Ballet lessons?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allhaileris, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I know there is always discussions on sports, but I am wondering about how your kids do with ballet or other dance lessons? E has been asking and asking about taking ballet lessons, I assume she's romantized the whole thing. I know the owner of the stuido and she is going to let us do a few tester sessions, and she said the teacher of the pre-ballet class has an autisic child herself so she might be fine. I figure either she'll really like it and mostly listen, or a be a total monster.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    With Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a ballet class could go either way.
    It's a very structured form of dance, with very clear expectations, rules, rote learning and repetition. It's almost ritualistic. Those elements might make it a good fit for a child on the spectrum.

    Possible disadvantages might be that, if she has issues with motor contol, some of the movements may be difficult to achieve.

    A possible long-term advantage might be enhancements in proprioceptive sense, motor control, balance and gait, all of which Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids typically struggle with.

    Speaking from personal experience as a spectrumish little girl who was enthralled with dance, I was enrolled in ballet, tap and jazz classes when I was 4 years old. Hated ballet and quit after 2 weeks. LOVED jazz and especially tap (same rote learning and routine, same balance and stability, less difficulty due to hypermobility). I ended up sticking with dance until well into my 20s, and then picking it up again recently.

    Your mileage may vary, but I certainly think it's worth a try. You might want to be open to other dance forms as well, just in case...

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would NEVER keep my son from trying anything he was interested in unless it was dangerous. Go for it!
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    With dance, milage varies with all kids, even the "neurotypical" ones. Also agree to make sure to allow for other dance forms if interest is there. My non-difficult child daughter has done ballet for 6 years and while there are some fun moments, it's a lot of work and high on discipline as compared to the others.

    trinity, I was a major tomboy and my mom signed me up for ballet. I had two lessons, hated it, broke my arm when I got thrown off my horse and in order to try and salvage my ballet carreer, my mom made me take one more lesson while in a body cast from the waste up. It was then I traded in the dance shoes for cowboy boots, because there was no chance I was going to do that again!
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I'm shuddering just THINKING about this.

    I remember attending tap dance classes on crutches when preparing for competitions, just so that I could watch and review the steps, but I can't imagine actually trying to dance-BALLET-in a body cast.

  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    It wasn't pretty, I tell you. My daughter broke her wrist a few years ago and kept up with practice in her arm cast. She dubbed herself the new breed of superhero: Ballet Cast Girl!

    I just saw my spelling in that quote of mine above and want to mention I haven't been hitting the sauce--honest. That's what I get for typing while on the phone to my mom. :tongue:
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    I would see if there wss a short time , like from a community rec program versus a studio whcih is for an anaitre year. Dance ahs been good for my fdauhgter in short segmentzs but gets bored if it is too repetitive.
    What she ahs loved an dtil loves is daincing my her self in her room.She can be totally in control. She loves, looking at herslef in the miroor. She used to put on her leotards and music. I think the unstructrues expression is good for her.
    I think it depeinds on the length and the expctations alsol. She was in a jazz/ modern class that varied and was prtyy short per sesion and that worked fine.
    She nver like dhte prefomance :the recitals are huge deals here and can last for hours (eatching everyon's dance.)
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My easy child daughter danced for 16 years. The last four years she taught. She often had "special" students in her classes. She, like her master teacher, understood their differences, and taught them in a way that was challenging, but gentle. I think your daughter may do well with the structure of ballet. The tights and leotards may pose a problem if she has sensory issues, but Jana often allowed students to wear shorts and a t-shirt.
  9. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Well, things went better than I thought they would. We tried out the pre-ballet class, which had mostly 4-5 year olds but it was a good place to start. The teacher does have what she said was a "full blown" autistic daughter who is 7 and just starting to talk, so she didn't care at all about any small issues. E listened well and went along with the class. I found out one of her classmates is in the ballet 1 class (which was right after hers) so she has some extra incentive to listen well for the next couple of months and then hopefully move to the more age appropriate class. The teacher said she did wonderful. We have one more tester class in two weeks (no class next weekend) and then if that goes well I'll have her do the rest of the quarter (through May). All the girls were SO adorable in their little outfits. E will have no problem at all with the leotard, she's sensory seeking so the outfit will be fine. Keeping it off her during the week might be more of an issue!

    And the price was actually pretty comprable to the community rec program, and since I personally know the owner of the studio I feel it's better to go there. I know she's caring, understanding and professional vs a community center where I have no clue what they'll be like.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Glad the class went well! Miss KT did very well in karate, eventually earning her black belt. Dance and gymnastics didn't work for her.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Glad to hear it was so positive! That's awesome about the teacher.

    If it feels good, I'd just let her wear the leotard during the week or buy a second one. I've bought a gazillion expensive ballet leotards and trust me, they usually outgrown them before they wear them out.

    We had one mom on the Easy Child board whose sensory sensitive daughter loved them and wore them under regular clothes because then it was the same stuff next to her skin every day.

    I so hope this works out positively for her! My daughter and her classmates were trying on bright teal leotards with fluffy pink tutus for their recital this evening and it was so fun to watch them.
  12. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi. Glad it went well. My difficult child has been doing ballet for the last 6 years or so and she loves it. However it is a "just for fun" ballet class and they do not do any exams etc so it is no competitive. The tights do pose a bit of problem sometimes (sensory issues) but difficult child is allowed to wear white leggings if she wants. She tends to endure wearing the tights though as she wants to wear the same as the other girls. Also the class is only half an hour long so this also suits. difficult child says she wants to be a "professional ballet dancer" when she grows up so it's important to her that she goes.

    Hope your difficult child enjoys it!!!
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Glad it went well.

    Something to watch for, in case it's an issue - easy child 2/difficult child 2 has a problem with imitating someone else's movements. An Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment showed this up, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was unable to properly imitate movements when she wasn't able to watch her own body. The Occupational Therapist (OT) said that the best way to teach her how to move (as in dance class) was to physically move her body for her, to put it into the correct position. Not to just show her. She was a gifted ballet student when she started, they were talking about taking her on a tour of Europe, but we had to leave that dance school when their hours changed to a time where we couldn't go. Later dance teachers didn't teach her the way she needed, we ended up for a while with a dance school that really was awful, and easy child 2/difficult child 2 lost a lot of ground and learned some bad habits.

    On the subject of letting your kid do whatever they want in terms of dance or similar activity - easy child 2/difficult child 2 wanted to be a stiltwalker, got a couple of lessons at after school care and from there just took off and began working professionally before she reached her teens. From there she got into acting and has done some interesting things.

    So you never know where they'll go with things...