Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Social life vs dance and interests changing


superchauffer

Recommended Posts

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart right now. DD is fine with being home schooled and dancing. She wouldn't have it any other way and loves her friends at dance - even socializes with them outside of dance. The problem is DS, who will be starting high school next year. I honestly don't think he has the same passion as DD, or want to have a career in dance, but who knows? He's only 13 and it is a priority in his life at this point in time. My dilemma is that I don't want him to miss out on a social life for something he may not pursue later. The local public school is not an option, and we have visited a very nice school I would love to send him to, but we would have to weigh the cost of that against ballet.....most likely it would be one or the other. I don't know what I'm really trying to say here. Has anyone else had a similar situation?

Link to comment

superchauffeur, you've posted a couple of times on the Young Dancers' forums - probably not realizing that parents and others who are not young dancers are not supposed to, so I've moved this into its own thread and merged one of your other recent posts about private lessons into an existing thread about privates. B)

 

You're not alone. This kind of thing has been discussed many times over the years. I'm sure you'll get some helpful responses. Two older threads you might find helpful to read through while you're waiting are: Career: Unsure re profession for daughter which even though it's about a "daughter" has some good unisex food for thought and Lack of Interest or needed break? Losing focus?

Link to comment

Hmmm. Well, we're not exactly the same situation, I have a sopho DD and a non dancing son. We homeschool and I know how that lifestyle can enhance and enable a high priority on dance (I can allow DD to coach variations until 10pm and then sleep IN the next day to catch up. I know that's not an option for kids who must meet the school but at 7am)

 

But, having said that, I think you are creating some false choices:

Homeschool and Ballet -- OR -- traditional school.

Traditional school and social life -- OR -- ballet.

 

Plenty of kids train hard in ballet, go to traditional school, and still have friends outside of either venue. (Church, neighborhood, etc.)

 

Maybe you are saying that the hours spent in the ballet studio preclude DS from making friends outside of dance. (How many boys are in your ballet program - if we had a boy at our studio, he'd be in the minority and would obviously have to look for male friendship elsewhere anyway.) I imagine it's likely that if he gives up ballet, enrolls in traditional school, then he will probably make male friends in school. But you could also keep ballet IN that equation, and allow him to ease out of ballet as other things start to take priority for him (IF they start to take priority for him.) Once enrolled at school he will like come up with MORE conflicts (sports try outs or NutC tryouts this Friday? Technique class or study tonight for tomorrow's Spanish test?) and IF/WHEN ballet starts losing out, then HE is making the decision to set ballet aside. But you don't know if that will happen, so let it take its natural course.

 

I'm rambling, not incoherently, I hope B)

Link to comment

Thanks Happy in Md. I know we need to just see how things play out. It's just my natural tendency to plan way ahead and give guidance, but we'll defintely let him decide. Unfortunately for us, it would be an "either or" situation financially - private school or ballet. I neglected to mention that ballet on the weekends is keeping him from Boy Scout activities and may delay his Eagle Scout project...but that's another story.

 

BW - thanks for the gentle reminder. Gosh darn it - I knew that already from years of lurking and still made the mistake! B)

Link to comment

superchauffer - I can't offer advice, only best wishes. We dealt with this situation this last year. We opted - with my DS' approval - to homeschool as he went into high school. It was the only way he could continue ballet because of the class schedules. (Our county's high schools get out later than others in the area and early release was not an option for two more years.) At most, he would've had two classes a week with a Saturday class and weekend rehearsals. We all went into the situation with our eyes open. Still, there have been many days that we've all, especially DS, wondered if it was the right decision. Was the sacrifice of a high school social life worth pursuing ballet? He's pondered this so much this year. The hardest time was around homecoming. Fortunately he's had other opportunities (dance related) and we always point out that if he had opted to go to public school, then those opportunities would not have been available. Regardless of which direction your family - and son - take, there's a good chance one or all of you will wonder if it was the right choice. Right now DS is happy and life is good. He feels his decision was correct. I know that there may very well be more moments of self doubt to come.

Link to comment

If the major decision is the financial one, I think that has to be your call. You, and not your son, have to decide where you want to invest your dollars -- presumably on the basis of what is in his future best interest, and not necessarily his current happiness (although certainly every family will have their own priorities).

 

If the decision has to do with time, then it's his decision. Would he rather spend his time in the studio, or with friends (or trying out for a new sport, or writing for the newspaper, etc, etc.)? This decision needn't be made ahead of time, but rather can wait until other opportunities come along.

Link to comment
Guest costumier

We've been through a similar thing with older DD this year. She was homeschooling, partly to make room for ballet, and decided she wanted to give high school a go this year. So she made the decision to drop everything other than ballet and school. This way she does still have time to read a book, or hang out with a friend, generally have a bit of a social life and what childhood is left. So far it's going well so we have our fingers crossed. The only problem is homework, we don't mind when it's something challenging but then there's the "making a pretty border" stuff ... :blushing:

 

If there's a financial question as well that makes it a lot harder. We found we spent a surprising amount homeschooling though with special classes etc, and dropping those things and other outside interests has freed up a lot of cash. Plus I can work more now of course.

 

So much depends on your own circumstances and parenting style, and the personality of your son, but we always wanted DD to feel whatever choices were made were her choices. (I've had a psychologist tell me that's all wrong, it's too much pressure for a young person etc etc and I'm a bad mother ... You can't win!) Good luck. :green:

Link to comment
The only problem is homework, we don't mind when it's something challenging but then there's the "making a pretty border" stuff ...  :grinning:

 

We've still got that here too, and my DD is (Just) 15!!! no-one is going to give them marks for that in their exams or in real life! I despair of schools, I really do! :pinch:

Link to comment

Fiz,

Although I do agree that there is plenty of busy work in school, I couldn't help being a bit of a devil's advocate. In real life presentation and marketing are sometimes exactly the things that work is "graded" on!

 

On another point, I had to go to a conference with my dd math teacher because of an interim grade report. In the course of our discussion the teacher found out how involved dd was in ballet. She said "she really needs 2 study halls". The school policy is only one study hall, at least published in the handbook. Come to find out for several students (ice skating, competitive equestrians) there had been exceptions. So it doesn't hurt and may definitely help to ask for exceptions to the "rules".

Link to comment

Oh gosh - TWO study halls, you are SO lucky! DD is tracked in the honors track at school, and those kids aren't allowed even ONE study hall. So she carries a full academic load, dances 3 plus hours a day and all day Sat., and has a one hour commute to dance each day. Let me tell you - I wouldn't wish this life on ANYONE! For her, it's worth it. She loves her school friends and the chance to see people outside of ballet during the day. We really had to stand back and let her make the decision - homeschool, boarding school, or this crazy life. She re-checks her decision each year, but has stuck with the public school and honors track so far (she's a junior this year). Be aware that, even with public schools, it doesn't necessarily have to be either/or. If the academics at the public school are not so good, you can always ask the school to permit an independent study course in a certain subject - and purchase that from an online or homeschool course. My non-dancer takes Algebra, Spanish and Science this way. It took a lot of arguing, but the school finally saw things my way!

Link to comment
But, having said that, I think you are creating some false choices:

Homeschool and Ballet -- OR -- traditional school.

Traditional school and social life -- OR -- ballet.

 

Plenty of kids train hard in ballet, go to traditional school, and still have friends outside of either venue. (Church, neighborhood, etc.)

 

I have to agree that it doesn't neccessarily have to be an "either/or" situation with ballet, school, and other interests -- though it's not easy and it entails a balancing act or two. My dd is a freshman in H.S. this year and it's a whole new ballgame in balancing a 5-day/week ballet schedule with classes, homework, school activities and friendships at ballet, high school, and her previous school.

 

But, here are a few things that has made it somewhat easier on my dd as she adjusts to rebalancing her life with her new school, ballet, friends, etc.:

 

* P.E. and fine arts is required for all freshmen at her school. But she was able to take Dance for her P.E., which happens to also fulfill her fine arts requirement. This allowed her one free period about 3 days per week (they have block scheduling), which she uses to do some of her homework or study for tests. This free period is a lifesaver that allows her some breathing room to manage her schoolwork with ballet classes afterschool.

 

* She has limited time at school to participate in extracurricular activities. But, she is a photographer on the yearbook staff, which mostly requires her to take photos during school hours. This is her only extracurricular activity, but it is something she likes to do and it has helped her to meet new friends at school, outside of her classes.

 

* When she has a heavy night of homework and/or tests to study for, she does skip ballet that day. So far, this has only happened 2 or 3 times. It would be insane to expect her to come home from ballet at about 7:30pm, eat dinner and still have 4+ hours of schoolwork to do.

 

* Weekends are when she spends time with her friends by getting together to go to the movies, sleeping over, etc. During the week she seems to keep in touch thru phone calls, instant messaging and email. In this area I try to bend over backwards and do the driving if needed, in order to make sure she can get together with her friends if transportation is a problem.

 

From time to time, some things do have to "give" and shift in priority, but we try to make sure her education consistently takes first priority. And we take each day at a time with an open mind, as my husband and I expect things will continue to shift and change in her life.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...