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vaptek

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Reply with quote  #1 
My shy/timid daughter is suddenly incredibly interested in dance. It's a bit surprising really. Now she's all excited to take dance classes and wants to take different kinds.

She's taken Irish Dance for about a month and loves it and is begging to start ballet in the fall. Is it a bad idea for a beginner to take two kinds of dance? Should I just make her focus on one right now? She also wants to take tap, but I said no. She won't have that kind of time and I really don't see her with jazz hands.

I should say that she's 7 and very focused for her age. Doing this would probably mean she would need to drop soccer. She's sort of indifferent towards soccer, but I like it because I think it builds her self confidence.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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jlm645

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Reply with quote  #2 
She should be fine.  Lots of kids are dong multiple styles at 7 and younger.
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Agree that she should be fine.  The idea is to let her explore her interests. Lots of kids are doing 2 or 3 genres at least by then.  Good luck to her!  I hope she has a wonderful dance journey.
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PrimaMomma

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think taking multiple styles at that age is fine and a great way to learn!  I hope she enjoys it!!

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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #5 
I agree with the others!

Tap and jazz hands though? LOL. They don't generally go together in my experience. [smile] Let her do what your time and wallet allows. 

My dd was more than indifferent about soccer and other sports. Loved dance and once she started ballet, she couldn't get enough. Still can't. 
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jlm645

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Reply with quote  #6 
I would watch some older kids who are good tappers.  It often is pretty cutsie/cheesy when they are smaller, but the style can change as they get older. More emphasis is put on the tap sounds and it doesn't have to look like a Broadway show to be good quality. Tappers can be pretty impressive, and it is really good for learning timing and rhythm.   I wish my dd had more time for tap!
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #7 
No jazz hands here for any style of dance.

I think jazz hands are basically a joke used in movies and TV shows to poke a little fun at dancers and choreography. [smile]
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #8 
7 is a great age for different types. My oldest is 7 (6 according to studio age this current season) and is taking jazz, tap and hip hop. My youngest is registered for ballet, jazz, acro and tap for the coming season (she will be in the 6yr old classes). 

I have not seen any jazz hands...none..in any choreography. 
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
We definitely used jazz hands back in the 70's and 80's but no one would ever use them now.

At this age DS took ballet, tap, jazz, acro, musical theatre and lyrical but he had also been dancing for 5 years.
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #10 
When I get the video of DD16s tap solo, I'll post. Definitely no jazz hands

I would require that a seven year old try different styles. Specializing can lead to burnout.
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vaptek

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Reply with quote  #11 
Wow, y'all, thanks for all the insights!

I will say that the jazz hands comment was half in jest - although half serious. If you think back to the last school assembly where your class had to sing a song in front of everyone, my kid was the one that just stared at the audience while the rest of the class went on with their little teapot hands. My little introvert. She's getting a bit better - this time she at least sang the song while the others acted out the hand gestures. (Her school does three assemblies per year where all the classes perform something. I think it's helping.)

That said, she's a bundle of energy and actually quite coordinated. I think if she sticks with it and the teachers are helpful, I do think that this could help her with her self-confidence. Fingers-crossed!

Assuming she still wants to do both in a couple weeks I'll sign her up to continue Irish and start ballet in the fall.

Again thanks again for all your advice! [smile]

Vicky
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #12 
Your daughter sounds like mine. She has always had a hard time being high energy on stage. It has improved greatly since she was 6, but even at 11, she does better with ballet than something high energy like tap. It does seem to be a confidence issue and I don't know that she would have even come this far without stepping outside of her comfort level with a few genres.
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FantabulouslyCherry

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Reply with quote  #13 
Good for her! It's a great way to build up her self esteem and confidence.
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #14 
My DD was super quiet and shy at that age everywhere except in the studio and on stage.  I'm not sure why but she was always super comfortable when she was dancing.  No one could ever believe that the big ball of personality up on the stage was the same shy little girl off stage. 

At that age, she was in competition and was taking ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and acro; she loved them all.  I can't tell you how positive dance was for my DD when she was young; a huge confidence builder!
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heartmom

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Reply with quote  #15 
My DD is 8 and takes tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, ballet and lyrical. If you asked her favorites, she would tell you ballet and hip hop [biggrin]  So you never know what they will like.  She's never seemed overwhelmed by an of it, and in general something learned in one type of dance will compliment another.  My oldest greatly struggled with hip hop. To the point I just wished she'd give it up. This year she made HUGE strides in hip hop, and some of that attitude and confidence really carried over into her other dances. 
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Curandera

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaptek
Wow, y'all, thanks for all the insights!

I will say that the jazz hands comment was half in jest - although half serious. If you think back to the last school assembly where your class had to sing a song in front of everyone, my kid was the one that just stared at the audience while the rest of the class went on with their little teapot hands. My little introvert. She's getting a bit better - this time she at least sang the song while the others acted out the hand gestures. (Her school does three assemblies per year where all the classes perform something. I think it's helping.)

That said, she's a bundle of energy and actually quite coordinated. I think if she sticks with it and the teachers are helpful, I do think that this could help her with her self-confidence. Fingers-crossed!

Assuming she still wants to do both in a couple weeks I'll sign her up to continue Irish and start ballet in the fall.

Again thanks again for all your advice! [smile]

Vicky


There is a huge difference between a school assembly and a recital.  Dancers, even at the most recreational level, spend the year working on technique and go over the basics practically in each class.  By the time recital comes around, they are just working on a simple 2 or 4 minute routine that incorporates what they already know.

It is a tremendous confidence builder. It really is only the 5 and under who may be the kid staring into the audience.  And even then, they are in front of a tremendously forgiving and loving audience that will definitely find a way to clap and applause for them no matter how much or little they remember or how well or not so well they perform.

On the other hand, there should be an understanding that proficiency in dance can take years.  Sometimes, it is best to look at the prior year's video if available before seeing the current year's recital.  You will see incredible growth and get a better understanding of all the things a little person is pulling together to make movement, rhythm and stage presence all come together on stage.

Dance has definitely helped build my daughter into a confident, poised, problem solver and a lovely dancer to boot.

And yeah, my daughter has taken dance classes for over 10 years and never had jazz hands in any of her routines. Lol!

ETA: Also to answer your original question, yes, 7 years old is a great age to try as many different dance classes as she can handle with her other time and attention constraints.  It is often when the child is older and has to drop something, that it gets tough. Hated cutting back on tap to work more on ballet.  But there is only so much time in a day.  But at 7, go for it!
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #17 
Don't worry about her being an introvert.  My dd13 is an introvert but when she gets on stages, she's a performer.  She's a totally different person.  Dance is a great confidence booster for her!  I'd make sure she takes a ballet class.  Ballet is the foundation for all dance!

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gingerbrown12872

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Reply with quote  #18 
My dd took Irish dance, ballet, jazz & tap all at the same time for 5 years -- age 4-9.  I thought they all complimented each other nicely.  Ballet and Irish soft shoe compliment each other very nicely & even though there are some differences, I thought my dd picked up tap & Irish hard shoe faster because she did both as well. 

That said, I don't think you can do Irish & other forms of dance both forever -- I think there comes a point where you have to choose which you want to focus on, because both require a lot of time & dedication.  My dd stopped Irish recently as she decided she wanted to pursue other forms of dance.  She was competing at a pretty high level in Irish & was going to really have to up her class/practice time to get to the next level, and she decided she just wasn't interested enough to do that, and would rather pursue other things.  But at your dd's age, there's no reason she can't do both, IMO.

I also have found that the more my dd has danced, the more she has come out of her shell.  She will never be an extrovert, but she has definitely become less timid & shy!!
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highlandmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
I disagree with the highlighted part.  My DD takes ballet, jazz, tap and highland dance and has since she was 7.  She now competes in highland at the premier/championship level which does take a lot of time as well as the other dance styles.  Thing is since she has been taking more styles I have seen her highland improve drastically.  They can take them, if the schedule permits and they are able to keep up the demands.  The great thing about the highland (and Irish) is we as parents get to pick and choose the competitions we put them in (with the exception of the provincial qualifiers).

Vaptek - she will be fine doing the two dance style, ballet will really help with the Irish dancing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerbrown12872
My dd took Irish dance, ballet, jazz & tap all at the same time for 5 years -- age 4-9.  I thought they all complimented each other nicely.  Ballet and Irish soft shoe compliment each other very nicely & even though there are some differences, I thought my dd picked up tap & Irish hard shoe faster because she did both as well. 

That said, I don't think you can do Irish & other forms of dance both forever -- I think there comes a point where you have to choose which you want to focus on, because both require a lot of time & dedication.  My dd stopped Irish recently as she decided she wanted to pursue other forms of dance.  She was competing at a pretty high level in Irish & was going to really have to up her class/practice time to get to the next level, and she decided she just wasn't interested enough to do that, and would rather pursue other things.  But at your dd's age, there's no reason she can't do both, IMO.

I also have found that the more my dd has danced, the more she has come out of her shell.  She will never be an extrovert, but she has definitely become less timid & shy!!
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #20 
I actually think, if she's interested, it's better in the long run for them to take many kinds of dance rather than get too focused on just one genre.  DD, who is also 7, takes ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, acro, aerial and hip hop. She loves them all, and I think they all kind of feed into one another.
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