish in teh long term better somewhere else, why not check out some others and see if she likes them better?

dancing is something that should be joyful for years and it's not about being good at it, it's about learning to be happy with your body and what it can do. My disabled dd has been doing dance classes since she was 2, and nearly 8 still loves them, because they are fun and creatively run and not competitive

I don't think that children shouldn't be pushed. But if she's not going to be the next Darcey Bussell, then surely she should be somewhere where she can enjoy herself for as long as possible without comparing her to more graceful children?

pointydog Sun 05-Oct-08 20:33:23

I'd let her carry on. I've let dd1 (and dd2 to some extent) carry on doing something I have not approved of)

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