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  1. CeliB

    Knee injury

    I guess maybe then someone already in a company would be considered urgent? Or maybe it's just a country specific approach...
  2. CeliB

    Knee injury

    Oh dear stardancer I have only just caught up with this thread and it sounds as if you have had a dreadful time. I hope your DDs recovery is progressing well. I thought it might be worth noting re Hogletts post my DS recently had his knee assessed as he has had on and off knee pain for a few months. Luckily for him the Bolshoi has a clinic where he went and got an immediate MRI which identified a small tear in the cartilage - he was advised this will repair itself fairly quickly given a bit of rest and following use of a knee brace in rehearsal so far it hasn't given him any more trouble. I mention it because he said what he had been concerned about was the possibility of a meniscus tear which he said would mean immediate surgical repair (and he is very much NOT keen on being off work at all in this crucial first year). I know nothing about dancing or dance related injury so can only assume his assumption comes from knowledge of what happens at the Bolshoi or amongst dancers he has asked. Just thought this little snippet would be of interest. Good luck to both your DDs for a speedy resolution x
  3. CeliB

    New ballet obsession

    One thing I would add if you ever need to justify ballet to your more sceptical friends is that many international level athletes (eg Olympic swimmers and divers) take ballet as a complementary activity as it creates such extraordinary core strength. There are several stories of international sports teams in things like rugby and football doing a swap with a ballet company to try out each others training regimes, and generally the ballet dancers come out as fitter and stronger. So if you didn't want to admit to having fallen in love with the beauty and sparkle you could just say you are taking classes to improve your balance, flexibility, strength and stamina (much like taking extra exercise classes or doing gym work). My daughter who is 19 has been doing ballet since age 3. She gave up the girly pink at around age 7 (I think she was the only girls in her class dressed in black hehe and was the only girl in her class at school wearing boxer shorts instead of pants! the influence of an older brother... ). She is totally NOT a girly girl and is now off to college to study medicine but still lists ballet as greatest love - had she been blessed with a ballet body this would have been her absolute dream job. I suggest you do a bit of research and find a class that is fairly relaxed about things like what to wear - teachers can vary SUCH a lot. I have come across really formal teachers who even with their 3 year olds insist on perfect RAD uniform and others (like DSs first teacher) who are happy to have a bunch of unruly little boys falling about and doing cartwheels occasionally, or girls who wear any old outfit and stick their hair into bunches or whatever. You might it a bit easier to be in a less formal class at least at the beginning? If you want some recommendations why not tell the forum which area you are in - people can often suggest good teachers/classes. And good luck- I hope you do at least give it a go. and here's one of my favourite little snippets that shows just how amazing ballet dancers can be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utWJcsk0cNA
  4. CeliB

    Summer Intensive in the USA Doctors letter

    Yes we did this many times for SIS abroad. As Angel.says they are not asking the GP to guarantee the person wont ever get an injury just that they have no current or past medical history that would preclude them taking part. If you want I can see if I can dig out a letter and tell you the exact wording...
  5. CeliB

    Auditioning without teachers permission

    It seems a bit of an odd situation to me. Either you trust your teacher and know they have good reasons to advise you against auditioning, in which case don't audition, or you don't trust them.in which case surely you should be looking for another teacher. Perhaps that's what this person IS doing by auditioning against the teachers wishes it's hard to know from this snippet of info... of course the last minute audition is different- that's more logistics But deliberately doing what your teacher has advised you not to suggests to me a teacher student relationship which shouldn't really continue...
  6. I think I have mentioned this before on other thread related to stress but don't underestimate the positive benefit to your DS of offloading all his complaints, fears, doubts etc onto you and thereby being able to let them go. Hence the roller coaster effect. My daughter does this to me on a biannual basis (she's quite a calm person in general) and has done since the age of about 7 or 8 (she's now 19). It took me a while to catch on - in the early years I spent so many nights awake and in a complete panic that her entire life was terrible and how could I not have realised only to have her get up next morning completely chirpy and not mention a single worry for another 6 months. Now even she says quite matter of factly 'I think I'm due another meltdown Mum I haven't had one in quite a while'... I also remember my younger brother driving my mum mad when he was on his university exchange year in California, skyping her every few weeks with a litany of how ghastly it was (no friends, mad landlady, couldn't do any of the work, hated the states, run out of money etc). Since coming home he has always said it was the best time he's ever had, he made fabulous friends and he got the equivalent of a first for the academic year. I suppose what i'm trying to say is that sometimes kids use parents like their 'Dorian Gray' to offload all the stress or explore in some ways the things they fear but which may never come to pass. It doesn't surprise me at all that he can tell you one day how awful/stressful it is and the next day say he had the best time ever- the one enables the other (if that makes sense). Of course this is not always true I'm not trying to downplay your DS's concerns or troubles and it is always a matter of degree. My DS also found boarding very hard especially the lack of space and VERY difficult room mates. You will be the best judge of whether this is a deal breaking amount of stress or a need to offload which enables him to then carry on. Good luck, it is hard...
  7. CeliB

    Prix de Lausanne choices

    I did a quick scan of the winners since 2011 who chose RB as an apprentice - only 1 (David Yudes) stayed with the company beyond the apprentice year (and every year except 2012 I think had one person who chose RB as an apprentice - so that's an uptake rate of only one in 5). Who knows whether that is their choice or whether they didn't get a contract offer, but if I were a winner with only the statistics available to me to support my choice it wouldn't be very encouraging....
  8. CeliB

    Prix de Lausanne choices

    As far as I am aware once a school/company has offered a prize they are duty bound to accept someone who chooses them. I think for schools they generally keep them til graduation but for companies it's interesting to see thereafter they then get further employment in the company beyond the apprentice year - not necessarily because of their quality as a dancer but whether they fit what the company wants I suppose (and presumably whether the dancer actually likes the company having spent a year there- no doubt it works both ways!).
  9. CeliB

    Coping with disappointment

    I think it's also helpful for her to know how many stories there are on this forum of DKS who have had refusals followed by acceptances. I agree early refusals can be helpful in making them more resilient- when my DD was a diver she knew a number of kids who won gold medal after gold medal in novice comps for several years then the minute they moved to the next level and stopped coming first all the time they gave up as they couldn't cope with being less than first. .. I always like to tell people on this forum my son was turned down for royal associates on multiple occasions- fast forward 6 years and he has a contract at one of the world's best ballet companies and is the happiest I've ever seen him. So associate classes are not a perfect predictor of ability or future success!!!
  10. CeliB

    Additional training on top of vocational

    DS did quite a few summer schools, partly due to my anxiety that he was a late starter (if I'm honest with myself in retrospect). Now that I look back I am not convinced any of them made much difference to his training, though he did have a lot of fun (to our bank account's severe detriment). When he was at home he really did absolutely nothing (this only changed once he went to Vaganova when he started keeping up with daily stretches and went to the gym or swam 2-3 times a week). In fact he just turned into the biggest sloth out- barely got off the couch except to go out on the razzle with his mates... DSs close friend at voc school never did a single summer school ever and graduated at 16 straight to a professional contract. I would say summer courses are of value if you are thinking of changing schools and want to check out a different one (however summer school teaching is often not like all round teaching so you have to be cautious) but otherwise they are really unnecessary if you are already training all year... Equally extra classes only if you have a specific concern (e.g. injury) and want a second opinion (and are certain the teacher giving the extra classes is top notch) or again thinking of leaving the school and want to explore alternatives. IMO if you/your child feels they need extra/different classes I would wonder whether the FT training is doing its job... Other complementary exercise (pilates, swimming) is always good though...
  11. CeliB

    Artistic Directors (of schools)

    The AD at DSs school in the USA was completely involved in the day to day artistic decisions - oversaw classes frequently, was completely involved in the twice yearly performances, and from my memory had a face to face meeting to discuss progress with all the children at least once a year. Also was always available for a meeting with us every year when we went out to see the performance. When there was an AD at the school for a year or so who was less than ideal we very quickly sensed the school going off the rails- staff left or were sacked, their replacements weren't as good, the atmosphere just went down hill rapidly... At the Vaganova the Rector (who I guess is the equivalent of an AD here) is pretty much omnipotent - he has started teaching the boys graduating classes, he casts and directs every performance, he is always available to meet the children if they want to discuss anything and he gives a lot of advice to the students about where they should apply for contracts. He has a very close working relationship with all his teachers and I get the impression he knows every aspect of every single child in the academy. Of course this level of involvement and control is not so good if he doesn't like you, but certainly all DS's year were absolutely blessed by his constant guidance and attention. I don't think the man sleeps- he does the work of 3 people!
  12. Hi Lisa, so far he's done French Dolls (Nutcracker), Chevalier at the ball (R&J- the livestreamed one), Bluebird, Peasant PDD (Giselle) and is about to rehearse 'James' friend' (Sylphide) (don't think this is a very complex one). Those are all the ones where he is named cast so I think count as soloist or demi soloist. He is also first cast for the corps in Anna Karenina (3 different roles) and has been corps in Etudes, Sleeping Beauty, Ivan the Terrible and Flames of Paris (in which he was delighted just to stand around holding a banner and get paid for minimal effort- just shows how much he's been working!) Pretty good for his first 6 months- he certainly can't complain about being under used!
  13. The Dutch National Ballet Junior company is definitely a serious feeder to the main company and not a money making scheme. I have heard Ernst and Ted state that they will always look at recruiting from the junior company first and then then look outside the junior company if they still have gaps. Equally they have said they try and fill JC from the NBA before looking outside (so worth going there for US equivalent training if you are interested in the company).They sometimes offer a place in the junior company if a dancer is too young to join the main company but they want to retain them (this happened to DSs friend who joined JC - she was rising 17 as I recall). JC members are paid (not handsomely but certainly adequately to live- and I think they get help with accommodation too, at least DSs friend certainly did...). I think ABTII operates similarly and there are several other European companies that have a junior company (DS got offered a few after Lausanne which is why I know they exist but he didn't take them up so I don't know many of the details)- most pay a wage as far as I know. In Russia if students are not considered company ready for whatever reason (injury sometimes in the Russian dancers, or change of school, or perhaps like DS international students who arrive late) they just do an extra year but it isn't really considered a different course. So if this is what the above are offering I guess it makes more sense...
  14. CeliB

    Good Luck/Audition results 2018

    it must be so hard to see your son despondent, but at least he has the determination to keep going. You could perhaps comfort him with my son's training history - he didn't start vocational school until he was 14 and made it all the way through to professional contract. There's plenty of time for your son to develop and I do sometimes think my son gained a lot from having a completely normal life up until 14.......
  15. CeliB

    British training at Lower and Upper Schools

    That's so sad windover60. Glad to hear your daughter is recovering but what an awful experience. Though bear in mind terrible experiences are not limited to the UK- my son had an almost career ending experience in Amsterdam where he was categorically told he was barely good enough to dance with a small regional company (and this said scathingly as if this was somehow a fate worse than death) alongside a full character assassination. 18 months later (as many on this forum are aware) he was the only British graduate to ever be offered a place at the Bolshoi as well as the Mariinsky and is now having a fantastic experience at the Bolshoi with 3 major solos and several demi solo roles under his belt after only 6 months.... The temptation to go back to the Netherlands and give the director a piece of my mind is overwhelming (but DS would be mortified so I am restraining myself!) But I would say his main training in the USA was exemplary as far as pastoral care goes- there were a few hiccups in the ballet training due to several staff changes and I wish he'd gone to Vaganova sooner but I never felt anything other than genuine love, warmth and care from all his teachers at Kirov. It makes such a difference to feel your child is being cared for especially when you are too far away to parachute in and rescue them. Interestingly when DS was considering vocational training aged 13 I was warned by several UK based teachers not to send him to RB (edited to remove what they said about the school as it is complete hearsay, so I probs shouldn't repeat on open forum- sorry)