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January 17, 2008


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You were a semi-professional ballet dancer? I'm telling you, I might stop reading your site because you work, have children, move, host podcasts and now a freakin' accomplished dancer. I feel unworthy of reading this site....but I really enjoy it too much.

I was always so jealous of the girls in tap class while I was in ballet classes. I think I eventually did both but I remember doing a lot more of the ballet.

If she would work off her engery emptying trash cans in offices...I'd let her do it. Just beucase she'll have a little sequin costume....doesn't mean she's on the road to prostitution.

What's wrong with Karate? Most karate classes teach kids WHEN to use this mad skillz, and to respect their parents. It could be good for her.

As I had mentioned in a previous comment, both tap and ballet are great. I just don't like how some of these dance places make the students look like little hookers at their performances.

Both tap and ballet teach children rhythm, balance, coordination, and timing. And children can start ballet as early as five. Their first position will be adapted. They also will have fewer requirements than the older kids.

I guess what I hate to see is that the classic disciplines have given way to modern dance and other forms. It's really sad, but not too much to worry about at her age.

We've turned into a nation of dumb fatties. Why don't schools teach Latin and Greek anymore? And why isn't it standard for kids to be enrolled in a physical activity, even if it's karate?

I don't know, at this age, isn't it just about fun? Does it really matter what it is? My daughter goes to a combined tap/ballet class, but honestly a bunch of 3 year olds don't really learn a whole lot of actual dancing, and that's okay by me. And I also agree with SueBob, is it really so necessary to do something, that you'd put her into a class you don't really like?

Christy's suggestion sounds like the best of all possible worlds. You're a dancer, surely you have noticed Debbie Reynold's calves?

Tap dancer. 'nuff said.

I think you should enroll her in the tap class. If she's given it a fair shot for one semester and you find the class annoying or she doesn't like it, you can always quit.

One of my greatest regrets in life is not that my parents put me in the "wrong" arts lessons-- it's that they didn't put me in ANY arts lessons, ever. No dance, no music, no painting, no drawing, no sewing, no crochet, no underwater basketweaving. When I was in high school, it seemed like all of my friends had these special skills they had gained in out of school classes, and I had nothing.

Now, this is not to say I think a kid has to start a full arts class schedule at three years old-- I agree with some other people who commented to say we put kids under too much pressure to take classes these days-- but, if she's bored and wanting to socialize, and has some energy to burn off, dance class of any sort sounds like a good plan to me.

And some of the best musicians in the world learned an instrument a decade or more before they ever learned any music theory. You know that :P

Here comes my old-fashioned streak - Why do three-year-olds have to "do" something? Can't they just amuse themselves as kids have since time immemorial?

Interesting, that you were a dancer...

I am not a dancer, but I work at a ballet school. I have always heard tell that ballet shouldn't start before about age 8.

I just started my 5 year old in Karate yesterday and I could not be more excited.....so good for them......

I started in ballet when I was four, and a few years later took a tap class as well. Unfortunatley, I had to pick between the two (those classes are expensive), and seeing as ballet was my real passion, I choose ballet. And I probably would have tried to continue on to a professional level had I not injured myself when I was nine. Wouldn't have been so bad (fractured a foot) if it hadn't taken 5 years to heal properly. But I've tried to get back into ballet and tap as an adult...I miss it. And all of that long story was to get to this point (sorry for the rambling): I say let her tap. It'll teach her rhythm and disipline, and perhaps in the future she could try ballet when you find a class. It all teaches good movement skills, which lead to good posture, self-confidence, and a lifetime of staying healthy, active and fit, hopefully. It's worth a shot. Let the tapping begin!

Check out The Wonderplace in Breckenridge Village off Rodney Parham. And Shuffles has the reputation of being the best ballet studio in these parts.

Also, at the Babies R Us the other day, I saw some information about some Kindermusik classes that were forming.

If you see a copy of the "Kid's Directory" around, pick it up...it has lots of good ideas for things to do with the kiddos in the LR area.

My mom attempted to put me in tap when I was little.
I was thrilled with the sparkly costume and shiny shoes.
Not so thrilled at the out of sync click clack that was my hour of tap.
I promptly dropped out.
Sadly my career peaked at four.

Always choose ballet.

I was a grave disappointment to my grandmother who danced and taught ballet. I had the build, but waaaaaay too much energy for ballet as a little girl. Much more interested in seeing how far I could slide in my tights... so I was switched to figure skating.

I know what you mean. Grace just started ballet classes....and I think I might love it more than her. But it really is adorable to see the 3 year ballerinas dancing around.


My motto would be to "shuffle ball change" them right on into nap time! My mom used to send me out into the carport to tap on the concrete floor and I loved it enough that I didn't even mind that it was hot as hades in summer and cold as a wedge in winter! I didn't learn to appreciate ballet until much later. There was something about making lots of racket that was very appealing to me.

You aren't kidding about the serious nature of ballet. Tacy's mirror-licking antics made her pretty unpopular in ballet class.

Now I'm trying to convince her to take a hip-hop class.

Well no wonder I hate tap. I've been watching Sabian Glover.


SAVION Glover is awesome!
since when di tap becomse such an awful thing?
i'm from the old school of motherhood that signs the kids up in activities they really, truly enjoy and sometimes even excel at which is why my 4th daughter has been taking tap and jazz and hip-hop and lyric for three years now. all that tapping has amounted to something as she was just recently been awarded a scholarship. but never mind all that; the very best is the joy on her face as she dances (taps) her little heart out makes the shame of donning those tap shoes all worth it.

I wasn't allowed to take tap. It always looked so cool - I even tried to learn it myself. I can see the objection even though I am probably scarred for life by the deprivation. Just be glad it isn't baton, I guess!

I was one of the kids stuck in tap class, looking longingly at the pretty girls in pink in the ballet class. So jealous. I had no idea any of them envied me, of all people.

I remember my first ballet class too. I was 3 years old and just dying to be in gymnastics. But my mom thought it was too dangerous. Not that I'm bitter.

You ballet snob. :)

I ran into that a lot when I was one of those crazy can't-control-my-feet types as a kid - the "ballet is the REAL art form" attitude. I call BS.

I learned a lot tap dancing. And Jazz. Coordination, rhythm, body control, listening skills, etc. Plus, I didn't have to stand at a barre and have a skinny bun-wearing anorexic tell me my toe wasn't pointed right.

Hmm....hit a nerve! LOL!

Hold your nose and let her give it a try.

I was pumped when Lil' Bum was finally old enough to start dance. She gets lots of activity at her daycare/school but I wanted her to try different activites. She takes ballet and tap. It is just automatically combined. They wear the black leotard, pink tights and shoes, and have the hair bun.

I didn't think at first that she was going to be a dancer. The first few classes she didn't want to go. I knew after the first month if she still didn't like it I would let her quite. She loves it now. She was just uncomfortable around the new people. I think one of their recitals songs is "Goodship".

There has to be something other than tap in the area. Gymnastics, maybe?

Someday I hope to enroll my girls in a dance class, although it'll probably be Irish dance. If they're interested, of course. That's why I keep showing them Riverdance all the time.

Well, tap will burn off her energy for now and when you return to Atlanta in what 5 months,
You can enroll her in both there.
I am surprised they do not have ballet there. I thought Little Rock was a big city.

Looks like I'll be driving downtown!

Eh, she's burning off some energy, learning how to listen to an adult that is not you, and playing with other kids. How bad can it be?

Jazz hands - heh.

Shocking! Really? There are no ballet classes in Arkansas? Hmm...I guess it's not that surprising when you consider that most people in Arkansas think "The Nutcracker" is something you do off the high dive.

Kidding, people. Kidding.

That is odd. My daughter has been taking ballet and tap since she started at 2 yrs old. They do ballet the first 30 minutes and then do tap the second 30 minutes. They love it, plus they get 2 costumes for the revue. I think it is just so us parents have to pawn our kidneys to pay for it.

I'm so with you on this one. I loved tap myself but I was also a serious little ballet girl and teen. I practiced hours each day, my parents drove me miles to a serious dance studio and I miss it all the time. I want that for my daughter too. Though I suspect she has a crazy tapper gene in her more than artful ballet. Honestly? I think she'll be a pro-wrestler before she's 12.

There are places in the Little Rock Metro are that offer combo classes for preschoolers....Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Tumbling all in the same class. I'm sending you an email with some recommendations.

Bossy agrees, even though her daughter took Tap. It just seems... so... pat.





I wish you lived near me. We have a wonderful ballet studio in town, run by a mother-daughter team, both of whom were professional dancers at one time. Their priority is the love of the art form, and in the process, their young ones learn to work for quality and beauty.

it's a shame for her (and for me) you guys aren't in Little Rock city limits. there are tons of ballet classes, gymnastics, mommy and me, kindermusik and so on. how can we convince the military to move you to the city?

I loved this post. So funny, too, because I just looked into taking tap classes last night. For myself. Because I loved tap as a kid and have always wanted to take it as an adult. (So what if I'm a dork. It's fun!)

Sadly, teaching kids REAL ballet is almost a lost art in many towns. You have to tolerate the "ballet-tap-jazz-MODELING" lessons all together. And the skanky, Jon Benet costumes.

Now tap can be a real artform. But as long as it's not little girls all whored up tapping to "Oops I Did It Again".

It's the culture of making the kids into attention-grabbing whores so they can make enough money to help Momma move out of the trailer park. Remember Britney Spears?

Isn't Little Rock a decent-sized town? No gymnastics, anything else? Is there a YMCA at least- they should have SOMETHING... I couldn't stomach the tap, either.

We don't teach the kids to beat up their parents and siblings in TKD. Respect, discipline, confidence, strength, balance, and flexibility are first and foremost. The ability to kick mom in the head is just a bonus!

awe..it'll be fun. too bad she can't practice on the carpet though. Tap is just way too loud for me. Good Luck!

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