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BalletmomMN

Level is too hard

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BalletmomMN

So I’m concerned that my daughter (10) was placed in a level too hard for her this year.  This is the first time she’s not in a class that splits with the one below, so she is always the youngest, dancing with girls at least one year older, with most of them 2-4 years older. Also for the first time she has expressed discouragement that she is not as good as those in her class. 

She’s not typically at the top of her class, and usually starts at the bottom each year and works her way toward the middle of the pack by the end of the year.  

I’m concerned about discouragement setting in and find myself wondering frequently if I should move her back down a level to be with age peers, though I think that could cause discouragement too.  Has anyone else experienced this?  How did you help your daughter cope and stay motivated?

 

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Ballerinamom2girls

It takes time to get used to a level up.  I wouldn't do anything.  Let her feel the struggle.  It'll push her to work hard.  My DD has experienced the same thing.  She felt very discourged for most of season.  The last couple of months, she was stronger and more confident than any previous year of her training.  

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ballet1310

I would question why it’s harder - if she is not ready technically for what they are doing then there is a big potential for injury.  Pushing ahead st that age is not always the best option 

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BalletmomMN

I’m not too concerned about injury, as they still take a pretty incremental approach. I’m a lot more worried about her emotional development. We did have a talk about not comparing herself to other dancers, but rather looking up to them and working to become a stronger dancer. We’ll see if she takes it to heart. 

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dancingjet

Do you trust this school and the decision it makes? If so, then it sounds like they have confidence in your DD's ability to rise to the challenge of being in this next level, and you could talk about that with your daughter. 

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ballet1310

It’s hard st that age to not compare - just keep encouraging her and help her understand that this is a very long journey and she can only concentrate and work on herself . 

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Butter

Great advice from everyone.  My daughter is also the youngest and in a class with girls 2 years older.  She was nervous, but we talked about how we trust her teachers and they wouldn't have moved her up if she wasn't ready.  Two months later and we're very happy with the placement.

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ballet1310

Another thought - you could have the discussion about the advantages of NOT being the best in her class - I always felt that when you become the best at a school at that age, it’s time to move on to a more challenging  program 

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BalletmomMN

Thanks for the advice!  We do trust the studio, but I was surprised they moved her up and blindsided by my daughter’s newfound awareness of her abilities. I guess the combo had me questioning. I really appreciate knowing that others have had similar experiences. 

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Cleo1515

This happened to my daughter and it did not end well. The dancing and technical ability was fine, but the girls were absolutely horrible to her. A lot of jealousy and outrage from parents that tricked down to the kids. Just be careful and tell her to put blinders on, head forward, work hard, and don't expect them to be kind. 

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Phx115

DD12 had this happen to her when she was 8 turning 9. She was in a level and student company where most were 11 and a few were 10. 

At that age it wasn't the technical differences that bothered her, but the lack of making friends. Those dancers were mostly in middle school and she was in elementary. That's a big gap socially and she felt left out.

This year, she's back at that same studio, and she's an apprentice with a student company that is mostly high-school-age kids. Her other student company has mostly 13 and 14 year olds. Nevertheless, she feels much more included this time around, and is focused on the technique and artistry.

I really think the ideal studio should pay attention to the emotional/developmental aspects AS WELL AS the technical aspects when placing dancers into levels. 

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