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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Driving time/traveling tips and waiting


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This year, I will be doing a lot less driving to dance thanks to public transportation. While this is a good thing for many reasons, I know that I will miss the one on one time in the car. There is so much that you learn about your kids (and yourself) when there is uninterrupted quiet time. Good luck!

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  • 1 year later...

I'd like to start a discusion on how to make the driving and waiting work for the family. I'll list the things I've done but, I loved to hear others.


During the drive: :wink:


schedual other errands to coinside with ballet

we carschool sometimes rather than homeschool

books on tape (interlibrary loan - lots of libraries' catalogs online)

(I'm considering) XM radio

Get boths sides of the issue- NPR one way and conservative talk radio the other


turn off the radio and talk


while waiting: :blink:


fold laudry - I load up the station wagon with all the baskets of clean laundry and fold when I get to the studio parking lot. It took a while for me to be convinced to stay out of the studio but now I have greater peace of mind and folded laundry.

wash the car


vaccume the car- I have a vacumne cleaner that plugs into the cigerette lighter

go grocery shopping

take non-DKs to the park

load bikes in the car and go biking with non-DKs

mall walking

read a book

clean out purse and up date planner

write in journal

hand sewing

take a nap :sleeping:

meet DH at school after his work and have a mini date :lol:


And what about dinner? :wink:



OAMC (once a month cooking)

pick up something at the grocery store

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You have quite a list going!


I am a walker and drove several loops from the studio to different locations, clocking rough mileage. So now I have several great walking routes of varying lengths (depending on weather and my timing) that work well for fitting in some exercise. It's fun to know how much ground I've covered and see the things along my routes as the seasons change. Some of the routes are pretty urban and industrial, some more neighborhood-y.


There is also a library close by which has been a nice refuge to work or browse the stacks.

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I LOVE your folding clothes idea!


In the car: Our car used to have the equivalent of an office in it. Daughter could do an hour's homework in the car. She usually did math and any reading assignments there. Because the car was set up that way, I had the supplies to do my schoolwork at a nearby coffee shop while waiting for her.


During her class: Her brother is 5 years older than she so most of the time I didn't have him in tow. Initially I did, though, and we were lucky that the YMCA was nearby AND there were swim classes for him during her ballet. That was a great year.


I did grocery shopping, paid bills, did schoolwork (I'm a teacher), read, walked, and sometimes took a nap :lol: in the car while she danced.


Our dinner system holds even today with no kids at home anymore. Husband and I work erratic hours just as we did back when kids were home. We cooked a big soup or a few casseroles on Sunday. That would last to midweek. Thursdays and Fridays were really quick meals like English muffin pizzas with salad or a stir fry with rice. When I was really rushed, I bought the veggies pre-sliced so I could just throw them into the pan. We nearly always had cooked brown rice in the fridge. I used to go on binges of cooking several kinds of casseroles in bulk and freezing them so we could eat a different one each night.


But this year, I just got a crockpot for the first time in my life. It's a whole new world.

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What a delightful thread!


In the car …..


- lots of conversations on many topics. I learn all the latest middle school news. Our conversations are sometimes serious, somtimes just informational and sometimes just absolutely silly.

- Homework. Our car is a mobile office. Nothing like paperclips caught in hairnets rolling out from under the seat.

- Ballet Jeopardy. Dd gives me definitions from her ballet dictionary and I must come up with the “What is” question. I hear “Oh mom” quite often but I’m learning. We also do Sports Jeopardy with our son.

- Compare and Contrast. We have a dvd player in the car. It’s been fun and educational to watch various ballet companies do various ballets. I get a running commentary on who’s doing what. Dd and Df (dancing friend) do commentaries while I listen to beautiful music.

- Make up goofy lyrics to the radio. Df has a beautiful voice …unlike dd and myself. Our talents lie elsewhere.

- When all else fails, the horse game is tried and true for Texas travel. When you see a horse you say “my horse”. The one with the most horses wins…but if you see a cemetery and call out “my cemetery, bury your horses” you get their points. Hmmm might not work in urban/suburban areas.


At the studio


- I’m spoiled. The ballet moms at my studio are friendly and I look forward to our visits. The support is tremendous and I enjoy the camaraderie we share.

- cross stitch or read.

- My goal is to join a gym or walk.


What about dinner….


- first one home cooks or prepares. Lots of crockpot meals and salads.

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The Drive: Mostly talk about the day. Homework, Planning other events.

At the Studio: I taught myself how to crochet, so now I am attempting to finish a baby blanket. Sometimes read, grocery shop, Starbucks B) , go to the mall...depends on the time frame.

Dinners on our 2 days of long drives, I get my salad and DD usually will get small salad and cup of soup to eat in the car. Dad is on his own. Other nights, whatever I can plan ahead of time.

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Great topic! Looks like I don't have too much to add, except to say that the Crock Pot is one of the best inventions in the free world. Family doesn't have to feel "deprived" of real food when we breeze in the door 2 nanoseconds before starvation hits!


Our drive is only 20 minutes, so that's where dd debriefs her day (we also destroy the lyrics to songs on the radio!)


At the studio, I am the "Madame Lafarge" (remember her from A Tale of Two Cities? She was the quiet character, always knitting.... (Of course, she knit codes into her work -- I'm just trying to make up some presents.) I do a lot of cross stitch, read, and if I'm feeling especially virtuous, I take my laptop or some files and get some work done.


Once a week, I do the grocery shopping while dd is in class. I have these fold-flat cooler thingies that just live in the back of my car. Keeps stuff cold a couple of hours (so we can eat those Crock Potted dinners the minute we get home, and unload groceries after!). There's a library close by, and waaaay too much opportunity for shopping. Unless I have a specific need, I try to stay out of the stores -- ballet is expensive enough!


It's good to see others' coping methods! The time really does add up...it's good to think up good ways to use it (and, I'll admit, if it was an especially goofy day at work, I've been known to sit quietly in my car and stare into space...going to my "happy place"!) msd

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Mel Johnson

To make the drive work, use the clutch. Or buy a car with an automatic transmission.

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Wonderful thread and some great ideas.


In the car I use my earplug to my cell phone and “chit-chat” with friends or return business calls (I store the numbers and delete them later). I listen to a lot of books on tape. I belong to a club or I borrow them from the library. My DD and I have wonderful mother-daughter chats. My DD will do homework (I bought her an i-book computer last fall), sleep, or listen to music.


What to do while DD is dancing? I hope this doesn’t “gross-anyone-out”, but after the drive (1.5 to 1.75hrs) I’m in need of a “nice-clean ladies room” B) . There is always Starbucks or some other eatery but I feel like a vagrant, going in ….using the facilities and not purchasing something to eat. Thus, I have found a few places that solve my dilemma, 1) the public library (bathroom plus computer/internet), 2) hotel lobby (sit, read, pay bills, etc but must be dressed appropriately), Borders bookstore (browse, read, has small café and large enough that no one notices you using their facilities).


I cook multiple meals during the weekend and put single size portions on microwaveable plates or in small foil pans that can be easily reheated when we return.

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A bit off topic: Has anyone bought a smaller car in order to save on gas during these long commutes to ballet? This is something I'm considering.


I am also going to check into the books on tape from the library.

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Mel Johnson

If your drive is one where you mix both expressway and city traffic, that's where the most economy comes from in the hybrid-propulsion vehicles.

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Hello all, I'm vicarious' dh. Mel, you forgot to mention the foot thingy on the floor that causes the motor to make that varoom noise. It works quite well with my dw's lead foot.:wacko:

I don't complain tho, aside from getting beat if I did :ermm:, I feel sorry for her having to travel sooooooo much.:rolleyes:

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My 9 year old got tired of tagging along with big sis to dance, so I got her a membership at the Y. She does karate 2 x per week (testing for her blue belt next month) and swimming 2-3 x per week (got good enough to join swim team next year).


While waiting for the two of them, I either read, walk, or shop. In the car, we don't have a radio so we use that time to talk about our day or play car games. Dinners are kind of DIY and rely too much on lean cuisines.


We live out in the boonies. Between my part-time job & driving (each about 30 miles one way - so I put about 120-150 miles on per day!), my not-quite-6-year-old car has 150,000 miles on it. :ermm:

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