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2002-2005 Parental Transition Support Group


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Are there any other moms or dads of high school seniors experiencing Parental High Anxiety Flashes??? regarding all the crossroads facing our (not so) little ones???? What do you say to yourself to restore a semblance of serenity to your own heart and soul??? :rolleyes: :confused: :) ;)

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  • syr


  • vagansmom


  • K8smom


  • BW


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Yes, big time, and...I still haven't figured out what to do about it:rolleyes:. I hope someone else has some helpful suggestions.

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My daughter is only a junior, so I seem to be entering the angst zone somewhat prematurely.


Even though I have more time than senior parents, the realities of such enormous life changes right around the corner seem daunting. I feel very little control over where she'll go, what colleges will accept her, uncertainties about future of ballet in her life, etc, etc.

And probably my greatest discomfort lies in her own inability to go forth with clarity---yes, I MUST be a professional ballerina, or NO, I want college first.


I believe at the heart of it is a very insecure dancer (and perhaps mother) who wants her to have all the choices... A Company that sees potential AND multiple colleges accepting her that have excellent dance programs with worthy academics. My greatest fear is that she won't have the range of options to pick from as she discovers the path that is right for her. What will happen if she's not Company ready and not accepted into the programs she's most interested in? I can only imagine the worry I might feel a year from now when there's no more time.......

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Yes!!! Parental high anxiety flashes come daily :confused: I pray daily that people will help guide her with her upcoming decisions. I can guide her with many decisions but her future in dance is not one of them.

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syr...Thanks for posting this one! Hot flashes as well as high anxiety are a constant for me as my senior son approaches graduation. I've tried to guide him along during his student years the best I could and now I see that the choices he makes now will truly be lifechanging ones. That scares me. Mine is not going to college but will pursue his dancing career...college later. I pray for him that he will see his dreams come true. I hope he still values my opinions enough to ask for advice (being a former ballet teacher) we've shared so much. Now that he is ready to start his career and maybe move away is tugging at my heart strings fearsly. Wish I could offer advice but I can only seem to deal with this One Day at a time.

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Tango, my daughter has also decided against college right now, and will be focusing on a dance career. She will certainly be moving on next year - no matter where she ends up dancing, it won't be here! "One day at a time" is right.

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K8smom...Is your daughter persuing a career with a ballet company? If so has she not considered Oregon Ballet Theatre? With the recent change in artistic leadership new faces might be appreciated. Where does she hope to audition after graduation? Physically it's such a difficult profession and I worry alot about injuries but I suppose I should bask in his passion and his talents and desire to dance and try to enjoy this special time of new beginnings for him where ever it may lead. ABT is a nice thought but I think he could be happy anywhere dancing. I'll keep you posted!

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Tango, yes, my daughter is hoping to go the trainee/apprenticeship route, over going into another training program - but of course everything depends upon the auditions! We are following the changes at OBT with interest (however, we don't live that close to Portland, so if she did end up there, she would still be away from home). She's still researching different companies, but feels that she is better suited for more contemporary choreography than she would find at a company like ABT. I also worry about injuries, as she lost most of last year to one, but seems to be coming back strong. She has given thought to alternatives to a dance career, but anything she chooses still probably won't involve a four-year university program. And she's definitely going to try for a dance career first.

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Originally posted by syr

What do you say to yourself to restore a semblance of serenity to your own heart and soul???


There is one realization that is helping this dad get through a very trying time.


My own (would-be senior) daughter has always hoped for a career as a dancer. While I never directly discouraged her, I made sure I took every opportunity to point out the other options that were available to her, hoping she would change her mind and take a more traditional route with her life. After an audition for a SI during her junior year of HS, she was offered an apprenticeship position with a company 700 miles away from home. I was dead set against it, but did not have the heart to shatter her dreams, so my wife and I finally decided to let her make the choice, although I still couldn't understand why she would want to do this with her life.


One day while driving (where I do most of my thinking), it suddenly came to me - I have never in my life had anything that I was truly passionate about. I've had hobbies and activities and interests, but they were always things that I could walk away from. I realized that dance was not something my daughter wanted to do, but it was something that she had to do or her life would be incomplete. That was when I began to understand - maybe even become a little jealous - and it has helped to restore that semblance of serenity for me.


We don't know weather she will succeed or fail, weather that passion will burn out or become more intense, but right now she is making the most of every opportunity available to her to follow her dream. Can any parent wish for more than that for their children?



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Yes, most of my thoughts concerning my daughter center around the "what-if's" with the biggest one being: What if she doesn't have a place in the dance world to go next year? (She's deferring college for at least a year). Where will she live? How will she continue training while auditioning? How will she support herself? How can she work and still take off time to audition? How can she (we) pay for travel around the country to audition?


And then I do also worry about sending children out into this truly scary world we're now living in. I think I worry more about this than anything. It's bad enough when one's concerns are the usual ones I listed above, but it's so much worse right now when we're worrying about war. And wondering at the dumb luck of our kids' situations, each seeking a dance career at a time when the nation itself probably cares less about dance than any other time.


I console myself by remembering that my daughter, despite any disappointments that may lie around the bend, is still able to make choices. If dance doesn't work out, she has other choices. Her problems, and my worries for her, pale against the problems of other young women in so many other parts of the world. My daughter's world really is a world of choices. Most young women in this world can't say the same.

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Yes, It is so wonderful to watch someone have such a passion.

I do wonder what 3 years from now will bring to our family as my gal has just entered high school.

My husband and I have pointed out the different options and to keep all options open.

What was very disturbing was at a parent teacher conference her Biology teacher talked about "how clever our daughter was" and then in the next breath said , what does she plan to do after high school?

It was so disturbing to see her reaction when we shared she would like to be a professional dancer.

She was expecting to hear brain surgeon etc.

We invited her to see her dance in an upcoming performance. Hubby went on to say how she had so many roles and he sure did not know how she remembered each role etc. "There are no dumb dancers."

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:confused: We're going through the same here. Daughter applied to the local state college which has a dance program but went no further than that. Her grades are great and she could probably go anywhere she chooses. I know that she'd rather dance but has never been away from home and seems to be afraid to go out into the big wide world on her own. She doesn't seem to know what to do. I'm letting her figure this one out because pushing her before she is ready doesn't seem right . Fortunately she is younger than most seniors and one more year at home won't do her any harm. I figure going to the "safety" college will give her some of the independence she needs and might be a small step but a step in the right direction. It seems the trend is to send them away whether they're ready or not, sink or swim, yada, yada. Some of my family is critical of my slower, gentler approach. Maybe what's good for their children is not for mine but tell them that. We'll see, I'm sure that thye'll all do fine in their own time and the ones that have been pushed out of the nest will survive as well as the home bodies.

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Guest Solballets Mom

I'm right there with ya! It's compounded when your dancer is also your one and only. Double whammy here. I'm putting a brave face on worry, concern, confusion, uncertainty...just to name a few of the many feelings I face daily.


Then our dancer crosses the threshold and I see her smiling face and get a big hug of reassurance. Sure helps put me at ease, makes me sane again and gives me back some perspective. Not to mention the fact that I know I'm not alone, when I read threads from others just like me. :)

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One thing I am now trying to be mindful of is that I am an angst-magnifier! I'm realizing that if daughter expresses a little worry to me on a Friday evening, I just wallow and bask in that concern through the weekend or week. Meanwhile, she (being a here and now kind of a gal) is on to her other present activities, generally with fun and gusto.


The main thing for us is that we've opened the discussion, defined some options and paths, and realized that while there are some actions to take to keep doors open, some decisions and plans are going to be pieced together a little further down the road ...... and that's o.k. :)

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