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louandgrace

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Reply with quote  #1 
I love to hear from mums of older dancers. It's just interest rather than concern for DD.

I have a young dancer (9) and she lives and breathes dancing. As long as she's happy, I'm happy to go along for the ride. She's been all about dance from a very young age. I introduced other hobbies and classes, but she tries a few and nope, just wanna dance.

She wants to be a dance teacher, going so far as picking out premises already! At 9 I know i had no idea what I wanted to do, let alone have such an intense love of something.

So, a few questions, To those who have older dancers who were very, very passionate child dancers, did they ever waiver? Is this level of focus normal for youngsters?
I have two other kids who have never indicated this level of drive for anything. Is it a usual dance trait?

Are your children attaining the dance dreams they had at 9, or did those dreams change?
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #2 
The kids never lost their passion, but the way they express it changes, and the goals certainly change.

I remember when the kids were about 11-12 (my eldest DD's class). Their teacher asked who wanted to be a professional dancer and the whole class put their hands up. They are now all 18-19 and in University, most still dance at the studio and do the competition team, but none are heading for a professional careeer. So they are still loving it but not the same goals.

When they are little I notice they dance everywhere they go, spend their weekends choreographing routines with friends, and have social media names like "Susie, the dancer". That all changes when they get older, but the passion is just as strong.
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have the same intense passionate dancer at home (8).  Other things she loves- yes but dancing is #1 and how she describes herself.  Every game with friends or sleepover includes a dance competition or choreographed routine.

She's also good at math!  So I keep telling her she can be a scientist / dr/ business woman and dancer. [smile]  Every door is open. [smile]

Following..


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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #4 
My DD14 has had passion for dance since the age of 4.  Dancing.  Watching dance Talking about dance.  Other activities or interests never came close.

DD11 has not typically shown the same passion.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #5 

My mom kept a little school photo album when I was a kid. One each page was the school photo and some questions, one of which was what you want to be when you grow up.  There were several years when I said I wanted to be a dance teacher! 

I am not. I stopped dancing seriously at 16. Still danced a bit here and there, picked it up again as an adult off and on. So, it's always been a part of who I am, but it did not become my career. 


On the other hand, dd at about 9 wanted to be the first ballerina on Mars. She wanted to be a dancer AND an astronaut. Then, she learned at Space Camp that being an astronaut is dangerous. So, now at 20 she is a ballet dancer. Never lost her passion for dance and I expect that when she retires from performing, she will remain in the entertainment field in some way. 

So, you just never know what's going to happen with that passion!

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #6 
Is this a dance trait?  I don't think so.  Not if I look to my dd (and many of her friends) as an example.  While there are certainly lots of very passionate older dancers who have been passionate from the time they stepped into the studio... there are also a lot who did not develop that passion until years down the line.  My own dd started dance at 3 but didn't 'love' it until about 10.  Didn't dream about a professional career until 12.  Prior to that it was just an afterschool activity once or twice a wk.  Once she got it under her skin though (and I have First Position to thank for that).. she was all in.  And while I know anything's possible, I'd be very surprised if she were to decide on her own to switch gears at this point.  This girl "is" a dancer.
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #7 
DD was hyperfocused on dance for a year or two. She would tell me that she was going to have her own studio. Now, she will tell you that she LOVES dance, but she has so many other things that she is good at that she won't make it her career. It's something she thinks she will always do, but not as her 9-5. She is even looking at giving up comp next year because it conflicts with an academic club, and she wants more time for her other interests. She will still take as many classes, just not have the strict attendance rules of comp and practices hanging over her head. I think most children evolve. I was even a dance kid that thought I'd have my own studio. I gave up dance at 18, only to pick it back up when DD was 4 to teach her intro jazz and tap. 
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louandgrace

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thank you. I love your replies, it's really great to hear how the older dancers "evolved"
Thanks 😊
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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #9 
I know it is not what you asked but one thing to remember is that parents of kids who lost their passion in dance most likely won't be on this board and I assume they are in the majority.

My DD8 would love to live at the studio if she could because she is obsessed with dancing but I always keep in the back of my head that passions change and evolve as they get older.
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hopefuldancer17

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Reply with quote  #10 
My daughter has loved dance since her first creative movement classes, but she was never one who seemed completely consumed by it or hyper-focused on it. She was committed and worked hard, and she enjoyed performing. I used to think that maybe she didn't "love it as much" as kids who seemed to eat, breathe and sleep dance. But now, at 17, she's the one looking to pursue it as a career while many of those others have slowly slipped away. I think it's different for different dancers, and that they mature and grow into their views on what it means to be a dancer.
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dancemom0987

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Reply with quote  #11 
DD14 has never lost her passion. In fact, it's been growing and growing and I'm not sure if she could love it more than she does now. It's crazy!! She does have some harder times (she is right now) where she loses her focus, but once she is reminded of why she loves it, it quickly returns. My DD also wants a career in dance!
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threegirlpileup

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Reply with quote  #12 
My dd is 16.  She didn't start dancing until she was 9, and since then it's just been more and more dance until it pretty much dominates her life.  She wants to be a teacher and choreographer and plans to go get a BFA in dance.  There has never been a time for her that her passion for it has flagged.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of dancers hit a make-it-or-break-it point around 13ish, when starting high school.  Both academics and and dance ramp up in their intensity, and teens increasingly have to choose between dance and other things.  This hasn't really been an issue for my daughter, because she always chooses dance without even thinking about it.  But other teens may realize that they want to be able to be more active in school activities at the same time that they are realizing that they don't see themselves dancing beyond high school.  In particular, we've notice that the most competitive students, who seem to enjoy dance more for the praise/success/glory tend to burn out, while the ones who truly do it for the love of it keep at it.
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Mama2aHappyDancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
This sounds so much like my dd. She is 8. She begs me to live at the studio lol. My other two kids try activities for a bit, but generally are done when a session ends. She told me she wanted to be Clara in the Nutcracker when she grew up after seeing her first Nut at 4. She has never wavered on that goal. 
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louandgrace

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Reply with quote  #14 
It'll be interesting to see how the next year goes. She's one of the younger girls in a competition team, so I wonder if we'll see some of her team drifting away as they approach that early-teen age range.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #15 
Yes unfortunately it was due to a really toxic studio.  She took the year off between 13-14 and then we found an amazing DT - followed her to the studio she worked at and the passion is coming back!
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #16 
I think in some ways the push/passion kind of waxes and wanes a litle but the love and passion remains at the core. My 12 year was hooked and always wanted more from the first day she took a class. She never complains and she’s been steadfast with her Dance goals.

My 8 year old once claimed she wanted to be a professional dancer. She does not. She honestly doesn’t even put in much effort that it’s frustrating. I imagine she will slowly transition away from Dance over the next year or two. She just doesn’t love it as much and never has.
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pzsmom

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Reply with quote  #17 
My son's passion for dancing started when he was 2 1/2, when my daughter's dance teacher allowed him to sit in (if he was good) and then (when he was) to participate. He kept it going and is now 18 and in a professional program here in Paris (where we live) founded by an ex-Alvin Ailey guy, Rick Odums. My son's now targeting the Ailey school in NYC for next year. Did he ever waver? Yes. Lots of times. But I told him if he wanted to "stop dancing" it was not going to be in the middle of the year because he felt like doing something else that afternoon.... It turned out to be a good thing - super smart, but he's ADHD, and it really helped him keep it together. He did dance conservatory for jr & sr high school (1-6pm every day), but honestly pretty much cruised on his basic talent. So it's only this year, in this professional program (where there are lots of other guys, and people have come from all over the world to attend) that he says he understands the meaning of "work".  He's working harder than ever. He comes home with bleeding feet, dance clothes absolutely drippingly sweat-soaked, exhausted. But he placed into the top classes, his teachers (top worldwide) are super encouraging, and he's going for it. Does it worry me? Yes. Do I wish he had a "back-up"? Yes. But the passion has kicked into overdrive, and we'll see where it takes us. Fingers crossed!

p.s. my daughter, on the other hand, who was also very talented, dropped dance in high school, partly from seeing how much attention her brother got "because he's a boy", and partly because she really threw herself into academics.... I hope someday, somehow, dance comes back into her life for pleasure, tho.
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