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May - Being a Ballet Mum

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#26 darnie

Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:24 PM

Anemonefish: Thankyou! You are right, it is a whole new world! LOL! We drop and run too, but we aren't allowed to stay and watch and the studio is basically a shop front, so the only place for parents to wait is outside in the courtyard. A bit cold in winter! Your DD sounds like Erin. At the time of her first performance, we were reading "The Ballet Class" by Adele Geras. In it, Tilly has butterflies in her tummy when she is performing. So I asked Erin if she had butterflies about performing on stage and after getting me to explain what butterflies were, she said "Oh, no, Mummy! I am excited" It's so great to see! Good luck with it all and I hope your DD's exam and performance go well!

~shannon~: I think it is beautiful that you dreamed of the day that you coudl be a ballet mum. It never occurred to me that a daughter would do dancing. I was never exposed to it, so I just didn't think about it. I agree about the benefits, life skills, etc. And, like you, I love how ballet has opened up a whole new world for us. We've had mother-daughter outings to the ballet, and also family outings. Even DH seems to be taking an interest in ballet. I often think that if the only thing we get out of it is the chance to be exposed to ballet, then that isn't a bad thing. In fact, I am grateful because I can't imagine that DH & I would ever have watched a ballet without Erin basically making us! laughing2.gif I hope your DD's concert goes well and that she continues to love it so that you get to live your dream of being a ballet mum.

#27 BaldBalls

Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:24 PM

Thank You for sharing your story.

Although my DD is a couple of years away from dancing - I am looking forward to it.  Sure beats cold mornings on a football field with the boys wink.gif

Your story gives me some insight into the world of childrens ballet (and what i am in for lol) original.gif

#28 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:23 PM

My mum would so commiserate with you! She was a surprised ballet mum only because all the girls in my kindy class were doing ballet so of course I begged and begged. Turned out I was quite good at it so I stuck with it for years after most had passed through the phase.

She laughed and laughed when I had two daughters, she can't wait to see me tearing my hair out trying to sew ballet costumes. Me, I can't wait to go shopping for those little leotards, tights and shoes, and I'll go out and clean toilets if it means I can afford to pay someone to do the sewing for me! I'm just hoping at least one of my children gets the bug.

#29 darnie

Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:01 PM

SeaKitten: Definitely beats cold mornings on the football field, I would think! LOL! It really is a lot of fun and it is great to see them doing something that they love (if they love it).

heffalumpsnwoozl: Oh I do hope that you end up with at least one child with the ballet bug! I agree with you re cleaning toilets to afford to pay someone for the sewing! LOL! We don't really have a choice - a group of mums sew the performance costumes then we pay a hire fee. I like it that way because my sewing would suck. I can relate to your mum being a surprised ballet mum. We honestly thought that Erin would last a term; less if she inherited my (lack of) grace and elegance! Turns out there must be a throwback gene there, because she is actually quite good!

#30 mumofparis

Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:28 PM

Hey Darnie, curtain goes up Friday night for DD7. She will be performing a tap, classical & jazz group pieces and a jazz solo. Just finishing off her costumes now! lol
And on Sunday, DD26, DS23 & me (blush) are also performing. Well they are, i am in the mums group and what we dont have in precision we make up for in entertainment.LOL. I am Lady Gaga.LOL
So a fun few days of dancing, ripped stockings, slick hair etc...

#31 darnie

Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:31 PM

mumofparis: Oh that sounds wonderful! And how cool are you, joining in! You are so wonderful for sewing costumes. I am sure that is something that I will never do! laughing2.gif Hey, I noticed that you are from Tassie. I am originally from Tassie. All of my family is still down there.

#32 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:14 PM

I forgot to mention, hair gel is your friend, even if your daughter does have long hair. It keeps all the strays in place, and when she has the shoe ribbons that need to be tucked in, a bit of hair spray on those where the knots are keeps them in place.

#33 darnie

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for the tips! I love the tip about hairspray on the shoes!

Wondeirng how mumofparis is going with her preparations...

#34 ris80

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:46 PM

I enjoyed reading your story... I'm a ballet mum for the first time this year... DD wanted to start as Dorothy the Dinosaur does ballet and wears a tutu so why can't she? I have my first stress as a ballet mum at the moment because DD has her first concert coming up in 2 weeks and has her first dress rehearsal next week... Unfortunately it's when I am at work (my last day before I start Maternity leave) so I have to get her Grandad to pick her up from daycare and take her to her rehearsal... I'm so worried about what she'll look like when she turns up... I'm scared she'll turn up with her stockings outside her leotard or something equally as embarrassing... I'm really looking forward to seeing how she dances though, as we too have to sit outside the studio while they have their lesson... Being a ballet mum is a lot of fun!!

#35 darnie

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:53 PM

Oh how exciting, ris80! And how wonderful that Grandad is able to help!

If you are really worried about how your DD is going to look for the rehearsal, is it possible to word up the teacher and tell her that Grandad is getting her ready? I find our teacher much more easy going about these things if she knows. She'll often even try to find a way of helping out if she thinks it matters. Or maybe another ballet mum could subtely check how she looks, if it matters how she looks for the rehearsal.

Perhaps, also, take a photo of what she is meant to look like, so that Grandad has it to refer to?

Just a couple of thoughts. Good luck with it! I would love to hear how it all goes!

#36 =R2=

Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:53 PM

After failing as a ballet mum with DD1 (who lasted all of 2 years before deciding to do soccer), I have high hopes for DD2 and so far so good ballet is her favourite thing to do all week. We're into our second year of ballet at the age of almost 4 and she's only a year and a half away from Pre-Primary.

Today we just got our notice for the end-of-year concert. If DD's concert 2 years ago was anything to go by I would miss the whole performance completely because I'd be too busy drying my tears. I can't wait and DD2 is so excited.

#37 darnie

Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:32 PM

*blessed*r*we*: At the time that we were looking, we could only find a fairly formal ballet school. Although, I have to admit that this one isn't far from our house and we have to fit lessons around swimming, so we probably didn't look too hard. Although the school is fairly formal, the teacher is very good with the children. She is always very positive. It surprised me when I first saw her in action in class because she seemed so serious, but she is very patient and seems to know what to expect from each child. I couldn't imagine anyone being asked by our teacher to bring a 3 year old back when they could point their toes, but she does have her moments of seriousness. I think it is great to see boys doing dance. There aren't many boys at our school, but most of them seem to be ballet dancers. Oh and I understand fully what you mean about the hair. I am already growing our DD#2's fringe so that we don't have to go through the stress of fringes and short hair if she does ballet! You watch, though - because I have thought it through and actually planned it, she will choose something else like soccer, for sure! laughing2.gif

=R2=: Don't thing of it as failing; think of it as allowing your child the chance to figure out what works for her. I understand what you mean about the tears. I cry from the very beginning of Erin's performances - ie when other people's children are dancing, before Erin comes on stage. I love how she ahs the confidence to get up on stage and I lvoe how she loves it and is trying her best, and I love how it has given our family a common interest - like family trips to the ballet, etc.

#38 SportySpice

Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:17 PM

Yep reading an nodding....
My 11yo niece has been invited to audition for the Royal Ballet - and is heading to London in July.  My 5yo DD has her eyes set (or should I say twinkle toes) on doing the same.  She started at 2 1/2 and now "understands' the "seriousness" of ballet and will be going into Grade 1 next term and do her first RAD mid next year - it can't happen quick enough for her...

for me?  Well I did triathalon's and netball and a host of other sports (most at rep level) - me and ballet - no!!!  How things change!

Good luck to all the ballet mummy's!

#39 darnie

Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:39 PM

SportySpice: Wow to your 11-year old niece! That's fabulous! So, if she is selected, does that mean that her whole family will be moving to London? And it sounds as though your DD is doing very well, also! We are just getting ready for RAD exams at the moment. There will be a short breather between the exams and performance rehearsals. I am so pleased that Erin isn't doing the Cecchetti exams this year. I think she will be starting those next year.

I'm sorry, I can't remember who but somebody's DD was about to dance in a performance? I have been wondering how that went? I would love to hear all about it!

#40 PregnancyPRO

Posted 09 October 2010 - 06:57 AM

I loved reading your story,
I have a Karate Kid at home.. She is five and somehow she got into it. We asked her if she prefers to do dancing, but she likes the streaming movements of the Karate.
My two years old son might be a dancer, he pumps up and down every time he hears a beat.
The middle one (3 years old) is a book person, all the time with a book in his hands.

#41 darnie

Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:14 PM

Hi PregnancyPRO,

Thank you for your comments on my story.

It is so awesome to see children find a passion, regardless of what that passion is! It sounds as though your children are doing a very good job of finding their passions, also!

#42 Bluemist

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:02 PM


I think I might belong in here! After resisting letting DD do ballet for a long time I relented- mainly because i was sick of having to pretend to be Miss Lily (from Angelina Ballerina) all the time :-0
Anyway she has her first concert coming up- I looked at the make up list we were given and COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT.!!!!!!!!!!!!
100's of dollars later I have everything...except long pins....which is one of this weeks jobs. She has more make up than me! How did this happen ROFL.
We had the makeup and Hair lesson on Saturday and  I COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT. (actually hair will prob be ok but teacher is very strict- and I thought I could get away without using eye make up but no mascara and eyeliner is REQUIRED).
Of course to top off all this my MIL and SIL are coming from interstate to stay - so just what I need at moment. (NOT!)
Anyway I saw this thread and thought I had better come in here for some reassurance and solace...LOL.
I must say though we were allowed to see a sneak peek when they tried their costumes on and I was nearly crying then!!!! (Goodness knows what I will be like on the actual concert- funny thing is I don't cry hardly ever...so obviously being a mum has done something to me other than fast tracking me to insanity HAHAHAH)

Also I bought mascara some london brand (only thing we could choose brand) because it was on special but it seems gluggy? What is a good brand?


#43 darnie

Posted 17 October 2010 - 05:13 PM

Hi Bluemist!

We are in ACT and we have our performance coming up in November (The Nutcracker) and compulsory rehearsals were this weekend. Our teacher is quite strict, too. I think most of them are.

I bought Erin a really good mascara last year. I can't remembr the name of the place. I bought it online but was done as a charity thing for the ballet school. It cost an absolute fortune but was very good and still isn't gluggy. I will see if I can hunt it out and get the name of it.

I don't normally wear makeup so on the odd occasion that I need some, I raid Erin's! Have you got a diagram of how the makeup has to be? I really don't like the look of the ballet makeup but it needs to be loke that to be seen on stage.

This will be Erin's third ballet performance and I still haven't found a decent foundation. Must do that.

What hairstyle do you have do?


PS I was freaked out for Erin's first performance, but by the second one I was able to take it in my stride. Treat it as a game and laugh at the stressful bits. Just have plenty of spare tights and hair stuff. etc. I cry when I see other people's kids dancing on stage so I am hopeless when mine goes on stage! laughing2.gif

Edited to change ACY to ACT ddoh.gif

Edited by darnie, 22 October 2010 - 07:28 PM.

#44 SportySpice

Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:26 AM

Darnie!  My niece had a wonderful time at the Royal Ballet in London and was awarded the "teachers award for comendation".....  As for being "selected" as far as I am aware of the process, she will be invited back to audtion again and then most likely when she's 15/16 depending on how she goes, she may be invited to join..... in the meantime she is also with the Aust Ballet Academy and now travels to Melb each school holidays......

End of year production is in Nov and my little DD who will be 6 this Sat is the only "grade 1" in 2 separate dances and therefore both the "matinee" and "evening" shows!  I'll let her miss Nippers on that day!

Lovely reading everyones news!

Edited by SportySpice, 20 October 2010 - 11:27 AM.

#45 darnie

Posted 22 October 2010 - 07:22 PM

Hi SportySpice! Great to hear from you!

How wonderful that your niece enjoyed herself AND received an award! I have heard about the Aust Ballet interstate program. There is a boy at Erin's ballet school who does it. We are thinking of taking Erin to their summer school program in a couple of years.

I hope your DD goes well with her production. How exciting that she is in 2 dances and is in two shows!

I was a little bit proud a few weeks ago. Erin had both her RAD exam and her Cecchetti exam. She gained a distinction for both. For the RAD exam, she scored 84% and the two girls in her class who received the trophy scored 90%. For the Cecchetti exam, she scored 98% but missed out on the trophy for her class because 6 girls scored 100%!

We honestly don't mind how she does in ballet, but after the time and effort she has put it, it is nice to see that she loves it and is also fairly good at it, for her sake, I mean.

I have volunteered to help out backstage for one of the ballet performances this year. Erin is performing in both performances, so I will help at one (if they need me) and watch the other.

Edited to make sense.

Edited by darnie, 22 October 2010 - 07:28 PM.

#46 Bluemist

Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:03 PM

Hi girls,

DD had her first dress rehearsal today- and I tell you I'd been doing the hair and ballet buns fine UNTIL TODAY- omg the teacher wanted it really slick and told us to buy gell which I did- but when I put the gel in it seemed to make it worse and was the worse bun I have ever done and by the time she got there I was nearly in tears! HAHAHAH. (But that could be because my MIL/SIL are staying at the moment as well..and I have AF on top of it timing is everything yeah).

I'm ok with the makeup that was all good- but am going to practise the hair again on Tuesday.  If anyone has any tips for me re hair please let me know.


#47 darnie

Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:38 PM

Hi Bluemist,

Is it just a bun? Our school says not to use gel because it makes the hair go too shiny and/or crunchy but I have heard that some use gel. If it is just a bun, this is what I do:

Spray it with water and brush it back. If you want it really slick, one of those long-tailed combs works best. Erin's hair is so thick that I have to brush it before I use the long tailed comb because it will not otherwise. So just spray with lots of water, and gather it all up into a ponytail with an elastic, making sure you have combed it so that it is very smooth. I sometimes spray the ponytail with hairspray and rub my hand down it so that it all sticks together and there are no loose ends. Then, twist it around, pin it into a bun shape, and do the bun net thing. I usually use two bun nets, each wrapped over the bun a couple of times. I give a huge spray with hairspray and if there are any fly-away bits, I spray those to make them sit down. Like I said, we aren't allowed to use gel so our secret is lots and lots of hairspray. Some of the mums say that it is better if the hair has not been washed for a day. I find that more difficult with Erin's hair but some people swear by it. I hope that helped! (O I sometimes spray the comb with hairspray so that it sticks the hair down as it goes).

Erin's hairstyle this year is the Heidi style. So, part straight down the middle (it has to be perfect rolleyes.gif) put the hair into two pigtails, plait the pigtails and bring them up across the top of the heads. The part sucks because it has to be perfect.

I suck at makeup. This year is going to be the first performance where I haven't paid someone to do the hair and makeup. Erin is perfoming two nights, so I can't justify paying for someone for two nights.

Edited for typos

Edited by darnie, 24 October 2010 - 05:40 PM.

#48 SportySpice

Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:36 AM

Bluemist - ditto with the bun info from Darnie - my DD's hair is long and FINE and does my head in!  I don't wash hers for about 2 days before she needs it done.  I use lots of hairspray as well and when doing the twist bit with the pony tail, SOMETIMES (if i have the time) i will split the pony into 2 and twist one and then the other which seems to make it "flatter".  Tight with the hair net and more spray!  Hope this all helps!

Darnie - I'm helping backstage with both sessions of DD's production.  I have helped out every year and have an event management background so its easy lining up all those little ballerina's and ushering them out on stage. wink.gif

For the next 3 weeks DD will be having 2 rehersals on Sat mornings - one for each dance she is in -and she is the only one from her classes in both productions!   original.gif  They have a 2pm and 6pm show, she's just turned 6 and is going to be very tired by the end of it all - we're having to be at the venue from about 11am so a long day or the little one. ohmy.gif

And my niece has been performing at the Open Day for the Opera House, there was one last Sunday and another coming up - so she's very excited about performing there! original.gif

back to work!

#49 prophetsong

Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:48 AM

I just loved this story - I have been a dance teacher for 13 years and as such am completely unafraid of sending my future children off to dance class (this is helped by the fact that it will probably be taught by me until they decide I am completely uncool ha ha).

I agree that you just need to relax and enjoy it - some pricipals of ballet studios get so uppity when parents of little ones do not quite get the hair or makeup right - I think it becaus ethey are not able to see how overwhelming it must be for someone who has not lived and breathed dance for the last 27 years (like myself). I might have been one of these principals myself many years ago and I have made great efforst to be empathetic since.

Thankyou for this story - it has got me all excited for my little jellybean to start dancing ASAP!! ddance.gif

#50 Julie3Girls

Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:19 PM

Wow, I think we are getting off easy with our dance studio.

Makeup - foundation, subtle eyeshadow (brown shades), red lipstick. Eyeliner and mascara for the older girls , not the really little ones. It's very low key, just to get rid of white faces on stage, and to allow you to see their eyes and smiles on stage with the stage lighting.

Hair - buns. And only buns. So many girls do multiple dance styles, they just keep to the bun for everyone so the girls can change between dances.

With the bun, I spray with water, rub some styling mouse into it, and then brush it into a pony tail. Then wrap it into a bun - if you need a flat ballet bow, DON'T twist the hair, just wrap it around, and use a lot of hair pins original.gif Bun net wrapped over it several times. Then hair spray, hair spray, and a bit more hair spray. Good idea to do that outside, makes the fumes less overpowering original.gif
Gel .. I do use a little bit of gel with the tiny wispy bits, but I do that after I've done the bun - just a bit of gel on my fingers, gel the bits of hair that are wispy, and a little bit of combing with a fine tooth comb - carefully so I don't pull hair out of the bun.

Rehearsal day on Nov 21st - I volunteer for rehearsal day, and love it. I get a sneak peak, great chance for photos. Then the concert the following Sunday.

Can't wait for this year. This is our 5th year, starting in 2006 with DD1 doing her first performance at age 4.  This year, I have DD1 in 4 dances, DD2 in 2 dances (one of them DD1 and DD2 are together), and DD3 is doing her first concert ... going to be soooo adorable, 8 little 4yr olds dancing to Swan Lake!

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