A few months ago, my daughter’s ballet teacher told us she thought she was ready to audition to be a Junior Associate of The Royal Ballet. I can’t tell you how proud we all were. Of course, we think she’s an amazing dancer, but it’s nice to hear that her teacher, a ballet expert, thinks the same.
Last year, we thought she would audition. I stressed myself out a bit thinking about the body image issues
before deciding to go ahead, then we were all devastated when her teacher told us she didn’t think she was ready
. It’s not just about the ability to dance well, it’s about emotional maturity and being able to cope with rejection and failure.
We’re under no illusions that she will get in. The odds are heavily stacked against her, but I’m just so proud that her teacher even thinks she is good enough to audition. Auditioning will be a great opportunity and a fantastic memory. It is something she, and I, can always be proud of.
Before that, there’s a form to fill in and photos to take. The deadline is next week and we’ve known about the form since the start of the year. The photos have to be perfect – perfect legs, perfect arms, perfect toes, perfect hair, perfect posture. I stressed about them a bit. When would be the best time to take them?
Unfortunately, ballet is a lot about your shape and size. My daughter is tall for her age. Compared to a lot of other girls her age, she is slight. She is slim and muscular like her mum. Her legs are toned from all the dancing.
Compared to ballet dancers, she is big.
Ballet dancers have to have their tummies sucked in for perfect posture. I decided the best time to take the photos would be first thing in the morning, after a wee and before breakfast. Because even little girls bloat a bit. We talked about this in an honest way – tummies stick out a bit, it’s about posture, not weight or size. But when can you take photos, with a perfect bun, before breakfast? Not on a school day. We would do the photos in half-term.
She’s back at school now, but we still haven’t done the photos. Her bad foot
means it’s very painful to point her toe and it’s not a perfect point even. Time is running out and I’m not sure we will even manage to do the photos at all. If the paediatrician had come back to us
when she said she would, I was going to ask her for a note which I could include with the application to say that my daughter’s toe wasn’t working well right now.
So this illness and this bad foot may have scuppered something major for my daughter.
I wanted her to have the opportunity to audition. I wanted to feel that pride, but instead I may just have to be proud that her teacher thought she was good enough to audition. Not to mention that she has coped so well with this illness.