Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ballroom Dance Show

I've spent the last few weeks taking my oldest to extra ballroom dancing practice sessions. She's finally had a chance to dance with her new partner and within two weeks they start practicing for this show. The show is different than regular ballroom because they actually had to learn a routine to dance and they danced the same dance with the three other couples who took part.

Even though she was a bit down about ballroom dancing after losing her first partner, with all this show practice she has even asked if she can practice more! I'm so glad to see her doing something she loves. It's also cheap! It's not everyday that enjoyment meshes with affordability, but our dance instructor, John Vitti, has group lessons for the kids at $5 a kid for an hour (as long as we can get 8 kids to dance, preferably couples).

They did two shows. My girl and her partner performed better at the second show, so I'm putting that first. She's the shortest girl (in the center of the video, of course) wearing a black and white dress.

Here is the first show.


LB said...

Both of my daughters would love to do this - but where does one find the boys? No matter how many times I tried to explain to my son that the difference between a Prince and Prince Charming is the latter's ability to dance, he wouldn't buy it.

Nice job, E.

Kim said...

It is not easy! I was lucky enough to have a single girl at the right age (and the right height) for a boy who was already looking for a partner.

I would recommend casting a net far and wide. Even though I didn't have to look hard, I think some of the following might be helpful: a community ballroom dancing class for kids(look in nearby towns, not just your own--or maybe ask your town to arrange one if there isn't one), one of our local homeschooling activities for teens is a 'learn to salsa' type event and perhaps kids who go to that type of event would be interested in more formal lessons, try getting a group lesson together, find boys first and then invite only enough girls to fill them out, you know what ages you need so you could even try 'need a -- year-old boy for ballroom dancing lessons' if you have a large homeschooling support group. I think once the kids get older and more experienced, finding a partner become that much more difficult. When they're just starting out, they don't have to be friends, they don't even have to know each other--just both want to dance. When they have more than a year's dancing experience (especially girls*), it becomes harder to find a partner who doesn't need to start from scratch. (* It's much harder for boys to learn ballroom dancing because their part is more complicated--can you say leading?--than the woman's part so it would take boys longer to catch up with an experienced girl than it would take for an inexperienced girl.)

The possibility of competition really helped pique the interest of the boys after the first few months. It might help in general if they think of it like a sport. The older brother of my eldest's new partner even wants to become ballroom dance instructor. Of course, he's 15 and a lot can change! In fact, he's looking for a parner and it's very hard to find a girl of the right skill level, height, close to the same age (for competition purposes) and interest.

According to the instructor, there are about ten girls to every boy. Some moms can get their boys to try it, but the boys really want hip hop. These boys got really interested after taking a local parks & rec course.

I've mentionede 'height' more than once. Even though it shouldn't matter, and the judges shouldn't take it into account, the couple looks much better (and spins are better) if the girl doesn't tower over the boy. If you look at the video again, you can see the girl that this new partner used to dance with. She's the one to the right (with the handkercheif hem brown skirt and halter-style top). She's a full head taller than him and that's precisely why he has a new partner.

One caution for the older kids. They tend to want to dance with their boyfriend or girlfriend. If (when) things between them go south, they don't want to dance together anymore. So on top of the traumatic break up, they're often trying to find a new partner.

Hey--that's long enough for a post!

Rational Jenn said...

I finally had a chance to watch the video--well done! It looks like the kids were having fun. Congratulations to your daughter on her accomplishment!

Kim said...

It was a lot of fun and it gets her used to being out there in front of people.