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Daughter -- Puberty/Ballet


balletmom225
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Hi everyone,

My 10-year-old has hit puberty pretty early -- she developed a lot throughout last year and this year and is much more physically mature than any of her classmates. She's still slim, she just looks closer to 14 when she is only 10. She has danced at a serious ballet school since she was young and has shown a lot of promise, but her teachers have hinted they think she should move to their less intensive ballet program. I think this is the right choice, considering it seems to be emotionally difficult for her to dance next to tiny, flat-chested girls when she has already gone through several cups in the last year or so. 

Does anyone have ideas for what we should do next? I don't want her to feel guilty but also don't know if I should lie about why she's leaving ballet. We could try the less intensive program or maybe some different styles.

Thanks so much for your input.

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So her teachers recommend she leaves ballet because of puberty? All those other girls are going to go through puberty also at some point. If that’s the only reason I would decline the offer of changing programme. It doesn’t give a good message to your daughter or the other dancers. I actually find this kind of outrageous and I’m upset for you and daughter. Could you and her teachers try to help her feel positive about her body, help her with the emotions she is experiencing rather than moving her out of the programme due to body changes? I would just worry about the message that gives her about her body.

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Hello Balletmom225 and welcome to the Forum.

 

I've added a tag at the top of the thread - puberty.  If you click on it you will be given a list of older threads where there may be some information of use to you but I am sure lots of parents will be able to chip in too.

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8 hours ago, balletmom225 said:

I think this is the right choice, considering it seems to be emotionally difficult for her to dance next to tiny, flat-chested girls when she has already gone through several cups in the last year or so. 

 

I think this is very sad, that you and her teachers have responded to natural development in this way. Does your daughter love studying ballet? Does she enjoy it? Surely, that is the essential question - not whether you should lie to your daughter.

 

Surely, the job of a parent is to support a child in her dreams, and help her to cope emotionally with the comparison? And the probability is, that in 2 or 3 years all those other skinny young girls will also be going through puberty. So it's just that she's a couple of years ahead. Can you not reassure her that what's happening is normal, and she doesn't have to stop her serious study of ballet? 

 

Why would you lie to your daughter about this, or collude with a teacher who has very odd (and totally old-fashioned) views?

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Also, just to say, there's quite a bit of discussion here in this forum about the options for young people undertaking the serious study of ballet to a very high level, but unable - for a multitude of reasons - to pursue a career as a professional ballet dancer. There are many benefits to the serious study of ballet, and to give it all up at 10, just because of normal and natural girl's/women's bodily development, seems extreme to me. And very sad that a parent would co-operate in this treatment of their daughter.

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1 hour ago, Sally-Anne said:

So her teachers recommend she leaves ballet because of puberty? All those other girls are going to go through puberty also at some point. If that’s the only reason I would decline the offer of changing programme. It doesn’t give a good message to your daughter or the other dancers. I actually find this kind of outrageous and I’m upset for you and daughter. Could you and her teachers try to help her feel positive about her body, help her with the emotions she is experiencing rather than moving her out of the programme due to body changes? I would just worry about the message that gives her about her body.

I completely agree with Sally-Anne here. I would encourage body positivity instead and just make sure she understands that what is happening to her body is normal and the other girls will go through exactly the same thing. I'm quite shocked that her teachers would suggest moving her just because of a changing body shape due to puberty. I think if you move her just because of this, it will send the message that her changing body is a bad thing and could well lead to lots of issues around this.

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I agree that she should continue with whatever she wants to do but it might be worth considering if the views of her current teacher might impact how she views her body later in life. Its v young to assess who will be suitable for vocational schools and her emotional well-being should be paramount.

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I must admit, when I first read your post last night I was flummoxed - I couldn't see any logic behind the teachers' decision at all, and this morning I still can't.  Unless, of course, the less-intensive course possibly has older, more developed, children in it and she might feel more at ease there for the time being?  But then you speak of "leaving" ballet?  I feel I may be missing something here.  Are they suggesting that, given her current rate of development, she may not prove suitable for vocational training/a professional career (if indeed that is where she's heading - many people change their minds during their teenage years)?  But you say she's already struggling emotionally with being physically so different from her classmates.  How are the classes structured?  Are they based on age (as I suspect) or ability?

 

What your daughter needs to understand is that this is completely natural and will happen to everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, as they get older, and that she's just unfortunate to be the first one.  Who knows, she may be overtaken by many of her classmates in future years.  But it will need sensitive handling and much positive reinforcement because, as others have suggested, there is potential for some serious body perception issues here.

 

 

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I think this is one of those situations where the reality is much harder than it might seem! Girls are bombarded with messages about body image from all corners, and the ballet world is at the extreme edge of this. I think every 10 year old would struggle with being so different from their peers, and obviously being in leotard and tights makes everything so much more obvious. More consideration is given to older ones but the younger ones are often in paler colours with no skirts. It’s also difficult on a physical level as progress and flexibility are affected by quick growth, height and the changes of puberty and the class is probably aimed towards teaching children not adolescents. 
personally if she wants to be a ballet dancer I would not just accept the schools advice. Could they move her up a level? Are there alternative schools? 

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Not sure whether you are based in the UK, but having just been through a year of lockdowns and isolation a lot of my students have experienced huge changes to their bodies. For all my students, and in particular those that have gone through puberty earlier than we would normally expect, the emphasis has to be on how strong their bodies are becoming or have become. Some students have gained weight through lockdown but I have made a blanket rule that everyone has grown a lot and as much as I would like proper uniform I appreciate that it make take some time for people to get hold of new uniform, letting those who do feel uncomfortable settle back in first. Our goal this term is to work on stamina, strength and overall fitness. At no point should any teacher be suggesting that a child leaves a ballet programme because they’ve hit puberty, haven’t these kids had a tough enough year without making them feel guilty for things outside of their control that are completely natural??? Maybe a further conversation is required with the teacher to see what she can do to ensure your child can continue with the programme without feeling uncomfortable, perhaps she could look at the uniform a leotard with a lining for example or just offering positive encouragement that challenge how the child views their body “the strength in your thighs is really improving x y & z”. If the teacher really isn’t willing to budge I would be looking elsewhere 

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The effects of teachers appearing to judge a child based on their development can be catastrophic. It’s bad enough that they all judge themselves and each other. 

My Dd was a perfectly happy and developing 11 to 13 year old. At the beginning of year 9 she noticed that it appeared to be the slimmer girls who were favoured. One would eat an apple then run up and down the stairs to burn it off. There were secret evening cardio workouts in bedrooms and a ridiculous amount of sit-ups. My Dd decided to stop eating snacks. The weight loss was subtle to start with then became more noticeable. After the year 9 appraisal I had a telephone call from the Medical Centre nurse who described her as “skeletal”. Those words will haunt me forever 😢 we hadn’t seen her in 3 weeks. We didn’t live close to the school so Dd was unable to travel home every weekend and the internet in the accommodation was poor so FaceTime was impossible. We immediately collected her. She cried and said she hadn’t meant for it to go this far. That year she passed that appraisal with flying colours, won two scholarships for summer schools and was awarded a ballet prize. How could we convince her that it was all wrong when she had so much success. This was the beginning of a disorder of eating and body image that would last for a long long time. The behaviours spread through the year group like a plague. The regular heights and weights started and the “pulling off dance”. There were secrets and whispers. Sadly very few of the girls supported each other. Dd had some really hurtful things said to her. We wanted her home and she wanted to dance. On reflection we should have been stronger and took her out. The environment, culture and the ballet world wasn’t going to get any better and neither was she until she left. She can pinpoint the exact moment it all changed for her and she became unhappy with her body. We were very naive and didn’t really know how to handle it. Sadly, the school didn’t seem to know either 😢  The healing process is a long journey x

Please don’t allow anyone to make your daughter feel that her developing is wrong and detrimental to her ballet. Celebrate her beautiful changing body. Dd and I can’t wait to go bra shopping ☺️ A little later than planned but at least we made it out the other side 💪

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13 minutes ago, Dancing unicorn said:

I don’t really want to go into full detail on here but my advice to you would be if a teacher is talking about body issues re ballet at 10! Then if it were me I would change schools!

 

This sounds like good advice. 

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2 hours ago, Dancing unicorn said:

👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

well said wraps and bows

This has just made me cry!!!!

I don’t really want to go into full detail on here but my advice to you would be if a teacher is talking about body issues re ballet at 10! Then if it were me I would change schools!

THIS ^^^^^^^^

Change schools!

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Two posts on this thread have been hidden; one while Moderators discuss it, and the other because it quotes the hidden post.

Can I just remind everyone about the rules around hearsay and discussing vocational schools; in particular only discussing your own/your own child/pupils’s experiences.

 

Many thanks,

 

Anna C 

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Please change schools.  She should not be giving up ballet until she decides herself(or you all as a family).

 

Take your daughter out to buy some lovely new summer clothes.  Find something to celebrate - anything.  This type of negativity has me in tears.

 

Take care! X

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Good lord this is so sad. Your daughter should do what makes her happy and not feel pressured into either staying or going. But as others have said, just because she’s first to develop doesn’t mean she’ll be the last- all the girls will go through it and the teachers attitude seems very blinkered and if this was my daughter I would be fuming and moving her to a more enlightened school.

If your daughter loves dancing then celebrate her love of it and support her- tell her that she dances beautifully- not that she dances beautifully ‘despite’ her shape. Some of the most impactful dancers I’ve ever seen are not sylph like. Ultimately it’s a child’s class. They’re there to have fun because realistically a tiny % will ever be professional on stage dancers but there are so many other routes. Body shape is no reason to restrict training if someone has passion and talent. I hope you find the strength to support her in whatever you choose.

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This is a really interesting thread. Thank you to everyone for sharing your personal stories and thoughts on this as I have started thinking about these issues with my 12 year old. I see her feeling self conscious over her developing body and it can’t be easy for them when they are standing around in leotards. 

I feel for the original poster who wants to protect her daughter from feeling emotionally upset at the situation and it is hard to give advice. Very tough situation! 
 

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This all comes down, I think, to a topic which has been discussed many times on here but is very important and bears repeating. The chances of a successful career as a professional ballet dancer in a classical company are tiny for any child, even those who seem to have all the right attributes at this age. That is why it is absolutely crucial that young dancers enjoy what they are doing in the here and now, rather than being too focused on any particular end point.

Personally I don't believe that the vast majority of 10 year olds should be doing anything  super intensively .They should be doing things that interest them and bring them joy, regardless of whether they are likely to make a career from their interests. Your DD's happiness is of paramount importance. If the lessons she is currently having are not making her happy, then shop around. She absolutely does not have to give up ballet because she has entered puberty early or because she doesn't have the "perfect ballet body". There is no such thing as a dancer who is "unworthy" of high quality teaching because of their physique.

 But there is another side to the coin. There are many parents on this forum and others who regret allowing ballet, or other activities such as music or sport become all encompassing for their child. Many say that they wish that they had been more aware of the realities of vocational training and the tiny chances of success - at least as measured by professional contracts. So it's possible that the teachers are, albeit rather clumsily, trying to get that message over.

My DD doesn't have the "right" physique and the issue was always skirted around. I was frequently told stories of dancers who had made it despite not having the ideal physique, but the fact is that they are exceptions because they are exceptional, or that things can change with time, ignoring the fact that a quick look around our family strongly suggested otherwise! I would never have stopped her dancing and she may well have followed the same kind of path (she's a dance teacher now and very happy) but I wish we'd not fallen for the "you can be anything if you try hard enough" mantra for as long as we did. I know people were trying to be kind, but more honesty would  actually have made things easier I think. 

I would steer well clear of any teacher who focuses on pushing a small group of pupils towards a professional career and is not interested in the rest, but there may be a different motivation behind the comments. There's a big difference between " your body shape makes you inferior to the other girls and you are not allowed in this class" and some gentle guidance that maybe the vocational path isn't the right way to go and it's hard for us to know what your DD's teachers are actually getting at. But the bottom line remains the same - put your DD's well being first and seek out an environment where she is happy and valued for who she is, not looked down on for who she's not. And if she loves to dance that is the very best reason for her to take dance classes.

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6 hours ago, alison said:

I must admit, when I first read your post last night I was flummoxed - I couldn't see any logic behind the teachers' decision at all, and this morning I still can't.  Unless, of course, the less-intensive course possibly has older, more developed, children in it and she might feel more at ease there for the time being?  But then you speak of "leaving" ballet?  I feel I may be missing something here.  Are they suggesting that, given her current rate of development, she may not prove suitable for vocational training/a professional career (if indeed that is where she's heading - many people change their minds during their teenage years)?  But you say she's already struggling emotionally with being physically so different from her classmates.  How are the classes structured?  Are they based on age (as I suspect) or ability?

 

What your daughter needs to understand is that this is completely natural and will happen to everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, as they get older, and that she's just unfortunate to be the first one.  Who knows, she may be overtaken by many of her classmates in future years.  But it will need sensitive handling and much positive reinforcement because, as others have suggested, there is potential for some serious body perception issues here.

 

 

A friend of my eldest when they were in yr5/6 was head and shoulders above her peers. Fully developed to the envy of many teenagers. Fast forward to when the girls all reached about 14/15. She was no longer stood out from the crowd. Many of her peers developed more curves and looked down on the girl. Puberty is a temporary phase, all bodies as we know settle down. I too am seriously concerned about the underlying thoughts of the teachers making assumptions on such a temporary phase of a 10yr old. 
How dare they make such a decision on a young child. They are showing a serious lack of knowledge verging on ignorance on how the human body develops over the years.  

@balletmom225stay true to yourself. If your daughter wants to stay put you fight for her place.  Don’t listen to her teachers if they are basing their decision purely on physical development. Your DD is only 10yrs old!! Remain composed. Don’t rise to the occasion though tempting as it may well be to tell them what you think.
After-all you pay the bill and therefore their wages. 

Try to use this (rather challenging) experience exactly as it is. An experience to draw strength on to to make your daughter more determined and stronger individual, embracing her new shape to drive her forward to reach her goals. And not just to prove the teachers that they are wrong. That’s called Karma 😉
 

Good Luck. 
 

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52 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

She absolutely does not have to give up ballet because she has entered puberty early or because she doesn't have the "perfect ballet body". There is no such thing as a dancer who is "unworthy" of high quality teaching because of their physique.

 

This!!!! I suppose I'm concerned about this because, as an adult dancer, I've had many women telling me they wished they could have done ballet as a child/teenager, or that they'd kept up the study of ballet even when their bodily development or ultimate technical ability etc etc meant that they could never consider a professional career. Or the people who discover ballet as adults and become entranced (or sometimes obsessed) by learning it. The sense of loss of experiences is strong, and very sad. Anyone should be able to learn ballet, whatever their body shape, size or age.

 

But also what you say @Pups_mumabout eventually being very clear-eyed about the likelihood of a career. But that can come at 16 or so - and often, young people see themselves how they measure up (sorry I really don't mean that as a pun). Until then, if she loves dancing she should be encouraged, and not told she can't because of her normal female body.

 

 

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I have read this thread and I am slightly confused.  @balletmom225When you say the teachers have "hinted" that she should move to their less intensive ballet programme, what exactly do they mean by that.  What is the intensive ballet programme, and how does it differ from the other programmes.  Why are they suggesting this?  After all, your daughter hasn't lost the ability to do classical ballet moves simply because she has gone through puberty and now has to wear a bra!  

I think you should book an appointment with them and ask them to explain themselves fully,  rather than hinting.   If they are saying this because they think your daughter is getting self conscious and embarrassed, which is a possibility, the answer is not to shove her off to another class where the dancers wear less revealing outfits.  The answer is to deal with it sensitively.  

Has your daughter said anything to you about it?  She isn't being bullied by the other girls, is she, for looking different?  In which case, that really is for the class teachers to deal with and stamp out.  

 

 

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I think technique does sometimes suffer during puberty as they grow so fast, their proportions change (you grow outward in- feet first, then legs etc) and bones can grow at a faster rate than muscles and ligaments.centre of gravity changes.  So it’s possible that it looks like she’s not as good as she was (think typical clumsy, gangly teen!). I’m wondering whether the teacher is used to teaching only younger kids and possibly not taking this all into account? 

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3 hours ago, Kate_N said:

 

This!!!! I suppose I'm concerned about this because, as an adult dancer, I've had many women telling me they wished they could have done ballet as a child/teenager, or that they'd kept up the study of ballet even when their bodily development or ultimate technical ability etc etc meant that they could never consider a professional career. Or the people who discover ballet as adults and become entranced (or sometimes obsessed) by learning it. The sense of loss of experiences is strong, and very sad. Anyone should be able to learn ballet, whatever their body shape, size or age.

 

 

 


I gave up and bitterly regretted it! I remember being uncomfortable in a leotard but a main reason was because I had very heavy periods. My kids are self conscious in a leotard and tights and are  slim. I think it’s very difficult to stand in a room with other people and mirrors, And teens are often painfully self conscious as a normal developmental stage. It’s a difficult balance for teachers with ensuring appropriate clothing but I have no doubt that some kids give up mainly due to having to wear a camisole leotard and pink tights. I think it’s great when adults have the confidence but I can’t honestly say I could do

it myself without spending a lot of class time analysing and berating myself for my wobbly bits! 

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15 hours ago, Sally-Anne said:

So her teachers recommend she leaves ballet because of puberty? All those other girls are going to go through puberty also at some point. If that’s the only reason I would decline the offer of changing programme. It doesn’t give a good message to your daughter or the other dancers. I actually find this kind of outrageous and I’m upset for you and daughter. Could you and her teachers try to help her feel positive about her body, help her with the emotions she is experiencing rather than moving her out of the programme due to body changes? I would just worry about the message that gives her about her body.

I think her teachers are old-fashioned in their views, as well as concerned, along with me, about the teasing and discomfort that comes with being the only developed girl in her class. I'm not sure this studio is the right fit for her anymore, and would rather sacrifice quality of training than sacrifice her self-esteem. 

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14 hours ago, Kate_N said:

 

I think this is very sad, that you and her teachers have responded to natural development in this way. Does your daughter love studying ballet? Does she enjoy it? Surely, that is the essential question - not whether you should lie to your daughter.

 

Surely, the job of a parent is to support a child in her dreams, and help her to cope emotionally with the comparison? And the probability is, that in 2 or 3 years all those other skinny young girls will also be going through puberty. So it's just that she's a couple of years ahead. Can you not reassure her that what's happening is normal, and she doesn't have to stop her serious study of ballet? 

 

Why would you lie to your daughter about this, or collude with a teacher who has very odd (and totally old-fashioned) views?

She does enjoy ballet but I think she is finding it more and more difficult to be so far ahead of the other girls. Her friends tease her a bit and the other mothers joke about it to me - the environment feels toxic.

 

By "lie," I only meant should I tell her the truth that we're leaving due to discomfort around her body, or should I say it is for another reason. And regarding the other girls catching up, it seems unlikely. My daughter has really blossomed and definitely has a larger bust than most of the high school-aged girls at the studio. This isn't typical in our family or fitting with her slim body type, so I think we are all more than a little surprised too.

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12 hours ago, alison said:

I must admit, when I first read your post last night I was flummoxed - I couldn't see any logic behind the teachers' decision at all, and this morning I still can't.  Unless, of course, the less-intensive course possibly has older, more developed, children in it and she might feel more at ease there for the time being?  But then you speak of "leaving" ballet?  I feel I may be missing something here.  Are they suggesting that, given her current rate of development, she may not prove suitable for vocational training/a professional career (if indeed that is where she's heading - many people change their minds during their teenage years)?  But you say she's already struggling emotionally with being physically so different from her classmates.  How are the classes structured?  Are they based on age (as I suspect) or ability?

 

What your daughter needs to understand is that this is completely natural and will happen to everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, as they get older, and that she's just unfortunate to be the first one.  Who knows, she may be overtaken by many of her classmates in future years.  But it will need sensitive handling and much positive reinforcement because, as others have suggested, there is potential for some serious body perception issues here.

 

 

Her teachers are old-fashioned and think that my daughter doesn't fit with the mold of their studio. It's not a great environment.

 

My daughter is uneasy about her appearance and lightly teased by her peers, so I thought "leaving ballet" might be a better option. Being out of the leotard could make her differences less highlighted and obvious.

 

The classes are structured kind of by age and ability both, her class is mostly 5th, a few 6th graders (she is in 5th and young for her grade, but the only one with breasts). 

 

I think my greatest concern here is putting her emotional development first. Of course we would both be sad to stop ballet, but I would rather avoid the teasing, embarrassment, and possibility for future damage.

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11 hours ago, Peony said:

I think this is one of those situations where the reality is much harder than it might seem! Girls are bombarded with messages about body image from all corners, and the ballet world is at the extreme edge of this. I think every 10 year old would struggle with being so different from their peers, and obviously being in leotard and tights makes everything so much more obvious. More consideration is given to older ones but the younger ones are often in paler colours with no skirts. It’s also difficult on a physical level as progress and flexibility are affected by quick growth, height and the changes of puberty and the class is probably aimed towards teaching children not adolescents. 
personally if she wants to be a ballet dancer I would not just accept the schools advice. Could they move her up a level? Are there alternative schools? 

Yes, exactly. Thank you for understanding. The pale colored leotard with no coverage, designed for 10 year olds, is not flattering on my daughter. I asked about options for a bra underneath and was quickly shot down. Though she very obviously needs it.

 

So true about the physical level -- her flexibility is struggling too as is her center of gravity. She can't be moved up a level, but I am thinking of finding other schools with less strict dress codes, maybe even a studio with other styles.

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11 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

Not sure whether you are based in the UK, but having just been through a year of lockdowns and isolation a lot of my students have experienced huge changes to their bodies. For all my students, and in particular those that have gone through puberty earlier than we would normally expect, the emphasis has to be on how strong their bodies are becoming or have become. Some students have gained weight through lockdown but I have made a blanket rule that everyone has grown a lot and as much as I would like proper uniform I appreciate that it make take some time for people to get hold of new uniform, letting those who do feel uncomfortable settle back in first. Our goal this term is to work on stamina, strength and overall fitness. At no point should any teacher be suggesting that a child leaves a ballet programme because they’ve hit puberty, haven’t these kids had a tough enough year without making them feel guilty for things outside of their control that are completely natural??? Maybe a further conversation is required with the teacher to see what she can do to ensure your child can continue with the programme without feeling uncomfortable, perhaps she could look at the uniform a leotard with a lining for example or just offering positive encouragement that challenge how the child views their body “the strength in your thighs is really improving x y & z”. If the teacher really isn’t willing to budge I would be looking elsewhere 

Unfortunately, her teachers do not seem to be able to budge. The leotard conversation has been had and never successful. It's so hard too, with the parents, they try to make funny comments like "wow she's really bloomed!" or the girls say to her, "your boobs are sticking out so much." Looking elsewhere seems like our best bet.

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7 hours ago, Ed_DanceMum said:

This is a really interesting thread. Thank you to everyone for sharing your personal stories and thoughts on this as I have started thinking about these issues with my 12 year old. I see her feeling self conscious over her developing body and it can’t be easy for them when they are standing around in leotards. 

I feel for the original poster who wants to protect her daughter from feeling emotionally upset at the situation and it is hard to give advice. Very tough situation! 
 

Thank you! And I agree, thanks to everyone!

 

I do want to protect her, just not sure how at the moment.

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6 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

This all comes down, I think, to a topic which has been discussed many times on here but is very important and bears repeating. The chances of a successful career as a professional ballet dancer in a classical company are tiny for any child, even those who seem to have all the right attributes at this age. That is why it is absolutely crucial that young dancers enjoy what they are doing in the here and now, rather than being too focused on any particular end point.

Personally I don't believe that the vast majority of 10 year olds should be doing anything  super intensively .They should be doing things that interest them and bring them joy, regardless of whether they are likely to make a career from their interests. Your DD's happiness is of paramount importance. If the lessons she is currently having are not making her happy, then shop around. She absolutely does not have to give up ballet because she has entered puberty early or because she doesn't have the "perfect ballet body". There is no such thing as a dancer who is "unworthy" of high quality teaching because of their physique.

 But there is another side to the coin. There are many parents on this forum and others who regret allowing ballet, or other activities such as music or sport become all encompassing for their child. Many say that they wish that they had been more aware of the realities of vocational training and the tiny chances of success - at least as measured by professional contracts. So it's possible that the teachers are, albeit rather clumsily, trying to get that message over.

My DD doesn't have the "right" physique and the issue was always skirted around. I was frequently told stories of dancers who had made it despite not having the ideal physique, but the fact is that they are exceptions because they are exceptional, or that things can change with time, ignoring the fact that a quick look around our family strongly suggested otherwise! I would never have stopped her dancing and she may well have followed the same kind of path (she's a dance teacher now and very happy) but I wish we'd not fallen for the "you can be anything if you try hard enough" mantra for as long as we did. I know people were trying to be kind, but more honesty would  actually have made things easier I think. 

I would steer well clear of any teacher who focuses on pushing a small group of pupils towards a professional career and is not interested in the rest, but there may be a different motivation behind the comments. There's a big difference between " your body shape makes you inferior to the other girls and you are not allowed in this class" and some gentle guidance that maybe the vocational path isn't the right way to go and it's hard for us to know what your DD's teachers are actually getting at. But the bottom line remains the same - put your DD's well being first and seek out an environment where she is happy and valued for who she is, not looked down on for who she's not. And if she loves to dance that is the very best reason for her to take dance classes.

I think I may have had an unrealistic expectation, too, as I danced professionally and wanted the same for her. Of course, there are bumps in the road and I would rather do what will make her happy.

 

This is what I'm saying with the honesty, too. If it won't happen, it won't happen. I'd rather accept that now and avoid future embarrassment and disappointment than let her continue where she isn't really wanted.

 

I do want to put her emotional well being first! I think a new environment is a good first step.

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