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StellaMelody

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Hey everyone - I'm a former dancer turned mom, who loves everything about the world of competition dance! I danced when I was little all the way through college and as an adult (pre-kids). Now I am the proud mom of two little ones and I can't wait to be a dancemom! They are just starting their dancing journeys but I am so excited for the years to come!

One question I do have - does anyone have tips on how to encourage and provide them all the dance opportunities I wish I had without forcing or pressuring them to love dance? They both seem to love it at the moment, and they are doing both gymnastics and dance. There are some big competition studios close to home where many dancers have been focused on dance and competing since they could practically walk. I have no problem replicating the other moms at this studio by buying my girls all the at-home dance and stretching equipment, encouraging daily improv, and putting them on the competition teams, but I am worried that they will say yes to everything and burn out? I don't know, it is just my dream for them to love dance as much as I do, but I want them to be happy and find their own passions as well. Before I had kids of my own, I was the relative that came to her niece's dance competitions for the whole day and watched each dance...I am the mom who adores doing her kiddos hair into fancy styles...I am the mom who did mommy and me dance everyday at home with my babies...I love dance, and hope my kids will too, you know?

Anyways, after all this, my question is simply how do you mommas strike a balance between providing your kids all the bells and whistles and encouraging their love of dance, without the dreaded "choosing their sport for them" situation?
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #2 
First of all you can't try and "keep up with the Jones".  That will never end well.  The best thing you can do is ease your girls into dance and let them decide how serious they want to be.  Don't force classes and at home training.
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ballerinamom13

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Don't worry- you can't "choose a sport" for your child. Believe me- I tried. I would have never picked dance for my dd. I only started her at 2 1/2 so she would be coordinated for all the other sports she was going to do. I made her try soccer, softball and swimming. She's 21 now and a professional ballerina. So don't worry about picking a sport for them. Maybe until 5 or so and then it won't work.
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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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let them try everything.. They will decide what they want to do, no matter how much we want them to do something else. 
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beachgirl

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Reply with quote  #5 
How old are they? That makes a difference in my answer.
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DanceMomLaura

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I was going to ask the same as beachgirl.  How old are they? 
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #7 
Honestly, just let them take classes and have fun. You do not need to get them any at home equipment. Follow their lead. I know you are excited but know they do not have to start comp at 4 or 5 in order to be competitive later on. Focus on getting them in good, fun, age appropriate classes and that's it. Don't be one of "those" moms!
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tinydancers

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Reply with quote  #8 
I have a dd5 who is much more involved in dance than my older daughters were at her age simply because she's been around it her whole life. And I was a dancer as well. That being said, I never have her stretch, practice, etc outside of class. It's not at all necessary. I'm not sure how old your dds are but I think it's important for them to try all sorts of things in the early years.
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Zmomj

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Reply with quote  #9 
Our studio didn't even have a team until a few years ago. So our group of seniors didn't even compete until they were teens. Their moms are the most chill dance moms ever. And yet those girls are beautiful dancers who have snagged some really impressive awards. It's much more about quality training! one thing I have noticed about all the best dancers at our studio is that they have tried other activities and didn't start seriously focusing on dance until 9 or 10 and even then they've been encouraged to have some non-dance outlets.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #10 
I wouldn't worry about forcing it. If they don't want to do it, they'll let you know lol! I'm in the opposite boat where I keep trying to get DD8 to do other things but all she wants to do is dance. Also second not worrying what the other parents are doing. I let myself get psyched out earlier this year by paying attention to that, and it was a huge mistake. DD8 is a beautiful dancer without me helping her stretch, etc. I will say, though, I think the reason she keeps wanting more is that there are always a few dance classes she wants that I don't give her. Last year, it was salsa. This year, she wanted to find a breakdance crew to join. And she always wants to take more aerial than my wallet or my schedule will allow.
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heidi459

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My advice?  Tread very carefully.  It really hasn't even begun and you already appear to be falling down the rabbit hole.  Just offer the opportunity... & then sit back & let things unfold.  They may love it, they may not.  They may be good, they may not.  And even if they love it & are very good, there's no reason to try to turn it into an all encompassing life passion from the get-go.  I suspect that you know very well that this is more about you than them.  And that's pretty much a recipe for disaster.
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StellaMelody

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachgirl
How old are they? That makes a difference in my answer.


Stella is 5 and Melody is 4. They are both part of pre-competitive groups for their ages. Stella is now dancing four hours a week (ballet, tap and jazz) and they competed their jazz dance in the pre-comp division of 2 competitions this year. Melody is dancing two hours (Ballet and Jazz). Her group doesn't compete but the same girls take the classes together and it is separate from the recreational program.
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StellaMelody

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceTumbleCheerMom
let them try everything.. They will decide what they want to do, no matter how much we want them to do something else. 


I agree with trying a little bit of everything. They are also taking a gymnastics class and swimming lessons every week. That is all we can fit in for now, I also think it is important to have days where they are not doing anything!
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StellaMelody

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
First of all you can't try and "keep up with the Jones".  That will never end well.  The best thing you can do is ease your girls into dance and let them decide how serious they want to be.  Don't force classes and at home training.


Yes I see what you are saying. It is hard for me because my parents never really understood my love for dance and I want to make sure that I am fully supportive of whatever my girls' passions are.

I was shocked to see intensive training for 3 year olds at the gymnastics gym...and then I heard about the bars and beams and mats and trampolines they all use for "at-home training and conditioning"...

I think that my girls are taking plenty of hours of dance as it is, so I am not currently doing any formal "dance time" at home...and apparently I am in the minority here as many moms in Stella's class say their girls do!
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StellaMelody

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
My advice?  Tread very carefully.  It really hasn't even begun and you already appear to be falling down the rabbit hole.  Just offer the opportunity... & then sit back & let things unfold.  They may love it, they may not.  They may be good, they may not.  And even if they love it & are very good, there's no reason to try to turn it into an all encompassing life passion from the get-go.  I suspect that you know very well that this is more about you than them.  And that's pretty much a recipe for disaster.


I think every momma has dreams of sharing her passions with her kiddos. But, I totally agree and I don't want them to feel like I am the reason they dance. They are so little, and seem to love it at the moment. Stella keeps asking for more, more, more. I often catch her dancing to music at home and she practices her steps in the grocery aisles. Having gone through this myself, I do know that it is not a race, however potentially a marathon. The best ones at 8 are usually not the best at 16. I get that. But I also love the idea of giving them all these opportunities...maybe not to make them "better" dancers, but instead to foster a love for dance.

That being said, I am trying to not be over involved at the studio. I want it to be about them there and not me. I am also not planning on teaching them. I want to be their mom, their biggest supporter, and not the teacher giving corrections.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #16 
My turn! I call shenanigans. [rolleyes]

<popcorn emoji> 

I know, I know. We're all trying to be supportive of new members and whatnot. But I couldn't help it! And usually I'm nice!


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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaMelody


Yes I see what you are saying. It is hard for me because my parents never really understood my love for dance and I want to make sure that I am fully supportive of whatever my girls' passions are.

I was shocked to see intensive training for 3 year olds at the gymnastics gym...and then I heard about the bars and beams and mats and trampolines they all use for "at-home training and conditioning"...


intensive training for 3 year olds in Gymnastics with equipment at home?   Really?   Having been involved in the Gymnastics world since DD13 was 5,  I find this hard to believe.   3 year olds are working on balance and somersaults. Practicing at home on Bars, Beam etc would be too much of a risk for injury.   Trampoline maybe but even then 3 and 4 year olds need to be watched.    

unless you are in Russia or China where they go to the extreme.   

I too am crying foul.   At least get your facts right if you are going to try and fool a bunch of seasoned dance moms (especially with kids in other activities)
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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaMelody


I think every momma has dreams of sharing her passions with her kiddos. But, I totally agree and I don't want them to feel like I am the reason they dance. They are so little, and seem to love it at the moment. Stella keeps asking for more, more, more. I often catch her dancing to music at home and she practices her steps in the grocery aisles. Having gone through this myself, I do know that it is not a race, however potentially a marathon. The best ones at 8 are usually not the best at 16. I get that. But I also love the idea of giving them all these opportunities...maybe not to make them "better" dancers, but instead to foster a love for dance.

That being said, I am trying to not be over involved at the studio. I want it to be about them there and not me. I am also not planning on teaching them. I want to be their mom, their biggest supporter, and not the teacher giving corrections.


You want to foster a love of dance?  Turn up the radio or put on a CD and let little "Stella" bust a move. If she dances in the store.. Thats ok.   Expose your girls to different types of dance performances by attending not only the ballet, but other cultural experiences that most cities have    

Instead of worrying about intensive gymnastics training or home training in dance, let them be kids for goodness sake.   
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mookiel

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Reply with quote  #19 
I smell something fishy again!
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceTumbleCheerMom


intensive training for 3 year olds in Gymnastics with equipment at home?   Really?   Having been involved in the Gymnastics world since DD13 was 5,  I find this hard to believe.   3 year olds are working on balance and somersaults. Practicing at home on Bars, Beam etc would be too much of a risk for injury.   Trampoline maybe but even then 3 and 4 year olds need to be watched.    

unless you are in Russia or China where they go to the extreme.   

I too am crying foul.   At least get your facts right if you are going to try and fool a bunch of seasoned dance moms (especially with kids in other activities)


This has been my experience as well. My girls both took gymnastics for years. Older did was on a pre comp team but left when she made the dance team at our studio. In all the years at gymnastics we were never told to get equipment and practice anything at home. I switched younger did to a different gym and we were never told to buy any equipment or practice at home. The classes at both gyms for ages 3 and 4, even 5&6 were learning basics. All they did on bars at 3 -4 was hang from it and try to pull their feet up to the bar. At 5-6 they started to push up on the bar and see if they can support their weight. Again, very basic stuff.

You need to take it down a few levels and trust in the process. Forcing advanced skills on young kids before they are physically ready(no matter how much they love an activity or want more, more, more) will end up with bad habits and injury.
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #21 
And there you have it....
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #22 
In case anyone missed it, StellaMelody replied to both myself and Dancetumble under her alternate SN which was mom2summer them quickly deleted.
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tinydancers

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Reply with quote  #23 
It's irritating that we end up wasting time responding to these fakers.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #24 
As a whole, seems fishy, but as someone who was called fake when I first started posting, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she lives in my area, which seems to foster some really involved, intense parents. My DD started in gymnastics at mommy and me age, and they did start hand picking for pre-team at around age 4 at her gym. While in the minority, I do know a couple of parents who did invest in mats, bars and beam for their 3yo to "prepare" them so they might be hand picked for the pre-team because their kids really loved gymnastics and they wanted to make sure they made the pre-team. We still talk to the parents and the kids who bought the equipment early because they participate in other activities with DD8, and both are on the gymnastics team and seem pretty happy. DD8 was one of the ones invited to pre-team without me buying all the equipment and with me not even allowing her to practice in the house lol so I think it's kind of silly.
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mookiel

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
As a whole, seems fishy, but as someone who was called fake when I first started posting, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she lives in my area, which seems to foster some really involved, intense parents. My DD started in gymnastics at mommy and me age, and they did start hand picking for pre-team at around age 4 at her gym. While in the minority, I do know a couple of parents who did invest in mats, bars and beam for their 3yo to "prepare" them so they might be hand picked for the pre-team because their kids really loved gymnastics and they wanted to make sure they made the pre-team. We still talk to the parents and the kids who bought the equipment early because they participate in other activities with DD8, and both are on the gymnastics team and seem pretty happy. DD8 was one of the ones invited to pre-team without me buying all the equipment and with me not even allowing her to practice in the house lol so I think it's kind of silly.


She accidently responded under her alter ego username. Benefit of doubt = gone. 
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