Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

lack of support

Recommended Posts

Hi, just wondering if anyone else is or has experienced lack of support from friends/family?

When im dancing im as happy as can be, i spend all week looking forward to classes and will do anything to get there. Even when im ill i will drag myself along, unless im physically unable :D


After class i feel refreshed and happy and positive. (Getting to the point!) My problem is when i get home, the cost of my classes is really causing arguments with my boyfriend :yawn: when i get home, we will never discuss how class was and he will never ask how things are going - nothing except arguments.

I find it very difficult not to fly off the handle, as dancing is sooo important to me. It seems that he just doesnt understand me at all. I can not get anywhere trying to explain, he just sees it as a waste of money which could be saved or better spent, i totally disagree.

To make things even harder, none of my friends dance, they all think im crazy and say they are really worried about my health!! :wink:

My mum does know how much i love going and always asks how things are but that is it.

Does anyone think i am being unreasonable or selfish as i have a joint mortgague - bills e.t.c?

Also (am getting to the end honest!) when my boyfriend started his own martial arts classes, i did nothing but support him and be there for him - am i asking for too much?

any advice appreciated :D


Link to comment
  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • cassy


  • Dance_Scholar_London


  • missvjc420


  • Laschwen


Some people dont understand why I take so many classes. I try to explain it but finally it is up to me to decide what to do. I am rather self-motivated, so I dont need that much support from outside, though it is nice to get support. :D

Link to comment
Guest kristinene

I think that as long as you are making ends meet, your boyfriend is taking his own classes, and it clearly is very important to you, you shouldn't be having so much trouble finding support. Perhaps you can find someone to act as a mediator between you and your boyfriend. A professional is great, but if that is too expensive how about some who has an open mind and is neutral to just listen while you two talk? That will probably keep everything a bit calmer, and may allow you to work out a solution.


I get similar questions from friends and family - especially about pointe. "Why spend the money on the shoes? Why do something that is painful?" They've never danced, so it is very hard to explain. Usually I just tell them how much I love it. They still don't understand, but they accept the fact that this is the way I am!

Link to comment

Most people I know think it's pretty interesting and ask me quetions about pointe shoes, where to take Pilates, how to lose weight, stuff like that. I think my cowworkers see how serious I am about it, and that it's not ALL fun (I use up the office supply of Advil pretty fast) so they don't seem to be jealous that my hours are so strange. They even got me an expensive chair so my back doesn't hurt.


I'm a total princess though. And pretty good at my job.


My ex, who I lived with, got pretty sick of ballet ballet ballet, I'm sure. But he knew that I'm obsessive about the things I do and the things I like. Never dared to question me about the money though. It's MY money that I earned at my JOB, which I wake up and show up to every day. I put myself through grad school and pay loans so I could get that job. I think he understood that I would rather spend on something I'm passionate about, rather than expensive clothes. Before I started dancing again, my money went to expensive clothes and, boy, did I hear all KINDS of nasty comments about the evils of that. It's not real value, those things. Passion and personal challenge is something of value. I get that now.


cassy, why are your friends concerned about your health? Ballet is exercise. Most people understand that exercise is a good thing :shrug: I swear to god, it's a fountain of youth. Some of the teachers I have...they could be 35 or 60. You can't tell.

Link to comment

Well, my parents are relatively supportive (as long as i keep up studying architecture to some degree) but they dont fully "get it" -theyre not ballet-parents, so to speak.

I have a similar problem with my principal teacher, she doesnt believe in me, other teacher do, and are supportive, but she ofter ignores me or gets angry at me when i screw up a step (i know im not "a natural", but ive got a passion for dance she doesnt aknowledge) and its getting harder to go to class and have confidence i can do things when i know im doing them in front of someone who thinks i can't :shrug:

i just try do do it for myself, and apply corrections she gives to other people.

Link to comment

I don't think that anyone who wants to be in a supportive relationship (with friends and family) is asking to much.


First be realistic- is ballet causing an unneeded financial burden. If it is, anayzle the situation and solve it. Lessen expenses somewhere else, work a few more hours, see if you can work a deal with the studio doing some sort of administrative or cleaning work. If it is not than you need to have a talk with your boyfriend. It sounds to me, that if it is not a real financial problem, then he is using the cost as a weapon against you.


Ask him what about it that bothers him. He should be supportive of you doing something you love. If you dance 5 nights a week maybe he is jealous he doesn't get to see you. Can you schedule your classes during his martial arts? Or make a regular "date night" that is NOT to be interupted.


Is he worried about you meeting new people? That could be a scary sign of a controling relationship.


As for your family, you can't expect everyone to share a passion. If they are rude to you about it then you need to be honest with them that it is something you enjoy. Tell them about it, but recognize when you have passed their interest. At the same time it may just be something they don't understand and will be glad to hear a little bit more about it.


I would be more concerned about a boyfriend/husband who is non-supportive than your family, you could always ignore him.


I strongly encourage you to find out what he is thinking when he says he doesn't want you doing ballet. It might be a financial problem, or a serious relationship problem.

Link to comment

Hi Cassy...


My opinion is that your spirit for dance is part of what makes you, YOU!

It's more than just a simple minded 'hobby'... it's part of what is inside you as a person! Sometimes spending the extra money every month to keep us sane is part of life. If your boyfriend's 'thing' is martial arts... GREAT! Yours is dance.

Don't give in. ;)

Link to comment

My parents first frowned on paying for so many classes but they are pretty supportive which is really really great. (especially my mum- she always wanted to dance but was never allowed to by her parents- though her younger sister used to be a pro student at Viennese State Opera Ballet)

I have two sisters and a few years ago my two sisters and me did do ballet several times a week and my mum did do aerobics-all at the same ballet school- my dad was joking we would give half of our income to that studio already. :wub:

My sisters unfortunately stopped doing ballet and at least I am back now after a ballet absence of 2 painful non dancing years. (stopped due to injury, school and disappointement since I realized I would never be able to go pro)

The money previously spent on my sisters ballet classes now does go towards more classes for me! Yay! :)


The health issue is a different thing though- my friends and family are constantly telling me I would overdo it and I would risk my health.

My ex boyfriend even told me I should stop dancing because I told him I slipped once during a grand jete in class and fell down.

Guess he was just worried about my health.

But some people just dont fully understand the passion.


Link to comment

Somebody commented about how ballet is part of what makes you you. I think that is so true. I started ballet to learn how to express the passion I feel inside and it has changed me so much. Ballet has allowed my playful, energetic, life-loving side to come out. Not long ago, I convinced a young man to start taking ballet at my studio. Come to find out, besides his interest in ballet, he was attracted to that playful side of me that I never really showed to anyone before. I used to be so stealy and cold. Now, we are dating, and we are just having a wonderful time. . .And we are both still taking ballet. My point: if he wants you, he has to take ballet because, if you're anything like me, it is a part of who you are. Now, of course, there are always things to be negotiated in a relationship which I think other posters have done a wonderful job addressing. But if both people are fully engaged in the relationship, then such compromises should not be deal breakers. One practical suggestion I may have is having separate spending money in the budget for which each individual can spend as he/she pleases - no questions asked.

Link to comment

What puzzles me is why are your friends worried about your health? Even if they did not approve of dance in general, certainly they cannot think dance as such is unhealthy?


As to being selfish, if you are still paying your share of the joint bills, I cannot see how it is anyone's business how you use the rest of your money, as long is it is legal and your enjoy it. It kind of sounds to me as if your boyfriend would be otherwise against the classes and uses the obvious money issue as an excuse to argue against them. Sometimes people get insecure when a loved one finds a new passion (or rediscovers an old one), afraid that the new thing will undermine their relationship. Could this be it?


(Of course, if the dance is placing a financial burden on him, then he has a say in the matter.)

Link to comment
I don't think that anyone who wants to be in a supportive relationship (with friends and family) is asking to much. 


First be realistic- is ballet causing an unneeded financial burden.  If it is, anayzle the situation and solve it.  Lessen expenses somewhere else, work a few more hours, see if you can work a deal with the studio doing some sort of administrative or cleaning work.....



100% agree with Skittl. Basically I am acutely aware of the cost - however, I have simply channeled my "leisure" funds to ballet as opposed to trendy clothing or an expensive purse that catches your eye, etc.


I think at first my husband was marginally supportive, in that there was a tiny bit of puzzlement once or twice when I flat out refused to miss class for some event, but that quickly got the point home to him how important it is. That was only in the beginning, and I think he had the idea that it was "just another workout" that could be rescheduled etc. It just doesn't work that way as we all know since everything else revolves around class, not the other way around :) Now he is fully aware of the correct prioritization and he is so cute, he knows what days are "off limits" :blushing:


He is fully supportive at this point and if you just keep on going he should adapt. Keeping in mind all of Jaana's points as well - if you're paying your own bills and carrying your weight, please just set him straight :) Plus you should nicely remind him how he benefits from having your lovely ballet shape around the house - if he pleases, you could of course always just become a couch potato (with a body to match, he he)

Link to comment

thanks to you all,

everyone has a valid point and i have some stuff to think about!

im not sure if money really is the issue, he seems to realise it is important but doesnt realise how important it is to me.

it will be difficult to explain this but i will try, sometimes it makes me mad that i have to explain myself. i do pay my share of bills and work full time.

of course i have my moments of shopping but not excessive or regular :blushing:


i dont demand praise or support from anyone and am self motivated - otherwise i wouldnt be at class at all. But :) when you are there for someone and make sacrifices for them to do their things!!


I think you know where im coming from!

So im going to stick with ballet and fight for it :blushing:


because i take two tae kwon do classes and two ballet classes a week, friends and family think im overdoing it, also because im slim people think that i dont eat or not enough anyway :blushing: if i could do more i would.


it can be difficult to stay positive when you are constantly fighting for what you believe in - i would be miserable if i could not dance and that would cause more problems.

Also i dont mean that my friends arent supportive or unhelpful, its just that they dont understand my passion and lifestyle, they think ballet is expensive, although they dont really have regular hobbies.


will let you know how it goes and thanks for all your help :)

Link to comment

There are many ballet obsessessed students who dedicate their life to dance but two classes per week is not a big deal. Stick to it if you can afford it. It is hard to explain why we all love ballet (on this board), but other people might love football. Can you imagine that you love football? Be passionate but accept that others might not share your passion.

Link to comment

I started in August 2004 doing classes in London, and I did not even *dare* to tell my parents (who are in Hong Kong) until about 2 months into class.


When I eventually told them I thought, "And this is exactly why I didn't tell them in the first place."


Because they were all saying all the usual "ballet is what you do when you're a child, not for adults", "ballet is just about prancing around in pretty poses", "you're wasting your life away doing 5 classes a week which takes up all your free time" and "it's not worth it spending 6 quid a lesson". (For our international readers, quid is 1 pound sterling)


Then I went back before Christmas to see them. Every day I was in our living room doing tendus and plies and practising pirouettes (and I'm surprised how much I've improved after that! :sweating: ), and they got so sick of it.


My mum finally couldn't stand it and started asking me how to do a pirouette. I explained the basic principles about placement and alignment and about how you're not supposed to stress your body, and eventually how to do a pirouette, and she did start to appreciate how difficult it actually is. I couldn't believe I've managed to persuade them that ballet isn't easy.


But I still haven't managed to convince my dad. After all those explanations he still said I should stop because dancers get arthritis and tendonitis and if I go on I won't be able to walk by the time I'm 50. :huh:


Luckily my boyfriend supports me a lot and doesn't moan at all about the money I put into my classes :firedevil:


Sorry for the long post and vent, just wanted to share :yawn:


Right, so to my point!... :sweating:

Maybe I'm just the kind of person who will go for anything that I want (yes, I have no shame), so I don't really care what other people think. My parents aren't 100% supportive of me taking up this hobby at this stage in life - they think I should have left it in my childhood and it should stay there. However I don't believe that what other people think should affect my own decisions, even though they are my parents. Not that I don't respect them, I know where they're coming from, but I just think if I have this chance in front of me and I don't grab it I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Besides they're 6000 miles away and I can still do however many classes I want. I'd rather spend 6 pounds doing ballet than spending them down the pub.


This is the first real hobby of my life (apart from the TV... :sweating: ), and it's nearly 6 months I've started. And I intend to see myself through and accomplish something. (For background information I'm notoriously bad at keeping interests because I'm the type where I need constant stimulation and I get bored extremely easily)


This thought has kept me going for the past 6 months, and should keep me going for a while. Hope it'll help someone too!




Edited by Chinafish
Link to comment
However I don't believe that what other people think should affect my own decisions, even though they are my parents. Not that I don't respect them, I know where they're coming from, but I just think if I have this chance in front of me and I don't grab it I'll regret it for the rest of my life.

I completely agree. Especially as an adult student you should be able to make your own decisions.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

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

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...