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Gymnastics vs. Dance??


Boydancermom

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Boydancermom

 

Thanks Jama. Yes - our son is very conflicted. I'm hoping that after his local studio SI this summer (and maybe a one week residential SI at the Rock in Philly) he will make the break like your son. He seems so much happier in dance, but time will tell. Do you think that your son having a gymnastics background has helped him in dance? (our son also like jazz and musical theatre like yours). We are hoping that his flexibility and strength compensated for his lack of experience for the School of the Arts audition.

Thanks for all your advice....I feel lucky to have your perspective!

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Boydancermom

 

Also - what SIs and Pre-Pro program did he do?

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I don't want to post any identifying info here but would love to talk to you further. I think I can post my email briefly so you can get in touch directly. Moderator feel free to correct me if I am wrong...

You can reach me at harrietcasey@hotmail.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
Boydancermom

Thanks everyone for all the great info. I wanted to update you all.....unfortunately our son got a rejection from the School of the Arts. We found out through a reliable source that he had a good audition but that his references were not good. (what?????)

 

So - we specifically asked his references for feedback. His school teacher gave him an "excellent" one (and I believe her) but unfortunately his gymnastics coach said that she wrote that he doesn't live up to his potential - (and I'm sure didn't give him good ratings). Yuck!!! I wish she would have let me know ahead of time that it wasn't going to be a good one. She went on to say that the people at the School of the Arts are "weirdos". Great......so the hope of our son getting into a school where he will not be bullied and to nurture his passion for dance was squashed. Very heartbreaking. Our son is not focused on gymnastics like he has been in the past - but he holds onto it because the boys there are his only friends....but even that has waned since all he wants to do is socialize and have fun. He manages to still do well at meets (he got 3rd all around in his age group at States last week) much to the chagrin of his gym friends.

 

So - the moral to this story is to be sure to ask references ahead of time if it's going to be a good one. I did ask his very positive dance instructor (who feels he has great potential) to write a reference but it turns out it was too late. (he started getting dance lessons just a few weeks before the references were due). His gymnastics coach said not to feel badly because she had several students that didn't get in - yeah - no wonder since she probably didn't write any good references for anyone for the "weirdo" school!!! It makes me sick to think about it.....

 

But as they say, one door closes, and another one opens. He was so excited about the audition (never saw him so "up") - so by trying to get into the School, he found his passion (or as someone so aptly pointed out, dance found him).

 

I want to yank him from the gym with the horrid coach - but he's not ready to go yet. I'm hoping it happens.....he said that next year instead of doing 16 hours of gymnastics he wants to do 13 hours of gymnastics and 5 hours of dance a week. And for the next school year, he will have to continue growing a thick skin for the "gay" jabs at school.

 

He wants to get a barre at home - so probably a 5 or 6' portable one? Any brands to avoid or look out for?

 

Deb

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http://www.amazon.com/Health-Mark-60-Inch-Portable-Stretch/dp/B000LOJ3QC/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1396262551&sr=8-27&keywords=barre+portable

 

That's the one we have. It's quite good. Sturdy and adjusts well.

 

Sorry to hear about the school outcome. Does he plan to audition again next year? It does sound like the gymnast coach has an ulterior motive.

I know an excellent ballet teacher who started as a gymnast. He told me he went to an audition and was so sick he couldn't even dance, but when they found out he had tumbling he was hired on the spot!

My son always told kids that women weren't even allowed to do ballet for the first few hundred years. That in many cultures male ballet danceres are exalted. He also proved himself to be far superior in athletics due to his stamina, speed, agility, strength, etc. Kids asked how he got so good in middle school PE. He said "I'm a ballet dancer!" Keep trying to find those positives.

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Boydancermom

Thanks Moxie. Yes, he will apply for the School of the Arts next year. I was just so surprised about the outcome this year. I know that 3 boys tried out - and I know that one of them got in (he is at the same dance studio as our son - and that boy has been dancing since he was 7 - and no doubt, had good references) - not sure about the other one.

 

I appreciate the support - it was very disappointing. I am very happy, though, that he is dancing. It's a joy to watch him.

 

Will check out the barre. I want to encourage him so this will help, I'm sure.

 

Deb

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Boydancermom

Why is it important not to have identifying info. on here? Because the dance world is competitive, or catty? Just curious..... if so, then I should probably change my name on here. I'm sure there aren't too many moms of boy dancers in Charleston with the name Deb :cool2:

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About anonymity-- it allows the people posting to be completely honest without worrying that someone from their studio will recognize them. Often people need advice about problems or issues they may be having at their school or summer intensives, and they don't want anyone from that school (other parents or studio employees) to know who they are.

 

About your son's audition -- I'm really sorry that this happened, and I hope he has a better result next year. I'm not sure why anyone would agree to write a recommendation if they didn't think it would be positive. I'm glad that your son is proving to be resilient in the face of disappointment.

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My thought is it's up to the poster how much to reveal. The issue is more about "outing" them on the forum and identifying them or walking up to someone and saying "I know you, you're the one who's kid did blah, blah, blah". I'm sure a lot of us will meet one day and will figure out our identities and it will be just fine.

Maybe a moderator will chime in here, but I think it's ok to be Deb from Charleston.

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It is up to you, of course. However, the internet, which Ballet Talk for Dancers is a part of, is worldwide and if you see or read the news every day, you'll see that there are people out there who do not have good intentions. It can be not a big deal to be "open", but it can also be a not so good thing.

 

Ballet is not immune to extreme "fans", so take heed and make the best decision for your comfort level.

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  • 2 months later...
Boydancermom

Hello all,

 

Just wanted to give all of you an update......our son is getting closer and closer to pulling the plug on gymnastics. I won't go into the horrid things that his gymnastics coach is doing as she senses that he has lost interest in her screaming at him..... and on the other end of the coin, his dance instructor tells him "if you don't get something right, it's because I haven't taught it correctly".....what divergent teaching styles! Like night and day. Needless to say, our son does not respond well to intimidation. I know that the famous Romanian gymnastic coach (Bela Karolyi) is antagonistic with his gymnastics and is know for his brutal, nearly abusive style - but our son doesn't respond well to that. I am saddened when I notice other teams that my son compete with, and their coaches are on the sidelines practically beaming and hand motioning their routines (our son's coach doesn't even know his optional routines) - what a stark difference.

 

I'm curious if the screaming, ranting coaches get results? I think the most important thing is that the gymnast/dancer knows that their coach cares about them (a la the time that Bela scooped up injured Mary Lou Retton after her vault (or was that just for show?)

 

In the dance world, are there different styles of instructors similar to gymnastics? The stark raving mad, intimidating type, vs. the encouraging, you can do it, type?

 

At any rate, I just feel blessed that our son's first dance instructor is truly amazing. We didn't even do much research but ended up with the perfect match for him. One of his student's is in the NYC ballet which is no great surprise to me. He is gifted and we are very lucky considering that we are in a small city.

 

So - one door closes (gymnastics) and another door (dance) opens. One more week of gymnastics before his summer intensive - whew!

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There are vastly different styles in all activities. You sound like you have found a lovely dance teacher. My DD is a tough little cookie but as she moved up the gymnastics levels, she got a coach that would yell at her for things he hadn't even taught her yet. She would cry in the car on the way home out of frustration. I moved her from gymnastics back to her siblings' dance studio - like night and day. You get the same thing in the dance world as well - just watch Dance Mom's. One mother whose children used to dance at our studio actually left to take her kids to a dance instructor who was "meaner" to the kids. She even told our dear dance teacher that she should "yell at the kids more because isn't that how you get better results?" :o

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Boydancermom

Dinkalina,

 

That's exactly what our son's gymnastic's instructor did to him yesterday - yelled at him for something she hadn't taught him. Ridiculous.

 

To be fair, I do think that some kids do respond to being intimidated and yelled at (perhaps they will be into S&M later in life? - :-), but that's not what motivates our son. Yes, we feel very blessed to have found dance so he doesn't have to endure the torture anymore.

 

Deb

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Unfortunately, you will find "difficult personalities" in all walks of life, and what makes one person want to run far, far away can be another person's motivating factor. However, in my opinion, when a coach/teacher/mentor/boss is using derogatory terminology and abusive behavior, that is not motivating anyone. In fact, it is causing damage to the psyche that will change a person's brain chemistry forever. Get him out of the gymnastic coach's sphere of influence now. While it is true that children are resilient and will be able to recover, the residual effects are there.

 

I've of course been told that these situations make a person what they today, and to some extent I agree. "What doesn't kill you does make you stronger", and again, I agree. But, does this mean the person would not gain strength in a more positive way? Hard to answer because the negative experience has already occurred. All I can say is that I have met people whose lives seem to be bathed in some protective bubble, and they walk a path paved in gold. Those people seem to have such positive things to say; their lives are not wracked with strife other than the normal- death/taxes/etc., they emit positive vibes into the universe, and so in return, get that positivity back.

 

Is it possible to become like them when you've had different experiences? Is it likely that the one abusive situation will not rear its ugly head in the future in the form of staying with a bad relationship, or being otherwise unhealthy? Knowing what I now know, I would say the answer to the first question is, "No", while the answer to the 2nd question is, "Yes".

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Boydancermom

Clara,

 

I completely agree! I know for myself, growing up with a non-nurturing, negative mother set me up for abusive relationships. It was what I was used to so it felt comfortable. Not a good situation. I'm learning to change what is "comfortable" to me and choosing healthy, supportive relationships. I have to say, I am worried about my son and hope that I haven't modeled that co-dependency to him. Just the other day, I said to him: so let me get this straight, your gymnastics coach said to xyz and your supposed good friend in the gym said that since you haven't gone a lot lately that he and the other boys were hoping that you had left", and you still want to continue going there? This is blatant emotional abuse. I want to yank him from that abuse and I'm surprised that he would still want to go but also trying to respect that he wants to make his own decision. Luckily - it's only for another week (whew).

 

Clara - you make such an interesting point that these types of experiences do somewhat shape our view of the world and models how we treat other people. And again, I feel blessed that he has a nurturing truly inspiring dance teacher who will hopefully wipe his negative experience out of his memory bank.

 

Deb

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