russkiyballet

Unsupportive Parents

8 posts in this topic

Hi everyone! I'm a new member, but not a new reader. :) I created an account so I could post about this topic, as I'm not really sure what I should do and thought maybe someone here would have some advice for me.

 

I currently dance six to seven days per week at a small -- but pre-professional -- school. I participated in YAGP this year and loved it, and I'd like to continue dancing at this level.

 

Unfortunately, my parents are dead set on keeping me at home as much as possible. They want me to cut down my schedule to be attending class only three days per week, which is far below the recommended/typical schedule for my age group. I have explained to them that this would cause my technique to suffer and make it difficult for me to attend WBAC or YAGP again next year.

 

I have offered to pay for extra classes and even applied for jobs to do so. I can't think of a reason that they keep shutting me down, and they can't seem to understand how devastating their decision is to me.

 

Is there anything I could do?

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, russkiyballet. I'm sorry that you are having a problem in terms of continuing your training at an intensive level. I'm sure it is very frustrating, but before we try to help, there are a couple of questions. First, have you specifically asked them why they want you to cut your classes by half? Is it a temporary situation, maybe due to academic grades, or financial situations? It is important you know the reasons behind their decision in order to know how to deal with it. And secondly, what have you done to convince them that your current schedule is imperative if you are aiming for a career in dance? Also, have you talked to your AD or main teacher about what would happen, if you had to cut that far back, in terms of being able to remain in the pre-pro level? I would think that this would prevent you from not only not staying up with your class, but also from performing.

 

I am moving this topic to the Young Dancer forum and asking our YD members to not respond until we have received more information and I (or another Teacher Moderator) respond.

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Hi Ms. Leigh,

 

I have talked to them about their reasons, but they have said nothing more than something along the lines of "we feel we know what's best for you". I have straight As, and there is plenty of money to pay for classes.

I was also told they would only pay for me to compete next year if I got a perfect score on my college admissions exam, so I think it may have something to do with their concerns that I am not paying enough attention to my academic future (despite my straight A grades).

I most likely will not end up dancing professionally, but ballet is my dream and passion right now. It's hurtful that they don't support my love of such a beautiful art.

I have talked to my teacher, who tried talking to them about my needing to attend more than just a few days per week in order to continue improving. She has said that I would fall behind the rest of the school, where all students attend 5 or 6 days per week.

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Okay, russkiyballet, I understand. First, competing is not essential, but, being allowed to continue in your passion for ballet at the level you have achieved and beyond, is the important thing. Having a plan B is also important, and planning and preparing for college is usually that plan for dancers. Perhaps if you start showing an interest in colleges, talking to them about what you plan to study and maybe that you would also like to continue dance in a good college dance program, they would understand better than they do now. It is admirable that you are a straight A student, and I think that now is the time to pay more attention to your academic future, which CAN be done and dance 6 days a week too! :) Your job is to convince them that it is doable, and that you can and will do it!

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Thank you so much! I loved your last sentence so much that I actually copy and pasted your response and sent it to them. I will definitely take your advice and I hope they are able to see the situation from the "ballet point of view".

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Keep us posted, russkiyballet. :) Hope you enjoy reading and participating in our forums!

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Tomorrow it will have been 4 months since I first posted this topic...

The threats to take away ballet unfortunately keep coming, but I am now working 2 jobs and babysitting to make money to pay for my classes. Luckily, it's summer now, so I don't have to balance my schedule with any academic commitments.

Thank you for the advice -- it is nice to turn to when the situation seems difficult.

Wishing everyone the best!

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Thank you for the update, russkiyballet. It sounds like you have found good ways to make things work, and I applaud you for that!  I hope that your parents will see how hard you are working and how much it means to you, and ultimately decide to help you. :)

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