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dancindaughters

Help! I might be a crazy ballet mom!

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dancindaughters

I am only half kidding here! I have actually been pretty laid back, considering how much I and my 2 dd's love ballet. I have sat and listened while the studio director agreed that my girls are not being challenged in their classes, but she cannot promote them because "the other parents would be jealous." I have stayed calm, and tried to take the long view that slow and steady wins the (ballet) race. I have not hinted that my dd be put on pointe at age 10, even though she has been able to stand on pointe in her bare feet since she was 5 - with straight knees. But it is getting to me! I am amazed at how well my dds have done in an environment that puts jazz competition above all else, that intentionally holds them back so that "weaker children" (the teacher's words, not mine) can keep up, that makes little remarks to try to bring down their confidence. Yet they have stayed so motivated! It is all starting to drive me crazy. Then I see a website for a little girl who is getting scholarships to prestigious ballet programs at the age of 8, and even Maj. Mel comments on her beautiful lines. Hey, I want someone to say my kids have nice lines! :blushing::wink: I started calling ballet academies to see if they have any summer programs for 7-year-olds, and can she audition for a higher level? Arg. I think I need a long holiday. I don't want to push; I just want my girls to be challenged. If they aren't challenged, sooner or later I fear that they will lose interest. I want them to be the weakest in the class for a change. In my heart I know they will eventually need to change studios, but I think their ballet teacher is good, and they would be okay if she would just put them at their level instead of by age, but I don't want to seem too pushy! I am putting it all out here, and may regret this post, but here it is! :):unsure: Keep in mind that I really won't be at all disappointed if they don't becomes professional dancers or what have you, but they have been so interested in this for such a long time, and I feel it is my duty to seek out the best for them. But if I pack them in the car every day for the hour long drive to the REAL ballet school, won't people think I'm a nut? The value of true ballet training seems to be a bit of a difficult concept to grasp for many people in our area.

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Mel Johnson

If you hire your son to murder your father for the insurance money to pay for tuition,

 

you might be a crazy ballet mom.

 

Before that, I wouldn't worry.

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Babsaroo

I "pack" my daughter 1 1/2 hours one way to a real ballet school. It is worth it. Besides, I'm always on the road so not able to focus on those who think I'm a nut. And if I'm honest, I'd rather be thought of as crazy for fostering my daughter's genuine interest in classical ballet ... than crazy for staying in a studio giving the ole ballet babble while fostering jazz... and taking my hard earned money. At first I had lots of questions about commuting but now, it's just part of the routine.

 

At a professional ballet school, your daughters will be taught appropriately and more importantly, safely using well thought-out curriculum and goals. The pointe shoes will come when appropriate. It's truly much more that being able to stand on toes.

 

We left a school that sounds very similar to yours...and have never looked back. If your daughters are interested in classical ballet, schools focused in ballet are needed.

 

Being a change agent is often difficult but well worth it.

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Victoria Leigh

Right on, Babsaroo! I agree totally. The only thing I would say is that, at age 7 and 10, I don't think it will be necessary to drive them daily! Two classes a week at that age is relatively normal, three maybe for the 10 year old. If you get them to a "real" ballet school, and they are recognized as having a good facility for ballet, they will eventually be put on track and have more classes, but lets start there first. If the studio they are in is focused on competition of any kind, and especially jazz, I think it's time NOW. The ballet training will not be what they need at that school, even as beginners.

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mylildancer

Dancindaughters, I know how you feel. By the time my dd was 10, we were driving hours a week for ballet. Now dd and I have actually moved away from dad and brothers for her ballet. Yes, some people thinks we're nuts, but you know, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. In other words, we are secure in the knowledge that dd is doing what she wants to do and as she slowly progresses, it becomes more apparent to others, too. Does that mean she's going to become a professional dancer? Who knows! :wink: It does mean that we are not entirely crazy! :) Do make that trek to the professional school, though. It will relieve you of a lot of doubts. Not all of them, but the ones you are having now. Also, during those long drives, my dd and I had some of the best quality conversations ever. I kind of miss those drives now.

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Guest enjoyingtheride
If you hire your son to murder your father for the insurance money to pay for tuition,

 

you might be a crazy ballet mom.

 

Before that, I wouldn't worry.

Oh my....this is too much fun!! I haven't had a laugh as good as this in a WHILE! Thank you, MAJ Mel.

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LRS

If driving your dk an hour or more to ballet is crazy then something is WRONG with the majority of people here on this board! :) Perhaps that is why we all get along so well.

 

The summer would be an excellent time for your dd's to try out a pro-school and see if there is a difference. And you could "try" out the drive and see if it will work into your family schedule.

 

Like Babsaroo said the hours spent in the car with my kids are priceless. I would not trade that time for anything in the world.

 

Mel- would that be tuition for regular ballet school or boarding ballet school? I think we might need to take out an additional policy to cover pointe shoes!!! I think one would have to have a boarding school in place in case you got caught in your murder plot! Otherwise there would be no one around to drive dk to dance!

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dancindaughters

Oh, Mr. Johnson (& LRS), I rarely laugh out loud when reading posts, but that was sooo funny! :) I'm so happy to hear that I may be normal! Maybe I was just having a bad day. Thank-you to everyone for your encouragement. I hate to drive, but I know I can't go on like this.

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thedriver
But if I pack them in the car every day for the hour long drive to the REAL ballet school, won't people think I'm a nut?

dancindaughters- I drive almost 2 hours each way. So I'm twice as "nuts" as you! :) Join the club.

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Mel Johnson

My example sounds preposterous, but it actually happened! See The Nutcracker Murders by Shana Alexander. The perpetrator of this plot died within this last month.

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MickeyFan

I read about that Major Mel! Some things are so bizarre; you can't make this stuff up.

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Momof3darlings

Crazy Ballet Mom? I think it comes with childbirth. Crazy (substitute child interests here) mom, we can't help it. It's the hormone depletion that never gets rejuvenated!

 

I think most of us that frequent the mom and dad's board have Crazy Mom status at one point or another. So join the club.

 

As for your daughters, it has been said already, but if nothing else, please go check out what else is available for you in your area. If you think it's broken, it probably is.

 

vj

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mini cooper

"but if nothing else, please go check out what else is available for you in your area. If you think it's broken, it probably is."

 

 

momof3darlings,

 

You have articulated something very difficult to embrace. It's hard to imagine taking your entire world, and turning it upside down. But, it's amazing how easily a family can adapt to a driving schedule to engage this passion our dk's share.

 

It just works! You make it work!

 

mc

:)

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Guest prism
I started calling ballet academies to see if they have any summer programs for 7-year-olds, and can she audition for a higher level?

Dancing Daughters, that's not so crazy of an idea!! There are schools that have non-audition summer intensives that bring in excellent professional level guest teachers and yes, accept 7yo's on a per case basis even if they list the age to be 8 or 9 and older. Then they have a level placement class on the first day. Not sure if you are in Eastern or Western Canada but I know of one such SI (actually 2, hosted by two different studios) in the Northwestern U.S., a few hours away from Canada. It is not an exclusive Ballet SI but for your current situation and the age of your girls, it would offer a challenge and high level training for a couple weeks of the summer in Ballet. It would probably also increase their visibility for potential opportunities in the future. Guest teachers come in from all over and you never know when they may see your daughers again at a different time and place and remember them because they stood out with beautiful lines. :)

 

Feel free to PM me for more info if the location and SI might be of interest. Also, I am reminded of a thread a while back about non audition SI's that might also include the type of SI that may or may not include younger dancers. I'll see if I can find it again.

 

I think this is the thread I was thinking of...

http://balletalert.com/dancersforum/index....opic=14356&st=0

 

It is several pages and became an interesting mixture of what else is available for summer programs for kids of all ages, abilities, and desires - you really have to browse through all the posts and fish out what is relevant to your own situation and travel considerations.

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tu2mama

I kind of wish that I had been a crazy ballet mom now that my daughter isn't where she could have been. At one point she appeared to have some potential and was taken under an AD's wing but wanted to do the high school dance thing, so she did. Now she finds that she isn't on track and may have to give up her dream. Who's to say we made a mistake but right now it's quite painful when she's having to grow up and plan for her life, finding out that she's isn't quite cutting to even consider a future in dance. The ball is now in her court but I'm feeling guilty that I may made parenting mistakes that have damaged her future.

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