Negative comments from family members who don't dance

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by tanya_the_dancer, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. jwlinson

    jwlinson Member

    I've been lucky. Most of the family is indifferent. At first they were "you're doing what?" since it was out of the blue and completely different than the other hobbies/interests I have. Now, though, they see it's something I enjoy and are understanding.

    My mom has been supportive, and always wants to see the pictures taken of us, the newspaper clips, etc. I was in our local "Dancing With Our Stars" charity event, and I didn't think she'd be interested in going... until she told me one of the local radio stations was giving away tickets to the 6th caller... and she was so disappointed since she was the first and fifth caller... I had to get her a ticket, and luckily I found one at the last minute. She enjoyed it.

    The girlfriend's parents aren't so supportive though. Of course, when people come up to them telling them how good their daughter is, how much they enjoy watching her dance, they're all agush with "yeah, she sure is, she's great" etc... Behind the scenes, however, they try to imply how stupid she looks and how stupid she is for doing it. It's horrible...
  2. Christel M.

    Christel M. New Member

    The "girlfriends parents" actions are what over time gets very old and can really wear you down. I can fully understand, it is quite horrible.

    Two things I have found, you cannot help who you fall in love with and you cannot help what you love and what drives you. Don't think, just do what you know is right.
  3. Christel M.

    Christel M. New Member

    Also, an interesting note. We have had to pause a bit on the amount of practicing and performing, competitions, etc. that we did. So over the past few months my husband/partner added a few pounds (not a big deal it will come back off when we go into full gear). But, his blood pressure has skyrocketed, the Dr. is starting to get on his case a bit. Basically, he said to get back to the dancing and working out to lower it.

    A "healthy" reason to ignore those who don't exactly support what you do;-)
  4. Christel M.

    Christel M. New Member


    Thank you "IThink":) Obviously you know me and see us with and without our son there. I really appreciate you input!
    Christel
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    ROTFL....and my parents say "We love you, we'll support you, but if you go back to school we are NOT paying for it any more! You want a PhD, you're on your own." (I have three assorted degrees.) They'd much rather chip in for a dance dress than another tuition package!
  6. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Once my parents were there watching our comp; although we did well for this comp, they still got worried, and on the way home they commented that we should start our dances in the middle, not at corner, etc. Mom told DP "why you doing so many basic stuff at corner, judges were looking at the other way...and do more skips for quickstep..." lol...guess parents always worry when judges' eyes looking else where.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    People who question what you do with your time and money a) need to find something better to do with their own time, and b) are jealous of your money.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I love you Joe
  9. euchoreo

    euchoreo Member

    I definitely agree with the first. The thing is that a lot of people devote much of their time to what they think is the right thing to do and instinctively ridicule nearly everything else.

    One acquaintance of mine enjoys cooking purely as a hobby. She and her husband pursue cooking the way we pursue ballroom. (training, special material, workshops, etc..) Her secondary hobby is anime, which she also spends large amounts of time and resources on. One might think that a person with relatively unconventional hobbies would have the understanding to appreciate other unconventional hobbies.

    Alas, it is not so. Amoung other things, she refers to my dancing as "flitting about" and tells me, in rather condescending ways, how ballroom dancers don't compare to those great swing dancers of the 1940s that she saw on TV.

    My family is an interesting story in itself. When I started dancing at the age of 21, my father considered it a detrimental distraction from my studies. He also felt that I should wait until I got my Ph.D. and secured my career before considering silly things like verbal communication or other interactions with people of the opposite sex. He apparently believed this so strongly that he sent me harassing emails and phone calls on a regular basis for nearly 6 months until I managed to convince him that I had stopped. This is pretty impressive when you consider that, up until this point, my father and I only communicated an average of once every 6 months. By the time he found out that I hadn't stopped, he had, for one reason or another, abandoned the harassment approach.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I try, under those circumstances, to either invite those folks to know what they are talking about(by trying it) or to remind myself that they don't know what they are talking about...for if anyone could have witnessed the 6 hours of hazing that were my last lessons, well, flitting about would not be an image that would come to mind
  11. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Wow.....I certainly feel fortunate! My family has been nothing but supportive of my dancing. In fact, my elderly Mom is flying across the state to watch my first showcase....and bringing her camera. Yikes! :)

    My brother is encouraging in his own distant way, and my non-immediate family members are all happy for me. How did I get so lucky?

    I can't imagine how difficult it would be to try and share your enjoyment in dance with family if they are constantly negative about it.
  12. jjs914

    jjs914 Active Member

    My family has always been supportive...but they haven't always understood the drive behind all the time and money I put in. Once I learned I needed to put that into context for them, they could see where I'm coming from a bit better.
  13. Dance808

    Dance808 Member

    Very well said, Christel.

    The problem is that doing what you love doesn't make it any easier to have unsupportive (or oversupportive and overcritical) family members. I don't have an answer on that one.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no...you cannot control what you love, only how you manage it...
  15. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Hi... This is my first post, and I couldn't help offer my story. My parents have been passive-aggressive in their support of my dancing on many levels (financial, emotional, etc). But one thing my mom said to me many years ago really stands out...

    I had done a few Am/Am and Pro/Am competitions in high school, but then quit dancing when I went to away to college. I picked up dancing again toward the end of college and was having my first competition in what was about 2-3 years. I invited my parents to come watch. My dad came, but my mom declined saying, "You know, honey, your competitions are really boring. Why don't I come see you when you get better?"

    This weekend, now several years later, my parents are both finally come watch me dance. It's my first Pro comp. I hope I'm not as boring now :D
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Good for you!!!! And welcome to DF.
    And GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!!!

    But to be a little sympathetic to your parents, or anyones family... it IS boring. Your dancing is not boring, it is a beautiful thing to watch a loved one dance. But the competition is BORING. I saw it in my poor Dads eyes the first time he was there to see me compete. My parents kept ducking out of the ballroom to go to the restaurant. Or my Mom who kept asking my partner to come over and keep all of her girlfriends entertained (while we were trying to warm up for our pro event)... They ARE bored, and it is okay. And my parents have never been back to watch me in the last 10 years. Even at my best when I was a US Championship Finalist, for years, they couldn't be bothered to come to USDC, though I practically begged. And I get it. It is okay, they are bored, but they still love me. I don't equate their enjoyment (or lack) of the dance industry to loving me.

    And in all honesty, I would have a hard time going and sitting though a day of watching my Mom golf...
  17. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Welcome ireniecat. Competing in Wisconsin I'd guess?
  18. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member


    I appreciate you giving my parents the benefit of the doubt. I agree completely that a comp can be boring for people who aren't involved in dance. But I know in my case, my mom's comment on "boring comp" actually meant "boring dancing." If you knew my mom, you'd understand :)

    I didn't invite them to come see me dance this weekend (yes, at Wisconsin), they WANTED to! And sometimes it hurts because it feels like they only want to come now because I've gotten better. Like they're ready to be supportive after the hard work has been done. When I mentioned that Crystal Ball would be in Wheeling (very close to where they live), they started naming off all their friends they wanted to invite to watch... like now I'm worth watching, but before I wasn't. I guess at the end of the day, I'm still happy that they're finally proud :)
  19. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    Welcome to DF, ireniecat! Congrats and all the best this weekend! :)
    That reminds me of someone I know who has been traveling the world for pretty much the last seven years. Her parents wish she'd settle down and often scold her for being "irresponsible" with her time, money, education. At the same time, when they've had friends over for dinner, the parents have brought out a globe and proudly pointed out all the countries their daughter has visited. :razz:
  20. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    My Mom does the same thing. I am like a little trophy she carts around at Christmas to all of her friends houses, shows them photos of me dancing, makes me tell them stories... Yet couldn't make an effort to actually support me in my dancing, has told me to quite for years.

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