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Encouraging eight year old


Faith76
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Hi,

Not sure where to post this but my daughter has suffered her first disappointment and I am really feeling for her. OK so she does ballet twice a week and she has been going since she was three. I have always wanted it to be something fun for her to do and to just do her lessons. In the past year a few girls have been asked to do festivals. I have not told daughter about them as she has never been asked so thought why tell her. I think my protection maternal instincts kicked in. Now I can totally understand that if she has not been picked she is not one of the best and not to worry, just persevere and practice technique etc but the bombshell came when last night she found out that most of the girls in her class do festivals and she really wants to do them too. She would love the dressing up and especially the make up part as she is a girly girl. Her friends said you have to be picked and daughter's natural response was am I not good enough, am I rubbish to which my self and her friends said you are a good dancer. We left and she was in tears as she wants to be included. I have never wanted her dance to be like this and to be honest I am put off with ferrying daughter around to different venues for festivals if she was ever asked plus the extra cost involved. Of course I would do it if we were asked though. Do you have any tips to help of encouragment? I have told daughter that if she ever wants to quit and try something new she can. As a mum I just want to help.

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Hi Faith76, welcome! I totally understand that you want to protect your dd from disappointment . I think my first plan would be to fire off a quick email to her teacher or have a word with her and let her know that your dd is keen to join in the festivals. Perhaps the teacher doesn't know she is feeling left out or that she wants to be involved? If she says she's not ready yet then perhaps she can set her some goals to work towards to join later. 8 is still very young!! All the best.

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Hi Faith - I really feel for you, it is awful to see your child upset. I agree with Aklf that I would clarify the situation with the dance teacher first. If she feels your daughter is not suitable for festivals (they are a mixed blessing...) maybe she could suggest another option for your dd? Does she already do other types of dance? It may be your teacher feels there are maturity or performance, rather than technical issues, which make your dd not suitable currently. ...

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Thank you for all of your kind words and comments. I have to say that today in typical eight year old style it has all been forgotten about and to be honest I would much prefer her to just stick with lessons. However I may look into another activity in addition to ballet such as trampoline, tap, cheerleading, modern the list and possibilities are endless. Above all I want whatever my daughter does to be enjoyable and fun and certainly not something to get so upset about.

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I think competitions and festivals are great for getting stage experience as long as they don't impinge on the technical training.  Learning group dances is wonderful training for corps de ballet work and having to dance a solo builds confidence.  Perhaps a few words with the teacher just sounding her out about how much the school is involved in competitions would be useful.  if you want your daughter to do things for fun at this stage that's fine, but my feeling is that as long as a thing's worth doing it is worth doing well!  Proper training is important even at an early stage. 

Edited by Dance*is*life
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Thanks Dance*is*life. Useful to read what you have said. I would like her to concentrate on her lessons to practice at this stage. She has also done a recent grade 1 RAD exam so I am really keen to see what the examiners pointers are to work on. I have no dance experience what so ever by the way but having training in ballet, attending lessons to improve is the way forward.

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Hi Faith76

 

This must be quite tricky and upsetting. Even though she may have forgotten about it now, it might come up again. Have you ever been to watch any of the festivals they attend? I think that would give you a idea of what you could imagine her doing and what category etc unless is purely ballet.

 

I'd have a chat with the teacher and see how they organise it. Some teachers wait to be asked by parents who are willing to pay for 1-2-1 lessons and then they may invite to do pieces when they know someone wants one.

 

If it's 'most' girls in the class i can imagine it would have some feel a bit left out :(

 

As others have said, maybe look around for another event or thing that she could do. Pantomimes are great fun. Etc

 

I'd ask what she could improve on too

 

Good luck

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FROM A DANCE PARENT:

One of my friends asked "Why do you pay so much money and spend so much time running around for your daughter to dance ?" Well I have a confession to make: I don't pay for my daughter's dance lessons. Or her pointe, Jazz & tap shoes. Or her hundreds of costumes.

 

So, if I am not paying for dance , what am I paying for?

 

- I pay for those moments when my girl becomes so tired she feels like quitting but doesn't..

 

- I pay for the opportunity that my girl can have and will have to make life-long friendships.

 

- I pay for the chance that she may have amazing instructors that will teach her that dance is not just about movement but about life.

 

- I pay for my child to learn to be disciplined.

 

- I pay for my girl to learn to take care of her body.

 

- I pay for my daughter to learn to work with others and to be a proud , supportive, kind and respectful team member.

 

- I pay for my child to learn to deal with disappointment, when she doesn't get that score she hoped for , or fell during a move she has practiced a thousand times, but still gets up and is determined to do her BEST next time...

 

- I pay for my girl to learn to make and accomplish goals.

 

- I pay for my daughter to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create a champion, and that success does not happen overnight.

 

- I pay so that my daughter can be in the studio instead of in front of a screen...

 

I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for dance; I pay for the opportunities that dance provides my child to develop attributes that will serve her well throughout her life and give her the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen for many, many years, I think it is a great investment!

 

http://shadmartin.blogspot.com/2015/10/why-i-dont-pay-for-dance-anymore.html

 

I have come across this and what a lovely dose of inspiration. Just what I needed to read at the moment.

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