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Ballet Talk for Dancers
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MickeyFan

Do you ever worry....

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omoni5

Well, I have to say that I never thought I was one of those "Ballet Moms", but then I started asking questions on this board about things like SI's, how much time dd spends dancing, should I change schools, commuting to a new schools, and then I thought - maybe I was one of them :o .

 

So I sat down with dd, and even though she 9, we had a heart to heart talk about how she saw things in regard to dance schools, SI's, number of hours dancing, was I being too pushy? She looked at me strangely :D , (but what else is new?) She thought about it for awhile and then out of this 9 yo's mouth came, "But isn't that your job as a mother?" I know what I want to do with my dance. Your job is to help me and guide me." :wub: gotta love that girl!

 

So - she doesn't want to change schools yet. She loves her ballet teacher. She does want to audition for the SI, and she doesn't think I am too pushy - at least about dance! But I am definitely too pushy about cleaning her room and going to bed on time. :wink:

 

Like goldfish17, I too decided to sign up for adult ballet class at dd's school, and I love it. Dd has come to watch several times and sits quietly while I struggle through the barre exercises, but can't seem to contain her giggles when I'm doing center work. :pinch: We now share a common language and I can appreciate how hard she works in dance class.

 

Swan Lake auditions were last week. She auditioned, and even encouraged me to audition for one of the "Court Ladies" part. It does involve dancing - we do a "court dance", but she assures me I'm a shoe-in for the part. We'll see!

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Balletmom

This is a great topic, and I appreciate Treefrog's links to the other topics. One of the great things about BalletTalk is that the posters are so good at putting into words feelings and concerns I share but have trouble verbalizing. The last link is especially pertinent to my family now, as our daughter is an only child, and an excellent student, but at age 16 her true love is ballet. My husband has trouble understanding this, and tries to push her into academic-oriented activities that would hopefully put her on the track for college scholarships. (I had to smile when I read your reference to your father, Treefrog.)

 

When my daughter first started ballet lessons, I got into the habit of always saying to her "Have fun!" as I dropped her off, and continue this practice today, as a reminder that this is what it should be.

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tu2mama

I tell my daughter have fun too and also drive carefully. I fell into the stage mom catagory for awhile, I guess that it happens to most of us. It's hard when they're young and they want you there. My daughter was really shy, still is to some extent, but her love of dance has help her overcome the shyness. When she was little she would tremble walking through that door. I knew that she loved it when she got on stage of all places and forgot about her shyness and let the music and dance take over. She is still quiet and tends to speak through movement. By finally standing back and just being the check writer she has proved to me that dance (ballet) is so important to her and I don't need to be the stage mom she can take care of things herself.

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balletbooster

I often feel like the Incredible Hulk, trying so hard to keep my Ballet Mom tendencies in check, that I almost explode at times! :wub:

 

During the last year particularly, as my daughter entered high school, I've tried much harder to stay out of the studio when she is there, even though I manage the ballet boutique and must be there at least some of the time she is onsite. While my daughter is extremely independent, she was a little sad when I started dropping her off at the door and driving away. The first time I pulled up and said "Have Fun!" (something I too have always said before classes and when dropping her off for rehearsals and performances) she looked at me sort of wistfully and said, "Aren't you coming in?" When I told her no, that I had other things to do, she looked quite puzzled (is it possible that I do indeed have a life outside of her own???). Since making myself more scarce at the studio, I've noted that she did indeed count on me to be there for such important functions as getting something out of the car that she forgot, giving her change for a bottle of water, etc. etc. It has been good for her to have to think ahead and not plan on being able to find me once I drop her at the door.

 

The reason I started working at the boutique and now manage it, was in an effort to find something else to do with myself while she was at the Civic Center in rehearsals and performances. After just one year as a backstage mom, I could see that this was not for me and my gal! :pinch: While my daughter handled the backstage pressure quite well, I on the other hand, found that my raging 'Hulk' urges peaked when faced with a dressing room full of nervous dancers and their moms. We are both so much happier now that I too have somewhere to go when we get to the theatre. Since the age of 10 or so, she has become quite proficient at putting on even the most sophisticated makeup (for parts as animals and insects), doing french twists and other complicated hairdos and properly putting on whatever hat, costume, etc. that she requires. At this year's Nutcracker, a new mom asked me in what dressing room could she find my daughter's group? She looked at me quite puzzled when I blissfully answered, "I have no idea!" :o

 

Now, the trickiest part by far of keeping the Ballet Mom hormones in check is in my attempts to "guide" my daughter on the path that I feel makes the most sense in helping her to achieve her ballet goals. While her resolve has never waivered in what she wants to do; HOW she is going to get there is a point on which we do not always agree. The older she gets, the more I realize that the journey is hers too - not just the goal. I'm trying very hard to step back and let her lead me along the road. But, boy is it difficult! :wink:

 

Thanks to all who have provided wise counsel here. This is a wonderful place to come for a reality check and this board and the friends I have made here have helped me so many times to keep things in perspective. :D

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omoni5

Hey Balletbooster!

 

I work in dd's school's boutique too - and for the very same reason!

 

Since dd is only 9, and still wants me to be involved, I savour every moment of our togetherness. I'm dreading when she gets to be your daughter's age and won't need me as much :o . When that time comes - I hope I'll still find you somewhere here on the board, as well as several others whose input/advice/and thoughts I have come too look for when I'm facing questions about dd's dreams and goal of dancing professionally. Yeah, she's only 9 and might change her mind down the road, and that's ok - but for now I dreaming right along with her!

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balletbooster

Thank you, omoni5! :o

 

Enjoy the journey. Such is the stuff memories are made of! :thumbsup:

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omoni5

:D In one of my last post on this subject I mentioned that dd was auditioning for her school's ballet company's performance of Swan Lake, and she encouraged me to audition as well.

 

Well, we both got our acceptance letters!! :blushing: Dd is so excited.....me? I'm not sure how I feel. The acting part - no problem. The dancing part - well, let's say in class I always feel so graceful.....until I cacth a glimpse of myself in the mirror! :wink:

 

Yes, I know Swan Lake desn't call for children's parts, but the artistic director of the company is choreographing a scene within the ballet to allow for childrens' parts. This company is very child-friendly when it comes to ballets. The AD is always saying that the children are the future of the company. Most of the children who tried out were from dd's school (there are 3 locations), but we got a lot of children from Illinois, and other schools here in our area.

 

Rehearsals start this week! Yikes!

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Balletmom

How fantastic! :D I'm sure you both will do great! I've always described myself as "terminally shy" :wink: , so I have a lot of admiration for anyone who can get up there and do it!

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