Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Does your child do any other activities besides dance?

Recommended Posts

Hi all !


I've been reading the threads here for about a week. I've learned a lot already (especially about pointe shoes - DD's going for her first fitting today).


I was wondering if your child does any other activites besides dance - music, sports, etc? Anything that takes extra time.


I'm at a crossroads with DD and her violin lessons. She seems to be losing interest and with her starting pointe classes, I think she's going to be going to dance more days per week. Which means even less time for practicing her violin. I hate to see her give it up (she's taken lessons for 5 yrs). When I ask her what she sees herself doing when she grows up she immediately says dance. When I ask her if she sees herself playing the violin, she says 'not really'.


So, I guess I'm wondering - is it too much to do another activity and be so involved in dance?


(DD is almost 12, takes ballet classes 2x's per week and youth ensemble once per week. I think the ballet is going to go up to 3 days per week starting in Aug., but I'm not sure. Her school is not very good at informing us of things unitl the last minute--that's another one of my frustrations :thumbsup: )

Link to comment

My DS is only just going on 8 so I think it's a different thing entirely -- no eight year old needs to be a specialist in my opinion -- but he is involved in Cub Scouts, Awana at our church, and will be starting piano lessons this year. I'm going to let him try fencing this year and see if he is interested in swim team. He doesn't really have any talent with dance although he loves it, so I would like for him to have activities he can fall back on if he decides not to dance anymore. One of the things I always appreciated about my parents was the breadth of opportunities they gave us to try new activities until we found our bliss. I'd like to do the same for my kids.


For a(n almost) 12 year old DD who is starting pointe, I would definitely consider narrowing down the activities; but one other activity would seem doable. Music lessons that only require one lesson per week and practice that can be done at home seem like one of the easier things to integrate. She doesn't have to plan on a career in violin to appreciate learning and improving if she still likes it. If she's getting her pointe shoes, though, shouldn't she be in class more than three days per week?

Link to comment

Thanks for your reply.

I don't know if she should be going more than 3 days/week for pointe.

Our dance studio is fairly new (3 yrs old) and they are just now getting their schedules up to where they should be.

They haven't let us know yet what the fall schedule will be .

Link to comment

My older DD tried other things when she was younger but nothing but ballet stuck so when whe moved up to 3x per week it wasn't an issue. My 10 year old DD took Piano last year but we stopped it after the first half of the year we stopped because she just didn't seem as interested anymore and with her also playing flute in the school band plus all her schoolwork and ballet class and rehearsals it just seemed lik to much for all of us. While i was sad to see her quit because she was doing well, it was the right thing to do at the time. I think it is important to try other things when they are young but eventually an activity gets to be more advanced and a choice needs to be made. Getting to pointe shoes is usually that time in ballet. If she isn't interested, I would consider dropping the lessons.

Link to comment

My 6-year olds will be on novice swim team in August (which they did last year too) and just started martial arts. Of the older girls at our ballet school (en pointe or close to it), I know that one is also a competitive swimmer, another plays piano and is involved in theatre, another takes other kinds of dance, has a part time job and is in charge of her highschool dance team, another does cheer and there seem to be just as many who don't have another activity.

Link to comment

Your post hits close to home. We also are struggling with planning out a fall schedule that will allow continuation of violin lessons for 10yo DD. She will be taking 2 ballet classes, 1 modern, 1 ballet exam class and assisting in a creative movement class for younger kids. Plus with Nutcracker, spring show, and end of year recital the rehearsal committments are increasing year by year.


I really struggle because at this point DD has no "professional" aspirations but just LOVES to dance. We are lucky enough to be in an independent school that has a no homework philosophy until middle school so it is manageable.


For this year her violin teacher has agreed to be very flexible and accomodate if lessons interfere with rehearsals but not sure how long she can keep doing both. Eventually she will have to choose :thumbsup:

Link to comment

My 9-year-old sings in the children's choir at church, is a Girl Scout, and is a competitive swimmer on the local team (although she doesn't do out-of-town meets). She's had guitar and piano lessons, but isn't really interested in practicing so I let her drop them. This year, she wants to join the school's First LEGO team. If your DD likes violin, I'd let her try and continue. If she isn't interested anymore, I'd let her drop it but let her know that she can pick it back up if she wants. In DD's dance class, there are girls who do soccer, violin, piano, basketball, gymnastics, golf, tennis, musical theater, cheerleading, volleyball, quiz bowl, and who knows what else.

Link to comment

DD stays quite busy taking classes 6 days a week. She's 12, almost 13. She plays violin in orchestra at school and practices at home. She no longer takes lessons though. Last year she took German outside of school and had homework for that. She has lots of homework from school during the school year too. She needs a little down time and time for socializing.

Link to comment

When my DD was 5, she switched from gymnastics to ballet. Since the switch, she has been all-ballet-all-the-time: her choice. I'm the daughter of two music teachers and growing up we all played piano, so I have had this gnawing guilt about not introducing piano or other instrument lessons. But where would the time come from? And the money? DD is now 11, dancing en pointe and goes to ballet 4-5x per week. With the increased ballet instruction along with homework and church activities, there is no time to do anything else. Hubby and I also work very hard to keep DD from being overscheduled. We want her to have downtime-reading in her room, playing with Wii or our dog in the backyard, etc. She has made the choice to do ballet and doesn't want anything else. I don't know how other parents do it. I see kids in DD's ballet school rushing into the school in full soccer gear, coming from a game and ready to do 2 hours of ballet and then rushing off to flute lessons. These kids have got to be tired. How do they do it? I don't think that there's any problem with kids trying other activities, but at some point, for girls, usually around the time they get en pointe, ages 11, 12, 13, a decision to limit or drop some of the activities must be made.

Link to comment

Julisha, we faced that same thing. DD wanted to do nothing else. She participates in the local ballet theatre also, which involves 16 Nutcracker performances in Dec and countless hours of rehearsal. They also do a Spring show and her school performance. These rehearsals take up the rest of her time. Her friends just do not understand why she dances so much. She is away for 5 weeks for a summer intensive right now.

Link to comment

I will say - even though my older DD is no longer under 13, that we had a similar dilemma when she was about 12. DD had always wanted to take ballet, and we were definitely novices (still are in my opinion) when it comes to dance. At the time, she was in her 3rd year of a pre-professional company, and she was in her sixth year of piano, and showed an extreme amount of promise, playing well above her age level. My husband and I both love music so, and we were hoping she would continue on with the lessons. However, she was at the level that she would have to practice about 2 hours a day to take it further, and with dance classes almost every day of the week, I was concerned. We asked her if she wanted to continue with piano, and she said flat out 'no'. To say we were disappointed was an understatement! My husband was especially disappointed. But when I thought about it, I did believe she actually did not truly 'enjoy' the practice part that much (and boy do I find that odd because that's not the case in ballet!). I also agreed with her decision because I too did not want her to get into 'overload' and do too much at once. In the end, I am glad that though we certainly could have insisted she go on, we didn't. I knew it was time for her to stop.

I miss her playing, and sometimes she will sit down at the piano and try to play. She can pick it up very quickly and still can play parts of pieces from sheer muscle memory. I think she will always have the ability to do so. I am so happy she can do that, and I know someday she will especially appreciate it! It also gave her great musicality in her dancing, which she has always had, and that she is very happy for. Bottom line is, any time a dancer spends on an instrument or involved with music will help a dancer to be a better one. We felt that simply through her music lessons, she has been helped a great deal as a dancer.

The fact that someone eventually decides to put aside something and concentrate on one thing I believe just shows they have made a decision and it is theirs. Celebrate their decision and as has been said, just let them know it doesn't have to be a final one.

Our younger DD also took piano lessons for 3 or 4 years I think she stopped earlier than her sister. I really think it helped her musicality as well and I am simply glad we had the opportunity to provide them the lessons.

Link to comment

For us, finances and time constraints have dictated that our children may fully participate in only one activity per child. So we have one who dances, two who play piano, and one who plays guitar. This September we're trying something new, and my eldest (piano player) will be adding one class each of ballet, tap, and jazz to her schedule. Purely recreational, for fun and exercise. Since she's also starting high school, it will be interesting to see how it all comes together. She's the mature, responsible type, but I imagine she'll be refining her time management technique as she goes along . :unsure:


ETA: We homeschool, which gives us a certain flexibility and frees up some time during the day. Just throwing that out there--if you are open to the idea it's one way to help fit it all in.

Link to comment

I distinctly remember the stomach lurching feeling and sadness I felt when my daughter gave up piano. I was so devastated! Fast forward a few years and she has had me buy sheet music for Coldplay and other bands that she is interested in. She sits down at the piano and WORKS til she's perfected a song. I think that's pretty cool. Then she'll drop it for a few months until she's somehow motivated again by some piece of music. Full disclosure: I could do without the Sugar Plum Fairy music. Hahaha!

Link to comment

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I do feel kind of sick to my stomach thinking that she may quit, but I have a feeling that's where it's headed.

She has a new teacher that is requiring her to practice at a minimum of 30 minutes everyday and she's resistant to even doing that small amount.

I know on days that she has dance that she probably will not even pick up her violin.

But, it looks like other people find time to do such other activities. I don't know. We'll see how it goes.

And like some of you said-she may pick it up again later. I wish her school had an orchestra, but it doesn't.


Thanks again!


(pointe shoe fitting went well--her teacher works at the dancewear shop-that helps a lot !)

Link to comment

I hate to tell you this but......when a kid wants to practice something, and even does it on her own, that's a sign! When a kid has had significant exposure to an activity and has really never wanted to do much practice, to the point where you, the parent are having to prod, cajole, coerce, and bribe, well, there's another sign. :blush:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...