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mainstream ballet class for pd dd - is this a bad idea?

(14 Posts)
herjazz Thu 24-Sep-09 11:59:04

dd is 4 and a bit. She can only stand for a short time with some support - eg leaning against something, holding on. She isn't mobile. She can sit independently

She goes fulltime to sn school. She has lots of problems in all areas - sld, no speech, health issues, moderately deaf etc etc. Is life limited

She loves the ballet. Absolutely lights up when it is on tv or the rare times she has seen live. She is also v sociable

So would a regular ballet class be a good thing for her? Obv I would go with her, support her through the session (modify it so that she's doing sort of things she does in conductive ed) More just an excuse for her to mix with other girlies without sn and dress up / feel like she's doing a bit of ballet

Any thoughts / advice?

vjg13 Thu 24-Sep-09 12:14:12

My younger daughter (who does not have additional needs) went to a traditional ballet class from 3 and was very nervous to start so I did paticipate in a lot of classes!

There was lots of sitting down in a circle at the start, chatting and doing good toes, naughty toes etc. There was some skipping in a circle and walking on tip toes creeping up on teddies.

I would try it, maybe go and watch first on your own and see what you think. I think the early classes would be very easy to adapt.

I took my older daughter who has GDD to a more rough and tumble class thinking she would like this ( a more tom boy version) but I did have to accept after about 3 lessons that it wasn't for her!

herjazz Thu 24-Sep-09 13:02:04

ooh thankyou vjg13

yay she can sit in a circle and point her toes (toe pointing is one of her involunatary movements )

that sounds good. I've phoned a couple of place - one a huge class up until aged 8 doing proper ballet stuff and the other is a pre school thing - she'll be much better in that

can only see how it goes, eh

troutpout Thu 24-Sep-09 13:44:45

I think it just depends on the school...and finding one that is doing the sort of thing that your daughter would love

dd (nt) did a first ballet class (untill she went to school) which involved mostly pretending to be fairies and playing with wands/silk scarves and fairytale type stories with lots of fairy and pixie toe exercises.They accommodated children with sn within that group easily with the help of the parent.

Definitely worth a phone around i reckon

TotalChaos Thu 24-Sep-09 19:47:34

I don't know if you have "baby ballet" in your area, that sort of class runs up to school age, and sounds to be a bit more relaxed than a more traditional ballet school type one.

Somewhereovertherainbow Thu 24-Sep-09 20:23:24

I would give it a try, if if doesn't work out then just put it down to experience. Maybe it will take trial and error to find the right class.

Phone up a couple of classes and chat to the teacher to get a "feel" for the teacher and how the class is run before you go.

DD has SN and has managed to attend mainstream dance and drama, she does need additional help, but I found a sympathetic teacher who was willing to adapt and to help her.

Good luck!

daisysue2 Thu 24-Sep-09 22:18:25

Do ask them if they have any experience of SN as they aren't allowed to say they don't want your child. But by asking the right questions you will see if they are open to the idea. One school I know of has an assistant in the class who is experienced in special needs and they do like the extra challenge. Others would make it quite obvious after a few lessons that they find it too difficult, but they won't say anything to you just won't make you feel very welcome which can be upsetting.

herjazz Fri 25-Sep-09 10:52:30

ooh thankyou some more everyone for yr insights

aye baby ballet and sn experience - that's what I'm angling for. Already got a lock on the fact some of these 'schools of ballet' are proper little margot fontaine grooming parlours. Funnily enough don't seem roaringly enthusiastic at the mention of my dd (concerns for her safety sort of comments - obv quite valid in a large group of mobile kids foing mobile stuff but also euphemism for 'fo' am guessing)

madwomanintheattic Sat 26-Sep-09 00:03:22

dd2 (now aged 6, cp) has been going to ballet for two years grin

she adores it, and it is soooooo good for her strength and posture and balance. it took us about 6 months to find a mainstream ballet teacher that would take her, but it was defintitely worth taking the time to find the right one - she has been amazing with her. it's just a matter of being patient. the one thing it is worth mentioning to them is that you know she will not be an exam candidate (!) and know that the ballet is likely to be 'lifed' in this respect - it makes them a little more open to 'suck it and see' rather than assuming you are going to be a militant parent who will be demanding that delilah gets to take exams or calling the dda etc. (in our experience although the teacher was initially expecting dd2 to stay in the baby group, she in fact moved her up a class with her peers once it became obvious that she doesn't actually slow the class down - teachers were very anxious that ld's were going to cause lots of problems with understanding etc - once that was out of the way all has been fine)

we've just moved, and dd2 has her new ballet class for the first time next week, so i have my fingers crossed that this one will work out too. (they already have 2 other girls with cp, and have said that they are happy for dd2 to start with ballet, and they will let us know if they feel she could cope with any other classes grin. dd2 is thrilled - she has her eye on tap... shock

incidentally - dd2 can now attend class without me supporting her grin she uses the bar for support for all standing exercises whilst the rest of class obviously do not. her old teacher confessed that she used to be really worried if she fell, but once got to know dd2 and her abilities/ disabilities, she became a lot more relaxed about having her in the class.

wishing you loads of luck finding the right school - it can be so beneficial - dd2's physio was ecstatic at the difference too, and supported the idea from the beginning. grin

herjazz Sat 26-Sep-09 09:32:23

that's really lovely and encouraging - thanks for sharing madwoman. Excellent that she's enjoying on her own - how fab for her self esteem. Physical benefits v encouraging too

HSMM Sat 26-Sep-09 09:38:34

My DD goes to ballet school and there are several children with special needs there, who are welcomed by the teachers and the other children. Many of their parents report specific improvements since starting.

madwomanintheattic Mon 28-Sep-09 18:08:48

you aren't anywhere near the hants/ surrey border are you? in aldershot there is a specific 'ballet for you' class run by danielly jones that is specifically for sn children... just thought i would add to thread on the offchance it was helpful for anyone. she runs two classes, one for littlies, and one for older children. smile

madwomanintheattic Mon 28-Sep-09 18:09:14

danielle. my typing is appalling today. grin

herjazz Mon 28-Sep-09 18:16:18

aww would be fair jaunt that (in midlands)but thanks for posting

and good to hear from you hsmm that yr group is welcoming. Need to speak to a lady tonight - she phoned back and spoke to dh. He said she sounds lovely and v enthusiastic - group is the nearest out the lot. Was intending to trot to one further away last week but it was early start and I couldn't find someone to look after other dc (dh at work)

All sounds v positive tho - will let you know how it goes

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