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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Siblings in the same class


Treefrog

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Have any of you faced this situation? Older daughter (16) would like to take an additional class at a lower level, partly because not enough classes are offered at her level, and partly to strengthen her still-not-entirely-rehabilitated knee. The logical -- perhaps only -- choice of class happens to be one her little sister (12) also takes. Suffice it to say that little sis is not thrilled to have big sis join the class :wink:

 

What takes precedence here: big sis's training needs, or little sis's need to have her own space? :D

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balletbooster

Treefrog, I have no advice to offer on this topic, but I must tell you that your use of emoticons was perfect and having a sister near in age, I can well recall the kind of emotions such an idea would have evoked at my house!

 

Hopefully, some of those who have had similar experiences will chime in. I know it is a serious topic, but thanks for giving me a good chuckle at the end of my day! :wink:

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As a father of two dd and a teacher I suggest that the teacher should make the statement that the older daughter must take class to strengthen her injury. The teacher may want to set a time limit - two months or more - so the younger daughter sees a light at the end of the rivalry tunnel....

 

The teacher also must teach the class to the 12 year olds and not make a big deal over the older student, but correct the elder as a matter of fact. As the parent, you should talk to the teacher and ask her help in diffusing the situation. The teacher is the authoritarian in this case and mom will welcome the chance to stay out of it.

 

Of course this assumes the teacher (and doctor and physio) is fine with your older dd taking both an extra class and a slower one.

 

Hope this helps, but there will still be those "it's my class, why does she have to butt in" moments.

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Guest FRA0408

I'd like to point out that a wonderful opportunity is available in this scenario for the younger sister to realize there is something to be gained by taking a lower level class. I've seen numerous students (my own dd included) rebel against taking a lower level class thinking it's beneath them, when in fact, due to injury it's the right place for them to be, working more slowly, concentrating on basics, easing back into the movements. When my dd had the opportunity to take class with professional company members - who were taking her intermediate level class - her opinion changed regarding what level her classes were. She now readily seeks out classes of all levels if/when she has an opening in her schedule. Each class is an opportunity to learn, no matter what the level.

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When my two dancing daughters were just a bit younger, the youngest was a bit resentful of older sister's natural abilty. During this time older daughter was a bit resentful of younger daughters natural facilities. They did not do well in class together. They are only two years apart. Now, they seem to appreciate each others strongpoints. And my younger one goes to the older one to ask questions and advice.

 

I suspect in time, the younger one will warm up. For now, it will be delicate :P . Good luck. Mine regularly have one class together now and no squabbling. OK, well not much.

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Momof3darlings

Ah, we had to do this for a while as well. It worked out alright but it did take some advance work. My oldest is a very good dancer and well respected at the school so the youngest (who is a good dancer but a better jazz/tap dancer) was definitely threatened a little by having her ballerina sister in her ballet class. We went in and talked with the teacher first to set some guidelines for both as well, I had the older sister "ask" permission of the younger sister to go into her classes. She agreed "grudgingly" but did agree.

 

Our teacher suggested the following: a specific date would be set when this was no longer allowed and if it had to go past that date my oldest would have to "ask" again. As well, the oldest was to take the furthest, least desired place at barre and to stand in the back when center work or floor work was done. My oldest balked at this a little and she was reminded that this, in fact, was not her class but a class to help rebuild her injury. For her sister, it was HER class. The teacher agreed that no matter how hard it might be, she would not use the older sister to demonstrate things. And lastly, neither sister could correct the other or discuss things the other did wrong in class. Only praises allowed for something done well. We were lucky in that our time was about 1 1/2 months when we had to do this.

 

It was tense for a while but the air lightened as soon as the younger sister learned that her sister would not be held up as an example for others to follow while in class and that all her dance class friends wouldn't jump up and leave her to befriend her sister instead.

 

vj

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Thank you all for the good advice. Since the teacher did in fact recommend this course of action, it seems easy to go back to her and ask her to do the explaining. (I LOVE the idea of someone else -- ANYONE else -- doing that ... :D ) I'll also confer with older daughter and teacher about how to minimize her presence there. :innocent:

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I guess it is also REALLY important that you have a long talk with the older sister, explaining her sister's feelings. Do they get along well? Is younger sis afraid that her friends will suddenly become big sisters adoring fans? Does older tease younger, so younger doesn't want to deal with it. Older sister is doing the right thing, but the younger sister may have real concerns, based on the relationship they have right now.

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Sammie, they basically get along extremely well, and older sis is pretty well tuned in to her younger sister's needs and desires. She is not a show-off in any way, and will do her best not to interfere or call attention to herself. Regardless, little sis is likely to feel that she is "showing off" just by showing up. You are correct in guessing that little sis is worried about her friends becoming "adoring fans", especially as older sis is quite popular with the younger dancers. This is a real concern, and harder to control than some of the other issues, but I will be sure to bring this aspect to the teacher's attention.

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