Extracurricular Activities


The girl wants to get back to dance classes—perfectly reasonable. The girl will feel better if she moves more, and we’re completely in favor of that. Dance classes will also give her more social contacts. So we’re searching for a new dance studio on this side of town.

She didn’t take classes last year (because of family issues, not her choice), but has otherwise been dancing since she was about 3 years old. She wants to take ballet and jazz.

At 13, apparently, most ballet dancers are on pointe (en pointe?). She didn’t dance last year, she has hypermobile joints and fibromyalgia, and I’ve read a fair number of references to increased incidence of arthritis in young dancers due to being on pointe. I don’t honestly WANT her to go on pointe. She would, I think, like to try it—but agrees that her muscles are not up to it at the moment.

We’re having trouble finding studios that offer classes for her age and ability level that don’t require that she be on pointe.

Seriously, is that necessary? She isn’t going to be a professional ballet dancer. She’d love to move towards musical theater stuff. I have trouble judging schools and their claims because I’m not a dancer. I don’t have the background/vocabulary.

Oh—it seems that the expectation at most local schools is that teens who are still dancing are SERIOUS and want to be in the dance company. That means three or more ballet lessons a week, plus jazz AND tap. She hasn’t done tap since she was a tiny thing—she wasn’t really interested in it.

She’d like to do more acrobatics, but her migraines were triggered too often in those classes so I’m being a meanie on that one. Modern dance would be fine. Hip-hop would be fine (though she hasn’t expressed any interest in it). No acrobatics, which involves putting too much stress on the neck.

We want her to start martial arts lessons as well—she’s definitely interested, but honestly this particular thing is a higher parental priority than girl priority. And she has stated a desire to do voice lessons again, but we haven’t found a voice teacher. (Suggestions are appreciated if you know of one local to us.) I told her that if she’s serious about majoring in music in college, she’ll also have to study an instrument. As I recall, her uncle was required to study piano as well as his choice (percussion). She wants to learn guitar. I haven’t even started researching that one yet.

Do other parents of active teens do anything other than drive them around? This will be even more fun in a one-car (and usually one driver) family. And it reminds me, again, of my solid belief that every child needs at least four parents. At a minimum. To start.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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