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Ballet Talk for Dancers
danceintheblood

What led your child to ballet?

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MickeyFan

DD, coming up on 13, wanted to dance Jazz only. Upon switching from a faux dance school to a new school at age 10, she was told, "no jazz without ballet". This was not good news at the time because she was not interested in ballet - in fact she had already concluded in her head she would hate it. Nonetheless, she agreed.

 

Long story short, ballet is now her passion; and it is what she has natural talent for. In fact she is actually "jazz-challenged" because she can't seem to lose the ballet arms...

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Hamorah

I supposed I was destined to do something on the stage as we lived next door to the local theatre! Anyway, when I was three my mother took me to see a pantomime there. In those days it was usual to invite children from the audience to go on stage and take part in a little talent competition. I went running up on stage and was so full of confidence and stage presence that my mother decided that I was destined to be a ballerina! I started lessons that January and here I am nth years later still dancing!

 

My boy student has a nice story. When he was four his mother took him to a concert in the Tuillerie Gardens in Paris. As soon as he heard the classical music, he jumped up and started dancing in the aisles! After that she said that whenever he heard classical music he would start dancing and at six he asked to learn. She took him to several schools in the area and he chose us, because it seemed to him that our school was the most serious! Ten years later, he's leaving us to go and study at a full time vocational school in England from September.

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dagny78
True story: At age 2 1/2, dd, still in diapers, also watched the Baryshnikov Nutcracker on video.  She pointed to the ballerinas and said, "Mommy, I do that!".  I told her that none of the ballerinas in the Nutcracker wore diapers and that when she was potty-trained, I would take her to dance class.  Needless to say, just 2 and a half weeks later she was fully potty-trained and put the Nutcracker video in the VCR.  She pointed to the ballerinas and said, "Mommy, I do that now?"  I took her to the dance studio the next day.

 

I love this story! :D

 

It is very similar to mine. My daughter was also 2 1/2 when she began begging to "do ballet", the funny thing is that she was a later talker and had only been speaking in full sentences for about 2 months at that time! But I'm not sure where the desire came from, her exposure to ballet was limited but then at 2 1/2 exposure to everything is pretty limited! She began taking classes at three and loved it; at five she announced she would be a "famous ballerina". Little did we know then that she would stick to this dream!

 

I remember when she was 10 I told her that it would be okay to change her dream. I was concerned that because this was something she had done her whole life, she might not feel okay about changing her mind. So, I had the brilliant idea that I should reassure her. :wink: When I mentioned the idea that she might change her mind, she looked at me like I had lost my mind and said, "Mom, I worry about you."

 

Cracked me up. :)

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LadyR

When dd was 2 years old she would lift up her leg in arabesque and say "BAL-LEG". At 5 years old she started in a classical ballet school. Ballet seems to have become less of what she does and more of who she is.

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dancetaxi

That darn Baryshinikov and Gelsey Kirkland Nutcracker video was the influence in our house too. :) I can't believe that VHS tape has survived all these years.....Maybe it's time to upgrade to the DVD. Baryshnikov is still #1 in my son's eyes.

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dancelyssa

Teen here...

I was not influenced by Baryshnikov but by the Nutcracker nonetheless. At age 3, my parents, my best friend's parents, my best friend, who was also 3, went into NYC to see NYCB dance Balanchine's Nutcracker. We both declared that we were going to be "those funny kids that wear pretty costumes and dance under their mommy's clothes".

At age 11, I did indeed become a Polichinelle in Balanchine's nutcracker and held that role for the past 3 years.......and every year my friend from when we were 3 comes to see me and always tell me "I'm so proud of you because you finally got to be one of those kids".

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chatwidow

Actually I didn't have a clue about ballet when I started my dd at age 4. I'd only seen one as a child, The Nutcracker, and was not impressed really. I signed her up because I thought it would be cute for my little girl to take ballet class. I realized then that she picked it up very quickly and seemed to have a great sense of musicality. After attending a Dolly Dinkle school for a year I was appalled at the oldest dancers during the year-end recital who didn't seem much better than my 5 year-old. But what really put the icing on the cake was that the instructor also danced and I knew it was time to move on. We sort of fell into a pre-professional school purely by accident (they were the only ones to answer my phone calls) when I didn't know the difference. Nine years later she is still dancing and loving it!

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danceintheblood

Thankyou for sharing your stories. Interesting how they came to dance in different ways ... and surprising how many chose dance so firmly at such a young age.

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Tiffany

knock, knock...I'm not a parent...

I remember seeing ballet on TV at age 3 and begging my parents for lessons after that. I was very shy so they didn't start me in lessons until first grade. I've been dancing ever since (I'm in college now). :thumbsup:

 

I love the 2thepointe's toilet training story!!

 

The Baryshnikov-Kirkland Nutcracker is dear to my heart as well. Kirkland's dancing on this video is magical to me because she is so expressive. :)

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ddm3

My dd also the loved Gelsey Kirland Nutcracker at age 2, but at age 5 when I thought she might be ready to take dance lessons, had absolutely no interest at all. She took swimming followed by karate, soccer and basketball. At age 11, I signed her up for a session of ballet and tap at the local rec center (without asking her). She fell in love with tap and then pursued tap and musical theatre while continuing the sports. By age 12 she had dropped the sports and theatre to pursue dance (jazz, tap and lyrical). Hated ballet but had to take it as a dance competition team requirement. Took her to a local "ballet school" for extra classes in ballet and was told that she had the ideal facility for ballet. She was now 13 and though not entirely convinced ballet might be her calling, decided to try it. By age 14, she dropped all other dance to pursue ballet. She is now 17 and training at a major residency school.

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Guest jm4364

My 12 yo dd started dancing (and not by choice) at a young age at a "Dolly Dinkle" studio. She has ADD, and has always been a very tactile person, and I thought the whole mind-body-expression thing would be good for her. Three years ago, we moved to a great academy where she enjoyed her classes until the end of last year, when she got "bit." She loves everything about dance, and her self esteem soars. When she's not in class, rehearsing, or performing, we are volunteering and attending our company's ballets, or watching ballet videos. When not doing that, she dances down the aisles in grocery stores, in the church vestibule and all around the house. Drives us nuts, but in the absolute best way possible!

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Gremlin

One day at the age of 8, my son came to me and asked for ballet classes. Seriously, I thought he had confused the word with something else.....maybe karate. We had spoken about karate for a while and out of the blue he asks for ballet :sweating: I had no idea where he got the ballet bug from. Later, he said he saw it on tv. It was Baryshnikov.

Anyway, not thinking ballet would be a good idea (he had severe ADHD and no other sport worked well for him), I sort of ignored his request. Yep, I am ashamed. I did it more than once. The demands for ballet classes got to be a daily occurance, so I called a ballet school and enrolled him. They wanted him to take tap. I said no! he wants ballet, so that is what he will take and if he hates it, he will find something else he likes. They agreed and he has taken ballet since.....and he won't even go near a pair of tap shoes.....says they are noisy. He is finishing up year 5 of ballet.

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Guest arabento

I saw an article in our local paper when my son was 8. Because we were in the process of moving at the time he didn't start until the 2nd semester. The school had started a movement class just for boys and it sounded interesting to us. He has been dancing ever since and seems to enjoy it. He just finished his 3rd class concert this month and has signed up for next year, he's been moved up to boys ballet (more technique) :) . He also changed his ideal job on his time capsule (given at the beginning of the school year) from pilot to dancer. Also four of his 5 memories of the year were related to dance. Two were his Nutcracker experience and the class concert and the other two were performances that we attended. Granted he's only 11 years old, so he may change his mind again, but so far he still likes to dance and I encourage him, because he has a beautiful long, lean body and his teacher says he has potential. :rolleyes::D:D

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Balletmom

My daughter began taking ballet at age 6. It was partly because her best friend had begun taking ballet, and partly because I had always loved dance as an art form (even though I had precious little knowledge about it!) and it was something I wanted her to experience. She took to it right away and was very serious and determined about it from the beginning--something that has remained to this day. She was moved up to the next level after one year, whereas most students stay two years. I was torn between feeling like maybe she had something and maybe the school just made a clerical error. :whistling: The best friend, by the way, moved on to a competition-type school and cheerleading, etc.

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tutumonkey

Our dd was one of those kids who can't sil still, always on the move and into someting they shouldn't be. At age 5 we put her in a jazz class which she liked. The next year, 2 lasses a week. Year 3the studio suggested ballet also, so we enrolled her in that. All along she was also taking swimming lessons and playing soccer but still seemed to have energy to spare. Next step, competions!

We were extremely lucky in our choice of studios because it wasn't your typical Dolly Dinkle with flaming batons etc. We lucked into an extremely good studio with an informed and educated teaching staff. Ballet was taught by the Rad syllabus and advancement wasn't automatic every year. Jazz was taught by the Adapt syllabus (Brian Foley) as was tap.

DD continued solely at this studio until 3 years ago when we heard some other parents talking about the Nutcracker at ISB (International School of Ballet) She thought it would be fun to do that too, so off we went to audition. That first year she was in the Mazurka, a party boy, and a mouse king run-on part for an older dancer who was already dressed for another role. She loved it and took classes there in addtion to her "home" studio. Last year she had to make up her mind what she wanted to do, competion or ballet (and Nutcracker) and she chose ballet.

It was hard for her to leave but she know she made the right decision. Her tecnique has blossomed and she can't wait to get to the studio after school. Now that the spring show is over the Nutcracker CD has re-appeared! Oh No! Tutumonkey

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