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A Modesty Proposal

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sarsdad

I think this new forum is an excellent addition. I also think that parents of the older girls have a real responsibility to glance at this on a regular basis and provide any experience they might have. So much changes so quickly in our young dancers at this age - both physically and emotionally, I'm sure it is nice for parents of younger dancers to hear from those who have been through it. Parents of the younger dancers, please don't lose patience with us (read me) if some of us are a bit jaded. I have one child who is an athelete and one child who is a dancer - no contest - dance world beats baseball for pathology.

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AsleepATheWheel

yes :P , yes :thumbsup: , and yes :thumbsup: .

 

 

The excitement of the early years can fade in the blink of an eye. A growth spurt, an injury, a change of heart... these are the realities of life as a child becomes a teen, then young adult. Taking cues from your children help to make good decisions. So you dont go to that extra week of dance camp at age 9 or 10 that EVERYONE is going to...I can tell you, it wont make a bit of difference in the long run. :offtopic:

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mmded

sarsdad, count me as jaded as well (I prefer realistic)! I think the "closer" a young dancer gets to a professional career, the more realistic he or she becomes. They see around them peers who must give ballet up because their bodies just can't do it anymore even though they have taken care of them and dealt with any problems with whatever means possible. They follow dancers who are a year or two ahead who everyone is sure will have no trouble finding a place to dance, struggle to find a place for a couple of years and then simply have to give up their dream because their funds have run out. They see dancers who seemingly never have to pay their dues and who can act unprofessionally who are rewarded continuously with opportunities. They become very aware of what their own shortcomings and limitations are(ALL dancers have them)and how they might prevent them from having the career they have worked so hard for and given up a normal life for. On the other hand they also see one or two focused, hardworking and dedicated dancers who are living out their dream and having amazing opportunites. That is what keeps them going and keeps parents like myself doing everything possible to get them to a place where they have a shot at being a professional dancer. :D

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TutuMaker

:D mmded,

Very well said! You summed up the emotions in my home very concisely and also very eloquently.

Brava!

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Momof3darlings

Yes, mmded, very well said indeed!

 

vj

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imdriving

Wow mmded! You said what has been in my mind for so long. Thank you

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balletbooster

mmded has a very lovely and talented daughter - who also happens to have a very wise and wonderful mother! :wub:

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Balletmom

Great post, mmded!

 

It's not an easy road, and as sarsdad says, it's enough to make you become jaded with the whole process at times. Especially, I feel, if we start to lose sight ourselves of just what exactly the goal is, for whom this goal is being pursued, and how worthy it is of being pursued. On good days I'm realistic, on bad days I'm jaded! However, I usually try to present the "supportive but realistic" side to my daughter.

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dancetaxi

Perfect example of why we parents of younger students really need you veterans around. :thumbsup: Sometimes being realistic and being jaded can sound very similar, but this is a tough biz.....sometimes a good dose of reality early on will save disappointment and agony down the road.

 

:wub: Thanks to all of you who are there to guide us down the path of......um..err...insanity(??) :lol:

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Mel Johnson

And it's also why this forum, much more than the over-13 parents, needs to address problems, and not to celebrate triumphs. It's a different world, a different kind of student, and so different standards have to apply.

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sarsdad

So far the one interesting trend I have seen is that the vast majority of posters so far are actually the parents of the older children. I am in fact one of them. I look forward to seeing more from the parents of the younger ones. Perhaps I am not all that jaded - suggesting the ways my daughter dealt with and deals with the challenges seems a perfect way to start to rationalize this world a bit. As a number of parents have said, remember to make sure your child knows they have an existence beyond ballet (as a previous post said they love to dance, dance is NOT what they are) and remember that you are not the child. This is not an easy thing to do because helping children through these times can be all consuming. Best of luck to all.

 

 

And it's also why this forum, much more than the over-13 parents, needs to address problems, and not to celebrate triumphs.  It's a different world, a different kind of student, and so different standards have to apply.

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dancetaxi

I have not been on these boards long, but the trend I have seen with newbie parents of younger dancers (myself included, I'm ashamed to say) is the tendency to begin posting in a panic about whether or not DD or DS is getting the right training, whether or not DD should be on pointe, and if they are getting enough classes, etc. Many have been told that they have a talented child which sets off this frenzied chain of events in which a parent (experienced in the dance world or not) attempts to lay out the childs dance training plan at that point. It just can't be done. There are too many unknowns. Many probably think they need to convince everyone on the boards that their child is truly talented, so it can easilly cross the line into overt bragging. :wub:

 

If the child is too young to go off to a Summer Intensive, or not yet in pointe shoes, there may be a gap in topics a parent can relate to.

I think that these new forums may bridge that gap and get more parents of younger dancers on board. I'm almost in the camp that thinks each ballet studio should pass out this web address to parents as soon as their DK's turn about 9. I think it would save parents a lot of worry and allow them to sit back and enjoy the ride a little more. As you parents of older dancers know, its a long hard road. :lol: (Not to mention a whole 'lotta miles on the old minivan!)

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dancindaughters

Thank-you dancetaxi, for summing things up so well.

 

I guess some of my recent posts may have crossed the line into bragging, but this wasn't my intent. I just wanted to give background information to allow better understanding of our situation. I know there are no easy answers, and no clear path to a future in professional dance. I know things can change so much, and as someone stated, there is a huge gap between potential to be a good dancer and actually realizing that potential (and that gap is filled with hard work!)

 

I do believe, however, that the path is somewhat different for dk's with talent that is visible at an early age, and I believe that these dk's parents MAY be over-represented here on Ballet Alert simply because they need a forum more than others. Of course, we shouldn't brag at our dance schools; sometimes it is difficult to have an honest discussion with other parents without creating hard feelings. Even if I try to share some of my dds challenges, people act like I have no right to "complain" when dd has been blessed with so much. So I stick to small talk at the studio, and come here for understanding and advice, but perhaps I don't express myself well in writing :(

 

I hope I am still welcome to post here. I love reading these boards and learning from the more experienced parents, the teachers, and even the dancers! I would also love for more parents of younger dancers to join the discussions.

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sarsdad

I'm sure that people would love for you to continue to post. I barely have in the past year, but have been more involved lately. I will give another reason why it is so hard to see the furutre for young children in dance. A number of us have already mentioned changes in interest level of the child, body shape changes with puberty, and a variety of others.

 

Here is a different one - talents change. Let me give you an example of my daughter. She always despaired about her turns. You will always run into the 11 or 12 year old who can knock off 15 fouette's the first time they put on their pointe shoes. Well my daughter was not one of them. She's now 14 almost 15. She has worked very hard. Turning is still her most challenging problem - she can do the 15 fouettes but not with the confidence she should have. The coda from swan lake is a bit off. But you know what, in the interim she turned into the best leaper and one of the most lyrical dancers at her school. Some of those girls who could turn at 11 still can turn, but that's about it.

 

I'm not for an instant suggesting that this is the fate that awaits your daughter or any other child. I am simply saying what many of the parents of older dancers have said - it is a long road, and there are a lot of turns in it. Good luck to all of the children who aspire to dance.

 

Thank-you dancetaxi, for summing things up so well.

 

I do believe, however, that the path is somewhat different for dk's with talent that is visible at an early age, and I believe that these dk's parents MAY be over-represented here on Ballet Alert simply because they need a forum more than others. Of course, we shouldn't brag at our dance schools; sometimes it is difficult to have an honest discussion with other parents without creating hard feelings. Even if I try to share some of my dds challenges, people act like I have no right to "complain" when dd has been blessed with so much. So I stick to small talk at the studio, and come here for understanding and advice, but perhaps I don't express myself well in writing :(

 

I hope I am still welcome to post here. I love reading these boards and learning from the more experienced parents, the teachers, and even the dancers! I would also love for more parents of younger dancers to join the discussions.

Edited by sarsdad

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dancetaxi

Dancindaughters:

 

Of course we still want you to post!! :thumbsup: I wasn't aiming my post at anyone in particular (maybe myself) so please don't take offense. :blushing:

 

I did want to address one thing you said though:

I do believe, however, that the path is somewhat different for dk's with talent that is visible at an early age,

From what I have learned, this can feel like a curse as well as a blessing. You may be referring to the fact that talented DK's maybe get pushed up to higher class levels with older kids? Or may feel the need to take on more classes? We went down that road, and are now having to undo some damage (read:bad habits.) It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement, along with special attention that goes along with it. But a 9 year-old is a 9 year-old. The majority are still the same developmentally as other 9 year-olds, talented or not. There are only certain things that a 9 year-old body should do (or 10 year-old and so on.) And perhaps just because a 9 year-old can do flawless triple pirouettes, does it mean that they should be in a class that requires them? Even a mature kid may have trouble with 11-13 year-old kid classes/pressure. Please, I am not at all attacking you, because this is also what I thought not so long ago, and I am just trying to share what I have learned. One big phrase that all the veterans use here is: "slow and steady wins the race" or they refer to the "slow boil" philosophy. Boy, I can really see the virtue in that now! :( Hang in there dancindaughters! :thumbsup: We're glad to have you here! :D

 

edited to add:

Actually, this gives me an idea for a new topic over here in the younger forum. I'm sure a lot of us have gone through this. Woo hoo! Thanks!

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