Jump to content

Dance mums


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Lickety Split

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

I never did dance as a child. My DD will be 3 in a couple of months and LOVES dancing and singing. I noticed there are a few places that offer tiny tots dance classes to 3 year olds and am wondering if I should enrol her. But not knowing anything about being a "dance mum" I have a few questions!

Firstly, how structured are the classes for littlies? I seriously doubt DD has the patience to sit still for very long or do things to an exact standard. She just wants to dance and have fun with other little kids and learn some fun moves.

Also, how big of a commitment is it? I'm guessing not much at this stage but if she wants to stick with it, will I end up driving all over the place every weekend and spending a fortune on costumes when she's older?

Thirdly, I am a bit worried about my daughter wearing makeup and skimpy clothes. Is that the norm when they start doing "proper" dance or just a stereotype?

Thanks  original.gif

#2 dancesthroughlife

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

I'm not a dance mum, (my son is 2 and a half, maybe soon if he wants to!) but I have danced my entire life, teaching dance for 8 years and now also have my own school so I have plenty of experience in the dance world.

Firstly, you really need to do your research and choose a school that is going to suit you. For a lot of the questions you raise, it really depends on what school you are at and the kind kind of school. For example if you choose a school that is heavily involved in competitions, then yes as she gets older you will be driving her lots of places all the time, and have lots of expensive costumes to pay for. However there are lots of good schools out there that don't do competitions, so the main commitment is the weekly classes. Most schools will do an end of year concert so you have that commitment too, but again depending on the school on how many extra rehearsals they will do. I keep my rehearsals to a minimum, and only have the younger ones there when they really need to be. With costumes, if you find a school that just hires them out to you, rather then you purchasing them it will be a heap cheaper.

Once again, with makeup and skimpy costumes it depends on the school! There are some schools that pack the makeup on the littlies and sometimes inappropriate costumes, but on the other hand there are schools that will only put the very minimal makeup (purely so their features can be seen under the harsh lights on the stage) and suitable age appropriate costumes.

I would recommend to start your research now, if you want to start at the beginning of next year. Have a look at websites, look at their photo galleries, you can generally get a feel for what kind of school it is by that. Also ask around, are there any parents you know if in your local area with kids at dance schools, they could tell you from experience what to expect at that particular school. Also make sure the teachers have teaching qualifications, not just dance experience, a fantastic dancer does not always make them a fantastic teacher. A lot can go wrong if the teacher isn't properly educated!

Good luck! Putting me in dance lessons was the best gift my mum ever gave me, even before I decided to go into teaching, it was always a huge part of my life and gave me an outlet growing up when 'real life' was stressing me out! Sorry for the long post!

#3 dancesthroughlife

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

Oh and one more thing to answer your question about your daughters patience, and standard, in a good 3 year old class, the main objectives should be learning how to be in a class (listening, taking turns, staying with the group etc), and building on their imagination and creativity to develop musicality and co-ordination. It's all about building up the blocks so when they are old enough to learn correct technique, they already have all these skills and will be a more rounded, expressive and musical dancer. Hope that makes sense!

#4 emlis22

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

Like PP said, I think you need to think about what kind of class you want her to be in. There will be the structured, competitive schools that perhaps attract what you might class as a 'dance mum' mentality.

But there are also schools that offer non-technical classes, that don't do comps (but might do a Christmas concert) and it's more just 'come and have a go', as opposed to learning dance in a strictly technical environment. My SIL runs one of these schools and MIL makes all the costumes. They're all 'fun' costumes, and not skimpy at all.

#5 amabanana

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE (emlis22 @ 30/11/2012, 12:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Like PP said, I think you need to think about what kind of class you want her to be in. There will be the structured, competitive schools that perhaps attract what you might class as a 'dance mum' mentality.

But there are also schools that offer non-technical classes, that don't do comps (but might do a Christmas concert) and it's more just 'come and have a go', as opposed to learning dance in a strictly technical environment. My SIL runs one of these schools and MIL makes all the costumes. They're all 'fun' costumes, and not skimpy at all.


And then there are schools that do technical classes that don't do comps and only have an end of year concert.   original.gif DD does classical ballet so there are no skimpy outfits and make up is pretty tame and is only used so you can see their features under the lights.  
In regards to costumes we paid $70 this year.  
Some of the older girls at DD's school do exams or VCE dance but it's not compulsory.
Any sport you choose is going to have training/practice a few times a week as the kids get older. Kids who play tennis or footy also end up driving all around the countryside so as far as I can see ballet seems pretty tame.  happy.gif


#6 sophiasmum

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

We started dance this year with DD2 who was 3 & 1/2 at the time & DD1 who was nearly 9 at the time.

With the tiny tots, they make it very fun & general & they basically flitted around the hall being butterflies & fairies every week, with the last 10 mins in tap shoes (they provide or you can buy your own - we bought 2nd hand ballet shoes). At the start of this term they started to learn the routine for the concert.

Even for the concert, they had older ones up on stage with them to copy off & hold their hands when they had to skip around the stage.

The costumes were not skimpy at all, they were little green dresses with sparkly sequins all over & a matching headband. They cost $75 (each).

Yes they did wear makeup, but it could be as much or as little as the parent wanted.

We will continue next year & she will probably move up to the preschool group. My older DD has been doing hip hop & drama classes but will drop drama next year because she wants to take up contemporary. I guess it can get a little addictive, but I believe it's up to the parent to say yes or no & do as much as you can all handle.

DD2 does tiny tots on Friday mornings, & DD1 does her classes on Saturdays.

#7 cira

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:10 AM

Can I semi-hijack this thread - if we opt for a just have fun dance class will our DD be able to switch to classical ballet when she is older? How old are most girls when they enter "real" ballet classes?

(I have no dance background at all but daughter insists she wants to be a ballerina!)

#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

QUOTE (cira @ 01/12/2012, 01:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I semi-hijack this thread - if we opt for a just have fun dance class will our DD be able to switch to classical ballet when she is older? How old are most girls when they enter "real" ballet classes?

(I have no dance background at all but daughter insists she wants to be a ballerina!)

DD2 started 'real ballet' at 10, in Classical Grade 2. If she started it in 'Primary Classical' she would have been 8 but it wasn't available at her academy at that time. They have since secured a teacher and she is doing her Grade 2 exam next week. DD2 did fun dance class from 3 yo until 6 when she started to also do Tap exam class. She began Jazz exam class. At 8.5.

Basically they can just do the one our fun class but she has elected to do the extra training and do exams. Many girls do the concert class only.

Edited by howdo, 01 December 2012 - 12:46 AM.


#9 barrington

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:13 AM

QUOTE (cira @ 01/12/2012, 12:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I semi-hijack this thread - if we opt for a just have fun dance class will our DD be able to switch to classical ballet when she is older? How old are most girls when they enter "real" ballet classes?

The RAD are quite strict about what age you can start exams for ballet.  DD1 is 7 next year, and it is the earliest that she will be able to do the primary exam.  We've found that starting DD1 at 5 turning 6 has been the perfect age for ballet, although she started dancing (mostly jazz) at 3.



#10 dancesthroughlife

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:15 AM

QUOTE (cira @ 01/12/2012, 01:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I semi-hijack this thread - if we opt for a just have fun dance class will our DD be able to switch to classical ballet when she is older? How old are most girls when they enter "real" ballet classes?

(I have no dance background at all but daughter insists she wants to be a ballerina!)


To be honest I would say if you think she may want to take it more seriously as she gets older, you're better off going with a good school (not necessarily a comp school) from the start. They will still have "fun" pre ballet classes, and will start "real" ballet when they are at the right age (usually around 8). The benefits of this would be
1. She is getting the correct training right from the start. With a good teacher they can still have fun and be imaginative while getting good foundations. If she starts at a "just for fun" school you run the risk of her being improperly trained, and develop bad habits that she will need to fix when she changes schools (very hard!) It can also lead to injury!
2. She will be with the same peer group all the way through, an feel more at home at the studio. (dance schools can often feel like a big family!)

If you send her to the good school from the start, if she still wants to be a ballerina when she's older you know you've given her the best start and right training. If she changes her mind, no harm done original.gif

#11 SeaPrincess

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:26 AM

QUOTE (dancesthroughlife @ 30/11/2012, 08:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Firstly, you really need to do your research and choose a school that is going to suit you.

I totally agree with this.  DD asked me if she could do ballet before she was 3, so I started looking around.  I didn't want a school that only did ballet, so that ruled out a few of the local schools immediately.  We ended up going and looking at 2.  The first one did a 45-minute lesson that included a bit of singing, ballet and tap each week.  They wanted us to buy their own uniform, ballet and tap shoes for weekly classes. I never got as far as asking about concerts because when the tap shoes came out, DD put her hands over her years and said "I just want to do ballet!".

The second one listed black uniform for all their classes, so even if DD does another class later, its the same uniform for everything. They had told me on the phone that for DD's age group, I should just bring her in a fairy dress.  She loved it, so that's where we are. We go on a Saturday and her class is little - usually only 6 girls, and they all do wear uniform, but mostly just the Target school wear range.  DS1 is doing a hip-hop/jazz class at the same time and he's loving it too.
ETA: DD's class do some warm-up stretching/exercises, some plies and stuff, flit around on tippy toes pretending to be different things each week, then do a few curtsies to finish.  We've found DD practising her curtsies in the playroom and she tippy toes all over the place.

This year there were 2 concerts, one for the juniors (up to 11/12 yo) and one for the seniors.  The youngest classes in the junior concert were the 5-6yos, so DD wasn't involved, but she loved it.  We had a concert levy and costume levy ($30 each), so the concert wasn't too expensive.  There was only one rehearsal at the venue, on the day of the concert, the rest were in normal class times and the concert was on a Saturday starting at 5pm, so not a late night for the little ones either.  They did wear make-up, but it was very simple and the costumes were age-appropriate.   I love that even though there are over 900 students in total, our school hasn't forgotten that these are little children.

If you've got friends with older children, ask around, otherwise phone around or look for dancing school websites.  I got a lot of information from websites before calling any of the schools

Edited by SeaPrincess, 01 December 2012 - 09:34 AM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.