Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Treefrog

What's your limit?

Recommended Posts

Treefrog

Sensible rules, so far. Here's a summary:

 

1. No financial ruin

2. No shortchanging other kids (financially or timewise)

3. Line is a moving target that changes with age, experience, and ambition

4. Follow the kid's lead

5. Be realistic about your own capacities

6. Education first!

 

For myself, I'm not sure where the line is drawn, but I'm sure it is considerably shorter than for some of you. Probably this is because my kids are not as hugely driven to dance as some of yours are. Classes four or five days a week, okay; not sure about six, certainly not seven. Would probably not drive an hour to a better studio if the one down the street is reasonably good. Probably would do half an hour, but would have to think about that. SIs are okay. Would make it a priority to find a good ballet school if we ever had to relocate; would not relocate just to be near a good ballet studio.

Share this post


Link to post
thedriver

What a thought provoking question and the responses have been equally intense. Like many of you have said the “line” has changed over the years. The one constant is academic education. I have VERY high academic standards and I will NOT allow her education to suffer. Having made this statement…. I want to clarify…. that I’m willing to help or provide help (tutors, etc) in order for her to maintain her academic excellence and continue to train in ballet. I see so many of her friends wasting time “just hanging out” while my DD studies hard, organizes her schedule, gives up parties, movies, and other teenage activities all to train and dance – it’s impossible for me not to cross many of the lines I set before.

 

I admire many of you who are willing to make financial sacrifices. My granddaddy had this saying “ needs (food, clothing and shelter) before wants and only borrow for needs”. I view education as a need but not dance training.

 

I’m depending on the experts to let DD know what her possibilities for a career in dance are. Maybe her connection to dance will be as an accountant, attorney, physician or ? for dancers- only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
mylildancer

I'm with Balletbooster. What Line? I think I crossed it a long time ago. There is a former Joffrey dancer who lives in our small town. When giving me advice, he would always be very straight forward with me. Before we finally decided to split up the family and move away for Dd's training, he told me that there would be no turning back once I crossed that line. He warned that it would have to be an all or nothing attitude toward this. Afterall, it is a very short time in her life time that she has to prepare for a pro career. If it doesn't happen, she has lots of time to do something else, but her dance training....there is no going back for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Megari

Our line came early . . .dd was 6 years old and dancing at a studio where she was given many performance opportunities. Technically, it was a Youth Ballet. She enjoyed touring and her classes very much. Rehearsal time would sometimes bring emotional outbursts from the instructor. She would "lose her cool" and yell at the older (14 - 16 year olds). I was always with dd during rehearsals and we would discuss the behavior of the teacher. I explained that it was going to be her choice whether or not to put up with the outburst of the teacher when she was overly stressed. Summer came and the instructor closed the studio for a month to change buildings. We let her know that dd would be attending a Junior Summer Intensive for 2 weeks during that time. She was not thrilled about it but did not openly object. DD had a wonderful Jr. SI turning 7 on the day of the Gala. DD returned to her regular class the next week. The teacher corrected her with her fingernails (I thought she may have just needed to trim them) but then dd showed me how the teacher had popped her in the back of the head while she was at the barre. What she demonstrated to me was an open hand swat to the upper back side portion of my head. My dd did not move from the barre but continued seemingly unphased with the exercise. When she told me about it after class in the car she had tears welling up in her eyes. We discussed what had happened and I explained that this was a "line we would not cross". She never danced there again. I will not allow anyone to emotionally or physically abuse my dd. It is a SAD day when you must have this discussion with a 7 year old. Needless to say dd's teacher had some anger issues with dd having attended the Summer Intensive. DD learned that while in some situations you are allowed to make the choice of whether to stay or go there are some circumstances where you must ALWAYS leave.

Edited by Megari

Share this post


Link to post
sgmca

I understand helping your children live their dreams, however they don't really have lots of time to do things like... be a kid or a teen. The years seem to be flying by. My three babies are all of the sudden grown. I want my dd to live this dream she is hoping for but I also want to be a family and enjoy each other as long as we can. Gosh, it all goes so quickly. As I drive that 45 minute trek each way six days a week to get my daughter to her classes while leaving brothers home I often think, is this what life and being a family is all about? I know my daughter appreciates the sacrifices we have and are making for her. She feels she has to dance, that it is part of who she is. But I remind her and myself sometimes that she is also a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend, a Christian, a student...

Share this post


Link to post
dancemomCA

Like mylildancer, once we made the decision to send DS away to dance full-time, I realized that there was no going back at that point. Training at home was not an option, although it was much, much cheaper (actually dance tuition was about the same, added costs are residence and flights). I have reached the financial "line" however, and will probably have to seek a part-time job (on top of full-time) to manage it all next year. I also look at my son's dance training as "early university" in a way - preparing him for a career as a young teenager. That said, he MUST graduate from high school with good marks too. Plus, I have two other teenagers who need support for their dreams!!

 

I think that I have also reached the "emotional" line too....parenting from afar is difficult and I must say that the endless support from BA moms has given me the strength to get through this first year. Thanks!!!! :green:

Share this post


Link to post
msd
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.

I have a 10, too -- hardworking, dedicated, and in her head she IS a dancer. She's also 10, a fifth grader, has lots of time and options. In the meantime, we plan to help her keep her eyes and options open, support her reasonably in whatever direction she chooses. If the world were "perfect" for her, she'd be at the studio every day. We take her 3 times weekly, plenty for now. Like others have said, we rely on the teachers to help us know what's right for right now.

 

As a classically-trained musician turned special educator, I know that plans can change, and that's okay. We always ask dd "and what's your fallback plan?" She's 10 -- so there are many -- PT, teacher... Like many others, we don't let her slide academically at all. The arts are fickle.

 

It's a fine line we walk, wanting neither to "squish" the dreams, nor to invest so much that there's nothing left over at the end. The family philosophy? Everybody gets an opportunity to get their needs met, and the keyword is balance.

 

This is a fascinating topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Momof3darlings

What a thought provoking thread and what wonderful responses! Yes, that line has changed many times over the years and probably will again as DD gets closer to graduation. But the wisdom is amazing!

vj

Share this post


Link to post
Guest ivy'smama

Ten years ago our family moved to the Big City from our much smaller home town because of my husband's job. I was miserable! Too big, too fast, too much, too many...etc. You get the picture. When we were finally able to move back home three years ago I swore I would NEVER go back. Never say never! Now we are commuting to Big City Ballet School every Saturday to supplement DD's training here at home. Next year DD will be homeschooling (another line I swore I would never cross) so she can train full-time at Big City Ballet School. (I might add that this is a decision we made after reading many posts on BA about searching out the best training for our kids). We will be commuting an hour and a half one way six days a week. A few years ago I would have said that would never happen, too. We briefly discussed moving back to be closer to the school, but decided it wasn't worth it right now. It's her dream, but it sure takes the whole family to get her there.

Share this post


Link to post
Ballet Taxi
I will not allow anyone to emotionally or physically abuse my dd.  It is a SAD day when you must have this discussion with a 7 year old...DD learned that while in some situations you are allowed to make the choice of whether to stay or go there are some circumstances where you must ALWAYS leave.

Very wise, Megari,

 

I will have to say that there are several general rules of parenting that I've picked up along the way.

 

1. never say never!

 

2. Every situation needs to be evaluated individually.

 

3. Where there's a will, there's a way. (Note that one must determine the intensity of the "will".)

 

4. Children are only in our care for roughly 18-22 years of their lives. We should do what we can to help them grow to the best of their abilities. This may or may not include pursuing a professional career depending on the child and the various family circumstances. (See #2.)

 

5. No one said parenting was easy!

Share this post


Link to post
cricket

As far as my dancer goes, I gave up homeschooling and began working part-time to help pay for fees, SI's, etc. I am willing to consider the boarding option a few years down the road, when she is 16 or so. She is getting excellent training at home but may need to go away to get more hours of dance. Possibly may consider adding an additional day or two with a longer drive time, but as car has 145,000 miles on it already, this will have to wait a bit.

 

Things I am not flexible on - dancer is a 4.0 honor student. She must keep up her education first to her capacity. Any sign of serious trouble, she knows she may have to give up dancing time. Also, I encourage her to have other interests while she is still relatively young (12 years old). She made cheerleading squad for her jr. high (we are a no-stunt state so not much injury risk). She is also in chorus. These activities may need to be dropped as she gets older/remains serious about dance.

 

She must attend some of her sister's special activities (karate belt tests, swim meets, etc.) since her little sister attends hers.

 

She knows she can drop dance at any time, but she is so driven, I don't forsee it happening anytime soon, if at all. She also knows if she decides not to pursue a professional career, she can drop her schedule to 2 or 3 days per week & continue dancing "for fun" in her community ballet company. Basically, I try to remain open and flexible to all possibilities as she gets older, to remain supportive but not pushy so she does not feel obligated to continue dancing if she loses the desire to do so. :ermm:

Share this post


Link to post
jbtlse

The wake up call came when younger sib got sick. Although I get stressed with the demands and driving I am unable to STOP, but when the stress caused the sick kid to relapse...we switched studios, cut out the other stuff, and put dd on public transportation. Now she has to take a lot more responsibility for her training. I wasn't quite ready to have her commute alone, but it has worked out ok (knock wood)--thank goodness for cell phones.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest dancinx2

Gee, reading all of this has been very thought provoking for me. I have never really thought about where I would "have to draw the line". I just always keep my faith that things will happen just how they are supposed to. My girls are both 12 and very dedicated and ambitious about a dance career in their future, I certainly won't stand in their way, but they also have 4 other siblings that they love and want close relationships with so they are the ones drawing their own "lines" right now. 1.God 2. family 3. Ballet , pretty much sums it up.

Share this post


Link to post
eskimopieo
1. No financial ruin

2. No shortchanging other kids (financially or timewise)

3. Line is a moving target that changes with age, experience, and ambition

4. Follow the kid's lead

5. Be realistic about your own capacities

6. Education first!

Sounds good to me. These are our family's limits at this time. My part-time job covers all extra-curricular activities. Dd's ballet time is slightly more than the time son spends in taekwondo, although baseball season really requires hubby to help with taxi service. When dd asked for more dance, she got her wish (son asked for less taekwondo last summer & got that too). I am obviously willing to drive at least 30 mins. to take dd to a better dance school, but it remains to be seen whether I am willing to drive any further. Grades are top-notch now & I expect them to remain so. I would not homeschool to make more time for dance, but would allow more dance if I were homeschooling for other reasons (and if the loss of my part-time job left enough $$ in the budget for more dance).

 

Now what to do for the son who dreams of being a secret agent? :) I guess they don't have summer programs for that...unless that "Cody Banks" movie was true! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
motherof5

Our limit has changed also during the last couple years. We are willing to drive further, and more often, than 2 years ago. There a couple things that remain the same, though. Dancinx2 summed it up very well: God, family, then dance.

 

Keeping it all balanced is a constant challenge. As committed as she is to be at her classes each week, we also want her to be able to attend an occasional birthday party, and do things that 10 year olds do. So I guess another limit is that we won't allow ballet to steal her childhood.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...