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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest unsoccer-mom

Moving On & Letting Go

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BW

jbtlse, if your daughter really wants to go to the program, let her go if that's what she truly wants to do. Treefrog has suggested a great way to offer your daughter an "out" if she really truly doesn't, in her heart of hearts, want to go away.

 

Did something happen that caused this more pronounced change in her attitude? Was it something that was said in her year end evaluation? There's certainly no need to share all the details here...but this is the age when some kids start to see where they fit in to the bigger ballet picture...or perhaps if she did have an evaluation at her school, and they said something that has tempered her image of herself.

 

My guess is that once you've made sure she really wants to go to the SI (after talking with her about other summer options as Treefrog has suggested) then you might as well let her go. She'll make her decisions soon enough.

 

Initially, when I first read this thread, I thought it was more a decision that had already been made...but from what you've written, your daughter is vascilating.

 

If and when she ultimately decides to stop ballet it will most likely be difficult unless she develops other interests in her life - and you're so right about having her social life go through major changes... Balletbooster's post hit that one dead on - including the "grieving process" part. Let's face it, having spent the last 6 to 8 years immersed in ballet with classes 6 days a week by this stage of it all - there really is time for little else.

 

Ultimately the decision will, of course, rest with your daughter - and, believe me, I know it's tough to be on the sidelines. Hang in there!

 

P.S. check your PM mailbox. :innocent:

Edited by BW

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joyellen

jbtlse, I can certainly relate to your situation. This past year has been a difficult and frustrating one for my DD, who just turned 15 this month. She's been struggling with growth spurts and lack of strength and sometimes loses sight of the areas of improvement because she is so aware of the things that give her problems. One thing that really helped this past month, however, was a lecture she attended at the local summer workshop. Amanda McKerrow was a guest instructor and spoke to the students about her career. DD just loved working with Ms. McKerrow and thought she was such a beautiful dancer, she couldn't believe it when she told the students that she too had struggled at times. DD was incredulous, "Mom, she even said there were years -- years-- that were difficult. Can you believe it?" For her, knowing that a dancer as accomplished as Ms. McKerrow had felt frustrated at times made her feel less discouraged and more determined.

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jbtlse

Thank you, I appreciate everyone's thoughtful advice.

 

I feel really uncomfortable getting into details (it is complicated and really falls into the" too much information" category), but suffice it to say DD feels like she's getting mixed messages--and no guidance. Her ballet school is large and impersonal. Her ballet teacher is wonderful, but inaccessible currently. I think she's really seeking a mentor (which is why she's hanging on to the SI idea).

 

Unfortunately, there is not an attractive alternative to going to her SI--so I can understand why she still wants to go. I wish I had the means to give her an out with a distraction.

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Victoria Leigh

Who knows, jbtlse, she just might have a great summer, connect well with the teachers, and enjoy dancing again! It could happen :shrug: If not, then she will be ready to quit when she returns, and that's okay too, if that is what she really wants.

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Guest dancinabbs

"Knock, knock"

 

I'm a 13 yearold and I thought I might add to this. I have had thoughts of quitting ballet in the near past (because of the stress and me feeeling like I'm not improving and it's a waste of time) but, like your daughter, have had a hard time at the thought of leaving because many of my good friends are my ballet friends - and I like dancing, of course. If she wants to quit, that's fine, but you should definitly make sure she still gets to go to ballets (from professional companies AND her old school) and make sure she still sees her ballet friends, so that her options are still open. She might realize that even if she feels like she isn't improving (which, might I add, I barely EVER feel like I'm improving) she might still want to do it and it would still be easy to come back into dance. As for her going to the SI, I think it's a good idea - for closure and to give ballet a last chance. Good luck to her!

 

Just me two cents as a dancer around her age:)

 

Oh, and one more thing, you could offer for her to take just a couple classes a week so the stress is off, but she can still dance. Maybe that can ease her out of ballet.

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Guest ballet Christina

Hi,

 

A new perspective from a mom...I was a gymnast. I had little time for anything other than gymnastics and I wanted a life. I was 14 -15 when I started to question. I still sometimes look back - did I miss something? I never had PE at school and I never had time for dances or any after school activiies. I stayed with gymnastics off and on through High School. I somehow found some balance to being a 'teenager' and doing some 'regular' teenage things. I never did get to the olympics but I lived a somewhat 'normal' life. This was 'right' for me. I still coach gymnastics and it is very much a part of my life.

 

My daughter, a ballet dancer, wants to give up her 'childhood'. She doesn't have PE and has NO time for anything else. This is where she is at now. She is 12 and a half. If she feels differently later I will listen. Does she want a career in dance? YES, right now she does. Will she want it later? I do not know.

 

What I am saying is I understand your 14 year old's thoughts. Listen and explain how her decisions might change her future. Be there for her no matter what the decision. Above all "listen", she is at an age where she needs to be heard.

 

After reading all the posts, I think I would encourage her to attend the SI - You could be right, it may bring closure, but then again, it might spark interest - given the 'right' environment. ( I feel she does not have to become the 'professional' to love ballet. One post mentioned easing out of so many classes.) Possibilities are out there. Good luck finding what is best for your daughter.

 

 

Life has many roads...I wish you the best, whatever path.

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nlkflint

jbtise,

 

I would let her go to her SI. Think of it as a Florida vacation. She will either be restimulated or feel closure and be ready to move on and have dance as a recreation.

 

Perhaps letting her go the the SI, and moving her to a new school in the fall. If I recall from your posts, there are problems at her current school with different feedback from teachers vs AD. You would hate for her to give it all up with no outside feedback from others besides her home school. So let her go to the SI. And if, upon returning, she still loves dance but maybe doesn't "like" her current situation, or doesn't feel stimulated or challanged by current situation, or is not appreciated by her current situation (and having to repeat a level,).... perhaps a try at a new school with new faces and new feedback is appropriate. Just because your current school is pre-pro and affiliated with a company doesn't mean it is the only good ballet school in town.

 

I wouldn't let her give it all up based on one school's "assessment" of her. Let her go for the summer --if nothing else to get away but still dance.

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mom1

jbtise,

 

I don't know what the choices for schools in your area is like, but we had two dancers transfer to our school this year from the local large impersonal school. We are small, but with very good training in a caring environment. One of the dancers that transfered in said he changed schools because the other school had given up on him and stopped teaching him. I don't know if that's true, but was definitely his perception.

 

Whatever one's passion, the enjoyment is lost when one feels like there is no room for improvement or sucess in the future, whatever one's goals.

 

On another note, if the writings on the wall that "the dream" isn't going to come true, she just may work her way towards looking to new things... and that'd be okay. She should be clearer after the SI.

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LMCtech

Sometimes you've got to get out of the home environment in order to see things clearly. In that way, the SI will be good for her.

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jbtlse

The idea that distance from her current school (where she's been for nine years) will give her perspective is probably spot on. She is determined to go, but is fairly solemn--certainly it is a turning point(e).

 

Your comments have all been helpful--and thoughtful--I do very much appreciate them. Thanks.

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lilac07

My daughter, like yours only wants to dance. She has been this way since she was 10. She is now 16.

 

We are at a touring point. DD has had a bumpy road. She went to a residency program last year on scholarship, then had to take this year off to frist try to remedy posterior ankle impingement caused by an os trigonum (a small extra bone in the ankel that was pinching her hfl tendon) and then in March had sugery to remove the bone after conservative therapy did not work. This problem came in the aftermath of having spent 2 years correcting her hip alignment after a hip injury.

 

DD is now on the mend and is planning to return to her residency school this summer. It is exciting to finally be going back, but her ankle must withstand ballet training to be elihible to continue. She still has her heart set on being a dancer and did not try to develop any new interestss at her high school this year.

 

Her teacher at residency warned us that if DD is not able to continue dancing, there will be a grieving period. This is a normal part of leaving something that has been a big part of your life before you move on to other things.

 

We are still hopeful that a ballet career is still possible. DD is 16 and has missed a year of training. Her teachers says she will catch up easily.

 

Has anyone else been through this kind of scenario?

 

*edited to remove large quote of a previous post

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Rhapsody

Hi, we haven't been through that scenario. But I wondered what is your dd ballet schedule at the residency? Will she start back at a level lower than she was or start at the same level? How does that work when they come back after an injury? Did she keep up with any form of exercise while she was off ballet?

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lilac07

The ballet schedule at residency was 2 hours ballet every morning, six days per week and 2 hours pointe, modern/character, rehearsal or pool conditioning 5 days per week. The summer schedule is more intense.

 

DD did physical therapy twice per week all year - before surgery to try to avoid having the surgery in the first place, then after surgery to recover ankle mobility and break up scar tissue. Otherwise, she worked out on an exercise bike, swam and did pool conditioning exercises.

 

We don't know exactly what to expect when she returns. Most likely, she will make a gradual transition back into ballet training and go to a dancers' clinic to work on regaining strength. She will probably be placed with her age group and work with her teacher individually. Fortunately, the classes are small enought to permit more individualized instruction. Her teacher said that she does not expect her to have any problem catching up - which seems to good to be true!

 

She just saw her orthopedist yesterday, who expects a full recovery by summer. It is great news!

 

:(:D:D

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dancindaughters

I just wanted to say I'm so pleased for your dd, lilac. :( And I am so impressed with the way the school has handled her situation. :D

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Rhapsody

That is excellent news. I am also impressed with the care shown toward your dd's recovery.

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