Saturday, 8 January 2011

Teenagers and Hobbies

Sophie has had a hobby since she was 3 years old. She started a local dance academy when at pre school and loved it straight away, and was very good at it. For the last 10 years her grandparents and I have funded all her classes, shows and exams at great expense and none of us minded one bit, even when things were tight, as she genuinely was wonderful at it and loved going. The academy she attended was affiliated with the Royal Academy of Dance and every exam she passed is a recognised qualification on most University/college applications. She has studied and received qualifications in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and character dance. From the age of 5 she always said she intended to go to drama school and carry on with her dancing too. She recently sat her Grade 5 exams and passed them all with Merit. We all attended her Christmas show in December which had all the kids performing from all ages at the school  including the drama club and we all loved it. Especially Caleb who danced and clapped throughout the whole show. It's taken very seriously there and was bordering on West End professional. Wonderful. Sophie was amazing and we were all chuffed to bits with her achievements. She's gone from one of the little ones floundering around and copying the teacher in the wings to one of the graceful independent dancers. She glowed and it really brought a tear to my eye. 

Yesterday she informed us that she will not be going back on Wednesday and is finished with dancing. I am gutted. 

I'm a great believer that a hobby that they are interested in and that gives them a sense of achievement is particularly important in their teen years. I think too many kids have no interests other that hanging around with their friends and a lot of the time getting themselves into trouble of one sort or another. My other problem being though that it has to be something they enjoy and want to take the time to attend and put their all into and after speaking to Sophie I now know that will not be the case if I forced her to go back. 

I've told her that she will have to find something else she would like to do hobby wise but I can see that my days of watching my girl dance and being proud as punch over her dancing achievements are over and I am truly gutted. I hope she will change her mind but I'm more than sure she's thought long and hard about it after speaking about it at length and its not to be. 


  1. mmmm tricky one, if she flitted from hobby to hobby I'd say she had to keep attending till she found something else to do, but in this case it sounds like it's best to agree with her otherwise you will start a battle you will never win.

  2. It's a shame she has decided to stop her classes, but if she has made that decision after thinking about it then I think you have to try and respect that decision. You are right though, I definitely agree all kids (esp teenagers) need a hobby. I hoping to get Wee Z into some sort of sporty activity and Miss C is showing signs of being a little dancer already when she walks around on her tiptoes and dances along to music. Sophie may just need a break from dancing especially if she's been doing it for such a long time, you never know she may go back to it in a few years.

  3. I'm pretty gutted about it ladies and even had a private cry but as you say no point in forcing her. Hopefully she may want to go back to it some day. I've decided to see if I can find any more relaxed classes for street dance nearby and see if theres any of them she fancies. Just keep plodding on I guess.

  4. That is such a shame but you really can't force someone to do a hobby they are not interested in. And to be honest even if you did it'd be a waste of money.
    I like the street dance idea though. You never know she might still like dancing but want to try something a little cooler!


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