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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tired Dance Parents


lsu

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I know you will think I am crazy to write this, but I am physically and mentally exhausted over this ballet stuff. I am tired of the driving to classes and non-stop rehearsals, tired of dealing with perceived favortism issues when it comes to casting, the pettiness of some of the ballet moms and the just plain rudeness of one of the ADs' towards the dancers. I won't even get into some of the ugliness that goes on between the dancers because of the competition here which I guess is expected. I know that I am not the only person in this particular studio that feels this way. I just want to throw in the towel and wish my daughter would quit. Of course I would never tell her this because she loves ballet. I just need a vacation. I am not really looking for advice because there is no other studio to move to and I have already decided to take a vacation from this situation. Has anyone gone through this? Watching my kids in other sports, I just don't see all these problems. Maybe it is just the nature of the beast.

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One of the best things I ever did was to stay away from the studio. If your dd is happy and the training is the best that you can manage, then just drop her off at the studio, wave happily, take a deep breath and go have coffee. After a few weeks, you'll wonder why you didn't do this a long time ago.

Now, if my dd has a problem, I use all the energy (that I used before in trying to figure out the crazy studio world ) to focus on her and helping her to manage issues on her own. Even if she never dances professionally, the experience in dealing with problems on her own will only help her.

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Guest fille'smom
One of the best things I ever did was to stay away from the studio.

Isu, I don't think anyone will think you are crazy. In fact I would venture to say that most of us have been in the same place you are in ourselves. Glad that you feel that you can vent here. I echo busymom's advice to stay out of the studio as much as possible. I took this advice myself a couple of years ago (dd is 14 now) and it was the best thing I have ever done in this long ballet journey. Because we are too far from the studio I use this time to pay bills, read, shop, talk to long distance friends on the cell phone, go walking at the nearby park, and my very favorite....NAP! Don't let the environment in the studio ruin the joy of supporting your dancer.

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I feel for you Isu. Sometimes it helps to know you're not alone. I don't believe that there is anyone who here who has not experienced at least some aspects of what you've described. :(

 

I know you're not asking for advice, so let me underscore the wisdom of your decision to take a "vacation" from it all. And here's some unasked for advice from an old war horse: become less involved as soon as possible. If your daughter's schedule is overwhelming you do to the driving, perhaps there's someone you can carpool with? If it's listening to the other parents and the innuendo, avoid them. Some people really do seem to enjoy gossip and backbiting - and would actually be shocked to hear that they're participating in it. Do not volunteer for things unless you really want to do them. Sometimes it's even better not to get involved at all if you are finding the atmosphere as difficult as it sounds. Remember the famous quote: "Less is more." Although this was a design comment, it holds true for parental involvement in ballet often as not.

 

As you may recall, my own daughter is on a break from ballet herself and may or may not return, but I have sworn an oath that if she does return to dance that I shall stay as far removed from the parental front as possible. This is not to say that I haven't met some wonderful parents over the years, I have.

 

Enjoy your vacation! :yes::huepfen::angelnot::flowers:

 

P.S. Hey, great minds think alike don't they. :)

Edited by BW
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Guest SMSCouture

Been there too and I advocate "less is more".

Stay away form the studio! My daughter started driving a year and a half ago, so I was pushed out of the driving picture. Not driving and sitting in the studio makes all the difference in the world.

I have finally come to place in MY DAUGHTER's dancing career of 15 years that it is OKAY for me NOT to be so overly involved. It is more then fine to let someone else take their turn. The less your there the less you hear.

Trust me "The Studio" knows how to find you if they need you.

 

Enjoy your vacation!!

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Momof3darlings

You're not crazy. Just tired! After all, it is our DD/DS's who are dancing, not us! (even though the wear and tear on the hours in the day may be the same) If your DD loves what she is doing and is not affected by things at your studio then you're right to allow her that in her life. But for you, it's time to drop her off and enjoy the few hours that you have while she is dancing. A pedicure, a bookstore visit, coffee with a friend are all awaiting you. You can still support her dancing and can tell your studio that you are available by phone anytime they need you to help with anything!

 

In our area, I don't find it is much different in any other activity my DK's are a part of. So I am involved, not in the lobby talk but grabbing a hammer when needed or sewing machine or even fixing a toilet now and then. And at the very least I haven't heard of Ballet Mom fights reaching the 6 o'clock news like soccer, cheerleading, softball and football parent issues have. Thankfully!

 

vj

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Guest SMSCouture

By the way, there is a flip side to this... probelms and all.

Before you turn around they are Seniors and maybe won't be dancing to this degree ever again...

So, enjoy the vacation but also enjoy this time...it goes by so very fast!

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Isu- “I feel your pain” as others have said. I too am the driver of a DK. I have discovered books-on-tape as a means of keeping my sanity while driving 3.5 to 4 hours/day four-times/week. I belong to a club that allows you to rent the books for a month. Believe me it is well worth the price. I tend to have a “heavy foot” but since listening to the books-on-tape my number of speeding violations has taken a significant nose-dive. I too AVOID the studio . The things I have witnessed over the years are enough too sicken a harden criminal. I drop my DD off at the studio and head to the public library. I usually spend my time using their computers/internet, looking for books-on-tape, reading trashy novels, paying bills, or just zoning out.

 

I think the reason my DD loves the SI is because they tend to be more balanced and more fair.

 

I’m new to BT so I don’t think I can contact you but feel free to contact me if you are interested in knowing more about BOT.

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Momof3darlings

Before we get too far gone here on the negative aspects of studio politics and lobby non-etiquette, let me add to my previous post on a more positive note. There are bad apples in any situation and they do make life hard no matter where you turn. However, it is easy for all of us (notice I said us?, fingers pointed at myself as well as the next guy!) to get caught up in parental showmanship and that badge of honor. :yes:

 

On a brighter note, some of my dearest friends are moms who started their DD's dance treks at the same time I did. As well as some of DD's dearest friends. Some were lost along the way from both of us to the "competitive spirit". Others found their way to the closest coffee shop or in our case, soda fountain (yes, soda fountain as in Andy Griffith!) to sit and ponder over the day's news and current events or even worse, what this movie star was wearing when.

 

I guess it is all about balance and knowing what you as a person need. SMS is correct, they are gone before you know it. Probably our best bet is to make this a pleasureable ride and not to allow anyone to take the overall pleasure from it. Whatever that takes in your situation. For me, I'd rather work around the studio than be a PTA board member anyday! But that's just me and our studio competitiveness overall is not too bad. But there are days............... :angelnot: and on those day's there's Starbucks!

vj

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drives2much

I'm ready to jump on this bandwagon!!! Just yesterday I was mulling over posting on this very subject; it must be in the air. I have found myself avoiding the studio lately, but I must make almost daily contact as the rehearsal schedule seems to be ever-changing.

 

One major problem with avoiding the studio is that our pre-professional school is not affiliated with a professional company and relies solely on volunteers to make things happen: fitting and sewing costumes, backstage help, scenery, fundraising, and the list goes on and on. I am very impressed with this volunteer organization and feel that without it, our school and company would not exist. I can't imagine my child benefitting from this and not doing my part. So, unfortunately I can only avoid the studio for so long :yes:

Edited by drives2much
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Balletmartyr

I feel at home with you all... :yes:

It is good to know other moms and dads go through this. I know I have a few years left, but sometimes the time goes by so slowly when you are trying to avoid bad situations. What's important is that the environment is healthy for your DD/DS to learn the art of ballet.

I remind myself :angelnot: that is what really counts.

Edited by Balletmartyr
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Thank you so much for all of your replies. I am grateful that this board exists with all these wonderful people as a support group. I really enjoy reading about your dancers. For the record, I do not hang around the studio with the other moms unless I am working on costumes or any other help that they need. Unfortunately, there is no one closeby to carpool with. I have other children with their after school schedules so I keep plenty busy. My daughter is not getting the training she needs according to an AD in another city who evaluated her, but being away for 5 hours in the evening 5-6 days a week would put a terrible strain on the rest of the family. My husband works very long hours and tries to help drive when he can, which is not often. We just do the best we can for her.

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Ponder for a moment my dream: our "virtual studio" here on Ballet Alert was real! Victoria and the Major and vrsfanatic could teach, and Danielle would run the pointe shoe store just off the lobby (with a limitless stock of brands, styles, and sizes). We could all carpool, which means ... Two trips a month each! On our carpool days, we'd wander off to the Starbucks/soda fountain for some good face-to-face conversation with other like-minded parents. The only downside I can see is that the classes would be a little crowded ... with something like 100 dancers each ...

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Mel Johnson

And of course, our studio is at Club Med! :lol:

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Kncok, knock (again, sorry to be such a butt in, twice in the same day).

 

I'm a teacher (of Greek and Latin, cultural/historical and language) and I've had to deal with some surprisingly young kids (e.g. ten, or eleven). I think those "unplesant" ballet moms are not doing their kids any favors. I always welcome questions and desperation -- no matter how "stupid."

 

I have to say the grade-grubbers and the whiners tick me off. If any parent can't think of anything better to do in 1 1/2 hours to eagle-eye their kid and pass it on....

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