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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #1 
How do you get an 8 year old to be more excited about ballet? DD's studio doesnt necessarily require them to attend the ballet class every week, but they do but make it clear that ballet is really the fundamentals of all dance. They stress that it is important to take ballet in order to be a better dancer all around. The problem is that my DD hates going to ballet. She finds it boring and she complains about going.   Is there any way to get her to enjoy it more?
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1tinydancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ballet hating dd right here! And she's 16! I told my dd back then that if she didn't take ballet, she didn't dance. The gist of it is that she LOVES dance more than she hates ballet and I knew that way back when.
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #3 
DD never hated going to ballet, but it certainly wasn't her favorite class at dance when she was that age.  Now, as a college freshman on her university's dance team, it's probably the discipline she misses the very most!  When I was speaking with her a few days ago, she said how much she misses ballet and wants to take ballet classes over the summer.

Going to ballet class would be a "no deal" policy for me.  If she doesn't go to ballet, she doesn't do competitive dance, period.  I would have it no other way.  It is the most important technique class, no ifs, ands, or buts.

I wouldn't consider it forcing her to go to class, I would just say, "Ballet is mandatory if you want to dance on the competition team" and let her decide what she wants to do.  To me, this is not an option, she should have no choice...it's ballet or no comp.

I think my DD started to really love ballet at about 12-14 or so.  Many of her teammates still didn't care for it at that age, but DD really enjoyed it.  She did have some incredibly wonderful ballet teachers along the way and yes that helps foster a good attitude, but she had a couple of clunkers too...that happens sometimes.

Actually, DD's studio would never have allowed her on the comp team if she didn't take the required ballet classes anyway.  I think DD was actually taking two ballet classes at that age and attendance was strictly monitored.

Just explain to her that it's part of deal that comes with competing.  Let her know that she doesn't have to love ballet, she doesn't even have to like it...but she does have to go.
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Ballet is a must to stay on the competition team in our house, but I do allow her to change things up if a class is boring her out of her mind. Is there only 1 ballet teacher at your studio? We have 3, and we're a small studio. DD needs to take time off from the strictest instructor occasionally because it gets repetitive. (However, I require she take a minimum of 12 classes from her each season). Right now DD does 1 classical ballet and 1 contemporary ballet class. She says they are very similar, but the contemporary class does the barre work and across the floor combos to recent songs. I would look to see if there are other ballet classes and let her shake it up a bit. An earlier time may make a big difference for her, too. 
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jwsqrdplus2

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Reply with quote  #5 
At 8, ballet was "you have to do it to be a part of the comp team."  She was not a fan.

At 12, ballet was "this is not fun, but I need it to be a better dancer."  She was beginning to see the need behind it.

At 18, ballet is the "do not miss" class even if she cannot make any other classes that night. To be on the team, she is required to take 2 ballet classes per week.  She takes all 3 at her level plus pointe.  She also assists/demos at a lower level.  And she is looking forward to the mandatory dance schedule at college that includes ballet at 8am, Mon-Fri!  She does not want to be a ballerina, but fully understands the need for ballet and truly enjoys her classes now!

So your daughter's opinion may change over time as she figures out what she really wants out of dance!
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #6 
DD17 was always required to take ballet as part of her competition teams.  She went through an "I hate ballet" phase between 9-10.  I attribute that to her classes getting harder and she didn't want to put the work in.  Once her mind and her body clicked, she's been in love ever since.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #7 

The responses above are about half of what I was going to say!

For some kids, enjoying ballet comes with time as they mature and start to appreciate what is really all about. 

DD always liked ballet, but did not love it above all else in the early days because it moved so much slower than her other class. When you are working on getting clean multiple turns in jazz but walk into ballet where you are doing turns by quarters, it's just not as much fun. She felt like the teacher was treating them too much like babies because she did the bit with the "princess preparation," something dd used when she assisted in pre-ballet classes later on. Reminding them that they had tiaras on their heads (to hold the up at the correct angle), diamond necklaces on their necks (more posture), and jewels on the inside of their feet (for turn out). But eventually, dd loved ballet more than anything else and switched to a ballet school. You just never know.

My niece is 10 and at a comp school and doesn't care for ballet. Truth is I don't think she's really had ballet. She had the once a week one hour class. That's not a real ballet class. I suspect she'd love a real ballet class, but she doesn't have the opportunity to take one. My sister cringes when my niece does ballet in the recital. My niece doesn't know. I watched the whole class, not just my niece. I could see that the things my sister was complaining about- the bent knees and lack of turn out- were problems they ALL had. It's not being emphasized in that class as a whole. It's not my niece. It's all of them. That's a problem and also tells me that they are not getting a good ballet class with sufficient corrections. I bet most kids would not enjoy such a class. 

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oatmella

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Reply with quote  #8 
I don't think every kid ends up loving ballet - just like not every kid who learns piano enjoys studying music theory - as important as it may be.
I do agree that the 'not real' ballet classes where the kids don't receive corrections and have bent legs, turning in etc are not productive - but on the other hand, a lot of kids aren't going to enjoy a true 1.5 hr ballet class that is very disciplined. Discipline is an important part of ballet and honestly goofy and tons of fun is not really part of ballet. - at least not past pre ballet and pretending to be princesses.
Ballet requires a lot of self motivation and self discipline. Merely showing up to class isn't enough to see much improvement.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
In our house (and at both studios we attended) ballet was non negotiable.  If you want to compete you take ballet to the minimum required for that company level.  By 8 years old that was 3 hours of tech and 1 hour of choreo/week minimum.  DS didn't love ballet at that age but he didn't hate it.  By about 13 it had become one of his favorite disciplines only behind tap.  I would not allow a serious dancer to just skip ballet because they felt like it.  It is so important and even at 8 they can understand that and make the decision to either do ballet and compete or no ballet and no competition.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #10 
It is really common in young kids because ballet is such a slow and steady process. In jazz they are doing triple turns at 8, but still only doing singles in ballet at 10 or 11 as it is all about the perfection and placement. I remember feeling that way as a kid, but becoming a teenager the steps got harder and more challenging and I enjoyed it a lot more.
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dmjrm4

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Reply with quote  #11 
This is from my 13DD daughter:

"I didn't like ballet either, but what helped my was watching lots of ballet documentaries. You can find them on youtube and Netflix, but this really inspired me and made me very excited. Also, getting excited about getting your pointe shoes and watching videos about pointe will get you motivated. Also, try going to a ballet like the Nutrcracker or Swan Lake."

And there you have it.  From the mouth of babes.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #12 
My DD had her first "real" ballet class at age 8 going on 9.  She asked when we got in the car "why does anybody do that?"  I explained to her that people who want to dance as professionals when they were adults took that kind of class.  I bribed her to take a weekly class for a month, and she was hooked.  She did have a great instructor and often there were only 2 kids in that Saturday morning class, which was a 75 minute beginner ballet class.  

I think a good instructor makes a big difference.

I don't know what your DD's goals are with dance, but at age 8 she has plenty of time to figure it out.  Ballet is the foundation of dance, but if ballet takes the joy out of dance for her at this age with this particular teacher, maybe it's not such a big deal.  You could try exposing her to different teachers, other schools, and cool videos.  Bribery worked for me, lol!  But if you've done that and she still isn't interested, letting it go for a while isn't going to hurt anything, even if she is destined to become a professional ballerina.  I've seen kids start at 10 and 12 and catch up to their age group in 2 years.  
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #13 
My daughter's 11 and does not like ballet.  But, it's required at the studio in order to be on team so she does it.  
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #14 
As far as sparking interest, maybe show her videos of professional productions? My DD8 loves ballet and will spend hours at home with ballet on the tv trying to dance along. Maybe it helps to see the finished product of lots of ballet training? Also, maybe try switching her to a class that's earlier or with a different teacher? TBH, in DD8's group of 7 "petite" dancers, she and her 2 friends are the only ones that love ballet. All the other petites hate it but take it because they know it's required.

It is actually mandatory to be on the competition team at her studio (2 hours a week for littles).
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #15 
I guess I'm lucky Ballet is dd's favorite class.  Now Tap is a totally different story.
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