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Ballet Talk for Dancers
SDballetboy

Dancing boy wants to try sports

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pasdedeuxmama   
pasdedeuxmama

My DS tried a bunch of sports when he was young and decided that soccer was his thing. After 3 years of travel soccer, he decided he wanted to try ballet. Balancing out the demands of the travel soccer season and Nutcracker season very nearly did me in last fall! So this year, he is trading in the travel soccer for the first year of the school team. An 8 week season, nearly all of it (if not all of it, just not sure) only during the week, compared to year round 24/7, sounds like heaven to me. But it's starting just as his sister starts 4 days of class/week, so we're still juggling. I'm really struggling not to make him choose, but I think this is the last year I can do this.

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SDballetboy   
SDballetboy

Thanks everyone for the feedback. We cut back on some of his classes and have him signed up for winter ball. He's already starting to learn baseball is not as easy as it looks! I don't want to pressure him and I want to let him try new things. He's only nine, plenty of time to decide if he wants to commit to ballet.

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hlsst7   
hlsst7

You may want to see if he can do "drop-in" dance classes when his schedule permits. Some studios will be very accommodating to keep boys involved in dance. Also, have you asked your son if anyone is teasing him about his participation in dance? My son is 10 and I found out some of his classmates were teasing him last year. It was heartbreaking to hear, but my son handled it well.

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kr12   
kr12

I think it is great to let him try something new. Team sports can teach a lot of important lessons like sportsmanship and working as part of a team. It is hard to say at 9yrs what his true passion may be. I think it is good to let him do both, he may decide that he really wants to pursue ballet.

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dancemaven   
dancemaven

StOut717, I know you are new here and I'm sorry to have to do this to an early post, but this Forum is one of our restricted Forums. Everyone may read here, but only Parents of dancing boys may post. :wink:

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dance-and-skate   
dance-and-skate

I almost told DS14 to just quit ballet and do other stuff all he wants.

I shut my mouth and came here to get some perspective! I browsed through all the thread titles and this one sound

right to me for our issue now.

 

DS is in a large pre-pro school, has been in all-boy class for years, and all boys aspiring to be a

professional dancer more or less.

His other sports are skateboarding and parkour (stuff stunt people do for action movies), also snowboarding if possible time wise.

Since these are not team sport, he can do when he is not in ballet studio, but he got injured doing this during a

rehearsal season. His teachers tell him he has to give them up if he continues ballet every time he gets injured. He protests

it's his free time, but I agree with the teachers . These are not compatible activities with ballet training.

He's been told that when dancers sign contract with ballet companies ( top company names were given)

they have to sign an agreement that they would not do skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding.

 

He wants to continue ballet, he has potential and works hard when in studio, but he won't give up skateboarding either.

I have told him a few times since this fall that he doesn't have to do ballet, but he wants to do ballet, and

wants to be a pro dancer, and he gets mad when I say that.

 

I don't understand why he can't see how his action and injury is affecting so many people.

Yes, that's a part of growing up, but the performance is within weeks and his ankle is still not

healed to participate in rehearsal nor class.

So that he would learn, I wish his understudy gets to do this performance so he would learn.

Last time when the same thing happened, he healed just in time for the performance.

 

And today, one of the older boys sprained ankle in his ballet class, my ds saw the boy carried out

by other boys. I told him that dancers need to deal with injury just by doing ballet, why add more

injury by other accident prone activity, but he just doesn't get it. sigh...

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mln   
mln

My kid used to do a lot of adventure sports, too. Skiing especially. Lately he has not had time and the snow has been disappointing in these warmer winters anyway. I have mixed feelings about holding your son accountable for a sports accident. It was an accident. It could have happened walking down the stairs, too. He is still a kid, not a paid company member.

 

I also think that participating in physical activities other than ballet helps prevent some injuries by working different muscles.

 

A good compromise might be to steer him toward some adventure sports where safety gear prevents most injuries. I am thinking of rock climbing in a gym, for instance.

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dance-and-skate   
dance-and-skate

mln, thank you for your perspective.

I'm glad I came here when I was hot headed.

 

I guess you are right that he could have sprained his ankle in normal, daily acidity,

except he's only hurt himself doing skateboarding, snowboarding, and other 'extreme sports' which

he loves.

When he somehow happened upon ballet, I felt so relieved and happy because

when I watch him do ballet, I don't feel nervous nor anxious and fear another visit to ER.

I guess it's my issue.

I will do my part (taking him to the doctor, taping etc.) and let him and the school deal with the

logistic issues around performances , which come from his injuries. ha.

 

He's talked about trying rock-climbing in the past, I will suggest it to him :-)

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mln   
mln

I hope it all works out! I don't know how old your ds is, but mine eventually reached a point where ballet got quite challenging and satisfied some of the daredevil in him. Partnering lifts require a bit of adrenaline!

Ironically, all of my son's injuries have happened in ballet. Not in football. Not when mountain biking. Not when skiing or skateboarding. I kept expecting his 9th grade football coach to tell him ballet is just too dangerous!

It was my decision to let him continue with the activities he found fun and not try to declare some safe and some too dangerous. Not all parents will agree with me, but I actually like my kid's adventurous attitude, and it is an asset in ballet, especially in giving him confidence in partnering.

In the end, where do you draw the line? No skateboarding, but what about trampolines and trampoline parks? No football, but what about ice hockey on the lake? No ski jumps, but what about moguls? No gym class? No tubing down the rapids? I decided I couldn't restrict it all, and now I just encourage good sense.

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5uptown   
5uptown

We have tried to keep sports participation for our dancing boy, he is 12 now and I can see that its going to just get harder to make time for it, but I do think there is a lot of benefit for him-- physical, and also social. (He has mostly done team sports, but used to do track and field at elementary school and I am still looking for a neighborhood track team he could maybe join). Fortunately my son hasn't really had the opportunity to be drawn to highly adventuresome sports (We live in a big urban area and a lot of them are not feasible or way too expensive for us anyway...)

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dance-and-skate   
dance-and-skate

Interesting.

mln, the relationship between the rigors of patterning lifts and adventurous sports...

it has not occurred to me. My ds is 14, but due to his small size, he is held back to go to

the next level, and is very likely that he will stay at the same level next fall

again, unless he has a significant growth spurt in the next few months.

 

And yes, he is still a kid who should be exploring, and believe me, he does!

On a side track note, he is actually a great advocate for

ballet among his buddies. Whenever he gets a call to skate or snowboard but he can't because of

ballet lesson (which happens very often these days) he tells them that. He's explained to these kids/

young adults what he does in ballet. His skater/boarder

buddies said to him about his ballet, "dude, that is sick, man" and respects him for what he does.

So I'm proud of him.

 

So I wonder why these top companies would pick "skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding" as the

activities the dancers have to agree not to do, and not others...?

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mln   
mln

Dance and skate,

 

Great question about why directors forbid some activities and not others. Maybe dancers are naturally good at skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding, or maybe it's just that those sports have "reputations" for being dangerous. My nephew played division 1 soccer, and he was not supposed to ski, so the prohibition is not unique to ballet.

 

Do A.D.s of professional companies forbid dancers from riding motorcycles, I wonder, or horses? I don't know what clauses are in professional contracts.

 

We live in the mountains and in a kind of outdoorsy kid's paradise, so ballet schools in this area (and yes there are a few!) are probably a bit less restrictive about some of these activities. The public schools bus the kids to the ski slope after school for intramural programs. There's not a lot to do around here if you don't like the outdoors.

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librarygirl   
librarygirl

My DS16 always played sports when he was younger - the last organized teams were track and baseball in 8th grade. I always felt like it must have helped him fit in a little more easily among his peers at school. He had a paid Nutcracker gig this year, and one day when I picked him up at school he said his ankle hurt. He had hurt it playing basketball with the guys in his strength training PE class. "What were you thinking?!" But it wasn't serious and he was fine for ballet, thank goodness.

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joelle.held   
joelle.held

So glad to have stumbled on this topic. My DS13 loves skateboarding, skiing and BMX in addition to being at a 3-letter ballet school. It's so hard because they are only young once and I feel they should have fun and explore the things that make them happy. I have always had seasons passes to the local mountain and therefore my kids have to (my husband could care less about winter mountain sports so it's the thing I do with my kids). This season, my DS hurt his knee on the first day, first run of the season and was so scared because it was a few weeks before SI auditions that he put off skiing until audition season was over. Now, when he goes, he is much more dialed back and not skiing as aggressively as he was before. I've told him that his potential for having a ballet career is much more limited in time and that he can go crazy with skateboarding and skiing after he has pursued ballet to its natural end. He seems satisfied with that. I'm in my 40's and still snowboard as much as I can, so I think that sets a good example (that there is still lots of sporting fun to be had when you are old :)). At least, I hope!

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dance-and-skate   
dance-and-skate

joelle.held, you are my DS's dream mom! A snowboarding mom who gets season pass and enjoys snowboarding as much as he does, and also supports his ballet at the same time! My DS sprained his ankle doing skateboarding in the beginning of this SI audition season, it was two days before his number one choice SI. Fortunately, he was accepted to a couple he got to audition before the accident. Since then, his mandatory career choice program started at his high school, and he's been thinking more about jobs, and more serious about ballet. He's been back doing skateboarding in his free time, but told me of his struggle of not being able to enjoy it fully, because of fear of injury which limits his ballet training. He is not satisfied as your DS is, but definitely thinking.

One of his male ballet teachers used to do snowboarding and skateboarding as a child, but he stopped them at about 15 yrs old because he noticed the impact to his knees from those activities limited his jumps and certain techniques in ballet. My DS took his skateboard to SI last year, to much surprise (more like disbelief) to the other DKs and their moms, one mom actually lectured my DS and me at the airport, as I just stood there because I was thinking, "girl, I could not agree with you more." But as the male teacher said to me, I was going to let him take it and let him decide. This summer, DS says he is taking it again, and I will let him, but this summer, instead of skateboarding the rest of the summer, he wants to do two SIs. The second one is local, so we don't need to commit until later. We'll see if he feels frustrated for not having time for other things, or satisfied to do more ballet.

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