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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Treefrog

What's your limit?

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Treefrog

Just curious -- what's the line beyond which you will not go in providing dancing/training opportunities for your DK?

 

Alternatively: in retrospect, would you have done more or less than you did for your dancer, given where he/she has ended up?

 

Someone else go first. I'll weigh in later.

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Momof3darlings

My DD set her own line rather than us having to. She will not board. We looked into it, but she isn't willing to leave home early on what is already such a maybe. While she wants to dance very badly, she knows that the relationship she has will family will last far longer. Given the longshot it truly is!

 

Since she took care of that herself, I guess the the line I won't cross is the one where I am putting more effort into her dream than she is. As long as she is as focused and committed, I'll do my best to provide the best that I can (with the money that comes into our house each month..........which is limited!) As well, to put so much focus into her dream that my other two aren't able to reach theirs. There has to be enough to go around!

 

In retrospect, I would have made all of our step-ups in her training at the point we originally felt we should have, not waited based on loyalty, unsure feelings or fear.

 

vj

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Taradriver
I guess the the line I won't cross is the one where I am putting more effort into her dream than she is.  As long as she is as focused and committed, I'll do my best to provide the best that I can (with the money that comes into our house each month..........which is limited!) 

Well said and ditto! I, too, draw the line where dd's training may interfere with one of her sib's dreams (and putting food on the table :) ).

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dufay

I have told my dau that the day I have to "force" her to go to class, is the last day I take her. I will also NOT allow her to NOT get the excellent grades she is capable of getting and to NOT take the SATs when the time comes (double negatives-confusing?) given the realities of dance employment. I did allow her to take regular biology instead of honors next year, given her already heavy academic schedule and that I don't see her in hard core sciences in the future. In general, school must come first and foremost.

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balletbooster

Line??? What line??? Nobody told me that there was supposed to be a line... :D:shrug::wink:

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BW

:wink: Well, I was willing to move to Washington DC with my daughter for a semester. Would I have stayed on for another year? Yes, if everything had worked out*. In our case it would have been tough but we were willing to do it, however, she is our one and only child so that makes a huge difference. Having watched her progress since 4th grade, gotten good independent feedback as to the real possibilities of a professional career in her future and seen her love and dedication, her father and I had known we were willing to do what we needed. The first step was going to school in NYC... from there it was DC...who know where she might, ultimately, have ended up.

 

Love your post balletbooster! :D

 

 

 

*just a note to say that WSB was excellent and it was not because of anything negative there that my daughter did not stay...her decision to give up ballet was completely unrelated to what went on in DC.

 

P.S. FYI, our trip between home and DC was 4 hours. :shrug:

Edited by BW

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Guest fille'smom

I am moving "the line that I would not cross" in the fall. After not having worked outside the home since being married in 1988 I will join the workforce. DD will be going to a residency program in the fall and I will have to help pay the bill. Now that's LOVE!!! :D

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Pattec1

Line??? What line??? Nobody told me that there was supposed to be a line...

 

 

I understand balletbooster!!! I returned lawn edging today to pay for private coaching for my dd before she goes away for the summer. The drive to dance professionally is hers, I will sacrifice what I can to help her get there! :D

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syr

Well, I won't risk household financial solvency. We looked at it as education and were willing to incur some debt, with an intuitive sense of where it would need to stop. So we did "sacrifice" vacations, clothes, home improvements, possessions, but I'm a rather low-impact consumer any way. I don't mind not having things. I just hate debt! :D

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Mrs. Stahlbaum

Count me in as another do-it-yourself lawn mower in exchange for private lessons . Many other purchases are considered in this manner ("hmmm, is this worth the cost of a lesson?").

 

I have moved the line many times from when we started this journey ("you can try ballet, but just one day a week"). At the moment, I will not drive two hours to another ballet school as it is unfair to non-dancing sibling and unnecessary. I will make myself believe that simply not having to drive dd to class during her SI is all the exotic summer vacation I need. I will consider a residency program for her senior year if it seems the right thing to do at that time. I will not move away from husband/other daughter, nor will I ask husband to relocate. Now, if I were single and had only one child, I would hate to think of how much I would do.

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dancindaughters

I'm glad someone asked this, as I continue to be amazed at how much some parents on this board will do to help their children pursue their dreams. I am certainly not meaning to sound judgemental; in fact, I am somewhat in awe of how far some of you will go for your kids! It is too early in our journey for me to know how far I might go if either of my dds continue to show potential in ballet, but I don't think I would go as far as some. At one time, I thought I might consider moving to seek good training, but now I'm not sure. I am debating if I am willing to make a daily drive into the city for better training (partially because of siblings needs). I am undecided as to whether I would consider boarding school; at one time, I would have said "not until high school," but now I think that this can sometimes be the best option for everyone in the family. I can see that the boarding option would require a very motivated, independent child, but that is what we all have here anyway, right?

No matter how badly our kids want to dance, we all need to consider our other family members needs and dreams (including our own). Financial situations also vary greatly amongst families, and I feel sad that our situation may limit my dds chances of success, but I have to be realistic. Like another parent mentioned, I would be willing to give up home renovations and vacations, but I am not willing to go into debt based on a dream. Of course, that is all relative to how close the dk is to reaching their goal ie: child is 18 and ready to audition for companies - of course you would dig deep to make sure they have every opportunity to audition, etc, after all think of how much has already gone into this! But on the other hand, is it worthwhile to risk everything for the dreams of a talented and hardworking 10-year-old? As we are all aware, ballet AT ITS BEST is a short-lived, poorly-paying career. I hope all parents will help their dks to keep their other career options open, and also teach them that they can find joy in dance, even if the never earn a dollar.

Sorry to ramble. This is an area I have been trying to clarify for myself recently, and writing it out helps. I'm very interested in everyone else's responses.

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nlkflint

Interesting thread.

 

My answer has changed over the past few years. I remember when I enrolled my girls in creative movement. They started at the same time in different classes at ages 3 and 5. When they were 6 and 8 my oldest was now in either pre-ballet or ballet one. Midway through the year she was "invited" to add a second day of ballet class. I thanked her teacher and respectfully declined. This was just a once a week extra curricular activity. Period. Two days a week seemed absurd. That was my first line that I would not cross. One day a week. At nine and a half, after begging and pleading, and understanding that this was not just about the studio being able to collect twice as much, I reluctantly gave in and moved the line. I still had NO IDEA. All I knew was that I was driving to and from dance twice a week for something I had thought would long have reached the "grown out of" stage. These dance classes were just for grace and posture, just for feeling more comfortable later at school dances. Nothing to get serious about. Right..Wrong!

 

I agree that there will be no savings or retirement plan money used to pay for training. And I only use the credit card for SI tuition checks when they require a big payment all at once. And only if they are paid by the end of summer. I did take on a second job. And I cannot move with my daughter as I am the sole support for my family. And my job is not easily moved. I will remain "home" and the family must remain intact. At least those of us who stay "home."

 

Education is still something that I have not compromised on, and have allowed no leeway with grades either. When DD had the grades and scores to take the H.S. Algebra I Honors and Spanish Honors classes in the either grade, there was no passing up on the opportunity. We have been lucky. She is as diligent with school as she is with ballet, and somehow manages her time better than ever imagined. She gets it done and does it well.

 

But I have stopped drawing any lines other than these. I have decided that it cannot be a mom or a parent that stands in the way of a child's passion and a child's dream. I can't say no just because I think it can never happen. I will be supportive and let the SI or the pre-pro school or the residency program or the professional ballet world tell my dancing daughter that she doen't have what it takes. And as she learns this, she will find something else along the way to be passionate about. And she will probably find it only because of ballet. And if she can keep going, she will. And tell her she only has half a chance, and she will work harder at it.

 

And while I can support her, I will. As long as I can also still support her sister and my husband. And when I cannot, she will have to support herself. And when she cannot, she will have to move on.

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LRS

I agree with Nlkflint. Our line has also changed yearly as dd has progressed through the years. Options that we never thought we would do are now working out wonderfully for our family. Other options that just months ago I swore we would never consider aren't looking that bad! Who knows what the future will bring.

 

We would not let dd sacrifice her education for dance. That may involve some creative solutions on our part in the future!

 

We are just taking things one day at a time..

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lillianna

I'm almost at the other end of the tunnel now looking back. My oldest one had her last performances as a professional dancer this weekend after 8 years as a pro. My youngest is ready to embark on her own pro career in the fall and my middle one has also been a pro dancer.

I have supported them through the years with all that I've got. I would have done the same thing for them to go to the college they really wanted or to pursue athletics. It is just that this is what they wanted to do.

I still remember the day that I took my oldest to SAB to stay for the year. I wrote her a note that I left on her dresser as I left. In it, I said that "today I am able to make your dreams come true." How lucky I felt to have been able to do that for her. IT has been a very interesting journey. I am amazed over and over again how much they want to do this, how it is part of whom they see themselves to be. A calling, if you would.

A friend with a little one asked me what I did when they didn't want to go to dance that day. I told her that I never had one of them not want to go to dance ever. It was their dream. Dance has taught them discipline, perserverance and grace under pressure. They all 3 think that the journey was worth it, so I'm glad that I could help get them where they were going.

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chauffeur

We once had a guest teacher at a previous school tell us that our daughter's potential was so great that we needed to forget we had any other children. And that's when I knew I had found the first line I was NOT willing to cross!

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