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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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How did your son get started?

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single dad

Hi Everyone.

 

My son got started in ballet just about two years ago, basically I talked him into it.

 

I adopted my son when he was 7 and that has been an adventure in and of itself, he quickly fell into the video game couch potato, which he was quite content with, but I of course was not. Now don't get me wrong here I am by no means over fit or active myself, but I wanted to try and help my son avoid the same couch potato tendencies that I personally have.

 

So we talked about activities that he could do and since my rule is that if we both agree on an activity for him to try he has to do it for the whole year or the complete registration period, ie 9 months.

 

In the years since I adopted him he has tried football and hockey, both were initally wonderfull but he quickly grew to dislike all the physical contact, he has issues around being hit in any situations, then we tried swimming, baseball, soccer, lacross, and skating, these were all unacceptable to him after a few months as either having to much physical contact or to competitive or to boring (baseball) or he didn't like the chemicals in the pool, we were quickly running out of ideas and activities. Some of these things I let him quit early as he became terrified to attend and was having nightmares and was becoming physically ill at the thought of continueing with them ie hockey football and lacrose.

 

So once again I suggested dance (ballet) he wasn't sure at first but I brought up the fitness aspects, that it is not competitive like soccer and swimming, it doesn't have the physical aspects of football and hockey, but will help keep him in shape and physically fit, help improve his coordination and balance, and that he will get to hang out with a lot of girls.

 

I have always enjoyed ballet myself, but as a spectator, so I took my son to the nutcracker a couple years ago and he saw some children his age or just a little older then himself up on stage dancing and he thought it was something he might be willing to try, my son is something of a ham and show off, so I found a local after school ballet class for him and at first he was very hesitant about it, but he quickly started to enjoy it.

 

Aside from my enjoyment as a spectator of ballet I know nothing at all about it, and still haven't learned what all the moves are or how to do them, ballet has become my son's thing that HE does and he likes me to come watch and he likes to tell me all about what is going on, but he doesn't want me overly involved in what he is doing in class, its his space and I think he needs that, so i keep a certain distance, but I am very proud of him and I do keep myself informed with what is going on and how he is doing, I do talk to his dance instructors, usually without him knowing :thumbsup:

 

My son will be turning 13 in a few months and he is in his second year of dancing, I didn't have to suggest he go back to it he made sure I knew when this years registration was and how much it was going to cost me and when the first day I could go sign him up was. it was very cute and funny.

 

I don't know if this is something he will keep doing year after year but he knows that if he signs up for it at the start he has to see it through to the end of the year. And if the beginning of this year is any indication he will be at this for awhile at least. We have been and will continue dealing with the various issues around him being a boy in ballet as they come up, but so far things seem to be going well.

 

Thanks for listening.

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its the mom

Congratulations, single dad. Whether he continues on this journey, or chooses another - enjoy. If he does choose the dance journey, I can honestly say to you that it's been a joy and privilege to watch my kids dance. Have fun!

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Vision

Wow, what a great dad you are! I admire how you kept searching for the activity that best fit your son, and how you support what HE has chosen to do! I know I don't have to say, enjoy the journey, for obviously, you are!

 

Best to you both.

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Mel Johnson

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

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CoventGarden

Lovely to hear of another young dancer with such a great parent behind him. Good to hear that ballet is working out so well for you both. :)

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Roseben031

My 5-year-old son and I started watching So You Think You Can Dance together last summer and he loved it. I started looking around and found a local school that was offering an all boys Tap/Jazz class. He was SO excited at the idea, and has loved every class all year. He goes in with the biggest grin on his face and it lasts the whole class. It's like watching pure joy.

 

For kindergarten show and tell he brought his dance shoes and told the other kids about his class and did some dancing for them. His father and older sister were worried the other kids would start teasing him, but they all thought it was really cool and a few other boys even shared that they are also taking dance at other studios.

 

It's time to sign up for next year and my son asked to do the boys tap/jazz again and then asked if he could add a ballet class :-). I'm over the moon that he's interested and I didn't even have to suggest it. He said he thinks he'd like it better with some boys in it too but he added, "girls can be cool too, so if it's just them and me, I'll deal."

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fspa95

My son started dancing at the age of 2 - mostly due to watching his older sister. He started with the basic dance movement class. At the age of 5 he started taking pre-ballet and tap. From there he just kept going. He eventually ended up taking all the different forms of dance. He sounds very similar to your son in that he was always "dancing around". We tried him in the sports arena - T-Ball, Basketball, etc. - but he kept up with dance and seemed to love that the most. He is now 16 (17 next month) and in a professional ballet school. I never felt like I pushed him - it was definitely what he wanted to do. I'm a firm believer that if you have to push - then don't.

He was usually the only boy at most of his studios - and had few male teachers until he was older. If you can find a studio that has a "boys only" class - that would be a great place to start. But, they are few and far between. Just make sure that his teachers have him dance like a boy instead of a girl - there are definite differences in hands and movement!

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Clara 76

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, fspa95!!!!

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boymom2

My son got started at age five because he saw Kermit the Frog tap dancing and said he wanted to try to tap. Up until that point we had tried soccer, t-ball and gymnastics which he found boring. We were lucky because we found a local studio that had an all boys tap class. The next year, he wanted to go back for more and was asked by the studio owner to join the competition team. It was a smart move on her part because he was able to see all the different types of dance that he could do.

 

To be on the competition team, he had to take jazz and ballet classes in addition to tap. Ballet was never really his favorite thing until he went to the Jump dance convention and he got a ballet class scholarship. The teacher said he had amazing feet and it really motivated him to work harder on his ballet.

 

Now he is eleven and going to his first summer intensives for ballet. He is so excited and I hope he keeps it up because I feel that ballet and dance in general is so amazing for boys.

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NewtoDance

Hi, my family is new to dance. My 7-year-old son started 2 ballet classes in September. My husband and I had pretty much ignored his requests to take dance classes for a couple of years. Although he had always shown an interest in music and dance, we just didn't see a boy taking classes and were worried about teasing as he is a very sensitive child. Finally, after watching and watching Shawn Desman dance videos and begging some more, we relented and started calling up dance studios to see whether they had any all boys classes. Unfortunately, no all boys classes, but the teachers were very excited to have him attend. We chose a school very close to us, but I worried that some of the kids would be going to his school and the word would spread...not to worry he told everyone in school he was dancing. He is so PROUD! Anyway, it is a very small school and his is dancing with only one other child..a girl. His teacher is an ex professional with the Boston Ballet and she is very encouraging. He is also taking a ballet class on a Saturday a little farther for him with a bunch of girls and one other boy. Yesterday his teacher came to speak to me and asked if she could change him to another class, as she had selected 4 students that she wanted to work more one-on-one with on technique as she feels they are the more serious of the students and have the most talent...he is so happy and we are so proud of him. We are now totally immersed...so quickly..into dance...which we know nothing about. He practises every day and is now asking his Dad to install a barr and mirror at home so he can practise with it. He just loves ballet and I just love to watch him. He has already decided he wants to go to dance camp in the summer..we are really enjoying his enthusiasm and dedication.

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sonny72

My very soon to be 9 yo son wasn't into sports like our other 2 boys, and a year and a half ago my wife talked him into taking a tap class. He absolutely loved it, his teacher said he looked like a dancer, next thing I know he is in ballet. I wasn't too crazy about that I admit, he too is a sensitive child and I worry. But this summer, even though he isn't quite yet 9....I realized ballet has become an obsession for him. So cross country, football, baseball, and hockey dad, add Ballet dad to that title! Guess that means yet another coffee mug to the collection? This site is great thank you all so much for your comments and advice. Even if doesn't stick with it in years to come, I have a whole new appreciation for the ballet community.

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Albini

My sons school had a flyer out asking for boys ages 9 to 12 (I think), to audition for the roles of Fritz, the other brother and the soldiers. My son asked to try out since his sister went to that dance school. He auditioned and he got the role. After months of rehersing and then the performances he was addicted to ballet.

 

Thats how he started.

 

We signed him up for lessons right after the shows and now he is doing the Cecchetti level one exam.

 

He doesnt get teased much. He has his own comedic way of defending himself. Such as his comments to his hockey friend "Dude, you spnt all weekend in the locker room with other boys. I spent it dancing with girls.....real girls.."

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Clara 76

dancingjon-

I thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it is one that many dancers can relate to, and one that many parents should hear. I'd like to ask you to read the individual rules for each forum so you can post your story in the proper place. Try Cross Talk. :grinning: Posters who are not parents of dancing boys may not post in Parents of Boys. You may post in Cross Talk, Adult Ballet Students, Men's Forum, etc.

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Curandera

We are meeting tomorrow with a ballet instructor for my 14 year old son. My 13yo dd was just accepted to the dance school's year-long program. We will be taking long commutes to the dance school 4 days week until January and then it will be 6 days a week.

 

I have been split in two for awhile but now the pull on either side will be even stronger. This is partially my attempt to pull my son into the routine so we can share this journey together. But also, I really do think he could be really good at this and enjoy it.

 

Because he has no ballet experience at all, we are going to schedule a one hour private lesson once a week or every other week if I can't negotiate a lower fee until January. Then we will reevalute and see how my son feels about his lessons. We may continue the once a week lessons until summer or try a boys class if one is available for his age and skill level.

 

Wish us luck, we'll need it! :thumbsup:

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Clara 76

I wish you luck!!!

 

Another thing you might consider is if there are any other dance forms available for your older son while the younger one is in his program. If there is a good tap instructor or hip-hop instructor, boys tend to like those classes and they could be in addition to his ballet work.

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