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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How are your residency programs going?


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  • 1 month later...

Thanks-Giving is almost here and I am realizing how thankful I am for the opportunity my daughter has been given to attend her residency program............DD is ten weeks into her residency, and I must say we couldn't be more pleased! I don't think there is a single thing about her program that she doesn't like. ( well maybe fish for dinner!) Dance is going very well and other then a minor setback with a knee the forth week she says she is stronger then ever. It has forced her to really concentrate on correct positions and correct those that may have been off. PT is on site and the staff is very knowledgeable and informed us of progress regularly. DD dad and I are excited to see the Dec. performance.

Academics could not be better. How can you go wrong with a class of 13 ninth graders and teachers with such wonderful backgrounds. I thought by now I would hear some complaints about this and that or this friend or that but...........not a one. I am especially thankful for the friends she has made from so many different places and for one friend and her mom especially who has insisted on taking DD laundry home to wash for her almost every weekend!!! The biggest change I notice however, is the spirit, fun, laughter, and confidence back in DD voice. It had gone missing for the last couple of years at her studio back home. We are excited to see her next week. 10 1/2 weeks is a long time and yet it has gone so fast. I'll keep you updated!

 

I hope others out there will update us on your DK as well.

Edited by Happy
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Daughter is in her second year at SAB, the first as an actual "resident". She states that her life could not be better. She is continuously grateful to be attending this school, and considers the training and the general atmosphere to be professional, caring, exacting and individualized in ways she had not experienced before.

As a parent, I am confident that the excellent student life staff has everything under control.

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Happy,

 

Thoroughly enjoyed your post above. It is reminiscent of my DD's years there. Nice to know things are as good or better than ever. When you are able, please send me a PM and let me know what your DD is performing this winter.

 

Regards and best to your DD...Doug.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank-you Doug.

I am a few posts short to PM you, so I will relay to you that DD will perform the Rose Waltz at the winter performance. We enjoyed a quick five days with DD's return home. She was excited to get back to work however, calling to let us know she had arrived safely, and was happy to be "home". We will fly out to see the performance in two weeks. I'll update then.

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My DD is also having a good year thus far at her residency. Academics are more intense (junior year of high school), but going well. She made headmaster's list with honors! Ballet is going great too - a solo and a duet at the winter show. Very exciting for her! And, with one year under her belt, so to speak, a lot less homesickness. Plus, she's much better at handling the "drama" that can arise when in residency. Hopefully the year will continue as well as it has thus far. Dad and sis are looking foreward to visiting, seeing the show, and bringing DD home for Christmas! One thing is for certain - DD has become very independent, and grown up. :wub: I'm soooooo proud of her! B)

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Hey moms, I've got a question for all of you, how did you adjust to your dancer moving away from home. Our daughter (sophmore, just turned 16) is moving in 4 weeks to a new ballet school (School of Ballet Chicago). It does not have any boarding available, just host families, but she/we are extremely fortunate that her grandparents live there and are willing, able and very excited that she will be living with them. She will even be attending my old high school and the high school is allowing her a shortened schedule in order to get to her ballet classes which begin at 2:15, and a P.E. waiver (something we could never get from our own school district).

 

My daughter is so focused and passionate about ballet and this school that I know it's the right decision to let her go. But I find myself getting teary eyed everytime I envision the goodbye at the airport. When she leaves for her summer SI's I don't bat an eyelash, in fact I look forward to the extra freedom I'll have for those 5-8 weeks. The rational side of my brain tells me and knows that she will be home for holidays, parts of the summer, etc. but it also tells me that things will never be the same. All of this is compounded by the fact that her older sister is graduating high school in June and then leaving for college in the fall. I had two children 15 months apart and now I've got two that will both be out of the house a major portion of the year within months of each other.

 

I know in my heart this is a very positive move for her (dance-wise) and we thought looooong and hard about it (which is why she did not move at the start of the school term in September). It's one thing for her to feel that I'm sad she won't be around full-time but I really don't want to damper her spirits by becoming a blathering idiot over it.

 

So any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

(If I were to add one of the clickable smilies here, quite frankly I couldn't choose a particular one, in fact I'd have to add all of them to adequately express my range of emotions right now.)

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Pal,

 

I am in the midst of the experience you describe, with both of my kids leaving at once--one for college, one for a residency program. I was in a little bit of a panic at facing the loss, but it has been fine, really. The biggest factor is that BOTH children are where they belong, and happy. They have adjusted well, and are very grateful to be where they are. No looking back. So the worry factor is over. Big relief. Actually, big relief for them as well. My daughter and I have long heart-to-heart conversations, so I feel like she is very present. My son (the dancer) is less verbal, and harder to reach by phone, because of his busy schedule and very social nature. Since so much of our relationship is "in the moment," and since he is only 15, I do miss his presence. But we have made a decision to see him monthly, and that seems to work well. The gratitude he expresses, the happiness he feels balances some of the loss here. In fact, I don't really feel like I've lost my kids--they feel very present in our lives. So the separation you expect may not be as hard as you think. Of course, every family is different, and your experience will undoubtedly be unique. I just wanted to let you know that things are fine here, it feels like a gradual transition, I still feel like I am an active parent in my dancer's life, and all is well. And I hope it will be well for you. Instead of empty nest syndrome, I have now have milk in the frige and gas in the car!

 

I have no "bad" or "ugly" things to report, but an additonal "good" thing about his residency is the music course offered in my son's program. I thought it would be just music appreciation or maybe theory, but they also have piano and voice lessons. I was surprised to hear my son playing a "new" piece on the piano over the holiday!

 

The other really positive thing he experienced was an immediate response to an injury. Saw a PT the same day, got the problem resolved with a specific excercise, and since there was some residual pain, was referred to and seen almost immediately by an othopod. Instantaneous attention and treatment meant rapid healing and back to dance! This was a huge relief to me after some previous experiences with delays in treatment and long recovery times. The RA's are responsive and available all the time. I could go on, but just letting you know again, from a parent's view, as well as from the dancer's view, all is well!

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Hi,

This is a really tough subject to talk about.

On the one hand I'm thrilled for my daughter as she has never been happier in her life and the dance opportunity she is being afforded is incredible.

But it is hard for me.

She is my only daughter, I do have two younger children (sons) at home which helps.

I miss her and know she won't ever live at home again.

Our relationship is better, deeper, closer and more wonderful than I think it would be if she still lived at home.

She left at age 15 and we traveled to stay with her constantly.

Now at 16 she is half way across the country and I see her every 6-7 weeks.

Its actually better because it gives her time to sink into her life without seeing her family all the time.

Easier because she doesn't get homesick now.

The situation also has a lot of other dancers living in the immediate area, so her social life is rich - which really helps negate home sick feeling.

We talk everyday, sometimes for an hour or two, sometimes for five minutes.

I feel that I am strong and unwavering with my support of this life for her because I know it is right for her.

I have received great joy witnessing her growth as a dancer, sharing her joy and triumphs. I know that without my support along with her Dad --- none of this would be possible for her. For this I feel good. Thankful that I can provide the strong, solid platform for her to jump from into this very independent, tough life of an aspiring ballerina. I think of her every minute of every day, wait for her calls with great anticipation and continue to have the strength, love and understanding to be her rock of a mother.

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Dear pal,

 

Our DD went to residency school this year at age 15. She turned 16 within a month of moving to residency. That was the hardest part---that special Sweet Sixteen and her first birthday away from home. We both cried a little and she asked to come home for a visit. So we brought her home for a weekend. Any doubt I may have had about our decision to let her go away were erased with that visit.

 

We had not seen our DD so happy since she was a little girl! She chattered non-stop about her friends, her life, her dreams, and her dancing. Everything was soooo much better, she told us. "Mom, my dancing is just happier there!" She does still get homesick occassionally, and I do miss her alot. However, she calls almost every night, often text-messages quick notes between academic school and dance classes, and I feel very connected to her.

 

I miss very much getting to see her dance and to watch as she grows in her dance. I have only seen two classes since she started residency--one at residency and one at home. This weekend we will get to see her first performance with the residency. She is so excited, so nervous, so stressed-----and so very, very happy!

 

She came home over Thanksgiving, got her drivers license, and took off visiting hometown dance and school friends. I missed her as much when she was home as when she was at residency. But her stories are great fun.

 

It does make us sad to think that she really will never live "at home" with us. That came much earlier than we ever expected. But, I would not change that decision for the world. She simply is too happy. Years ago I told her that if she wanted to dance professionally, then she needed a plan. She needed to figure out where she wanted to end up and then figure out how she was going to get there. This is part of her plan. She tells me that as a result of being at the residency that she really can believe that she can get "there". "It is so much more 'real' here, Mom. It really does seem possible to get there from here."

 

So, all in all, I don't feel disconnected from her. Her room at home is clean; there is MUCH less difficulty in making our schedules for extra-curricular activities now that just one kiddo has to be some place; there are much fewer arguments about, well, pretty much anything.

 

I'm sure you and your DD will weather it all just fine!

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Vision & Happyfeet,

 

Thank you so much for words of support, everything you stated is what is going through my head right now. I know that I will "get through it" because I have to. Dance is her passion and what makes her feel happy and fulfilled. Now we have yet to face the music of relatives and family friends who we haven't broken the news to yet. They will be agast at hearing she is moving away from home ... and truly won't understand. Sure they all know that ballet is her "thing" but have no clue as to what is involved in the training process, etc. I'm not looking forward to the reaction from my mother-in-law, egads!!!!

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Dancemaven - we must have been posting at the same time. Thank you for the words of support. Part of my angst is that I'm surprised at my sudden anxious reaction to her leaving. The option of a residency situation was always on the table, her father and I let her know we would support such a decision if it seemed to be right thing to do. I was very cool, calm and collected about it all. (As my daughter thinks I am right now). However now that the time as come and she is really and truly leaving I've caught myself off guard with my "oh my God, she's leaving what will I do!" reaction.

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The only way I get through is knowing this is a year by year decision- I cannot accept the fact that she may not be living at home ever again. She is in a different situation from a residency school- one that we can make decisions about on a yearly basis. Many times I am struck by her maturity and ability to solve problems. Other times, I feel helpless- when she sprained her foot after 2 weeks- or the internet isn't working at her host house (and my husband computer geek is not there to fix!). We are very close, and fortunately a relatively cheap plane ride away. Even so, though, her dance schedule does not allow for weekends at home, and her 16th birthday was celebrated away. Your daughter is lucky to be living with grandparents, and I'm sure all will treasure the time together.

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I can really relate to everything said here. My daughter had just turned 15 when she moved for training in August. I was very sad, as the decision to let her go was hard. As with the other dancers, I have a daughter who thinks she is the luckiest girl in the world and she just glows. (Wish I could bottle that kind of happiness, I would make a fortune!) Family and friends who were skeptical at first have come around.

 

I do talk with her 3 times a day which really keeps us connected. The couple of times I have seen her have been tough but I don't cry until after she leaves. It is tough on her at times too because she has gotten homesick, but she is determined to pursue her passion and there is no stopping a kid with a passion as we all know! I'm just happy that she is in good ballet hands.

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