Preparing Your Little Ballerina

11282729_825305754223835_87342611_nSince I was very young, I dreamed of my future little girl to be involved in dance lessons.  I grew up dancing, never the best, but it was an extremely fun and memorable activity for me.  Emersyn started dance class this fall at In Motion Dance Center in Lansing, MI.  I wasn’t sure she was going to love it because she was just 2 when she started, but she LOVES it!  I stay at home with her and was worried that she wasn’t getting enough away time from me and had little interaction with other kids her age, so dance class was the solution!  I actually look forward to it each week because I get to get out of the house, talk to other moms with kids the same ages as my kids and Emersyn gets to be involved in a great activity.

Some things that I have learned as the “dance mom”:

1. There are “dance mom’s” who sit in the lobby, honing in on every conversation that you are having and feel entitled to comment showing that they are “more experienced” than you.  This is fine that others know more, I would love for others to share advice one may have, but when they rudely interrupt a conversation from across the lobby and seem to get heated and state “us more experienced mom’s…” prefacing EVERY statement that comes out of their mouth, I get a bit annoyed.  Not to mention, their child is only 4…  I stay out of the drama (who knew that it started at such a young age!) and chat with parents who have their children in dance simply for the joy of dance.

2.  Dance lessons are both amazing and add up.  Emersyn is in one 30-minute class per week and one dance for the up coming recital, she only needed one costume this year, but boy is it pricey!  The lessons alone are really not too bad, but as my husband states and I quote, “this is a money pit!”  The costume, special tights, ballet shoes (which, thank the lord a friend gave them to us and they have fit Emersyn the entire year!), and recital tickets all cost money, but what activity doesn’t?  I really think the benefits outweigh the costs and in the grand scheme of things, so does my husband, he does admit that.

10735106_593293857466483_1996385541_n3.  Emersyn looks so darn cute dressed up as a ballerina!  For her 30-minute class, she wears tights (usually pink or white), a leotard (I get a lot 2nd hand), ballet shoes, leg warmers (in the cold months) and usually a tutu to top it off.  I will let you in on a little secret: AMAZON and EBAY are great places to get all of these things!  If you want brand new things such as ballet shoes and tights, look on Amazon.  For leotards and tutus, look for “lots” of “dance leotards” in the correct size for your little one.

4.  Even at the age of 2, they learn A LOT!  Emersyn does not go to preschool or daycare, so she was not receiving socialization with others her own age.  I was noticing that when we had play dates, she had a hard time connecting and interacting with others, she also was growing an attachment to me where she was afraid to leave me for even a minute.  Getting her involved in an activity, even just a 30-minute activity would help with all of my concerns.  As for learning within the actual dance class, wow there are a TON of benefits!  She is learning coordination, listening, repetition, dance vocabulary, sequence, memory skills, cooperation with others, concentration and rhythm.

10831803_1376992925932081_660390538_n5. Just embrace it!  Don’t get too absorbed in the drama (if there is any) and enjoy activities that your child enjoys.  I don’t make Emersyn practice, but I do ask her to show me her routine and if she is willing, she will.  Make friends in the lobby, I have made two mom friends that I really enjoy and Emersyn loves their kids – win/win for both of us!

I just signed Emersyn up for her second year starting next fall, I am elated and feel like I know more and feel comfortable with the entire experience.  She has yet to perform in the recital, that is coming up at the end of this month- SO thrilling!  If she decides that dance is not for her, that is fine, but for now she enjoys it!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Kelsey

What activities have you found that are great for your kids?  Did you have hopes and dreams of your kids loving an activity, only to have them hate the activity?

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