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hiding the packet


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Yesterday DD got a packet from an SI that she and I were longing for her to participate in last summer. I decided then (in February) that it would be too difficult to juggle the finances to make that happen. We were both very disappointed. However considering how the year has gone I'm glad we didn't risk it.


Well, as I said the packet has arrived from this program. The program she's in is a very good one so it isn't a matter of needing better training she would just like a different experience and some different teacher's perspective. All that is irrelevant though because we certainly can't afford it this year and need to save for spring 2010 when she'll need to travel for company auditions.


If you were in my shoes would you give her the packet?

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I would not hide the packet. If she auditioned, she deserves to know that she was accepted, even if she can't go. Have you thought of talking to the program about scholarship help or financial aid?

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Every dancer can use a boost, particularly this time of year. Even if she knows finances won't permit , she'll be happy knowing that she has the chance to be accepted. And hey, you never know - miracles sometimes happen, scholarships are awarded, mystery donors show up. Always try out, always ask for financial assistance, and just wait to see what happens. Worst case scenario, she gets in but can't go. It's still better to be the girl who got into XXX than the girl who didn't even try!

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Dear Vicarious,


What a difficult position you are in! It is hard place to be in when we know our kids really want something, but the finances are just not there.


I think you have already answered your own question - she is in a good program, not much would be gained from this desired SI, and she has the goal of auditioning in 2010(which costs money).


This is a "teachable moment". One could show the dk the packet and talk about overall goals. I would involve the dk in talking about the overall finances needed in reaching those goals. One could discuss alternative methods of financing (she could audition for the program, and if a scholarship of enough money were offered, one could reconsider attending this SI - weighing costs of transportation and other expenses of being away from home).


Or you could just ask her if she does want to see the packet, and any others that arrive, even though the decision has been made to stay at current location for the summer.


All the best to you, and your daughter, in making informed decisions together.



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I have been where you are. I know how very difficult it can be to have to say no to our children.

Respectfully, I ask you to consider if you trying to protect her or yourself?

I’m with Victoria all the way. Absolutely, give your daughter the packet - it is rightfully hers. Just think how she would feel if she knew that you were keeping it from her.

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I agree you should not withhold it, especially if it is addressed to her.


She certainly should hear from you that you are in no position to finance an outside SI. But, if she wants to go and can find a way to make that happen financially, why not? I'm thinking also that if she will be old enough to audition for companies in a little over a year, she is old enough now to start making some of her own training (and life) decisions.

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The best to you vicarious as you tred through this sticky situation! I agree with others that you should give her the letter. While it may not be what anyone wants, our children need to live in reality and if times are "iffy" financially, we as parents are not protecting them by having them live as we were accustomed to when we no longer live that way in reality. None of us want to inform them of every little detail. But the reality of having to look hard at how you will accomplish all she needs you to over the next two years instead of one year at a time is an important conversation to have.

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Well I did give her the envelope. Before I even told her about it I reminded her that we could not afford for her to go away this year. I then told her I had been holding onto the packet since yesterday. She gave me one of those good greif sighs. I asked her if she still wanted to open it. She gave me one of those duhh yes sounds. Fortunately there wasn't any sort of acceptance letter just the audition schedule and their gorgeous booklet. She asked how much different the cost would be to go there versus staying here. I explained that after transportation expences it would be about $2,000. She knew right away there wouldn't be anyway in this small town to earn that amount. Yes, they do offer financial aid but 2K is a lot to hope for.


Yes, I was protecting me. A mother is only as happy as her saddest child. Yes, I also personally like the other program but so does she. This isn't just my disappointment.


No, she can not make all her own decisions on training, not so long as we are funding it.

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Here's a humorous update. DH saw the packet and said "This is one of the really well known schools? What's the price for the program? You wanna move there?" He then pulled it up on Google world and was very impressed with the campus. He chuckled at all the swimming pools in the neighbors' back yards. He was filled with excitement at the prospects. I then told him to look up the median home price. Well he then saw what I saw so many years ago when I was looking for the best training fit for our family. That area is way out of our league. So, instead we are at a very good program in an area where we can also afford to live.

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vicarious- I am of the mind to let her audition for the program so long as it doesn't burden you financially to do so and see what happens. The program you speak of is reasonably price but they also offer merit and aid based on needs. As a mother of a DD that restricted auditions based on cost over the years I now see that wasn't necessarily such a great tactic. She has received scholarships that would have made unattainable SI's (financially) feasible and I regret not letting her try others as well. If you were able to have her audition and if she were to be accepted you can cross the financial bridge at that date. So long as there is that understanding going into it, go for it! If you are also looking to the year round component- there is no predicting how that would turn out so I wouldn't try to plan too far ahead in that regards.

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Taxis, we met at the audition last year in Boston. You've seen my DD and I yours.


Now I'm really confussed. We never filled out the financial aid form last year so I don't really know what would happen. You've got me hemming and hawing again.

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These decisions can be so hard, can't they? :)


I tend to agree with taxis, but I think you would have to set a fixed $ amount that you would be willing to spend on the program, and your daughter would need to be on board with the idea that sufficient financial assistance is a condition of attending. If your daughter does not receive the required amount of financial assistance, then both of you would have to be willing to walk away, but at least you would have tried.


I have a feeling though that more dancers will be seeking financial aid this year, and that perhaps companies may have less of it to give away, so I would be very clear that if sufficient financial aid is not offered that she will not be able to attend.


I'm so glad that your daughter has a good program at home that she can attend if going away does not work out this year. I wish you both well, and I hope you and your daughter remember that there will be many, many similar conversations going on between parents and dancers this year.

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Vicarious- I knew it was you as we received the same information this week! Once your daughter is accepted then you can send information regarding financial information and request aid. The turn around time on the request came fairly quickly. I am not exactly sure if you need to send the deposit in first though. I would suggest if it gets to that point, you contact the office there and explain the situation- they are pleasant and easy to get information from. We did not, however, receive assistance but I would not let that hold you back as I would describe our situation as solidly middle class- it's just having two in college that makes us poor! I don't mean to make you second guess yourself but feel that there is a possibility money may be available. DD loved that program and would return in a heartbeat. I also believe she became friends with the other girl with you at the audition- not to digress....

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Throughout my dd's high school years, her father went through 5 layoffs or job changes and multiple months of unemployment. Whenever SI's were considered, we auditioned for everything she felt fit her needs and then she went "where the money was". That way, we had several good options with strong programs and could choose based on how much scholarship aid was available or how reasonable the program was to start with. One year, she had to turn down a very intimate, prestigious program because it was $3K for only 2 weeks of training. With scholarships at another program, she got 4 weeks for half of that. When it came to a residential pre-pro program after high school, we were blessed that the program that she wanted most was the one that wanted her and offered a full work/study scholarship.


With all the ups & downs of finances, she never knew exactly what her father made or didn't make, but knew how tight things were and that a good program + scholarship $ = her SI. We always felt that shielding her from the realities of our financial situation could only bring about misunderstandings and a sense of entitlement. Teens who will be auditioning for companies in the next couple years especially need to understand real-world finances, because even if they land a company position, they will probably be working another job to make the rent! :shrug:

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Maybe I'm nuts and coming out of left field, but, whats makes an SI essential! The big name factor? The chance at a scholarship for year round? Are you attempting to build a resume and if so, for what! To me the only valid reasons for SI's are for top notch training not to be found locally or to be noticed for a II company or trainee position! Few dancer's can hope of a full company position from an SI and in reality one in a thousand may be looked at for any degreeof company consideration! I know there are parents out there who believe that the only way to get a company job is to get big name SI's for resumes but, I'm sorry, this is not computing! I understand not having the money to have a kid go away, my heart goes out to you, we barely have the funding to keep them dancing at home. The thing that is wrong about hiding the packet is taking away the realities of financing life. Very few kids who get top end SI's ever dance professionally, most retire in their mid to late teens after years of exhaustive effort and the one or two continue and maybe the really odd one will get a job. Sorry, if this sounds negative but I think it is more of a reality. Getting expensive SI's isn't the magic to a future either. If you do not have the money don't spend it. If the acceptance is in the envelope let our child glory in it. She probably knows the families financial state as well as you do and knows she can't go anyway!

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