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Ballet Talk for Dancers

going to a residence program

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We experienced all the questions and concerns mentioned above. But one theme kept bringing us back to our final decision. "I hope we never have to look back and ask what may have happened had we allowed her to follow a little girls dream."


People often commented about how hard it must have been to let her leave home so early in life (just after her 12th birthday). I would always tell them that it was no different than had my father said to me, "Son, I hate to do this to you but I am going to have to send you off to learn to play baseball with the New York Yankees". Pleeeeaaaaaassee don't throw me in the briar patch, dad!!!!


I also posted the following on another thread a few minutes ago but I think it is pertinent here also:






---Edited by moderator to include link to another thread, rather than including the duplicate post here, which is not allowed on BT.

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I'm reading through this topic and other related topics with tears rolling down my cheeks. My DD accepted an offer made at her SI to stay for the school year and she is so excited. She is old enough (16) and mature enough, but that doesn't change the way I feel about having her so far away from home. I will say that her age and maturity plus the fact that she knows a lot about the school she will attend puts my mind at ease. She also told me last week that she feels very rooted in her values and much stronger than even six months ago. I saw big growth this past year and it started to feel like she was a young adult, not a teenager anymore. I know she's ready, but I'm not.

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CEO, many of us on this board completely understand this feeling and have been there. I don't think we are ever ready :D It is the process of loss as our little starlets "dance" out of the nest that we so carefully have kept for them. But I assure you that you will be additionally busy and involved with her life even though she will be far away from home. I would suggest a good cell phone plan or ichat photo capabilities so you can still be that objective confidante that your daughter will need.You will find she may need you more as someone away from the new situations she will face as an objective voice and you will treasure this new relationship.


By the way,buy stock in Kleenex... the goodbyes never get easier...but the hellos are much more sweet :wub:

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  • 13 years later...

Years later from these original pists and fantastic discussion, I'm finding their wisdom AFTER we decided to take the plunge this year. But reading through them all has been validating of our DD's decision and ours with her. So a retroactive thank you to these early posters! 

Our DD was 15 when she applied and auditioned for a well-known, been around since the 1960s residential program just a state away, and was honored with an acceptance. At 11? No way, Jose! Her home school training was too good and her progress and potential and passion was just beginning to manifest then. We took it slowlt, allowing her to attend her first SI away at CPYB at 13...where one if her year-round teachers was in annual summer residency, recommended it and said she'd watch over her and other home studio students attending like a hawk! We wouldn't have otherwise let her go. Then 2 more years of away SIs at other well known programs. The acceptances were getting stronger and stronger with each audition season. 

That first SI experience and the subsequent ones demonstrated to us a few things: 1) her commitment and ability to be away from home for a few weejs and live with complete stranger roommates; 2) how she handled difficult roommate or hallmate situations; 3) could she figure out how to do her laundry; 4) when left to her own choosing in a cafeteria on a meal plan, could she make decent choices and not just stand in front of the frozen yogurt machine each time :); etc.  She was so very happy when we came to visit for a weekend halfway thru and needed that-- and we needed that. After 2 more intensives and continued demonstratiin of personal maturity, we knew at 15 turning 16, she was ready to handle a year away from home in a structured school setting where her training could continue 6 days a week. And neither she nor we have regretted that decision. We do talk by phone and text frequently, and care packages with favorite treats or need to haves get sent so she never feels too far away. 

But it did and does take a lot of thought. It's a mutual decision and your student needs to know they have your support 100%. We only get to see her once a semester about halfway through. I'm not sure she'd welcome it more frequently actually! She is well-cared for in a residential dorm situation and academically, and has outstanding ballet training. She is surrounded by like-minded students, who will all go their separate ways upon graduation.

This year's SI audition season resulted in an unexpected offer from another year-round program-- this one a pre-pro/Trainee progran affiliated with a professional company. We believe her residential experience had a lot to do with that and she's not afraid to consider it. Since she hasn't finished high school yet but is so close to doing so with coursework, another difficult choice is to be made. But, it will be hers and, again, she has demonstrated to us that she's serioys about it and could handle it. Luckily, it is in the same state as her current school, so just one hour further away from. She will be 17 come fall. She's been able to enjoy being a teenage kid in the meantime and will still be able to whatever her decision. 18 is just around the corner and she will be a better young adult from these teenage experiences gaining some individual, though supervised, freedoms away from home. But she'll always be our baby girl. 


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