Guest pointeparent Posted July 24, 2004 Report Share Posted July 24, 2004 I am a ballet parent. I have spent a few weeks grieving over the "loss" of my daughters dreams and coming to grips with reality. I have been a reader of these boards for two years. Deciding to join and seek advice. My daughter is passionate about ballet. She is smart, articulate, and dedicated. She is an A student in academics. She started creative movement at 5-6 and ballet at 9-10. For years she had it all. She has the turnout and for years the facility. She went from one class a week to two and three and more. She began to go to SI's and always did well at auditions and programs. She dreams of dancing professionally. We live in a small community and she has no ability to take her ballet training to the next level locally. She lives and breathes and reads and watches ballet. She was one of those that just wrapped herself in it. She did not blink at giving up the things that ballet dancers give up in middle school to dance and train. There was never any anguish over the choices. She made them easily. It was as if she did not seek out ballet, rather ballet just came calling. Then puberty hit. It was late. That we knew was common. We figured a late growth spurt would help her height a little. BUt no further growth up. With periods came a sudden weight gain. Again, figured grwoth spurt ahead. None came. She is fourteen and has changed quite a bit in a matter of months. It began just a bit in the spring, after auditions. Then summer came and the change was scarey. After the four weeks at SI I almost did not recognise her. SHe literally put on 10 lbs in four weeks. Suddenly big appetite after dancing all day. SHe never had to watch before. Now if she eats when she is hungry she is in trouble. She is a little down on herself, and for the first time ever food may also be a comfort for her. It is clear to me that a career in performance dance is no longer reality. It was never my dream for her anyway. BUt I am sad because it was such a dream for her. Problem is, she is just not able to see that this is just not going to be possible. She feels that her talent and artistry and musicality will carry her through. SHe had been accepted to a year-round school for the fall. It is one that will clearly help prepare her for career or college. I am almost relieved that she will certainly go on to college and not the ballet world out of high school. BUt I am anxious about sending her with her battling her weight. How hard will students and teachers be on her? Is it realistic for her to go to prepare for a possible career in ballet that is not performance? She is sooooo ballet literate. She can tell you about dancers, and choreographers, about ballet plots and original casts. Her background and knowledge from the small library of books and VHS tapes we have is amazing. She will soak up every bit of ballet she is presented, whether it is technique, steps, variations, history, costuming etc. She will be an assest to any school. But I am a bit anxious about showing up to move into the dorms and having them see this change. Should I just show up with her on check in day and take it from there? Should I call and discuss her current problem? She has seen her pediatrician and a nutritionist and is making healthy changes in her attitude and her eating. She does not have the personality to "not eat" or fall into an eating disorder situation. That part doesn't worry me. My worry is that she wants to immerse herself in ballet. She still thinks she has a chance at a performance career. I am thinking it can still be ballet but perhaps first a college degree and then teaching or administering etc. Do I just sit back and let her see for herself? Do I keep her home and not let her go away? Do I prepare the school for the fact that the dancer they accepted looks a bit different that the one that is going to attend? Such a delicate situation. And at 14 kids have such a delicate psyche anyway. And certainly not all ballet students take ballet to train for a performance career. Some are dancing for the pure love of dance. Just because she may not dance professionally does not mean she can't keep dancing.....But just how far do I let this go? And when do I put my foot down and say "no more" talk about a performance career and when to I keep my mouth shut and let her find out, maybe the hard way. She very much wants to still go away this fall. She says she can handle it, no matter what. Have any of you had daughters who went through these body changes of puberty who then got did get a growth spurt and leveled out, or who slimmed down a bit after the hormones kicked in? I guess I want to protect her, so I guess I just want to face reality now But she is not ready to let it go. But the longer she goes the harder she will fall. Sorry this is so long. I just don't know what to do. Quote Link to comment
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