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eugenia

Reality (what to draw from SI auditions)

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cheetah

If it's any consolation, consider that the number of dancers my DS now knows are in the hundreds. Maybe more at this point. Many have already embarked - or are embarking - on professional careers. Or at least trying to. There are many, many dancers he knows that have been offered wonderful job opportunites that never received SI scholarships. One young lady was always placed in levels (at SIs) that were much lower than everyone anticipated - even her teachers. She unexpectedly catapulted to a paid job before most others. We know several beautiful dancers whom everyone thought would be the first ones hired. They received SI scholarships consistently and were program stars. They have not yet found jobs. We don't know why. I'm sure they're a bit perplexed, too. And of course there are hundreds of situations in between. So anything goes. It sounds like such a cliche, but it's the reality that we've grown to see.

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WriteLife

What a great topic - especially around this time of year.

 

I think we all have those feelings and I had to laugh, I thought I was the only parent who worried about sending DD into an audition with her one and only "designer" leotard. " :)

 

I think most of us, especially in this economy would love for our kids to get scholarships both to offset the considerable expense and as validation that we aren't crazy stage parents, but I actually see a value in not being the one to get scholarships.

 

My daughter, 13, babysits year round to help pay for her SIs. It's usually only enough to pay for her plane ticket and spending money but it helps us and it teaches her that sacrifices have to be made. In her case it means putting her wages in the bank verses spending it on a new purse or must have jacket.

 

It's disappointing to not be the one to get the extra validation but it also makes her more determined. She works hard, doesn't take anything for granted and has the most positive attitude about dance I have ever seen. She is also one that understands she is goin to need a back up plan if she can't make a career of dance and works towards that - also with a positive attitude of "I think would like to do this with my life as much as dance".

 

Those skills will take her far in life. I believe that most girls that get scholarships work just as hard as my dd but I have seen a few who think they are "owed" because they won the genetic lottery. The reality is that a lot of things can happen on the way to trying for a career. If you think the world owes you, you wont get far if your dreams don't come true but if you have learnd to cope with disappointment and carry on, you will be successful no matter what.

 

So kudos to the dancers who don't get the scholarships but keep trying, year after year. I know that your hard work and dedication is appreciated by your parents, school teachers and dance teachers!

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bunbun
I sometimes wonder if we have all died and gone to ballet parent hell, where random people put out scraps of information for us to read and drive ourselves crazy with. At 17, my dd has only recently received her first scholarship offer ever, from a program that rejected her and made her cry years ago. For most, like mine, I think that such recognition comes rarely, and is only, like the rejections, a reflection of what happened in one room, on one day.

This is with out a doubt my favorite post ever. It makes it all worth while to know that I can share this crazy ride with others who feel the same way I do. BT4D is keeping me going some days. It sure is nice to have a good laugh at the situation - thank you!!

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MBF

Oh wow, I am rolling on the floor at the turn this thread has taken. Who would have thought others have similar anxieties over expensive leotards and studio photos? I feel so comforted knowing others are just as nuts as I am when it comes to this stuff.

Someday maybe we can all meet up at a value priced vacation destination to toast our talented children and lament the depletion of our retirement funds. :)

 

I will let my DD wear her Degas with pride this weekend. And if you see us...don't judge...just take a look at Mom's Payless Shoes lol.

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eugenia

As the original poster, I am hoping to re-focus the conversation. As a periodic poster and long-time reader I know that there are many parents here that have both seen their DD/DS achieve entry into the professional dance world/entry into high-level college dance programs. Every once in a while we read about a dancer who decides to pursue a different path. What I was hoping for is some wisdom regarding what it really takes to accomplish such a goal, both in terms of training and supplements to training (aerobic conditioning/strength training). I also was hoping for some insight into the signs that it just isn't in the cards. We are not rich, and it is difficult to determine how our limited resources should be allocated, while at the same time doing what we can to support our DD. Would DD not attending an SI this summer (but continuing to take classes locally 3x/wk) make catching-up considerably less likely? In its place would be some sort of academic enrichment -plan B- to improve her non-dancing college options.

Edited by eugenia

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taxis

Sorry to digress again off the original intent of the post, but thank you to all that did as it put a big smile on my face knowing I am not the only parent out there that thinks the same!! And wow- you moms that go for the designer leotards even as a special treat which I totally get and would probably cave into!!- DD doesn't even ask for them because she doesn't think she stands a chance!

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Victoria Leigh

Eugenia, we don't have a crystal ball here, and without seeing her there is no way we can know if she has what it takes, given the training she needs, or not. The fact that she is getting accepted to very good programs is good, and important, but the fact that the levels are lower than they should be for her age is also important. However, what that says leads me to think that it was the previous training, and the fact that her pre-pro training was late starting, so she has catching up to do. Is she totally focused on doing this? Is she passionate about it? Is it her top priority? If so, then I think she deserves to be supported as much as possible. If not, then I think she needs to be encouraged to put the majority of her energy in a different direction. If she is absolutely set on doing this, then an SI this summer is imperative. Three classes a week at home is just not good enough. Not even close. It would definitely set her back and make the catching up that much further away.

 

Is she doing anything to help in terms of financing her SI? She might not be able to do a lot, but, if she were baby sitting, or doing something to earn some money to save for her summer, that would help you and also help her in terms of learning about the costs of things and the value of earning one's way.

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Arizona Native

Eugenia, we are all sympathetic and can relate. One might say that the entire Board is devoted to addressing the questions you've raised. We're all trying to figure out how to get the best dance training for our children, how to evaluate our dancers, how to best support them, how to allocate resources, how to make sure they get the academic educations they need, and all the rest. I think the reason the thread started going in the directions it did was that the truth is that there is so much uncertainty. One aspect of this journey is evaluating how much uncertainty we, and our dancing children, can live with, at decsion points along the way.

 

Trying to read the tea leaves of acceptances can leave a person more confused than ever! One of the dancers at our studio was rejected by a program she'd attended last year, loved and decided was her dream, yet accepted with an invitation to another program with the offer of second company, year-round. Talk about whipsawed.

 

Have you spoken with your daughter's teachers, shared your concerns, and sought their advice?

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balletdancer1040

Thank you all for posting your experiences, following my veering slightly off topic with the auditions and scholarship offers or lack there of.

Actually I don't think it is to far off topic if you are going to discuss reality, or lack there of, during audition season and what it might /or might not implicate about your dancer and their future. It does all seem kind of hocus pocus and who knows what the future will bring into focus :)

You all have made me, as the perpetually broke parent of a lovely and very happy as long as she is a DD, smile and take a deep reality breathe myself. My DD does work during the year, and must earn a set amount by June to contribute to the SI cost. And she does it diligently with no complaints, and I am very proud of her. So at her next audition I will let her wear the "fancy leotard" that she earned for herself by making honor roll. And she will decide which SI she was accepted into will give her what she needs this summer for training , scholarship or no!

Thank you all on BT4D, this parent is smiling now!

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lsu
:) Here, here balletdancer1040! Here's hoping that your smiling dd enjoys a fantastic summer intensive and improves greatly.

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Guest coupe66
it is tempting to try to read meaning into every compliment, every correction, every acceptance, rejection or scholarship we hear about. I sometimes wonder if we have all died and gone to ballet parent hell, where random people put out scraps of information for us to read and drive ourselves crazy with.

 

Quill,

 

This made me laugh so hard because I have been guilty of doing this very thing in the past, and now I make a very conscious and concerted effort to just back off. Yes, it's hard to do, but I've found I am able to actually enjoy my kids and their dancing so much more when I'm not trying to overthink everything :wacko:

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balletdancer1040

I think quills statement from 1/29 is one of the most humorous, identifiable statements on BTFD for us parents! By the way , DD got into her #1 choice of pre-pro high school that has a great rep, along with 2 other pre-pro high schools. She was accepted into 9 wonderful SI's, only rejected by a handful of the really hard to get into programs. So glad the SI season is over, I definitely need to follow coupe66's example, and stop "getting so worked up" over every comment, scholarship, acceptance, rejection..... After all , my DD doesn't :wacko:

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swanchat
As the original poster, I am hoping to re-focus the conversation. As a periodic poster and long-time reader I know that there are many parents here that have both seen their DD/DS achieve entry into the professional dance world/entry into high-level college dance programs. Every once in a while we read about a dancer who decides to pursue a different path. What I was hoping for is some wisdom regarding what it really takes to accomplish such a goal, both in terms of training and supplements to training (aerobic conditioning/strength training). I also was hoping for some insight into the signs that it just isn't in the cards. We are not rich, and it is difficult to determine how our limited resources should be allocated, while at the same time doing what we can to support our DD. Would DD not attending an SI this summer (but continuing to take classes locally 3x/wk) make catching-up considerably less likely? In its place would be some sort of academic enrichment -plan B- to improve her non-dancing college options.

 

Eugenia,

 

I think we all know your angst too well. There is no one path to this or any specific set of steps for sure success. Fist we are dealing with children who are growing. Some will keep the focus and passion, some will not. Some will win the "genetic lottery" some will not and that's the easier part to figure out. The one common denominator is that every dk who aspires to dance as a career needs the best training possible as early as possible. The training should include strengthening among other parts of a curriculum that includes contemporary, character, stagecraft and many other items that the teachers are much more aware of than me. From my point of view that means the best possible while they are still young and living at home (don't forget to let protect their right to be a kid either) and then in the mid to late teens probably a residential program-and not just for the training but for the experience needed to live the life of a professional dancer as early as 17 or 18. The key is finding the best training available to you that you can afford and then for your own sanity, breathe and let things unfold. It's easier said than done because it's easy to interpret success or disappointment in SI auditions or scholarships or even casting in school shows as a sign but in the end the training is the only constant. There are no tea leaves and in the absence of a set, concrete path we all look for signs but if you spend too much time doing that, you will drive yourself and probably your dk crazy!

 

For years (and many days, still) I have wished that someone would tell us that it "isn't in the cards." In the end, only your dk can make that decision. It is our responsibility as parents to keep the academics going too because anything can happen to derail this fleeting career... Injury, shift in interest, not landing a job.... Our dd did not get any scholarship offers until she was 14 and then she got several. Others we know are dancing professionally and never had one scholarship offer. As the parent of a dk who is on the cusp of being "company ready" I can tell you it doesn't get easier for us broke and supportive parents. We all give what we can in ways that make sense for our personal situations and hope that our dks will never have to regret having not aimed for the stars. The process teaches our kids so much; some are hard knocks, some are not but our sacrifices enable our dks to try to reach their dreams. And IMHO it is the gift of allowing our kids to have their own goals and dreams and supporting them as they strive to attain them and even allowing them to change the dream that is the entire point of this process.

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dancemaven

I have split off those posts discussing the dilemma of high school seniors trying to figure out the age-old 'college now? or company auditions/position' issue into a new thread. I have also re-located it to a more appropriate forum, i.e., the Career General Discussion in the Dance and Career Education section of the Board. There will be more threads of interest for those considering these issues at this time. Take a little time to nose through those forums in that section and the various threads.

 

Here is the link to the split and moved thread: College versus Company Auditions for the High School Graduate

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lorrainegd

Kandi - you posted exactly what I was thinking about the plus side of not getting scholarship offers. DD has developed such a work ethic thanks to her ballet studies. She also has raised money for her SIs through working and fundraising. She also works in class and after SI season she comes into class full force and remember s to do her PT and stretching at home without reminder. She is also pretty grounded in the fact that there will ALWAYS be a dancer who can turn/jump/dance better than she can. She has been developing that tough skin that she will need to persue her dreams of a ballet career.

 

Eugenia - I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but if your daughter has switched to a new pre-pro school it may take some time as others have said here until you really see her catch up. We switched my daughter to a more ballet focussed school, though smaller, with a pre-pro focus. The improvement I have seen in her is amazing. We didn't see it as much during the first SI audition season, even though we did see improvement. But by the END of that first year, it was REALLY evident. She was transformed as a dancer. She got her first scholarship offer this year, although it was very very small, it was encouraging. I think that fact that the school is such a good fit for my daughter has been key (thanks to the research I did here and my dd's good gut instinct). I also think that it is important that a dancer get attention in class, especially a dancer that is behind their peers due to training and despite their potential. It can also help rebuild their self esteem. We even know of a dancer that dd met at an SI that returned to the same SI the following year at 3 levels higher than the previous summer. Not to say that is typical because I don't believe it is. But I do believe if the right training and a dancers dedication and hard work peak all at the same time you can really see a difference in a small amount of time.

 

Pour over the threads here. There's a lot of information. But it is good and helpful - every dancer is different. Take basic info about what is needed and then look at it in regards to what your daughter needs - you know her better than anyone. Goo dluck - and keep at it. It's a hard road as a ballet mom, but is there anything better than watching your kid do what they love??? For me, it makes it all worth it.

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