In the previous article, I mentioned the 5 Positive Points on how Ballroom Dancing would benefit your child. But, it would be biased not to show you the “other” side of the dance industry – The Practical and Skeptic. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much into ballroom dancing and overall Pro-DanceSport, but there are things worth mentioning, that should be taken into consideration before taking your child to the nearest ballroom dance club.
Is your child really into Ballroom Dancing?
As mentioned in Mistakes Dance Parents’ Make, parents sometimes don’t realize that ballroom dancing might not really be a matching sport for your child’s personality. Yes, ballroom dancing is a phenomenal source for developing musicality, expressiveness and overall physical strength. But, what if your child is more into aggressive sports such as football, karate, hockey, etc. Or, maybe they are interested in a completely different field, outside of sports. If you are concerned of your kid’s physical development, perhaps it would be good to discuss alternative activities with them. Be honest, is it your child who wants to dance, or you are fulfilling your own childhood dreams?
If you haven’t been exposed to Ballroom Dancing yet, I have to mention – It is pretty expensive! In the beginning, for proper development, it is suggested to have both Private and Group Lessons. In group classes most attention goes to general completion of patterns and/or techniques. Most group classes have a certain rhythm of completing tasks, which are on a group’s agenda. This means that even though some dancers might be struggling with executing or not understanding certain moves or patterns, if the majority got it, everybody moves on to the next task.
Here comes the importance of private tutoring, where a dance coach can individually explain and break down certain moves, as well as choreograph dance routines and explain technical movements. Usually, privates cost more that group classes, and that is, of course, due to an individual approach from the coach to your child.
Competitions can also be costly. Costumes; makeup; traveling costs, such as: flights, hotels, gas, tickets to get in and registration for the actual event. Even though it is much easier on the pocket if the competition is local, but it sure “bites” when a competition is a few hours (or more) away from home. Thankfully, it is worth mentioning that, most dance coaches bring the cost significantly down by organizing group trips to different competitions outside of local reach. So, are you able to afford it all?
It is, indeed, beneficial for your child to learn about the necessities of communication in partnership and overall team work. At early stages of dance partnerships levels of dance abilities might vary, but are not made a huge deal of. However, going into the future, if a difference of dance levels between partners is significant, or one of the partners decided to drop out, or there is simply no way to make the partnership work anymore, there could be a break up. Depending on where you are located geographically, it could mean that finding a new dance partner might be a problem. There are cases when a child is talented, and would get offered to relocate to a different dance club, which could be anywhere in the world. Would you be willing to relocate, or would you be ready to let your child go? And if we reverse the roles, would you help and support your child’s partner if they arrive from abroad?
Time taken from other duties and important events
If your child is heavily into competitive dancing and spends most of their time in the studio, it might take a toll on their school work and school attendance; family gatherings and other important life events. As you may know, usually children are maximalists without any sense of planning abilities for the future. If it comes to choosing something they like versus something they must do, they would probably choose “something they like”. If they are in love with dancing, along with with the pressure from the competitive dance industry, coaches and competition organizers, your child would be committed to this 100% and probably more. Are you ready for that?
I have seen cases where great dance talents have been shattered with force of their loving parents, wanting the best future for their children and encouraging them to drop dancing to focus on school and a “successful” career choice. There were also cases where everything has been put on the line by dancers and their parents with financial, emotional and time sacrifices. Until an unexpected severe injury ends it all.
Everything is Balance. It is wonderful to chase your dreams, but good to have a “Plan B” for a rainy day.
Author: Egor Shalvarov
Photography: Elena Anashina
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review