Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

How a bunch of Filipino toddlers is slowly convincing me to let my own kids perform on stage

My first reaction was typically French. I couldn’t help the loud “pfffffttttt“followed by a long “tssssttt”  when my daughter asked me if she could join this new afternoon enrichment class that promises “Stage fright will not be a hindrance anymore! Let your child be “camera shy” no more!

– Sûrement pas ! in Europe, we actually love camera shy children. You are not even 5, forget about the stage. Pass your Master first, become an independent woman and then we’ll talk again about modelling, singing and dancing.

– Mum, please, just once. All my friends are going!

Of course all her friends are going, we are in the Philippines! Performing on stage is a way of life here!

Wait a minute..

That’s the whole point actually: we are in the Philippines! What if this On-stage-thing could actually help Ms Attila feel less of a foreigner and overcome her little anxiety ? .. So we cut a deal: I (and my camera) would attend the first class before making up my mind.

Just click on the picture to get a glimpse of the programme:

I was very surprised to see that even the shiest kids would eventually come out of their shells. The teachers were not pushy, they let the kids play at their own pace. I realised that I might have misunderstood the meaning of the class. What if it was not about showing off but about helping kids connect with their bodies and their feelings? What if those classes could actually develop their creativity and their attention ? It actually feels refreshing to finally look beyond the obsession with science and maths. Worth giving it another try!

The Attilas are enrolled for a few sessions .. To be continued …


15 comments on “How a bunch of Filipino toddlers is slowly convincing me to let my own kids perform on stage

  1. that traveling nurse
    September 29, 2015

    okay so why aren’t the kids smiling here? even your little precious ms atilla has what looks like a scowl… but photo aside, i, for one, am not too keen about young kids performing on stage, dancing, singing or modeling. and you see them with make up and sexy little outfits. but thats just me. I’m an introvert. other people aren’t. plus, i don’t have any children, what do i know?! good luck with that one. 🙂

    • estelea
      September 29, 2015

      .. Because the teacher asked them to look “angry” 😉 they were totally into it! The only place ms Attila can perform on stage is at her ballet recital . No make up allowed, very strict hair code.

      But this performing class is just for classmates to play together, they will not perform in front any audience excerpt their own friends. It comes with rules on cooperating, focusing, listening and that’s what I like.

      Ms Attila is an introvert too, that’s why I enrolled her. She’s always freaking out each time she has to do a presentation in front of her classmates. She would always push her brother in front of her and hid behind him.

      Again it’s a tool to learn, not an end. I ll post soon about their modelling class.. There are no judge, no criticism. The whole idea is to instil a bit of self awareness and confidence in those kids.. Let’s see … I am curious to see what they will wear as the teachers asked them to wear whatever they like best …

      And no way you ll ever see my kids singing in Ayala or SM made up like Xmas trees … They can play in the safe school environment, and only perform in front of us. No make up, no mini dress and only flat shoes and flip flop . Golden rules !

      • that traveling nurse
        September 30, 2015

        what a relief! ahaha… i guess you and i share the same sentiments then. 😉 as for learning self confidence and other team based stuff, then I’m ok with that.

      • estelea
        September 30, 2015

        😀 I am also thinking that in our very competitive job markets, I would have loved to have classes like that to be able to improvise and stand in front of a crow of recruiters, not shy but not arrogant either. Just natural 😛

      • that traveling nurse
        September 30, 2015

        you know what, come to think of it, today’s generation of kids are more confident and outspoken than we were during our time. gosh, that sounds sooo old! haha. but really, there is a difference. they act more mature now when at that same age, i was still playing and running outside getting all sweaty and dirty. 😉

      • estelea
        September 30, 2015

        You are right (again, damned!). I wish they would all spend more time getting all sweaty and dirty ! When my daughter asked fr a Bday date with her friends, I told her it would be a treasure hunt outside and parcours. I already feel sorry for their yayas who will be running after them with water and sponges 😀

        Yesterday I attended their “modelling class”and you could really see the huge differences between Japanese and Filipinas. Those Japanese kids are so very shy, they never interrupt, they would hardly move a finger if their teacher did not ask them to. A blessing for the teachers, who could focus on running after my son and asking him for the 10000 time to sit still . I really need to talk to their Mums to find out what kind of supplement they put in their food 😛

      • that traveling nurse
        September 30, 2015

        maybe some sugarless wasabi? 😛

      • estelea
        September 30, 2015

        😀 😀 yes ! stand still or I ll wasabi your cereals! I guess it should do the trick..

      • that traveling nurse
        September 30, 2015

        ooh let me know if that works! haha

      • estelea
        September 30, 2015

        I’ll take a pict 😛 It reminds me how we played my Mom with wasabi, my brother and I, telling her it was guacamole so she should really dip her sushis deeper …Still makes us laugh like idiots 20 years later

      • that traveling nurse
        September 30, 2015

        I don’t even eat wasabi (I am not too fond of super spicy hot food) so I can just imagine her face!

  2. smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains
    September 29, 2015

    My son’s school has programs every month where they perform something and I’ve always been skeptical (*I* don’t like performing) but my son seems to like it. Sometimes, even during regular school days, he would climb up the stage and dance with an audience of just me. I think, for as long as he loves it and he’s performing for the sheer joy of it, not for any external/artificial rewards, I’ll keep my eyebrows down and even (ugh) try to find costumes with little to no grumbling.

    • estelea
      September 29, 2015

      You totally read my mind : as long as they are having fun and perform “for the sheer joy of it not for any external / artificial reward ” then we are good. No pressure, no audience other than the fam and the safe school environment.

      I attended the “modelling session” yesterday and it was really funny. Hardly no mini skirt 😉 the ways the kids are dressed tells so much about their education. The Japanese are so shy and introvert, you could feel for the boys who were so uncomfortable compared to the girls 😉 I bet the majority of Japanese and Korean kids would hate the real stage. But they are learning to open up a little bit and express themselves other than by their writing and reading ..

  3. litadoolan
    October 4, 2015

    This sounds so exciting. I understand your initial reservations totally though. It looks like the classes will be a joyful time.

    • estelea
      October 5, 2015

      I was so NOT Into it 🙂 I always hated the idea of exhibiting our kids like little monkeys.. But I must admit that I had misjudged the whole thing, and yes they are having a blast. It is amazing how my daughter has opened up in a few weeks. I ll post more in the upcoming days .. Have a sweet week and thanks a lot for stopping by !

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