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To be sad at my dd decision to quit?

(51 Posts)
GemJem Sat 18-Mar-17 06:22:36

My dd has been doing ballet lessons since she was 4 years old. She is now 17 and an amazing ballet dancer. it's a great way of her keeping fit and socialising. Yesterday out of the blue she tells me she doesn't want to do classes anymore sad we were only discussing her next performance on Wednesday where she had one of the lead roles. She says she just doesn't want to go anymore. Part of me thinks it's just run its course in which case I can only support her decision. Another part of me think that it's influence from her new ' friends' she's met at college. They didn't seem very supportive about her hobby and would often suggest doing things on days they new she had dance classes/ performances. I'm sad to think she is being encouraged away from it as she loves ballet and always had. This is so sudden and she's adamant she's not going back. I'm so proud of all she's achieved but I don't want to become pushy as she is old enough to make her own decisions. I just hope this is her choice.

Trifleorbust Sat 18-Mar-17 06:23:55

Of course it will be her choice, she's 17. She can take it up again if she misses it.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 18-Mar-17 06:26:20

Well she's reached the age where she'll know if she wants to do it as a proffession. Obviously she doesn't want that...and it's a natural thing, to move away from ballet at this age OP.

I don't know any 20 year old's and upwards who do it as a hobby...the girls I've known doing it older are proffessionals.

KingPrawnOkay Sat 18-Mar-17 06:27:13

I was in a similar situation as her, danced since I was 2 and quit at 18 because I was too tired to dance once I'd left sixth form and started work. I kick myself every day and I wish I still danced and it's not an easy thing to go back to a year down the line. At the end of the day you can't force her to go but I'd have a chat to her about it. It's hard when your friends aren't dancers and do things during dance time but realistically, she's a teenage girl, they probably won't even be friends a couple of years down the line.

VintagePerfumista Sat 18-Mar-17 06:29:20

Nothing you can, or should do, tbh.

She's probably realised that at 17, if she hasn't already been spotted and moved to the Royal Ballet school, it's not going to happen and let's be honest, she probably wants to spend a bit more time on her studies, and meet some boys wink

Lots of older people are starting to do ballet I've noticed- and she'll probably do the same in a few years, just without the stresses and adrenaline rush of the performance, if she's decided that she doesn't want it anymore.

NormaSmuff Sat 18-Mar-17 06:30:07

that is sad, particularly when it seems so sudden and you are thinking it is the new friends.
perhaps her ballet teacher will be just as disappointed and will persuade her to stay?

GemJem Sat 18-Mar-17 06:35:28

Thanks everyone. She is going to have a chat with her ballet teacher as it would be very disrespectful for her to just never go back. Ballet has been her life and I am slightly concerned as to what happens next. From the age of about 13 she has wanted to be a ballet teacher and her teacher has let her be an assistant to teach in the younger classes on many occasions. I honestly thought becoming a ballet teacher was her next chapter.

Helbelle75 Sat 18-Mar-17 06:38:03

I did similar around her age, but picked it back up again in my early twenties. I still do 2 ballet classes a week now and i'm 41 and 36 weeks pregnant. Her technique won't disappear and she'll probably find she misses it terribly when the novelty of new friends wears off.

RoseSonata Sat 18-Mar-17 06:39:35

YANBU to feel sad. It is her decision, but maybe a chat reminding her about her ambitions to be a ballet teacher would be a good plan. Has she got any ideas for alternative careers / further study?

sandgrown Sat 18-Mar-17 06:46:19

I had the same. When DD was about 15 and had a part time job and discovered boys she gave up dancing. I was really disappointed. Many years later she started Zumba, loved it and now teaches part time.

GemJem Sat 18-Mar-17 06:50:05

That is another worry of mine rose all her time at collage she has been working towards teaching and dancing. She has been studying English literature also but I'm worried now she will just come to a stop with everything sad

NormaSmuff Sat 18-Mar-17 06:58:07

if she wants to be a dance teacher does she have to study in past sixth form?

NotYoda Sat 18-Mar-17 06:58:58

Is she saying she is not going to do the performance?

If so, she can't do that - she must honour that commitment.

Do you really think 17 year olds would be actively persuading her? I don't know - it sounds very unlikely to me.

This needs more chat about her future plans, but yes, ultimately there is nothing you can do.

Shurleyshummishtake Sat 18-Mar-17 07:01:58

Is there a compromise?
That she reduces for say a year to just a class a week and one that wouldn't impose on her new found social life so much like a midweek one?

I can understand how you feel but obviously you can't force her but you can try and find other solutions for her

jay55 Sat 18-Mar-17 07:03:39

Can she cut back on classes? Just take a weekly one to keep her flexibility? Not take part in performances going forward?

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 18-Mar-17 07:05:28

It took me till' I was 22 to be certain of my career. I think you need to let her make her own mistakes OP.

Falafelings Sat 18-Mar-17 07:08:56

Maybe she wants to do something different as she's outrgrown the ballet?

I think you need to be led by her really. Or look for a compromise, so she's doing less hours of ballet.

There are a whole wealth of things she could do and maybe her eyes have been opened.

GemJem Sat 18-Mar-17 07:12:08

I'm going to talk with her when she gets up. I need to be certain of her decision so we can discuss what she will do for the future.

kmc1111 Sat 18-Mar-17 07:24:56

It would be a huge shame to give it up entirely. She's probably at a point where regular classes and performances are too much, but she should still be able to drop in and out of classes. Hopefully there are some advanced classes in your area that don't just build towards a performance?

I gave it up as a full-time hobby at 19, but I kept going to a class every week or two. I'm so glad I did. A lot of my friends have it up entirely and when they tried to take it up as a fun hobby years later found they were essentially beginners again. It's not a forgiving practice, if you don't use those muscles for a while it's really tough starting over.

Bluntness100 Sat 18-Mar-17 07:27:24

>! I need to be certain of her decision so we can discuss what she will do for the future.<<

I'm sorry op, but surely she is the one who needs to be certain of her decision, not you, and it seems she is.

Trifleorbust Sat 18-Mar-17 07:41:01

* I need to be certain of her decision so we can discuss what she will do for the future.*

Why do you have such a need for certainty?

Bubbinsmakesthree Sat 18-Mar-17 07:46:07

There's a big old difference between giving up on a hobby and giving up on something that was a serious career prospect.

How realistic isthe idea that she could actually pursue ballet teaching as a career? I've always got the impression it's what people do after they are too old to perform rather than at a younger age?

If she's doing a 180 on something that would be a big change to her future career opportunities then it's worth having a serious talk about it. Otherwise, if it's really a hobby you can talk to her about it but it's not your job to talk her out of it.

skerrywind Sat 18-Mar-17 07:46:45

OP I also have a 17 year old who is a ballet dancer. She has been dancing since she was 4. She works at the dance school helping to teach younger ones at weekends.
Her teacher is encouraging her to be a full time dance teacher.

My DD doesn't want to do this and I agree.

I agree with a PP- if your DD hasn't been whisked off to Royal Ballet School by now then she isn't going to pursue a career as a dancer, and frankly a career as a dance teacher isn't brilliant.

The job market for dance teachers is flooded, even with college qualifications hse is likely to be working in a kids dance school,, or a couple of schools to make up the hours,teaching evenings and weekends. Work can be unstable and hard to find.

I totally get the emotion wrapped up in this, Doing ballet so intensively for such a long time is a huge deal, and kids who have that opportunity are very lucky. It teaches a huge amount of life skills that I won't even start on.

However it's a bit of an artificial situation- unless your daughter is doing commercial and paid work- children get to perform in productions, take lead roles and watched by a thousand people.
But these are mostly parents and doting grandparents.

My DD does 18 hours of dance a week, dance has been a huge part of her life for many years.
She has one more year and it will be at an end.
Yes I will feel emotional, but this is the end of a chapter, and it feels natural that it should end.

My DD hopes to study a subject at University that has no connection with dance at all.

But she still has all that dance has taught her. She has a lifelong love of physical activity, an appreciation of dance and music, I know she will be fit her whole life. And I know she has all that dance has taught her in her character makeup- a love of teamwork, she knows how to focus, to work hard and reach a goal, to overcome nerves before a challenge, to pace herself, to push beyond the maximum, to believe in herself.
She has a quiet confidence and self esteem from ballet that is now hardwired.

I don't see it as my DD giving up- just moving on.

Annesmyth123 Sat 18-Mar-17 07:48:47

You should let her make her own decision.

You,don't need to be certain of her decision, only she does.

This isn't about you and your hopes and dreams for her, it's about her finding her own way.

Littlelanecountrygirl Sat 18-Mar-17 07:50:05

Lovely post skerry

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