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My daughter has been doing ballet for the past few years and may have the opportunity to be in the Nutcracker with a major ballet group. Auditions are coming up this weekend. She has been in the ballet training program for some time so it is likely that she will get in (however it is not assured).

This weekend a friend came up to me and said that he is taking most of her class to a Taylor Swift concert in a suite and would she like to go with them.

This concert will directly interfere with a practice session. They are pretty big sticklers on that one must attend all of the practices.

So right now I am weighing what to do.

The Taylor Swift thing is a once in a lifetime thing because of the suite with all of her friends. However it is a one time thing.

The Nutcracker is something that would be more beneficial for her. Plus it would be a great experience. However if she doesn't do it this year, she can next year as well (assuming all things are equal). Plus because of her age it would be a minor role (angel, or rat). There will be consequences with picking this because her friends will be talking about the great concert that she didn't go to.

Adding more details:

My daughter is 9

I am not sure how big of a deal missing one practice would be, but I am going to ask. Guessing by the big read underline on the audition form that said that attendance is mandatory that it is mandatory. Maybe for a small role they can make an exception.

It isn't a school thing, it is a major city production thing. So I would have to ask the production manager about a exception. It is my first time doing this, so I don't know how they would react to it.

Currently the parent that offered this doesn't want us to tell the kids till he talks to all of the parents. All of the kids are in the same class, so it would spread pretty quickly. However I have tried to discuss that there is a one time big event going on verses the nutcracker. She is kind of on the fence. Of course she said that she would rather go to something that was like a Taylor Swift concert and she could do the Nutcracker next year. However, I wonder if she really is comprehending the pluses and minuses of each.

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  • You might try talking to the teacher, and asking her if she would relax the strict policy in order to attend the concert. She may say no, but you won't have lost anything by asking. Sep 15 '15 at 19:34
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    What does your daughter think about the situation? And just HOW big a deal would it be to miss one practice? -- If it's an early one they may be more understanding, whereas skipping the technical rehearsal would be a big impact for the entire production. (Also, how old is your daughter?) Please edit your question with any details :)
    – Acire
    Sep 15 '15 at 19:36
  • Figure out for sure that she can't participate if she misses one practice. If they'll let her miss one, then there is no problem. If it is certain she cannot, I think you should go by her decision, whatever it may be. It may be helpful to talk out the pros and cons, so you can be sure she's thought about it, but I would try not to pressure her one way or the other.
    – user14172
    Sep 15 '15 at 21:44
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    I am considering the topicality of this question as I also consider a possible answer. Are you hoping to get input on this specific decision or advice on how to make tough choices (and this is just an example)?
    – Acire
    Sep 16 '15 at 12:08
  • Was looking more for a philosophy on tough choices. However, I think that the best advice is to let her choose once she sees the pluses and minuses of each.
    – Chris
    Sep 18 '15 at 15:32
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First, assess more precisely whether she can miss one session. If you fear asking the production manager while ruin her chances in the audition, perhaps you could ask advice from other parents who had kids in previous year's Nutcracker instead.

Then, when you have all elements in hands, I would suggest to let your daughter choose. Help her weight the pros and cons, but let her decide. Even if she makes a bad choice from your point of view, it will be her choice.

She will certainly appreciate the respect you show her. You will prove her you assume she has enough maturity for this, and you may use this process to teach her how to assess tough choices. And even in the case she regrets her decision later, she might grow wiser out of it.

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I think your last comment is on the right track. If you don't think she is understanding the consequences, help her to think through them. Eg., she may just have a small part this year, but having the experience might help her to get a larger part next year than if she didn't participate at all.

I would not go to the ballet company and ask for an exception to be made in her case. If she comes up with it herself as a possible solution, I would coach her on how to do that in a humble and non-entitled way. I would additionally recommend that this should only be done once she has already decided what she will do in all contingencies. This includes determining when she has to commit to each activity. Eg., if the tickets are purchased before the auditions, she cannot back out of going to the concert, even if it means turning down a better part.

In the summary, I think the final decision should be left to her, but your role is to guide her in exploring the consequences before it is made, and to enforce her sticking to whatever she has committed to.

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