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Teaching kids to dance

Elaina

One Too Many
My son is off of school, and I'm out of things to do to keep him from underfoot, so I decided to teach him to Charleston (because it's about the only dance I do well, and he already knows the box step.)

So we were standing and dancing, and my son stops at one point and asks me why he's learning to dance. I smart off and tell him it's because I had to, and he got serious and said kids don't really do structured dancing (paraphrasing: he actually said "why do I do this when all I have to do is shake my butt with my friends?").

So I pose to you, how useful is it to teach your kids to dance? It's not likely to be a skill he'll have to use any time soon, with the discussions of weddings and all, it's hardly done there either.
 

mysterygal

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I know from experience that learning to dance can be very useful and I highly encourage this in my girls (though they each take a different interest, ex. tap, ballet, ect.).
Learning dance moves can be great for teaching proper posture and is great for balance and coodination, and in many ways teaches discipline. I also really believe it's a great self-esteem booster. When you find something you love, it just makes you feel better. There's nothing like the huge smiles on my girl's faces when they mastered a dance step.
I do highly encourage to make it fun. With anything, It shouldn't be a grudging thing for the child. Find the interest and encourage them in it.
 

Elaina

One Too Many
Okay, well, first, I am Dame Klutz and kid is Master Left Feet. If you can't laugh at your mother falling down because she's twice the height you are and you manage to trip her....it can't be anything BUT fun.

I doubt I could get my son to step foot into a real dance class, I have enough problems having him dance with Mom (although we do dance when we go to a steak house that has country dancing.)
 

Paisley

I'll Lock Up
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5,439
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Indianapolis
I agree that dancing (or whatever the kid is into) should be a joy, not a chore. (I know--I was kept in piano lessons for four years after I lost interest.)

When Judge Judy was a little girl, she, like all the little girls in her neighborhood, was sent to dance lessons. She says she had two left feet and actually injured herself while attempting some aerial move. Her parent withdrew her from the classes--for good, and found other things she excelled in. Judge Judy noted that it wasn't a confidence builder for her to stumble around while the other girls were executing perfect plies.

If your son doesn't find he has a liking or an aptitude for dancing after he gives it a good try, it might be better to find another hobby. :)
 

mysterygal

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I can see with boys that it might be a bit trickier getting them excited about dance lessons! I know locally there are a few swing dance places, if you found some around where you live, you can take your boy there and as the term goes, put the carrot in front of the mule.....seeing some cute girls having fun is a good motivator for a guy!lol
 

Marc Chevalier

Gone Home
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Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
I went to Harvard School, at that time an Episcopalian all-boys prep school here in Los Angeles. Back then (the early '80s), nearly all my classmates were sent off by their parents to cotillion schools. These were expensive "dance salons" that ostensibly taught teenage boys and girls how to waltz, fox-trot, rhumba, mambo, etc. More to the point, they served as a means for those female-starved, upper middle/ upper class boys to mingle with girls and form social contacts that could someday lead to marriage. I kid you not.

.
 

Smithy

I'll Lock Up
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5,139
Location
Norway
We had the same kind of thing when I was in 6th form (17 years old) here Marc. Because you start going to school balls in 6th form, we went to dancing school to learn all the traditional steps. Was great and useful skills to learn, although I have forgotten some of the moves.
 

Flying Scotsman

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Pasadena, CA
Smithy said:
We had the same kind of thing when I was in 6th form (17 years old) here Marc. Because you start going to school balls in 6th form, we went to dancing school to learn all the traditional steps. Was great and useful skills to learn, although I have forgotten some of the moves.

Same here...it was called "Junior Assembly" and it was at the country club to which we belonged. I recall it was around 6th-7th grade. All the standard dances (foxtrot, waltz, etc.), plus lots of etiquette and manners and such (which person to introduce first, proper dining etiquette and behavior, etc.). I have a basic rhythm deficiency which hampers my dancing a bit (a lot), but the rest of the stuff has proven useful ever since. I never thought it would, but I guess my parents were right after all. :)

And yes, there was the chance to mingle with the girls. LOL! First girl I ever asked to "go steady" was at Junior Assembly. She said no. Broke my heart.
 

Elaina

One Too Many
Shows what a difference there is all around. I was taught to dance (never caught on, I viewed finishing school as a punisment, and it was), and even in public school they used to teach square dancing. Now, dancing is a no-no on th sexual harassment scale, at least in the schools here.

I do things with my child to make him an all 'round better person. He doesn't mind some of it (my husband came home to a look-what-I-can-do), some of it is alien to what I personally believe (like the space program. He thinks it's bad, and I wonder how the hades *I* had a kid that thinks we should not be among the stars), some of it is new and unusual (the kind that I get old lady "durn kids" response.)

I know I have never really had much need to use dancing in my normal life, and granted the Charleston is never a dance he'll ever use out in the real world unless a flapper's skeleton gets reanimated. But it's good to know some of you guys get use out of it. I'll have to torture him more.
 

RaasAlHayya

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As others have mentioned, in a few years being able and willing to dance is a great way to get chicks.

In addition, dancing is good for learning body awareness, flexibility, balance, control, and being able to think on one's feet, which are useful to anyone. However, he could get that through martial arts as well.

--Leslie
 

Leading Edge

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181
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
RaasAlHayya said:
As others have mentioned, in a few years being able and willing to dance is a great way to get chicks.

In addition, dancing is good for learning body awareness, flexibility, balance, control, and being able to think on one's feet, which are useful to anyone. However, he could get that through martial arts as well.

--Leslie

True, but he won't risk personal injury law suits as much if he trips the light fantanstic instead of the Bruce Lee - unless, of course, they're dancing to "everybody was kung fu fighting...: ;)
 

Elaina

One Too Many
I took martial arts for a number of years, and still practice. Kid has no desire to learn it (I've tried to get him interested.) He's just a nerd: if it's not technical, computer, or video games I have a hard time. But then I have a weird child too.
 

thetankw/ahat

Familiar Face
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san diego
tell him girls dig guys who know how to dance better than grinding their crotch into their posterior. it always works to pick up chicks for me.
 

Miss Sis

One Too Many
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Hampshire, England Via the Antipodes.
Well, I always thought dancing was fun and there are plenty of different ones to learn, but if it's not his thing in a big way, rather than a 'why me and no-one else?' kind of way ie/embaressed because the other kids don't do it, then ask him what he thinks would be good.

Ban the computers - tell him to think outside the circle! He sounds like he does his own thing anyway! :p Not a bad thing to have a kid who thinks for themselves these days.
 

Elaina

One Too Many
He asks why I do and say things that don't get done with and for other kids frequently (Why do I sew, why do I wear make up and look nice when I go out, why doesn't he get to wear jeans to church, why do I bake homemade cookies and not have store bought ones...) most of the time, he's asking why I do something different, not that he wants a change/is embarassed.

My son showed dancing to my large family gathering today. I don't think he was embarassed so much as I was asking if I should be more normal with what I teach him.
 

resortes805

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Nobody's born with rythmn, and learning it while your young will improve any (and I mean any) physical activity you engage when you are older.
 

Dan G

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Pensacola, FL
Make him learn. heh heh.

When I was little dancing was for girly guys. Guess who never got any girls... By the time I was interested in girls, I didn't really sing, was too shy to ask a girl to dance, so I learned to play guitar. Guess who still doesn't have a girl? hmmm. I seemed to get more attention from guys wanting lessons than I did girls.:eusa_doh:
 

mysterygal

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Washington
You mean you were a guitar player and you still didn't get the girls? Maybe you needed to get the whole long, flowing hair thing down, and leather pantslol
I hated dance lessons at school. Most of them were line dancing and square dancing (which still isn't 'my thing') I was always stuck with the same kid, the sweaty hands and who ate his own boogers. At least I can laugh about it now:rolleyes:
What's humorous is that at my daughter's school, she's been learning square dancing as well, and complaining about the same exact thing!.
On a different note; gymnastics is also great for learning balance, coordination...it's a great compliment for learning just about any kind of dance.
 

Dan G

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Pensacola, FL
I did have long hair!! No leather pants though, just 501's.
Great, just great, I have sweaty hands too. Now I have short hair, sweaty hands, and can't dance! I can see my odds are dwindling. At least I don't eat my boogers though.;)
 

ITG

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Dallas/Fort Worth (TEXAS)
There's a great documentary called Mad, Hot Ballroom about teaching inner city NY kids ballroom dancing. You and your son might enjoy watching it together.
 

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