My girls are pretty young. They are 7 and 4, and they love to dance. They are so different though. My older daughter wanted to start dance class when she was 4, so she did. She LOVES ballet. She is disciplined. She has perfect posture. She practices for hours without anyone suggesting it... My 4 yr old is not as disciplined, although she is very creative and loves to dance. She is fascinated by ballet, but she is a little young and not coordinated enough to pull of the moves her older sister does...
The self discipline is amazing. My 7 yr old will go to dance class and dance the whole time, diligently practicing, perfecting, working hard. She gets annoyed with the other little girls who tend to fool around and not take it seriously. She comes home and works hard to perfect her dancing.
It struck me one day. Perhaps she takes it all too seriously. When dance class was over, she hobbled out of the room. She had pulled a muscle and was clearly in pain. Upon further questioning, she told me she hadn't said anything to the teacher about it. She didn't want to sit on the side. She just danced the rest of the class, ignoring the pain. But when class was over, she succumbed, and she could barely walk home - I ended up putting her in the stroller I had brought along in case my 4 yr old was too tired to walk.
Where does this obsession come from? I'm not so sure it is healthy. I was really taken aback that she hadn't stopped dancing when she got hurt... and it happened again a couple of weeks later. Perhaps I need to discuss this with her dance instructor? (But, if she doesn't say anything, how will the teacher know if she's in pain?)