Missing The Pointe

I was amused last week to read the story of a plumber named Neil Marsh (of Cheltenham) who got in to an argument with his daughter’s ballet teacher that ended with both of them reporting each other to the police.

The argument started when Mr Marsh felt that his daughter’s dancing was not getting better despite him paying £180 a term for lessons. He requested to attend a lesson to see what was happening, but was not able to make the date allocated due to a pre-booked family holiday.

When ballet teacher Whanita La Bouchardiere refused to reorganise the visit, Mr Marsh posted an uncomplimentary review of the dance school on social media – and then received an email from Ms La Bouchardiere calling him a “stupid, stupid little man”.

It appears that the police have go involved and told each of them to stop being silly.

What puzzles me about the whole affair is that it’s unclear quite what Mr Marsh’s qualifications to be able to adequately appraise the lessons or his daughter’s progress.  He asserts that if anyone asked him if they could watch him plumb, he would allow them to do so.  I wonder, though, how many people have asked him that.

I know in the past that I’ve asked my central heating repair man to show me how to do simple tasks like turn up the system pressure, but that’s because I want to be able to do it myself to avoid a call out charge rather than scoring his efforts.

I know this is all rumour and conjecture, but I’d like to know what would have happened if Mr Marsh decided the lessons were actually alright, and it’s just that his daughter was, well, a bit rubbish really.  Would he only ever have to continued to blame the school (teaching his daughter that there’s always someone else to blame for failure), or would he have pulled his daughter to one side and say “Look, I know you’re only 4 years old but you’ve doing this for 20 months now and it’s about time you got your act together – this is costing me a fortune”.

In so doing, is he maybe missing one of the main points of hobbies and extra-curricular activities? It was interesting to hear Ferrari driver and four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel give and interview to Sky F1 yesterday in which he spoke about children getting involved in motor racing.

Nowadays, he says, everything is data driven and assessed and benchmarked, looking at specific ways and methods for kids to improve their driving.  Back in his day, he and his rivals would go racing and they’d try to beat each other by racing and, whatever the outcome, they’d all go to play in the sandpit together afterwards.

Did anyone actually stop to ask four year old Gabriela Marsh whether she was having fun dancing?

Give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me just across the bar
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking ’bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies, you know
I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friends are back
So let’s raise a toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)

The moon is on my side (Nananananana)
I have no reason to run (Nananananana)
So will someone come and carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
The angels never arrived (Nananananana)
But I can hear the choir (Nananananana)
So will someone come and carry me home (Nananananana)

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight

We Are Young by Fun.

Comments 4

    • Yeah, 4! Not being a parent (that I know of) I can’t really comment on the level of expectation on a 4 year old to dance…

  1. Liberty Henwick

    I have been to a number of end-of-year ballet shows and big stage productions, the four year olds are really good at waving at mummy or staring at the lights. I can understand his frustration in having paid lots of money to see that level of ballectic performance but then he was the eejit in sending his daughter at that age and expecting any different 😀

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