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Dancing and driving


Pups_mum
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Just a fun question for those with older DCs.....how did they find learning to drive?

My DD passed her test first time last week and I have been hugely impressed by how easily she has taken to driving. I really struggled when I learned so I wasn't expecting her to "get it" so quickly. I wondered if the fact that she is so well coordinated and used to doing different things with all her limbs was something to do with it? Plus I think dancers have good spatial awareness in general.

DD then commented that all her friends that she considers good dancers (those she knows in full time training and the "serious" pupils at our local school) are also the friends she considers good drivers. And they all passed first time!

So, is this just a coincidence or is it yet another benefit of ballet for our youngsters? What do you think?!

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Congratulations to your DD! It's a big milestone passing your driving test and I think lots of the attributes cultivated by ballet are transferable to many other areas in life and I can see why driving would be one! Ability to concentrate, take instruction, be calm under pressure, co ordinate your brain and body and react and judge quickly.

 

It is a PET HATE of mine when other parents or adults in general murmur something like 'she does ballet...oh...she'll have...great posture' as if that's the only take home benefit.

 

I had to take DD with me on my driving lessons sometimes when she was tiny but still old enough to parrot my instructor from the back seat "easy on the clutch mummy" - which beautifully illustrates your point.

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Oh no I'm totally here! I'm just not very good at giving helpful advice, so I prefer to be less transmit more receive.

 

For example this week at ballet

 

Me: I think leg warmers go under your ballet shoes? Won't they get dirty?

DD: (look) no mumma that would look weird.

Me: I think you'll find...

DD: (sigh)...ok.

 

Tries it.

Me: oh....ummm..yes I see what you mean.

 

I have a lot to learn.

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My DD took easily to driving too and I admit I thought there would be good correlation between dancers and learning to drive for the reasons mentioned above. However, most of DD's dancing friends took quite a while to learn to drive with most passing on 2nd or 3rd attempts and I am including those at vocational school here aswell as dancing friends from home.  When at home, her classes were mostly with older girls who were learning to drive and my non DS picked it up and passed his test first time, unlike the majority of them.

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I think our dancing children are generally great at everything requiring coordination, balance and hand eye coordination. DD is still the ski jump record holder on the neighbours Wii after several years of others trying to better it and when she had some tennis coaching, the coach asked if she was a dancer as she always found that dancers took to tennis line ducks to water! Dd was given an off road driving lesson for Christmas, so may be able to comment on that soon! Hope the theory follows!

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What about all the backseat driving they do en route to ballet? For example, traffic lights go red, rare moment of calm tranquility, lights go green, you're jolted into action when a voice from behind shouts "go!". Anyone else get that?

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I took a while to learn to drive & pass, I find spacial awareness difficult generally although I'm certain dance has helped me a bit! I know lots of dancers who took many attempts to pass....I'm not naturally co-ordinated either so maybe I would've never managed without dancing! I did have good clutch control from the start, all that going through the feet business surely helped?! :D

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It seems the younger you are the easier you find things like driving etc, I had a little add up of all the youngsters (17ish) in the family and close friends over the last few years, and do you know every single one of them passed their driving test first time. We couldn't think of one who didn't, but one or two who were quite older had a few problems, so it seems there is a pattern there.

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I found learning to drive very hard. I was 22 when I passed my test having not wanted to learn before that and I hated the lessons and practise. I did pass first time though.

 

I imagine that most people who are put in for their tests only do so when the instructor thinks they're ready to pass and confidence on the day is a big factor which might be why dancers (as performers) do well. My sister in law doesn't dance and her instructor said she was one of the best drivers he had taught, however  she failed her test 6 times due to nerves on the day.

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I failed my driving test twice due to nerves.  Neither instructor could believe I had failed.  I gave up after that and only tried again some years later when there were a lot of issues with the local trains.

 

I did a one week intensive course in Llandudno ( we had to have some basic experience so I had about 4 hours before I went on the course).  It was a one-man driving school.  He ran the courses with 2 people at a time.  You drove for an hour and observed from the back seat for an hour.  The course started on Monday morning and we had a mock test on Thursday afternoon.  The test was pre-booked for the Friday.  I am still amazed after all this time to say that I passed!

 

I went to the garage to have a test drive on the Saturday (I had already decided which car I wanted), ordered it and collected it on the Sunday.  I had been saving for so long for a car (at the nagging of a friend) that I was able to buy a new car outright!  I have never looked back since.

 

I don't know if it is still the same but I had a lot of female colleagues who had passed their driving tests at a young age but who had never been able to buy a car and had lost confidence in their driving ability.  They were still qualified to drive, which is a frightening thought!  A couple of people I know took a refresher course when they were able to get their own car.

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I don't think that being co-ordinated for dancing has anything to do with anything!  I was always hopeless at sport for example and I never learnt to swim properly.  I have no sense of direction and only drive because I have to!  I actually failed the test twice before I passed it when I was six months pregnant.  I had to literally re-learn when I eventually started driving again, because I stopped for so long whilst I was having my kids.  There were no compulsary baby seats then and I didn't want to drive on my own with a baby or a child loose in the back, so I just walked or bussed everywhere with them.  I remember walking in the middle of our road one winter with all three kids stuffed into my huge Silver Cross pram, because the pavements hadn't been cleared of snow and it was impossible to walk there with a pram!  I wonder when child seats became compulsary????  I must google it!

Edited by Dance*is*life
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My son started having driving lessons when he was 17, and after just 6 lessons he broke his leg playing rugby. In those days it was common for some of the driving schools to apply for the test early, so when it came round you didn't have to waste time and money having lessons you might not need. (Not a good business plan I know) When he was fit enough to start driving again, I advised him to take the test as it wasn't  that much if he didn't pass. He only had time for a couple of hours refresher lessons, and guess what he passed, although he may have been lucky, I'm not sure, but it was worth the gamble. 

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I failed my driving test twice due to nerves.  Neither instructor could believe I had failed.  I gave up after that and only tried again some years later when there were a lot of issues with the local trains.

 

I did a one week intensive course in Llandudno ( we had to have some basic experience so I had about 4 hours before I went on the course).  It was a one-man driving school.  He ran the courses with 2 people at a time.  You drove for an hour and observed from the back seat for an hour.  The course started on Monday morning and we had a mock test on Thursday afternoon.  The test was pre-booked for the Friday.  I am still amazed after all this time to say that I passed!

 

I went to the garage to have a test drive on the Saturday (I had already decided which car I wanted), ordered it and collected it on the Sunday.  I had been saving for so long for a car (at the nagging of a friend) that I was able to buy a new car outright!  I have never looked back since.

 

I don't know if it is still the same but I had a lot of female colleagues who had passed their driving tests at a young age but who had never been able to buy a car and had lost confidence in their driving ability.  They were still qualified to drive, which is a frightening thought!  A couple of people I know took a refresher course when they were able to get their own car.

That's what happened to me! Passed at 22 years, then a combination of living in London and having no money kept me off the road for 6 years. To my horror I was then given a company car which I was forced to drive. Good thing too, since how else would I have managed all the taxi driving to ballet lessons later on?

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But that was why I failed - my instructor also put in for an early date for me, but it was so early that I was nowhere near ready and managed to mount a pavement trying to turn left after a steep hill.  Luckily for me and the examiner, there were duel controls in the car!

Oh dear. :o

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we have a dilemma regarding driving at the moment...DD will soon be turning 18 and has been begging to learn to drive, except she's away at vocational school and would have to squeeze driving lessons in during school holidays. Not sure wether to book a crash course over summer or a couple of lessons a week over summer and then lessons each time she's home. we were going to wait until she'd finished in 18months but she's desperate to drive. ????

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That's how my DD was kcoom.  We settled on 2 x 2hr lessons that summer she was home aged 18 - though it was not every week as she had summer school and we went on holiday.  She then fit in a lesson in October half term and February half term before taking it up again when she graduated mid July.  She took her test in October but took her time as she had a suitable gap before starting her contract.  I think the stop start method was probably more beneficial to her than taking a crash course over the first summer as getting back in the car after a few months away and establishing that she had not forgotten anything was a good confidence booster and reflects what driving in the real life is going to be like for her as it is unlikely she would have her own car and be driving to work any time soon as that does work with her contract!

 

 

Edited to add that we only chose 2 hour lessons because we live in the countryside and it takes over half an hour just to drive to the town where the test centre is so she needed longer lessons to get practice in a big town - otherwise we would have gone hourly as she did find it tested her concentration

Edited by 2dancersmum
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we have a dilemma regarding driving at the moment...DD will soon be turning 18 and has been begging to learn to drive, except she's away at vocational school and would have to squeeze driving lessons in during school holidays. Not sure wether to book a crash course over summer or a couple of lessons a week over summer and then lessons each time she's home. we were going to wait until she'd finished in 18months but she's desperate to drive.

 

 

Will she have access to a car when she passes her test?  

 

My first solo drive was driving my new car home from the garage (about 2 miles from where i live).  I was terrified and didn't get out of second gear!  Oh how it changed my life though - I now have to pay higher insurance than you might expect because I drive up to 20000 miles a year, many of them in my quest to watch ballet and dance!

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she will have access to a car while she's at home but if she passes her test before she finishes, the school is too far way for her to drive there by herself. Also I don't like the thought of her driving around while she's so far away and can't call us for help when she needs it.

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I suspect any fabulous pass rates among dancers are also because they tend to be motivated, hard-working, conscientious perfectionists? I passed my UK test first time aged 26 (determined to pass before having my first baby as my mother never drove), having done 3 months of intensive lessons (I won't call it a 'crash course' as that gives COMPLETELY the wrong idea!). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm 20 and had my first driving lesson today. I haven't been dancing as long as most people but I feel it definitely helped. The instructor said I had a very good first lesson. I think being able to coordinate my feet was helpful and also learning the order of each process felt a bit like learning choreography?!

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Hello orze, is that with a qualified instructor or just another driver who has passed their test?

 

Although I did an intensive course, that consisted of about 12 hours driving and 12 hours observing and I had done 2x2hr driving lessons before I went to Llandudno.  So I guess my total driving log was 18 hours (although I had had driving lessons many years earlier).

 

What frightens me though is that you could pass your driving test, not drive for 20 years and then still get behind the wheel of a car!  What I noticed most between my attempts (around 16 years) was how much more traffic there was and, indeed, how differently people drove.  When I had had lessons as a youngster I was taught to slow down and come down a gear when approaching traffic lights.  When I went on the course that is not taught now - you stay at the same speed and judge whether you are easily able to stop if the lights start changing while you are approaching (while not going through against the lights of course). 

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