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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