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Missing Dance for School events


Picturesinthefirelight
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Since the age if 4 dd has missed every birthday party, school fayre, everything that has clashed with her dance or drama.

 

Last year she was in panto so missed the compulsory carol service.

 

This year the service clashes with her modern & tap classes. It is the last week of term. She is in the school choir who are performing too but doesn't really want to go to the service as a. She is atheist!!!! And b. says they are boring

 

Do you allow your children to miss school events in favour of dance?

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I personally believe that if a child joins something like a choir then s/he should attend all the rehearsals and performances as far as possible. The same goes for orchestras, football teams, plays etc. May I ask why your dd is in the choir if she doesn't like it? Your dd must have been very serious about her dance from a very young age if she has been happy to forgo parties and school fairs - events which children are usually very keen to attend. I suppose that I'm wondering why you are now questioning whether you should allow your dd to miss school (and, perhaps, out of school) events which clash with her dance lessons when dance has taken priority over everything else for what I assume is many years.

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She loves choir but doesn't like the carol service.

 

This is the first year choir has performed at the service. Usually it is just a church service thing with everyone singing the carols and some readings

 

She only found out choir were going to perform a couple if weeks ago

 

She has never minded missing parties etc. the only time she did ask to kiss drama was when our local team got to the FA cup final and her grandparents got tickets.

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If I've paid for it she goes unless its exceptional circumstance. It's not about "making it" its about not letting people down.

 

She would much prefer to go to class than a party or school fayre anyway.

 

Both her & ds are asking me to write to school to say they can't go to carol concert. Ice said no do far but am wondering if I should let dd miss it.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Excuse me Picturesinthefirelight if I have inocently offended you it certainly was not intentional. What you choose to do with your daughter is up to you. I was only suggesting (not telling you what to do) that dancing usually from the age of three up until 20 +, to not feel bad about going to a couple of the parties. I clearly mis-read your post when you mentioned that your daughter had not attended parties, school fayres etc if it clashed with dance or drama, I thought you were asking what we did as parents regarding this area. After re-reading I can see you were only asking about missing school events in favour of dance.

 

When my daughter was at Tring we were not given that choice. If any dance activities clashed with the accademic side of things it would not be allowed unless it was exceptional circumstances. This made it a lot easier for parents.

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If it were my daughter I would insist that she attend the carol concert as it would be letting other people down if she missed it. I would tell her that if she belongs to the choir then she has to sing at all the performances and cannot pick and choose which choir events she attends. The only exception to this would be if she had something much more important to go to or to prepare for eg an exam the following day or an exam in the near future related to the class(es) which she would otherwise be missing. That's my view anyway, but I have a bit of a thing about children committing to things and accepting that they have a responsibility to other people.

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My kids tend not to miss things over dancing and their dance teacher wouldn't want them to. She even covered the parts in the show so the big girls got to go to their prom which she said they mustn't miss for anything. This year with my dd starting associates we have had to miss one class for dance festivals which is a whole new problem missing one dance class for another dance event.

My dd is not doing panto with dancing as her school play is the same night. Kids do have a life outside dancing in my opinion so it's good to get a balance. But everyone does it differently, so I don't think anyone can judge or say that their way is the right way. And we are all talking about individual children, some who like parties and school events and some who don't. I have one dd in the choir and school orchestra and one, who has a beautiful voice, who will sing at festivals but won't sing infront of her school mates!

I think you often have to let the child decide which they want to do but I do agree if they commit to something they can't chop and change as it does let other kids down.

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I dont think that she should miss the school choir concert either. She made a choice of joining the choir, potentially taking another childs place, so should not be picking and choosing if she wants to perform with them (regardless of her religious beliefs). I would also be a bit concerned and this is just my opinion that your dd has never attended any parties and xmas fayres because of dance. I understand it is her choice, but when she looks back as an adult how will she feel about it them. Sometimes as parents we have to make some choices for the child rather than letting them decide for themselves as they do not always see the bigger picture. I do however fully agree with you about once a commitment has been made then it should be honoured, but dance training can be all consuming and can, if youre not careful take over everything else.

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My dd chooses dance over most outings and parties, and she wouldn't miss her Associate class for anything except being on death's door (!) but that is her choice and fortunately her friends are very understanding. But she's a teenager now so I think it's only right that she is allowed to make the decision. However, if a big family event - Grandad's 75th for example - clashed with dance then she would of course miss dance.

 

BUT when she was younger I used to ensure that she had a good balance of "normal" life. There was a girl in her class who wasn't allowed to go to people's houses for tea, go on school trips, or do anything if it interfered with dance and festival rehearsals.

 

After 7 or so years of that, the girl gave up dance and now has no interests in or out of school, except shopping.

 

With regards to choir and school commitments, dd is in two choirs at school - senior choir, and (audition only) chamber choir. She attends every rehearsal and concert, even if it means rushing home from dance, gobbling down some food, and rushing back to school. I sometimes suggest missing ballet on concert evenings.....if looks could kill!

 

A place in choir should be committed to wholeheartedly - or not at all. In my opinion. :-)

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This is a hard one - perhaps the decision might rest on which thing is committed to first. Once you have the date for that, you might then need to stick with it and let other requests go.

 

If you explain that you have already made a commitment to one thing, it should reasonably be accepted by whoever else is wanting her for something else...

 

My dd's schoolfriends have trouble meeting up her for cinema trips, parties, shopping etc, but they do understand, and quite often I get a mum ringing to ask when dd is free so they can plan an event around when she is available, which is really good of them, and much appreciated!

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To answer a couple if questions.

 

When she joined the school choir she commited to the autumn concert, the music festival next spring, the summer concert & prize giving.

 

The carol service was only added to the schedule 2 weeks ago. Last year she was annoyed because half the choir didn't turn up to the festival (we moved hell & high water for her to go as it clashed with ds coming home from a school residential & me working) plus several children opted out of a big choir concert with the high school that had been on the calendar for ages.

 

If she went to every party on a Saturday then she would never have been at drama anyway plus the fact I work Saturdays at the drama class too so I would have had to get her grandparents to take her in addition to looking after her younger brother.

 

 

 

 

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My DD also puts her dancing before everything else, with the exception of homework that she manages (successfully so far) to fit around her dancing. She dances 5 days out of 7 and when there is a festival/show coming up its 7 out of 7!

 

She has missed out on so many parties, trips out, sleepovers etc, but when she does have a day off I try to encourage her to spend that time with her school friends. She has very few school friends with, dare I say, 'hobbies' that take up as much time as hers does and they struggle to understand her commitment.

 

She is very committed though and has given up gymnastics and choir to concentrate on her dancing. I can't say I'm 100% sure its the right thing to do but she is very driven to succeed as a dancer. I do often think to myself have we got the right balance, I certainly don't think we have the family life I'd like us to have.

 

Dancing is certainly a big part of out whole family (although my OH and boys don't really get involved other than turn up to watch (and moan!) every so often. I dream of weekends away as a family and visiting relatives any time we please rather than squashing them in when we can, but to do that I'd have to take away her dream. My boys have very active weekends and after school hobbies too so I hope (?) they don't miss out, the only one missing out at the moment is me!!!! And I've got old age to look forward too :wacko:

 

As for choosing one commitment over the other? Well we all get in a tiz over things clashing at this time of year, so I think let her choose but also let HER explain her choice to the choir leader ;)

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Loulabelle you have put your response together so well, I can relate to everything you have said. I do think when they go away to vocational school these issues are much easier to deal with. All their friends have the same interests and commitments, they are all focused and determined. I just remember all the running around and sacrifices to dance that we made as a family. You do get caught up with it all as it is a huge commitment in every aspect.

 

On reflection though, my husband mentioned an event last year when our daughter was involved with something from Bristol. He wasn't well, I had a very bad neck. We drove to Bristol he left me there, he then drove to Whinchester to get our student son and then back to Bristol again to watch our daughter perform, we then had to drive back up north. I cringe because what we did, we must have been crazy. Infact there has been a lot of crazy things we have done for dancing such as festivals, royal ballet associates, drama shows, private lessons whew. If we had to do this all over again, quite a few of the extra curricular activities would definately have to be cut back.

 

It's amazing really now our daughter is in 6th form vocational school, how much time me and my husband have together. Our daughter no longer needs us to take her to places, she can do it all herself. If there are any parties on she will choose if she wants to go to them, making sure they are only on a Saturday night as she doesn't have dance the next day. Good luck with your decision Picturesinthefirelight.

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Picturesinthefirelight, it's interesting to hear that your dd was annoyed that a lot of the members of the choir did not turn up for the festival. Perhaps they all had other things on. It's not uncommon for extra engagements to be added to a choir's schedule.

 

Taxi4ballet, I don't think that it's reasonable to expect everyone to organise their social lives around one particular child. Close friends might accommodate another child's commitments but they certainly should not be expected to do so. The teenage years must be particularly difficult for any young person who is trying to get to the top in any highly competitive field. It's interesting to read about the sacrifices that, for example, Jessica Ennis made. I know that Alexander Brownlee had to give up his medical degree at Cambridge in order to concentrate on his career as a triathelete. If you want to get to the top then you probably have to give up a normal social life.

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Both my DDs have constantly missed out on parties etc, although as they've reached their teens I did find that their best friends always fit parties around DD, sometimes having the food before she got there but booking cinema etc times so she could join them. A social life is certainly easier for elder DD now she is at vocational school.

With regard to missing school events for dance, DD always checked out dates involved before making a commitment and we had the odd extra rehearshal or performance thrown last minute that clashed with dance but tended to go with the school commitment, unless it was just before an exam. This was part on the basis of honouring a commitment and showing her work ethic but also part due to the fact that we were well aware that DD would need time off school for exams, auditions etc and it does no harm to build up their reputation for being reliable and hardworking - especially in DDs case when she did very little school extra curriculur activities because of lack of time.

Personally I also tend to think that with any activity you have to take the boring bits along with the good and this is probably especially true in the world of performances with endless rehearsals when you are not actually doing anything for part of the time, or getting small roles where you hoped for a bigger part. It is all part of being a dancer.

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Part if the problem is that ds (who is not in the choir but has no clashes either) also does not want to go to the carol service.

 

If I let dd off do I make ds go or let him off too.

 

The service is just for 1 hour from 6pm-7pm but its right in the middle of dance which is 4.30-7.30

 

Choir have never taken part before.

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My DD often missed parties and sleepovers too in favour of classes.

 

School concerts/plays were always put before regular dance class (she was tied up on so many evenings with gym/dance she knew there would be a clash - if she wasnt prepared to put it first then she didnt audition, unfair on the others).

 

If it were a dance show then that would have been different - however, we would have had the dates in advance and been able to notify the school and pull them out of choir rehearsals letting somebody else have their opportunity.

 

Personally I think you have to go with the carol service! Wont make you a popular mum but maybe its a lesson in committment and over booking. :wacko:

 

good luck!

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I do sort of agree and dd would never audition for anything if she was not prepared to put it first. When she did Her Benny she didn't miss a single rehearsal from April to September for example including all through the Sumer holidays.

 

The carol service is a whole school event but in the evening. The choir has never taken part before it is a service not a concert. Dd only found out 2 weeks ago they were going to sing a couple of carols as part of the service.

 

 

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