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Ballet Talk for Dancers

At what age could you tell ballet was it for dd


newsgirl

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I hesitate to post because the last thing I want to sound like is one of those hyper moms, but I am curious about how young kids express their love for dance. Dd has been dancing and "spinning" since she was 2. Rather than bop up and down like most little kids she has been a full body mover... Extended arms, legs, twirling, spinning, leaping. Repeating certain movements to go with bits of songs she knows. We signed her up for Creative Movement at the city's ballet academy at age 3. After the first class she cried because it was over and she didn't understand that she could come every week.

 

We took this summer off for vacation, swim lessons etc. And when I had her try on her new shoes for fall she got teary again. "Mom, I miss ballet." If she sees dance moves on TV, she will try to duplicate them. She almost has the salsa down from watching and episode of Dora the Explorer. This isn't really normal is it?

 

I've been lurking on this forum for a few months. I have no experience with dance and ecerytumg I read about the time and money commitments for older kids I start to hyperventilate. On the second day of pre-k even her teachers commented on how much she loves to dance. Seems to be a sign.... So, when did you know?

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Don't worry about "when do you know" right now. The "when do you know" question really will really have an answer of reflection. At this age, it's just a case of now you know that she's happy doing the activity you have her doing (for now) and that she may have the inner love of movement that can equate to loving dance for years to come.

 

I will say that after having 3 dancing children, at 4, they all fit the picture of what you've described above. At 7, I could add not only the freedom of movement and attention to fullness you've described but also a desire to share this love with everyone in Target, Wal-mart and the grocery store because what are aisles other than open dance floors. But again, all 3 fit that mold yet only one would I reflect back and put in the "this is when I knew" category. The seperation of talent, passion, drive, determination comes later. That doesn't mean that what you see now isn't the beginning of it, just that you won't really know now. That reflection will come later.

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She sounds exactly like my DD, who is now 11, and still going strong with ballet exclusively, after trying gymnastics and tap. I think that it's important to continue to nurture the love and joy of dance at this tender age, so keep on with the creative movement/age appropriate classes. Continue to take her to ballet performances like the Nutcracker. Keep that space in your house (the family room, the basement) wide open for her "performances." When she is ready for more formalized training at 7 or 8, find the best training offered in your area. And just follow her cues. If she gets tired of it, she will let you know. If she is hooked, she will also let you know. At 6, my DD proclaimed, Ballet is my passion!

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My daughter was also twirling and leaping at 2. We enrolled her in our country rec program's "kinderdance." She loved it and attended for 2 years. We took her to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center in DC and she was at the edge of her seat the entire time, so I knew she was hooked. At 4 she was able to attend the local ballet studio. They have a music and motion class for 4-6 and begin pre-ballet at 5-7. She is still at the same studio at 13 in the pre-professional program. Some kids just have to dance.

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I think that the problem with asking that question here is that the vast majority of people who see it will have children that are actively involved in the dance world! The descriptions above fit my daughter perfectly and she is now at a full time dance school. However, for every child that is still passionate about dance at her age, there will be many, many more that aren't and they are the ones that probably don't read this board! Out of all the equally enthusiastic little girls that she took class with initially, she is the only one to still be dancing at any level - all the others have moved on to other things as they have grown up.

 

Sadly, there is very much more to a successful dance career than passion (although that goes a long way) but if your daughter loves it now, let her indulge herself and see where the journey takes her!

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I have two DD's and both were "movers" from an early age. My oldest DD, now 18, is preparing herself to audition come January. My youngest, 9 years old, has no "passion" for dance, but loves the performance aspect of ballet. At this point, I don't see her going on to audition for companies, but I do see Musical Theater or something not so ballet oriented. We'll see what happens... Ballet can only help her in whatever she decides and "feed" her need for moving her body.

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I agree with ifnotwhynot - we're a self-selected group here, so likely all of our children sound like yours at that age. :P I don't see why there's any need to decide what is "it" at this point. Just let your daughter try various activities and see what she enjoys. She is four, after all. :green:

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I have a very different experience. My oldest girl would dance around the house. So i put her in ballet. She hated being told how to move. She just wanted to dance the way she wanted to. She went for a total of 3 months.

 

My younest son never danced a day in his life nor did he ever express any intrest in dancing until he was asked to audition as a soldier for the Nutcracker showcase at his little sisters dance school.

 

He fell in love with it and auditioned for the rec stream at the studio that month. He quickly moved up to pre pro and is now in the studios company.

 

Completely opposite experiences.

 

My youngest daughter falls into the "wont stop dancing" pool.

 

Its hard not to wonder what the future will hold for our kids. But 4 is pretty young yet. So i would say it is pretty normal behaviour.

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My DD came to me at age 4 and asked if she could 'do ballet'. I did not encourage her at all, and at the time she was in a gymnastics class. I knew nothing about ballet at all. I don't know where she got the idea, or why she asked. But she had always moved or danced around just as others are describing. I figured that we would let her take a class when she finished up her gymnastic class commitment. We put her in a ballet class that fall and the rest as they say, is history. She now has a desire to make a career out of it. I did nothing to encourage that one way or the other, I just followed her lead. If your daughter loves it, she will find she has to do it. It won't necessarily have to be a career either. But don't worry about encouraging her - she is very young and should be encouraged to do something she really wants. Just enjoy it and support it as long as she loves it!

 

Oh! so to answer the question - at what age? I would say we are still wondering!!! :) But she seemed to make that final commitment around her early teen years.

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At 10, I know my DD loves to dance. She seems to live for her classes after school and we are commmitted to letting her explore her passion. But, is this it for her. Who knows? She has so much lmore life to live and I am sure it will take her down various paths.

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I love this board. I laughed to myself reading this thread. My daughter also dances in stores and such. She also proclaimed dance her passion at a young age. She recently gave up her "other" extracurriculars to focus on dance. It is so nice to have others relate!

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At 15, my dd still dances through Target aisles and the grocery store, too! Except now she wants me to be her partner. She tells me I am a bad partner and we laugh. At 4 she was twirling, now it's arabesque and pirouettes. When she was 2, my oldest dd was 4 and in a dance class. The 2yo could watch through the mirror and mimicked everything perfectly. She loved to go to her sister's dance just to watch and do the same moves. I enrolled her in a preschool type class at 3. At 5, she was tired of the tap/combo, wanted to just do ballet, and we switched her to the pre-pro school she is in now.

 

Like ifnotwhynot said, there is so much involved. Some of dd's friends have moved on to study other forms of dance and theater. Many quit because it wasn't fun anymore. DD is the only one left from her original group. My best friend is a dance mom and we joke when we see the preschool moms come in to register. We laugh and whisper to ourselves, "Run. Run now while you can before ballet eats up your life." But seriously, even if I had a crystal ball and could see the time and money spent now on dd's training, I would still do it all over. It is just that sort of a passionate commitment for her. Plus, I was exposed to ballet and found something I really love. I will always be involved in ballet at some level, I think. I never miss a company performance; dd and I have season tickets. Today we watched ABT's Swan lake on DVD (gorgeous!). So let your 4yo take dance and twirl, and let the future hold what may.

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Laura, I have also developed a love of ballet with my dd and we go as often as we can to professional performances. I have just begun to take adult beginner classes myself.

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My dd mentioned taking adult beginner classes. I have rheumatoid arthritis that affects my feet and neck the most, so I don't think I could take the workout! :) Otherwise, I would be at the barre. I don't live through my dd's dance, but have come to really appreciate the disciplne and beauty of the art. I could sit at the studio and watch anyone's class, from 6yo through adult, regardless of whether my dd is in it.

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I have to LOL. I am just home from Target where my 14 yo dd was eyeing the aisle for a grand allegro (we had just come from class). At 2, she ran around the house, with her leg in attitude derriere, proclaiming "I BE BALLERINA!" At 14, it is her life.

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