When my daughter, Adriana, saw a segment on ballet on Okto, she fell in love with the tutus. So one day, she asked me if she could learn ballet. And she kept asking.
Over the next six months, I kept checking with her if she was certain that she wanted to learn ballet. In the meantime, I was looking around to find out what she would be learning with it — you hear all kinds of horror stories about anorexic ballet dancers and horrible feet — as well as searching for a class that was affordable. After all, as such a young child, she might decide that she didn’t like it after the first few sessions!
I found one near our home. And since she always answered enthusiastically “Yes!” and tried to dance and spin, we signed her up once she turned 3 (the minimum age for the school).
Addy goes for a 45-minute class on Saturday mornings at a CC that’s only 10 minutes from home on my bike — perfect because it doesn’t clash with preschool!
I don’t actually know what she does in class — parents are not allowed to sit in — but I believe it’s a series of stretches and simple moves to fun music. She wears practice outfits sold by the school (simple leotard and a light skirt and soft shoes).
She’s learning some discipline, balance — for sure — and is slowly developing a much greater awareness of her body and strength. All positives!
I guess, for me, if she shows that she’s keen to learn — and is persistent in her requests to learn — I will help her achieve her dreams if it’s within my means. If she loses interest along the way, that’s fine, too. I’m not hoping to raise a professional dancer, but if that happens, why not?
However, she’s also interested in the violin. Along with the trumpet. So, I’ve started my six months’ worth of “Are you sure you want to learn this?” quizzing again…
Seah Kuihua, 36, is mother to Oliver, 1, and Adriana, 3½.