• Two Moms Share How Their 9-Year-Old Daughters Became Ballet Champs

    If you've always hoped for your child to conquer the stage, heed these tips.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
  • Two Moms Share How Their 9-Year-Old Daughters Became Ballet Champs
  • Each child is born with talent. Some of these may be inherited from the parents, while some of them are innate. One thing is for sure, though — these skills need nurturing to be realized.

    There is no doubt that a child's parents play an essential role in making this possible. In a Parents interview with Mary Reckmeyer, Ph.D., author of Strengths Based Parenting: Developing Your Children's Innate Talents, she said that "When you apply skills, knowledge, and practice to natural talents, you can develop them into strengths. Recognizing your children's talents early and nurturing their abilities can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment for parents and kids."

    This philosophy proves to be true for 9-year-old Filipinas Paulleen Jane Jaugar and Nikola Star Academia, who both brought home a gold medal from this year's Hong Kong Challenge Cup Dance Competition (HKCCDC). We spoke with their mothers on how their love for dancing and ballet in particular began.

    Mary Jane believes her daughter was inclined to do ballet when she was 4 years old. "Paulleen loves it when I read her a storybook before bedtime, and one time I read her a story on ballet. After that, I would see her playing and pretending to be a ballerina," she said.

    Seeing that her child was interested, she asked around and found a suitable dance class for her at Dance Theater Arts in Makati. "If this is what she wants, then I will support her." She admits, though, that it is not easy, both for her and her daughter, to manage the schedule because ballet can be very demanding. "Time management is key. She sometimes does her homework while waiting for her ballet class to begin." 

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    On the other hand, mom Nova thinks her daughter Nikola Star's talent in ballet is genetic. "She probably got it from me, as I also love dancing." Nikola was 3 years old when she started having dreams of becoming a ballerina.

    To hone her talent, Nova did what had to be done. "I knew that there was a lot to learn, so I let Nikola Star undergo constant training and join competitions. She learned a lot from experience," she says.

    On juggling time between ballet classes and school, Nova says it's important to prioritize. "We organize her activities according to their importance or urgency. It is something you need to be good at because ballet demands a lot of time."

    Having bested over a thousand contestants in the competition from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Korea, and Australia, the girls' moms are extremely proud of their achievement. What are the valuable lessons they teach their children about success, and life itself?

    Says Mary Jane, "I remind her to be on time always and be mindful of others' time. A ballet dancer must have the determination and commitment to work hard so that she will learn more and perfect her dance."

    For Nova, it's the importance of hard work. "I always tell Nikola Star that she cannot win by just sitting down; she has to really work hard  and most especially pray, pray and pray for guidance and strength." 

    In the video below, three other moms with talented ballerinas share more tips on what they are doing to help their children be at their best:

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