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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Momof3darlings

A re-visit to "Measuring Success"

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learningdance

It's good that there are so many different perspectives on the board and that there is respect for those different perspectives.  I hope that in asserting my perspective I have not suggested disrespect for other measures of success?

I guess I would caution against associating the perspective that was expressed with extensions of that perspective that people might have encountered with their DKs or with the assumption that I look down on people with unpaid trainees. I don't.  My own kid might very well be in that position.  HOWEVER, I would not consider the training to have been "successful" without a paying job. That's what my husband and I are here for--training a professional dance artist who can live.  Perhaps folks disagree with the timeline? 18 is not realistic?   

It's a little troubling that because I believe the measure of success to be a job that delivers a livable wage, I am somehow associated with a whole host of unenlightened (being paid for work is not what makes you an artist, not caring about well roundness) or downright unkind people (a parent berating people about being "worth the investment"). 

Perhaps best to simply take the response at face value--That if we are talking about a measure of success (meaning you can measure it)  then for me that is (and will continue to be) a job that pays a living wage. My DD wants to be a professional dancer. You can believe in raising a well-rounded person and also hold the opinion that the measure of success is a paying job.  OR you can believe that the journey is primary and what it teaches is essential but also think that a job is a measure of success for these pre professional programs. You can also know that at any point your adolescent kid can a) change their mind  b  ) get injured  or c) wear out.  These things happen and the training may not produce "a measure of success" for many reasons, but it does produce "gifts" "skills" and "perspectives" that are transferable and I embrace that.  I guess it's important to remember that these perspectives are not mutually exclusive with the goal of a paying job.

And, yes, we all have different circumstances, no? Circumstances that actually might enter into different perspectives.

No hard feelings. 

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Monet

Well said learningtodance!  You are so correct in bringing up the point that circumstance gives us different perspectives.  I am the mom of a newly professional dancer as well as a psychologist so my perspective could be somewhat different based on what I see and work with every day.  Also it is reasonable that we each have our own measure for our children, and one opinion is not better than another nor is one mindset right while another is wrong.  Thank you learningtodance for reminding is how wonderful it is to have a mix of opinions and perspectives!  That is why I love this board.

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cchow

I do think that being paid a living wage at 18 is not a realistic goal for most dancers.  It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable measure of success - but the reality is that this is quite rare.

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Momof3darlings

I think the timeline of A (school) to B (job) is where many of us disagree with the assessment of considering Job directly from schooling as a marker of success of a program.  To do so would eliminate most college graduates today from being considered successes by their parents or their schools being successful training entities until much later much less most dancers.   It is also important to remember that a program can still be successful even if we do not consider it to be successful for our child's journey based on the criteria we are giving here.  

Each person has their own perspective based on qualifiers that are important to them.  I do hope everyone is taking a rational and truthful approach to developing that perspective.  What scares me, as someone who has watched this journey for a very long time, is that there truly is only one school in the US that has a direct line into a company in the manner we are speaking of.  And recently how many students have graduated and earned a living wage even from even that school a year?  So when I hear some measures of success, I wonder why this journey was allowed in the first place because that definition is not possible to be reached as the job market stands today and over the past 20 years of my being around ballet students and those aspiring for jobs in ballet.   

There are many rungs to success. And many timelines to get there for all fields of study.  Possibly what we need to realize as parents, is that what we do or don't consider successful at 18 may turn into successful at 22 or 25 if we open up our definitions to include more than a direct line from point a to b.  

Here are some additional topics where we've discussed living wages as it relates to beginning artists.  

Salaries: When to discuss them

Do proposed Salaries change decisions?

Advice to the Young Dancer

Company Life

Company LIfe: Parental Support

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