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

 

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

In a bizarre bid for relevancy, Former Opposition leader Mark Latham has deduced that because one female journalist had this week light-heartedly thanked antidepressants and caffeine for getting her through a medical degree while raising two small children, that ergo, all 'inner-city feminists' are selfish harridans who despise their offspring.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

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

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Metal shards hidden in playground

Pieces of sharp metal have been seemingly deliberately placed in rubber matting and across equipment at a kids' playground.

 

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.