Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

What's the rush?


swanchat

Recommended Posts

mylildancer

You know what's wrong with child prodigies? The word "child". Once the child gets older, noone's impressed anymore. Can you imagine how that child feels when the only thing wrong that he/she did was grow up? :D

Link to post
  • Replies 98
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • swanchat

    19

  • Redstorm

    5

  • gogators

    5

  • mouse

    5

But saying no is the hard part and IMHO that magic word is not used enough by this generation of parents and not just those in the ballet world but that is a whole other off topic thread!
:D As someone who teaches parenting classes as well as class management for teachers, I can sure attest to the truth of that statement. Firm, yet kind, parenting is definitely not exactly popular these days. Parents go for the kind part, but kindness without firmness is spoiling. Let kids take their knocks a little! Let things not be perfect for them! They will be so much better off if they have to tough out some issues on their own instead of parents rescuing them. In the ballet studio, so many parents try to "rescue" their kids from disappointment by going to the teacher if the child hasn't moved up a level or gotten an expected or desired role. I'm always amazed when I see that happen. In most cases, it's the worst thing, long-term, we can do for our kids.

 

You know what's wrong with child prodigies? The word "child". Once the child gets older, noone's impressed anymore. Can you imagine how that child feels when the only thing wrong that he/she did was grow up
. Mylildancer, I love these sentences. :D How very true.
Link to post

Pink Tights,

 

It's the Youth America Grand Prix. It is an annual international ballet competition. Site is www.yagp.org. Any discussion of its benefits and pitfalls can be found on a search through ballet talk.

Link to post

Vagansmom,

 

I have seen the parents upset and trying to strong-arm their DKs kids up the level ladder and into the choice roles. I think it not only keeps the kids from learning on their own but it says in a very clear way that the parent doesn't trust the child to handle life and its dissappointments. The hardest thing to do is to watch your child fail or be dissapointed. I have watched the process of failure and "picking yourself up from the bootstraps -subsitute pointeshoes-" be one of the most educational and self-affirming processes that exists. I have seen the child who was "helped up" the level by the parent languish while the dancer who was left behind and told to keep working fights their way up and blows right by the one who did not do it on their own. Not only is it a lesson for ballet but it gets back to raising dancers with character, confidence and resiliency.

Link to post
In the ballet studio, so many parents try to "rescue" their kids from disappointment by going to the teacher if the child hasn't moved up a level or gotten an expected or desired role. I'm always amazed when I see that happen. In most cases, it's the worst thing, long-term, we can do for our kids.

 

There's a term for this parent behavior -- "Helicopter parents"

 

Swap out ballet for almost any other afterschool interest/hobby, and you'll see them everywhere. In my son's basketball and soccer leagues, it's just as bad as ballet, and some of the dads that my husband and I have observed in these two sports are just as guilty. :ermm:

 

I was curious and "Googled" this term and apparently there are loads of discussions & articles on this phenomenon, one of which even made an entry in Wikipedia:

 

Wikipedia entry

 

However, it's my belief (and hope) that these helicopter parents are in the minority.

Link to post
There's a term for this parent behavior -- "Helicopter parents"

 

That's a new term for me. I love it! I'll bet if you listen close enough, you can even hear the characteristic whirring noise! :ermm:

Link to post
The hardest thing to do is to watch your child fail or be dissapointed. I have watched the process of failure and "picking yourself up from the bootstraps -subsitute pointeshoes-" be one of the most educational and self-affirming processes that exists. I have seen the child who was "helped up" the level by the parent languish while the dancer who was left behind and told to keep working fights their way up and blows right by the one who did not do it on their own. Not only is it a lesson for ballet but it gets back to raising dancers with character, confidence and resiliency.

 

Brava! I have also seen that the ones who are "helped up" are the least resilient -- and, the most whiney. They are the ones who complain when they don't get the parts, and call the casting decisions "favoritism".

Link to post

Hi!

My child has been dancing for years and spent the past six in a residency school--graduating this May. I, however, am quite new to ballet. I know just next to nothing, which is actually an improvement. I knew nothing before. The first thing I learned was to stay out of the studio. Then I learned to stay out of the parking lot. Now I'm not even in the same state. I know the term "piroette". I haven't learned to spell it.

 

For years I thought ballet was "just a phase". I didn't have a prodigy. I was told by proud parents just which students were prodigies, which were headed to professional companies, headed to competitions, having choreography set, etc. It was very, very hard. I shed many, many tears. All parenting was done over the telephone. Pressure is enormous, for both dancer and parent. Worry has been a daily feeling, has been for years.

 

Earlier, though, I thought all this was going to pass. I figured there was going to be a day when a career as a veternarian or a plastic surgeon or an astronaut was going to bring him back home. I held my breathe. I cried every time I heard the comment "potential". For three years we heard only, "maybe...there's potential". We heard this once a year. There was hardly ever a second sentence. Waiting and persistance is very, very difficult.

 

It has paid off. Slowly, ever so slowly, the "dancing" field leveled. (Took years) Potential gave way to promise. Promise unfolded into potential again, but potential for a serious, professional career. Sixteen years of age was last year, not next year! There was never a plan to "go pro" that early. I've never seen any of the students at my child's school start working at that age, though one or two finished a senior year by correspondence. I've seen "burn out" though.

 

There is time. There is no rush, providing the effort is consistent and serious at every step along the way. Much of the worry comes because the efforts to succeed required patience. Patience is often impossible without worry. It takes incredible patience to endure long periods of time with little valuable feedback. Worry, even panic at times, seems to come with the territory.

 

I wish I'd found this site earlier. It has dissolved some of the feelings of isolation. The journey is a long one. Posts here help.

mouse

Mouse

Link to post

Mouse,

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your post provides insight and wisdom. It looks like you know exactly what is important about ballet and more importantly about life! Your experience sounds like the one we are only beginning. I am going to print your words of wisdom and keep them close. I too, have thought this would be a passing fancy but the focus of DD seems to be strong and I think I may need your valuable words of experience.

Link to post

I feel that my role as the parent is to help my daughter to arrive at an emotinal maturity. A balance needs to be kept, I don't think ballet should be all consuming in their young lives. My DD is almost 17, it has been a long road, filled with many disappointments, but that is also something they must experience. When she was younger, auditioning for a company sounded like the way to go, because that is all that we ever heard. If you weren't in a company by 18, you had no chance of dancing professionally. I don't feel that is the case, there are alot of great colleges out there,for dancers to continue with their training. We are just starting out on that phase of this journey. There will also be more to life after the dance career is over. These kids have to also be ready for that. I have experienced alot of parents who don't consider that.

Link to post

There will also be more to life after the dance career is over. These kids have to also be ready for that. I have experienced alot of parents who don't consider that.

 

You are so right! The school my daughter was at really pushed its favourites, into every gala, festival or competition and two of the girls I knew best, had burned out at 15 and 12. It was no fun , just hard graft all the way. The eldest girl's mother was furious, because she had stopped just short of getting her teaching certificate, and the other had grown up with no childhood, no interests outside dance, and is not very academic. The eldest discovered she had other talents, but I do not know what has happened to the other child. Fiz. xxx

Link to post

It's funny. My oldest child wanted to be a pro football player when he was in middle school and he went onto have a very nice high school football experience but we kept saying "keep your options open." He would get angry and say," you don't think I can do it "whenever we told him to keep his options open. We told him we believed in him and knew that he could do anything he wants. We just reminded him that if he did play pro-football, the career was short and he would need something to do afterward. We insisted on good grades, community service and other interests. He is college bound (with academic scholarship) next year and does not want to continue with sports in college. He didn't burn out, he just refocused his energy (and maybe got hit hard enough to knock some sense into him.) :dry:

 

I don't know why but the path to professional ballet seems so much more concentrated at a younger age. It seems harder to insist that dk's lives be balanced. (Maybe I'm just a tired, older parent). When I think of the hours for both...they are really about the same. I think maybe football is a part of the "normal" middle school and high school life but ballet is something you do away from the regular school experience. We tell DD the same "keep your options open." She's heard it before. If we could just figure out how to work community service into the trip to and from ballet! :wink:

Link to post

Even though ballet training is intense, and so concentrated on the young, the reality is that not everyone is going to make it. So, it is so important to keep options open, and to try to do other things and experience some of the normal high school experiences.

Link to post

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...