How a 9-Year Old Found His Outlet Through Ballet

Our son JD is 9 years old. He is a typical boy in every way — he plays video games, skateboards, rides bikes and climbs trees — you name it, he does it! But still, for years we had never found his outlet. He was becoming increasingly difficult in school, not following directions, rebelling against the teacher and not focusing. We were in parent teacher conferences almost weekly. We knew he was brilliant, but we just couldn’t convince him to show it.

JD was cast as a party boy for the 2010 Columbus Ballet performance of the Nutcracker, which trains at the CSU Dance Conservatory. As the dancing and rehearsals became more intense we noticed something amazing — JD’s grades, attitude and behavior changed by 180 degrees. We were so proud and impressed with him. Yet, sadly once the Nutcracker performances ended, we noticed JD’s behavioral issues return.

He was again cast as a party boy in 2011 and we saw once again, his enthusiasm, motivation and positive behavior at school and at home take hold. This time he buckled down harder and achieved high marks on his end-of-year testing. We caught on to the positive correlation between JD’s behavior and dance, so over the summer of 2012 we signed JD up for a summer dance class and discussed the option of him taking weekly classes. He would have to participate in an all girls class but he didn’t care…he was happy to be able to dance and even perform. This past winter, JD was cast as Fritz in the 2012 Nutcracker performance. His excitement to be performing this role was indescribable!

JD Allen during rehearsal at the Springer Theatre.

JD during rehearsal at the Springer Theatre.

JD looks forward to continuing his training in classic ballet as he matures in dancing. He loves the stage, he loves being dramatic and using his actions and emotions to help tell a story.

What do we —his parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and teachers see? A young man who had matured greatly, has stopped acting out negatively, does his homework without fighting, gets good grades in school and has developed into a perfect gentleman. We are so thankful for the opportunities that the Columbus Ballet and CSU Dance Conservatory have provided. And more so, we are thankful to have found a great outlet for JD to better himself and become the bright student we all knew he could be all along!

Submitted by Joseph & Amber-Elaine Allen and Family


One thought on “How a 9-Year Old Found His Outlet Through Ballet

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story! I got to teach JD a few times in the summer of 2012 and it was great to see such enthusiasm and energy from him in ballet class. We’re so glad to have y’all at Columbus Ballet!
    -Anna Rodriguez

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