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Mommy Couch Whine


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May I be indulged for a brief Mommy whine? DD-10.5 is working very hard in technique & pre-pointe. She was speaking in a rehearsal to another girl of the same age in a lower level. She told other-dancer she was working hard and dreaming of being en pointe. (Don't they all!). Other-dancer is the child of of professional dancers and said she is already en pointe... that her mother bought her pointe shoes and teachers her at home. Other-dancer is honestly a nice child and I'm sure did not say this to hurt my DD or brag. Simply, her mother is qualified to teach her. Yet any other child at her level with pointe shoes at home without express permission of the school would be reprimanded.

So my Mommy whine.... ballet & life are not fair. It makes me sad to see DD work so hard and others have unfair advantages. Thank-you kindly for tolerating my whining!

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Hi Hillary,


I'm sorry to hear that your dd is having to go through this issue!


I just want to point out that sometimes, whether it's ballet or not, girls can be catty with each other. I would say it's entirely possible that other girl just created a story (happened to my kids more than once over the years). So I would ask you to consider that possibility. Doesn't mean she's not a nice kid.


Of course it's also possible that the mom is teaching other girl at home, and hopefully if that is the case they have a proper studio. The dance teacher at your dd's school may or may not be aware of this arrangement - I would hope that she is, but even if she is aware I would think it would be an awkward situation for other girl's mom and the teacher.


Tell your daughter to hang in there and keep working hard. Her turn will come.





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I have told all my children that many things in life seem like they are not fair. But somehow, life seems to even out. Even though the other young girl is being taught at home and might progress faster, your daughter probably has different gifts in her favor - a concerned, involved mother, ability to move at a pace more appropriate for pre-teens, therefore less burnout, or other gifts that have nothing to do with ballet. In the course of your daughter's life, these other abilities will come into play and be important.


My daughter had this happen to her many times. And while someone would be better technically, my DD was the performer. Someone else had a better back and feet, but my daughter was admired for her many friends and outgoing personality. Since there is no guessing now where their dance passion might take them, I told my daughter to be happy she had gifts that weren't just about ballet. I wish her the best as she pursues the strength to dance en pointe.

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Best to help your daughter focus on getting the most out of her training. This other girl has alot going for her if her parents are professionals, from the knowlege they can give her to the genes they have passed along. She should focus on what she can do. My wife tells me the girls seem to get uber competitive sometimes....my DS has one other boy in his classes and they are so thrilled to have another boy that it seems to trump any rivalry, for now at least. Good luck!

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Thank-you all for your words of wisdom and putting up with my whining! You are all right. I need to impress upon my DD to focus on doing her best and loving what she is doing. She should not worry about what others are doing. Put simply, life is not fair. Some people have unfair advantages in many walks of life. I guess we need to focus on being thankful for the blessings we have rather than disappointed about the ones we don't have; it's just not always easy!

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I think it is harder in ballet, because the success rate long-term is very small, so as parents, we know this makes it competitive. And when our children love it so much, it is difficult not to see them at the top.

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The studio where my daughter takes ballet is owned by two professional ballet dancers. They also have a daughter that is my DD's age. Over the years this has been problematic, not only for the other children, but also for the daughter of the owners. I think people feel that just because a child has parents who have been professionals in a given field that the child has it made. We have also had children at DD's studio whose parents have been professional ballerinas and they do train their children outside of the studio.


While it is true that the child that has both parents that have been successful in ballet might have an added advantage in that their bodies are probably the right proportions and they can get private instruction, but, as my DD's instructor (owner) has said before, you can never know what is going to happen. The child might decide they do not want to follow in the parent's footsteps after seeing what a dance career is really like or they simply have other interests. Also, we have been told that children that really want to dance, all seem to wind up at the same spot ability-wise in the end. Some just may have to work a little harder than others.


I will say that it hasn't always been easy for the child of the studio owners. People have tried to befriend her simply because her parents own the studio and sometimes people think she gets roles because of her parents and not because of her ability which simply isn't true. So the door can swing both ways and what we perceive as an advantage, might not be in reality.


I think the best thing you can tell your child is to do their best, enjoy the journey and if they have the strong desire and it is meant to be, things will work out in the end.


Oops, I forgot to add that the daughter of the owner's is a very sweet girl. If anyone has a right to be vain, it would be her, but she definitely is not. So, the other child that was speaking with your daughter, probably did not mean to brag or sound like she was better. It may have just come up in the conversation.

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I second what has been said about the "perceived advantages" that this child may appear to have in terms of extra training time with her parent(s), etc., however it is vital that regardless of whatever legacy precedes her, she be viewed as a self-driven individual when it comes to her own interest in pursuing ballet and not have her eclipsed by her parent(s). As with all of the rest of our children who do not have any sort of familial connection, it will remain eternally critical to raise that child as a whole, well-rounded, humbly-willing-to-serve member of society as opposed to narrowing the scope to a life of "ballet only" even if she lives and breathes it.


I agree that things tend to level off at the near-professional level so in the end one must question whether earlier training, in this case with pointe, was advantageous. I think that the risks of injury and burnout for a child in this situation are more likely to indicate that she is at a potential disadvantage given her young age.

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I came across this article, which deals with some of these issues from a teacher's point of view:


"Each morning when Kehree Lacasse unlocks her North Vancouver studio, she transforms from a mother of two to a “mother” of 450. But because one student is her own daughter, she also wrestles with the perceptions that arise among her clients.



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I second everything that has been said above, but wanted to add a slightly different thought about the situation.


From a 10-year old's perspective I know it can seem like they have been waiting "forever" to be en pointe - and sometimes it feels that way to us mothers as well! But I suggest that you really enjoy the time before she makes that leap. Once your daughter is in pointe shoes, everything really ramps up very quickly! My 12 1/2-year old dancer has been en pointe for a little over a year, and the demands of her schedule are now so much higher. Right now, with Nutcracker rehearsals and class she is dancing 15-16 hours a week! She is handling it beautifully (we just had her parent-teacher conference at school, and she is doing great!), but I honestly don't think she would have been capable of this even 6 months ago. They not only need strength and technical ability to be en pointe - they also need the physical stamina & emotional maturity to handle a demanding schedule, and excellent time management skills. Ultimately I am grateful that she needed to wait as long as she did, and I am not sure if starting 6 months or a year sooner would have given her any advantage at all.


It also gives you a chance to save more pennies in the pointe shoe fund . . . !

Edited by ddsbiggestfan
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