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Classical Dance In Us- Reality Check

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by KavithaUS, May 16, 2020.

  1. KavithaUS

    KavithaUS Silver IL'ite

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    My kids are born in US and will continue to stay in US through their adulthood, I think. My daughter is interested in pursuing Indian classical dance. Already learning it past 3 yrs. she seems to be good at it as per her teacher. I came to know it is an expensive affair and most of girls have stopped it after arangetram as they wanted to highlight it as extra curricular achievement for college admission.

    my question is what is next after arangetram? Do kids in US get an arena to perform and take it to next level without compromising their college education/gpa, and possibly without impacting their mainstream career? I understand in India there are venues, especially Chennai is hub of cultural activities. But in US??
    As most of know I am a single parent with DH out of country for almost an year. I am at a stage where I can talk her out of it if need arises. . But I want to self educate before I do that. I don’t have any classical background in our family or in our immediate friend circle. Closest I have is dance school moms, aiming in completing the arangetram for above said reason.

    appreciate inputs.
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Some may disagree but I think it is wise to periodically evaluate the activities a child is doing as described above. The child begins to have stronger say in it as she grows older.

    1. College admissions: The first time I came to know of the funda of arangetram for college admissions was a decade ago in this MIT admissions blogpost. It impressed me that arangetram was listed there with no translation. It does not hurt to be able to list an arangetram as an extracurricular activity on a college app, but, for almost any activity, unless the child does something exceptional in that area, it will mostly be a line filler. Yes, it will show dedication and persevering for years, but in the overall college application it won't count for much. Practically speaking, girls pursue classical dance out of an interest and talent, and aim to complete the arangetram by around 10th grade, so they can focus on academics and other activities in 11th grade. It is not an activity to be pursued with college admissions as the first or second reason.

    2. What next after arangetram: This is becoming a chapter book, but I have no first-hand experience of child taking part in classical dance. : ) My close friends' daughters have mostly stopped the activity after the arangetram except for occasional performances. Some remain involved with the dance school. Some continue to be part of cultural or dance groups in college, and seem to do so without impacting college GPA, internships, research work etc. But, children do stop many activities after high school - piano, violin, water polo, martial arts, soccer. Stopping an activity does not mean the time, money and effort put in is not fully utilized. The impact on the child of pursing an activity for years cannot always be measured in concrete units.

    3. Venues in India versus U.S. There are enough venues in the U.S. too in cities with high desi populations. But my guess is that a very low percentage of children continue the activity beyond high school and college.

    If she is interested, and teacher says she is good, I'd say let her continue. If she decides to take a break, stop it, or cut down the number of hours devoted to it, so be it. Beyond helping her make sure she really wants to stop, don't bring up the time and money already invested into it. I convinced my child and stopped an activity for my child as he/she seemed to enjoy it, but didn't seem to have much talent for it, and didn't practice at home at all. Later, I kind of regretted it. My friend in another city moved her kids to a slightly cheaper teacher who didn't insist on regular homework practice and the kids simply had an activity to look forward to each week. They continued it well into high school and went to the class even during final exams as it was a stress-buster. Now, they can talk very knowledgeably about that art form.

    If a child can learn one music or dance form, one sport and one other literary/artistic/etc. activity, it helps with the child's all-round development. The biggest thing to remember is that an activity stopped after some years is not always a waste of time or money.
     
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  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    Everyone I know stopped after arangetram. Not necessarily due to lack of interest but life does get busy as kids grow older. Even in Indian very few girls continue to dance in public. So you can treat it as a nice albeit very expensive hobby.
    If you can afford it that’s fine but if you need to prioritize your funds that’s another issue. So you can decide in that basis and in consultation with your daughter.
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    My daughter-in-law is having dance classes at home in US.She too is of similar opinion.Mostly girls start at the age of 6, and finish Arangetram when they are in x std.South Indian families seem to have an in built mental compulsion to their daughters as a matter of routine.Actually my DIL too stopped all dance activities before X1. continued Engg at Pilani, worked for a few years in IT concern and started dance school after she became a mother.She says that she has got Atma trupthi in teaching dance to children.
    jayasala42
     

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