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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Too young for tampons??? Help


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Or female ballet teachers. :o


Not to panic, Tmom! There is no reason for her to stay home. She can wear a pad and maybe the teacher will allow a little dance skirt over her leotard? If you feel she is ready to learn to use a tampon, why not? Since she is under 13, that would be up to you, but I don't see any reason not to.

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One thing that might be helpful is to remind her that there is nothing to be mortified about because this is a natural and unavoidable part of being a woman. It's not like she's the only one who will be dealing with this. You might remind her that though it's definitely an annoyance, female dancers and athletes find ways to cope with the inconvenience of menses. If tampons are not an option for her, or she doesn't like the idea, there are many pads that are ultra-thin, not nearly as bulky as those available in the past. The whole concept is new right now for her, but she will get used to the idea and find a solution that works for her very soon. Hang in there.

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My dd started her period at 12. It just so happened that 2 other dancers started right around the same time. This helped her not to feel so isolated. The older girls were very supportive (just like big sisters) and shared all their experiences. It ended up being a positive experience because it was spoken of outwardly.


DD decided to use tampons. They make so many small and slender sizes now that it wasn't at all a big deal.


Good luck!

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My dd was 11, she's now 12. I didn't pull any punches. I gave her the biological explanation of what was happening and then said some people talk about the miracle of becoming a woman. But I think it is disgusting, uncomfortable and a real nuisance she will have to deal with for a very long time. She told me she was glad I was honest about it.


She started with the very thin tampons and pads. I gave her very specific and embarrasing explanations on how to use them and dispose of them. Over time, she's developed her own system and uses varying sizes depending on her needs. She is one of the few in her classes that always is dressed correctly. Her teacher knows that if she is in black booty shorts, it is for a very good reason. She is also grateful that she gets her own bag of chocolate dove squares during that week. :thumbsup:

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DD was 12 1/2 at the time. and went right for the tampons--we did check with the pediatrician who saw no medical reason not to. It has been a few years, but I do recall she actually used a book we had that was published by American Girl. I believe it is called "The Care and Keeping of You." (It addresses nall kinds of pre-teen female issues in a candid but appropriate way; diagrams included). She actually took the book and a mirror into the bathroom with her, and we had a good laugh. Of course, she'd probably be mortified by this post more than the actual event at age 12, so I will stop here :-) Like others have said, don't panic and counter her "mortification" by dealing with the issue as the "matter of fact" and natural issue that it is.

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My younger daughter was a month or so shy of her 11th birthday. She blithely announced to her father on the way to school, "Dad, I'm a woman now!"

She went straight to tampons because she was (and is) a water athlete. She had not a single problem.


Best thing is not to panic. Don't mourn her 'childhood' and just treat it all as a natural occurance---which is it. I remember seeing a Bill Cosby show when Rudi got her first period. They treated it as a celebration of a 'coming of age' ritual and the mom-character took Rudi out for a special mother-daughter day-out. I always thought that was a lovely way to handle it.

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I'm sure she's not too young. I was 12 and a swimmer so it wasn't an option not to for me.


My DD was 11 and a year later she still refuses to try tampons. I bought her a box of extra slim ones for her to try when she feels ready. She wears the thinest most absorbant pads and changes often. Some of her teachers allow them to wear shorts, so she does on those days. So far she has not had to deal with a performance, but that day will come and she will have to deal with tampons.

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I'm not sure if I can still post here since my daughter isn't under 13 anymore, but there is a wonderful discussion in the PTA section about this very subject. I believe Kandi is the one who posted it.


My daughter just recently had to deal with this. We took the wonderful advice posted on the PTA thread. DD wears a basic thong underneath her leotard that you can purchase online at Discount Dance or any other ballet store. Using this she can wear a pad and you can not tell the thong or the pad are there. DD is uncomfortable with a tampon so this could be a viable solution if your daughter is adverse to them as well.

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There really are so many options in terms of "feminine" products. I used DianneC's approach with both of my daughters. I just kept reminding them that those super-slender tampons were in the bathroom closet and that it would probably take a few tries. I think my oldest went through an entire box "trying".

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My DD and I also highly recommend "The Care and Keeping of You." It touches on this subject, and other relevant issues (e.g. eating disorders) in an informational and non-threatening way. I think she was glad to read the book instead of having embarrassing conversations with me!


Re. tampons:

1) a female physician friend suggested using K-Y jelly to help aid insertion of the tampons;

2) my DD started out using the "pearlized" applicators.

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This reminds me of when I was a teen. My 11 year old sister got her first period in the dressing room right an hour before her ballet recital! All I had with me were tampons, so that's what she wore from the very beginning. It was no big deal.

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My non-DD oldest daughter is a swimmer and so she basically had to wear a tampon or not practice. She felt more comfortable with the older girls on the team instructing her while outside the stall in the locker room. She was 11 and it was fine.

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My DD has been unable to figure out how to use a tampon, I wish that she would!! (I did all the embarrassing instructional stuff that everyone else has done, but she says it hurts too much so I leave her alone about it). But she uses pad for class and wears booty shorts over her leo. Her teacher once told me that she has always understood that when a girl is wearing a pair of shorts over her leotard that it was "her time." I love that lady.


The book, "The Care and Keeping of You" is an excellent resource.

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