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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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  2. Yes there was a schedule. Registration starts at 8:30 and they end around 2:30-4:00 depending on when their interview is.
  3. @meechellealanok thanks good to know so I won't keep refreshing my screen! I don't want to bother my daughter at school today as she has a couple of tests this afternoon and she doesn't routinely check her email. 🤪 Does the email give a timeline for the audtion day? How many hours they will need to be on campus? Just wondering.
  4. @meechellealandid the email come to the student email, parent email, both or portal? Congrats on making through the pre screen!
  5. Thyme

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    I dont know if I can add much here but I can tell you the following things worked for us (DS is now 23 and dancing professionally) we left a studio where the AD was actually highlighting the young men as 'different' and potentially sexy (yeah I know) we moved to a studio where a male AD was an excellent role model and where there were male only classes (even if it was just two of them at times). This built camraderie and a feeling of being safe/normal. That AD worked hard to teach the boys about being male dancers, what they bring to dance etc etc we didnt keep his dancing a secret but we also didnt 'go on about it' when he was young. We didnt want him to feel it was somehow to be kept secret. He did tap dancing for several years and loved moving in non-ballet ways. This got him all sorts of street cred at school- knowing how to moon walk and tap was a big deal in primary school and on the playground (lets face it- its the ballet stuff that just doesnt fly) he transferred to a junior high school which supported the arts where everyone had to take art/music/dance class. This meant that he did not stick out. In the end I cant sugar coat this- he had few close friends as he didnt play on sports teams. Almost all his friends were girls (not all bad) and it is only now in young adulthood that he is making close male friends. They are not all dancers, a couple musicians and sound engineers. They all share a love of creativity.
  6. Today
  7. oniceskates

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    I have to agree with Mln. Some of the worst bullying does come from within. My son took ballet classes because he thought his sister would eventually need a partner. While waiting for class a group of girls teased him and told him that ballet classes were for girls only. This happened right in front of me! He did not want to go back after that. Sigh.
  8. My daughter just received her decision by email a few minutes ago. Looks like We will be making a trip to Oklahoma for the audition! Good luck to everyone waiting.
  9. Yesterday
  10. mln

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    No one has a really good solution for the bullying that boy dancers experience. I wish there were some instant cure. I have known parents to pull their kids out of local schools because of it. Sometimes you have to try a lot of different strategies to find the one that works. What worked for us was to let everyone know that my son was a dancer starting at age three; that way, there was never any shocking revelation when he turned 12. Even though everyone knew, my son didn't really advertise his dancing. His studio was 45 minutes away, and only close friends would come to the shows. He was in activities other than dance, and that also helped him build a network of friends who would support his dancing. We always sought out training where there were other boys, and he started summer intensives very early so that he could meet and dance with other boys. We also emphasized the athleticism of ballet as something comparable to sports. He happened to be interested in sports, but I think this tactic might work even with a kid who isn't. For a kid who is sensitive, I really think it's important that he have friends who support him. I would see if you can build that community either at the studio or with a group at his school; try to build him a fan club. Some of the worst bullying is insider bullying, so keep an eye on dynamics at the studio especially. Unfortunately, girl dancers do bully the boys. Some boy dancers have a store of verbal comebacks for those bullies that bring up sexual orientation. Start asking around for the ones that work best. Rehearsing these retorts with your son is really important--it will keep open the channels of communication, show him that you understand, build his confidence, and remind him that you are always supporting him. I guess I prefer comebacks along the lines of "Why do you care?" There are t-shirts aplenty that joke about how male dancers get to dance with beautiful (and talented!) women, but I prefer comebacks that don't make girls a prize and that don't use heterosexuality as a defense. Still, I know boys who love the t-shirts that read "My job is to go to barres and pick up girls." The point of the comebacks is to find some humor in the fact that boys have to defend their passion for dance. I think one of the big challenges for the parent of a boy is to know when to intervene. If your son can handle a bully, that will build his confidence, but if he cannot, you probably need to be prepared to talk to a teacher or school administrator. And it may be a teacher or school administrator who isn't all that supportive of boys dancing, either. You often have to explain in very basic terms why mocking a male dancer is bullying. And keep building his confidence in any way you can. In our case, we noted every male celebrity who danced ballet, from football players to Macklemore to Prince George. We watched videos of professional male dancers with great leaps and turns. The ABT Born to Be Wild Video (I'm dating myself) was a staple. We went to live ballets whenever we could At every turn, we celebrated the fact that men dance, and we offered my son so much evidence of this that he would just roll his eyes when someone tried to say dancing is for girls. Good luck!
  11. Westsidemommy

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    Sure, I’d love to hear your thoughts about bullying. After all, it was DS’s fear of being teased about the purple tights that ruined what was the perfect family gathering. DS is a sweet boy with a mop of curly black hair but he really wishes that he had pretty blonde hair. One boy at ballet class called his hair an afro and that really hurt his feelings! However, his cousin obviously thinks he is very cute and sometimes treats him like a pet. Most of the teasing is about being a male dancer and kids trying to guess his sexuality… the other boys in his dance class seem like the type of happy-go-lucky kids who can just shrug that off but my son is too sensitive for that...
  12. AlwaysMore2Learn

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    This is one area where I believe a combination of common sense and respect for the individual child is necessary. My DS is a textbook extrovert and has, on more than one occasion, actually performed for his classmates. He has, up to this point anyway, been very vocal about his love for dance and happy to share his dancing publicly. He is still young (only 8), so the self-consciousness of the pre-teen and teen years might kick in someday. My DD is a different story entirely. Not once could I ever persuade her to share her passion for dance at a school talent show or send in a photo from a special performance for the yearbook. I asked once why no one at her school even seemed to know that she danced, and she told me, "It's none of their business!" Besides following sensible guidance about how and when to introduce children to the world of social media, I always let my kids' comfort be the guide. My DD is away at residency now, but we continue to share the management of her social media accounts and content. I had posted a video she sent me to her Instagram, and she decided after the fact that she wasn't happy with it. She messaged me to ask if I'd take it down, and I did so without a second thought. It's not always a matter of bullying, self-confidence, etc. Sometimes kids just don't want to be "on display." If there aren't other red flags that would suggest low self-esteem (poor posture, a lack of interest in social opportunities, etc.) I would let this go and not worry that there's something larger at work. I agree with SFLA_Ballet that it's great he was clear in expressing his feelings and equally wonderful that the other kids listened and respected his boundaries. Those are major parenting wins!
  13. mln

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    I was going to post on bullying, but I'm not sure that's your question. If it is, let me know. As for posting pics of boys in tights on social media, I recommend that, at his age, you monitor what amateur pics of your son get posted, give him veto power, and limit viewing access to friends and family. In addition to potential 5th grade bullies, there are also very shady adults out there who follow young dancers, collect the pics, and want to "collaborate." Some posts will be fine to share, of course, if your son says okay. I don't believe he is supposed to have his own social media accounts until he is 13, so you are really dealing with what others post at this point. His studio may share promotional pics, for instance, and you won't really have a say about those. So, do talk to your son about how to handle a situation in which pictures of him in his dance costumes are made public. Plenty of dancers and parents use social media to promote young dancers' talents. I'm not a huge fan of those IG accounts where parents are staging their dancers' pics and writing their posts. But I'm probably old fashioned. On the other hand, I think it's fine for a 14-18-year-old dancer to start using social media to further dance connections. I think parents should keep an eye on all posts and comments until the dancer is an adult, if only to give good advice and help your dancer use social media wisely. Dancing has a lot to do with the body, and as the dancers get older, it is hard to avoid the social media focus on the dancer's body. You start grappling with questions like, is it okay for my son to do a photo shoot in just tight beige dance briefs? Is a sexy pose okay? What about his poses with his partners? How adult should they look? I remember one photo shoot my son did with a slightly younger female dancer (he was 17, she was 15), and the pictures (which were lovely) made all of the parents a bit uncomfortable, because he looked 25 and she looked 20. Anyway, this is something you probably aren't facing yet, but in some ways, the issues with social media don't really change. Social media is about exposure. The New York Times just posted an article called "Worried about your teen on social media? Here's how to help." There's a lot in the article about the unhealthy body images that social media promotes. Among the other bits of advice in the article: Don't let your kid go from 0 to 100 when they first get access to social media. Introduce it slowly, limit platforms initially, have time limits, put technology away at night, and help your teen understand and manage not just posts but also the social media feeds. Edited to acknowledge account age limits and NYTimes article.
  14. Moncabe

    Tights

    Thank you. I was thinking order 3 of those in the 3 colors and a pair of shoes to get above the free shipping limit of 150 Euros. But I am still open to suggestions. I have not found microfiber at grishko.
  15. SFLA_Ballet

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    My opinion is that your son is right to be cautious about what is posted on social media, for multiple reasons. I also don't think his discomfort necessarily implies a lack of confidence in himself or his abilities. If he doesn't want an image of himself posted by another child, it shouldn't be a point of awkwardness. I'm glad he felt comfortable speaking up and that they respected his wishes.
  16. Westsidemommy

    They Tease Dancers, Don't They?

    DS now is in fifth grade and is shy and small for his age. On Sunday he was dancing for his 14-year-old female cousin and her friend. He was wearing purple tights and the girls were giggling and acting like they thought he was the cutest thing. They wanted to post his picture on Facebook but DS became very upset and wouldn’t let them. He is still nervous about the guys at school seeing him in tights. Fifth grade can be tough for a boy who doesn’t do sports… The cousin hugged him and tried to make him feel better. “Why be embarrassed about wearing tights? You look good in them!” Have there been awkward moments like this in your family? I would like to hear more about other people's experiences. My sister-in-law thinks his problem is a lack of self-confidence. She did some searching on Google and found a story about a young man who is an outspoken, unapologetic gay youth and performer. By the time Desmond Napoles was two or three, it was clear to his parents that he was likely gay. Desmond studied ballet for four years… but his story is so extreme that I’m not sure how relevant it would be to a boy studying ballet now and trying hard to fit in with other fifth graders. Desmond is Amazing is his stage name and he has been in the public eye for the last few years… Do other people have an opinion on this?
  17. Last week
  18. gav

    Technique for Healthy Knees

    A separate but important concept is working through the feet - starts in tendus and becomes relevant to knee health in landing all jumps.
  19. Andy32

    Tights

    I have the Wear Moi Orion tights, and they are pretty thick and durable. Don't think you can go wrong with those, if they are easy for you to get.
  20. Andy32

    Technique for Healthy Knees

    The main thing to remember is to keep the knees over the toes, rather than having the knee buckle inwards. When you are really focusing on turnout, it's easy to have the knees cave in and cause injuries. I experienced this a few years ago - by cheating turnout a little, plus I had running shoes that didn't have enough support, so my ankle would roll in. I thought I would need surgery, but it turns out it was just tendonitis and possibly bad kneecap tracking. Hip strengthening goes a long way to preventing this, so lots of banded walking exercises help, clamshells, glute bridges, things like that. I'm also finding ankle flexibility helps too, helping you to absorb impact and get a deeper plie. When the ankles and hips are weak and/or immobile, then the knees tend to take the hit. Another great exercise is the single leg deadlift - hold a weight in the left hand, and use the right leg as the standing leg. Slightly bend the right leg, and lower the weight down. Focus on the hip hinge, and the hamstring and outer hip will get a good stretch and strengthening. Don't even need a heavy weight for it.
  21. Can someone please post if they hear back about a pre-screen? I know the information said “by the 24th via email” so was wondering if anyone heard early. Also, did anyone submit for pre-screen for dance without submitting to the regular college? Waiting for these results is hard! 😂😩
  22. AnastasiaBeav

    Who wants to be the “Favourite”?

    Welcome and thank you for the background of your dancer. It is so lovely you are able to watch your DD in pointe shoes. I do hope it all goes well. Merde!
  23. Johnny Simpatico

    Tights

    Grishko products fit well, wear well, and are reasonably priced. Delivery is quick. https://grishkoshop.com/NextCategory/en-US/P349/boys-and-men-s
  24. momofaboy

    Boston Ballet School

    It looks like the application process has changed for this coming year, like all programs I guess. Walnut Hill now has an early admission deadline in addition to the regular admission deadline. The early deadline is November 1 and the regular deadline is March 15. A pre-audition video is required for dance. https://www.walnuthillarts.org/admission/apply
  25. AlwaysMore2Learn

    Who wants to be the “Favourite”?

    I will join Redbookish in welcoming you to BT4D, Auchinlea. I'm still relatively new here myself but have already learned so much from hours spent reading through the archives. Your story doesn't sound too different from my dancer's early experiences. She was not only not the favorite, her first acro teacher actually told us to have her quit altogether because, "she can't even walk in a straight line. You're wasting her time and your money." We figured taking her to THAT teacher was definitely a waste and removed her! She grew up in a comp studio where she learned jazz, tap, ballet & contemporary but realized at 11 that she wanted to focus on ballet. We had the awkward experience of switching to ballet school just in time for it all to go virtual. She is only now studying ballet in person after a whole year of Zoom! Just like you, I feel grateful that she grew up without the mantle of "the favorite." She learned not to measure herself against others' achievements. She got very good at keeping a big-picture, growth mindset. These are tools that will be helpful to her no matter the path her life may take. Happy reading!
  26. AlwaysMore2Learn

    What to do when there isn't a suitable training?

    You've gotten a lot of good suggestions here, but I will add another: there are still quite a few exceptional virtual opportunities available that were born of the pandemic. I agree with all of the posters above that you should do what you can to "cobble together" the best in person opportunities that you can. I totally understand about the expense of private lessons, even over Zoom, but I think you can find some good less expensive virtual options as well. A couple that I know of: Sugarfoot therapy has been offering a once-per-week virtual group class that is really challenging (this isn't ballet, but it is great conditioning specifically designed for dancers), and believe Runqiao Du (former Artistic Director of The Kirov Academy), in addition to offering paid online group classes, does some live virtual classes that are open and free. There surely must be more that I don't know about. I wish you and your dancer the best of luck in finding a way to make it work!
  27. Moncabe

    Tights

    Hi all! Please suggest me brands. I live in Europe so I wish to order from here somewhere. So far it seems like the Wear moi will be okay but it worths a try to ask your opinion. I need a few tights for the winter season and to be honest I do not have a lot to spend on them. I wish to know what you wear and what do you suggest as I only know the main brands. I wish to order some polyfabric footed tights. If you are aware of any discounts anywhere, here you can let me know. Thank you in advance!
  28. Heartful Mermaid

    Technique for Healthy Knees

    Hello, I have read many of the threads about knee injuries, but I have not seen a technique only thread for prevention and care of knee issues. I am interested in starting a thread that is a "checklist of things about my technique that I should be aware of if I want to prevent or already have knee issues." For example, in plie one's knees should be over ones toes/pointing in the same direction as the feet. The feet shouldn't be cranked to face farther to the side than the knees can face. The turnout should come from the hip joint only. I am excited to read what other people have to share about technique for healthy knees. Thank you, Heartful Mermaid
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