Author Topic: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it  (Read 14699 times)

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LyanneB1

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Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« on: September 24, 2009, 02:02:25 PM »
This is not my assumption!

I work in a preschool and one of the little girls does ballet at the weekends, as does her elder sister.  Preschool girl is 3 years, elder sis is 7 years, so both pretty young, and their mum stays and watches the classes.

I was passing casual conversation with the mum and asked how the girls were getting on at ballet.

Oh, they are so fantastic and wonderfully talented dancers (hmm, the cynic in me thinks many parents think that about their children, whatever the hobby  ;) ).  But if they weren't good at ballet, the mum wouldn't have them keep going.  She just doesn't understand these mums who send their daughters to ballet when they're not good at it, why do they just keep going every week.

I managed to say politely 'Oh, I suppose it's good exercise and if they enjoy it, that's the important thing...', which got the clarification, she is not talking about children who do not appear to enjoy the classes but are there solely to fulfil maternal aspirations, she really thinks it should only be for those who are outstanding dancers.  At 7 and 3 years. 

My town has several ballet schools and I'm sure they're pretty reasonable schools, but we're hardly talking White Lodge here!  (UK's Royal Ballet School's schoolhttp://www.royal-ballet-school.org.uk/premises.php?s=3

thebeckster

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 02:23:15 PM »
I had ballet for over 10 years, as did both of my sisters. My mother once told me she sent us in part to help with our posture (it worked).

I had a ballet teacher who once criticized the entire class as being "too heavy" for ballet except for 1 girl who was about 4 and a half feet tall and 75 pounds. We all looked at her like she was crazy. We didn't want to be dancers, we wanted to exercise.

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 02:54:45 PM »
Even if a child is terrible at ballet (like I was), it's still a great way to make friends, get exercise, and learn posture, discipline (age appropriate), team work and coordination.

And ya know what, even though I learned I prefered jazz (and wasn't too hot at that either), I had fun!  And I got to dress up in cool costumes for the recital!  I loved that costume. 
I am grateful for the friends I have made on EHell and everything I have learned, but it is time I move on.

Bluenomi

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 08:43:15 PM »
Hasn't she heard of the saying pratice makes perfect? Everyone has to start somewhere.

I don't think children should be forced to do classes if they don't like it but if they are having fun they should be able to do it not matter how good or bad they are. At 7 and 3 years old most kids are going it for fun.

Jocelyn

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 04:35:55 PM »
My sister says, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly.'
Think about it...if you really enjoy an activity, why does it matter whether you're good at it? Kids do things just for the fun of it; I've never met a 4 year old who didn't like to color. But by the time they're 12, they've learned that if you aren't good at drawing, you shouldn't do it, even if you like doing it. That creation and performance are only for the stars.
Sad, when you really think about it. I love my sister's motto.

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 04:39:30 PM »
My sister says, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly.'
Think about it...if you really enjoy an activity, why does it matter whether you're good at it? Kids do things just for the fun of it; I've never met a 4 year old who didn't like to color. But by the time they're 12, they've learned that if you aren't good at drawing, you shouldn't do it, even if you like doing it. That creation and performance are only for the stars.
Sad, when you really think about it. I love my sister's motto.

I love that attitude!

When I starting crocheting, my work looked terrible!  Didn't stop me.  (I got better)  Now I'm trying my hand at knitting.  It's even worse than my early crochet projects.  I still enjoy it.  So even if I never get any better, it's still fun for me. 

(I can't draw either, but I love drawing with my nieces.  Crayons are so much fun!)
I am grateful for the friends I have made on EHell and everything I have learned, but it is time I move on.

Cherry

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 07:33:02 PM »
I took ballet and jazz dance at a wonderful studio where dance was for serious dancers and those taking dance as a hobby (me). I love ballet, miss the studio (we moved away from the area), and plan to take it up again when I'm older. I couldn't do Pointe due to tight tendons in my feet, but I don't care if I have to stay in ballet slippers forever- I just want to dance! :)

Dance should be done for fun. Just because girls in the class aren't dancing well, having fun is important. If they're having fun, that's most likely why they're in the class!

Ballet requires a lot of practice, and it's good to start at an early age if you want to do Pointe. Girls under ten years of age are still toughening up their feet and practicing basic moves.

LyanneB1

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 04:15:01 AM »
Oh, I know she's got a strange idea.  I told my friend who is a ballet teacher about it too (don't worry, they're not at her school!) and she said it's a very sad idea.  What she values most in the girls who've been doing ballet since they were young and are still coming is they've built up so much friendship and camaraderie, with people they don't go to school with or live near.  And she has had students go on to higher levels.

hobish

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 02:41:57 PM »
My sister says, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly.'
Think about it...if you really enjoy an activity, why does it matter whether you're good at it? Kids do things just for the fun of it; I've never met a 4 year old who didn't like to color. But by the time they're 12, they've learned that if you aren't good at drawing, you shouldn't do it, even if you like doing it. That creation and performance are only for the stars.
Sad, when you really think about it. I love my sister's motto.

I love that attitude, too.

It kind of reminds me of an article i read a long time ago. The author pointed out that if you go into a kindergarden class and ask who can dance, who can sing, who can draw, who can paint they will all say yes. If you go into a college class and ask the same questions you won't get the same results, because they have learned by that time that if you can't do it well you can't (or shouldn't, as Jocelyn said) do it.

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RingTailedLemur

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 03:43:58 PM »
My sister says, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly.'
Think about it...if you really enjoy an activity, why does it matter whether you're good at it? Kids do things just for the fun of it; I've never met a 4 year old who didn't like to color. But by the time they're 12, they've learned that if you aren't good at drawing, you shouldn't do it, even if you like doing it. That creation and performance are only for the stars.
Sad, when you really think about it. I love my sister's motto.

I love that attitude, too.

It kind of reminds me of an article i read a long time ago. The author pointed out that if you go into a kindergarden class and ask who can dance, who can sing, who can draw, who can paint they will all say yes. If you go into a college class and ask the same questions you won't get the same results, because they have learned by that time that if you can't do it well you can't (or shouldn't, as Jocelyn said) do it.



Excellent point - maybe we should all indulge our "inner child" every now and then!

So how does this woman think you get to be good at ballet, unless you work at it for years anyway?

kisu

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 03:57:27 PM »
A family friend coaches ice hockey. He says that the players who are really good in their early teens rarely make it big, as they get too comfortable in their skills and stop practicing. The ones that aren't the stars of the team at 13 are much more likely to be big stars at 20, and the players who were stars at 13 will more likely have quit. Don't know if this applies to ballet, however...


Nurvingiel

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 04:43:45 PM »
So how does this woman think you get to be good at ballet, unless you work at it for years anyway?
This.

"How would they get to be good if they don't practice?"
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

JoW

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 05:31:57 PM »
Another thing the mother didn't consider - the teacher is not working for free.  She is being paid.  Her salary comes from the fees paid for the class.  The room has to be heated and maintenance has to be done.  None of that is free, it comes from the class fees.  So if all the kids who can't dance drop out that mother will have to pay a whole lot more for her kids to learn to dance. 

My mother sent me to dance classes, too, in a desperate attempt to make me not so clumsy.  I hated it.  I dropped out long before the recital.  And I'm still clumsy. 

LyanneB1

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 06:02:48 AM »
So how does this woman think you get to be good at ballet, unless you work at it for years anyway?
This.

"How would they get to be good if they don't practice?"

Yes, that's it!  Just the simple yet inarguable response I needed for her - it will come up again, I'm sure.

A family friend coaches ice hockey. He says that the players who are really good in their early teens rarely make it big, as they get too comfortable in their skills and stop practicing. The ones that aren't the stars of the team at 13 are much more likely to be big stars at 20, and the players who were stars at 13 will more likely have quit. Don't know if this applies to ballet, however...

Mmm, I don't know enough about ballet either, but I can see the application to soccer.  DH's elder nephew has been playing since he was old enough to kick the ball straight, with his Dad & Grandad always having the idea he'll go professional.  (This was how the child was introduced to me.  He was then 6 years old.)  DH & I can see he is good, but at 14 he's not now significantly better than other boys who are still playing in the teams he plays in, even though they've not been playing since infancy.  Plus, because he's been pushed so much he has injuries...  I wouldn't take him on as a youth trainee because I can't see him being able to play for 90 minutes a game once or twice a week plus training without his joints playing up, because they do now.

ginlyn32

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 11:54:09 AM »
Too bad she has that attitude. What...she expects a three year old to be perfect? sheesh!

« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 04:15:34 PM by ginlyn32 »
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