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Ballet Talk for Dancers

10yo very much dislikes the new ballet school


lmlove

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We are relocating, and my daughter started at a new ballet school last week. She broke down crying(unlike her) after the first class. I've now decided she won't go back to that class(kids were younger and didn't listen or follow directions).

 

I spoke with the artistic director of her old pre pro school. Our only options if she gets into one of the Balanchine schools she's accustomed to is to commute almost an hour each way. I don't want to do this, but I will if she really wants to.

 

WWYD? My husband is stressing me out enough about everything else, and he doesn't understand the ballet stuff.

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Not sure I can tell from your post if the issue is more related to general change, being uncomfortable with her peer group at the new place, or a change in teaching style....? Or maybe you don't know?

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Are there no other pre-pro schools in the area of re-location? Does it have to be a Balanchine school??? At 10 years old, there is no reason to be set on one particular style, or even method.

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At ten it can be hard to go somewhere where the material is different, and the faces are different. I know with my perfectionist ballerina when she was outside her comfort zone (at that age) she would find things to complain about that were not the real issue. Would it be possible to talk with the instructor of her class and get her opinion about what is going on?

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I think a balanchine school would be more comfortable for her, and I do think the break down was a combination of everything. I mean when she lost it I lost it. I've told her to stick out the week, and when I get back I will help her settle classes, etc. She doesn't know I spoke with old directors who think it is a huge change to go from all balanchine to RAD, so I was thinking maybe not changing styles right now. I'm at a loss, and I am overwhelmed with the move, too. I know she is, too, and it's her first year of middle school.

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Oh, say no more! middle school is purgatory! LOL We also moved the summer before middle school for my DD, but she remained at her pre-pro. I think if we had to change everything it would have been miserable!

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ugh, this is frustrating. she has always been so happy and easy going. this is not going well. I don't know if I can keep my sanity and commute into Manhattan several times a week.

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We temporarily relocated to a new community when my daughter was 10. It took her almost a month to adjust to the new dance school. She had a lot of tears and did not want to go to class, but I knew how much she loved dance and encouraged her to perservere and it was the right decision. As a mom it was not easy, it was hard to see her struggle, and often I doubted myself about encouraging her to push through. She also switched styles, and went from a small group of friends she knew very well to completely all new kids. It was a huge transition but in the end her ability to adapt to change and accept new circumstances has really helped her grow as a dancer. That being said, I was happy with the studio and the instructor even though my daughter was initially unhappy.

 

We also did a one hour commute thing last year, and I have to say, that is not something I would sign up for again. It was insanely stressful for a number of reasons, and not a decision to be made lightly. It works well for some families, but I would only do it again as an absolute last resort.

 

All the best, it is a difficult place to be.

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Imlove - alternatively perhaps you can arrange for privates with an instructor that can help with this transition/translation to the new ballet school method.

 

School anxiety is hard to battle especially girls at the new school have been together since kindergarten and its so hard to break in and feel part of the clan.

 

If ballet isn't a refuge and another source of anxiety then there isn't a chance of her being grounded/settled anywhere.

 

She will benefit from the confidence and extra attention. Probably cheaper than the commute you are contemplating.

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Update! I took daughter into the city(an hour or so commute on a Sunday) and she auditioned for their Nutcracker. She loved it. Apparently, she loved it more than I knew. A ballet mom here in Chicago said she'd seen a text from her about the audition with lots of explanation points about the ballet school. Then, I found a post on Instagram of her in the car on the way back after the audition about how excited she was. It's a Balanchine school, and she's comfortable with it, and she is willing to do the commute(for now). So, if she can insert herself in the ballet school comfortably it will be a "safe" place for her away from the new school and town.

 

Thanks for all of the support and suggestions.

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