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Cara in NZ

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  1. Cara in NZ

    Ballet shoes for wide feet

    I'm so glad I read this thread! This year I've returned to adult ballet after 15 years away. I bought some second-hand shoes and they are too big. I had some Hanamis put away for DD but her feet stopped growing and they were half a size too big. I'm a whole size bigger than her but after reading that Hanamis were suggested here (she doesn't have wide feet), I tried them on and unbelievably they fit my wide size 4 feet just as well as they almost fit her average-width size 3 feet! So here is a huge endorsement for Hanamis! The 6.5 is a snug fit on my feet, as a guide for fitting
  2. Cara in NZ

    Beginning to panic now!

    How far is the commute, Pictures? Possibly it might be easier to find lodgings once she knows some people at the school?
  3. Cara in NZ

    Claudia Dean's thoughts on when to go full time

    Bravo, Claudia! She certainly knows there's a huge audience of impressionable kids listening to her (I saw 25,000 views on one of her YouTube videos). I do wish she had defined 'full-time' though, as even the NZ private schools combining dance with academics do half and half study and dance classes for 13-15 year olds. Dancers we know of DD's age (14) who want to train for a career are definitely doing 20+ hours a week including Pilates, contemporary, body conditioning and anything else they add to the mix. Many dance 7 days a week, and may have weekly ballet privates with three different teachers (for technique, competition work, and extra RAD coaching for exams). They are at school as well. I certainly wonder where the balance is sometimes!
  4. Cara in NZ

    Miko Fogarty

    I've been reading this thread with interest, as Claudia Dean is very much 'flavour of the month' here in New Zealand, and parents of talented young dancers have been flying to Australia to do workshops with her (as well as begging her to come to NZ). She also appears to have a line of dancewear, as several young NZ dancers at the Asian Grand Prix tagged her in photos of them wearing her leotards to class. I've watched some of her YouTube videos, including the one about why she left the RB, and found her very personable and likeable. But I don't think there is any comparison really with Miko. My son works in Korea, and says that there and in Japan it's quite normal for kids to go to one 'academy' after the other as soon as school finishes every day, to study English or ballet or gymnastics or a musical instrument. So I think Miko's mother would be considered favourably in those societies and it's just our Western opinion of 'Asian tiger mothers' that influences how we feel. Miko says she lost the passion, and seems to have found a new one. As my DD has also lost her passion and wants to study medicine, I think she's made a brave decision after investing so much in ballet. Claudia seems to me quite a different kettle of fish, who is using her valuable dance experience to build a new 'empire'. She is obviously building her 'brand' successfully, and is gathering a good following of young dancers keen to benefit from her recent experience in the ballet world. I'm not critical of either young woman. You take the good things ballet has taught you, and hopefully learn to deal with the not-so-good aspects. I say good for them both for starting a new path!
  5. Cara in NZ

    TIGHTS Colour, Ballet pink vs theatrical pink

    It is a sad fact that we have tried many pairs (the worst being some sort of salmon pink on DD's lily-white legs). As fast as we found a 'good' shade, her teacher suggested a new brand of pointe shoes, which invariably didn't match. We have tan ballet flats and tights for her neo-classical solo; pale pink for her Freeds; and a darker pink for her Capezio ballet flats. She always knows which pair she needs and I just make sure I keep the drawer stocked. (And always pack two new pairs for competitions)
  6. Cara in NZ

    Miko Fogarty

    Just checked her LinkedIn profile and it says she is an undergrad pre-med student at Berkeley:
  7. Cara in NZ

    It's Goodbye from me

    Loved reading this – indeed every career path has its 'trials' (sorry!). We are off to a competition tomorrow (only two more to go after this and we're done) and I tiptoe around DD the whole time as she finds being on stage by herself traumatic and literally shakes with nerves. This makes her pointe solos even harder!
  8. Cara in NZ

    Departing Parent Envy

    I absolutely agree with angel. Because my DD was/is 'talented but not driven to want a dance career', we've always said to her 'Dance is something you do – it is not who you ARE'. The whole question of identity is so difficult because these kids grow up in a world dominated by dance from a young age, and just when they hit their teens and are sorting out 'who they are', is when the biggest pressures come on them to succeed, excel, etc. The ballet world is unnatural – my DD wants to be an anaesthetist and I noted that she might only be finishing her training as her dance peers were finishing their ballet careers! There's not many spheres where you train from childhood, start your professional career at 19, and hope to last 10 or 15 years doing it. Such a huge investment for the dancers AND their families. A beloved teacher of ours encouraged us to 'look at the bigger picture' back when DD was 11 and looking at auditioning for Scholars here. I didn't see her point entirely at the time (blinded by the heady possibilities LOL), but now I see she was trying to tell us to keep the rest of DD's life in perspective – that ballet might continue to be part of it, or might not. Either way nobody has failed or given up. Ballet is a tyrant, and many choose to walk away from its exhausting, beautiful, impossible standards. But our DC have all gained so much from their time with this art. Let's allow those DC who have had enough to walk away towards new possibilities that will be more rewarding for them. Crystaltips, I wish you strength and courage. Do follow your instincts!
  9. Great idea, thanks alison. I think I've just followed your advice 😄
  10. Cara in NZ

    Music ideas please

    My DD does a pointe solo to Elgar's Nimrod from the Enigma Variations (edited to the right length). No idea if it's suitable but it's definitely powerful and builds. The other classic 'build to crescendo' would be Ravel's Bolero?
  11. Cara in NZ

    Not going to vocational school!!!!

    Just want to say how delighted I am at the lovely responses to this post. I've always wondered how important vocational school at 11 is, and the responses very much follow how I feel – that the talented dancer who is busting to have that whole immersive experience should go, and the family-oriented talented dancer can happily stay at home as long as they can access enough quality training. Hurrah for such supportive and encouraging parents out there!
  12. Cara in NZ

    Not going to vocational school!!!!

    Hi Dancer, you will get other more helpful replies but I just wanted to say that in New Zealand we don't even have vocational schools at age 11 and people still become professional dancers, some carrying on with normal school; some doing home-schooling or correspondence; and some go to private schools where they can dance and do school (but usually only from age 14 or 15). There's definitely more than one way to a dance career, thank goodness as I imagine there are plenty of 11-yr-olds not ready to go away to school! Yours is obviously very talented and so I encourage you to not feel that your DD is missing out 😁
  13. Cara in NZ

    Leotard sizing advice

    I'm glad to hear you agree with me about Plume – who on earth would fit their XS then? Or is S their smallest size?
  14. Cara in NZ

    One last post ....

    How I feel for you, Kat! My DD is in her last year of competitions, and possibly of dancing. She's in Year 10 and wants to focus on academics next year. We have gone from the 'talented but...' stage to her re-affirming that she didn't want a dance career. It was really after reading posts on here that I made a point of 'giving her permission' to stop. We never set out expecting her to do as well as she has, but reading others' experiences made me realise how we parents can be so proud of our DC's talent and run with it – to auditions, competitions, extra classes, intensives – and some of our DC get caught up in it all without ever checking if it's what they want. I'm also aware of that perfectionist in most talented dancers, that so easily translates into abuse of their bodies as they try to control them in that search for impossible standards. I watch my DD all the time for signs – but also remember how secretive I was in my teens! Now I am slowly getting used to the idea of her dancing coming to an end, while encouraging her to keep up a recreational class or two next year. I've started selling her costumes, and have also taken up adult ballet again after stopping when I was pregnant with DD aged 40. My poor body doesn't know what's hit it and it is HARD. But it's my way of keeping up some contact with the dance world, in my own way. This forum is another way, and I also encourage parents to keep popping in, even if their DC have stopped dancing. I wish you all well. PS: Just wanted to add that none of my post is aimed at anyone else. I'm aware of some of the mistakes I've made, but also know that we all want our DC to be happy and fulfilled and healthy. So I'm not criticising anyone except myself for getting carried away for a while!
  15. Cara in NZ

    Leotard sizing advice

    I would just add a warning (or two): My DD (now 14, adult size 6, 160cm tall) usually wears XS but in some styles of WearMoi needs an Adult S, and in Plume definitely an Adult S. I agree with all the other comments about the teen sizes being too wide – DD has a 24in waist and age 12-14 is usually baggy in the waist and seat.