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March 17, 2008 in Parents of Boys
HAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry for laughing but it's just a boy thing!!!!!
I teach boys and girls, and boys are wonderful for their energy and ability to move....but it would be extremely difficult to try to get them reined in enough to work in as structured an environment as an exam-based school.
Has this teacher worked with many boys that age? I'm guessing that she hasn't. At any rate, if there's any way to get him into a less structured/more boy-oriented classroom, it would probably be helpful to all involved, and might save him from growing to dislike ballet....
For my boys, I find I must still work with them to concentrate even at 12, so your boy is not unusual at all. What is unusual is getting teachers to understand and be able to handle them.
Now my own child (youngest, age 9) was extremely focused in ballet at age 7, but he decided not to continue because of that fact. It was just too much concentration for him at that time, and he still says he'll go back to dance when he's ready, but that it was just too tiring!
As a teacher, I firmly believe that boys should have their own classes, alongside their regular co-ed ballet classes, so that there is an outlet for their creative energy.
My DS is now 17 and started when he was 7. Up until he was in his early teenshe had many interests: soccer, band, choir, science fair, etc. He really did not settle down until then and become very focused on ballet. And when he was getting focused, sopme of the girls were getting silly!
It is a guy thing! they have so much amazing energy that it explodes all over the place, causing the mind to wander a bit. It's ok. Le thim enjoy, get great challenging classes, good feedback, and lots of outlets.
I would not have traded this experience for the world!
Sounds like every evaluation my son (now 9.5) ever receives-- nice physical facility for dance and good potential but very easily distracted and lacks maturity. I sometimes cringe when I can observe class and see him compared to his female classmates. They seem older than him somehow. But, he thrives when he's in his all-boy classes and I am assuming he'll catch up on the maturity thing one of these days!
He will- when he's 19, I assure you!!!
That's the reason why I believe boys need a bit of a different approach when it comes to training that only a Men's Class can provide. It allows them to feel secure and be challenged in a different way from a co-ed class. I think both are necessary to their training.
The RAD training system is excellent for little boys because they have either special exercises or adapted ones in every grade, very often with different music from the girls too. There is always a boys' dance at each level and they have a lot of fun stuff to do. Later on the Vocational exam work introduces them to male virtuosity such as double tours and grands pirouettes in 2nd. It is not always possible to find a school with boys classes and it sounds as if you have found an excellent teacher who will ensure that he is taught appropriately. It takes a lot of encouragement and understanding to teach boys well and a great deal of patience!!!
My own lone male student is now a professional ballet dancer, but up until about 14 he was totally spaced out! I remember a guest teacher telling me that she had stopped correcting him, because he didn't seem to pay attention anyway. I told her just to be very patient and keep repeating the corrections - that eventually he would correct! At 12 I didn't put him in for his Grade 5 exam because he wasn't ready for it that year, even though he'd passed his Grade 4 well. But by the time he was 16 he'd surpassed all the girls in his class, was working with our top group of 12th Graders and had passed his Advanced 1 exam. That was when we sent him off to vocational school abroad, where he also passed the Advanced 2 exam with Distinction.
So be patient - as long as your son enjoys his classes and wants to continue going, he'll be fine. Make sure he's exposed to male dancers once he's old enough to sit still during performances and also of course to attend SI's with other boys, so he knows he's not alone in wanting to dance.
Yes, it's well-known that girls grow up faster than boys, and that girls at that age concentrate better than boy.
My llittle 7 year old son decided that hanging out and chatting with the Intermediate Foundation girls in the waiting room
lol That was my youngest. He still has the pre-performance love notes from the teenage girls. The girls were finally admonished by one of the teachers not to gush over him or he wouldn't grow out of being the cute baby.
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