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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Just like that....it's over


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Graceful711, thank you for sharing your experience here. Your daughter sounds wise and mature beyond her years. As cat11 pointed out, every dancer will eventually change their level of participation with dance at some time in their life - the fact that she is doing it with deliberation and with much thought will help her choose the next steps. Once she is able to put a little more time and distance between her previous dance life and her new path, she may be able to figure out and distill what was it about pursuing ballet that was so compelling for her, and which aspects of that journey does she want to try to replicate, what does she want to leave behind. 

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Thank you all so much.  Your support means the world to both dd and myself.  We will move onto the next adventure.  She is smiling and feeling good about the future, and that's all I can ask for.  Wishing you and all your dancers much success in whatever form that takes.  xo

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 10:48 AM, Elf Font said:

Once she is able to put a little more time and distance between her previous dance life and her new path, she may be able to figure out and distill what was it about pursuing ballet that was so compelling for her, and which aspects of that journey does she want to try to replicate, what does she want to leave behind. 

This is lovely and very, very true, as well as life-affirming. 

I am so glad you realize, Graceful711, that there will be times of doubt, worry and joy and excitement, all mixed together and at all different times.  Peace and joy to your whole family.... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My DD has been away this summer at BB SDP and has also come to the conclusion that she no longer wants to peruse ballet. She has decided that she doesn’t want all the pressure and anxiety it produces, as she has always been very successful. She will still dance, but is taking a break from intense ballet training. Her second love is modern and contemporary. That is what she will focus on for now. Best of luck in your journey as well. 

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My dd has also reached this decision. After a little more than a week of her SI, she told us that she will be concentrating on school for her senior year and can't wait to go to college. She is excited to explore new interests and have the chance to concentrate on her academics. I have to say that I am breathing a sigh of relief. Although our family has a lot of experience with jobs in the arts, the path to a career in ballet has seemed particularly arbitrary and difficult. Good luck to all of your children. I hope they find something that fulfills them, whether it is ballet or something else.

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I applaud any dancer who comes to this decision on their own.  It is a much easier way to deal with it.  On your own terms!  I will encourage every parent to give them time, let them know whatever their decision is you are there for them.  But do not also be surprised if after a few weeks off, they want to go back.  Some will,  for some they won't.  But the time to process needs to be in their own hands so that for the rest of their lives, they can be at peace with the decision they have made.  

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  • 1 year later...

FYI, Yes, I feel that day is coming for my DD.

However, I know a ballerina that was accepted to a major three letter  SI and then asked to remain full time.  She turned it down because she wasn't sure she wanted to go on with ballet.  She was restless with the commitment and wanted a normal life.

The following year, she realised dance was her passion after all, and decided to continue her training.  She auditioned for the same SI  and she was once again accepted full time ( something extraordinary). She moved to a large City, lived in dorms and finished her training.  She is now a member of the corp in a company which is well known. 

So sometimes they come back.  Having said that, many 13 year olds, and up, like your daughter, realize they need a different path.  Her training can only help her in her life with amazing focus, a love of the arts, and probably a bright and dedicated student.  Be happy and support her. 




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  • 8 months later...

"Just like that...it's over" for my DD14 (15 this summer).  After two summers at a top three-letter SI and acceptance to great year round residential 2020-21, she has decided not to pursue professional ballet as a career.  The last couple of months of quarantine have given me space to process this--it's been quite unreal, but I accept it, and see the wisdom in "when they leave on their own terms, it's a victory."  She's going to dance on the High School competitive dance team next year.  Something that I've (frankly) always said that is NOT what we're doing, but here we are.  All of this brings me back to - we are raising kids first, dancers second...hopefully, I can succeed at the former.  Best wishes and deep gratitude for the support I've had here.

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MoDance,  I offer you both congratulations and condolences.  I know this is a decision that pulls you in both directions: Happiness for your DD’s relief and a chance to be a kid for the rest of her high school years and the inverse, mourning over the loss of the dream.  Hang in there, this will feel different and hopefully better when school starts and dance team starts back.

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MoDance, I completely understand how you feel. After all the hours they have trained, its hard to believe it can come to an end just like that. We are almost 2 years out and here is what happened for DD.  She too, was at top tiered schools on the track to be a professional when she realized she wasn't happy anymore. It has taken her almost two years to get through the grieving process. Yes,  she went through all 5 of them and is now at acceptance and doing great.  This is the end of her Junior year in high school. She is applying to colleges, and planning her future. She can once again watch ballet without crying and appreciates the beauty.  We did seek counseling off and on during this period. It helped her and I highly recommend it. I believe her college essay is going to be about rediscovering who she now that she is no that she is no longer a ballet dancer.  Wishing your family all the best. If you want to chat, feel free to dm me.  

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Transitions are hard but these stories are good to read. All of these kids will find their way and let's face it, most will not be dancing professionally. To walk away of your own choice is a powerful life move. Hugs to all!


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MoDance - hugs to you - I'm sorry for the loss this brings to you in more ways than one, but I commend your dancer for having the maturity and wisdom to make the decision on her own. It is a reflection of your support as a parent - be encouraged that you are raising a strong, confident individual, and that she has gained a great deal from her years at the barre. My thanks to you here on this forum, as well, with some of the great advice and input you've given to me. 

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