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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Boydancermom

Two performances in one season?

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dancemaven

Did you ask the home studio instructor his philosophy behind his 'ultimatum'? Sometimes they have good reasons for why they say what they say and how they handle things. (Other times, not so much . . . . ).

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Boydancermom

Your kind words have really helped - thanks for offering your support. It's been a tough few days to say the least.

 

I have been trying to see both sides to this difficult situation. The studios point is if they let dancers dance in other performances, then it might become a nightmare. I get that. But what I also know is that our son is the ONLY ballet boy in our city so he's in demand as a dance parent similarly shared in this thread. I was hoping that they would be willing to share - to help give him the performance experience (he has never done the Nutcracker) with a professional company and an AD that can open doors for him (the AD said that he would help him get into a very selective SI which most dancers would give their eye teeth to go to and that he can come to their company 3 hours away if he ever has a day off and take male classes). As it turns out he would likely miss ONE of the other show's rehearsals on the day of the Nutcracker - not a tech rehearsal, 10 days prior to the show. I'm not a ballet expert, but I would hope that this could be worked around. The 3 roles that he has aren't big ones - and one he did last year. I think it's more of the precedent that it might set for the other dancers - and also, I suspect, for political reasons.

 

But, I'm sure that this won't be the first difficult decision that our son will have to make. Question for you all - do you think that he should tell his studio owners his decision on his own tomorrow? One of them has been emotionally manipulative in the past - [. . . . ] Our son is 14 years old so I think he can do it on his own, but my husband is worried that this one AD will be emotionally abusive to him (based on past behavior). How protective should we be as dance parents?

Edited by dancemaven
Remove second-hand gossip.

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dancemaven

Given the studio's reasoning, I'm not sure I can't agree with them. Precedents can be difficut to deal with when it comes to 'special' treatments.

 

At his age, I think it is important that he start taking responsibility for his decisions. You have stated that he has been 'wise' with his decisions about his training, so yes, I think it is his place to tell the AD the decision he has made.

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dinkalina

I would let your son do it with your support. Make sure you go over with him that the AD may not take the information politely. If it looks like it is going to get ugly, step in, but DS needs to learn to advocate for himself. I'm sorry your "village" couldn't play nice with each other. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, especially the lack of support for your DS.

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MelissaGA

Based on past experiences and wise advice I have been given from moderators here, I would recommend that your son tell the AD but you should ideally be present as well. Your son should do the talking but you can sweep in if need be.

 

I am a little confused. I thought the teacher/director from the home school said he would no longer coach him if he were to take the position. It sounded to be that your son would be leaving the original school. If that is the case, I think you should still go with your son. He should be sure to thank them for the training he has received, etc and let them know of his decision. Make it as positive as possible. Your role would be to help make sure the discussion remains positive.

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Momof3darlings

I have been trying to follow, but admit to a few things I'm not 100% sure. So, I'm going to answer based on what I believe has happened in this situation and if my assessment from trying to keep up is wrong, then ignore me completely.

 

In this case, it sounded to me like Mom and Son decided to audition and did not ask permission up front to do so of his current company/school. I would imagine if this is not in the school/performance contracts it will be after this for sure. It is already in most student company contracts. Now, I will state that many do not feel they have to ask permission for their children to do anything. But I am not one of those. If my child has already signed up for something and wants to add something else on, then I would be sure in advance that all will work out. I understand that a school does not "own" a dancer, but there is the old adage of "ask forgiveness later" that does in fact mean Parents need to take ownership/resposibility if they choose not to give credence to their first obligation accepted.

 

I am a BIG proponent of letting a child over 13 speak on their own behalf to their dance teachers. But if the order of things is what has truly happened here, then I would not let my son go it alone. What I would do (again if this is how thing occured), is to have a conference with my child and the director. I would speak first and acknowledge my mistakes in not asking permission first and explain that I simply thought this was a wonderful opportunity that everyone would jump on not knowing how much of an issue it would cause but that now that the situation has been created, you would like for your son not to take the brunt of backlash for your mistake in acting as the adult in the situation. Short and sweet, not longwinded. Then I would allow my son to speak on his own behalf and express whatever he would like to in terms of his decision. I would not interject unless the AD was not kind, but if the AD is acting in a professional manner then I would simply allow my son to speak and continue. It sounded earlier in the thread like leaving was a done deal. I encourage you to tred lightly on that simply because in other threads you've discussed the limited availabilities for quality instruction in your area. The bridge might be burned anyway and might need to be given you and your husband's feelings about the AD. But should you ever desire to return for reasons you don't understand today, you will want this to go as well as it can. (Residency does not end up working out for everyone who is there) Should the end result be that he has to leave anyway, then be sure to be the bigger person in the room and be thankful for all the current teachers have done for you.

 

I admit to being a bit fuzzy in the reading and needing to go back and re-read but not having time right this second. I was thinking your son was not the only ballet boy in town but was one of only a few and like Melissa thought that as far as the home school was concerned, if your choice was to take the newer situation that it was a done deal as far as the home school was concerned. Or by "coaching" did the AD only mean the extra help he may receive and not just classes?

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Boydancermom

Such great advice here - thank you all so much. It has been a stressful week to say the least. Momof3darlings: We let our son's home studio know that he was auditioning for the out of town company Nutcracker (to be performed in our home town). They didn't tell him not to and said that auditioning is always good practice. They said that they didn't get notice of the audition but I saw it on a website. We thought that it was for practice only - and to make a connection with the AD since it's a professional company. Things changed at the audition when the AD took a liking to our son and decided to cast him as Fritz and to create choreography for him in Act 2 as nephew. (we thought that only minor roles were going to be cast so we were surprised). This was a game changer and our son got very excited about the roles. The out of town company were willing to work around his home studio's rehearsal schedule but his home studio said that he couldn't miss even one rehearsal (on the day of the Nutcracker - 10 days before his other performance) so he had to choose. He chose the Nutcracker.

 

I'm not sure what the AD meant this week when he told our son "If you take this role then I can't coach you anymore" but it sounds like a threat (veiled or not). He has said emotionally manipulative things to our son and another boy (who left) in the past. It has caused our son (and me) much stress this week. Today, my son and my husband went to tell the ADs his choice - according to my husband our son was very poised and articulate on why he chose the Nutcracker (so proud of him!) It was a great lesson in advocating for himself. I wish I could have been there to see him! The owners said that he can stay at the studio so that will remain intact but given his threats, I don't want him to be alone with that AD again :-) I think it's important to set boundaries for emotional manipulation. I hope it doesn't blow things up with his studio (he loves the other instructors and his friends) but if it does, so be it. I know that I can't protect our son once he is grown, but I think it's important to set boundaries and consequences for it and set a good example when he is growing up.

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Momof3darlings

Thanks for the clarity boydancermom. I had been trying to follow all the particulars and missed the post where you did ask. I'm glad to know that! Very glad! I am happy to know your husband and son handled things well and your son showed his maturity in being able to express his reasons. It looks like things worked out for the best at this moment. In order to be "Fritz" your son has to have regular classes and regular quality classes. So that is the most important along the way.

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