Bye bye, Ballet

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Like all good mothers, I enrolled our daughter in ballet recently. She was so excited! Dance slippers, tutus, a dance class (no, wait: “ballet class, not dance class!”) with a teacher.

So what went wrong?

  • The teacher didn’t do enough to bring our quiet child into the classroom. She was always at back of the line or the outside the circle
  • In the first class, someone knocked her over
  • In the second class, someone knocked her over and fell on her.
  • She listened so carefully to the teacher, but the teacher didn’t give clear transitions – so our girl was left standing with her arms in the air, wondering what was happening
  • There was a lot more “princess” “tiara” and “holding up your pretty skirt and walking carefully” stuff than I was lead to expect. Very gendered and felt overly restrictive for a 3 year old
  • She only looked happy in the class when she was running around in circles, which the teacher discouraged
  • We could see her joy of life and her confidence diminishing with every moment in the class

I took her to an open gym class on Friday, and she had a great time running around. Then yesterday, I had the conversation with her that I’d been dreading:
“So you had ballet class and that was fun.”
“Yeah.”
“And we went to gymnastics, and you liked that too.”
“Yeah.”
“So dada & I were thinking of taking you out of ballet and finding a way for you to have more gymnastics classes. What do you think?”
“Yay!”

Phew!

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