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less keen on performing...


balletmummy
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Hi all

 

I just wanted to pick your brains, if thats ok!

 

My dd who is 8, loves her dance. She does 4 classes a week and would do more if she could. The slightly unusual thing, though, is that she is very much an introvert and is less keen on the performance side of dance. She does not seem to really enjoy being on stage and is much happier dancing in a studio environment.

 

I am wondering if this is particularly unusual and whether anyone else has had a dd like this, who has gone on successfully into dance teaching/choreography etc rather than performing?

 

Many thanks in advance

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Hi Balletmummy,

I have a dc who changed at around 7 I would say. So it may yet happen! If it doesn't then you may be in a better position than those of us who have dc desperate to perform! ! Very expensive education with dicey career prospects is how I feel!

 

It is great that your dd has an active hobby so that is great and the most important thing. From what I have seen around me some just don't want to perform and as a parent once you have given them the opportunity I think you have to respect their decision. Have seen some very painful cases of dc at festivals who clearly don't want to be there. ...

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My ds was the same - he did ballet from 4 plus gymnastics but later switched to tap (he liked the classes but not shows). He gave up a few years ago and now does drumming, competing all over the UK in a Marching Band. He has a concert in a few weeks with the Schools' Philharmonia Orchestra and also plays in a Wind Band on percussion.

  Ds has dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder and Aspergers which we didn't know about when he did ballet and gymnastics (except he took longer to pick up the steps due to severe processing difficulties and found skipping really hard). The tap helped to develop rhythm which has helped with his drumming which he now wants to do professionally.

   I suppose what I'm trying to say (in a roundabout way!) is that your dd will find her own way whether ballet stays a hobby or not :)  

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I don't think it is unusual at all.  Neither of my DDs would put themselves forward to perform aged 8 and seemed to find being on stage embarrassing if anything as they did not like the attention it involved.  Elder DD grew to love performing and is now training at 6th form vocational level.  Younger DD prefers the studio to the stage still but will nonetheless perform on stage quite happily - though still through being chosen for something rather than volunteering and putting herself forward.  I don't know if she will follow in her sister's footsteps but she cannot imagine a life without dance in it at this stage (age 14).

 

My advice is to just go with the flow.  Your DD is still very young and a lot can change over the years.

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I think 8 is probably too early to tell if your DD is going to be a performer. My DS who is at vocational school never really did performance until14 (well to be fair he didn't really dance much until 13!) and is highly introverted, yet now (at 16) on stage he lights up and has extraordinary stage presence. DS2 who has similar build/talent and has always been a majorly extrovert performer in his general life cannot stand doing ballet as performance- I don't think he'll take it much further (he's12). So you can't tell at a young age how they will end up. My advice if she doesn't like to perform is let her avoid it if she wants to- being forced into the spotlight unwillingly will only make her phobic about it. Far better wait until she wants to, and if it never happens then maybe its not the life for her as a professional- she can still get lots out of it (as the many adult dancers on this forum will tell you!)

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Just read what you had put balletmummy and it sounded a lot like me when I was that age. I absolutely hated performing but now, at the age of 14, I have grown to love it. Everyone has different thoughts on performing and some hate it whilst others love it. Who knows, maybe in a few years time your dd will enjoy the performance side of things

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She is very young and will quite possibly change considerably in the coming years. As long as she is enjoying herself, that's all that matters. Some are born performers (I am sure my daughter emerged from the womb shouting "I'm here everybody!"), some grow to become performers as the previous posters have described, but for others that never happens. But that need not stop dance being a wonderful hobby. It's a lovely form of exercise, encourages a good posture, develops rhythm and an appreciation of music and is great fun. If your DD goes on to follow a career in a dance related field that's great, but if she doesn't but just dances for her own pleasure, that's equally great. I would just go with the flow.

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I think a lot of children who do ballet start off not even realising that performance is an option - indeed, I'm pretty sure I've heard some principal dancers saying the same thing - so yes, I wouldn't be too worried, and just go with the flow. It may be that the mental challenge of just perfecting the steps will be enough for her, or that she finds opportunities to express herself through her dance as she gets older.

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balletmummy, let her have fun doing what she loves :) 

 

There's no need for you to worry, she is still really young. Relax and try not to let it bother you - if there's no pressure on her to perform, she will find her own way and decide for herself in the end one way or another.

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balletmummy, I believe that you are thinking too far ahead. Your dd is only eight and you seem to be planning out her life! Dance may remain a hobby for her or she may give it up completely sooner or later (children often drop hobbies, particularly when they switch to secondary school and a wider world opens up). Alternatively, when she is older she may aspire towards a career in dance but whether or not she gets anywhere with this will depend on a whole variety of factors. Ultimately, if a dancer, however good, doesn't enjoy performing then there's really no point to all the blood, sweat and tears (and, often, money) involved. I wouldn't push her to perform if she doesn't want to. If she still doesn't want to perform in, say, five years time but says that she wants to be a dancer then I would tackle her reluctance to appear on stage then.

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Just remembered listening to an interview with Tamara Rojo where she said that when she was a child she too didn't like the idea of the performing side of ballet, yet see where she is now...

If she doesn't feel comfortable yet then that's ok and she should develop that confidence in her own time

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