Friday, 21 April 2017

A Year of Ballet

Dearest Little An,

You have been learning ballet for more than a year now. You have just outgrown your first pair of ballet shoes and I thought I would write about your progress since your first lesson.


When you first started ballet last year, it was in a parent-accompanied class and I had the privilege of attending it with you. Then, you tried your best to follow instructions, but got distracted at times.

I no longer attend classes with you, but at a recent mini concert that your class put up, you were confident and constantly had a smile for the audience. You knew the steps well and your rhythmic sense has improved. Your teacher wrote this about you:

Papa, Gege and I really enjoyed your concert even though it was very short. Keep up the enthusiasm you have for dance and in everything you do. :)

Love,
Mama. :)

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Here are some things I learnt when sourcing for a ballet school for a two-year-old:

1) It is better to start off with a parent-accompanied class when the child is younger so as to ease the child into the class. Also, I could help remember the steps and practise with An at home.

We did try a drop-off class at another school before I found this school. I witnessed two little girls colliding into each other during the class and they started crying. The teacher had a hard time managing as she was alone with eight young girls. She did not even tell the parents of the girls what had happened after class even though one of them had an apparent bump on her head. I lost confidence and decided to send An to another school.

2) Teachers are important! The teacher at the first school we tried out did not find out the girls' names and when she needed their attention, she had difficulty. At this current school, An has had two different teachers. The first teacher she had began each class with a round of introduction. Each girl got to share one thing about herself every week. The current teacher is also good with names. Both teachers, as well as a substitute teacher, are lively, encouraging and make dancing fun. It would be good if a parent can observe how a teacher teaches before signing up for an enrichment class.

3) I considered if I was hot-housing An at such a young age. When I saw how much she enjoyed dancing, my concerns were quelled.

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