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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition season through our eyes


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  For the life of me, I just don’t understand why they watch.  :)


I watch because: I am amazed at what she can do. How does she do that and make it appear so easy? I recently attempted to take a ballet class and I know exactly how hard the elementary stuff is to do! So I am amazed at how easily she does the advanced stuff she does.


I watch because: When she was three years old and the class was 45 minutes long, there was no reason not to. As she grew older, the habit endured and I realized that I loved watching the process of this child--and the other children--grow and learn how to operate their bodies. I remember watching the year they truly began to look like dancers---and I remember the tear that came to my eye.


I watch because: As she gradually developed the aspiration to be a professional dancer, I found I wanted, and needed, to find some perspective in balancing her passion, desire, and reality. Knowing that only that small 2% "make it", I need to try to develop some objective viewpoint from which to evaluate her chances. I can do that only if I can see her dance with her classmates and also with her fellow auditionees. I do not know enough about ballet technique and the finer qualities of musicality and artistry, but I can tell the difference a little better the more I see--and ask questions, and read, and listen to her, and listen to others.


I watch because: I gain perspective and thus, can help her with hers when the acceptances and rejections come in from those auditions.


I watch because: She is a very talented academic student who could choose many, many professional routes and her success would be largely in her own control, yet she, at the moment, chooses to follow a route that leaves her largely without control. No amount of passion, diligence, and desire will assure her that she can reach her goal. Too much of the profession of dance is totally outside the control of the individual dancer. I need to continue to help guide her to prepare the Plan B and I can only do that if I am pragmatic about her abilities, which I can only be if I keep my eyes open and watch, not only her, but others.


I watch because: She has given up so much to pursue this endeavor and to achieve her aspiration. Over the years, she has given up competitive-level soccer, oboe, professional student journalism, and softball (and foregone the opportunity to try other interests)---all to pursue more hours in dance. She has foregone slumber parties, birthday parties, school social events, high school extracurricular activities, evenings with friends, homecoming dances, high school sports events, weekend excursions---all to attend her dance classes and/or rehearsals.


I watch because: I want to understand what she does and how well she does it. I do not want to rely on exuberant self-assessments of how she is doing nor do I want to rely on discouraged self-assessments of how she is doing. I want to be able to put those self-assessments in some kind of context and provide her with encouragement when needed or gentle prodding when warranted. I want to be ready with an informed eye to help her evaluate where she is in reaching her dream and what her real choices are.


I watch because: I love her.


I watch because: I do not want her to be alone in this harsh world of ballet.

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  • LMCtech


  • Momof3darlings


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  • dancemaven



A truly lovely post that brought back memories for me and some

tears to my eyes. Thank you.

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dancemaven, what you've just written is so beautifully written and expressed - and so heartfelt. You've expressed your reasons so well - so much better than I ever could have. Thank you.


All your reasons are completely valid and worthy... your post brought tears to my eyes, as well.


And no one could ever accuse you of being a parent who'd stand in a door way and snap pictures... Your "watching" is an act of love.

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Beautiful post, especially loved that last line. It says it all and says it well.


I'm a watcher, too.

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WOW dancemaven, you must be living in my soul!! :)

I watch because my heart broke the day I had to fly home alone after moving DD to her residency school 9 yrs ago, but I knew there was no way I could deny her her dream.

That if she was willing to give up her family and friends to persue this dream, my emotional needs as her mother had to come last!

I watch because I see how she "lives" when dancing, be it in a classroom or onstage... :)

I watch because all is well with the world when she dances, there is peace and joy..I admit there are usually tears invovled when watching...she had the belief within herself to power through all the negativity that comes with the ballet dream. She is my hero.

Whether this "works out" in the end or not........this dream has turned her into a remarkable human being. Ballet is a beautiful calling.

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Dancemaven and dbleon-

Thank you for expressing so beautifully the feelings of those of us who "watch". I don't think I could have said it any better. :pinch:

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Thank you dancemaven and dbleon for those heartfelt thoughts! I could not have said it better and will not try. I can feel the love for your DD's and you expressed my love for mine as well. Thank you! :pinch:

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When I go to my daughters studio and sit in the back to watch...I will not feel like a "ballet mom" anymore. I could not have expressed my reasons for watching so eloquently. There is no reason for any parent to feel ashamed or embarrassed for wanting to watch thier child dance. You have given us all reason to watch! :pinch:

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I've searched most of the day for the correct thread and can't seem to find one. Please move if I'm in the wrong spot.


My dd began dancing with a new year round academy last summer after it was recomended by one of her summer intensive teachers at Nutmeg.


Our Nutmeg experience was positive and I can't say enough nice things about not only the classes but also the staff and accomodations. We have been looking forward to returning to Nutmeg but found out this week that.....


Our home ballet school will not ALLOW her to attend Nutmeg because they have a requirement that all students must attend a minimum of 4 weeks at their own summer intensive. (I was not aware that it was a 4 week commitment, but was believing that it was a 2 week commitment)


I can fully understand their explanation that SI visiting teachers have been hired and as a result the dancers have to support that end. I only wish I had been told this last fall when my dd joined their program so we would not have spent 6 months looking forward to something we could not have. Has anyone here ever heard of this type of requirement? Is it an accepted practice elsewhere?


Sad mom. Sadder daughter.

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Did you sign a contract stating that your daughter must do this? My first instinct is to tell you to bail out of there but I don't know all the facts. But, beyond the requirement that my dd attend an SI in general, I dont think I personally would be willing to follow such a directive.


But, unfortunately, yes, I have heard of this and .... this is just me....I don't like it. It makes me suspicious of the motives of the school.

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Thank you for your reply. No, no contracts were signed. But I must add that my daughter's prior studio was a "dolly dinkle" and her new studio as recommended by Nutmeg is a viable school. Viable enough that we drive 3 hours round trip 5-6 days a week for classes.


But, no there was no contract. I would hate to be in the position where we had to make a decision "Go to Nutmeg and you can't come back here" kind of a decision. I can't tell you how sad we are, but then maybe I can.

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PointeDriver, here is the thread: Home School Wants Students to Stay at Their Own SI. :jump::dry:


Check out that thread and let's continue the conversation about "what to do" over there. At first I was just going to move the last three posts but then I realized it might be more confusing for you. Please don't just let this discussion drop OK? Re post over on the thread that I've given you a link to.

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