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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help! DD is quitting dance for good


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Seven months after her last bow, she said 'I think I miss dance'.


Will keep you posted.

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  • isadora


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I would let her know you support her returning to dance if she wishes and just leave it at that. My DD eventually returned to dance - HIP HOP. :nixweiss:

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Thanks Taradriver. I do have to be very careful, not to seem pushy (although it screems "GO! GO!" in my head).


Today we talked about it a bit more. She said she might want to go back but without the commitment. She is afraid that her body won't react well, that she won't be able to do stuff properly or that she will have forgotten all about it. Same lack of confidence again.

I told her to tell me when she thought she would be ready.


Walking on eggs.

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If she does go back, she will need to cut herself some slack. Yes, she will need to re-build up to her old skill level. Yes, things will feel a little wobbly, slow, clunky. Yes, she will think she's horrible. BUT, she will also probably feel the comfort in the movements again and, if she is patient and kind to herself, she will regain her old skill level and then some as she goes along. :)

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Dancemaven I agree with you. I am pretty confident that she would gain back most of her competencies. But she said in particular that she was hoping it would be easier than last year (she was in a full time professionnal school and didn't make it to the following year, due to injury and stress). I was thinking of a good quality recreative programme in which she would feel welcome and not judged. She could go twice or three times a week. We talked (virtually) yesterday and at the end she said 'We will see', which left me confused. I don't want to wait too long as the winter session has already started but don't want to appear pushy. She has some free time right now, that's why I think it would be ideal for her to try a class now.


For other moms that might find themselves in a similar situation, this is how I proceeded all along these terribly empty months, if 'proceed' is the right term!!! I kept all my sorrow (term is not too strong) for myself, rarely talked about dance except for asking her some tips for my own classes. All dance gear was hidden from view. Then during the holidays I took her to see an excellent Nutcracker we had never seen before. She stayed on the edge of her seat for most of the show, a smile on her face. She made also some remarks that showed how much she had been hurt by her professional school experience. After the show, again I said nothing. And then she made that remark a few days after... 'I am missing dance'.

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Dancemaven is spot on. And returning to ballet in a less competitive atmosphere seems a good idea, as long as the instruction is good quality. I was not too thrilled about DD and hip hop but I kept my mouth shut and it did bring her back to dance. She's an adult now, I can't be inserting myself in those kinds of decisions. (I can, however, get her gift certificates for barre class which she loved but couldn't afford on her teacher salary.) Just see what happens. However your DD gets back to dance is fine. And it is fine, too, if she chooses not to. Hang in there.

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Thank you Taradriver, will keep you posted. In any case, the only fact that she started to talk about it again, on her own will, is a miracle.

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Happy to hear you got that ray of sunshine, isadora. :) It's an incredibly complex set of feelings when a dancer is on hold or in limbo, for whatever reason - waiting for an injury to heal or deciding what she wants to do with herself for the future. While they wait, they have time to assess what they have learned along the way about the whole big picture. So they have a lot to consider, which they may have not given time to when they were busy dancing! You probably find you have been doing the same. And after returning, a day at a time is the only way - and baby steps, being in the present. There's no question that for you, so close to her, there are lessons learned in how to restrain your own feelings, while being there to comfort and support. I know from experience that this kind of life lesson will give your dd so much wisdom for her young years. You will admire her even more. And the lessons for both of you or any of us going through a similar experience - in slowing down and taking everything day to day - these are invaluable. And while her decision is so definitely dependent on her mindset, it is even more dependent on her body and its cooperation, in this profession. It may be obvious to say that, but it's sometimes easy to forget when we are just loving watching them dance and don't need to do the work! It's good to read that your dd has come around to the point of sharing her feelings with you with "dance" as a subject. That's a great sign for her psyche, no matter what she decides to do. So important! I would be so happy to talk to you more when you get pm privileges. I hope that is soon!

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Give her time. I can't even imagine what both you and her are going through.

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Hi. I havent posted in quite a while but am still reading. DD, 15, tore her ACL summer before 9th grade. She never really made it back to ballet. It was hard on both of us. With a little distance - my perspective has changed some. I used to think it was a blessing in disguise in that I knew dd would never be a professional and that I didnt want her to "waste" her high school years dancing 5-6 days a week. DD is now in 10th grade. Social life has replaced ballet. She has not joined any sports or clubs at school and her lack of dedication to anything is making me a little crazy. All she wants to do is hang out with her friends. We finally put our foot down last week and said that she had to sign up for something structured at least 2-3 days a week. Some of her friends were doing track at school so she went to day 1 of practice, ran one lap, and promptly left. Thus ensued a discussion about - if you say you are not a team sports person - what are you going to do that is active? After hours of discussion - guess where she ended up? Yup - back to ballet. There is a local studio that is more recreational than where she was. She will take class Mon and Wed for 1.45 hours each. She has no interest in going for optional third class on Saturdays or joining their dance troop which performs. She told the instructor that she has no interest in going back en pointe. She is in a class with mostly younger kids. She has only been to once class so far so jury is still out. I for one admit that when I went and watched her dance across the floor during center - my eyes teared up. Once a ballet mom, always a ballet mom

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NikkisMamma, you are right, I know, thank you... But I thought, this was the time to act, but it is still too early. I am not patient enough.


Clementine, same road.. it is fantastic that your DD agreed to go back to ballet, even with these restrictions. But perhaps she didn't suffer from a total destruction of her self-confidence as a dancer as my DD did. I can see her fear, even in a recreative class, not to be at level.


I am persuaded that she would love it, that's why it drives me crazy. If only she would agree to try it!


Ballet mom once, ballet mom always. So true!!!

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I am so thankful to find this thread. My 15 yo daughter had surgery on a torn labrum last spring and was out of dance for about 8 months. Toward the end of the summer she took some open adult classes at her current school and enjoyed dancing again, especially a particular modern class. This fall she began again in the pre-pro program she's been in since age 8. It was rough at first and there were many tears and frustration with the slow return process but towards the end of December her confidence was increasing and she seems to be enjoying herself again. Unfortunately, she received a kick in her confidence from teachers. I don't know what direction my daughter will take but she is considering leaving her current school and possibly dance in general. It is nice to know, this is not unusual after an injury and there are others who understand how difficult the process is for a parent as well.

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Thanks for your testimony arodrig612. You are not alone.


I would go so far as guessing that seeing you DD stop dancing is much more painful for yourself than it is for your DD.


My DD told me a few days ago that she had just started to think about her last year (catastrophic) dancing experience in that pro school. This means that for 7 months, she didn't even think about it (while I was in agony). Now she is slowly deciphering what really happened (she says things like : 'I just didn't feel like doing it anymore', or 'it was chaos'.). I tried to accompany her thoughts, but am careful to what I say. I already made the mistake of being overly pushy, by proposing we go visit together a recreative dance school. The answer was no, of course.


So back to square one. Just keeping my sorrow to myself, until the next alert, and meanwhile concentrating on my own ballet practice... :(

Edited by isadora
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