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  1. Pups_mum

    Good Luck and Best Wishes

    There's a travelodge right by the station in Greenwich that is very handy for Laban, and on the occasion we stayed there it was quite cheap, by London standards.
  2. Pups_mum

    How to keep up interest in dance when it starts to falter?

    I think that you are 100% right to insist that she completes the associate programme that you've paid for. I believe firmly that ballet (and indeed many other hobbies) provide numerous benefits and learning opportunities for our children, that are actually probably more important than the dancing in the long term. Associates places are expensive and hard to come by and it's entirely reasonable to expect your little girl to respect the effort you've gone to to pay for it, and the fact that she has an opportunity that not everyone gets. Maybe I'm a bit harsh, but I don't think 9 is too young to grasp those concepts. If she doesn't want to reapply next year, that's different, but having committed to the place I think you are right to stick with it. Obviously I wouldn't make a child who was being bullied or similar stay in any programme, but if it's just a case of "going off" an activity then I think it's a fair expectation that they complete the course. That said, I do think that the previous posters have a point about considering a change of school as it may be that she's getting a bit bored as not being stretched enough. My youngest was losing interest in one of his sports a bit but a change of club and new challenges has completely reinvigorated him, even though he's gone from being one of the best in the first club to one of the weakest at the new one.
  3. Pups_mum

    How to keep up interest in dance when it starts to falter?

    I think going to see some ballets is an excellent idea, because even at age 9 she will start to see how what she's learning relates to what she sees on stage. I remember my DD being very excited at a similar age because she spotted steps that she could actually do within the choreography of something we'd gone to see. Suddenly something that was just an exercise she did in class had real context and became far more interesting. I definitely don't agree with making children continue with a hobby they are clearly no longer getting anything out of, but I don't think it'd good to let them chop and change either as its good for them to learn that everything has its ups and downs and sometimes you have to work through the downs to really enjoy the ups. I would set a deadline that if she is still adamant that she still wants to stop by she can do,but it won't be a spur of the moment thing.
  4. Pups_mum

    Advice on where to start with a 7 year old please

    At 7, I would say that the most important thing is that she's having fun and has a good local teacher. Associates wise, as others have said, you could look at RBS and Elmhurst or if you don't mind travelling a bit further there's Northern in Leeds or Ballet West in Edinburgh or Glasgow. All these schemes are oversubscribed, so it's best to approach the auditions as a nice day out and opportunity to do class with different teachers. If anything more comes of it then it's a bonus. Generally at this age they are looking for potential rather than attainment, so don't worry if others seem more accomplished. It's very difficult to predict who will be chosen so basically you just have to give it a go (or several goes) and see! The other thing to consider is performance schemes such as EYB. They tend to visit the North East every 2 or 3 years so keep an eye on their website for auditions. What has her teacher suggested? Are there any other children in the school doing associates etc?
  5. Pups_mum

    Beginning to panic now!

    Sorry to hear this news. I hope your husband's health improves soon. Would it be worth asking the school if they could squeeze your DD into the boarding house, even if just for a few weeks to buy you a bit of time? You would think that under the circumstances they would be a bit more supportive. Hopefully it's only a short term problem and things return to normal soon.
  6. Pups_mum

    Claudia Dean's thoughts on when to go full time

    Interesting you should say that. I recently attended a seminar run by the governing body of one of my son's sports about young athlete development. They put up a chart outlining the advised types and amount of training that children of different ages should be doing, and up to about 16 there was quite an emphasis on playing other sports, and a strong message to parents that they should not be 100% focused on a single sport at a very young age. The reasons weren't fully explained to be honest, but I'd assumed it was a lot to do with psychological well being and not narrowing the options too soon. It's interesting to hear that there may be even more to it than that. And yes, it does seem to be different in dance. If anything, my DD was actively discouraged from doing other things.
  7. Pups_mum

    Miko Fogarty

    I think it is very brave for someone who has had so much exposure as Miko to basically say "you know what, this isn't what I want to do". I think it's hard enough for a "regular" dance student or professional to change direction. They have put so much of themselves into it, know that others, particularly parents, have also made sacrifices, and often they haven't really considered other options or had a huge amount of exposure to alternative careers as they've grown up. So it's a step into the unknown which must be very scary. For someone like Miko who has had all that and more it must be even worse. I don't imagine it was an easy decision for her and I think it's admirable that she has chosen another path that will hopefully bring her fulfillment and happiness.
  8. Pups_mum

    Miko Fogarty

    Yes it's interesting. I know of a few doctors who have danced professionally/been vocational ballet students including one who is training as a maxillo-facial surgeon, which is probably one of the hardest fields to tackle as you have to be dual qualified in dentistry and medicine before you even really start. We often say on here that dance training equips young people with lots of transferable skills even if a dance career doesn't pan out - tenacity and a great work ethic are certainly amongst them, which is obviously very good. I do wonder though if ex dancers somehow "need" pressure as they have become used to it. It does seem quite common that they opt for other difficult paths on leaving the dance world.
  9. Pups_mum

    Just for the boys...😉

    It had honestly never crossed my mind that such a think would be an issue. I'm feeling somewhat guilty that I have perhaps neglected my 12 Year olds feelings as it says "Shimano WMN" in fairly big letters on his actual shoes, never mind the box. So I just asked him if he minded. He rolled his eyes a bit and said "Boys' shoes, girls' shoes, as long as they're GOOD shoes I don't care." So i think he's escaped unscathed so far.😄 I do wonder why manufacturers can't just label things as "Size 4 tap shoes" "Size 3 cycling shoes" though. Why the need to assign gender? At the other end of the scale there must be tall women who object to buying things labelled as for men. (Sorry....going off the topic somewhat, but I think that the bottom line is that pretty much all the difficulties that boys who dance experience are as a result of wider gender discrimination so it's kind of relevant!)
  10. Pups_mum

    Just for the boys...😉

    I don't have a son who dances, but was also intrigued by the comment about ladies' tap shoes as I would have assumed they were unisex, particularly at that relatively small size. My son wears cycling shoes and other kit that are labelled as womens, and in fact his next bike will probably be badged as a woman's bike. But there's no difference really, it's just that men don't come that small and for some reason manufacturers don't seem to think that children need decent quality cycling equipment. Ditto his next hockey goalie kit will probably be in the woman's section as that's where the next size up from kids tends to be. He will wear whatever fits him, as long as its not pink and sparkly and neither he nor I have ever seen it as an issue. I think it's pretty much the norm in unisex activities that boys who have outgrown the kids section use kit that's sold as women's before they get big enough for the men's ranges. I can understand your frustration regarding lack of boys specific classes etc as obviously there are different techniques to learn. Are there any schools in your area with a male teacher who might be willing to do private lessons maybe?
  11. Or, in my humble opinion, even more important than length of career is length of healthy life. As a health care professional who has seen the long lasting effects of even inappropriate regular footwear, my heart sinks when I see such young girls on pointe. Maybe some people do believe that the gains from early pointework justify the potential permanent damage to a child's feet, but I can't agree. I do however understand the pressure as between constant begging from my DD and persuasion from her teacher, I let my own daughter go on pointe a little sooner than I really wanted to, and I really, really should have known better! I can only imagine how much stronger that pressure must be if you are in an environment where it's the norm and you are told that your child must be able to dance well known classical variations en pointe by the age of 9 or they are doomed to failure. I fear that the increased publicity for this type of thing via YouTube etc will increase pressure on other students to follow suite. But the adults involved need to protect the children. It will be a rare 10 Year old who can truly grasp the risks and be willing to forgo excitement and possible great success in the here and now because of potential health problems at some indeterminate time in the future. Teachers, parents and governing bodies need to make that decision for them. My youngest child is a keen cyclist. There are still pushy parents and obsessive coaches in that world of course - it's not perfect. But there is a lot more protective legislation. For example, the maximum size of gear allowed for racing is age dependent, and strictly enforced so no amount of pleading from the child for bigger gearing to help them go faster makes an difference. Nor can a coach persuade a parent that their child is special - stronger, more advanced, more promising than everyone else - so that it's OK to move them onto harder gears. Nope, it's non negotiable. Turn up at a British Cycling approved race on a bike with the wrong gears for your age and you won't be allowed to ride. Makes it much easier for everyone and helps prevent children from injury. I'd like to see the governing bodies in the dance world take a similar stance.
  12. I fully agree with you Viv. I find the sight of pre pubertal girls performing "grown up" variations en pointe distasteful and concerning. And we're not even talking about starting to do a few rises at the barre a little sooner than recommended. In order to have reached that level en pointe by 9 or 10 they must surely have started some years younger than that? Of course many physical activities have the potential to damage young bodies if too much is done too soon, but many sports do seem to be taking things more seriously nowadays and setting restrictions on what children can do at certain ages. I would certainly like to see ballet follow suite. Of course there will always be some natural variation, but setting minimum ages is, in my humble opinion, likely to protect more children than it will disadvantage. I would like to see more schools, teachers and parents taking a stand against this kind of thing.
  13. Pups_mum

    When to go for associates?

    When my DD was younger I did look into our "local" CAT and concluded that it would ideally suit an only child with one parent who doesn't work, other parent with a very highly paid job, an extremely understanding head teacher and preferably a helicopter. We didn't apply 😄. Seriously, I'm sure these schemes are great, but unless you live in close proximity to the centres I think they are very difficult to manage.
  14. Pups_mum

    Ballet West -New Lower School to open

    I suppose it's down to where the money has come from for the studios at the high school. It could be that that work has not been funded by Ballet West. I can't imagine the studios will be for the sole use of the BW pupils if they are in a state secondary school so maybe the building work has been partially or fully funded by the host school or central government? It may well have been easier to obtain financial assistance for this project than to refurbish the existing studios. I've had some experience of bidding for charitable funds and a lot of grants come with strings attached regarding exactly how the money can be spent.
  15. I've just seen a facebook post advertising auditions for BW Associates in starting in Dundee. The audition in 12th August with closing date for applications on 27th July, so not much time. Thought I'd share in case it's of interest to anyone here. More details are on the BW facebook page and I would imagine also on their website.