Saturday, 1 September 2012

Dancing VS Parenting VS What's Right VS What's Wrong

Tiny goes to dancing on Saturdays. She started because, as lots of small girls do, she loved to dance and move.

Every Saturday for an hour of power, she dances with a group of 16 other little girls.

She's probably not the most enthusiastic dancer, and some weeks, she doesn't want to go. But when we go, she has a good time.

But not this week. This week we went. It was cold in the big church hall. We arrived early, found our seats, switched her shoes over to jazz shoes, and she clutched her "news" (this week - a piggy bank) and walked up to be first seated in the circle.

Once news was over, they started dancing. They have three dances for their end of year concert. If you've ever seen small girls dancing, it can be a good abdominal work out. Some weeks they have me in stitches. It's well choreographed chaos.

And after about 15 minutes of dancing, I could see Tiny was a little deflated. The teacher could see she was not happy, and called me up to see what was happening with sad little Tiny.

She crumbled as I reached the stage. And wouldn't tell me. After a while I cracked her, and she told me she didn't want to do dancing because she didn't want to be in the concert. She was sad. I felt sad for her. But what do I do?

I'm not someone to make my kids do something they don't want to do (unless it is having a bath, or tidying their room *snort* like that ever happens). But do we persevere with dancing and terrify poor Tiny? Or ditch it and up the fun stakes?

I am erring on the side of the fun stakes.

Thoughts dear reader? Ever been in the same boat?

image of Australia's very own Darcey Bussell as taken by Annie Leibovitz


Mrs Smith said...

Same thing happened with my daughter and we didn't make her do it. She was only 3 and not ready. Her dance teacher told me that they are too little to push them into it. They'll do it when they are ready. I suspect with my daughter - it was too much, too special and that if she had been ready, she would have loved it with all her heart, but they are only small, there'll be other concerts.

Mandy Ferry said...

Ha, I wrote a similar post this week. My daughter just didn't want to do it anymore because it was boring. I really wanted her to see the year out, but the shitfit that entailed each week really wasn't worth it, so we've called it quits. lifes too short!

Claireyhewitt said...

I was in this space last year with my little girl, though at age 5 they only had two dances which was plenty to perform for the concert.

We decided that she wouldn't do the concert, but she would go along to the classes and see how she went. By the end of the year when the other girls were getting measured for costumes AND wearing real make up for dress rehearsal there was no chance she was going to miss performing. Our teacher has seen it all before and expected exactly this to happen. The back stage time was also so much fun that away she went and performed. She never looked out at the audience but she did dance. The decision though was all hers which also made a big difference.

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

yes yes yes! I've been little Miss enjoyed dancing until one day she just didn't and it ended in tears and fear and refusing....and so we stuck out the term and waved our goodbyes and now I'm stuck with the ballet shoes that she never wears! Yep...up the fun stakes x

Reannon Hope said...

I think while they are tiny go for the fun but when they get older it's sometime worth it to push. My eldest was 8 when we put him into AFL. He wasn't keen & if we had let him he would have given up but we urged him to keep going. Four years on & he loves it!
Let them try the things they like, eventually something will stick xx

shonnyk said...

Run why you can! With 9 hrs of dance, 40km to the studio, plus eistedfods, concerts, ballet exams and all the shoes, leotards and costumes to go with it, throw in the ballet bun (I struggle with a pigtail), makeup and beading (can't sew a button) all the while surrounded by dance mums!! throw in an obsessed 13 yr old and I still can't believe I encouraged her to go on stage 'just for 2 short minutes sweetheart' ha

Lady Moss said...

I think that while they are young they should try lots of new and fun things. She may love gymnastics or hello circus training! Im sure she loves to dance at home and thought it would be the same in classes, but in reality it is dull at this age and a few friends who are professional dancers have all advised that anything before seven is totally unnecessary and boring.
Hope that helps a bit.

Lindy in Brisbane said...

Get out while you still can! My daughter did jazz and it was an absolute money pit. And while she enjoyed the classes and was quite good, she also didn't like performances, or 'displays' as they were known. She now does netball, which she loves. (and is way cheaper- win/win).

Georgie Love said...

This was exactly our story too, enthusiasm waned, tears increased, so we finished the term and put it to rest. Luckily Saturday morning swimming remains a HUGE hit

Vicki ShoppeGirls said...

Exactly the same thing happened to both my daughters. Though my oyungest did a concert and never went back to dance again. I am the same I never make my girls do anything they do not feel comfortable doing.


Quirky Rose Harissa said...

Up the fun stakes :)

toni said...

Let Tiny be your guide.

When the fun goes out of it, it's time to move on.

Ellie said...

We had a similar issue a few years back. We were too far into concert practice (costumes ordered, made etc) that I told her she had to finish the year off.

It was tough some days but I hope the lesson learnt was that if you start something then you should finish it. That philosophy doesnt always work but in this instance I thought quitting was not good.

Each to their own I say though. You know your child and the circumstances that are unique to your situation. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

i best stop before I write another cliche.