I picked up this e-book because Ms. Parsons is the mother of a male ballet dancer, like myself. Originally, I thought this would be about her son’s experience at Canada’s National Ballet School, but actually, it’s more about being a dance mom. And do you know what? I wasn’t disappointed. Because the truth is, only her son can share his story, and only Ms. Parsons can share hers.
From the moment he was born, it seemed her son was meant for the stage. From violin lessons at 3 1/2, to acting and finally dance, her boy was a natural. Living in Halifax, Ms. Parsons navigated the waters of finding a good dance school for her son. A school where, in her words, “they didn’t use students to teach the younger classes.” I’ve definitely been there. She also had to navigate the world of changing rooms where even though they are marked for boys, several little girls and their fathers could be found changing when her son needed to use it. (Designated changing room? Does that exist at local dance schools?) And she also had me laughing out loud when she described the different types of dance moms she has encountered.
At the age of 11, her son auditioned for NBS and was accepted. After a year at this Toronto boarding school, he was told not to come back for the following year. Yes, rejections are a big part of the dance world. Fortunately, her son found his focus and was readmitted after another year. He stayed, graduated, and secured an apprenticeship with the company.
That’s the background story – but the REAL story is about how to parent when your child leaves home at a such young age. I very much commiserated with her story. And I also felt validated. Sometimes I feel like I’m not involved enough. I don’t come between my son and his school. Instead, I try to stay on the periphery, helping my son when he asks for help, and asking for guidance from the school only when absolutely necessary. According to Parsons – this is exactly the mindset needed for elite dance students.
It’s a fascinating story about a world most parents will never encounter. If you’re a dance mom – you must read this book. But even if you’re not, it’s a very interesting book.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013
Amazon Book Preview of Another Pointe Of View