CeliB

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  1. It's an interesting issue the whole social media thing isn't it? DS has always stoutly resisted any pressure to promote himself (DSs father, being in the media, always seems to think DS should be more visible!). When I discussed it with him DS was very much of the opinion that it was foolish to be hyping yourself at a young age as then you would have a massive expectation to live up to. He considers that it won't really improve your professional chances and would be highly embarrassing if you didn't live up to the hype. Also this would put additional pressure on your own self esteem eg if everyone else was saying they thought you would be a principal in 5 sec flat then you would feel a failure 'just' to be in the corps.... As DS said, time enough to promote yourself when your dancing is genuinely brilliant, not when it is only 'has the potential to become brilliant.', since potential and outcome (as we all know) are 2 very different animals!
  2. my DS attended Prague Masterclass last year. He stayed with DH (who had an apartment there as he was making a film in Prague) so I can't comment on the accommodation but in general the logistics and organisation of the course were exemplary. I don't think his opinion of the masterclasses should be taken as relevant as he wasn't really in the correct headspace for it (he had applied when at a very different place career wise)- which is not to say he thought the teaching was bad, just that he didn't attend all the classes and wasn't very engaged with it (he was far more keen to be mucking around on the Roman army camp film set!!).
  3. well if he's still dancing when he hits teenage growth then expect your fridge and bread bin to empty on a daily basis (normal teenage boys are bad enough, a teenage dancer boy is a one person plague of locusts).
  4. my DS wears padded thong type. since around age 12 from my memory. never worn the integral one- gave up wearing leotards in favour of t shirts/tops at around 14. The huge advantage is that you can get 100% slim fit cotton t shirts at a fraction of the cost of a leotard so it doesn't matter so much when they get lost or turn grey... only the dance belt bit is the specialist bit....
  5. Many thanks lovely people for all your kind words. Will of course let you know the outcome once confirmed. In answer to ballet4boyz I have posted a lot but all over the place I guess, but a potted history is: DS started ballet around 10 recreationally, Did one half hour class a week until 12, then when we moved to Sussex found the incomparably wonderful Judy Breen and discovered Vaganova which was life changing... increased to 2-3 classes a week (some at the London Russian ballet school, some associate classes at Legat in Sussex) decided he wanted to pursue as a career so applied to a bunch of top international SIs, was accepted by all and offered scholarship to Kirov in Washington which he attended and was then offered 100% scholarship to the vocational program. So trained there age 14-18, (most influential teacher the lovely Nikolai Kabaniaev). At 18 went to Dutch National Academy to do some extra training before applying to Dutch National Ballet but had a terrible time (there is a whole thread on this!!!) and had to leave after 5 weeks. Came within a whisker of giving up ballet but invited to audition at Vaganova in St Petersburg after one of his ex teachers at Kirov phoned Nikolai Tsiskaridze about him. Persuaded to go and try out and was accepted after only 2 min of class (!). Joined Feb 2016 did one year with Alexey Ilyin and then was advised to do a final year- Tsiskaridze decided to teach the graduate year men's class in which DS was included, and has clearly done a bang up job as all the boys have been offered either Bolshoi or Mariinsky (and several have multiple offers). Oh and by the way DS got turned down for RBS associates classes twice (age 10 and age 13). And he competed in Prix De Lausanne but didn't do so well (wasn't happy with the classical piece he was advised to do and rather gave up half way through) although he did receive 13 offers from different ballet schools and companies (which is why he ended up going to Amsterdam). Through all of this we have consistently been told he was something special, but he struggled with being a late starter, a year of injury (he had a chronic hip problem aged 15 and lost the best part of a year of training until a new teacher identified the cause as skewed posture), a brutal run in with the director of the Dutch NBA which was close to being career ending and a very brave move to Russia at a quite low time in his life. All credit goes to the Vaganova and the warm, lovely cohort of Russian boys who welcomed him as a brother, Nikolai's astounding teaching and mentorship and his loving and caring teachers past and present - all of whom he stays in touch with (especially Judy who has been a real source of support for the whole family). And all credit as far as my mental state is concerned goes to this fabulous forum and everyone who takes the time to listen, respond and bestow sympathy, encouragement and virtual hugs. Thank you all dear friends.
  6. So I have to confess I have put off writing this post several times, mainly because every time I think of writing it I can't quite believe what I'm going to say- I keep waking up and thinking I must have dreamt this. So here goes. Our astonishing news is that DS was also approached after the graduation exam with a contract offer from the Mariinsky Ballet.....and another from the Mikhailovsky.....and from the Primorsky...and has also been offered a contract with the Bolshoi company. So that's it. The first part of the journey over. I know only the folk on this forum can honestly understand quite how we feel. I'm still pinching myself. And spontaneously snivelling occasionally. And now the next stage begins.....
  7. A fair number of Mariinsky dancers are Vaganova trained. I think it was not so much that it was Vaganova but that it was Tsika's showpiece exam class (as Kate_N says- a showing off of their virtuosity). The boys spent since October 2016 working up to doing the full exam class (2 hours a day, 6 days a week just for this class- with another 4-6 hours a day of other classes, rehearsals etc alongside). At the beginning they could barely get through just the barre work before collapsing....the constant catch phrase of this year for them has been stamina, stamina, stamina!
  8. ah well, I can let you know whether DS is still there in October- waiting to find out his decision about company offers..
  9. Thank you for all your comments, both kind and informed. One of the comments on YouTube said they all looked bulky and the exercises were all too fast. Just made me feel a bit nervous but of course it's YouTube, who knows if the commentator had in any way an informed opinion.... yes I agree we also loved the drama of the in and out the end doors, which was even more dramatic in real life as they waited until they felt ready to come back in (the actual exam lasted 1 hour). DS says they worshiped the pianist (she was really feted at the end by the boys and the audience)! DS also mentioned one of the mariinsky dancers came to do class with them and pretty much had to sit out half way through as he didn't have the stamina to keep going. I think it genuinely is an extraordinarily difficult class, and as LinMM astutely observed definitely Tsiskas chance to prove himself as a teacher... more news on contract offers in due course when a bit more concrete (all good though)...
  10. Yes it is. He is centre at the barre (I think the camera zooms in on him quite early too so you can spot him more easily after that).
  11. Is on YouTube.... there are some negative comments about the speed of the combinations and the boys physique, I would be ally interested to know what those on this forum who are knowledgeable about ballet (unlike myself) think...particularly in light of Diana Vishnevas reported comments about the diluting of the Vaganova style as a result of a Bolshoi director for the school.... also I have to report the applause originated with the audience below (senior dancers, judges, assorted ballet luminaries), I was in the balcony with other attendees and the senior students and the students are far too respectful to applaud without their senior teachers taking the lead. i thought the quality was astounding but again I am no expert so would value others opinions. Although the judges seemed to agree- all the students I this class received the highest grade.
  12. i would stay chilled at this age. My DS (I'm sure you are all bored of hearing) didn't start any ballet classes until aged 10, didn't really take it at all seriously til aged 12, went to vocational school at age 14 and is about to graduated from the Vaganova Acadamy in Russia. Boys can afford to wait until they are a bit older and hopefully a bit more robust vis a vis others' comments...
  13. If she is in St P in May would she like to see the Vaganova school? DS will be there (they will be deep into rehearsals for graduation performances) and may well be able to get her in for a tour - I can ask him anyway (if you think she would be interested...).
  14. oh I don't think it's dorky at all. It's incredibly common for people to make injuries worse by 'protecting' the bit that hurts and then ending up putting strain elsewhere on the body. The origin of many a back/leg/ankle problem.... Maybe it's too soon to go to centre work? I know for example when practising head stand in yoga if I haven't practised for a while or am doing a different variation I have to revert to being near a wall instead of in the middle of the room- I never actually NEED the wall for balance- it's just a psychological prop. Once you have had a few more months of confident barre work you may find you get less anxious about the centre. Or even ask your teacher to stand by and support you (gradually moving from holding her to just having her arm there 'in case' and so on). So that you have the experience of being in the centre without the 'fear' of collapsing with no one to rescue you. Or even wear an ankle brace? I know they aren't usually a good idea as they will reduce the speed of strengthening the ankle but perhaps its better to do the centre with one than not do it at all? (I would check your physios opinion though just to be sure)... And (easy to say I know) try not to stress too much- it can only make it worse.... 6 months is not all that long- DS had the best part of 6 months off when he was 17 and it doesn't seem to have done him any harm. A friend of his from school had an entire year off (age 17-18) when he fractured a vertebrae and went on to get a contract with the Danish Royal Ballet 18 months after. So there's no need to panic too much about the speed of your recovery...
  15. Hmm- this sounds quite familiar - my DS definitely struggled (and struggles I suspect still) with a fear of injury caused by having a chronic hip and foot injury that was *sort of* ignored of the best part of a year. Essentially no one could work out why he had hip pain - he got various therapies that all helped a bit in the short term but it wasn't until he got a new teacher that the problem was solved (he has been doing his barre work standing not quite at 90 degrees to the barre hence he was slightly twisting on one side in almost all his work). Since then I would say he has been extra paranoid, and every twinge and twitch has put him in a panic that he has an injury that is more meaningful than just 'oh I pulled a muscle a bit and now should just rest it a bit til it gets better'. So his work can sometimes be a bit inconsistent as he tends not to put in 100% for fear of 'breaking' something. As for what helps that sooo hard. On the one hand the Vaganova are 100% of the opinion that if you have any kind of injury you sit out of class. He has never felt pressured to do class if he is in any pain, nor is anyone else. On the other hand the director sometimes seems to me to be driving the students to and then beyond their comfort zones in terms of stamina- almost to prove to them that actually they DO have more reserves than they realise. For example recently DS was made to practise a really tough variation I think 4 times in a row with literally no break inbetween (when previously he would have though once was only just possible). By the time he got to the 3rd run through he said he genuinely thought he was going to collapse and be unable to move. But he did then go on and manage a 4th. I stress completely that this IS NOT WITH INJURY- I am telling the story only to show that sometimes a little pushing CAN be good as it pushes you through the fear. But i wouldn't at all advise pushing yourself if there is ANY chance your injury isn't really fully healed. As Janet says it seems to me that you need to have an assurance from your physio/clinician that your ankle really is up to the task of what you are asking it to you. And more advice from your ballet teacher.....