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Ballet Talk for Dancers

When they want to quit


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Well, I finally got the nerve to come back and share the outcome of my son's ballet dilemma. The parent observation day at his SI was an emotional roller coaster. The first two classes I observed told me flat out that he does not want to dance and this was a waste of time. I spoke to his male technique teacher and he said that he didn't think it was in my son's heart to dance. At that point, I wanted to pack up and leave immediately. I was sad, disappointed in my son for not trying, and mad at myself for having "forced" him to do what he didn't love.


After lunch, he had a partnering and then a jazz class. The partnering went better, but the Jazz class was outstanding! His talent and enthusiasm shined. His male technique instructor was fascinated watching him as were several parents who spoke to me about him afterwards. True, he does love Jazz and modern. I have known that. But I still insist that he needs to be trained in classical ballet technique to be great at the others.


Following a rest period at home and a lot of frustrating discussions with him, we decided to do some trial classes in other activities. He tried swimming, karate, and another dance studio where he would enter the college prep program. That program included a private male technique class, but also modern, jazz and choreography/composition (another favorite of his). I also spoke with the only gym that had a boys team for gymnastics that is 30 miles round trip two times a week. Finally, I spoke with his current ballet school and they want him there 5 evenings a week, but no boys anything. According to them, a tendu is a tendu, doesn't matter who is teaching it. I don't think they get the comraderie part of this age group.


I let all that sink in and talked with him again. He has decided that gymnastics is what he wants. Through this time, I have done my grieving and letting go. I have talked with a million and one people. We will do the gymnastics and see how it goes. He will continue to dance at his performing arts middle school at my insistence (another topic). We wrote a letter of thanks to his ballet school and asked that they keep the door open for him if he decides to go back. So, it is what it is, and maybe with a little maturity and time, he will find his way. I hope to come back here to BTFD to share and hopefully it will be soon. Thanks all.

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  • therese


  • Clara 76


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  • Applejack


Good luck with your decisions. I know from experience how hard it can be deciding when to push and when not to push. In 6th and 7th grade my DS really wanted to return to gymnastics, and we said no, and left him in ballet. I second-guessed for years whether we had done the right thing. Now, a few years later, he says he's glad we pushed. But I know how easily it could've went the other way. It really is a tough age, and we can only do the best we can. What will work for one family and one boy simply may not work for another!

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Therese, you are a wonderful mother!!! :shrug: You did the right thing...... :yes:

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Thanks, Clara. It feels good to get a little positive reinforcement! I just want my kids to be happy. And....you can bet there is a list of additional expectations for him since he is only occupied 2 days a week and using my gasoline!....no grade lower than a B, homework done before gymnastics, extra chores added to his current ones...

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heeheeheehee....... :yes:

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Guest cs1987

Congrats and good luck to your son. You will both be much happier, and good job keepign him in his middle school. I would guess thats has to do with commiting to something.

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Keeping him dancing at his middle school actually has more to do with the fact that his middle school and the high school for the performing arts are the 2 best public schools in the city. Although they are public, they require auditions. The kids want to be there and most are gifted academically. The parents are involved and it is racially diverse.


My son is not academically gifted, but his personality, temperament, mannerisms and interests are best served at this school. He is small and of mixed race. Often-times, I fear for his safety. Another city school where kids are bigger and less tolerant, is out of the question. The learning needs of "creative kids" are also different. Much of the school work is done in groups and there is less take-home busy work that is a waste of time for these kids.


The most important part is that dancing is part of him and he knows it. It keeps him in touch with the performing arts community and gives him some outlet for his constant pirouettes and jumps around the house! The music he is exposed to on a continuous basis helps him developmentally with math skills and coordination. A good percentage of city schools have all but eliminated the arts and music which is a great disservice to all kids. This school recognizes that need and strives to address it.

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