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Daughter wanting to quit after SI rejection


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I think I'm the one wanting to quit!! I'm so discouraged right now. As awful as it sounds, I would be so less discouraged if her good friend from the studio wasn't getting into the SI's ! I know, that's the worse ever. I'm happy for her but so bummed for my dd. I seriously start questioning if her dreams are attainable. There are so many girls who have the tiny bodies and small chests and bendy feet and hyperextended legs. She will never be that. But she has beautiful technique, the "It" factor. Ughhhh. I'm just sad for her and I don't have anyone to voice this with. My dd is fine - she would have been elated to have gotten in to the last one she auditioned for, PNB but knew she would not have gone anyway as we've already committed. Anyway... Thats all - just needed to vent.

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Oh, Lady Elle! I know what you mean! When DD was crying to me the other night, my heart was broken, and I was about halfway to crazytown with her! There are girls at her studio getting in to big name SIs with full scholarships, and she can't even get accepted, and it HURTS, especially when some of the ones who are accepted don't work half as hard as DD. There are girls DD dances with who audition really well but receive mediocre comments on evaluations because their work ethic is lacking. And sometimes I find it absolutely maddening.


But then I remember: Auditions don't show a dancer's ability to grasp choreography, or teach it to others. They don't show how a certain dancer brings up her whole class by helping everyone be their best. They don't show a dancer's character, work ethic, or long-term commitment. They don't show how respected the dancer is by her peers and her teachers.


If certain schools can't appreciate my DD based on a brief audition in a crowded room, that is THEIR loss. She is an extraordinary human being, and an extremely gifted dancer with a mediocre foot and a bad foot. If some stranger in a 90-minute audition can only judge her by her one foot, then that is not a place I want her to be anyway. My job is to help her see that.


But first, I have to remember that myself! Hugs to all of us as we try to raise these incredible humans!

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Mama2dancer - yes... ^. Perfect reminder. Thank you!

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Just musing here...


Maybe we should start looking at SIs like we want them to look at our DDs. Yes the big ones have those three letters, but what about the ones that don't, are they unworthy? Should we reject them like our DDs have been rejected? I've read many positive reviews on some "unknown" SIs. So many have great teachers, give individual attention, and frequently have some special element that no other SI has. Maybe if we look deeper at the SIs, we can find a few that are hidden gems, just like our DDs.

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Amie, that is exactly what we advocate here on BT4D. We recommend researching and evaluating SIs in terms of your individual dancer's needs, wants, wishes, personality, training level, skills level, learning preferences, learning style, family needs and finances rather than evaluating them based on popularity, name, because some name dancer chose to go there, etc.


SIs are not one size fits all. Different ones fit different dancers at different times in their training journey. Listen to your dancer, not all the chatter.

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Yes, Amie that is very true. My dd has attended those for the past three years. Especially last year - small, out in the country. And this year we did pick some doosies to audition for. She is looking for one that has a residential program to look into so that also eliminates some of the smaller SI's.

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Thank you ladies...needed to read your thoughts tonight. The more I learn about all this SI stuff, the less I understand. Helps to know I'm not alone.

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Yes, Amie. I think that is a great way to approach things. The only reason DD even auditioned for the 2 SI's that rejected her was that the dean of her school told her to. DD isn't even interested in them because their training is very specific, and she likes a more varied program.


Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the "Exclusive" programs aren't really so much "exclusive" as "specific." "Narrow" and "limited" are two other words that I could use to describe them if I were being unkind, but I have no wish to be unkind. I just want to help myself re-frame the way I think about these things so that I can help my daughter see that her potential is not limited by their vision; rather their schools are limited by that vision. They miss out on a lot of super great dancers.

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In the vein of big name vs lesser known programs I think we as parents need to set our kids up for success (to the best of our ability). I have observed several families that I know personally, just let their kiddos choose, and in most cases I believe kids need some direction. At least in the early teen years.


Most young dancers only know about those famous big name programs that they have heard repeatedly through the years. We parents need to help make sure that their choices are well balanced, sure have some of those reach schools..the big name programs that roll easily off of everyones tongue, but also encourage them to apply to some of the well regarded but lesser known programs. You can find those by spending time researching and reading reviews here and take notes. Create word documents that contain the details of various programs so that you can very easily compare and identify programs that would be a good fit for your child, while weeding out those that are not a fit. Just like choosing a college.


This is not to imply that those who have not had success with SI acceptances this year didn't choose wisely. I know one girl in particular who auditioned for a range of SIs with her ballet teacher's guidance...and still has not received the acceptances she was hoping for.


I think we make a mistake when we want to 'fit the program' rather than finding a program that 'fits us'.

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At the risk of going a little too off topic, may I suggest having your teen actively research summer intensives during the school year? (Heck, if they do research papers for school, they can certainly put in a little time learning about summer programs.) This will crystalize in their minds what they want to achieve from the program, what kind of setting would be comfortable for them, what kind of styles they want to learn, whether they need more performing experience, what scholarship or financial aid opportunities are available or finding programs where they will get exposure to the artistic director. At least they will be going into the auditions with a clearer idea about what they will get out of the program should they be accepted and maybe become familiar with the auditioning faculty who could potentially be their teachers at the intensive. It may make those bigger company SI's not so intimidating or they may find small gems that others, including mom, may have missed. I have always felt that kids need to have some "skin in the game" to make the whole experience more meaningful considering mom and dad are paying the big bucks for this wonderful opportunity to view a much bigger ballet world outside their studio. I realize this doesn't help the younger teens, although doing a little research with mom or dad would be a great bonding/teaching tool for you and your dancer. And it will help narrow down the programs that would be a better fit for your dancer and perhaps a better chance of being accepted. Should your dancer decide to try for a career in dance, they will already have had the experience of researching this field and hopefully not feel so overwhelmed with the daunting task of researching to find a job.

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Here is my two cents on SI's...Every SI has instructors with really good bios. They all have the ability to teach, the student needs to have the ability to learn. Regardless of placement, my daughter has been told if you are not sweating by the first grande plie , then you are not working hard enough. It is important to remember that in ballet you need to walk before you can run. Just because an SI might be perfect for one kid doesn't make it necessarily perfect for another kid. I sent my daughter somewhere where the AD disapproved (mainly cause he didn't know anything about it) she was in a 16 kid class and learned a ton! A big name would have not given her that kind of individual attention.

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Yes, it all kind of stinks, this rejection. We have had all kinds of horrid tearful situations. Best friend gets an opportunity while you wait in the background.


But I guess I have to say, if rejection from an SI is causing a kid to say I want to quit (and I don't mean the tearful, desperate stuff that goes up when they are at their lowest point). . . Then my question would be "Why?" Do you want to dance? Or Isn't it about dancing? Doesn't that have to be the driving force? Wanting/needing to dance and peshaw to someone who won't have me? I am going to dance.

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Am I the only one who wouldn't be upset if I heard my daughter say she wanted to stop ballet? Is that horrible? I clearly never thought starting a ballet class once a week at age 10 would lead to training abroad at age 13. I didn't even know that was a thing, much less that my child would become obsessively involved in ballet like she has. I want her to not be so narrowly focused on her future that it's ballet 100% or the world will end. And I know that I should feel grateful that she is excelling at a rapid speed in an area that she is so passionate about but I selfishly want her home. She's a child, but she lives a more dedicated life than most adults I know. I let her audition for SIs because I thought the experience would be good, never really thinking she would get in. She did. Then she was noticed by a well known director of a foreign conservatory and had a scholarship to attend for a year at age 12. Now she thinks the world ends and begins in Europe and there is nothing left for her in the US. I know this isn't true but long gone are the days when my input in the area of ballet are considered valid. I feel like ballet stole my child at times. Rejection is never easy when it comes to our children but be careful what you wish for because it can become a very fast moving train.

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Emrsn23, no, you are not at all alone. I wished over and over again through the years of training that my daughter would stop ballet. While I adored watching her dance and knew I'd miss that part terribly, I still never really wanted her to have a life in ballet. I felt (and still do feel) that it's a tough life and I didn't wish for her to come up against so much hardship so young.


But she loved it. She craved it. She ignored and rebuffed all mention of her not having to stay in ballet. I used to tell her off and on through the training years to never, ever feel she'd let any of us down if she quit because we loved HER no matter what she did or did not do with her life. She told me to stop saying that, so I did, although I still worried. She, however, lived and breathed dance. She never wanted a day off through all those years. I'd had a similar commitment to the guitar and choral music when I was growing up, and understood that deep satisfaction of working hard for and achieving goals along the way. It's intoxicating!

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I used to tell her off and on through the training years to never, ever feel she'd let any of us down if she quit because we loved HER no matter what she did or did not do with her life. She told me to stop saying that, so I did, although I still worried.

Exact same thing here. DD actually told me that when I tell her that ballet does not HAVE to be her life that she feels that I am implying she should quit or is not good enough. So I have stopped. Only occasionally, when the pressure starts to build, I will gently remind her that she can dial it back anytime she needs to catch her breath.


The only thing that I love about my DD's dancing (aside from watching her on stage) is how happy it makes her. I see how hard she works, how diligent and thoughtful she is about all things dance. She is growing into an amazing young lady and her dance training, her dance teachers and her studio culture have all played an important part in making her who she is. Should she choose to switch gears I would support her 100% but I would be sad for her to lose those important connections.


emrsn23, one great thing about BT4D is that we can read about the various roads that others have taken and we can choose to navigate towards the best road, not only for our DKs but also for our families. What works well for some may not work for us and sometimes we have to make difficult choices. Your DD is still quite young, if you are not happy with the turn that her training has taken, perhaps you need you make some adjustments. Hugs!

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