Sounds like the recreational gymnastics class would be the way to go then, at least for now. She won't feel as pushed to do the things that she doesn't like as much about gymnastics, but she'll still get the benefit of doing something fun and complimentary to her dance goals. When she starts the aerial class, drop the gymnastics entirely. Learning how to fall properly in gymnastics may come in handy when she does start aerial as well, as a side benefit.
I always loved watching the children who were bit by the bug, as your dance teacher has stated. Children are such intense little beings to begin with. Add in the extra intensity of challenging themselves and striving to excel at something they love, and it's just incredible to see.
When asked about either, she says for fun. However, she often says she wants to dance ALL DAY. She never says that about gymnastics, though at this stage gymnastics is much more strenuous. Also, she saw a live feed of the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker last Christmas, and she always talks about wanting to be a snowflake (not Clara, apparently, her costume isn't as cool, lol), and she often talks about wanting to do a solo at recital. She is also looking forward to taking aerial classes when she is old enough and loves staying around after class to watch the older girls at dance. But I figure she's five and has many years to change her mind Her dance teachers have told me she has the bug and my life will likely be dance, dance, dance from now on. Even though, when asked, she says she loves both gym and dance equally, it's a no-brainer which she loves as far as her behavior.
I don't want to drop gymnastics altogether as long as she enjoys it, but she did say she will drop gymnastics once she's old enough for the acrobatics class at her dance school. I think that's part of the problem. She's more into the stretching and the stunts and can care less about the beams and the bar. Also, to me, it seems like it'd be redundant to do gymnastics and acrobatics if she doesn't really like the apparati anyway.
The recreational class may be a good option. I know for my daughter, she hated being pushed to excel at something she just wanted to have fun doing, even if she was already naturally good at doing it. But if she's just left to do her thing, then she has a blast and stays involved.
If she's up to it, ask her what she likes about gymnastics and what she likes about dancing (ask on different days though, or you may not get much variation in reply), and use that as an information tool for deciding what to do. If she really just has fun at gymnastics, then cutting back to a recreational class would certainly be appropriate. And if it's a matter of money, I prefer to put my money where my child is going to get the most benefit from it. If she REALLY loves dance, and is only just playing around in gymnastics, then paying for extra dance classes and dropping gymnastics entirely would make sense.
That being said, gymnastics does go very well with dance - it encourages flexibility and conditioning, which are both very important for dance; so dropping gymnastics entirely may not be a good option if your daughter wants to be a competitive or 'professional' dancer. (I put professional in quotations because, at her age, that's a long ways away, but I know a lot of little girls who had very big dreams about dancing on a stage starting from a very young age). If that is her driving force for dance, then you may want to discuss it with her dance teacher and find out what she suggests is a good option at this point.
That makes sense... What do you think about just switching her to the recreational gymnastics? I don't mind her doing gymnastics for fun, but if it's just for fun, I don't think she needs to be on the pre-team/accelerated class. The recreational class is also girls of a wide variety of ages, which I think will help her get used to being class with kids that are much bigger than her. Her dance team practice has girls as old as second grade.
I have to admit, it's getting more difficult to find the $$ to pay the babysitter to cart her there! For that $$, I'd rather buy her an extra hour of class a week.
The following is just my opinion...I'm by no means an expert!
I'd say that, if she wants to do it, let her do it. My daughter was a dancer as well. At one point she was in dance class a minimum of 5 hours a week, plus additional practice time at home (up to 10 additional hours most weeks). At your daughter's age, she was doing a total of 6 or 7 hours of dance time, between class and practicing at home. She loved it. When it got to the point when it was too much for her, she let me know and we scaled back. As long as she's doing it because SHE wants to (not because she feels like she has to, or because she feels that you expect her to), I don't think it would be detrimental to her at all.
As for not paying attention, if the coach thinks she's doing ok, then I wouldn't worry about it. There are all sorts of reasons why she may not be paying as much attention...perhaps she likes gymnastics just because it's fun and not because she has any particular drive to excel at it...or perhaps she likes the social aspects...or if it's a team environment, perhaps she likes that...the list goes on. Gymnastics will only help with her dance, though, and based on your post it seems like this is where her focus is anyway. Let her excel in one and have fun in the other.
My 5 yo made the pre-team gymnastics class in March. The bottom line is, I don't think she's doing well as she doesn't seem to be mastering skills as quickly as the other girls and doesn't seem like she's paying attention, but she wants to be there and the coach apparently thinks she's doing okay. Truth is, I wouldn't mind the lack of progress if she were paying attention, but not paying attention/listening bothers me whether she's doing it to me or her teachers. It's okay with me if she lacks talent; what's not okay is misbehaving. I felt awful because I feel like I became one of "those" parents, lecturing her after class about her listening skills. I know she is capable as this doesn't seem to be a problem in her dance classes or at preschool - only gymnastics.
I love that she's having fun, but I don't think she's doing that well, and even if she was, we actually didn't want her to join the team next year anyway even if she did make it. Should I pull her? She starts Kindergarten in the fall, and is already on the dance team, too. It all seems like a lot for a five year old (4 hours of dance practice, 3 hours of gymnastics practice a week, SEVEN hours total), even if she says she WANTS to do it.
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