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Grrrrrr!!! Negative comments ...


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It really is amazing to me how ignorant people are about the ballet world.  When I tell people that dd is dancing professionally, they say things like, "So, she's just doing this for fun, right?  When will she stop and go to college?" or "So, does she go to school during the day and then dance at night?" or "So, does she actually get paid to do that?" and the list goes on.  It's as if a career in dance is fluff, not a worthwhile profession and not worthy of a salary. 

knock knock

Oh, it's the mom, I have friends with a daughter just finishing college who would be _delighted_ if she were employed in a field for which she has a passion.


How about

"well, it's true that a dancer's career doesn't last forever, but I / we think she is so lucky to be able to work in a field that she loves so much. After all, how many people are able to do that?"

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Mel Johnson

A word about "cobblers" as a retort. It is always plural, for like "nuts" it has a curiously anatomical alternative meaning. But think about it, how many shoe repair shops do you see anymore? And how many shoemakers who do custom work? We have an independent artisan, Danielle DeVor, right here at Ballet Talk for Dancers. Supply and demand makes shoe trades a niche market and CAN be highly remunerative. It's a lot different from the days when John Trumbull would ask his art students if they'd ever considered shoemaking as a line of work!

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its the mom

Good reply, Koshka. I have the added challenge of saying that my ds really wants this a career. Oh boy, you should see the looks I get at that.

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As with many of you, our experience with those that "don't get it" is quite extensive. We were lucky that a good friend involved deeply in the business of ballet gave us a "heads-up." early on. She told us at that time that our friends would never understand and that our families would be appalled at our choices at times. I believed her, but I still can't understand how it can get worse and worse each year. (But it does, ESPECIALLY with the family, both immediate and extended).


All I can encourage you to do is to hang in there, and be proud of your daughter and her choices and accomplishments. This path is so much easier for her if her parents are supportive when others around are not.

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My mother was one of those who were appalled by the amount of time dd spent at the studio and furious that we would take her out of "regular" school to do independant study so she could get to her dance on time and train a bit longer. She thought we were nuts to spend that kind of money on training and "what were you thinking" when it came to sending her off to her first SI at 12.

Now....my mother cries when she sees her granddaughter dance, brags about her accomplishments, has her dance pictures all over the house, was upset when we decided not to send her to an SI this year and was thrilled to hear she is going to one now. Is debating if dd should attend "regular" school because of the pressure school and homework will have on her with her dance schedule and is actually for her going away to train in a couple of years away from home to help her become a professional dancer! :wink::thumbsup:

So, don't be so quick to judge those who don't agree. Give them time. You can lead a horse to water....and sometimes they might just take a drink. :wink::sweating:

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koshka, I think you've hit on it:

"Well, it's true that a dancer's career doesn't last forever, but I / we think she is so lucky to be able to work in a field that she loves so much. After all, how many people are able to do that?"


I think anyone who is able to work in a field they love has found one of the greatest rewards in life. :wink:

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its the mom

It's not family we have trouble with, for they accepted the whole thing once they saw dks dancing. We have been very fortunate to have family members that are very supportive. It's just the general public and yes, even some long-time friends. I realize that not everyone is exposed to the ballet world, but I can't imagine saying to someone whose child was pursuing something he/she loved, "Well, when will he/she get a real job?" I don't even want to start the conversation on what they've said about my son dancing. We've had plenty of threads on that issue. The good thing is that all of that is erased when I see my kids dance. The joy on their faces alone makes it all worthwhile.

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I happen to be one who does believe in the adage of "not putting all of one's eggs in one basket"; however, life is long, we follow a direction and if and when we need to, we go in a new direction. I don't find anyone outside of our ballet world, including family, who understands the necessary committment, the field, the possibilities, the limitations... really none of it. I discuss DDs ballet with very few people. They know we have practice, or maybe that a performance is coming up. We invite teachers and best friends. But because I really don't ever feel like defending our family's descions, I try not to put myself in the situation of needing to.

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Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. To address a few comments:


Dd attends a Steiner school which has a philosophy of nurturing the individual and encouraging creativity - so the response of her teacher has been unexpected and contrary to what I may have expected;


Members of my family have had careers in the arts or have been very much involved in them as amateurs - I am lucky to have family who are reasonably accepting of careers in the arts;


Dd generally uses the "whatever" approach accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders, but she was offended by comments made by her music teacher on more than one occasion. Dd's comments to me on this were "how would she feel if I told her to stop playing music when that's what she loves?"


Dd's (dd is the baby of four girls 18, 20. 24) older sister (age 20) declared at eight that she was going to be a human rights lawyer - she is now studying law and works in foreign refugee camps in her breaks - we NEVER had to deal with negative remarks regarding her choices (and she was never asked what Option B was!)


it seems like from this thread and the other one you just started that you're maybe at that point where the ballet world is "a little too much with you." You're looking for validation in all the wrong places -- it can only come from within you.


Current circumstances dictate that I am more heavily involved with dd's ballet at the moment than would be usual. This is her first year as a vocational student and her approach is changing - while she loves it and has fun, she has also become far more serious and determined about setting goals and making improvements. Dd is coming to me several times a day, wanting to show me new steps or how she has improved in something or simply wanting to talk about ballet. She no longer walks from one room to another at home, but pirouettes or throws up a quick arabesque as she walks through a doorway - she is never still!!


She has just been in her first competition (see thread on competition!), is soon attending her first masterclass and will be also attending her first audition in early June. Rehearsals have just begun for the annual production ( I am assisting in making costumes) and classes have stepped up another gear.


I don't think I am seeking validation - dd is asking me to become involved in her world by being interested and supportive and I am trying to understand her world to the best of my ability.

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knock knock--


I just have to add a thank you for seeing what your daughter wants to be and believing in it. :D:unsure::thumbsup:

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I think this is again a testament to the fact that even those of us who support the arts do not ask ourselves the hard questions: Is art necessary to human beings?

Can we survive without it?


The short answer to both is:Yes.


Yes, we can survive without art. We do not need art to clothe us, give us air to breathe, or shelter us. However, art is necessary to us as human beings. Would we have the technological and humanistic advances we have to this day without it? NO. The following is an excerpt of a letter I wrote to various government officials. This is something I am passionate about:


The arts, in all forms, are crucial to humanity, for the need to create, is uniquely human. Art is thus what civilizes and inspires us. There is no separation of a technologically advanced peoples and a thriving support of the arts.


One has only to look to the past to see that the need to create does more

to advance a population than anything else. Albert Einstein took violin lessons. The eccentric genius, Leonardo Da Vinci, had the good fortune to be raised in the city of Vinci, Italy; long a painter's haven. Is it an accident that Leonardo created on paper flying machines that except for want of proper materials would have meant human flight in the latter 1400's?


Usage of the arts in educational settings has been proven to increase

learning capabilities in all children. I am certain that all major advancements in humanity can be traced back to the arts.


The arts serve a dual purpose- that of both the culmination of

inspiration, and the inspiration itself.


I'd like to take a moment to dispel the myth that one who isn't wealthy is underachieving or unintelligent. The value of jobs that are not typically high-wage is immeasurable. If they weren't, we'd all be millionaires living amongst our own trash. :D


So to all those naysayers, I just smile and shake my head slowly...there's no point in trying to open a mind that chooses to remain shut. Feel sorry for them, and help your beautiful dancers to do whatever they most want to in their heart of hearts. Living well is the best revenge!


Clara 76

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Mrs. Stahlbaum

I know that a career in the arts is difficult, but I also know so many people whose children excelled in high school and then burned-out out in college. Or finally got that expensive degree at the exclusive college and decided to be a paramedic or ski instructor after all. Nothing is a sure thing. And I think it's the amount of hard work and money that goes into any career choice that makes people scared and so they lash out at anything that looks more vulnerable than their choice. There is no guarantee, no matter what path you choose, that you will get the career you wanted, or that it will make you happy.


And what if nobody pursued the arts?. What would a world be without any dancing, music, paintings, films, literature, etc.? What if nobody took a risk? Then we would be without all the scientific discoveries and the inventions that make the world a better place. Here's to all the people who are willing to take a risk, and venture out into the unknown.

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Mel Johnson

In the late 19th century, social philosophers had pretty much settled on the Big 3 of Basic Vital Needs for human survival -- food, shelter, clothing. One of them, however, in the early 20th century, supplemented this list with "Basic Nonvital Needs". It was quite a list and included "cutaneous stimulation"! People shake hands and kiss and hug because they NEED human touch. Hands and lips have lots of nerve endings in them, and hugs stimulate a lot of nerve endings just by encompassing a lot of area. (Can you imagine what would happen if there were lots of nerve endings in the elbows? It would ALWAYS be rush hour on the subway or the crosstown bus!) Anyhoo, one of these Basic Nonvital Needs is communication. That artists choose to communicate in their "languages" is hardly surprising. Don't you think that discriminating against communication in a different language is somehow ethically wrong? If one does not satisfy the BNVN in some way, one will not stop living, but may demonstrate depression, anxiety, or other psychosocial infirmities.

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