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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Feeling left out


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My almost 11 year old daughter has been dancing since she was 5 years old and is VERY passionate about it. She currently dances 4 days a week plus during the fall/winter has 2 days of Nutcracker rehearsals per week. Next year she will have 5 days a week plus the Nutcracker rehearsals. She truly loves dancing and spending time at the studio and has made some very close friends from her classes. It is only when she is engaged in nonstudio activities that she feels extremely left out by nondancing girls who have been her friends since kindergarten. While I realize some of this is an age thing...I'm getting ready for those teenage years! :dry:, I'm wondering if my daughter has perhaps isolated herself too much from the nondance world? I don't think she would change a thing, I guess I'm just looking to see if anyone else has experienced this?

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In my opinion, this is not a teenage thing, it is a middle school thing. It is an age when "sameness" is valued above everything else. Any difference whether it be clothes, outside interests, talents, or whatever is reason to exclude someone from the All Powerful Group. I know this because my own DD is in 6th grade and got off to a bit of a rocky start in middle school. She is navigating the pitfalls okay now, but we still have emotional drama about once a week.


I think if your daughter can try to weather the storm as best she can, in another few years, those same friends will suddenly admire her dedication to dance and appreciate her unique talent. If she loves dance, then by all means she should immerse herself in it.

Edited by MickeyFan
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Sounds like good advice from MickeyFan.


I will add that it's helpful if your daughter does maintain friendships outside of ballet for a variety of reasons. Her good pals will understand and as long as effort is made to get together when she is not dancing - even once a month - it will be "money in the bank" for her should she ever decide that ballet is not her true calling. Plus, it's always nice to have friends who are interested in different things, isn't it? :dry:

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Thanks for the encouragment. Rationally, I know what is going on and why. Emotionally, it's hard to not feel for her!

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I too have a DD who is the only dancer among her group of” buddies” - It can be difficult and lonely (e.g. when the group decided to attend the Clay Aiken concert and my daughter was the only one who couldn’t go because of a mandatory dance/performance rehearsal). Although, there are other times when she becomes the confidant or peacemaker of the group because she is the only one not vying for a place on the volleyball team or the cheerleading squad.

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Guest Jaynny

When my daughter was in 5th grade, she too started to do a social switch. Her social time had slowly, but surely, over the course of elementary school switched to dance. This concerned me at the time because I was fearful that she would lose all her "friends". Girlfriend get togethers after school were few and far between. When she hit the middle school in 6th grade, she started to meet new friends with like interests. Not so much dance, but more artsey (sp?). Now, in seventh grade, the friendships she has developed in these past 2 years, with the friendships she has at dance, are stronger than anything. After school get togethers are still impossible, but she manages to get that social stuff in Sat nights or Sundays. She also gets social time inbetween classes. It's all good!


dancingthrulife, have no fear. Once she hits the middle school, I'm assuming she's still in Elm., she'll be drawn to different personalities. Remember, she's been with these other children for many years, and has grown in many ways. She might be out growing some old friendships. Hang in there. :)

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I truly believe that some of the social shifts that are occuring are strictly age/developmentally driven, rather than the fact that she dances and they do not. On an upbeat note, she did decide to go and watch some of her friends' softball game after she had finished her dance classes on Saturday. She had fun and enjoyed being able to spend time with them. Who knows, maybe next year they'll attend one of her Nutcracker performances!

Thank you to all for your kind words and reassurances. :)

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I noticed that when my daughter was in middle school the nondancers did not have a clue as to DD committment to dance. But surprisingly when she got to high school her new friends praise her for being so dedicated to dance. This has been a wonderful change for her to have friends support her. :yes:

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