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Dancer dreams, broken family?

I really want to join a dance company, but my family won’t support me — and time is running out!

You are young, says our elder. It’s definitely worth a try.

Dear EWC

I’m currently 13 years old and living in Australia. I lived a pretty happy life until I crossed something that may break my family’s relationship. I want to be a dancer and found a really good company that can support me. I’ve practiced, researched and done everything to prepare myself for the auditions that are coming up soon. The only problem is that my family wouldn’t support me. My sister told me that being a dancer will be really hard, but I’m prepared to work really hard if it means having a chance of being a step closer to my dreams. My parents want me to be a doctor or something since they’re scared I wouldn’t get a job when I’m older. I really want this job and the company will only accept people under 15 years old because they’ll have to be a trainee for the most three years. So in short words, I need to decide fast! But I also don’t want to disappoint my parents and my sister. What should I do?

Dayle replies

It sounds like you would be a very committed person and do all the work necessary to be a dancer. I think that’s great. We often have different ideas about our lives than our families do. Dancing as a profession, admittedly, is very difficult. You have a lot of competition, and to get the best jobs, you have to be the best. I understand as you are on the way up it doesn’t pay very well. I suspect your family is thinking about all these things.

But you are young, and I think this is worth a try for you. Go now and spend at least three years as a trainee. By the end of that time, you will know whether or not you are good enough to continue. Of course, I expect that you will continue your schooling as well. If it all works out after three years, you can look at the profession as a whole again and decide if you want to go on. If it doesn’t work out, and always keep that in mind, because you know it can happen, then your schooling will be very important to you because you will have to plan on another career.

As long as your family understands that you are looking at both the good and the bad areas of what trying to be a dancer means, I think they will be more ready to support you. Even if they don’t, it is your life and your future, but please make the best decision possible for yourself, thinking about all sides of the issue, not because it is a big want.

Letter #: 437546
Category: Career

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