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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help! DD is quitting dance for good


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love to see you dance

I have posted on this topic before, DD quit end of freshman year in HS, started back at the end of sophmore year with one jazz class, by the end of senior year ready to major in dance in college. She is now in her junior year of college as a BFA student.

In hind sight I think what she wanted from me while she took a break was to not see her as a dancer who was giving it up, but as a young women with many more sides to her who was trying to find her way. Its so easy to see the dancer, that was how she spent most of her time, dancing 6 days a week, everything in her life seemed to revolve around dance, but that wasn't how she saw herself. There is so much more to her and she wanted that less visable but more important part to be noticed. She felt like she was under so much pressure from other people, with everyone, her parents, dance instructors, friends, other dancers telling her what she had to do if she was going to make it.

I think the break allowed her to realize what she really wanted for herself. In seeing this as her journey it allowed me to let go and support her in ways that I probably never had before. A real lesson to both of us

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It comes back to the fact that we are charged with raising happy, productive adults, not with raising dancers. Dancing is only part of what makes our children so wondrous. They must be allowed to explore, falter, figure out what they want to do, be, are----without anything more than guidance from us. They are flowers whose petals unfold as they will. And we must support that unfurling, regardless of what type flower we thought or wished we had. The surprise is much more exciting. :wink:

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Nothing exciting in the fact that my DD has been expelled from her professionnal dance school (not invited to come back the coming year), and that she spent the year being yelled or laughed at. Supporting our kids choices is not questioned here. It is obvious.


Had my daughter left her dance school because she didnt wan't to dance anymore would have been one thing. Being forced to do so in such a way is another.


But the question is not even there. She is exploring other avenues. She might go back to her dance shoes, or not. She will recover.


I won't.

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You will! She will find her new passion in due time and you will embrace it. Yes, you will mourn opportunities, roads not taken, but the key is to remember her choices. She may not have chosen to step off this particular path ( shoved off is much harder to accept), but she did chose not to step back on. She's chosen another path to explore---at least for now.


Cyber hugs to you! Been there, different type of shove, but result is still the same.

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Thanks Dancemaven. This is the only space where I can talk about this and being understood. Either my entourage brushes it off quickly because they don't understand, either other ballet moms have their DDs still dancing.


And let me add that it is me who has a problem, not my daughter (although her scars might be less visible, but real).

Edited by isadora
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it is part of the letting go process. Starts earlier than most people think. Your DD is becoming an adult. Is a long process. Things can change; you never know. Just hang in there. Down the road a bit, you could ask her if she ever thought of doing another style of dance just for fun and exercise. She might surprise you.

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I am grateful to read this thread. My DD is teetering on the edge, much less interested in going to class, or understudying and much more interested in friends and social media :(. There are a number of factors that are contributing, not the least a very discouraging discussion with her AD regarding some physical factors AD felt were keeping her out of "tutu" roles and a fair amount of favoritism at play. Since then, her motivation has plummeted and she is not sure whether she will do an SI this summer. She believes she is not "good", and rather than trying to improve, she is slowly backing away from something she loved just a few months ago. DH and I are sad and frustrated but as so many wise parents have said on this thread, it is her journey.

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DD2 (14) just quit a month ago, but I saw it coming. Also, I'm lucky to still have DD1 (16) going all out in pursuit of dance as a large part of her future. So, I don't miss out on all the dance discussions, SI auditions, performances, etc. (Wait did I just say I was lucky DD1 is pursuing dance?!?)


Back to DD2...she quit once before and got lured back. But I think she missed her friends and the comraderee she got from dance more than anything else. She likes dancing just not enough to put her whole life into it and she was at the level where dance was encroaching on the rest of her life. She was also frustrated becuase she could see all her flaws as a dancer and not her strengths. She couldn't really take the corrections either. She was just internalizing them...not seeing them as something to work on, just that she was not good enough, not perfect. No amount of talking and discussing changed her attitude on this and it was really starting to affect her outside of dance. In the end, it has been kind of a relief for all of us that she has quit. (Wish I had known this sooner.) DH and I told her she needed to do some physical activity, so she takes yoga a couple of time a week and plans to join either soccer or some other sport next year. She has also been cooking and baking with DH, spending time with girlfriends, pursing music and art interests, and generally walking around the house with a smile. I keep looking at her and thinking, is this my DD2? I guess dance had become a weight that she carried with her everyday, and none of us realized how much it pulled her down. Maybe after some years away she will take a class for the fun of it, or maybe not. And yes, I will miss not seeing her dancing, but seeing her at peace and smiling everyday lets me know she made the right decision.

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'Being lucky to have a DD pursuing dance'.


It is a bit like buying an anti-aging cream hoping that it will make you beautiful. In reality it will at best moisturize your skin but you don't want to kill the dreaming.


We put so much expectations on our DD's dancing activity, while knowing at the back of our heads that it is all illusions, that when it stops we fall from very high.


We knew it would be coming, we just ignored to consider OUR distortion problem with it.

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As parents, we have hopes and dreams for our kids and, to some degree, we live vicariously through them. The hard part is accepting they take their own paths, no matter what. I was devastated when DD walked away from a college ballet program. Now, years later, I see a terrific human being who is successful in her chosen career and has exhibited an extraordinary amount of grace when faced with a personal tragedy. (She's fine, BTW.) At some point, you will realize your perspective as a parent has changed. You may even see that the discipline, grace, and dedication of ballet remains long after the pointe shoes have been hung up for good.

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My DD has confirmed that she will be done, and she isn't even going to make it to the recital at the end of the season. The cast list for the spring production has come out, and she will do that show, and then she wants to be done.


How do you handle your contracts when you quit early? I'm sure lots of people leave, and don't continue to pay tuition for the whole rest of the year.

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If you signed a contract, your answer should be in it. If it is not, talk to the school administrator. Everything you need to know should be in writing.

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DD took a break from her strictly classical, Vaganova-based school for about 4.5 months, went back for about 6 weeks, then just flat refused to go back. She tried track for a while, but just before Christmas decided she wanted to dance again, but not at the same studio. There were just too many things there making her not enjoy dancing any more. We found another studio, where she takes 2-3 classes a week in technique/pointe, plus contemporary, modern and the option of pilates. The new school has produced several alumni who are dancing professionally and others who are either in training companies or respected collegiate programs. I told her the other night that she has come out of every class at the new studio smiling and happier than she had been at the old place in almost six months. She was immediately accepted at the new studio and has spent the last several evenings after class in group chats with the kids at the new school. Sadly, the girls at her old studio - where she danced for 6-7 years - have not reached out to her and most don't even respond if she texts them. It has really hurt her feelings, as she considered a couple of these girls really good friends.


As long as she's happy dancing, I'm happy. I love to watch her dance and she comes alive on stage.

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I'm so glad to have found this thread. I posted several months ago about my own daughter's decision to quit ballet, and while, after ten years of study, she seems to be happy to be moving on, I cannot seem to move beyond devastated. I'm so sad and disappointed that she will never reach her full potential. Even her teachers were sad and confused and tried to get her to reconsider.


She left her company contract early, only finishing the winter show in early December. The night of her final show, her company encircled her and the artistic director told her there'd always be a place for her. That night, she cried to me in the car that she made a mistake; that she wanted to go back; that she wanted to audition for intensives. She asked me to reach out to one of her teachers and ask if she could do privates with her. I did, and myndaughter exchanged a couple of emails with her, then never followed through.


She is now deeply involved in competitive varsity cheer, and I am having such a hard time mustering up any real enthusiasm. This is affecting our relationship because my daughter is used to my undying support. But I'm struggling with how something she claimed was "her life" last summer was suddenly so easily cast aside a few months later; I'm struggling with the loss of something that - even if it shouldn't have - became part of my world, too. So on top of everything else, I'm struggling with guilt for feeling like an awful mother.


People tell me to "let it go"; that she simply exchanged one activity for another. But it feels like so much more than that.


Don't mean to high jack this thread, I just wanted to tell Isadora I UNDERSTAND, and give thanks to those who shared their experiences. I'm praying to find peace and acceptance soon.

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