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Ballet Talk for Dancers

She is in!!!!


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Wow mouse, you certainly brought tears to my eyes. My daughter is approaching the crossroads that you and your son faced when he was younger. So many emotions...

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I missed this thread when it started.

 

My dd, too was accepted to Walnut Hill - probably the same day joy...'s was. To put an exclamation point on the bittersweetness of this, it was the same day my father-in-law died. The first day of spring break I had to wake up dd early to tell her that her granddaddy died early in the morning. Later that day after picking caskets and making funeral arrangements (for the third grandparent in just under 2 years) we drove by the house to check the mail. I had a hunch the letter would be here. Alas, it was. As many times during the day, the tears were flowing - this time they were tears of joy.

 

We could not discuss it much because at that point we certainly were not in our best decision making mode. However, at the outset before the audition, I'd said there were several hurdles, not the least of which was financial. Everything came together nicely to make it all work. It seemed like an opportunity that could not be ignored, or put off. DD is thrilled that she is going, but knows she will miss her friends a lot. (I don't think she has figured out yet that she may actually miss her parents). We live in a small town, and she has known many of her friends nearly her whole life.

 

At the time of the decision I was simply thrilled for her and her excitement. However, now, reality is sinking in. Our spring performance of Giselle was the last time I could see her as many times as I want. In her recital in a couple of weeks she will be performing a pas and solo for the last time with this group which she has grown to love. On a recent Sunday @ Church we honored the graduating seniors. The tears were really flowing that day as I realized that she would not be there when she's a senior.

 

The decision in many ways was a no-brainer. Living with the decision.....yikes! It's good to read the words of encouragement of those who have gone before us! :offtopic:

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Minicooper: How old (or young!) is your dd? As I read all of these posts, the age of the dancer matters to me as to how I put it all in perspective! If this is too personal I totally understand! THnaks-

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It's not too personal at all. She is 15. Shortly after school starts in the Fall she will turn 16. She'll be a sophomore. Our circumstances are that we are in a small town south of Houston. We have an hour commute to our ballet school in Sugar Land. We love the ballet school.

 

Our decision has to do with the whole picture. How do we best combine a good academic education, good ballet training AND some semblance of a well-rounded social life. In two years I have put 60,000 miles on my mini, dd does her homework in the car, my work schedule gets chopped up during the day/evening. We make it work, but we're exhausted all the time. DD's friends, while they admire what she does don't understand at all why she does it at the expense of hanging out.

 

For us, WHS appears to provide a tidy package with excellent academics, excellent ballet training, and a nurturing environment where there are other kids passionate about their own craft. It's not for everyone. We won't know if it's for us until she goes there. But, the offer was too good to pass up. We were highly impressed with the school when we visited there for the audition. Every encounter we have had since then has validated our initial impressions.

 

I don't mean to make this a commercial for a particular school. My ponit in this is to highlight what was important to us in coming to the decision to let her go. Every kid and family has different needs and expectations from a school. When we began to realize how committed our dd was to ballet NEVER did we think we would be sending her off to a boarding school. In these parts of Texas boarding school is where you send problem children! It's extremely rare that kids go away to high school. As we began talking about it, folks thought we were crazy. Most responses focused on how we as parents would feel. All I could think about initially is what a neat opportunity it is for dd.

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Congrats to you and your dd mini cooper. Let us know how things go and how you both feel about the school once she is there and has time to experience it.

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In these parts of Texas boarding school is where you send problem children!

 

:D OK, I just can't help it--every time someone says "boarding school" I think of the Barroness in the Sound of Music telling Max, "haven't you ever heard of a delightful little thing called BOARDING SCHOOL" and you just hate her after that! :firedevil:

 

Congrats to your DD, minicooper--family members are reminding us of the negative connotations too, but seeing is believing and I have to trust my DD if she tells me it feels right for her--hopefully we will be making that decision soon--we are waiting for news... :(

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Hi!

My parents (and now my younger sister) have owned and operated a summer program taking kids to Salzburg, Austria to study German while living with Austrian families. It started in 1964. I know

The Sound of Music frontwards and back again. I love that line too and quite agree about hating the Baroness thereafter. Neither my husband or I ever attended a private school, and he has a PhD! Just the idea of "boarding school" seemed so remote and foreign to us. We really couldn't believe we were going to let this happen. That was six years ago and I've never quite gotten used to the idea that my kid actually goes to one! I'm just a "sales girl" wearing t-shirts and shorts in an art gallery/frame shop. (Okay, I own the place, but I don't exactly relate as a peer to my clients with all the proper "heritage" here in South Carolina. I'm a foreigner from Ohio and I actually work for a living. Around here, kids that go to private schools and boarding schools come from families that trace their roots to the colonial days and have stay-at-home mothers who keep up to date on the latest fashions and redecorate their homes room by room forever! Their daughters often dance too, so that instantly becomes a taboo subject!)

 

We are fortunate to live in a area near enough NCSA and now the SC Governor's School for the Arts that several people didn't think the idea was totally insane. Yet, since he didn't go to one of those two, there are always raised eye-brows that question the choice. These, and SAB, are the only schools to be considered by the ballet world here in Columbia. There are very few people, however, that actually would let their children go away to school. Most think we're completely crazy. Many think that it is so easy for a boy to advance in ballet that pre-professional training shouldn't be necessary at all. As a result, many think that my son must really need extra help as if lacking enough talent! For a long time (the first four years) I worried that these comments might be the truth. It has been a lonely road for us. I has been the perfect fit for the dancer.

 

I really just wrote to say that this line sums up so much of how I feel: "The decision in many ways was a no-brainer. Living with the decision.....yikes!" Thank you, mini cooper, for putting it so well. Many congratulations to your daughter and condolences to your entire family for your recent loss.

mouse

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Guest jendavis

mouse - your post on May 23 was touching. Actually, I was on the phone with my DS and I read it to him. And I got all choked up when I got to the part about the two small boxes in the back of the closet. Even though you miss him, I know you must be just thrilled at your son's success and knowing that he has achieved his dreams - he is a professional ballet dancer. My son just turned 16 this month and he won't be home from the Rock school until after Jackson is done. And I'm keeping him home for the rest of the summer :devil: .

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  • 1 month later...

We have a 15 yr old dd who has wanted nothing other than to become a professional ballerina since the ripe age of three. Many months ago we let her audition for a pre-pro program so she could see how the program and level of teaching compared to her home studio. I thought she would be overwhelmed and be more content than ever at her local studio for another year or two, but in fact she spoke about how she could see herself thriving there the better part of the 4 hour trip home. Unexpectedly she just received an acceptance letter from this school. They accept so few students we never thought she had a chance of being considered.

 

My twins are asking how we can possibly consider letting dd go away when she seems so disorganized with me doing most everything for her when ever she is at home. Then we have the grandparent who asks where this will lead her and what what her chances are of "making" it in the dance world and how one can support themselves if they do make it into a company. We have the uncle who keeps reiterating the importance of a path of traditional education . My husband of course, is questioning how we will pay for it on such short notice.

 

My daughter and I are very close and to this point she has not gone through that distant rebellious stage where you want to pack them up and send them off even if they don't want to go.The past few years we have been keeping a maniacal pace getting to and from class plus an instructor who doesn't understand the public school homework/study load. Several weeks ago I resigned from my job so that next year I would be able to pick up dd from school and drive her down to the studio for extra classes. The HS made an exception for a sophomore and will allow her early dismissal at 12:30 every day. Last week, out of the blue and quite unexpectedly "The Acceptance Letter" arrived.

 

My husband has decided I am profoundly bipolar at the present time. One minute I'm feeling dd is too young to leave home with of course streams of tears trickling down my cheeks. The cost is well, lets say astounding and now I am jobless. We have two other children who want to make sure they are not getting shortchanged due to the sacrifices we would have to make as a family because of dd. On the other hand, she would be able to pour her heart and soul into dance without the constrainsts of a public school which keeps "raising the bar" on requirements for individual courses as well as for HS graduation .

 

Thank you for letting me pour my heart out! Are there any parents out there who can relate to my dilemna? :):):shrug:

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Yes, Twins. There are many, MANY wise parents who will advise shortly. Have a glass of wine and wait for it all to start pouring in -- the advice that is. :)

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I can relate, having a daughter who dances 5-6 days a week and a son who has to eat in the car while driving back and forth. Our daughter's dancing affects our whole family.The time and money we spend on ballet,the weekends we give up,vacations around dance,it goes on. Now that my son is older and doing his own thing,I've started to look at my daughter's dancing and what impact it has on our family.We have to make big decisions based on the good of all. take some time to look at your options and think things through as a family. Hats off to your daughter and good luck to you and your family.

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Buy BOXES of wine...tissue...a get a great long distance plan!! :)

This is a wonderfully exciting time in your dd's life...and your family's!

Speaking from many yrs as a long distance parent...we really do not control where this ride goes...we are just along for the ride...and the $$ of course! :shrug:

The $$ really does find a way of "appearing"...along with many many grey hairs!

Enjoy...congrats to your DD.... :)

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Hi, Twins -

 

I guess I'll be one of the first to start pouring on the advice! I don't know if it's worth following, but here it is! I have a daughter who just last fall started dancing at a pre-pro program. She had already graduated from high school that summer. She tried to leave her home studio for training before last fall. At the age of 15, she was accepted for the year-round program at a famous dance school connected with a company which takes very few students each year. We started her in this school, but because of financial reasons, we had to pull her out. I have guilt for this to this day. Her home studio was one of the best in the area, but could not provide the training she would have received at this school. She was still being accepted to SI's, but was not where she wanted to be with her technique. The new school where she is now has helped her so much, so she is back on track. My advice to you? If you can swing it financially and she wants to try it, let her go. Sometimes, it's very hard to be accepted again to certain schools once you turn them down. My daughter returned to that famous school for 2 more summers, and was never asked to stay again for the year. On the other hand, mine is living proof that you can stay home and train and eventually get to the level you want to be with your technique. It just might take a little longer. Eventually, I think they need to go away for the year to get that intensive training unless you're lucky enough to live near a good pre-professional school. We have had family members ask us the same questions you are getting. Why is she still dancing? What will she do? How will she make a living? My daughter is a good student who will be taking college courses part-time next year, and begin auditioning for companies. I'm not worried about her future if the company contract never happens. I'm sure she will find her way to another passion if she doesn't get hired in the dance world. Your daughter will be the one to let you know if she's ready for this step. If she begs to go, then you know it's worth trying. On the other hand, don't make yourself crazy (like I did) if you can't swing it because of finances or other family members' needs. Also, try not to be upset if she returns home and it doesn't work out. There is more than one right school out there for everyone. Just give her the best training you can handle, and if it is meant to be, it will work out. Take care.

 

2marzipans

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