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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Parents Upset About Dance


Josie:)

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I have been wanting to take more dance classes so that I can get more practice. I asked my parents about it, and they said that they don't want me taking anymore classes than I already do. They want me to focus on school more. I love dance, and I hope to keep pursuing dance in college. I'm still not sure if I'll want to major in dance as well, but I know that I love it. The problem is, my parents don't really support me in my choice to keep doing dance while in college. They think I'm too caught up in it, and they're worried about me wanting to do it professionally because they'd rather me become a doctor or a nurse. The thing is I don't know if someday I'd want to major in it, or do it professionally. And if I do decide to do either of those things, I think I'd be to afraid to tell them because I know that that's not what they want for me. Them not supporting me about it is another reason why I'd be scared of telling them. I don't know how to tell them that this is something I really love, and that I don't know if I'd want to major in it in college or do it professionally.

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Josie, this is a difficult, but not really unusual situation. But in the end, what you decide to do with your life is your decision. Parents all want the best for their children, but they cannot make the decision in terms of what your goals and dreams are. We all want to please our parents, but unless our goals are the same as theirs, it really does not work very well. Gaining their support for what you really want to do, or in the case of something like ballet, HAVE to do, has to be earned and proven to them. If you are not sure, then you might need to rethink what you want. The arts are a not an easy profession in which to make a living, and in order to go in that direction one has to be driven to doing it. It's not a want, it's a have to have thing. And even then, unless one has both the talent and the training, it's not going to happen. If you really want to spend your life in dance, you are going to have to convince and prove to your parents that you can do it, that you have the talent, and that with the training you will have an opportunity to do that. Can you enlist your teachers help and support on this? Has your training so far provided you with the opportunity to be accepted to good SI programs? Have you been seriously encouraged by your teachers, both at home and at SI's? Have you thought about what you really want to do with it if you major in college? Where is that going to lead for you? The first step is to know in your own mind where you want to focus your education, both academically and in dance.

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I'm planning to audition for an SI next summer and my teachers have wanted me to get in more classes in so that I can get more practice in. I've told my parents that but they've still said the same thing.

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I think the reason I'm still not sure about doing it professionally or majoring in it is because my fear of my parents reaction,afraid of disappointing them. Another thing that worries me is that if they don't let me take the classes I need, how can I improve?

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Josie, I'm really sorry, but I just looked at your previous posts to find out your age and training, and it looks like you are a late starter and have very little training. This will make it very difficult for you in terms of SI auditions, and also a good major program in college. If you can't get a whole lot more training in your last 2 years of high school than you have had so far, your chances are not very good. I wish I could be more encouraging, but I think that you might need to think about keeping dance in your life, but not as a profession unless you are able to change the training situation. And, you really need to know that you also have the talent necessary to do it. Loving it is great, and continuing to dance because it is something you love to do is also great, but thinking of it in terms of a profession requires a whole lot more than that. Without both the support of your parents and the quality and quantity of training needed, even if you are talented, it is a very, very uphill battle. You will be fighting for jobs, and even good college programs, along with dancers who have trained in professional schools for many, many years. They will have had daily training, several hours a day, and years of SI programs.

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Ok,I'm really going to think about what I want to do & think about what I'm going to pursue a career in. Thanks for your help.

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