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Spencedance

Communication etiquette post summer study

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Spencedance

Moderators...please forgive me if this should be posted in the Summer Intensive area. My question concerns my role as a parent, so I placed the question here.

My 12 year old daughter spent 6 weeks this summer training with two different intensives. I agreed to her training away from her home after she received a scholarship offer, and because she trained here last summer. My DD wants to experience different styles and curriculum, so enjoyed the two very strong, yet very different courses of study.

The first program was a junior intensive due to age parameters. Today I received a call from a faculty administrator, telling me the teachers were happy with my daughter's work during the intensive. Among other things, she discussed my daughter attending the full program next summer. She also inquired where my daughter trains year round, although I believe this was discussed with my daughter during the intensive. It was a very pleasant communication, but took me somewhat by surprise.

I have never received a phone call post intensive...only one from a program with audition results and scholarship offer to the intensive.  I very much appreciated the phone call, and shared the information with my daughter. I'm not sure what is proper protocol here...I thanked the individual, and gave brief feedback regarding my daughter's experience and my positive observations as a parent. Which made me wonder whether post-intensive communication is something students and/or parents should do? And whether there are certain questions I should have asked of this individual. My approach to year round and summer training has been to stay in the background, support the training, and communicate with schools on a limited, as needed only basis. And I have not encouraged my daughter to communicate with programs post study. She is young and I'm green, so this is a constant learning experience. Thank you in advance for your thoughts or experiences.

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Ballerinamom2girls

Whether in person or via phone call it's not unusual for teachers to approach parents if they're interested in finding out more about a student.  Unless you plan on moving to that school, being polite and sharing your positive experience is all you can do.    

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MoDance

What a nice touch for them to follow up in this way.  And well done to your daughter!

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Spencedance

Thank you. I was taken completely off guard by the phone call, so of course hung up and wondered, "what in the world just happened?!" I guess we all are hit with this realization at some point...it's one thing to support a child in the pursuit of a passion. But a completely different thing to consider the passion transitioning into more of a reality in terms of their future. I don't mean a professional career, but what that reality means for school, home, and the individuals who are still our children. I think now it's important to really focus on a holistic approach, and not allow my DD or myself to get caught in the whirlwind. This journey needs to be on her terms, with space given to her growth in all areas. Not just ballet. 

But yes, it was great to receive feedback. This school is out of state, so I have no intention of moving her. I don't believe resident study is even a possibility there until students are a couple years older than my daughter. But it was very nice to have this person pick up a phone and call...sort of refreshing in this modern time:)

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learningdance

Spence 

Your daughter is being recruited. No, at 12 she cannot attend a year round program until 14 but the school is showing interest.  That's how schools and companies act when they are really interested in a dancer.  They directly contact said person (or parents) and cultivate a relationship. They likely did not want or expect you to communicate anything other than gratitude.

If I were in your position, I would research the program as something that might be possible for the future.  It would help you from being caught off guard again.  Usually these programs can come out of the blue with year round offers when a dancer is 14 and it can be a little overwhelming. 

CongratS!

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mom2

Just jumping in as not all year-round programs have the same age of entry, and there are some which start before age 14.  These would not be in the majority of course, but they do exist.

I do agree with learningdance that parental research is key at this stage, no matter which program is doing the reaching out.

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Momof3darlings

I would also keep in mind that in today's times, it is not necessary to take the residency route unless that is the route you find best for your dancer.  So enjoy the offer, but don't let the offer make you feel as if this is the journey you must take.   Research is key for sure.  

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Spencedance

Thank you all. Your advice to shift to more of a researching role is appreciated, and speaks to a bit of shift in paradigm that I need to take. It's somewhat unnerving to go from the stance of supporting your child as they strive to reach goals, to then go to actually considering the reality of what certain "success" may actually mean. Sounds nuts, but these couple of calls I received the past few months have felt a bit overwhelming as far as realizing the difference between dream versus reality. I know one or two calls doesn't mean my kid is the next ballet superstar...but it's all become more real recently. I'm so proud of my daughter and believe she has certainly worked hard to deserve positive reinforcement...but she's still a baby in my eyes:)

You're right, Learningdance. There is no residency with this program until 14. And resident training away from home certainly isn't always necessary or for every dancer. But it is something my daughter has spoken of, and I was naive enough to not really contemplate such a thing. I think you all are so right that researching programs is critical; I've done so before, but only with consideration to a summer session as a way to enhance and broaden training. Given my daughter's age and the years coming up, it would be best to also consider other aspects such as any company affiliation, year round options, academic considerations, and what those variables bring to the equation. 

I'm so grateful to have the wealth of reading material here. You all are like a supportive guidebook for the various options and scenarios that arise along this journey. Thank you, again!

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learningdance

Spencedance'

You seem to approach the possiblity of this with thoughtfulness and research. .. that's what we did for DD.  Really we were thinking about residencies for her around 12, knowing that it might not happen until 14 or later. Our area does not have a great deal of training. With that amount of time, we were able to really research and NETWORK with other parents.  We visited places, asked questions, and then NETWORKED more (kids and parents).  We reached out to potential places and toured. Set YOUR OWN PACE and your OWN STANDARDS. . . . 

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Spencedance

Thank you, Learningdance. We are fortunate to have really great training locally. Just minutes from our home. And great academic options with both my DD's ballet school and current brick and mortar academic school. I've laid groundwork there for the flexibility in schedule that training at a much higher level would require. So it's all very good, very close to home. For now. But you're right...I need to get more proactive. Both with my daughter and with other scenarios, should a change become necessary, or in her best interest. I hadn't considered the networking aspect, but it makes a lot of sense. My daughter has many friends from her year round and summer studies, whom have either moved to train or were already training elsewhere. And her current ballet school probably has avenues of connection that could be pursued if needed. So thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I like the "own pace" and "own standards" approach. I need to be sure my DD understands what those are and what they mean. As I'm sure you know, there are limits to what I can provide. So my DD needs to understand what those parameters are. This is such a fun journey to watch, yet somewhat overwhelming to manage. Like all aspects of parenting!

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