What would you do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What would you do?
10
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:06pm
My SIL is going to be a senior this year in high school. She is attending a very elite, expensive private high school. They offer AP classes, bio-med classes and lots of art classes. She is a very talented ballet dancer and has danced for the local professional company. She is planning to delay college to dance professionally and has been told it is quite doable for her.

This summer she is attending a ballet academy up North. The teacher has asked her to attend his ballet academy in Seattle for her senior year. She would have to attend the local college for her AP classes. The school is accredited and she can graduate from it but it does not offer the classes of a normal high school. It is centered for the student that wants to be a professional dancer. The director has connections and can get her interviews with the San Franciso ballet and the American Ballet. She really wants to go. My MIL, who is intensely overprotective, wants to send her. MIL reasoning is that she might miss a great chance. FIL is planning to move to Seattle with SIL. MIL will stay here.

DH and I are very worried. SIL has really bad chronic asthma. We worry that Seattle is not the best place for her. I am worried that this teacher is pressuring her so much. I worry about his intentions-I hate to suggest he is a pedophile since she is 17 but still. MIL says he is married and she is not worried about that aspect. We worry that, even though it is accredited, it is not going to give the best educational foundation to my SIL. I just think it could wait until she graduates. MY MIL and FIL pretty much live in different houses so the seperation will not be bad for them. They are restoring a house and he stays there and MIL stays in the city with SIL. MIL will be awfully lonely and bored, though. I am scared she will start concentrating on us.

What would you do? Do you think it is too good of a chance to pass up?

K



"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 11:36am
Well as usual, its buyer beware. Does everyone invovled, including the dancer, really have very good reason to believe the dancer has what it takes - talent and otherwise - to make it as a professional dancer? Has the dancer/family persoanlly done due dilligence and investigated the school and the teacher? In these things its not about what the teacher/director says he "will be able to do for her" but what can be found out that they have actually "been able to do for other dancers" that matters. Is she really talented, is the school really an honest to goodness good and respected and KNOWN good dance school, do they actually have a history of turning out professional dancers? If she's this far into dance, prossibly (hopefully) the school is known to her local dance community and they may be able to advise. Daughter should be making an effort to travel to meet the director to discuss with HIM personally, what opportunity the school can provide her, parents in tow.
Avatar for bobcatkathi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 10:09pm
Dancers have such a short time to have such chances. Depends on her maturity level and how much she wants it. She is 17 and for many young ladies that is grown enough to handle the world. I would hate for my daughter to do such a thing but if she had the talent for it, I would have to let her go. Ballet is such a beautiful art and so few are given a true gift for it. I admire those who are given such rich gifts.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 6:15pm
To be honest, I don't know. It would take a lot for me to be willing to split up our family, so if it was really a great opportunity for one of my kids, my first choice would be doing whatever I could to move the entire family. However, depending on circumstances, it is possible I would be willing to split the family up for a year or so. But the goal would be to reunite the family in the fastest possible manner.

As far as the education issue, I think that is something that can be duplicated, so I wouldn't have a problem with that aspect. Sounds like the girl has a really big desire and drive to dance. :) Great for her, at such a young age, to be so committed! I only hope my kids are as committed to something at that age!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 6:03pm
Do you remember what it's like to be 17 and have a goal? Didn't it frustrate you when the people around you who you cared about you were trying to tell you what you should and shouldn't do? Did you follow their advise or go behind their backs and do what you wanted anyway? At seventeen, she is not a child, she is at an age where she is finding out who she is going to be for the rest of her life. If she's as intelligent as she sounds, she will be able to go back to her education later on in the day, but she only has one chance to try for her dream. She may change her mind in the process, but it's her decision and you should be there to support what she decides. Don't try and wrap her in cotton wool, you will only push her away from you. If she decides not to go because she would be upsetting you, you will feel guilty for the rest of your life and she will end up always wondering whether she could have made it and she won't thank you for it.

I wanted to be an actress at her age and went to college to study the subject. Nobody could tell me that it was an almost impossible goal for me to achieve because I believed that I would make it. After a year at college, I realised that it was not for me after all, but I don't regret studying the subject as it has helped to shape me today and who knows, I can always take it up again later on (if I don't get too old!).

Good luck with your decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 4:27pm
I don't know an awful lot about the arts, but my opinion is that if a girl at 17 has enough dedication and discpline to get as far as she has, that she would be on the top of my list of teenaged kids whom I would trust to do the right thing, and have all the confidence in the world in... Maturity is not something that happens on the eve of your 18th birthday.

(Btw, my 17 year old baby brother spent 5 weeks in Rome unchaperoned, and came back all in one piece! He also had drive, determination, dedication and a rare, pragmatic maturity at a young age.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 1:51pm
Yes, I think it's too good to pass up. When she's ready to go to college, a year at an exclusive ballet academy will help her, not hurt her. Colleges love kids who make their own paths. Her father will be there, and presumably he knows as much about how to care for her asthma as anyone else, so I don't see what the problem would be. The seventeen-year-olds currently living in Seattle seem to be surviving it fine, and I'm sure your SIL will, too. She's old enough to handle a bit of pressure from a dance instructor, don't you think?
Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it. I just heard the good news and popped back over, just in case you were still checking in.
Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:54pm
If its her dream to dance this is her chance...dancers DO NOT get second chances and they can't sit around at a 4 year college waiting for their career to start. The kids here in NYC that want to go into the ABA start as young as grade school in all the programs/classes. By the time they are in HS many are enrolled full-time and living the dancer's life.

Dancers have an EXTREMELY tight window of opportunity to make their dream happen. It involves a lot of sacrifice, especially after they are accepted into a company (which is extremely hard)

Why not let her try at least? If she has as much talent as the teacher is stating then it is indeed too good to pass up. And anyway, it is HER dream isn't it? My mother wasn't thrilled with me moving by myself at age 17 to New York City with no friends and relatives nearby...but was I going to pass up an education at the University I had been planning on attending since I was in the 8th grade just because of her fears? NO WAY!

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:34pm
Perhaps I am more paranoid and protective than I realized. I just worrying about this teacher putting so much pressure on her. He has continually talked to her and her parents about attending. It just sent a huge red flag up to me. It is an amazing chance but she will miss her senior year. She will be in a new city having to make new friends. The high school that she goes to right now is such a good one that it gives her a solid educational foundation. I just don't know.

I have never been talented enough to have such chances. I guess it is like having a child that could be in the Olypmics. You have to grab the opportunities when they come.

K

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:24pm
It sounds like an amazing opportunity for her, especially since her father will be there, too. And I love Seattle.

Maybe this teacher is just aware of ehr talent,a dn is offering her opportunities to use it. If this is what she wants, it sounds wonderful. Good luck to her.

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:13pm
Well, since your SIL has already decided to postpone college to focus on ballet, it would make sense for her to attend this special ballet school in Seattle. Obviously, ballet is her priority right now and at 17 she should have the major say in her future.