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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Leaving for residency

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Yes, tsavoie, I am really going to miss them! And that has been the issue--that the parallels are really more about my feelings than about what is happening for them. Duh! Whenever I get that overwhelmed feeling, it usually means something in my own emotional world is overshadowing the problem I am having trouble with. So everyone here has helped me understand, or re-discover that, as well as to address what is best for each of my kids--what to look out for in their emotional worlds! I am enormously grateful to you all.



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  • 2 months later...
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Thanks BW, good timing. My oldest daughter graduated college and is moving away for her teaching job and my youngest DD was invited to stay at a residency program. DD is still in HS and we are possibly heading into the empty nest sooner than we thought. The craziness of the older daughter moving into her first grown up apartment (not college apartment) with real furniture a moving van and the maxed out charge card was enough to handle at one time. Now DD may move too. I just take one day at a time.

I think maybe I'll skip the hoopla partys for now. With all the milestones this year in our family the party would go on for days.

Husband was 50 in March, our 25th anniversary in June, Daughter #1 college graduation in May, My 50th Birthday in October and the one year anniversary of my changing careers and opening a dance store, and DD going into a residency.

I have learned to never ask, what next! :unsure:

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Wow, what an eventful year, JRB! Good luck to both of your daughters and to you and your husband as you make these transitions. :unsure:

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Good luck! I've been at a residency program for the past three years and will be returning at the end of August for my fourth and final year (eek!). Tell you dd congratulations! If you need any advice, I'm open to any questions. :wink:

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Guest Sparklefish
. . . that has been the issue--that the parallels are really more about my feelings than about what is happening for them.  Duh!  Whenever I get that overwhelmed feeling, it usually means something in my own emotional world is overshadowing the problem I am having trouble with.  So everyone here has helped me understand, or re-discover that, as well as to address what is best for each of my kids--what to look out for in their emotional worlds!  I am enormously grateful to you all.





What a wonderful way to describe how you were/are feeling! It certainly puts into words accurately how I feel from time to time about sending my dd off! For the most part I'm outwardly very "stable" in this transition (totally amazing to me) and even inwardly I'm "okay" most of the time, but I have had some "great" moments when those emotions erupt from . . . well, I just don't even know where they come from sometimes.


So, we're standing in line at Best Buy ready to buy the laptop and all has been well and when I hand the clerk the credit card, I get major angst and dd if she really wants to spend that much money on a laptop (dd was paying me back with graduation money). I didn't realize it until a little later but it wasn't about the money at all, it was the moment in time when it became a real reality to me that dd was leaving to go far away and with busy schedules and different time zones, most of our communication would probably be through this laptop!


This episode completely perplexed my dd - the laptop was one of those essentials we'd talked about and she was paying for it herself. Later that night, when I'd figured out how I was really feeling, I told her that it was perfectly normal for moms to have these "anxiety attacks," that I would try to contain them but couldn't make any promises that it wouldn't happen again (it probably would), and that she shouldn't let it hinder her from taking care of her business - I told her I just need to go the process of learning to cope with this new life transition.


An exciting and difficult time. Heavy sigh!

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What a perfect description of this process! Your example will help us all remember the impact of this separation on us parents. :( And recognizing this, we can help our kids understand as well. :) While our dancers may be ready to go off and learn, and perhaps even separate from us physically, at 14, 15, or 16(!!!), it is a separation forced by necessity rather than following the more traditional post high-school time frame. And that time frame is hard enough! These kids are a huge part of our world, and while we want them to grow up and away, it can sure cause some inner chaos!

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Just to warn you, the emotional upheaval seems to get worse after the first one goes. I remember standing in line to check in daughter number 2 for the SAB year round program with tears running down my face and trying not to sob too loudly. A friend was checking her daughter in also. She came back to me and said that she was surprised that I was so upset since I had done this before ( for 4years with daughter number one). I said, it was because I knew what it was going to be like to miss her so much. I hated to be starting on that path again with her so young. It wasn't fair that my girls had to leave home so young to follow their dreams but it was the right path for them. Just very painful to me. Funny thing, I think that I was even more upset when they got their professional jobs. I knew while they were at SAB that HOME was my home. Once they got their jobs HOME to them would be their apartments not my house. Just a crazy thought to drive a mom crazy, but one that haunted me. I survived though and moved daugther number 3 across the country from me last fall to her new ballet company. Now an empty nester--almost too much to bear. Good thing that daughter number one has provided me with my first grandchild to keep me occupied. This ballet thing is tough for sappy moms.

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Guest Sparklefish

I must admit although in my mind I thought I was ready for this day to come (I think you prepare for them to leave from the time you hold them in your hands when they are first born wondering what they will be like, where they will be, etc when they are ready to leave you) - although in my mind I knew I would be sad and all those feeling, I was totally, totally unprepared for the reality - and I haven't even sent her off yet.


So thank you for sharing your warnings, stories and any suggestions on how to cope.


Know the thing that I really I love about this forum - besides all the great advice, support and insights - you can sit and read posts that are very near and dear to your heart and sob right along with everyone else reading them too - all the genuine sharing of their heart, lives and souls - and you know that people really understand, and there are people all over the world experiencing and feeling what you are - people like you and me, who did more than survive (if even just surviving for awhile and that was okay too!) - it really, really helps!!

Edited by Sparklefish
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Thank you to those who have so openly shared their experiences and emotions. It has helped me to see that I am not the only one going through such angst. I was thinking that maybe I was becoming unstable.


DD is so ready to leave for a residency program. She was accepted into NCSA but her dad and I decided against it. It was just not a good fit for us. Even though we explained everything to her and she seemed to go along with it (what other choice did she have), she hid her angry, disappointed feeling inside. Being a teenager and not fully understanding the emotions within, they definitely came out through bursts of anger and sadness.


Now she is at NBS waiting to hear their decision and I find myself actually hoping that she gets in. She wants to stay so badly she has become quite anxious. I used to wonder, "How can people bear to let their children go so young?" Now I know. There comes a time when you just know that you have to let them go and do this, even though you know you're going to be miserable without them.

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  • 1 month later...

This is just a little postscript....


Both of my children are safely and happily in residence, having a blast, REALLY enjoying their new life experiences. And my predominant feeling is relief!!! And happiness! That they are where they should be! And still communicating with me, maybe not as much as I would like, but.....


And the real surprise to me is that I am not really a slob, that my house is getting organized and clean; all those years of home chaos were really because my priorities were the kids, not because I was simply unable to manage my home. (I know that there are plenty of people who have these same priorities yet are still able to maintain a neat and tidy home, but I wasn't. :wacko: )


Anyway, I wanted to give other parents a ray of hope, that the dark days of loss may not be as dark as you fear. To hear about the excitement and growth that both of my children are finding as they have "moved on" has been intensely satisfying to me. Of course there are moments when I feel we have lost a life phase forever, and get struck by a nostalgic memory; I have to remind myself that they are still here, that we still are close, and will see each other soon. Somehow I think I imagined a huge black hole.....

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So glad to heard this, and DS found a good program. My son is doing his last year in High School, geting ready for college, and my dd still doing after school ballet programs, but who knows what the future holds. I was thinking of those toddler years the other day, and feeling I miss them. But good to know it feels good to see them off, and happy.

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Guest Sparklefish

Good timing, Vision!

I leave tomorrow to take dd out to East Coast and it's good to know there is not a black whole - I suspected that was a misconception, even have had some tidbits to the contrary in my life these days (dd and sister are rarely home, but do still live here) - bottom line. I will probably re-read your passage several times when I get home!

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Computers are wonderful things to have when the kids leave home. I IM with both my boys that are gone and feel like I still am a little bit a part of their lives....but still miss them the first couple of days.

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:unsure: Well, dropped DS (15) off today at new school, not a residence this year, but a billet family (she is a former grad of the ballet school). Sigh - every year I think this is going to get easier, but somehow it doesn't seem to at first, although he is now only a 2.5 hr drive away :D . He just called me - he's out of sorts and I think misses the chaos of residence...I'm feeling a bit blue too, but it's nice to know that I'm not alone here on BT!
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