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  1. Pups_mum

    Foot creams

    Thanks for all the suggestions and well wishes. I sent my husband out with a list of the more popular suggestions this morning. Naturally he came back with something completely different! The local pharmacist suggested an organic baby moisturiser which she says a lot of adults also swear by..... cant remember the name...still full of painkillers! So i will try that and return to this list if it doesnt help ( or the "mild fragrance" proves too much.
  2. Pups_mum

    Foot creams

    I know this should probably go in Not Dance but i am hoping for advice from dancers/ parents of dancers so I hope the mods will forgive me. A few weeks ago I was unfortunately involved in a major car crash and suffered multiple injuries. I am home now and with the potentially life threatening injuries dealt with, it is the less serious problems come to the fore. I have a bad fracture of my left heel bone and my whole left foot has bern very badly swollen though that is settling now. But my whole foot has bevome abnormally sensitive to touch and temperature and the skin has become very dry and cracked. My physio has recommend very gentle massage of the foot and im looking for some kind of nice cream to use, especially around my toes where the dry skin is at its worst. Which is where you guys come in....who knows more about sore feet than ballet dancers?! Could you let me know of any good creams you use? My DD has suggested an aloe vera cream but i dont like the smell, and another very weird effect of this crash is that my sense of smell has become heightened and smells that i used to find mildly unpleasant now really repulse me. (Husband has just burned toast in fact.....arrgh!) Thanks in advance for any suggetions and apols for any drug induced spelling, grammar or reality errors!
  3. Well done anf good luck. Sorry i have no idea about funding but i hope you are able to find something.
  4. You have received a very good mark for your Intermediate exam - congratulations. It is not at all unusual for students to score less highly in the vocational grades than they have been used to in the graded exams so you are certainly not alone. And remember that an exam result is only a snapshot, just one person's opinion of how you performed on one occasion. On another day or with another examiner you may have scored a few marks differently, who knows? What REALLY matters about exams is not your final mark, though naturally we all like to do as well as we can in any test, but what you have learned from studying the course. As others have said, many students dont even take exams, particularly those who have studied abroad. No audition panel will discount you on the grounds that you "only" have merit for Intermediate, I promise. They will make their decision on what they see on the day. Prior to auditions it is often stated that candidates need to be working at Intermediate standard or above, but that is just to give a guideline of the level that is to be expected, in a language that most students and teachers will understand quickly. It doesn't mean you have to actually have done the exam. The only value in re doing the exam would be to satisfy your personal pride. It wont affect your career one way or the other. Even if you opt to train as an RAD teacher the entry requirement is that you need to have passed intermediate, not gained a distinction. If you were my DD I would advise you to put it behind you and move on, unless you feel there are elements of the syllabus that you genuinely need a significant amount of additional work on, which seems unlikely. In fact that is exactly the advice I did give my DD nearly a decade ago when she did get a merit for Intermediate!
  5. As with all these things its a mixture of nature and nurture. Some people are born with naturally "better" feet for ballet but even they need to work on them. Those with very flexible feet often need to improve on strength and those with plenty of strength tend to need to work on flexibility. And most people can improve on what mother nature has given them with time and appropriate exercises even if they wont ever get to the ideal. I dont think ive ever seen a successful dancer in any genre who has actually flat feet, but its probably true to say that other genres have less specific physical requirements than ballet. But at your daughter's stage i would say the most important things are to be enjoying what she is doing and getting good basic technique established. Steer clear of any extreme stretching regimes or devices that claim to improve the feet as they are far more likely to do harm than good.
  6. I think you need to find another school asap. It is just as important for recreational dancers to have safe and fulfilling lessons as it is for those who hope to dance professionally. It doesnt sound like this school ticks either of those boxes at the moment. I know it can seem daunting to move and your daughter may well have friends she doesnt want to leave, but if she want to improve it sounds like a change is needed. Remember you are the paying customer. If you were paying for some other service and not getting what you needed I am sure you would change providers. Although leaving a dance school is without doubt more of an emotional drain than changing electricity suppliers, especially if you have been there a long time, the principle is the same really. Dont keep paying for something that doesnt meet your needs, and in fact sounds potentially damaging.
  7. Lovely to hear from you C4D. And well done to your lovely DD. What amazing perseverance she has shown. (And you too!) Best of luck for the next phase.
  8. Obviously things are far more complex thsn qualified =good and unqualified =bad and there are lots of things that contribute to how good a teacher is. I think that context is key too. For example, someone teaching exclusively older teens in a vocational upper school will need a different approach and skills to a local dance school teacher with a class of 20 five year olds. They could both be excellent teachers in their own setting but virtually useless and even potentially dangerous if they swapped classes! I think what this article was getting at is the dangers of people who have "danced a bit" setting up classes for young children without a real understanding of what is needed rather than ex pros becoming teachers. That said, I do think its a good idea for even ex pros to take adfitional training before they teach. As we have discussed on the forum many times, some "traditional" teaching practices in the ballet world can be very damaging both physically and mentally so its not ideal for people to perpetuate these by just replicating the way they were taught. Interestingly a friend of mine recently completed a British Cycling coaching course where one of the other candidates was a well known professional cyclist. He had to do exactly the same as everyone else before being allowed to coach children. Obviously he could do the cycling skills needed in his sleep but still had to learn how to give feedback, deal with learners of different abilities and so on, as well as the health and safety, children protection etc. There is a lot more to coaching/teaching than just being highly skilled at the activity yourself.
  9. I would think that at a very young age the issue is not so much not learning the right things (yet) but actively learning the wrong things. I think it can be very difficult to "unlearn" bad habits learned at an early age in any activity, not just dance. I recall girls arriving at my DD's old dance school having started elsewhere and even I, with my limited knowledge, could see that they had poor posture and were doing the most basic things wrong. And this wasnt their natural posture, it was something they had been taught to adopt for ballet. I am sure it was harder for them to correct than for children of a similar age who had never done a class at all.
  10. Or if any parents are more science-y, it is a fairly easy walk to the Science and Industry Museum in Castlefield. At the moment they have Stephenson's original Rocket on loan from the Science Museum and there's lots of other very interesting stuff including a section on Alan Turing's original computer.
  11. Pups_mum

    Tap boards

    If i recall rightly, my husband made one from the offcuts of a laminate floor, stuck onto a piece of hardboard or similar. Not the ideal dance floor of course, but for the amount of time it was used it seemed fine. It was useful for DD when practising particular steps that she was finding technically challenging but she didnt use it that much really. No doubt the Harlequin board will be a high quality item but its a lot of money. You could buy an awful lot of laminate for £119...
  12. Wow. That must have been a shock, growing so much so quickly! Glad he has found his niche though. I have learned a lot from DD's experience. I listened too much to what I (and she ) wanted to hear rather than what was staring me in the face. People really do mean well and are trying to be encouraging but sometimes it is better to be realistic. I would never have stopped her dancing, as I think the benefits are huge and I dont see a classical career as the only succesful outcome. But I would have definitely encouraged her to be more diverse both in her dancing and thinking, at a younger age. I am doing things a bit different with SS as a result, and we've had the hard conversations rather sooner. Ask me in about 5 years if I think I've done any better!!
  13. Ive been wondering whether to post this as I dont want to sound rude or discouraging, but I do think that its important to be realistic if you are a "non standard" size. I write as a very short mother of petite children. I am in no way anti short people....but I am afraid experience tells me that it does matter. Both my DD and my SS (sporty son!) are short and many, very well meaning people over the years have has the "well they might still grow" conversation and pointed out the exceptional people who have been hugely successful despite their lack of height. But there's the rub. They ARE exceptional. Both in terms of being exceptions to the rule and in having exceptional talents. If you are destined to be a soloist the being a lot shorter, or indeed taller, than the rest of the company is far less of an issue than if you are aiming for the corps. And let's face it, how many dancers have that level of talent.....very few. As a sporting example, Maddie Hinch, the world number 1 hockey goalie is unusually small for her position. But she is insanely talented. Caleb Ewan is a very short sprint cyclist but other aspects of his abilities are almost unique. If they were only "very good" their stature would have been far more of an issue. Im not saying give up. But be realistic. Your physique may mean that some things are out of reach but a different path may be equally fulfilling. My DD is almost certainly heading down the teaching route and there's lot of exciting possibilities that way. My SS is being gently steered by his coaches into disciplines that he is more physically suited to but what he has done so far is not wasted. Its a popular concept that if we just work hard enough we can do anything. Sadly its not true. Hard work is of course crucial, whatever "raw materials" the genetic lottery may have give you but it is not always possible to get what you want, however hard you work. I think perpetuating that idea is potentially very detrimental to hard working and talented youngsters who dont get to "the top" as they the feel they have failed, not give enough etc etc. Work to be the best you can be. But recognise that that may be different to what someone else can be be, or what you currently want to be. And note "different"...not better, or worse..
  14. I think its a matter that needs to be kept in perspective. I really can't imagine any post audition panel discussions would go like this... "So, number 23.....what musicality." "Absolutely. And paired with such strong technique". "Perfect physique too - great potential". "Err...guys, guys, hang on a minute....didn't you see her dirty shoes?!" "Oh yeah, now you come to mention it....So we're all agreed, that's a straight "no" then?". It wouldn't happen would it? And nor would the most perfectly presented dancer get a place if they didnt have all the necessary attributes. However, that said, human nature being what it is, people tend to perform better if they feel confident. And knowing that you look the part can certainly boost confidence. Plus, particularly when you get to the age where a dancer is more likely to have got themselves ready rather than have been prepared by a parent or teacher, I can believe that a slap dash appearance might be considered indicative of a slap dash attitude. If two dancers were equal in all other respects, well it could make a difference. So I think its worth taking care over but not having sleepless nights about. Mummytwinkletoes - I would let you DD choose whichever type of shoes she will feel most comfortable and confident wearing. I would imagine the majority will opt for flat shoes. I get the impression from my DD and her friends that soft blocks are at best tolerated, but nobody seems to actually enjoy dancing in them!
  15. Hi worsethanclueless, I agree that it is sensible to go into these things with your eyes open, but at the same time it is sometimes better not to overthink things. The chances of ANY child "making it" in classical ballet is miniscule and if that were the only point in participating nobody sane would ever start. But you could probably say the same about many things - sports, music, drama and lots of more academic career paths too. But the benefits of all these kinds of things are many. There is intrinsic value in simply doing and enjoying the activity plus lots of transferable skills to learn. None of us knows what the future holds, and though it is natural for parents to worry about their children, there is a lot to be said for living in the moment and enjoying any given opportunity for what it is now. Your DD is very young. In a few years she may have changed and have a new passion. But if she is enjoying ballet now and you can support that interest without it impacting too greatly on the rest of family life then I can almost guarantee that she will get a lot out if it, even if it isnt a ballet career.
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