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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tired Dance Parents


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How fun! I did the same thing about 3 weeks ago. There is a gym right next to my daughter's school. I decided that since I never seem to have time for exercise, this was a perfect opportunity. So far it has really helped me get back into a regular routine. They even offer several Pilates classes each week (taught by the same instructor that teaches at the ballet school). Unfortunately, my gym doesn't have wireless internet, but I'm not complaining!

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Wow! I've been reading this thread and have been amazed to find that I am not the only one. I think I'm a little more of an extreme case, though. I've had a love/hate relationship going on with my dd's dance world for years now. Ever since I made the commitment to help dd with her quest, I have been trying my best, but that doesn't mean that I've always enjoyed the ride. I have really tried, but this is not my world, it is my daughter's. I have done research, and read a lot of info, (which this board has helped immensely with) but alas, I do not fit in except to pay the bills and get her to class. I guess it's better that way. Like many of you, I stay away from the studio. The more dd accomplishes, the better it is to stay away. Now that the time is nearing when dd will be leaving for a boarding school, I now look back and relish the long commutes where we had time to talk. I still have some time with my daughter, and I am committed to making it a wonderful, memorable time before she leaves, even though all I want to do is pack her up and take her home.

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:wink: If only I could occasionally use the same thought process that I use with the studio at home. :) When the going gets rough, don't go in. :blushing:


2 days til Spring Break--8 glorious days without 2 hours a day of driving! I can't wait. I've made a pact that during that 2 hours, I will get something done at home I can't do during dance travel time. Like paint a wall, or sew some new drapes. Or even go to the mall without a time limit on my return. Rejuvenation is forthcoming! Glorious.



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I have just finished reading Joan Brady's excellent book, "The Unmaking of a Dancer", which, although published long ago, seems very timely, and appropriate to this conversation in that makes me want to run screaming from the whole thing. (Although the monstrous mother in it is under- rather than over-invested in her dd's dancing) How far I have come in the few weeks since I first logged on here. After telling you all about being yanked out of the ballet world by my parents against my will, after all I have read and learned and witnessed in the past few months, I can now say I understand exactly why they did it (well almost).


I have so much respect for those of you who have been seeing it through with your dks for years! I agree that the best thing to do is to stay as uninvolved as you can, although I am finding it hard at the moment due to certain goings-on about my dd's studio (spring concert, auditions, etc.). I am hoping to be able to take a step back in the next few weeks, though, and enjoy this lovely spring that we are at last getting here in the NE. Now that the weather is better, I am planning, while dd does her thing, instead skulking around in Starbucks or B&N, to take the dog for long walks in the park!


"...And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the spring begins.." (Swinburne)


And my best greetings to you all out there! :wink:

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I have also had the same feelings but at the moment I am getting ready to take my daughter to the mall so we can shop till we drop! Something we haven't done since I don't know when. I still have had to work this week but I had Wed and today off. With all the ballet schools on break my daughter decided to take the week off from her Pilates classes and job and her private lessons and just relax. She is still doing her school work this week but it has been lovely to have an evening home to read or watch tv. The next break is when she is at her SI. (Break for me that is). Till then we carry on. :gossip:

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mini cooper

I want to report back on my lack of burnout that I mentioned a few posts back. Joining the gym has been great. My daughter has had extra long rehearsals over the last week to prepare for an upcoming performance. I have flat camped out at the gym. I am able to get my workout, take a shower, and get a bunch of work done to boot.


I pull into the studio in enough time to figure out what's going on, how rehearsals are going, etc. Since we are commuting, I am stuck close to the studio. But, I don't feel stuck at all! It's great.


For those of you who have a long weekend for Easter, maybe the break will do you good. I would wish for everyone the good will we have at our school.



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  • 11 months later...

It's been a long year..... It feels like last summers SI :blushing: was met at the airport by classes :thumbsup: and then school :blink: careening quickly into Nutcracker :wacko: and then the audition season :green: . While I am using this 'downtime' to regroup before this summer's SI stuff, I find I am mentally exhausted from all of it. I do have another child who is in no way involved in this 'dance life' and it's a breath of fresh air. I also have a life other than being a dance parent. Looking ahead, I only see more of this with not many bright career prospects at the end of the rainbow. While dd is doing fine(at the moment), her residency program adequate (at the moment) and is looking forward to her SI.......why do I feel so overwhelmed??? Anyone else out there feeling the same? :shrug:

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AsleepAtTheWheel, I feel your pain :sweating:

This past year has been a emotional rollercoaster for all in our family!

The never ending quest for employment in this field has given many grey hairs, untold sleepless nights, and a very depleated bank account!

I hope your stress levels return to normal soon! :wacko:

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I also have a life other than being a dance parent.


You were kidding. Right??


We have had an interesting year, but with different stresses. My dd (12 yo) has had a very good run the last couple of years with some very nice parts in the company's Nutcracker and some opportunities to perform with the company in the gala and during the rep season. Now she is "aging" out of the cute little girl roles but is still too short for the roles that are more age/skill level appropriate (ie she is several inches shorter than a couple of her pals who were picked for Clara in last December's Nutcracker). She loves ballet and wants to make it her career, but is feeling frustrated, which causes much stress with her parents. She realizes how fortunate she has been with casting in the past, and understands the height issues but still. It is tough being patient when you are 12 but we figure it is all a good learning experience.


Fortunately we do not have the stress many others here at BT have over SIs. We have an excellent summer program at her ballet school so she will be staying home (though she was pleased to be accepted into ABTs Detroit session).

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The stress comes from the quest for balance. I was up this morning at 5 am to call England to verify information that I was not getting via email, we had a lot of snow so I was digging out the car to be able to be at work before 8 am and then there is dance tonight until after 9 pm.


My 16 year old son is having stress that he has not yet been asked to the spring formal and I want to meet his needs emotionally but too tired and stressed.


I am glad for emotionally stable dad who does whatever is necessary to keep it all together and I know that this will not last forever.

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Oh my goodness........you guys all know my story this year. I'm exhausted and haven't even made it to your level yet with SI's etc. Applaud yourselves!!!!! :wacko:

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For DD this has been a great dance year. Similar to balletdad, DD is 12, well just turned 13, and going into 8th grade. She however is just finished a growth spurt and that seems to have accelerated her dance and she is now one of the tall dancers so she is considered for different parts from the cute little girl ones.


I am exhausted however, with the thoughts of high school and managing schedules. DD is at a performing arts school so dance is at school but it takes a HUGE chunk of time out of her school day and we have to figure out where to fit in academics. And I have my job to worry about which is a whole other side of life and my getting tenure or not effects everyone's life and then that gets back to dance! What happens if we have to move! Where do we find a new school and how do we pay for it, yes we have been very spoiled with having all her ballet free during the school year, and who transports!


So even with a great dance year and school year for DD my mind runs in circles, mostly at 2 am, which all could account for the exhaustion.


So here we are wishing we could have all the thrills in life with a little less risk!

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To double the pain, I'm not only over-tired but am also having a lot of trouble sleeping, so wake up tired to start it all again the next day.


dd has her first real auditions this year, but we only get five days notice on the actual day and time (within a three day timeframe) so I'm not only stressing about how to cover the costs of travelling interstate, but also how to get leave at short notice. And then if she is accepted, we will have to move the family interstate in another year or so .... but that is only an if and is a long way away.


Sometimes it's sweet, sometimes I just wish I could slow it all down so I had time to catch up.


Such is life

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I feel more exhausted this year than last year. Last year was dd's first audition season and while we were constantly running, I was so excited about this new endevour, I didn't have time to get tired.

This year is a whole new story. I am wiped out! DD auditioned this year again for some top SI's and for some reason they were more stressful. Maybe because we knew what to expect and the barre was raised a bit more. After getting a great response to her auditions, she decided to stay home and work with her teachers here. One would think that would be less stressful. Not a chance. I loved my 4 weeks off last year. I will miss it terribly this year. :( Add onto the everyday driving, without a break, dd has decided to go back to regular school for her freshman year. (she has modified year round school so she starts 8/1) This adds a whole new dimension to the word...RUSH!! :wacko: She will have one hour to get from school to dance. It is a 40 minute drive...on a day without traffic. :blink:

I do have other children as well that would love to be able to see me occasionally. On top of all this...we have a daughter that is getting married in the fall. A big wedding with all the trimmings. Between dance and wedding preparations...I think I caught a glimpse of my husband the other day. It looks like he grew a mustache sometime recently, but I can't be sure. My grandchildren look like they have grown a foot and are ready for school. I could have sworn they were all under 3 just a while ago. :shrug:

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