Author Topic: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it  (Read 13958 times)

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extranormal

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2009, 08:25:04 PM »
I was recently chatting with someone whose daughters, 8 and 11, want to take ballet lessons. The mom is discouraging them because "they don't have the body type for it; they're both short and stocky." The mom wants them to take ice skating lessons, instead, because she thinks they're more physically suited for that.

But the girls don't want to skate. They want to take ballet. They're unlikely to be spectacular at either, so I don't understand why this woman won't let them participate in the activity they actually enjoy. "They just want to wear the sparkly costumes and dance at a recital," she said. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from replying, "So?".

LyanneB1

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2009, 05:13:15 AM »
I was recently chatting with someone whose daughters, 8 and 11, want to take ballet lessons. The mom is discouraging them because "they don't have the body type for it; they're both short and stocky." The mom wants them to take ice skating lessons, instead, because she thinks they're more physically suited for that.

But the girls don't want to skate. They want to take ballet. They're unlikely to be spectacular at either, so I don't understand why this woman won't let them participate in the activity they actually enjoy. "They just want to wear the sparkly costumes and dance at a recital," she said. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from replying, "So?".

I suppose if they've inherited her body shape, she may be projecting what happened to her onto them; still better for them to do ballet which they want to do and have fun and exercise, than to do ice skating for a short time then drop out because it's not what they wanted to do.  And if they did change their minds and want to do ice skating later, the physical control and posture learnt at ballet would stand them in good stead.

And re the sparkly dresses and recital, I doubt if Margot Fonteyn sat down and thought 'I'd like to practise for hours a day, put myself through pain by dancing en pointe, find it hard to socialise because I'll always be performing or practising - I know, I'll start ballet!'  The sparkly dresses and performances are the lure...

whiterose

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2009, 03:58:53 PM »
I was recently chatting with someone whose daughters, 8 and 11, want to take ballet lessons. The mom is discouraging them because "they don't have the body type for it; they're both short and stocky." The mom wants them to take ice skating lessons, instead, because she thinks they're more physically suited for that.

But the girls don't want to skate. They want to take ballet. They're unlikely to be spectacular at either, so I don't understand why this woman won't let them participate in the activity they actually enjoy. "They just want to wear the sparkly costumes and dance at a recital," she said. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from replying, "So?".

I suppose if they've inherited her body shape, she may be projecting what happened to her onto them; still better for them to do ballet which they want to do and have fun and exercise, than to do ice skating for a short time then drop out because it's not what they wanted to do.  And if they did change their minds and want to do ice skating later, the physical control and posture learnt at ballet would stand them in good stead.

And re the sparkly dresses and recital, I doubt if Margot Fonteyn sat down and thought 'I'd like to practise for hours a day, put myself through pain by dancing en pointe, find it hard to socialise because I'll always be performing or practising - I know, I'll start ballet!'  The sparkly dresses and performances are the lure...

Or on the contrary, they may have a different body shape than the mom does. But this would still be the mother's insecurity- mother is not pleased with the daughters being short and stocky (she wishes she were tall and lean like her, or at least average height/build like her) and she fears the daughters' bodies would embarrass her (the mother) in ballet class.

This may be an interesting assumption, but I have witnessed it happen.
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LizC

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2009, 02:47:21 AM »
I seriously stunk at the cello... but I paid for my own lessons and instrument for three years, and enjoyed every minute of it. About halfway through the second year, my teacher, very gingerly, asked me how I felt my progress was coming along, and was I meeting my own goals? I assured her that I stunk at it, but was enjoying it tremendously, so if she didn't mind being paid to tolerate really bad playing, I'd like to keep working at it. She was relieved, and we kept going until I left for college 350 miles away.  (Turns out, I have a really small "wingspan", and not a lot of grip in my hands, so stringed instruments will always be challenging.)

It was actually a delight to have to WORK for things! I took ballet, too, even though I was a vastly imperfect body type for the discipline, and had no illusions about being a star, a professional, or even a small-town ballet teacher some day. I just wanted to dance. I never participated in a single recital (the studio didn't do them, though we could participate in stage performances of classical pieces on occasion).

The mom is absolutely off-base. Her children may have a gift for graceful dancing, but that doesn't mean other children shouldn't give it a whirl. Working hard and enjoying yourself are both worthy goals, alone.

thebeckster

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2009, 09:19:14 AM »
I also took piano lessons for over 10 years, and I still am not very good. However, I appreciate listening to good piano, and I believe it helped train my ear for all good music.

I think that all kinds of education includes teaching an appreciation of those who have mastered the art.

Reika

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2009, 04:56:49 PM »
I took Tae Kwon Do for a year and a half, I'm overweight, have horrendous knees, but wanted to get some sort of self-discipline and heard good things about the school. Was I a natural? Perfect? Hardly. However I had an excellent master and hugely supportive fellow students of all ranks who didn't care about the fact I was anything but an athlete, but as my master kept saying, I had a lot of spirit, will and determination.

And I made it work. And it worked on me more than I realized in my attitude, outlook on life and how I dealt with stress.

By that mother's standards I shouldn't have bothered, and the first month my body wanted to die (I discovered muscles in places I didn't know I had them, that was...interesting) and agreed with her. But if you want it badly enough, or just having fun, you can do it. :)

Nurvingiel

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2009, 05:00:19 PM »
I took Tae Kwon Do for a year and a half, I'm overweight, have horrendous knees, but wanted to get some sort of self-discipline and heard good things about the school. Was I a natural? Perfect? Hardly. However I had an excellent master and hugely supportive fellow students of all ranks who didn't care about the fact I was anything but an athlete, but as my master kept saying, I had a lot of spirit, will and determination.
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And you know what? I think that could take someone pretty far in ballet too.
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M-theory

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2009, 10:41:52 PM »
PSA: Parents, if you want to teach your children to have integrity and stick to things, do it before they're jaded adults.

I was in piano lessons and Tae Kwon Do as a child. I got frustrated easily then, as now, and quit both very quickly.

Now that I'm 26, my father fairly often bugs me about what he believes is my destiny to write the next great sci-fi novel. The basis for this is that he thinks my writing is "something special." I can't focus on anything long enough to get my daily to-do list done, much less write a novel.

In summary: Make some passing attempt to raise your children, or forever hold your peace.

aka

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2009, 11:17:48 PM »
I did 1 ballet class at the park district when I was 3, and I did not want to go back (or so I've been told).

I didn't take ballet again until my senior year of college. I am clumsy, quite fat, and very nonathletic... and you know what?  I loved it. I may have looked more like a hippo than a gazelle, but I enjoyed every minute.

Alex the Seal

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2009, 01:54:27 AM »
I was recently chatting with someone whose daughters, 8 and 11, want to take ballet lessons. The mom is discouraging them because "they don't have the body type for it; they're both short and stocky." The mom wants them to take ice skating lessons, instead, because she thinks they're more physically suited for that.

But the girls don't want to skate. They want to take ballet. They're unlikely to be spectacular at either, so I don't understand why this woman won't let them participate in the activity they actually enjoy. "They just want to wear the sparkly costumes and dance at a recital," she said. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from replying, "So?".

 :(

I desperately wanted to do ballet as a child, but my mother wouldn't let me because I was "too tall to be good at it"  :'(

(ended up very self-conscious about my height, and my body in general, thanks in part to such silly comments and assumptions)

Bethalize

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2009, 04:50:50 AM »
I seriously stunk at the cello... but I paid for my own lessons and instrument for three years,
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It was actually a delight to have to WORK for things!

Pod! I'm learning the trumpet for the same reason. I have an ambition to play trumpet in my orchestra. I'm a good amateur clarinetist but I get bored having to put the work in maintain a high standard. It's more fun to work to achieve something new.

kitty-cat

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2009, 07:50:06 AM »
I wanted to do gymnasics as a kid.  Part of that might have been watching the Olympics as an impressionable child... However, I was allowed to do both ballet and theatre as a kid.  I think that mom's excuse of "you're too tall" might have really meant "No, I don't have time or money to be taking you to another activity"

And I was really into theatre in high school- I couldn't continue with ballet because I had broken one ankle and my junior year I dislocated the other one.




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Jocelyn

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2009, 02:16:58 PM »

In summary: Make some passing attempt to raise your children, or forever hold your peace.

I once told my father that he'd had 21 years to instill his values in me, and that he should just give it up as a bad job.  :) He laughed, but he got the point.

Rockie

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2009, 05:16:00 PM »
I took ballet for four years, but mom eventually pulled me out over my protests because according to her I wasn't improving.

I also wanted to do gymnastics (I'd love to be able to pull off those flips!) and judo, but was told no, it was too dangerous and in the case of judo that it was "only for boys"...yet she allowed me to take karate. Then again, she also liked to encourage me to do more "girly" activities like dance if I expressed how much I liked to do something like fencing or the aforementioned martial arts. ???

Nurvingiel

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Re: Children should only do ballet if they're good at it
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2009, 05:05:13 PM »
I took ballet for four years, but mom eventually pulled me out over my protests because according to her I wasn't improving.

I also wanted to do gymnastics (I'd love to be able to pull off those flips!) and judo, but was told no, it was too dangerous and in the case of judo that it was "only for boys"...yet she allowed me to take karate. Then again, she also liked to encourage me to do more "girly" activities like dance if I expressed how much I liked to do something like fencing or the aforementioned martial arts. ???
Did you take karate? (Maybe she didn't let you take judo because you'd be grappling with all those boys  ::)).
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