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Kat09

One last post ....

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It’s. Been a privilege and pleasure to be a part of this forum for the last 5 years. I’ve been from the trepidation of auditions for US, the thrill and pride  of acceptance into prestigious Ballet schools for my daughter and the absolute despair as the dream crumpled and fell away from us. Thank you all for sharing insight, wise words and for some (you know who you are) broad shoulders and comfort for me to cry on. 

I sign off with a blog post from my beautiful daughter for whom the path was just too difficult. She fell as many do however her fall could have had a softer landing had those who had responsibility for pastoral care taken their responsibilities seriously.

if you have a child away from home please follow your intuition and gut instinct - you will know your child far more than any school - never doubt yourself.

i wish all of you and your dancing children nothing but joy as you follow your paths 

best wishes

Kat

https://instagram.com/p/Bjifth2AvJA/

 

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Wishing you good luck to you and your daughter in the future.I am not able to read that blog,maybe because I don't use Instagram? so not sure of all your daughter's difficulties.

My daughter didn't manage to continue in dance either,after starting at Upper School level.It was difficult for us all to cope with because it was all she had ever wanted to do.Unfortunately she could just not cope with the mental stresses involved,which also has a knock on effect on physical aspects.I'm sure this would be the case further on in her dancing life too.

She now does a ballet class for fun/exercise each week so hasn't dropped it completely.It still makes me sad when I think about what 'could have been'

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I feel broken hearted reading both this post and your daughter's blog - she inspired my own dd hugely one summer school and we are both so very sorry she did not receive the support she so deserved. What a brave and resilient young lady she is and I know without doubt that her blog will help and support so many young dancers and encourage them to put their health, both mental and physical, above everything else. 

Wishing you both happiness and inner peace xx

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4 minutes ago, mimi'smom said:

I feel broken hearted reading both this post and your daughter's blog - she inspired my own dd hugely one summer school and we are both so very sorry she did not receive the support she so deserved. What a brave and resilient young lady she is and I know without doubt that her blog will help and support so many young dancers and encourage them to put their health, both mental and physical, above everything else. 

Wishing you both happiness and inner peace xx

Thank you so much and all good wishes to your daughter

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My heart breaks for you and your daughter, Kat. Wishing her health and recovery plus a renewed interest in life and a happier time for you and your family. x

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My heart is bleeding after reading this.  Thanks so much for sharing.

 

It would be great if you could pop in from time to time to share your experience as a DP.  Very best wishes to your daughter and all of you for the future.

 

Here's a link to the blog:  https://98gigi13.wixsite.com/genevieveswords/single-post/2018/06/02/Addicted-to-food

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Thank you for your good wishes Jan and for the link - technology so not my forte x

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Dear Kat09,

 

your post will resonate with many on here (or perhaps those in your/our position) are all gone by now.

 

Those just starting out, please listen to your child. There are so many children I know who are fighting their own silent battles. With many, eating too little is the problem but anything that gives control back or shows how out of control we feel, can creep in. 

 

I read your dd’s Blog earlier and thought how wonderfully empowering it must be to own this part of her journey and put it out there. I loved her comment re being kind. It is a lesson to all. This world of ballet can make monsters of many as parents and children alike compare and criticise classmates and competition companions. Teachers and mirrors do enough damage without this. People have commented that she has been courageous. Yes..but how sad that that being honest about struggling to fit into this mould of perfection that ballet sets out is so unusual. How sad that it is inevitable that most of our beautiful uk students will fail to live up to the standard that the uk schools expect of uk students. 

 

I know your dd will use the strength that she has gained to make a great life for hersel and that you’ll both recover from this chapter. Keep in touch. 

 

Angel x

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37 minutes ago, balletmadgirl said:

Wishing you good luck to you and your daughter in the future.I am not able to read that blog,maybe because I don't use Instagram? so not sure of all your daughter's difficulties.

My daughter didn't manage to continue in dance either,after starting at Upper School level.It was difficult for us all to cope with because it was all she had ever wanted to do.Unfortunately she could just not cope with the mental stresses involved,which also has a knock on effect on physical aspects.I'm sure this would be the case further on in her dancing life too.

She now does a ballet class for fun/exercise each week so hasn't dropped it completely.It still makes me sad when I think about what 'could have been'

 

I like to think of it as the path not taken. 

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Thank you for all your kindness and generosity on the forum. I am absolutely sure that your daughter will have a happy ending :) sending lots of love and strength to you both! 

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Thanks Angel - what a path we have travelled together xx

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1 minute ago, Kat09 said:

Thanks Angel - what a path we have travelled together xx

I wish so much that I could have talked to people like us, at the beginning of this journey and been open minded enough to believe how absolutely gruelling vocational training is and how damaging it can be to young minds and family relationships.

 

I wouldn’t have listened 😕  

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3 minutes ago, angel said:

I wish so much that I could have talked to people like us, at the beginning of this journey and been open minded enough to believe how absolutely gruelling vocational training is and how damaging it can be to young minds and family relationships.

 

I wouldn’t have listened 😕  

I think we naturally are so proud and want to believe so much in the dream - it’s hard to walk in with open eyes and see the ugly side when there is so much beauty all around ,and, when your child has so much talent and beauty it is human nature that you will think that they will fly however hard it is .

i would love to roll back the years,  oh the benefit of hindsight!!

i hope that others can learn from our experience and know that each individual is following their own path which might be totally different to the child standing next to them at the barre.

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15 hours ago, angel said:

I wish so much that I could have talked to people like us, at the beginning of this journey and been open minded enough to believe how absolutely gruelling vocational training is and how damaging it can be to young minds and family relationships.

 

I wouldn’t have listened 😕  

 

Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing.  Would any of us have listened, to the extent that we'd have stopped our girls from going away to pursue their dreams? Personally I never wanted my daughter to say "You didn't let me try".  I honestly think as parents we are put in impossible positions, torn between wanting to let our children go, but finding out too late that those charged with "caring" for them often do quite the opposite, to varying degrees.  

 

Kat09, it seems decades since we met, but it's only a few years - so much has happened.  Your input here will be very much missed - thinking of you and your beautiful girl.  Do please pop back from time to time. xx

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Our children’s mental health is quiet possibly the most worrying thing for us as parents. Both mine have had mental health problems, they are both the other side but I am incredibly thankful that they felt able to talk to me. The most important think as Kat09 says is we know our children better than anyone else ( most of us, sadly there are some parents who don’t) talk to them, watch them and support them. As a headmaster of my daughters once said “We only have one shot at this “ 

Thank you both of you for sharing this. Take care 

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The absolutely wonderful thing about this forum is that people are now speaking out and this will help others.  I think there is still a massive stigma regarding mental health problems and I think that brave posts such as this will hopefully help others to accept that such problems exist, are by no means rare and can happen to any one of our children.  Thank you to both you and your daughter for your courage.

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With all good wishes to Kat09 and her daughter and thanks Jan for the link.

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Thank you so much for sharing Kat09 - it’s so hard to listen to the realities of the vocational dance life and every experience shared helps us as parents to be prepared ....... even if we want them to live their dreams ........we have to keep our eyes and ears wide open!

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6 minutes ago, Billyelliott said:

Thank you so much for sharing Kat09 - it’s so hard to listen to the realities of the vocational dance life and every experience shared helps us as parents to be prepared ....... even if we want them to live their dreams ........we have to keep our eyes and ears wide open!

Keep your eyes and ears wide open and prepare to do battle (and not be popular) if you have to - ultimately be prepared to walk away if your concerns fall on deaf ears and your dc are continuing to struggle.

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I think we need a thread on: “life after vocational school” to celebrate all the strong, determined young people who have battled through mental health issues or injuries and are no longer pursuing their dream as a professional dancer.  The insular environment they experience when training is so different to life outside the ballet bubble.  Out here they can thrive and be themselves without all the constant scrutiny and pressure of perfection. 

 

After training hard for 3 years and overcoming her own problems, dd gained a first, this along with her GCSE results (so, so important they keep going academically in year 11 - even when they know they have gained a vocational place) meant she was accepted at a regular uni onto a degree - unrelated to dance. She’s now living life to the full! Enjoying the opportunities in the university dance clubs without any pressure. 

 

Our young adults are all fab and have so much potential. Whatever they are currently going through remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

x

 

 

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Thank you both for your courage in sharing, and please give your daughter a big hug from me. The current statistics are that 1 in 4 people will suffer a mental health issue but I fear that it is more like 1 in 3 or even 1 in 2 in today’s young people. The dance healthcare world is still years behind sports healthcare but I believe that in the area of mental health, it needs to catch up even more, and it needs to do so quickly. The psychological demands on young dancers are unnecessarily vast with many teachers, directors etc still favouring an unsupportive, highly critical approach based around some archaic idea that “it’s preparation for the industry”... add to this the pressures that today’s young people face from things like social media blasting them with constant images of “perfection” and it must be a tough time to be a young dancer. I believe that Dance teachers, choreographers, directors etc have a responsibility to keep those in their classes, rehearsals etc safe and healthy and it saddens me to hear of situations where this doesn’t occur. 

 

Anyway, I shall get off my soapbox for now! I hope your beautiful daughter gets the long term help and treatment that she needs, and I wish you both well xxxxx

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So sorry to read this. I hope that your DD continues to get the help she needs and that in due course she, and you, will be able to take something positive out of all this. Wishing her well for the future x

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What and amazing daughter you have Kat09 ! I know this anyway. She is so very brave and kind to share her blog with us.

I Have also had some very negative experiences of the ballet world! As parents we just want to allow our most precious children to follow their dreams but this can come at a price.

Your beautiful daughter has so much talent and she should have had more help and support along the way. Unfortunately this one dimensional world does not always look beyond the dancer and take time to nurture and support.

Your daughter has displayed such courage and generosity in sharing her experiences and I am so proud of her and you ! 

I just wish the journey that had so many highs had caused you both so much pain

Your very special daughter will always be an extraordinary beautiful amazing dancer. X

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Kat09

Thank you to you and your daughter for sharing this intensely personal post. May it help those who need to know they are not alone x

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Wishing health and happiness to your DD , you and your family. Thank you for sharing with the hope that it may help others.

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Kat09, it seems as though you've been a fixture on these boards for years, and we'll be sorry to see you go, and miss your contributions.  Do pop back every now and then and let us know how things are going.  Best wishes to you and your daughter, and thank you for the link to her blog.

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