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Parental views: residencies or moving w/dancer

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  • 10 months later...
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  • Balletmartyr


Any parents out there with experience sending away or not sending away their child to a residency program? I am so torn, not because of the training or program, but because of selfish mommy stuff. Any advice or anecdotes?

Thanks- :(

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A very wise teacher told me once, you can't open the door then slam it shut just when they choose to walk through it! What does you dancer want? It is heart wrenching if they have to move away, but, if you have the means and they want to give it a go, let them go! Good luck! :(

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As always, words of wisdom by balletmom311.


The only thing I might add, is make sure that it's the dancer who's wanting to walk through that door. I have, over the past 5-6 years, seen just as many kids miserable because they didn't really want to be where they were as I have seen those who were upset that parents wouldn't allow them to be somewhere they wanted to be! (did that even make sense?)


All the best,



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Thanks for the wise words. We leave Saturday to drop off our DD and are hoping for the best. We are feeling very confident afer sharing our feelings with the school director. My daughter has nothing holdig her back and is very excited.

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I would agree also that it is your DK who wants to make the step.

If it is their going away on their own or if it is a family move, it all should not be a quick decision.

Remember going to "______famous ballet school" does not promise them a job.

It takes a strong family unit........

Can you and your child deal with the many things involved if they are not with you.

Illness, injury, school work, nutrition, how will they handle a rough dancing day?

Something else to think about , making the change to a larger pre pro school will really open their eyes. There is a lot of talent. How will they cope with perhaps being not the top dancer, seeing younger dancers get roles they maybe would have had at the old ballet school.

Remember changing ballet schools is difficult enough, add to that a new academic enviroment.

Yes dancing kids are a tough group.

Also you need to tell them if they change their mind it is OK.

If your dancers goal for going away is simple......."To become a better dancer" I think your not a "waffle"

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We haven't given you what you need yet! Folks, the decision has been made, the dancer is leaving TOMORROW -- Balletmartyr needs some words of comfort as her fledgling leaves the nest.


Alas, I am not the one to help you out (neither of my kids have left home yet). But I wish you, your family, and your dancer all the best. I'm sure it is wrenching for you, but know also that your daughter is strong and lovely, and, from the sound of it, ready for the challenge. Do allow yourself some weepy moments, though! :)

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Dear Balletmartyr,


I can only imagine that this decision comes with great excitement and great emotion. It is one of those milestones in your child's life that makes you scared and proud all at the same time. You are helping your daughter fulfill her dream and knowing that she has your love and support has made her confident to make this move. And not to make the moms of sons upset for, I also have boys myself, I will tell you a little saying my grandmother use to tell me..."A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter the days of her life". The very best of luck to your family, and know that your ballet alert friends are pulling for you!

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:) Hi Balletmartyr - my son left home last year at age 13 for full-time studies. We drove him out with his roommate at end of August, enrolled him in school, got him settled in residence, met his teachers, etc. It was a tearful goodbye, but mostly on my part. As I have posted here before, the first year without him was difficult. I felt somewhat "off-kilter". A year later, we have established a routine of calls, flights home, visits, etc. so we are both feeling more secure in our decision which has helped to relieve the "waffling" which does occur in the first few months. Did we really make the right decision? Was he too young? Could he have possibly received this training at home? (NO!) And that was the major factor in our decision - it just wasn't possible to offer him what he wanted and needed at home.


With one year under our belt, I realize that we did make the right decision. He is now receiving excellent instruction in a nurturing environment. He loves his life there and still has his passion for dance. He has improved tremendously in just one year, but most of all, has developed a new maturity and a realistic view of the dance world.


This is not to say I don't miss him, I do, and I think about him every day. I love him dearly, but I also wanted to support his passionate dream and I will continue to do so, as long as the dance journey continues.


Stay strong and good luck to both you and your daughter. :o

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Thanks for all the support and thoughts. My husband had many dreams as a child, but no support from his parents. We feel that by letting go we can make this dream for our child turn it into a goal. No longer dreaming, but achieving. That is how we are looking at this transition.

Also, our DD knows that at any moment things are not what she had planned, we will be there for her. Nothing is set in stone.

I loved the "open door" saying posted earlier by balletmom311! It rings so true.

Thanks again. :thumbsup:

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You are unselfish with supporting your dd's dream. You placed her needs and dreams above your own "mommy things", that's amazing. She will have a life experience that very few ever have and she has the confidence of knowing that the home door is always open and welcoming. That's nurturing at it's best.


On www.parentsoup.com, there's a board for "empty-nesters". While your situation isn't really empty nest, it has some good advice. I think that after the tears, I would want to staying active in the the ballet home of my dd. Maybe volunteer or maybe "adopt" a ballet company trainee/apprentice. It would help out a young dancer and allow me to keep active in the ballet world that has ruled our life for so many years.


There's something very admirable in being a dream-supporter :thumbsup:.

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I made myself feel better when our dancer went away two years ago that it might only be a year and that nothing was forever. You have to, though, be prepared and accept that they may actually be leaving home perhaps forever.

Home for our dancer and friends is where they live and are able to train eleven months of the year. The first time they talk about going home and they are at home is tough to hear :) . They never quite unpack totally and never settle in when they are at home because they are missing what they have moved away from home to get and what becomes every year a bigger part of every day.

Once you come to terms with them leaving so young (I am not sure I have!) you can start to be grateful that they have such an opportunity and that they have found something in life to be passionate about and to work so hard for all the while being surrounded by people just like them.

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  • 1 year later...

Mostly I'm bumping this thread up because I found it while researching topics about "moving away" and thought others might benefit from reading it too. Seems to be a choice a lot of BT readers may be making.


My own 14 yr old DD decided that she wanted to stay home and give traditional high school a shot (after being homeschooled for two years) instead of me relocating with her to attend a "year round" offer from a SI. This particular program does not have housing and is clear across the country, so going by herself was not an option.


Even though her traning would be better at the pre-pro school, she was not ready to give up the chance of being a "normal" freshman. We'll see how long this attitude lasts, but for now I'm curious if any of the 2003 posters have any follow-ups for us on how their moving "away with their dancer" plans panned out?

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Well, we're doing it again. DD's hopes for a residency program didn't pan out so we did a bit of a scramble for a pre-pro program for the Fall. She was accepted so we are moving again. Although she is totally ready for this, she is still too young to live on her own and if I were to be totally honest, I'm not quite ready to let her go either. Another year and we should both be mature enough. :(


At this point, we are taking life one year at a time. It's the only way to do it. If I were to share some words of wisdom about our experiences, at present time, it would be this: make sure your DKs understands that no matter the outcome of their future, there will be no regrets. It is better to have tried and heck, a lot more fun to boot! The reason I say this is because I found that DD seemed at times to be weighing her progress in her dance training against the combined efforts and sacrifices that the family was making. This was causing her periodic but unnecessary anxiety, worry, and guilt. Like all teenagers, there are times when DD is happy with her accomplishments and feels unstoppable and there are times when she experiences disappointment and begins to really doubt herself. DD's feelings of added pressure was an unexpected reaction to our efforts to help her with her endeavors.


As a family we have been successful in helping her understand that we are willing to see this to what ever end, besides, she has also sacrificed much for her passion. Both her dad and I are former athletes and have always understood that there are no guarantees. We've enjoyed the journey so far even with the bumps in the road. We've met some wonderful people, befriended some of them, visited some great cities, listened to beautiful music, and watching DD growing up into a beautiful and spirited young lady........no there will be no regrets, no matter what!

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I moved with my DD across the country 3 years ago. She had the wonderful experience of dancing with a major professional company for 2 years while she attended their school She even had the opportunity to be included in learning new choreography and being first cast to perform in the premiere. It was very tough in many ways but we enjoyed being together. She finished high school in the new city and was the Salutatorian of her graduating class--amazing accomplishment since she attended 3 different high schools during her high school years. She accepted a job with a ballet company that she absolutely loves, back in our home state--which is clear across the country. I chose to stay on this side of the country to be nearer another daughter. She believes, as do I , that our move and accepting this opportunity made all the difference. She had attended a great school, but the opportunity to attend a pre-pro school of a major ballet company and dance so many shows was wonderful. No regrets except that I miss family and friends. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to help her acheive her dream.

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