His first ballet class

Just to be ridiculous AND AWESOME I am reviewing my baby’s first ballet class in the style of the adult ballet class reviews I’ve been doing with Ronda Jamb, which you can see right here.
Here goes:

Review By Me, Adult Beginner, duh, he’s my baby.
Class Is Called Mommy And Me Ballet
Where Totally not telling because my baby goes there.
How It Is
Right. Before you get all, “Dang AB, vicarious much?” I’ll go ahead and reassure you: I signed him up mainly so he can experience taking direction from someone other than me. Not so he can grow up to be the man-dancer I never was, ok???
Up until now he hasn’t been old enough for any classes at all, but at age two the world opens up and he can now take Two Whole Classes. That is so much more than no classes at all!!! Interestingly, ballet starts at age two, karate not until three. Hmm. Swimming at six months though, we did some of that this summer. He got his guppy certificate. Anyway. I’ve also started taking him to Parent And Me Cooking Fun, which is really more like Parent And Me Food Assembly as they don’t provide live flame or knives. Just A Lot of peanut butter. Did you know that stuff makes delicious glue?
Also interesting: only moms go to ballet class with kids? Hey dance studios of the world, don’tcha wanna maybe change that to Non-Gender-Specific-Parent&Me Ballet class?
I was really curious about how much “Mommy” would be involved in Mommy And Me Ballet, and also how much “ballet”. The answers are: none, and not much.
All mom types sit on a bench at the back while the kids take class. I was surprised! Figured there was a strong possibility we’d all be circling up and pointing our toes or something! But no, moms sit, and I think this is really a good thing because see previous: opportunity for kid to take direction from someone other than Mama.
My involvement was way more involve-y though, as it involved coaxing my crying boy into the scary scary studio, where the scary teacher and all the little scary girls were listening to scary music and playing scary games.
This was mostly hilarious. Teacher was unfazed, little girls barely noticed.
Eventually he sat on my lap, then sat in front of me, then stood, and by the end of class he was actually in the group, following along, which kind of made my heart explode with love. (“He’s so brave! Wahhhhh!”)
Other moms assured me that this is how the boys always are in this class. Ballet So Scary, you guyzzzz.
They did a foot warm-up, and kind of a lets-all-remind-ourselves-about-the-names-and-locations-of-our-body-parts warm-up, and then moved along into a bunch of neat games. My favorite was the Everybody Line Up game, and then the One By One Jump Over That Toy game. The youngest kids in the class (such as mine) would run at the toy and then plow right through it instead of jumping over. Totally hilarious, but also impressive that they ran at the correct time and in the correct direction.
Barre not used at all. Only one ballet term used during the class —chassé— which is cool because I was already impressed about the lining up and the running, no need to add the French.
Class Size six or so
Age Range 2-4
What To Wear I puzzled over this! Ended up wearing something that looked like normal clothes but could keep me covered in the event of a plié. Now that I have been there I know mamas can wear whatever the hell they want, students can wear anything stretchy including leotards with little attached skirts, dresses with shorts, t-shirt and leggings, kinda also whatever the hell, except that all the little girls had slippers and my kid was bare-foot, so I guess we’ll work on that.
Any Dudes? Just mine.
In Conclusion The other moms were delighted when mine started dangling from the barre partway through class. Apparently that’s a boy thing. Girls, why? Doesn’t that look like fun? I totes want to hang from the barre now.
This was totally fun. We will go again, hopefully with less crying.

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in ce n'est pas une mom blog, reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to His first ballet class

  1. Leah says:

    My 6 year old (boy) just started taking ballet (ok, preballet) this year with, I swear, no prompting from me. He loves, loves, loves it! Asked me yesterday if I had noticed how he’s always in a good mood after class! I know the odds are against him sticking with it, but I can’t help having a few proud momma of a danseur fantasy moments. And frankly I’m already proud of how he’s following his passion right now!

  2. wedoballet says:

    Oooo, AB, you’re a ballet mom!

  3. Sounds so cute. Maybe the girls don’t hang off the barre because even by age 2 they’ve already been indoctrinated with That Is A Boy Thing, Girls Are Pretty And Well-Behaved? *shrug* Seems to me, from observing friends with kids, that gender differences are being far more entrenched than they were when I was growing up in the 80s…

    • I wonder about that. Seems like people are making more of a conscious effort these days to be enlightened and gender neutral, but then there we are in ballet class with no other boys and the word Mom in the title.

  4. Nadine says:

    The class sounds awesome, but the ‘mommy & me’ name has got to go! I teach ballet to little kids and I think that’s horribly misleading (not to mention unfair to dads). Possibly rural New Zealand is different to metropolitan LA (ya think?), but I have far too many girl students hanging off the barre way more than they should (which is never).

    • Ha! Right? Does this look like gymnastics to you, kids! No! This is ballet! We don’t hang!
      But good, glad to hear the girls do it too. Even though they shouldn’t either.
      Mommy&Me as a name seems to be being phased out pretty heavily. Which is good. Most places around here use Parent&Me or flip it and go with Baby&Me or Child&Me and just avoid the issue of excluding half their pay-base altogether.

  5. Janet says:

    I hope you and little guy AB continue with the class. It sounds like fun. Are black slippers available in his size?

  6. Rebecca says:

    LOVE jumping the toy. Madame teaches our adult true beginners to do grands jetes by imagining jumping over a puddle, so this sounds like a great start to working across the floor.
    Re slippers: is this not totally your professional area? White canvas ones and dye them to his taste?

  7. guyenne says:

    Sounds like it went reasonably well. Gymnastics and Kindermusik/Music Together are the other toddler classes I’ve encountered. Gymnastics starting at walking/18months, and the music classes at birth (although the music stuff is super expensive – more than private piano lessons every time I’ve compared, and it’s a lot of movement to music anyway). Parent/Child yoga is out there some places as well, but it’s finicky to find a class for ages over 6 months and under 8 or so.

    • Parent/Child Yoga! We did that when he was really new, like two months old. Great practice for figuring out how to get out of the house in a timely manner, how much baby stuff to take along, and how to behave while out. Not a whole lot of yoga involved but very very educational and rewarding.

  8. Anne-Laure says:

    First comment here… Just to say that I recently discovered your blog, and LOVE it !!! Love the way you describe your life, the fun, the less fun, and the crazy ! Thanks a lot to share all this with us – an adult beginner too –

  9. Katy says:

    Aww, my wee man had his first ballet class today too (at the advanced age of 4)! I had to go in, and got to do good toes/naughty toes and leg waving sat on the floor (don’t think they noticed how good my toes were in my trainers) while he clung to me like I was sending him to have his eyebrows shaved.

    Luckily, he’s been going to gymnastics with his nursery class, so when it came to the actual jumping and turning and stuff he was dead enthusiastic, not as keen on the holding hands and interacting with people part, but if there’s marching to be done he’s your man.

    There was plenty of monkey ballerina action on the barre, so maybe you’ve just hit a group of exceptionally well behaved children?

  10. Leah says:

    In response the the gender issue… In my son’s class he’s the most serious and focused child. Most of the little girls have a serious case of the wiggle butts! Have not seen anyone hang off the barre yet though!

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