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Ballet teaches etiquette

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Worried that your tyke will embarrass you at the holiday table? Miss Manners recommends a trip to The Nutcracker.

The instrument in question is the nutcracker. Or rather, "The Nutcracker." With the proper preparation, it can turn your perfectly healthy modern child into the sort of fetchingly dressed combination of excited enthusiasm and charming nervousness who inspires adults inadvertently thrown in their company to comment "Awwww" instead of "Ewwww."

If junior takes to the spectacle like a swan to water, s/he can be enrolled in Advanced Etiquette:

Should that lead to pleas for ballet lessons, the parents' job will indeed be made easier. There is nothing like an old-fashioned ballet class run like a Siberian labor camp to give the lie to the notion that children are immune to disciplined formality--and to make even the most exacting parents seem lenient.

Happy Holidays, all!

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I have never seen Miss Manners write about ballet. It fits, though, because in ballet class you do learn manners and respect as well as ballet steps.

I especially liked the "ballet class run like a Siberian labor camp" bit; could be an almost apt description in some cases!

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Actually, CE, from where you are, that's doable! What, a couple hundred miles and a ferry trip and you're there?

I think that even in the most even-tempered and mild-mannered lower grades classroom, ordinary mortals are absolutely fascinated with the seriousness and application of the students. It can be a revelation, as Miss Manners says, in "disciplined formality". We've grown so used to it, that we're somewhat immune to the impression, but just let an outsider see, and...WOW! :wink:

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Very true, very true. High discipline and good etiquette seem so commonplace to us dancers after a while; it's the rest of the world that has no respect or self-control! I've always said that ballet is something that everyone should experience, if only for that very reason.

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