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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dancing and self esteem


Albini

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I had posted a different question, but I rethought it and wanted to be more specific.

 

My DD (6) is in an intro to Tap class. Great teacher, great kids. Awesome school.

 

However my DD is visually impaired and is struggling with this class.

 

Now she does a pre-pro Cecchetti class and is a fabulous ballet dancer. She does a req ballet class and a req Jazz class as well as the pre-pro calls and the tap and is wonderful She is even placed with the 8- 10 year olds in the req classes.

 

But, even tho she is wonderful at ballet, she struggles in tap. She has come out of the class in tears many times. But she insists she wants to continue. That its fun. But its very hard.

 

So, question...do I keep her in tap even tho she is struggling now?

 

ETA" Struggling emotionally. I couldnt care less if she is bad or good. I'm worried that she is leaving clas in tears. If she was perfect at it and still frustrated to the point of tears I would wonder about pulling her. Its not about her not being good enough....I dont think that at all. Its about her being frustrated and me as a parent not sure what to do.

 

Or do I make the parental decision to pull her?

 

The class is small, 4 kids. The teacheer isnt spending more time with my DD then she is spending with the other kids. They all get one on one to go over new moves. She can do about 70% of them with no issue.

 

She isnt taking up extra teacher time, or that would be my deciding factor.

 

However in Jan her class will move to Wed, right before her req ballet and then jazz classes. SO I would pull her then if I was going to pull her.

 

Or will having 2 classes she is great at follow the one she isnt great at be beneficial to her?

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Wait a minute here....pre-pro ballet at age 6??? Ummm, I don't think so. Anyway, at this age, let her do what she wants to do, good or not. It's just great that she loves to dance. If she likes tap, even though maybe not as good at it, why not let her do it? If she did not like it, that would be different. Because it is harder for her, she may end up learning some valuable lessons. There is really no way to tell about her potential in ballet at this age, as they should really only be in pre-ballet, not pre-pro ballet. That happens quite a bit later.

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I'm with Victoria---if she enjoys tap, good at it or not, let her continue with it if she wants. I admire her for wanting to keep plugging away at something she enjoys even if it is hard for her. Sometimes that's the most rewarding part of life.

 

At age 6, she's learning valuable skills and lessons: Not everything rewarding in life is easy. It is just fine not to be 'good' at something and still do it just because you enjoy it. Plugging away at something will help you improve at it.

 

And, having taken up tap as an adult after many, many, many years of not doing it, I can tell you that Tap IS hard!!! It takes a while to transfer those rhythms from your ear to your brain to your feet. For some it comes more naturally than others. For others, it takes a while to discern the rhythms and to get the co-ordination down----but it comes eventually. So what if she doesn't turn into the next Savion Glover? Maybe she will, maybe she won't. But in the meantime, she's having fun.

 

Please don't teach her that it's only worth doing if someone else decrees you are good at it. :)

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Wait a minute here....pre-pro ballet at age 6??? Ummm, I don't think so. Anyway, at this age, let her do what she wants to do, good or not. It's just great that she loves to dance. If she likes tap, even though maybe not as good at it, why not let her do it? If she did not like it, that would be different. Because it is harder for her, she may end up learning some valuable lessons. There is really no way to tell about her potential in ballet at this age, as they should really only be in pre-ballet, not pre-pro ballet. That happens quite a bit later.

 

Thats the term they use b/c the stream they are in is the Pre professional stream, rather then the req stream or beginner stream. So the pre pro just means the stream that she is in for ballet....not that she is doing professional level ballet...sorry. The pre pro stream is by audition or invite and they do Nutcracker, Galas, shows and the Cecchetti testing.

 

Yes. I am struggling b/c of how upset she becomes during the class. She will leave in tears, but still says she wants to return. I could care less if she is good or bad at it. I am worried that its become too upsettng for her and I dont know if there is a point where I say "We need to rry next year."

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Please don't teach her that it's only worth doing if someone else decrees you are good at it. :)

 

Oh God, I honestly dont care if she is great or horrible at it. I'm worried b/c she is leaving in tears. I dont know if THAT is good for her. I dont know when the point that I say "This is too upsetting for you, lets try next year."

 

She is legally blind, if I let her quit things b/c she wasnt good at them she wouldnt be walking, running, climbing stairs or eating.

 

IF she was perfect at it and still crying I would question removing her.

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I do h onestly appreciate the advice. I wasnt very clear that my concern wasnt that she wasnt good enough. My concern was that she is frustrated, crying, but still insists on going.

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While you stated she was visually impaired, you did not say how much so. I would imagine there are some things in learning tap that would be quite a bit harder than learning ballet at that age depending on the degree of the impairment. Certainly not impossible, but definitely harder. If she loves the class, then I would dig deeper into what is happening when the crying begins. What is triggering the crying time, simply frustration? Can she verbalize what it is? I'm just thinking back to the movements my kids did at 6 in ballet and how the teacher helped them reach positions by manipulation of the body and also thinking about tap movements at that age and seeing where it is possible for the tap class to be harder to "get across" to her.

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Thank you. :(

 

 

Yes Tap is so much more visual. And even when she does it correctly, she isnt doing "as well" as the older girls in her class she says. SO if she thinks its too hard, or she isnt doing it right and the other kids are she breaks down.

 

That has never ever happened before. She has done wonderfully with her vision loss. And she has known when to quit if it was not in her abilities. However she wont quit this...so I dont know if its good or bad.

 

The school owner has asked the tap teacher if she woudl mind wearing coloured socks instead of black ones under black shoes and if she would place a bow on her shoe front for a few classes and see if that helps......she often decorates her tap shoes so thats how they thought of it.

 

I will see how that goes, but I really dont know what to do.

 

The other 3 girls in her class are 9 and 10. So, I could say that maybe we shoudl wait until she is older then 6 to start up tap again.

 

I just hate seeing her upset. Esp in the dance school b/c she is always so full of happinesss there. AndI worry ( for my daughters sake...not mine.) the other parents are going to label my daughter a cry baby or a suck...or other negative things b/c she leaves the room crying. And that will transfer over to the kids.

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Albini, I think the problem is most likely the fact that a 6 year old should not be in any class with 9 and 10 year olds. They have a totally different learning capability. Do they not have a class for children her age?

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I agree, 6 year olds should not be in a class with 9 and 10 year olds even in tap. I have a 10 year old tapper and that would not happen even with some of the strong 7/8 year old tappers. They are in extremely different learning places.

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If she loves tap, then I would let her do it. I would, however, try to find a tap class with more 6-year-olds in it - maybe a tap class in the recreational track. The instruction would be a little slower, and being in a class with kids her own age would help make it even more fun. That may solve her frustration/crying issues. It sounds like too much information trying to be processed too quickly before the next combination is taught. Learning to break the skills down into smaller steps that are more easily achieved will help her learn to overcome all sorts of obstacles in life.

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Tap doesn't have to be visual! In fact, the ears are the most important tool a dancer can use for tap. My son is a tap dancer and sometimes to learn a piece, he will close his eyes and play with the sounds his feet make. Tap is all about rhythm and beats and creating music with your body.

 

I don't think she needs to be concerned at all with where the other dancers are in her class, and whether she's "as good" as them or not. If there is no class available for her age group, and if she is determined to continue (by the way- determination is a necessary quality in a dancer), then see if she can't learn to focus herself on the sounds.

 

Of course, I completely agree with Miss Leigh and Momof3darlings- she should be in a class with others her age!!

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Here are a few points from a member not authorized to post in this Forum:

 

 

I can't post in Albini's thread, and there's one point that's gotten lost. In January, the tap class will come before a ballet and a tap class. Three classes in one night is an awful lot for a small tyke! That would decide it for me right there. Plus, I'm concerned that if she gets upset during her tap class, she won't be 100% for her other classes.

 

As to the mom's main concern: my thought would be that she should follow her instincts, whatever they are. If it feels like it's too overwhelming for her kid at this this particular point in her life, it probably is. It's okay to sit it out for a while and try it again later if her DD really misses it.

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I think a big part of the problem may be the difference in the ages of the class members. There is a huge difference in the motor skills/co-ordination of a 6-year old and 9-10 year olds.

 

I'll say it again: I definitely admire your DD's pluckiness and perseverance. :(

 

But I do understand your concern. Given that the tap class is on the same night as two other classes, perhaps she needs to make an election among classes. Age 6 is very young for jazz classes. At our home studio, the kids are eligible to start tap much younger than they are eligible to start jazz.

And it is pretty young for back-to-back classes of any kind. So, I do understand your concern for your DD.

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