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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest Nadezhda Alliluyeva

Fanatical stage parents

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I agree that "Stage Mom" should be definied. You all do not fit my definition of stage mom.


A good parent volunteers backstage because it's fun and the company needs volunteers. A stage mom volunteers backstage because she thinks it will get her dancer brownie points. She may even corner the artistic director to talk about her dancer's future.


A good parent goes to a scheduled conference with the teacher, asks clarifying questions if confused and accepts the statements of the teachers. A stage parent will question the credibility and competence of the teacher. They will accuse the teacher of having something against their dancer.


A stage parent will encourage their dancer to do things to get noticed outside class. A good parent realizes that dancing well is the only thing that will get a dancer noticed "in a good way".


A stage parent will ask an administrator how much they need to donate to a school to ensure that dancer is accepted. (This actually happened to me.)


A stage parent will complain that the recital costume is not flattering to her dancer. A good parent will say her dancer looks good in whatever the costume is.


A stage parent will try to sue a school because her dancer wasn't accepted. A good parent will help her daughter accept that rejection happens, but that it doesn't make her a bad person or dancer or any less loved.


A good parent will go to her dancers performances. A stage parent will go to every performance and insist on being given complimantary tickets to the best seats in the house.


It's really a matter of attitude. The big schools can sniff one out in a matter of minutes. They all say the same things too:


"I'm not just saying this becasue she's my child"


"I'm not a stage mother, but..."


"I ALWAYS know what's best for my child, therefore..."



There are more, but I can't think of any right now.

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A wonderful gift we can give our children is the knowledge that they are where they are because of their own hard work, not because mom made a stink about it, or donated money, etc.

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The server hiccuped on me and double-posted. Bad server! :D

Edited by chauffeur

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For your reading "pleasure" Star Kid, Family Stress? :rolleyes: - some insights to the extreme. For the most part, we know that oodles of money aren't going to come into play with ballet dancers in their younger years. :D


(I have split off a number of posts into a new thread called Parents: Best Supporting Award as you all had started writing some great posts that were really not about "fanatical stage parents", but more about your roles as Best Supporting Parents. :D )

Edited by BW

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I try to let my dd's guide my involvement. My oldest is in the preprofessional division, and parents are required to volunteer for all shows. It's a small company and they need all the help they can get. I do whatever job I am assigned an try to be flexible and go where they need me. I have asked though not to be assigned to my dd's group, because it is awkward for her having her mom there - so not cool.


My oldest dd has never liked me coming to parent watch days, so I don't. I do attend all conferences as they are required, and I like to know how she is doing. I never ask the AD (who is one of my daughter's teachers) how she is doing any time except at conferences. I figure if he had any concerns he would come to me. My main role in my daughter's ballet is driving her to class and paying the bills. She knows that whether or not to continue in ballet is her choice and I will support her either way.


My youngest dd is in pre-ballet and she loves for me to come to parent watch days, so I do. Like with my oldest, it is her choice each year to decide whether to continue.


I also never question the decisions of placement for my oldest. I figure they know far better than I what classes my daughter needs to take.

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