Ballerinas and star stickers

Tonight was one of "those" nights at dance class where I just wanted to (a) smack someone, (b) yell at someone, or (c) both a and b.

First, I arrived as I always do for everything - 15 minutes early. Dance class starts at 6 p.m. and I was in the parking lot at 5:45. And then I spent the next 20 minutes driving around in a circle around the lot because there was absolutely NOWHERE to park. I had to drop Emma off at the door to the studio and let her go inside. Alone. While I knew she would make it to her classroom OK, I'm not a fan of dropping my 5 year old at the door and driving away.

After finally stalking out a parking spot, I had to endure 30 minutes of "dance mom talk" from several other moms in the waiting room. First, they don't understand the concept of "inside voices" - it's as if they each need to talk louder than the last mom so EVERYONE in the room knows just how AMAZING their 6 year old is in "company."

And secondly, quite frankly, I don't care how many days you have to spend at the dance studio every week. Or how many days your kid is going to be in the recital. And I really don't care about the dance competition that you were practically yelling in my ear about.

And if that wasn't enough....

On the drive home I asked Emma if she had fun and she said that she was "sad" because she didn't get a pink star sticker. I asked her who did and she said "other girls in my ballet class, but not me."

These stickers weren't given out for behavior - Emma was perfectly behaved as always. It appears they were given out as "rewards" for the girls who got all the steps 'right.' As Emma told the story, during the "ABCs of Ballet" if the girls didn't have their feet in the right position, they were told to sit down and they didn't get a sticker.

What the hell?

This is NOT OK with me.
These little girls are five years old.
They are beginners.
They should not be made to feel like they're not good enough to get a pink star sticker.
And they most certainly should not be made to feel like this is a competition for stickers!

This is NOT a dance competition. Nor is it a reality show. It's a ballet class for kindergartners. Emma loves dancing and to see her sad because she thinks she wasn't good enough to get a pink star? That is heartbreaking to me.

I have called the dance studio and they assure me that they will "get to the bottom of it" and figure out exactly what happened.

As it is, I am making Emma a big pink star to hang on her bedroom door. She's a superstar in my book.

1 comment:

  1. That's probably not the best method of teaching dance to that age. I remember when my daughter was 5 and they got to dance around in the dark (they had strings of Christmas lights around the studio so it was "twinkly") and then they worked on the few steps that they could remember. No stars, no sitting down if you couldn't do it right. Just fun which at that age is what you want for them. Believe me when they get older, then the teachers can be harder on them because they are old enough to take it.

    14 years of Dance Mom experience talking