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Ballet Talk for Dancers
mollysmom

My daughter in dance

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mollysmom

My daughter is seven and loves dance she has been dancing since she was two. Last season she took four classes and did so well. She wants to add on another class next year but her dad gets mad about that and says it is too much. How can I make him understand that she does have a passion for this and she wants to learn more? 

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DanceDaddy

I might be able to give some Dad perspective...

Is there some other activity that her Dad feels she should be doing? I can say my wife and I are having some of these same disagreements when discussing the fall. For my DD 10, I'm a fan of 3 ballet classes and 1 tap class and a Conditioning (Pilates/Yoga) class. Play an instrument and do some swimming.

OR if we're going to go ALL IN on ballet, then let's go all in (which might involve switching studios).

Above all, I don't want my daughter being a couch potato.

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mollysmom

Thanks dancedaddy it's awesome to see a dad's perspective! 

Her dad is more of a "I worry they'll be too busy if they do more than 3 things" 

He is the kind of dad who doesn't want the kids being couch potatoes but also likes to complain when I get them involved. I'm literally the one who pays for their activities. We are seperated and he has the kids half the time. His mother and I are the ones who run the kids everywhere and he isn't very involved because he works so much. My daughter is good at dance and loves it. I don't want to stay in one place or take any away....she wants more and I want to give it to her. I admit one thing different from dance like swimming or girl guides would be ok but still.....she doesn't want to lose any dance. She dreams of going to comp one day and I want to help her get there. 

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DanceDaddy

sounds like my Dad.

Could you get his Mother as an ally on this?

I do recommend checking out the guidelines about recommended # of classes. Personally, I'm trying to get us to stick to that and what we have budgeted for Dance. And as much as my daughter loves to dance, I don't think she has professional aspirations. Frankly, I've heard her mention about being a choreographer more then being a dancer.

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BalletFamily

Sometimes it's easier if you don't try to make someone understand.  If you're paying for it and it's done during the times she is with you (or her grandma), then just do it.  He'll be convinced (or not) when he spends time with her and sees her passion and hears her talk about it, and from seeing her progress when he attends performances (which he hopefully will).

The over-scheduled critique is valid, especially for a 7 year old.  So, if that's truly what it is, it's worth taking a look.  I'm wondering though if his objections aren't "she's too scheduled" but rather "this takes away my time with her."  Given that he has her half the time, it may not be possible to schedule all her dance at times when he either doesn't have custody—or when he is at work or otherwise occupied and his mom or someone else has her.  But it may be a way to look at it that might help ease the tension.

 

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Bavalay

Hi mollysmom.  I am in a similar situation with my DD12 father.   He is (or was) against dance as a professional career and had refused to help pay for training.  The argument was it would take away from education and getting good grades in school.  My daughter was not doing well in school until she had her first ballet lesson at 8 (after begging for it since 3; I thought all little girls wanted ballet and put her off until she wore me down years later).  Needless to say, she began focusing in class and saying that she liked school.  Then slowly asked for more dance  to "do better in school".   She is now a 6th grader in middle school scoring 5 A's and a B+ and plays percussion to boot.  After she recently told her dad that her second career would be a doctor or scientist...he changed his mind and helped my pay for this coming summer intensive (score!).  Some kids need to have their physical creativity addressed to unlock their greater intellectual potential.  That is the case for my chick-a-Dee.  I hope this helps a little.  Let her successes in other areas be the proof that learning new styles of dance is not too much (assuming it is not too much financially and logistically for you and your family; oh yes and that she is not getting injuries).  Best to you and your DD and her dad.

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Amie

I agree with DanceDaddy, you may want to read the pinned topic about age appropriate training guidelines.  There are suggested hours that really help guide us parents especially when the world of dance can be so confusing.  How does your DD's classes compare to this?  I used it as a guide... a little over or a little under didn't bother me as DD progressed but, not enough hours and the dancer might fall behind (which is fine if they is dancing recreationally),  too many hours and there is a risk of burn out or injury. 

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5678StarMom

At age 7 I think 4 ballet classes a week is more than plenty. Are they all ballet or is she taking other styles? Too much of one type of movement at such a young age can lead to an overuse injury in my experience. Better to leave her always wanting more than burnt out or injured.

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Sunnygirl

I don't think five classes a week is too much, especially if they are different styles of dance. If she loves it and is passionate about it she should do it.  If you can afford it and the schedule is not putting her home very late I think it's great.  At that age my daughter wanted to try it all.  I let her and when she waned in enthusiasm towards certain classes, she dropped them (at the end of the dance year).  My justification to her dance schedule has always been that she could be doing something worse.  I see countless kids who come home, do homework and then watch t.v., play video games, or with older kids get into trouble with their friends. I like the structure that the dance schedule has given her.  It's a good routine that keeps her occupied and as long as she loves it I'll let her do it.   

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AB'sMom

I would be careful about putting her in too many classes. Like sun damage, overuse injuries don’t show up immediately. At 12-13 years old you start to see girls struggling with recurring  issues, often tendon-related. I know two girls who were dancing 6-7 days a week at 10. One has been struggling with the same Achilles tendinitis for two years. The other is quitting ballet because she can’t seem to rehab her injury, even after taking all of last summer off. 

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BalletmomMN

We think about it in terms of days per week, not just # of classes. At 9, I want my DD to have at least two weeknights and one weekend day completely free of dance obligations (tech weeks are different, of course). Some nights she has more than one class, but not every night. As she gets older, I expect that mix to change, but there is no rush and maintaining balance now is giving her the chance to learn how to get schoolwork done in a timely manner and lets her see friends after school occasionally. At 7 hanging out with friends was not really something she cared about, but that tends to change as kids get older. 

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mollysmom

Hi again 

My daughter tells me all the time she wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up. I do have a budget but my budget could fit another class or two if she wanted to take them and if she really applied herself. I don't know what to do.

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mollysmom

BalletFamily,

Thanks for your response. It would be nice if our schedule worked out so that dance was always on my days. However ours rotates. He spends very little time with our kids I think I share them with his mother rather than him. Saying that however brings up another point...... On days I don't have her his mom is the one to do the running around. I don't want her worn out (his mom).... But I also want to support my daughter with more classes if that is where her interest is. 

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mollysmom

5673StarMom,

My girl takes Acro ballet hip hop and tap. It may be a lot for a seven year old but she has been doing so well with it and I rarely see her worn out if ever. Next year she wants to take jazz and contemporary but also might take a year off from tap as she wasn't as fond of it this season. I'm just not sure what to do. Part of me would like her take brownies or something for a change along with dance. 

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mollysmom

Bavalay,

My daughter did struggle with school but has brought her grades up a lot this year. I think dance has really helped her focus. 

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