Many children, teenagers, and even adults lack discipline, responsibility, and the ability to fail and get up and do it again until they succeed. Granted, this has to with how you are raised and your parents value system, but it also has to with what activities parents put their kids into at a young age. For example, my brothers and I were all in team related activities growing up. Team related activities promote competition, strength to improve as an individual, and provides a discipline to work hard and get better technically with every class, individual practice, or competition.
So why do kids today lack this? Easy, they are involved in too much. You know that saying, “A jack of all trades but a master of none,” that is currently what we are dealing with in society. Now, I am not a parent, nor do I claim to be an expert on raising children, but teaching dance for the last ten years I have seen many children of various ages come in and out of my ballet classroom and they always leave for the better. Ballet teaches you about discipline. It takes discipline to go into a dance classroom everyday to work on pirouettes for an hour before you finally land a perfect single or double. Then you have to try to replicate that over and over again till it is ingrained in memory from the weight shift of your body, to the height of your arms, to the position of your leg. It’s all about calculations. Is it tedious? Absolutely! Then I think about that other saying, “practice makes perfect.” Where is the drive to be best? I feel like some kids that I come across in the dance classroom are lazy followed by back talk about how I know nothing about dance. Firstly, if I talked to my parents/ instructor that way I probably would have gotten a wack on the back of my head. Secondly, I am a ballet instructor with years of knowledge, technical training, and I’ll show you cool moves if you listen.
I had this one girl who was eighteen years old and had so much natural talent. I pushed her everyday in class, from teaching her to pick up speed in her turns, to using her long limbs to utilize every piece of music to her finger tips. She didn’t listen to me in class, and in fact she was a know it all like the five year olds I teach. Needless to say, a year later she came back with a letter that she gave to me that said, “You taught me about responsibility, that others in the classroom depended on me to know my part. You taught me about discipline and pushed me to be better everyday at the barre and through movement across the floor. You taught me that we will always be stronger as a unit instead of tearing each other a part, and that constructive criticism isn’t a personal a attack, but a way to drive us. I’m sorry I was such a brat and even though I wasn’t listening then I’m listening now.”
Ballet is more then just beautiful people on stage dancing for one night. They were taught discipline, responsibility, and hard work which they have strived to perfect everyday. So, if you are looking for that one activity that will motivate your kid (whether it is a boy or a girl) take a look at the ballet world before you look anywhere else, because ballet instructors will help you build a responsible adult one ballet class at a time.