I want to send my daughter to dance class or sports, BUT...
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 2:55 pm
I have a daughter who just turned 9 who is probably a good 15 pounds overweight, if not more.

We have already made a lot of changes to how we are eating here to help her and it was starting to take effect. Unfortunately being in camp has reversed our progress. Nothing but junk fed to kids there.

But I digress.

Once camp ends and school starts we will be back on track with diet. But exercise needs to be added and I feel like dance classes and sports are the best and most fun way to accomplish this.

But we live in a place that is a nice Jewish populations, but it isn't Brooklyn, and it is MO, meaning all my neighbors are fine with sending their daughters to regular dance studios. There's no frum lady teaching ballet in her basement for girls only. I'm not so comfortable sending my daughter to dance in tights and leotards and fathers will be walking in to pick up their daughters or the class will be visible through glass windows of the shopping center. (Never mind all theses studios seem to focus on dance recitals and it seems like it would be so cruel for my daughter to be the only one in the class who will not participate). Sports come with same issues - uniforms that are shorts and short sleeved tees.

Please don't respond with anything along the lines of "she is only 9." She has been wearing long sleeves and knee socks from age 3. I'm not about to tell her it's okay to be in front of men in a leotard or to start wearing short sleeves, etc. etc.

So what am I asking? I guess for some creative ideas of how to work with or around this. Anyone else dealt with this? I feel like I should be able to offer her a more fun option than doing an aerobics video at home with mom.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 3:06 pm
Tennis lessons!! I think it's a great sport and she can wear anything without it hindering her movement.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 3:07 pm
I took tennis in middle school and I enjoyed it. I was bad at it but I liked it. What about running or swimming?
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 3:08 pm
Why don't you start a girls only dance/aerobics class yourself?
All you need is 8-10 like minded moms with similar aged daughters, and a large basement or playroom.
Charge just enough to cover the cost of the instructor.
Many exercise instructors do private classes to supplement their income, it shouldn't be too hard to find.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 3:08 pm
in terms of sports team I would find out if the are willing to work with you, maybe she can wear "sleavies" (sleeves that are worn under short sleeve shirts to make them tznius, when I was younger we just took socks and cut them but doesn't work as well) under the team t-shirt and wear a skirt instead... it doesn't hurt to ask.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 3:19 pm
You're over thinking this.

Why can't she wear something like this


with this


or this


Tons of skirts on amazon.

There aren't that many boys in dance at that age, anyway.

Same for sports. She can always wear something under her uniform jersey. And wear a skirt over shorts.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 4:08 pm
If you will be bothered by father's looking on, many public athletic activities are problematic.

Among the possible options, besides joss3's suggestion.

1. Ask around for private dance lessons. Teachers will do this, sometimes in your home.

2. Do aerobic videos together with her in the privacy of home.

3. Look for a women's gym that offers teen classes, and see if they will accept someone younger, especially if you accompany her.

3. Join a gymnastics club or team, but don't have her compete.

4. Get some home exercise equipment in your basement.

5. Horseback riding -- expensive, but can be done with a skirt over pants or leggings, and a lot of girls love horses.

6. Bike riding -- same idea, but cheaper.

7. In the winter, skating lessons. It takes a few years before you have to worry about the outfit.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 4:55 pm
I am a dance/gymnastics/aerobics instructor. Many people want to give their kids the opportunity to work out in a fun and frum setting without compromising any hashkafic values. This is especially true in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where outlets like this dont even exist, and I am therefore hired to teach privately arranged groups in peoples houses. You can do the same! Hire instructors and arrange groups. The one who hosts the classes doesnt pay, and the same for the one who arranges it. Good Luck!
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 5:16 pm
I agree with sixofwands.
There are Muslim, Jewish and Mormon girls all over the country who take dance classes while dressing modestly.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 5:20 pm
Gymnastics and dance you might have more of a problem with, even though many classes are all girls, if you are worried about fathers. Team sports you may have better luck with her wearing a skirt over the uniform.

What sport or physical activity does she enjoy?
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 5:28 pm
Bowling is a great family activity. Or maybe see if there are any kids leagues in your area. It's likely they won't be gender separated though, but modest clothing won't be an issue.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 8:07 pm
I think you first need to find out what interests your DD. Or you may need to try a few things till she finds which one she enjoys.

The best type of exercise is the one you enjoy and therefore will sustain (says I as I type on my keyboard, which is about the only exercise I manage to get these days...)
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 8:19 pm
penguin wrote:
... (says I as I type on my keyboard, which is about the only exercise I manage to get these days...)

Yea but I bet you have really strong fingers for a penguin.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 8:38 pm
What does your daughter want to do? That's a very important consideration.

Some possibilities for activities with appropriate or easily-modifiable dress include:

Ice skating (long skirts get in the way, but a shorter skirt over leggings should be ok)

Martial arts

Soccer, basketball and most team sports

Tennis and other racquet sports

Private or semi-private swim lessons with a female instructor.

Folk dancing

Personally, I recommend checking out a dance class thoroughly before enrolling, even if your daughter could wear something suitable. Dance (except for folk dancing and serious ballet) tends to be very s*xy, even for young girls, and the music very loud, at least around here.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 8:56 pm
Just curious, is your daughter getting sports, dance or swimming at camp?
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 9:37 pm
DD took gymnastics and dance at the JCC with a mix of girls. The frum girls wore a long-sleeved leotard under a t-shirt and gym shorts. The other kids were very natter of fact about it. The dancing wasn't inappropriate (I checked first with the teacher), and gymnastics made her feel great about herself.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 9:48 pm
I would be a lot more concerned about my child's health and fitness, than I would about what some random (and most likely innocent) father might think when he comes to pick up his kid.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 10:46 pm
my daughter is currently in a sports class--- she wears skirts while kicking a soccer ball, hitting a softball, pitching and catching.... it's not a TEAM with uniforms and rules--- it's just a little sports group for kids with special needs. I'm sure there are groups like this for typical kids--- groups that teach the skills that aren't teams with uniforms and strict rules about dress.

Women's group classes at the gym in a separate room?

Wii fit at home?

We take a lot of family walks. When my kids got a bit bored with it we stopped midway at the playground. When they got bored with it again we added pokemon go. We specifically walk in areas where friends hang out outside so we can stop and schmooze--- so my kids get a good hour walk in when we walk.

Backyard trampoline?

There's a whole frum gymnastics league with groups in various cities and they get together and compete. See if your city has a frum girl's gymnastics group?
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 10:57 pm
Swimming is great exercise if women only hours are an option in your area. You could also always do private swimming lessons that somebody might give out of her home.

The problem with dance is that they usually have recitals on Shabbat anyway.

Maybe canvas your neighborhood/school and see if any other mothers are interested and you can maybe find a dance teacher or someone who dances who would take on a few girls in someone's basement.

Is there a women's only gym in your area? You could check to see if they have a pre-teen group.

The point is that she should exercise, have fun, and do it with other girls and not make it a mommy & me thing.

I've never tried it, but I know they make modest workout clothes. Maybe yoga?

Just some ideas.
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Post  Wed, Aug 02 2017, 11:15 pm
Yea but I bet you have really strong fingers for a penguin.
Flippers, honey. Flippers.
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