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  1. RBS Junior Associates - travel from Scotland?

    We live in rural northern England and everything is a long way away. Not just regarding ballet of course, it's the same for many things including my other children's activities, my continuing professional development activities, specialist healthcare and simply getting a flight to go on holiday. It goes with the territory if you live outside a major city and something that you get used to of course. We regularly travel for 2 to 3 hours each way for what are billed as "local" opportunities in my youngest child's sports - I'm sure some people think we're crazy, but it's just the way things are if you live in a more remote area. BUT, I would always advocate seriously weighing up the pros and cons of every opportunity on an individual basis. Is the benefit to the child worth the cost to the family? Are there other ways that the time, money and energy might be better spent? Paradoxically, travelling further but less often is an option that can sometimes work out better. For example, staying somewhere for a few days at a time for courses can be more productive, less exhausting and similar in cost than frequent gruelling day trips. Children are remarkably resilient of course, but travel is very tiring for everyone, and you need to consider your own well being too. Other children are another consideration of course. Whether you take them or leave them at home it can be difficult. There's potential for sibling jealousy if a lot of time and money is spent travelling for one child's benefit, and of course it sets a precedent if younger children subsequently have interests needing a similar level of parental commitment. Fortunately there is quite a big age gap between my DD and her younger siblings so my dance taxi duties had significantly reduced before I had to start travelling a lot for other activities, but it must be a nightmare to have more than one needing that degree of input simultaneously. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, but I do think it's easy to get swept along thinking that you must travel to all kinds of things, especially "big name" schemes, possibly overlooking other less prestigious but potentially valuable things nearer to home.
  2. How to increase "Performance" in exam syllabus?

    One tip my DD was given years ago, was to imagine that there was an appreciative audience behind and just above the examiner, and to dance for them. Apparently this helps you project more, and keeps the eyes up whereas focussing on the examiner tends to constrict things somewhat. Hope that makes sense - I know what I mean but am not sure I've explained it properly!
  3. English Youth Ballet 2017-18

    At 10, I would think she will audition with the juniors regardless of grade. They do have some flexibility for 11/12 year olds - my DD did the senior audition when she was 11, and some 12 year olds do the junior audition. But I would think a 10 year old would be better doing the junior audition. If in doubt though you can, always email Miss Lewis and ask. They don't stay as separate groups throughout the programme anyway, so it probably doesn't matter that much to be honest! Casting is done at the first rehearsal and the groups that the middle of the age range encompass tend to be made up of the older ones from the junior audition and the younger ones from the senior audition. Likewise they are put into 3 groups for daily class before the rehearsals, which are based on what level they are at as well as age. Size is a factor of course as they have to fit in the costumes, so that does influence what parts are allocated, but many of the groups involve students from both junior and senior auditions.
  4. English Youth Ballet 2017-18

    Aww, bless her, what a shame. These things can be very daunting. But sometimes we learn the most from experiences that don't go according to plan. Next time she will know more what to expect and will probably feel far more confident. Just getting up on stage and having a go is a big achievement so she should be proud of herself.
  5. English Youth Ballet 2017-18

    Brilliant news - I was wondering how you got on. A number of girls from my DD's old school were in the scholarship group so I was disappointed they didn't get it, but now pleased it was you who did! Have a lovely time, I'm sure you will really enjoy it, and it will give you a great confidence boost too.
  6. How to get a Distinction in ballet exams!

    I don't think there's any magic answer to success in any kind of exam, be it dance, music, academic or anything else. Sure, a little bit of luck helps, but what really matters is preparation. If you've done the work - which I'm sure you will have - then just believe in yourself and go and show the examiner what you can do. Stick to shoes that are tried and tested, and in between exams have a drink and a nutritious snack, and relax.
  7. Goodbye and thanks for all the tips

    So sorry to read this news. Best wishes to your daughter for a good recovery. I hope she soon finds something else to focus on and learns to be happy again. And likewise for you and the rest of the family. Take care of yourselves x
  8. Ankle injury

    I think what Nicola H was trying to get at is that plain X rays might not be the best imaging rather than that no imaging is needed. A&E staff have specific criteria to follow in determining whether an ankle injury needs an X ray, but they aren't generally looking at injuries from the perspective of a would be professional dancer/ elite athlete. An expert opinion from a dance or sports specific health care professional would perhaps be best first, as they are more likely to recommend the right imaging. Admittedly that may not be easy to come by of course - there may be no option other than A&E in some areas. But either way, the decision about investigations has to be made by someone who can request them, and that decision is made on the basis of history and examination. So the key thing is to find the best "someone" you can.
  9. Laine and Rambert

    That is a dilemma. Two excellent but very different schools. I would make a list of the pros and cons of each and score them to see which one comes out on top in a semi scientific way. One may score a lot higher than the other if you put it down on paper. If that doesn't help, I've used this totally unscientific method before now. Toss a coin let your DD think she has to go with that option (even though she doesn't!). Then see how your DD feels about what the coin has chosen. If her first emotion is disappointment, pick the other one. If it's happiness/relief, you know that that choice is where her heart lies. Sometimes the harder you think and the more rational you try to be, the more difficult a decision gets. Gut feeling often gives us the answer.
  10. Children Blocked from Dance Exams?

    I was about to say much the same. If my son had to do his piano exams in the evening after a full day at school I may as well just give the entry fee to charity as the chances of him reaching his potential would be pretty much zero. And I doubt his school teachers would get much out of him as he would wind himself up into an increasing frenzy of anxiety as the day went on. DD is a more laid back personality so would probably cope a bit better, but i still don't think she would show herself at her best. I doubt many students would really. The average dancing or musical child will probably do one two exams a year, usually needing at most, half a day off each. This is hardly comparable to taking a fortnight off in term time to go on holiday, and realistically hardly likely to majorly impact on their education. Quite correctly in my opinion its a non issue for most schools and should be for all schools.
  11. Coping with disappointment

    Sorry to hear this Suvis. Its tough. I can still remember how dreadful it was telling my DD that she hadn't got into RBS JA's but her best friend had, and that's over a decade ago now. To be honest, I'm not sure there is anything that you can do to ease the upset really. As parents of course we want to be able to put everything right for our children but sadly we can't. We can't make audition panels change their minds, and often we can't even give a good explanation of why a particular outcome has happened. I just used to remind my DD that she was still the same person after we opened the envelope/email as she was before, and just as loved and valued. Not being successful at one audition doesn't necessarily mean that she won't be at others and different opportunities will come along I'm sure. She did well to get to the finals as these schemes are all massively oversubscribed, so she obviously has potential. I think its particularly hard at this age as most of the little ones who are applying for junior associates etc are among the best at their local schools, and its quite a shock to go out into the wider world and discover that the competition is quite as intense at it is.Its often the first time they have faced rejection and there's really no way to make it easier. With time they get more resilient (and so do we!). Cuddles and Easter eggs may help, and many swear by wine - for yourself of course!
  12. Children Blocked from Dance Exams?

    I imagine weekend/evening only working would have a huge impact on recruitment to examiners posts too. Aside from being highly antisocial hours, given that most examiners are also teachers there would be a huge impact on their own schools. It looks like a fairly arduous role to me as it is - I can't imagine many people wanting to take it on if exams were always out of school hours.
  13. Children Blocked from Dance Exams?

    It may vary from sport to sport, but that's certainly not the case for the sports my son participates in. County and regional teams are run by the youth development departments of the sports' governing bodies and are not connected to the local authority in any way as far as I know. I've had to apply for "absence due to exceptional circumstances" for county sports just as for music or dance related absences. Fortunately though most sporty things seem to go on at weekends or in school holidays so we've managed not to upset the school by requesting multiple absences.
  14. Children Blocked from Dance Exams?

    I've never had any problems getting time off for my children for dance or music exams etc. DD's academic school was singularly disinterested in her dancing, but they never actively tried to sabotage anything either. They are a lot more interested in my boys' musical and sporting achievements interestingly. Amusingly, the only absence I've ever had a problem with was regarding my younger son. I recently got two letters within 24 hours from the school demanding an explanation for a day's "unauthorised absence", the second letter landing on my doorstep before I could possibly have had time to respond to the one my son had brought home, so they were obviously very concerned about this. Where was he? At the national finals of a science & technology competition.......representing the school!
  15. RBS Mid Associate auditions 2018

    It's a shame to have the opportunity and not to be able to take it up, but honestly, it sounds like an endurance feat that would drive you all into the ground! The GCSE workload alone would put me off committing to something so onerous. My DD did the old style GCSE syllabi but my non dancing son is now in year 10 doing the new ones and there seems to be a huge difference. He has a great deal more work than his sister had at the same stage - between that and the move to vocational school I think your DD will probably have enough on her plate to be frank. Bask in the happy glow of success for a while, but let your head make this decision!