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Ballet Talk for Dancers

2010-2011 Senior Parent support group


Momof3darlings

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Momof3darlings

I am resurrecting this thread at the request of a member. The parents of graduating seniors last year had a thread to help with the anxiety. So here's one for the new group. Will combine them at the end of the year to archive.

 

Are there any other moms or dads of high school seniors experiencing Parental High Anxiety Flashes??? regarding all the crossroads facing our (not so) little ones???? What do you say to yourself to restore a semblance of serenity to your own heart and soul??? :confused: ;)

 

Resurrecting an old thread new for 2009/10 Junior/Senior Parents to give each other support and guidance. Please feel free to jump right on in.

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I confess that I am not only having anxiety flashes but (being a woman of a certain age - ahem! :P) also hot flashes as well!

 

While my DD has gotten very positive feedback from her year round teachers and SI acceptances through the years, I find my anxiety rising through these last few weeks around a few hot spots (pun intended :)) the $$ involved in company and college dance program auditions, her traveling to NYC on her own to audition, waiting for the results of auditions, not knowing about the expenses involved for the summer and the fall... etc, etc, etc.

 

How does one stay calm and not have free flowing anxiety, especially in front of DD who is already tense and anxious to begin with?

 

 

Sophiabuddy

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concerned parent

Trying to figure out which colleges to apply to (she only wants classical ballet), having to submit dual applications in most cases, scheduling auditions, resolving conflicts between college and SI audition dates, and traveling to auditions has made this process very difficult.

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Can I sneak in? Even though dd is a "reformed ballerina" -- she is auditioning for BFA programs in musical theatre with a dance minor, I think the process (and the path) is somewhat similar. Although she does not have the struggle some do (right now) of trying for professional company auditions versus choosing college, she is jumping through the hoops of traditional application plus in-person auditions (and the associated travel and missing school, class and rehearsals), trying to stay healthy through it all (and that means she can't lose her voice with a cold, too!), and looking at programs with an admission ratio of 2-4% into the BFA program. One of the schools she auditioned at will accept 4 women into the musical theatre program. 4...out of an expected 900+ who will audition.

 

Meanwhile, we await official notification in a few weeks that she will move on to be named as a National Merit Finalist. That sounds really cool, and like words that equal money...except that schools that offer scholarships for National Merit kids often do not have the program she wants... She's also scheduled to compete for honors college admission and scholarships to schools that have accepted her academically...but she doesn't have audition results yet...so we travel again to campus (why no, they don't schedule the competition dates anywhere near an audition weekend) for her to attend these academic competitions, knowing she may be selected for the honors programs, but ultimately denied by the musical theatre department. Those stellar grades and test scores mean nothing to the department of theatre and dance.

 

She probably won't know until very near national decision day (May 1) where she's going...as her friends are locking in their college choices, she just has to keep up the Mona Lisa smile and say "No...I don't know where I'm going to college yet." Then, if asked where she's applied, she gets the joy of defending her choice to apply to (and audition for) 9 schools (refer back to paragraph one -- the odds of acceptance into the major). THEN comes the question we are all so tired of at this house -- which school is your favorite? She spent a lot of time researching (and visiting prior to senior year) these 9 schools, and could happily see herself at any she's choosing to audition for. Why would a child apply/audition for a school she's not interested in attending? So much of this process is out of our hands -- she may be the most talented thing to walk in the room, but the school already has selected a tall, curly-haired dancer with a wicked belt voice, and needs the petite lyric soprano to complete the class. It's expensive (multiple application fees, many trips) time consuming (and yes, she's taking 5 AP courses, and has the lead in the spring musical, as well as being its choreographer) and has no guarantee of a happy ending. She needs to be in rehearsals, ballet class, her voice lesson...and a little sleep would be nice, too.

 

So where are we right now? She's done 6 auditions, with 3 to go. She has received academic acceptance to every school she's applied to. She has heard some results -- a couple of rejections from the theatre department, a couple of deferrals, one full-out artistic acceptance. So there is less uncertainty than when we started this process. She DOES have a place to go to school...but we continue on the audition trail, as she really wants to see where this will all end up, and each school she's researched and chosen has its appeal, for one reason or another.

 

It's a scary path -- watching your kid prepare, and walk into a room to put herself on the line (and in a musical theatre audition, each auditionee gets approximately 3 minutes to impress -- 2 "cuts" of a song, 1 one minute monologue from a play). Thankfully there is a dance call, a full class, and that is a part of each audition she cherishes, and feels it's where she shines. But this is a heck of a way to spend senior year. Hubbie and I have joked that we'd love to spin it to the networks as a new reality show: "Audition!"...but then we decided it was more terrifying than Fear Factor and all the Halloween movies combined.

 

Best of luck to all our seniors as they make their decisions, walk into those audition rooms, and put themselves out there, silently screaming "Pick me!"

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Joining this group! It seems that the audition trail has taken over life as we knew it. dd is overseas but also wants to audition in the States so her new press secretary (Mom) is busy cranking out copies of her resume, cover letter, dvd and mailing them out. Communication is frantic interesting: the time difference, frequent travel to audition, class, rehearsals, performances and yes, still trying to finish courses to graduate high school.... and stay healthy. This is a lot harder than can ever be communicated. We've taken to e-mail so the details don't get muddled but of course, she has to be able to receive e-mail and many of the hotels where she's staying for auditions don't have internet connections. msd, I've joked for years that ballet school would be the perfect reality show....

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swanchat,

 

You have hit the nail on the head! What a great reality show idea - PLENTY of drama!

 

I also have taken the unpaid and underappreciated part-time job of late as DD's communications manager/ research assistant. Like you, all from 3000 miles away. Many times I just can't understand what she is saying because she is walking down the street on the way to class. Skype helps when there is time. Whew! But, at least I feel as if I have done all that I can do. It is really just up to her and God now.

 

Good luck and a pat on the back to all the "mom" managers out there!!

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pointeprovider

msd, I really enjoyed your post. Yes, it is scarier than all of those Halloween movies combined. I now consider Skype to be the best invention ever, as I am also doing some long-distance management.

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Thank you msd for your so eloquently written post. We just had our first Junior meeting last night about how to apply for college. I heard it all and it seemed to all apply and at the same time, didn't apply at all to my dd. I just posted a question on the Univ. of Utah thread today asking if you find out if you are accepted to the dance dep't when you are accepted to the college. I will be checking with UU, and the others, but your post seemed to answer that question. We live in the middle of nowhere so attending audition weekends is nearly impossible (involves long flights). I am hoping dd can have private auditions when we are visiting the colleges this summer, thus avoiding many expensive flights throughout her senior year.

 

I wish your dd the best of luck in all endeavors, she sounds like an amazing individual both academically and artistically. Know that you aren't alone and thank you again for making me feel as though I'm not alone as we navigate the post-high school dilemmas and choices.

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dancer830, keep in mind that depending on the dance department, many of the audition classes are exactly that---classes taken with the students currently in the program. Therefore, planning to audition in the summer may not be a realistic possibility. Definitely check ahead of time whether that will be an option. It may be that it is not, but that an arrangement could be made for some time other than the listed audition dates.

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DD is applying to a couple of colleges with strong dance programs. We found that they are not at all flexible with scheduling and now we are flying across the country twice within a matter of 4-5 weeks. So more $$$ B) scheduling time off from work, etc, etc.

 

sheesh!

 

sophiabuddy

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sophiabuddy (and all auditioning families), we definitely feel your pain about the travel to auditions!! Yup -- flights/driving, hotel rooms, food...and time off from work (and school for our h.s. seniors) -- it's crazy...and it all adds up! We were gone 4 straight weekends in the fall, and are gearing up to fly in NYC in Feb, then later drive 500+ miles one way (then turn it around so she can get back for tech week) near the end of the month.

 

However...dd and I have had the most spendid of times on these travels. There are great memories of the banana split shared late one night on a long drive home, of silly, silly songs in the car... I've enjoyed meeting other parents along this journey in the "mom holding rooms" -- they understand what our kids are going through like no one else, and the war stories are great ways to pass the time. We half joke that next year I'm going to come pick her up at her college some audition weekend, and we'll just choose a campus to travel toward...stopping along the way for bad food, cheap hotels and good company!

 

In the midst of this craziness...I've got to find some bliss! Safe travels and good audition result wishes to all of us!

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Thank you everyone for your information. DD and I will begin doing our due diligence now so we don't visit a college twice in order to have her audition. Funny, I never pictured this when she put on that pink leotard at 3 year old, I just thought it was cute! I am thrilled she is a dancer and passionate about her art, and I am also happy to know that I am not the only one trying to navigate college vs. dance, or both simultaneously. :)

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Dancer830,

 

Oh, dear -- I fear I'm monopolizing the conversation here. But I wanted to mention a bit about dd's path toward choosing her final list of colleges...which started in earnest her junior year (you are wise). You know what? We did visit all but one of the schools she's auditioning for over spring break and summer, to assess "fit". There were several schools we visited that did NOT make the final cut, once she saw them, although they looked great online and in their viewbooks, or were recommended by people who knew her as a good place.

 

Advantages: in your junior year, you are "auditioning" the school -- and it's not just the dance/theatre department -- these kids are going to be living there, getting around on their own (mine will not have a car), going to a few gen ed courses, etc. Some schools with excellent programs in her major just didn't feel right, or didn't have some of the things she was looking for. By being able to see them firsthand, she knew the "no" schools, and we saved many dollars in application and audition fees, yet more essays she wouldn't have to write (I think the count, for apps and scholarships at the schools, is at 19...) Too, having been on campus once, her stress level was visibly lower when she returned to audition -- as she'd scoped out the changing areas, performing spaces, etc. She observed classes and talked to current students (and keeps in touch with several) and deparment people....

 

Disadvantages -- expense and time. Disappointment when a school that sounded sooooo perfect turned out not to be. But as we go through this year, she's confident that she knows enough about each school to know why she's there, what the fit is, and why she chose that school over another. The expense and time factors were big ones, and every family has to decide what their comfort level/ability is in making these trips. There's certainly online campus fairs, local performing arts fairs sponsored by NACAC, and other, less gas-intensive ways to get information....but for us, the 2-trips method really helped us in the decision process -- there are soooo many schools out there...and we really want dd to be happy and settled with the school she'll attend.

 

And yeah -- who knew that a 3 year old running around in a leotard would drag us down this path!?!!? Yikes!

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Another consideration about the college tours would be whether college is plan A, B, or C. In DD's case, it's plan C after a second company position and an offer to be a trainee.

 

Sophiabuddy

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