Artistic Gymnastics and Ballet for 5yo DD?

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  1. Hello fellow parents! (I need to vent so kindly allow me this long post)

    My daughter has been in "baby ballet" class since she was 4. She loves it and is so happy to be among new friends wearing her pink leotards and tutus. We beamed like proud parents during the recital (girls prancing around, barely doing "real ballet").. and basically we plan to continue the ballet classes as long as DD is interested. We have no thoughts of making her a professional dancer (unless she wants to); we simply want her to have extra-curricular activities and learn new skills. Our main focus is regular (academic) school, and it will always be so.

    It's summer and her baby ballet classes have been upped to 3 hours a week (instead of 1). MWF. We thought of adding another class for her TTH schedule. After looking at prices and locations we gave her choices and she said she wanted gymnastics! She said some of her ballet classmates do it too.. so we thought, why not.

    We enrolled her in a 3hr a week (1.5 hour class TTH) artistic gymnastic class. First class started yesterday and I was there the whole time. She loved it! Very light cardio type warm ups and stretching.. and some fun activities with a (low) bar and high beam. Each child assisted by 3 coaches every time. There was also trampoline time and stuff like sit-ups. It was very cute to watch and seemed like fun play time more than anything...

    I come home to share photos with my family and many freaked out. LOL. Many said, "That's so dangerous!" and "Her head!! Be careful!!" and "Aren't you scared for her!?" and now I am having doubts to our choice of gymnastics. One even said, "Why not Rhythmic Gymnastics to go with her Ballet?" and of course I had to google that to see the difference.

    ANYWAY.. I need your thoughts, fellow parents. Is gymnastics "ok" or "safe" to do at 5 years old? It's just a summer fun class. I doubt she will go anywhere near competitive training levels when the 8 week class is over.. Am I being careless with this? Should I choose swimming instead (she already knows how to swim, but swim class is always fun, isn't it?)..

    How about rhythmic gymnastics? (Summer class). Is that better for her with her "ballet background"?

    Any thoughts on this matter will be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time!
  2. Oh my goodness, yes what you described is safe and fun! Don't listen to what others say who weren't even there to see what they do in the class. They need to mind their own business! They haven't seen a class and likely don't know anything about what you've seen your daughter do in the classes. It's not like 5 year old beginners are doing tumbling runs, vault flips, or handspring dismounts!

    The class sounds like fun and a lot of children at that age love to participate in the activities you describe. If she loves it and you support her in doing it, that's what matters.

    Tell everyone to MYOB and hope you and your daughter enjoy the 8 week class! :biggrin:

    (I'm a mom to a nearly 6 year old who enjoys her "ballet" classes and expressed interest in gymnastics too)
  3. You make me feel SO much better!

    Yes it was a fun class! I think my family saw the high beam photos and imagined her doing Nadia Comaneci stuff on it!! In reality the kids were made to climb on top of the beam (one by one, assisted by THREE coaches from all sides) and made to walk tip toe across (again, being held the whole time) and made to jump off it onto the super thick foam mat and do a "gymnastic salute" after (like that pose with your arms up in a V). The kids loved it and felt so special and awesome even when all they did was walk a beam and jump off LOL!

    My family also saw the photo of my DD hanging off a high bar and they must've imagined her doing rolls and dismounts on it. Doh. All they did was lift her up to the bar, let her hang and do a tuck (knees to chest) and jump off and do a gymnastic salute. That's it! Lol.

    Yeah, I better stop sharing the photos with them. So paranoid and negative and old-school. You won't even believe what one of my aunt said.. I won't repeat it here because it's absurd! Yup, they should definitely mind their own business..

    Thank you!
  4. I'm not a parent but I taught dance to little ones that age and took gymnastics myself at that age and I'm sure it's perfectly fine. You were there in person witnessing what they do and I'm sure you are a better, more overprotective judge than anyone else about your own child. If being actually there didn't set off any alarm bells for you, you shouldn't worry.
  5. So glad you feel better! :tup: Yes, stop showing the panicked relatives any photos or discussing the classes. Don't give them anything to comment on or criticize!

    Hope you and your DD love the classes!
  6. I have a 5 yo and she does gymnastics. She is only assisted by one coach/teacher when doing bars. If your family saw that they would have a heart attack. Lol. Around here gymnast class start at 1 1/2 -2 yo with parents. They alone at with coach at 4 yo doing tumbling and bars.
  7. I thought so! I was surprised there were 3 coaches instead of 1 in my DDs class (but not complaining either).

    She had another class today. Oh so fun.. They have a fun way to do stretching that involves music and clapping and songs. DD loves the bars (they did assisted "rolls" on them now, I don't know the name but it seems so very safe because of the coaches holding the kids on all sides).. It is doing wonders for her confidence! I really like the class and see nothing wrong.

    I took tons of photos and will not share ANY with my family anymore!
  8. Well said. You are most right.

    And yes, no alarm bells at all. I would be first to pull her out if I felt uneasy in any way!

    I feel SO SO much better with your input, ladies! Thank you!
  9. Ok, not normally in here as I'm not a parent either, but saw this thread on the main page. I did competitive gymnastics and dance, starting with recreational classes when I was about her age. If you feel fine with it and she's enjoying it, those are the two biggest factors.

    Looking back as an adult, living in the body those years built, I'm so, so glad and grateful for the experience. I loved doing it and the lessons I learned have carried me so far beyond any injuries (first major injury was a sprained ankle when I was 13) I sustained.
  10. I did gymnastics as a 5 year old and did more than that but started a lot younger. A lot of the children in my class do gymnastics (they are 5 and 6) and do more with less support.

    Definitely an over-reaction from your family but, as you say, they probably didn't understand the context of the activities.
  11. My (now 18 year old) daughter wanted to take ballet lessons. She started around the age of 3, but hated it "because we just skip and pretend to be trees!" - she wanted to be en pointe and doing barre work :lol: Then she saw some gymnastics on television and decided that was what she wanted to do instead. She went along to an open day a few months later (waiting list for the club) and the coach kept her back at the end of the session, from which she started (aged around 4) and competed up to national level to the age of 15, when she decided to stop because of her exams. As long as she enjoys it and is having fun, it's a great discipline which will give her grace and poise as well as keeping fit and making friends.

    Just as a comment on rhythmic gymnastics, their flexibility training is much more intense, so I would look into that very closely before considering it.
  12. My 5 year old DD is also in gymnastics and just started a couple of months ago. I don't think it's dangerous at all. They're on low balance beams, are spotted at all times when using the bar, etc. No worries from this mama :heart: