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GingerMomma519

Am I being THAT Mom?

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GingerMomma519

**** Update ****

Last night levels were placed on the family portal and I was able to see that DD did not move up with every other girl in her level. So I typed up an e-mail that was respectful to send it to the contact for student affairs. I ended up deleting that e-mail and retyping one this morning for the school principal. Asking what it is DD needs to work on that was holding her back. 

As it turns out I did not delete the initial e-mail to the contact for student affairs, I sent it. This afternoon I get back this response with the school principal CC'd. It seems like a canned response and like no one will be taking the time to explain to me what it is DD needs to work on. I removed the name of the Artistic Director and DD below for anonymity sake. 

"As you know, XXXX is very thoughtful in her placement of every student. "DD" should continue working hard each day and focusing on her training and growth in the level she has been placed at this time. 

We are only just beginning the new year and each new program requires some time to settle and allow for evaluations."

 

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newballetmom

I agree that the response does seem very much like a perfunctory form letter. 

Since there’s been no real insight given as to why she’s been held back, it does make advising her more difficult. 

I think you’ve done about as much as you can at this juncture though. If you want to stay with this studio, I would just encourage her to treat this year as a “refinement” year to really focus in on all the small details that add to artistry. 

My daughter was held back last year (along with a few other girls) and her growth has been incredible. 

This year she was moved up without any issue at all and is one of the stronger dancers at her new level. 

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BournonvilleMom

I’m not a teacher or a moderator, so I can only offer you a little perspective as a fellow Dance parent.  My daughter was also held back at this same age, while others in her level moved up.  At the time I questioned it also.  It’s pretty normal for schools to not keep everyone together and often it is just one student, or in my case it was two students, who are affected.  Fast forward six years.  Out of all the students that was in my daughter’s class who was moved up— one one is left and she only takes class one night a week now.  My daughter is still dancing, loving Dance and I am happy we never left her studio.  

As for the email, no worries.  The mere fact that you are asking “Am I that Mom” is the biggest sign that indeed— NO, you are not.  And even if you were (I WAS that Mom, to be very honest), life will go on.  The most important thing is that I learned to trust my studio and as a result, my daughter has had some really great, life changing experiences.  Will she ever dance professionally, I don’t know.  Does it matter?  No, not at all.  All that matters is she is dancing, her studio did what they thought was best for her.  In my case, looking back, the moving up or not moving up really didn’t matter.  As an apprentice in her company, she’s now taking classes with the younger ones to get extra technique.  Go figure.

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Funfetti

Aw, I'm so sorry. I'm sure you and DD must be disappointed. If you do stay, it's definitely an opportunity for character growth, teaching perseverance, and how to respond to adversity. At this age, it probably wouldn't hinder her technical growth, but might bruise her self-esteem. Only you know what is at stake here. If she's a confident kiddo, then it might be just fine. My kiddo struggled with that due to some other factors at play. So it was time to intervene. 

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GingerMomma519

I appreciate all of your kind words and advice. I feel like I'm that mom but I'm happy to know I'm not and that it's normal to be confused. Tonight DD's first class is with the school principal (who did the placements). I told her to walk in and work her behind off and just see what happens. Looking at the schedule it seems multiple times per week her level is combined with the level she wanted to be in. As long as she is content and happy, I am content and happy. 

I have to admit NOTHING prepared me for what I was getting into when she signed up for dance at age 2. Lol. I have a music background myself and never even had little girl dreams of being a ballerina. I'm getting a crash course in all of this on the daily!

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BournonvilleMom

Sometimes I think a little secret in ballet that not many realize is that what we perceive as failure is often much, much more motivating than success.  Just try to tell a child that they will not or cannot do something, and they will go to the greatest lengths to prove you wrong.  Many good wishes to your daughter and may she show them all her determination.

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GingerMomma519

I think you're right. I'm feeling a little embarrassed this morning for even sending the e-mail questioning placement and such. I feel like maybe I should have kept my mouth shut for a few weeks. I'm hoping the school doesn't hold it against DD that her mom is a bit neurotic. Lol. 

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newballetmom

I don’t think they’ll hold one email against you! It is natural to seek an explanation when your child is the only one held back. I don’t think you cross the line into “That Mom” until you demand placement or question competency of the teachers ect. 

The fact that she’ll be in many combined classes is great! Hopefully that will help blunt the blow a bit for her. It *is* hard, there’s no sugar coating that, but like BournonvilleMom said, this is a GREAT chance for her to work on overcoming set backs and really dig in and try even harder. 

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Bavalay

GingerMom, thank you for the update.  I bet the school gets plenty of email similar to yours and are not even thinking about it (absolve yourself of embarrassment and/or regret), hence the form letter-type response.  After a day or two I'm guessing your daughter will settle in and it will be back to ballet as if nothing happened.  I find that I hold onto things waaaaay longer than my daughter.  I'm still unhappy about something that happened in February, and my daughter is no longer at that studio.  She told me to let it go...I said I would but secretly I still need to vent.  Ugh. I don't do well with injustice and responses that aren't really answers.   During class today, it sounds like if your daughter is ready to move up then it will happen.  If not, she gets to continue strengthening and perfecting for the next level.  And that's not a bad thing.  All the best to your DD and...letting it go❣

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Funfetti

Gingermom, 

I don't think you should ever feel badly for advocating for you daughter. It is perfectly reasonable to want to speak with leadership, teachers, principals, doctors, etc, etc, etc.  where our kids are concerned. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, but I think it's important we don't feel guilty for wanting more information so you can better explain and encourage your child about whatever situation they find themselves in. I found myself so worried about not making a bad impression nor wanting to upset her AD, that I was communicating to my own child that her own voice, hurts, desires, etc were not as important as making sure we didn't rock the boat. 

And like Bavalay said, they are probably so used to getting emails that they won't think twice about it. 😉

 

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GingerMomma519

I agree. I think we need to be advocates for our children. But I was definitely worried I crossed some boundary I shouldn't have. I'm at work and DH will be taking DD to class today. I plan to call her with some words of encouragement and the promise of a trip to get ice cream after dinner to celebrate her willingness to persevere and work hard for her goals. 

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Bavalay

Nice touch GingerMomma.  One last scoop of ice cream before fall and dance/school schedules make summer a distant memory!   May your daughter keep it moving forward and her head held high.  The training and path are hers--individual and not collective.  Some of the best advice I received was not to compare my DD to another dancer as they all grow and develop on their own timeline.  Next go round it may be your DD ready for the next level and the others not.  As I tell mine, "never let someone knock you off your square" (in other words, don't let someone else's insecurities or meanness or whatever make you doubt yourself).  Tell little Gingerbaby to get her training on and work hard😎

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Beezus21

GingerMomma519,

I can't help but read your post and start to feel angry on your behalf!  I am so tired of having to walk on egg shells with places like this.  Obviously any person would want to know why their child was the only one who didn't move up.  Where is the lesson when you don't really know what the problem is? As of now, the studio is operating on the "because I said so" principle- which is not helpful or insightful at all. Perhaps its non dance related?  At 9, my own DD was the class clown.  Perhaps your DD is not moving up for reasons like this? Or maybe its something all together different- like she mistakes her right from her left or vice versa?  In any event you will never know because of the lame answer they gave you. 95% of the feedback my DD has received from teachers along the way has been accurate and fair.  You are owed feedback at a minimum. Decisions shroud in secrecy and mystery are a thing of the past.  Good luck and keep us posted!

 

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Immashel

Beezus - I love your reply!

 

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GingerMomma519

Beezus - Trust me, I'm so beyond frustrated I just want to pull her out of the school and say to heck with it. I feel like it would take a 2 minute email to explain to me what the situation is, but I fear that the issue has nothing to do with my DD behavior or ability. It's simply that she isn't a "favorite". It's frustrating when the level her peers moved into are learning new things and demi-pointe, etc, but the level DD is in is spending a lot of time with classes combined with the lower levels and they don't have the "main" teacher at all during the week. The one everyone attends this school for. They're the only level that doesn't seem to have her at all and it very much feels like a throwaway level for this year. But that's neither here nor there. DD wants to keep dancing there so that's what we do. The first time she wants to leave we will be gone to another studio. I feel like a lot of people in the area think there is nowhere else nearby to get training like this, but there has to be other options!

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