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Funfetti

PrePro School-is it now or never?

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Eligus

I also echo what Fraildove (and others) have advised you are some of the questions to ask/areas to research and things to think about.  You can also look in the "post grad" forum to look through some threads that talk about "when and what."

With regard to the one teacher's belief of keeping them home:  My DD grew up balletically in a place that discouraged going away to SIs and training elsewhere.  I concur with the warnings about the dangers of only listening to such "keep them home" advice.  However, this is very much a personal decision.  Like any advice, there is a truth and a value to the "keep them at home" as well as the "let them go" position...  but only you and your DD can weigh and measure that truth to see if it applies to your DD at this stage of her training and her emotional development.  I will say that the "keep them home" advisors play to the internal fear that ALL parent's face at allowing their children to go....  Therefore, it is a very seductive/easy choice to listen to those fears.  It is much harder to put those fears aside and look at what your DD needs to grow, so be cognizant of that.

As others above have advised, I, too, would encourage you to research the "when is it time to leave or change schools" threads.  I don't know how to connect those here, but I know I've read several at various times in my DD's training and those threads (like this one) have given me ideas on what to look for and ideas to think about when making the decision.  Reading personal stories of others' journeys helped me measure my own DD's journey to look for clues on which decision was right for her.  The fact that you are here, asking the questions, already gives you an advantage toward making the "right" decision.  :party:

A word of comfort:  when my DD faced this decision, it helped me when people gave me advice (like learningdance's post, above) that there is not really a "be all/end all" decision... it's a journey.  If you make the decision to go (or stay) and it doesn't work out, you can make a different decision and "fix" the problem.  Your DD is NOT jumping off a cliff (even though that is what it feels like -- :P).  If you make a decision and things go "south" or you and she are unhappy with the decision later... you both are smart people... you fix the mistake.  You make a different decision -- this time with more knowledge.  As Henry Ford famously said, "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely." 

Personally, if this regional company/training opportunity is within a day or two driving distance, and your daughter is willing to take the leap, I'd encourage you to allow her to take it.  At 15/16, she might be  a BIT young to leave home (? - depending on the support offered by the environment where she is headed -- schooling, eating, laundry, living - and her maturity level), but plenty of dancers leave at 14, and if you can GET to her, you can ameliorate some of those potential concerns.  In other words, sending your DD to live across the country (or ocean) to live away from you or driving a few hours/days are different scenarios (and why it must be a personal decision for you and your DD).

 

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Funfetti

My apologies for not responding sooner. I've spent the weekend reading and re-reading and thinking over your comments. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am thankful that stumbled across this forum. We have heard from her teacher that these programs are just money-makers for the company and won't benefit our dancer. So I'm trying to filter through all the information and understand what will bring her the most growth. 

Eligus, I appreciate you reminding me that she's not out of reach and nothing is permanent. 

Learningdance, thank you for sharing about your personal experience. 

Fraildove, love your insight and questions.

And Noodles, you are correct, this has come up while she is at an SI. 

 

 

 

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Noodles

Most pre-pro schools have a dedicated page here. Does the school in question have a page here that you can read through? I mention this because you are new to BT4D and I don't want you to overlook that as a resource. 

You may be able to glean some insight there, and even ask some questions.

It can be so hard to filter through everything, between the excitement of being invited and the practicality of it all...it can be overwhelming.

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Funfetti

Thanks, Noodles! I did look, but there isn't much about it. And the info provided is not very current.

 

 

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Thyme

Hi Mrs R. May I suggest you post on that thread asking for any recent experience with that program? That may generate some action. 😀

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Funfetti

Thyme,

thanks! My DH thought the same and created his own account to ask. I don’t believe it’s generated any response 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Funfetti

It looks like it got shuffled into another topic, so I'm not sure if it will grab the attention of anyone. Oh well.

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Thyme

As long as it shows up as a new post, people will see it. Doesn't guarantee anyone can comment but we will all see it. Sometimes it takes awhile.

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dancemaven

And as we require only first-hand experiences, it may be that none of our members have that. 

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Funfetti

Oh ok! 🤞🏻 

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mcjagger

I agree with Eligus. If you're within striking distance (not a flight away) and she really wants to do it, I'd be inclined to let her try it at that age. I  have witnessed many others flourish in such conditions. The ability to get to family frequently seems to be a key factor. And if she decides after a term that it's not for her, fine. She won't have to wonder what might have been.

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nynydancer

This is very helpful info for me to read. Thank you all!

We have gone with the prepro year round option that won't break me financially and is a quick flight (or long drive) from home.  I read that somewhere here that a residence might work best if you can drive to it.  The now or never question came up for my DS15, and most of the teachers think it IS now or never NOW.  I am grateful for the help in that decision, because it agrees with what we see and feel.  :( 

For DD13, it is not now or never except in her mind.  Her personal coach thinks it would be good and worth a try, but I know not everyone will agree.  As a parent, I do like the siblings going together, but now I feel like crap and guilty and I will miss them terribly.  Because DD received a special offer, I do think we will wonder what might have been if she doesn't "try' it.

To make myself feel less bad about the Now or Never question, I keep telling myself we are just going to "try" it.  I can always go fetch one or both.  That's what I tell myself!

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learningdance

Not going to lie, it's stressful as a parent.  

That said, my DD would not be where she is training wise without her residential program.

I would also just say in the first yera keep your communication with your DKs very frequent and very specific. ASSUME NOTHING. TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING. Ask questions--What are you eating? How does your body feel? What is your plan for school work today, if online schooling? (We had a google docs system where DD had to provide a daily plan for work she was going to do.  We also had certain rules in place about school work.) Lots of talking about the new pressures of not being the top of the class.  Talks about teachers being "mean", casting, etc.  The closer you are the more likely you will be to help/guide/support. Remember you are not sending a college kid off.  That said, we read a book called The Naked Roommate that is for college kids but that gave a lot of good information about how to live with someone else in a room. . .including the 3 rules for roommates.  

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mom2

Back when my daughters went away to a residential program, there was just no other way for them to get the training they were wanting and needing locally.  They went to different programs, and each one was an established residency program. One dd lived in a residence and the other stayed with host families.  Pros and cons with each situation.

Mrs. R, I couldn't tell from your posts if the program your dd is considering is an established Residency program, or a professional training program that's not in the same town where you live.  If it's not established as a residency program per se, then there are lots of other aspects to consider besides the dancing (e.g. what will living arrangements be?  Who takes care of meals and shopping for food an other necessary things?  Care during illnesses/injuries?  Would she do online school or attend a bricks and mortar school?  Who will monitor/supervise during down time? What about transportation?  If a car is required, is your daughter a mature enough driver to manage all her own driving, or will she need to rely on others?

Hope this helps.  Keep us posted as you and your family makes the decision.  

mom2

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Funfetti

Thanks so much for everyone's input. It has been invaluable. I will give you a quick update of where we landed with our decision, and how we got there:

1) Ballet Talk was my first stop. Wonderful threads, insightful community. Appreciated the time people took to respond to my thread and also the other topics were helpful, too. (Like, "Am I about to Ruin her chances?" discussion. There were not a lot of threads on the particular program we were looking at, but we still had food for thought from others.) We also gleaned Red Flags to look for while making this decision. I'll go into more detail below. A recurring theme throughout the process: Nothing we decide has to be permanent/set in stone. 

2) We spoke with DD teachers, past and present. Most of her teachers (all but one) were eager to hear about the program and asked us some good questions.

* Is she getting attention...as in is she getting corrections? Is she getting compliments? Is she being asked to demonstrate for class?

* What does the program look like day to day? Hours of dance per week? Will she have performance opportunities?

* Class size? Retention Rate year to year? Reasons for leaving? Reasons for staying?

* Is the staff engaged with development? Who is teaching? What is their mission? And their goal/plan for DD?

* Her primary teacher and also studio owner was not interested in hearing details about the program, and also discouraged us from going to SIs, as well as this opportunity. (red flag mentioned on this board). 

* ALL but director supported her taking this opportunity.

3) What we observed with the professional dance company:

* the teachers knew DD by name. She has been to other intensives, and I'm not certain the staff could have told me her name.

* we were approached by a few of DD's teachers letting us know they thought DD would be a good fit for their program, they enjoy teaching her, and hoped that we were seriously considering the opportunity. 

*While concerned it was just money that they are hoping for, that was assuaged when the director indicated that once they are interested, they're interested and would like to discuss what our preferred timeline would be, what our objectives are, etc. And also, what their expectations are of DD in the interim should she delay coming to their program.

* the SI experience was unlike any other SI she had been to, but also unlike her home studio. Her home studio is small, but rigorous. Excellent training, but also a difficult environment. I don't want to go into more detail here, but if you would like to explore this more, DM me. Suffice it to say, lots of Red Flags. DD blossomed this summer under encouraging words (also critiques, but I think BOTH are important.) However, if this was the only thing lacking at her studio, we wouldn't have considered this opportunity. Lots of Red Flags surfaced over the last year or so, but they became glaring as we discussed this further.

Decision: we decided to let her go to the professional training program. Housing and other logistics came together very easily...God surely provided. And we know that if anything changes and we made a mistake, we can just pick her up and bring her home. 

Like nynydancer, it is a quick flight/long drive home. We have a lot of peace about this decision. She is almost 2 weeks into classes, and is very happy. I'm not sure we have ever seen her so happy. God willing, this year will be one of growth, progress, and joy.

I hope others find our experience helpful in their own dance journeys. As other things come to mind, I might revise or edit this post. 

Edited by Mrs.R

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