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In my son’s ballet class today, their teacher asked the kids how old they were. Most of the girls indicated that they were turning 10 this year.  When the teacher realized this, she told her students that they needed to have 3x per week classes starting July.  She stated that in Classical Ballet, a dancer’s time is limited and that upon reaching 10 no time was to be wasted.  Before even getting their first acne treatment, the teacher intends to start them on pointe work.  She says 3x per week training would ensure that the kids are strong enough to do more demanding pointe routines.

While it is good to get kids on pointe shoes soonest, it is normally not advisable for them to do this before 10.  Doing so would lead to growth problems because children’s bones are more cartilagenous in nature.   They also must have demonstrated strength in routines done on regular ballet shoes.   The bleeding toes are definitely not for the faint of heart.

Pointe shoes are the distinguishing mark of a ballerina from other dancers.  The seemingly effortless moves on stage result from years of tears, dedication and hard work.

Its summer in the Philippines and you have found a good place for your child to start training ballet ( or any other dance for that matter).  Have you ever thought about what you should be doing in preparation for the 1st class?  First order of business is to get your kid in the right attire.  Before the 1st class, you should ask the teacher about the attire.  In ACTS Manila ballet schools we have a prescribed uniform ( fuschia sleeveless leotard and a skirt of specified length ) so it would be a waste to buy something other than what is called for.  You should also ask about how the hair should be done.  Second item would be teacher’s gender. I’ve had some kids refuse to join my class because I was male! (As if they didn’t have any fathers!) If you know before hand that the teacher is of opposite gender to your child, you may want to prep the him/her.  Thirdly, be ready with food and water.  Kids can get really hungry and thirsty after class.  Fourth, make sure your child has gone to the bathroom prior to class.  Lastly, prepare for things that need to be paid for. Uniforms, tuition, registration, etc.  Don’t forget promotional items or coupons giving you discounts or free classes.

Ballet is a wonderful experience for little girls and boys.  They get to dance out fairy tales instead of just reading them. I wish you and your child the best in your ballet experience.  If you live in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna area, you can reach me at 09083020319 for ballet classes.  Mention this blog for a free class.

In my last entry, I blogged about our recent ballet pictorial.  As my wife does the post production part of the shoot, we have been staring at all the student’s photos for quite a while now.  In so doing we noticed a few more items worth some attention.  First and foremost, would be the smiles.  As I stated in my previous entry, we had to constantly remind kids to smile.  It was not a surprise to see good shots getting archived because the kids were not smiling.  Second would be jewelry. Just because your kid has a pictorial, doesn’t mean that you have her wear all your loose diamonds.  You have to follow the artisitic direction of the producer.  Its funny if your kid has the role of a simple village girl and her ears sparkle.  Lastly, the weight! Please STOP your children from always going to McDonalds or eating  chips and chocolates.  If you don’t think their fat, look at their pictures. It even gets worse when they get on stage.  The worst thing that could happen is if they won’t fit in their costumes come recital time.  Give them real, nutricious, high quality food.

The weekend was quite busy for us.  It was the pictorial of ACTS Manila ballet schools.  While Saturday was not so bad as it only involved my wife, Sunday engaged all four of us.  We woke up very early to be at the pictorial site at 730am.  The shoot started around 830am, with my daughter’s ballet class. About an hour later, it was my son’s ballet class. At around 10:30am,  it was the turn of my students to be photographed.  The whole morning was practically a family affair.  After lunch, it was back to my wife’s monopoly of things to do.

Perhaps your kid is about to have look into that Canon camera in a ballet pictorial setting. Here are some practical tips:

  • 1.) Come early! – In a production pictorial setting, you have to put on a costume or wear special make up.  For this reason, call time is usually 1hr before the scheduled shoot.  By coming late, you run the risk of not wearing the costume properly or putting on the best make-up.   In some cases, you may even damage the costume.
  • 2.) Wear make-up before getting to the site. – If your circumstances permit and no special make-up is required, you should have your kid wear make-up before arriving at the photoshoot.  This way, you can focus on his/her costume.
  • 3.) Keep the kids busy. –  Do what you can to keep your kid preoccupied while sitting down.  Bring books or games that will keep him/her from running around and destroying his/her costume. Pictorials usually take long because of the number of kids to be shot, so you have to bring quite a number of books and games.
  • 4.) Bring food. – Because of the long wait time, bring along some snacks.  However, don’t let your kid eat brownies or other dark colored stuff unless you want his/her teeth to have stains.  You should also stay away from messy stuff like cream pies as they may spill on the costume.
  • 5.) Bring a good container for the costume. – Bring a container that keeps the costume from being damaged during transport or storage.
  • 6.) Practice your child’s smile. –  It’s interesting that we had to nag kids to smile. Have your child practice smiling the night before. It would even be better if you have a mock pictorial!

Hopefully this makes your pictorial experience more memorable in a positive way. Smile!

It’s about a year now since I started to return to ballet as a teacher.  Prior to that my life was pretty much sedentary.  I was stressed since most of my work was cerebral.  Now, I have the physcial and social aspects of a ballet teacher life to balance the analysis I do to correct my students.  From a 208 lbs weight to 182lbs, I’d like to say that I’m getting closer to becoming a weight loss success story.  The most important thing is that I feel that I am fulfilling God’s call in my life and that I enjoy the job so much.