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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Lack of interest or needed break? Losing focus?


have pointe shoes will travel

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knock knock... not a parent, but I vividly remember being 14. That was the year my grades slipped and the only thing I cared about was ballet. Nothing seemed to matter at all, really. I think a lot of it is hormonal... 14 is a difficult age and a lot of changes I didn't really understand were taking place inside of me. Things do get better and do even out, and (best of all) 14 year olds eventually become 15 year olds.

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Thank you to everyone who posted. This discussion is so applicable to my life right now. I can take something out of every post and apply it to my dd. Great advice given! I don't know if it will turn out to be a phase or a turning point where she ends ballet and begins another adventure. Time will tell. Just not sure how much time it should take to determine if it is just a phase. How do you know? How does a dancer know they don't want to dance any more? I think we're going to try taking some time off and then see how she feels about going back. I really like the post about giving them choices...letting them make decisions. That was an eye-opener for me, as I don't feel like I've been doing that.

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  • 6 months later...

Usually my daughter can't stand to be away from class for more than a few days but this break, I found her relieved to not have class. Even before break, there were a few snow days and she was so glad to not go. This is highly unusual for her. Have your 14 year old girls, usually very passionate about their dance and training go through a time when they have doubted what they are aiming for? Is it a direction change or just a season of needing a break? its so hard as the mom to know when to push a little and when to let it go.....

ccdancer

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Kids go in and out of burnout very quickly most times. You'll find students who just need the break, and then they snap out of it as soon as they've had enough rest. It's the reason we recommend the occasional two/three week time off, when no dancing is done. The soul needs it.

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My dd has been similar to yours in that she has missed being out of ballet over the break. This year I sensed that she was enjoying her time off. She came to me just 1 or 2 days ago and made the first comment that she needed to get back to ballet. She has been doing the NYCB video over the break (maybe every other day or so) to help maintain her flexibility. I think it is normal for teens to feel the need for time off as well as the need to get back to it. Their bodies are growing so much right now and mentally they are sorting so much out. I feel, even though the need is there to stay in shape for the audition season, that the break is the best thing for them. The video seems to have been a nice addition this year.

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thank you Mr. Johnson and ekeetaxi,

This has been such a hard 2 weeks with our DD. She did do her pilates 2 days and today said she hopes she is not too out of shape to go to a SI audition next weekend. So perhaps it is like you said, a needed break to rest her WHOLE self. Its making her dad and I crazy. The hardest thing is that this ballet world really shapes the whole family as i'm sure you know, so when she shifts, we all shift and then start wondering if she should really stick with it or not???

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ccdancer: You don't have enough posts for me to PM you or enough to get into the parent/teacher conference chat room. I know what you are going through and what your daughter is going through. My dd had a lot of issues this past year. She is also 14. My best advice is to give them their space but also to talk to them and find out if there is something bothering her or something she would like to talk about. So many changes happen at this age. The other thing to do is to LISTEN.

It may be nothing other than a much needed rest. Don't be in too much of a hurry to question her desire to dance.

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My DD needed this break badly. Other than spinning around the house she did not dance at all. She said she stretched but it always must have been when I was at work. She also did not sing, which is really a sign that she is wiped out.

But today was back to school (yes everyone else is on holiday but her district decided to start to today) and she was chatting about what she wanted to do for summer dance, theatre auditions she was willing to prepare for and how she would prepare, and ready to tackle her up coming dance boards. Prior to Christmas break she would not discuss anything beyond getting to the last Friday of school.

She wasn't unhappy before break, but she really didn't seem to be able to think about anything beyond finishing Nut, getting her homework made up, and getting the choir concert out of the way.

I guess we will find out later today if no dancing over the break was a mistake physically, but emotionally it seems to really have been needed.

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Redstorm: I am working on those 30 posts :shrug: Usually, I just read and take in what others have to offer, but when I saw the new forum, I am now making an effort to be a full member.

Thank you for your reply, it is so good to know someone is in the same boat, same age dancing daughter. It would be nice to PM when I am allowed and perhaps have some dialogue.

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Calamitous: My DD has been the same way, she actually said the week of Nutcracker that she wasn't all that excited about it!! that was a shock. I told her it was up to her if she enjoyed the performance or not and she decided to psych herself a little and was glad she did. We had classes in med-December cancelled because of snow and she said she was excited to stay home. I was excited for her stay home but that is highly unusual for her. I suppose thats when the whole thing started....So after we had a little melt down about whether she really wants to be a professional ballet dancer or not, her dad and I tried hard to not discuss it with her over the break. Only think is that some decisions had to be made about SI auditions and YAGP. So, like your daughter, today she just starts digging into audition info and actually talking to me about year round programs. Go figure. She is at class tonight, it will be really interesting as you say to see how she feels when she gets home. This is my first born, I am realizing that I need some how tos for teenage parenting (especially designed for a ballet dancer). They are a special breed!!!!! and I feel unequipped.

 

:shrug:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh wow,

My daughter is just shy of 14 and we have been going through so many of the same issues. It seems like if one area of her life is going well (dancing) then other areas (school) are not going well at all. It is so comforting to know that others out there are dealing with this too. I put it down to hormones, growing spurts and just learning to think more maturely. Thanks to all who have shared. Please keep doing so. :wink:

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Ok, you guys are starting to scare me. Dd turns 14 this year. I remember 14 and don't remember going through anything like what's been mentioned. Kids are different today though.

 

Dd is in a physical growth phase. Something is happening. She did a quadruple pirouette at school and in my kitchen (on flat, not pointe). Scared the heck out of me but was controlled. She's been doing triples since Jan 7th. She auditioned for the Rock and the man teaching pointed at her and said, "Triple". And she did her first triple. The power of suggestion must be very strong at this age or something.

 

I'm glad I read this thread so I know what may be coming up just ahead. From everything I've read, physical growth of puberty wreaks havoc with dancer's sense of balance and center and if this happens there is a physical issue to consider along with other possibilities. Dd is very social and I'm also not sure what effect the increasing ballet hours will have on her. So far she has friends at ballet that she enjoys as much as her friends at school. But what will happen if her friends drop out?

 

Oh I know, she'll get dressed and in the car much faster after class. :wink:

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Why don't you just relax - she's 14 - if she wants to dance, she'll dance. If puberty wrecks her balance she may have do doubles instead of quads........she'll survive and if you relax so will you.

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