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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Anyone taking the residence plunge this fall?


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Beezus, a few questions and thoughts that I'll share with the hope they are helpful to you.  

Do you have a sense of what the "graduates" of each studio are doing?  You mentioned the Home Studio has produced some company members...a few or consistently?  Is Home Studio really good at prepping kids to go the college ballet route?  Where (companies, colleges) did Studio B's dancers go in the past 3 years?  If the Home Studio is consistently successful placing dancers where your DD wants to go, then respectfully I'm not sure the move is worth it.  Could your DD get the contemporary and Variation experience you desire at a SI?

For apartment life, is your DD capable to determine when she needs to go to the ER vs Urgent Care vs make a doctor's appointment?  Do you have any doubts she will be where she says she will be when she says she will be there?  You don't need to answer these personal questions on this board, but the  health and safety component is a big one.  Are all the roommates on the same page as far as guests in the apartment...drugs...alcohol...sex...smoking?  Does your daughter have some personal safety skills to be "street smart?"

Are you/your spouse prepared to become a "college coach" for her to help guide her through the college prep stuff she might have to do on her own?  Or are you willing/able to hire someone to do that?  OR Do you keep her home one more year and accelerate and do some of that prep stuff now so you can teach her to do it while she's still at home?

I need to run so  I hope others will chime in too...we are working through some similar issues in our family and I want to learn from more people's experiences too.  Good luck!

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  • labrador


  • Bekah21


  • beehive1


  • Derin's Mom


Beezus21, I have been where you are.  No one here can make your decision for you.  :wink:  You know your DD best.  You know her needs and your family’s circumstances best.  You seem to have laid out the pros and cons with an objective mind.  At some point, you must simply take a leap of faith—-and know that no one decision is ever final or written in stone.

My only advice would be to not discount the effect on the sibling relationship.  That will need extra and active nurturing if your DK does go to residency.

Best wishes!

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It is a big and agonizing decision. It’s very difficult to predict the future accurately. You can make the best intelligent guesses.


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Beezus21, I'm still in a similar situation. We've made no decision. Anyone else from her SI seems to be on board with no hesitancy. I do know we have always erred on the side of caution with any major life change. There is good and bad to that, I suppose.  I cannot find much online as a resource as far as a wide net of reviews or definite company/trainee placements for the prospective school, but everyone we seem to speak to with previous experience with the school seems to be favorable. I do know of one male who had a pro company contract, one female with the same, and one female who is funneling into a trainee position this coming year. My DD is on the younger side of 15. I know I'm not ready to send her off to navigate things on her own but we could manage me being there with her, at least this first year. The academic side is where I worry most--one big injury or change of heart can change the course of her career path, so we need to make certain she has a back-up plan and staying on course for other options. 

I know most of the others with offers are now planning to stay in dorm-like housing on their own or are older and will get apartments. We'd hoped there could be one or two others to help share the costs of an apartment but it appears we will be on our own if we go the apartment route. So that's a factor for us. No housing is offered.

My DD is most worried about leaving the comforts of all that is familiar. Her siblings will both be off to college this fall. One has been there, one is just leaving. The one just leaving is who she is very close to. I know though that she won't see them as often as she'd like even if she stays, once the school year begins.  She also doesn't want to leave her friends at her home studio, but even she says she knows the training doesn't even compare. What she's gained in the past 7 weeks has been worth well over 18 months at her home studio. Perhaps part of it is that she's gained confidence, too, though, because they see something in her that her own home studio simply does not. I want her to take the chance on the offer. I don't know where the fine line is to push or not push. I'm overwhelmed. 

I realize I am of absolutely no help to you at this point on your own situation, but at least know you have someone who can relate to the recent sleepless nights!

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8 hours ago, Beezus21 said:

I know these factors shouldn't come in to play, but for us, they do. 


Good luck with the decision, it is a difficult one for sure.  But I would echo the others' comments above about treasuring the sibling relationship as much as you are.  The family dynamic factor is as important as any other factor in this decision. 

It seems to me that there exists a "push" or expectation for dancers to leave the nest early.  From my perspective, I'm not quite sure I see the advantage of ballet training over the advantage of family training in life (if that makes sense). I, too, have seen moving away from family be a double edged sword.  For some dancers, it can be just what they need.  For others, it can be too much to handle (emotionally and mentally and physically).  As others have said, only you can help your DD make that choice.  Further, in my opinion only, since we are raising human beings (not dancers), and since the competition for an actual professional job in the industry is so incredibly steep, even for those who have great training and lovely facilities, I have found that one can usually supplement training in some way, but one can never replace time/quality of family development. 

MoDance has excellent considerations listed as well.  Make sure you really weigh the amount of life management you do for your DD, some of which include: transportation, safety, health (injuries, illness, and good habits), food, schedule, sleep, morality/character/ethics, relationships and academics.  You and she will have to do all that long distance during the tricky adolescence years if she lives away from your family.  I'm not saying that is impossible, it's just much more difficult than many parents realize because many of those choices are almost engrained or unconscious in your family environment.  When the child lives away from the family environment, all those engrained or unknown decisions suddenly open up to them to choose.  Even something as simple as how much TV to watch or when to go to bed, or whether to go out to eat or cook her own meals... 

Does she have (and manage) her own checking account/budget/money?

Can she shop at the grocery store/cook her own meals?

Does she wash, organize, fold her own laundry/ballet supplies?

Have her feet finished growing?  Are you going to be stressing about changing pointe shoe brands/sizes/shapes? 

Does she operate on her own schedule through the day, or depend on you for waking up/transitions between activities?

Will she need to learn how to drive?

How is she at handling inter-personal conflicts?  Living with roommates w/o an RA or adult supervision is completely different than living at home, or in a dorm during a 5 week SI.



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You are wise to stay with your daughter. It is a major financial undertaking. There is a prospect of great rewards. The risk/cost vs. benefits balance consists of objective figures. However, only your family will feel and experience the effects of either decision. 

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Beezus21 and Beehive1,  such a difficult situation which of course only you and your families can make the right decision for your situation. 

I am in the same camp as Eligus, personally I think it can be at a child's detriment to move away from home so young. Mine is about to turn 17 and while she has had offers we have held the line that she is not quite ready, although I will admit that we were prepared to part with her this fall but an injury has sidelined her. In reality though I can see now that she is not/would not have been ready. 

My perspective is that if they have talent and they are asked once they will be asked again, maybe not by the same school, but others will recognize the talent if it is there. 

My dancer has been involved with ballet for 12 years and I have seen more young girls go away and be unsuccessful than the reverse. I think there is just so much pressure for these kids to be in a residency, prematurely, and it is not typically in their best interest. I know my kid has felt that in order to be a success she needs to be at a residential program, but I am the parent and I disagree. It is easy to get caught up in the hype!

That said there are plenty of kids who ARE successful, who HAD to move for better training. That may be your case. I just wanted to share my personal approach has been to keep my dancer close through the bulk of the teen years, getting her the best training available where we are (which I admit is great and she has spent her last two summers at a top 3 letter SI ...albeit cut short this year due to said injury) and raise her as a human first, dancer second. We admittedly have some work to do to prepare her to launch next fall!

I don't want to discourage you, as I said only you know what is best for your dancer. I just want to echo Eligus in saying there is time and being truly prepared to live as an adult in this adult world should be a point of serious consideration. Hugs!

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To everyone who has responded and has posted on this subject, I am very appreciative and grateful.  After reading everyone's comments, I think I am more inclined to keep her home, as the training she is receiving here is very good. I don't think she would be able to manage dance, school, and all the other things that come with managing a home at the same time. The schedules are just too grueling. As many of you wisely stated, she can spend this year knocking off some of those important life tasks- driving and college prep, and going away next year if the offer is still open. I will just have to work harder at getting her some contemporary training and private lessons around here.

Thank you to all of you who have given your input. I am sincerely grateful for your responses. I wish I posted this earlier as all the different insights helped me make a decision.

Thank you and I will pay it forward 

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update on our decision -- we are holding off for one year.

She can heal up from a pre-SI injury (that was not realized or diagnosed until she was there at the SI--but they had great physical therapy nearby) and then strengthen for the demands of the year-round schedule. Hopefully she will be able to secure another offer next year or defer this year's offer.

She's sad to miss out on the training this year, but already she has been proactive with working on supplementing her training with the home studio and scheduling driver's training and scheduling a meeting with her high school to move to online academics before the school year begins. I'm proud of her for showing us quickly that she will work to handle the non-ballet portion of a move next year.

Thanks to you all for sharing your insight!

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It is good that you took the time to examine every facet of a truly big decision. The reasoning behind your decision is sound. I am no expert at predicting the future. Yet, I do believe that other will offers will come. 

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It all sounds very sensible and well thought out. Good job mum and dad! The allure of taking up an offer can be pretty hard to resist but it is a big roll of the dice.  If things dont go smoothly, it is challenging to get your dancer smoothed out and feeling good again. I agree with labrador- there will be more offers.

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Good for you Bekah21 for making this decision with a clear head and not being pulled by the allure of the invite. I agree more offers will be made and perhaps an even better offer is around the corner. 

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  • 5 months later...

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