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by Abigail Van Buren

Hard-Working Dancer Gets Little Respect for Her Choice of College Major

DEAR ABBY: I am writing because we are receiving some snide comments because of our daughter's choice of college major. She's majoring in dance. When people with college-age kids or grandkids find out, you can see it in their expression or hear it in their tone of voice. "Oh, really? Ummm, how nice." Or worse, the condescending, "How 'sweet.'"

Our daughter has always been an honor student. Starting in high school she carried full loads of classes, extracurriculars, held jobs and was active in church. In college she has added dance company and sorority to her resume.

I want these people to realize it takes guts to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer/choreographer and not major in something more conventional. We support her decision, and she already has her associate's degree in a field that will be useful as a backup. Why can't people understand that fine arts majors are brave, bold and passionate about their crafts? -- DANCER'S MOM IN TEXAS

DEAR DANCER'S MOM: If you react to the comments in a positive way rather than become defensive, they would give you the opening to smile and tell these "conventional thinkers" how proud you are of your daughter's choice to pursue her dreams, that her courage in pursuing a field as competitive as entertainment is more than "nice" and you admire her for it.

Read more in: Work & School | Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting