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Have I put her off too much?


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My DD doesn't want to dance professionally. Or so she says. When asked she will reel off a list of extremely sensible reasons why not, and everyone nods and comments on how mature and realistic she is. Particularly my husband who doesn't see dance or even dance teaching as a "proper" job.

The only problem is, the more I hear her, the more familiar her words sound. They sound exactly like something I would say, and whilst I do think I'm right....well, it's not my life is it?

Most of her friends are a little older than her (she's in yr10) and quite a lot are currently auditioning for 6th form or post 18 courses. Some already have places or invites to finals and whilst I know DD doesn't have the ideal ballet body she is a good all rounder and probably on a par with most of her friends who are going on to study dance full time. It's left me wondering whether I have been too negative with her. Of course there's a world of difference between getting accepted onto a course, even at a very good school, and actually earning a decent living as a dancer and I still think the advice I've given her is sound. But, I do wonder if in my efforts to not be a "pushy mum" I've gone too far the other way and it's suddenly hit me that if she does want to give it a go, she's only got another couple of years to make her mind up. I am torn. I don't really want her to be a dancer, yet I can't see her being happy without dancing in her life and I would hate her not to try just because she knows that her Dad and I aren't keen.

Any thoughts anyone?

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I feel that she has to dance because she can't not, rather than just on assuming everything will work in her favour.


My dd is quite academic and I said that it would be an easier decision if she were less clever. At this point she then offered to fail all her GCSEs!


Dd is auditioning for upper school places at the mo with some disappointments and an offer. She is now questioning the longer term prospects after vocational training and is having a wobble.


My feelings are mixed about this as I feel if she does not dance she will loose a key part of her identity and what is her driving force. However she would have the capacity to reach a very good university.


In the end it will have to be her decision and I have decided not to say anything either way.


I think it's damned if we do push and damned if we don't!


Our decision was to let her audition and let those in the industry decide if she is good enough to be offered a place as they are looking at her without the parental baggage and greater knowledge than us. If they don't accept her then its purely based on ability/body shape and potential etc. it becomes their decision not ours! The audition process is difficult for all and I think will be either make or break time.


Good luck.

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A heart to heart is always in order.  At time time along the road.


I think it is important that the child reserves the right to say "no" or "maybe differently."


That being said, not going to vocational school doesn't mean there still can't be dance as part of one's growing experience.  Loving to dance and wanting to be part of that intensity which surrounds the professional dance world are two  separate issues.  One might love the one but not really want that intensity as part of one's life experience. 


The dance world is a way of life, not just a profession or how supports oneself.  Maybe she is beginning to see that what she loves is Dance - but not the world which accompanies it.

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Not quite the same as my ds was only 11 when he got his vocational schools offer. But it was very obvious which one me and my husband prefered so we got his headmistress to talk to him. She didn't let on that it was at our request so he was able to talk to her completely honestly without saying what we wanted to hear.


He then came home and announced he "belonged" to the Royal Ballet School!


Not our choice but turned out the right one for him with no regrets.


Do you have a close family friend who could sound your daughter out? But I also agree you should talk to her.


Incidently many of my most talented students carried on Ballet when they went to University and one is now my boss! But you don't have to have professional aspirations in order to continue to enjoy dancing!

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Pups_mum, I agree with those who suggest that you tell your dd what you said in your post. I have another thought about this as well. 


In my own experience, listening to my children has usually been more effective and more helpful than talking to them. Obviously, you are listening closely to her - that's what prompted your post. I know that I am often tempted to respond right away with my advice or thoughts in reply to what they say. You are a step ahead  on that since you are struggling to figure out how to respond!


What has worked best for me has been to ask questions that will help my children think through the issues and clarify for themselves what it is they really want or need. Sometimes the answers can be surprising and have challenged assumptions that I didn't even know I had made. By asking questions and not bringing any judgments of my own to the conversation I can help my children shed light on their own assumptions and the concerns that underlie what they are thinking. I have found this process to be the best way that I can help them make the decisions that are theirs to make. I have also found that it helps me understand and therefore truly accept their decisions. 

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