18 months old and loves to dance, is it WRONG to force her to take lessons?

United States
February 14, 2007 8:46pm CST
My daughter loves to dance. She will wiggle her hips while i change her diaper even!(if there's music on) I have a 14 yr old girl too. i wanted her to be my ballerina but she loathed dance classes. She liked to dance too but hated the lessons so i didn't make her continue. I want to make this one. I think i made a mistake by letting the older one quit in her fist year before a recital. Yes, this is alot for me, but i think it will provide alot for her too. I think the older one missed out on feeling proud of herself in completing a routine and missed an important lesson in finishing what you start through thick and thin. So in conclusion, i plan to force this one through a year or two even if her seemingly natural talent and thrills in dancing die out when the lessons start.
8 people like this
49 responses
@sweetee (421)
• Australia
15 Feb 07
I wouldn't suggest forcing your daughter to do dance lessons, but maybe you could encourage her. Being 18 months she will no doubt love it anyway.. But forcing a child to do something often has the opposite effect on them.
• Nigeria
16 Feb 07
thats a good suggestion but remember that forcing her to dance classes is not the best thing to do.One day when she is mature she will definately start skiping dance classes for other things so pls dont force her let her develop her danceing skills with out force
• Nigeria
16 Feb 07
thats a good suggestion but remember that forcing her to dance classes is not the best thing to do.One day when she is mature she will definately start skiping dance classes for other things so pls dont force her let her develop her danceing skills with out force
@onabreak2 (1161)
• United States
15 Feb 07
You should never force your child to do something they dont want to do. Especially something like dancing. IF it isnt fun for them then dont make them do it. How would you like it if someone forced you to do something you didnt want. They are little and are not going to understand why the person that loves and protects them is making them do this. You could end up making her hate dancing. Let her decide when she is ready to dance in a structured way. Seems like you might be trying to live your youth through your child. Just Say No To Dance
3 people like this
@dbeamon (128)
• United States
15 Feb 07
im sorry if what i tell you offends u. but as a mom i have to say it. all kids move there hips and dance at that age. that is just natural before u go and force her to take dance lessons make sure that is what she wants or u will have a fight on ur hands every step of the way. i believe you are trying to live out what u wanted to do and didnt have the oppurtunity to do it thru ur kids. please dont force her to take lessons if she is not interested just because u want her to.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
16 Feb 07
My granddaughter loves to dance to but I wouldn't consider putting herr in dance lessons until she is 3. I would encourage my daughter to make her stay for the entire session because if you don't you are letting them give up before they had a chance to follow through on something.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Feb 07
thank you i agree. Kids get off too easy now adays on life lessons. Parents are too afraid of not being their children's friend.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Feb 07
I am probably less qualified than the other responders on this site but I do have something to say regarding your statement. While putting you kid into a dance program will teach them dicipline and structure it has to be something that she wants. My advice to you is to always make it appeal to her in a way where she will really want to go. It has to be fun for kids for them to be interested and also she can not sense that she doesn't have a choice because that will teach your kid to rebel. I suggest going forth with your plans at putting her into dance class but I would recommend starting her out in creative movement before you move up to ballet. Let he go she'll enjoy it but if she says to you one day "mommy i don't want to go to dance class today", then don't make a big deal of it and let it go..stay home and then next week or next class go about doing things as you normally will do and she may or may not want to go but at least she knows that she can go if she wants and she'll know it will be a lot of fun. As for you missy, I use to teach hip hop from ages 3 - 65 while living in manitoba canada and it was a lot of fun, I had a whole class of broads in the late 40's, 50's and 60's who came out each week to learn to dance. They had a blast and loved it. I recommend maybe looking into adult dance classes in your town and signing up, go there and dance out your regret for not doing earlier and just have a whole ton of fun.
2 people like this
@candygurl24 (1880)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
While I can't tell you to force her or not, I will share an experience with you from my childhood. I was "forced" to attend sunday school classes, which I really enjoyed at first, so I stuck with it, but after my first communion, I just didn't attend anymore. Then my grandmother tried to force me to go again to be confirmed. I was told that as long as I lived under her roof, that I would have to go.. Well, that night I moved in with my mother. Dance class and sunday school are far from the same, but forcing a child just isn't a good thing to do in my eyes. They may enjoy dancing, but just not enough to want to do it all the time like that. And maybe they would enjoy another type of dance...maybe jazz. Point is, just allow them to be children and let them choose what they want or more than likely they will feel hatrid towards what they are forced into. No offence whatsoever towards you, but if this is your dream, don't make them live it. Give them the chance to have their own dreams :)
2 people like this
14 Mar 07
Hi Im Toya A lot of people hate dance classes sometimes the teachers make the classes boring 14's not too old to learn to dance - also sometimes teachers push you too much they make you feel uncoordinated and scream and that always puts me off. i do classes and workshops and choreography aswell and teach part time - maybe she doesnt like ballet - theres so many dance classes and training you can do like jazz, urban and street styles. but for your younger daughter i think the recommended age to start dancing is 4 years old anyway but everyone loves to dance really its just finding the right place to do it - some ballet teachers can be old fashioned and boring aswell im sorry to say....
@lisalock (49)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Are there any fun mommy and me classes you can do? She's a bit young for structured classes. Why don't you wait until she's at least 3. I believe that's the minimum age at most reputable dance schools anyway. For now, keep that music flowing and support her passion at home!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Feb 07
I don't think you should ever force your child to take a lesson when they aren't interested. My son hated dance class after the first one. I didn't make him return. I felt it was something he should try out. So he did. My almost 5 year old loves her dance classes. She goes every week. I think that at 18 months old, it is much too early to start dance class. And if she decides that she doesn't like it, you shouldn't make her to continue it, no matter if you want her to be a ballerina or not. Your daughters are their own people, they are not you. They will make choices about their lives that you won't agree with, that you won't like, or that you down right hate. However, it is your JOB as their mother to support them and be there for them. Not to force your wants on to them.
@peddhie (110)
• Australia
16 Feb 07
I think 18 months is still to young to be taken to the structured class. It's normal kids at that stage likes wiggling their hips. But I would say not to take her to structured class and give her force to follow lesson because she won't. Better to encourage and give her another year to give her a go.
1 person likes this
@shineison (874)
• Uganda
16 Feb 07
I think its not wrong, she is learning some thing, But dont Play Music Near her. 1st of all Let him learn some other good things.
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
i think let your kids decide what they want.. the lesson must be fun in order for your kids to love it..
1 person likes this
@suebear (14)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Being a mom of a dancer for 11 years we went throught alot, I enrolled her in a class during the summer to see if she really liked it that was there wasnt alot of money tied up in it and she didn't feel pressured to continue at something she thought she would enjoy but did not. My daugher ended up loving dance and we joined a studio where she joined Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Competition and we traveled and had a great time. I think from all the experiences that our children have in live that if we give them choices that are easier for them that they make better decisions. Try the local school to see if they offer a beginner class in your daughters age group and see how it goes and it she decides to go on i hope you and your daugher enjoy dance and all the life lessons in it as me and my daughter an all the time you get to spend together while doing it.
1 person likes this
• Australia
15 Feb 07
Well let her try it and if she doesn't like it than thats the end of it, then maybr when shes older ask her if she would like to start again (if she doesn't like it). Though if she doesn't like don't force her to.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14649)
• Orangeville, Ontario
15 Feb 07
I agree with everyone else. There is something else you may want to consider. Do you want to invest money into something that the child does not enjoy? Especially if you start at such a young age you are looking at years ahead of you of putting money into lessons and recitals. I don't think I ever forced my kids to do anything. In fact I didn't even bring anything up. I let them come to me when they were interested in something. It was usually because their friends were doing it. I didn't know the first thing about indoor soccer, didn't even know it existed really. It turns out my 10 year old is fantastic at it. I agree that they should not quit when they have started something, especially from a financial stand point. I will not throw money away. If they wanted to take the course to begin with and I put my money into it, then they will complete the course. After the season or term or whatever it is, then they can make a decision as to whether they wish to continue. By the way, neither of my girls is even remotely interested in dance classes. They know some friends that do it but it is not their thing. They like sports. And if that's what they like, then as long as they are not hanging out on street corners, I'm not going to deny them what they enjoy doing, as long as I can afford it.
@cherhost (1073)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Its not wrong to get her into a class of some sort to be with other kids. But most places will not take your kid till they are 2-3. I wanted to bring my kiddo to gymnastics but she was too yound at 18 months. I am going to enroll her over the summer. Just something fun for her to do. I dont see why you would make her go if she does not want too tho. Not something I would reccomend... but then again who am I. Just watch out... it may turn into something when she does get older. Good luck.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Feb 07
most places don't teach dance to kids at that age. they usually start at 3. if she is still interested then you can try it. then she can decide if this is what she wants to do for fun. but remember it's for fun, don't push her to do this as a career.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I think you should wait untill she's older and she can make a decision on her own on weather she wants to go to dance class or not. I mean if you force her to do it then she may just resent you later in life. And she might miss out on s omething else that she REALLY wants to do if you keep making her do something she doesn't like, she just may end up to be real rebelious!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
15 Feb 07
do not force your child to take her lesson, she will learn it the hard way, just wait for the right time and the right age, i guess at the age of three she can have dance lesson. watching our child grow is the most wonderful thing in this world.. goodluck happy parenting
@anne_143god (5390)
• Philippines
15 Feb 07
If your daughter get interested to attend the class then send her if she really likes to dance and really have that interest she will not quit on her class so its better that you tried your older girl and also try your younger girl if she already reach the right age to enroll in dance class.
• United States
15 Feb 07
Wow. I didn't mean to get such a rise out of every one! I did plan the dance lessons for a much later age (three-four). My thought is not to make her have this for a life long career, but yes it is for me. She's mine and i want to see her in a costume on stage and even if it is for just one year that i make sure she follows through to the recital i don't think it will cause life long damage. boy though i do apprecialte all of these great responses i can't even decide which is best so far. come on now forcing her for one year how big a deal will that be? My 14 yr old has asked to join every thing from cheerleading to softball through the years i always say yes, rearrange our family scheduals accordingly and then after about a week or two "it's too hard" for her. i don't want a repeat of this. i do want to say that i am very proud of my oldest for all of her other acheivments she does have many, scholastically and vocally mainly. and also just for who she is.