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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Here we go again...


trythis

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We have one more week of summer vacation and DH and I were discussing the schedule this morning. The insanity of it all is really hitting us. :( We have two DD's one pretty serious, aged 11, dancing 10 hours a week plus rehearsals, and another aged 8 dancing three hours a week. With the times they get off their respective busses, and work schedules for me and my hubby, and dance, and getting them to and from the dance studio, and getting their homework done....the idea of a family dinner, which we have always tried to do, seems impossible. He especially just thinks this is crazy and he asked me why I thought it was a good idea. My honest answer was when we started all this I didn't know it would be like this. I didn't realize dance would take up every day of the week when our DD's were this young, and I didn't know it would be so expensive. I keep saying that if our girls were as talented in any other sport, and they were on a travel team, it would take as much time and it would cost as much. He says no way.

Anyone with a non-dancing child have any input on this? Remind me again how much positive there is for my girls to get out of dancing, please.... :D

I told him that as long as they want to do it, and as long as they maintain good grades, there is no reason to make any drastic changes.

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We have three children. The oldest (boy 15) is a talented baseball pitcher. He is on a travel team that played nation-wide this summer. He was gone every Thursday - Sunday from the first of June through last week. When he's home, he has 2 days at an indoor baseball facility. During the off season, he plays in a wood bat league and continues at least 2 days a week of lessons, along w/ weight training daily.

 

The mid-kid is our dancer. She's 12 and dances 5 days a week, plus rehearsals if she's in a show. She's very serious about her dance and never, ever wants to miss class.

 

Our "baby" is a nine year old girl who will be a talented athlete....eventually. She is probably the most athletic of our kids, but she does not prefer to have her time scheduled. She will be enrolled in 2 dance classes (back to back....one ballet, one modern) just to keep her involved. She may play soccer.

 

All the kids are very different, but they all maintain good grades and are involved in church and other volunteer activities. They all have a cadre of friends both in and out of their sports. So, yeah...if your kids weren't dancers, they'd be just as busy most likely. And, don't even get me started on the expense of dance versus other sports. Have you priced a baseball bat? :D

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As a kid I played competitive soccer. Things ramped up for me when I was about ten years old and I started tournaments, year-round soccer, etc. I think any child involved in anything at any serious level would be quite busy. It's pursuing things strictly recreationally, involving maybe one or two days a week, that keeps things more simple in terms of time and money, I think.

 

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm curious to see what DD decides to do this fall. She'll be in third grade, so I think homework will increase a bit. Ballet should be two afternoons a week plus a Saturday class, and then Saturday rehearsals if she does Nut. We shall see.

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I was just lamenting to a friend who's son plays travel hockey. $1500 per season, which I believe lasts about 12 weeks. Then there is the travel, the hotels, the meals and the hockey equipment.

I mean I don't believe I am raising professional dancers here, I just want to give them good opportunities to learn right and have fun, and maybe have their 15 minutes playing a Clara- or something similar.

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I tend to agree that nowadays most activities are comparable in cost and time. That said, however, there are more expensive activities than ballet. No matter what the endeavor, I think that each family has to determine what degree of commitment is feasible because associated costs are affected by how far the family is willing to go with whatever it is. If there is an imbalance somewhere in the situation then it is important to look at what is contributing to that and take steps to resolve it. Imbalance isn't always in the form of the money spent as sometimes it is related to the chaos of the schedule itself. That in itself can "cost" the family a lot if one member or another is unhappy about it.

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Just a quick reminder-

This is the Parents of Dancers Under 13 forum. :wallbash:

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I agree TryThis. I think it's just too soon at this age to think in those terms. I'm just hoping for "fun" in the best way right now for my dd.

 

When I was in school, my parents didn't have time to let us participate in outside-of-school activities. They said we could only do after-school activities that were already at the school, etc. I ran track as my only "physical" activity. No special camps, private trainers, or anything fancy. By the time I was a junior, I had college offers. I ended up at a Division 1 school Freshman Year. I think that goes to show that you don't necessarily need to spend a ton of money on "extra" lessons, etc. for a kid to "make it". (In college, I met a lot of sports kids with the same story.)

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I'm in the same boat. Our studio just changed hands (for the better) and the schedule is changed around. My 10yo DS will have Karate monday and wednesday, Ballet tues, thursday, saturday...plus rehearsals for Peter Pan...

 

Add to that...my two girls have ballet thursday and saturday, plus rehearsals for Peter Pan and Nutcracker...

 

AND

 

I'm the wardrobe mistress for Nutcracker on top of it all. :)

 

*gulp*

 

It's a good think I don't work. :cool2::ermm:

 

ETA: DH and I have frequently had the "is this too much" conversation. The reality is that if all three kids did three completely different things, this would be SO much worse. So we just thank our lucky stars that it's not as much as it COULD be. lol

 

P.S. Just a tip. Make friends with your crockpot, and find a good "once a month cooking" plan. It SAVED me last year.

Edited by angiered
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Add to the mix my own increased work hours, we will definately be eating from the crockpot! I think I feel most sorry for DH in that he is now doing the majority of the after school driving. Bless him though. He hasn't complained. The only place my absence has been felt is that my daughter's teacher thought her bun was too messy. Well, that's because she has to do it herself!

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AdThe only place my absence has been felt is that my daughter's teacher thought her bun was too messy. Well, that's because she has to do it herself!

 

And I, as a teacher, applaud your daughter doing her own hair! Even if it is messy, it should get better and better.

 

DH travels for work Mon - Thur. DD and I are at the studio together 2 nights a week. We are all together only Fri and Sat nights because we go to MIL's for Sunday dinner (that is a WHOLE 'nother can o' worms!). Horrible family together time.

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Hi Trythis -

 

I also applaud your DD for doing her own hair. She'll soon be the veteran hair expert, helping everyone else get their "bun" together! Right On - DD :ermm: I also have to give your DH "MAJOR props" for driving your Dd's all around creation! :thumbsup: Thankfully, he drives them both to the same location!

 

I have 3 older step children (twin boys, now 20 and a girl, now 23). Believe me us DP's (dancing parents) have it easy. My boys did competitive sports one baseball and the other waterpolo. They had equipment needs, uniform needs, and travel expenses. Their school was always one of the top seeded teams. My oldest daughter, played basketball and tennis. Again, her team was always number 1. The time, effort, and expense of having all 3 in different competitive sports was exhausting! We were never home and we did a lot of team meals together! Pasta feeds, etc at each team members home, just so we could spend some time together as a family! Regular meals together...what's that!!!! But, now that their older we talk about our crazy times together and wouldn't of had it any other way! My husband and I don't know how we survived and managed it all...looking back on it now, we just accepted that as our commitment to our kids and their passions became ours too. We supported each other and did what it took to get it done. :sweating:

 

It may not have been ideal and it's certainly not for everyone, but IMHO, it really helped us grow as a family. My children became more responsible, time management was excellent, and homework was always done. Hubby and I counted down the days till Sunday!!! Our only day of rest :rolleyes: But, of course, that's the day all their friends would come over to hang out or we would be stuck driving them somewhere, the craziness never stopped!!!! :D We're enjoying our last child now....just doing ballet (but she played softball and tennis this summer as well as dance) Yikes, I had some serious flashbacks...luckily for us, she's just going to concentrate on ballet, for now! :P

 

 

So, sit back and enjoy the craziness...you and your children will both look back on this, in the not so distant future, and say...WOW, how'd we do that, we survived, you're kids will be eternally grateful for your sacrifices, and you'll all have great memories to talk about again, and again! :dry:

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BeBe, you are the best! Thank you. I frequently hear from non-dancing friends that we are crazy and when DH starts to listen to them it can be hard. Thank you for telling me that it would be the same no matter what my children were involved in. And thank you for telling there is value and there are lessons to be learned from living this lifestyle.

We are careful to have family dinners on the nights we can. It takes a lot of communication to keep it all running smoothly and no blame when it doesn't run smoothly!

I know when I see the expressions on their faces on stage that we are ok!

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We know DD's schedule now; one day has changed and two classes are at different times, but basically things are quite similar to last year. The later start for one class may prove to be really nice, as we won't have to rush home from school and get out the door again lickety split. Once we get a routine established I think it will all be fine.

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We've been looking for a new studio for months and I think we've finally found what dd is looking for. She took a trial class yesterday and had so much fun. I haven't seen her SO excited about the FUN of dancing in awhile and it was truly a joy for a mom to see. BUT it means going from a 20 minute drive to a 45 minute drive and that's without traffic, which is probably a dream more than a reality. With 2 younger brothers in tow( younger but old enough to have not so nice opinions about being dragged along) it won't be easy. The studio would like her to dance 5 days a week but would be happy with 3 days. DD and I agree though that she should be dancing at least 4 if not 5 so we're looking at still putting in studio time at her old studio(which uses the same syllabus and has a good relationship with the farther studio). We've had to pass up football for our youngest - I don't know how I would do it with Nutcracker looming large and not knowing how this new schedule is going to work out.

 

But 2 really good things with the new schedule...no class on Thursdays which is dh's day off and the day that I teach art club. And I found an art class that is 5 minutes from the studio and at a perfect time that my sons can take one of the days and our cyber school pays for it, so it gives them something worthwhile to do that won't cosst me more $$ (and something I wanted to do all year last year, but it was just too far to add in).

 

Now if gas could just come down another 50 cents or so...

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  • 4 weeks later...

DD did decide to do Nut this year, but rehearsals haven't started yet. Homework has been fine so far this year for school, so I'm feeling optimistic about the schedule in general. I'll enjoy these easier years while we still have them! :)

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