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Sorry, wanted to add that RBS are more likely to accept your son in the early years based on ‘raw talent’ than later on, where he would need to fit in to a group of dancers who have had intense specialised training.

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Be led by your child. Not sure we will be able to keep

up with what we are doing forever. As time progresses we will constantly reassess the decision that was right for our child. We can audition each year for other things and we trust our teacher and will be guided by them. As to be honest I have no clue about dance! No decision is irreversible. If you pick one path and it does not prove to be the right one you can change. Although harder as they get older I am sure a bit of luck/fate is involved. Good problems/choices to have. What’s right for one child is not necessarily right for another.

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Going back to the post if he has been offered Tring and Hammond and wants to go and you can afford it I would probably let him. Could he try for Royal sooner than 16? Try for an associate place? I don’t know much about Hammond but aren’t Trings academics really good. I think like other posters said if he does not go to a vocational school you have to be a really good local dance school and try to get into an associate scheme.Do holidays courses etc as the hours will probably never match those at a vocational school. I think by year 10 perhaps you do have to be at a vocational school to keep up but sure there is probably always exceptions.

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1 hour ago, Motomum said:

For us WL was never going to be an option until I was asked by my sons JA teacher why he wasn’t auditioning and found out he could be a day attendee and that his teacher felt it was important he should have the opportunity to audition and suggested I contact RBS and chat with them. I did, hence the finals outcome.

 

My sons place would be on a full bursary, and he has SEN which would have to be fully supported. RBS are aware of all this and said, let him audition, let’s see what happens, then we can have a conversation about what happens  next.

 

He is currently Home Educated, has been for three years, so the educational support package from RBS would have to be really, really good if they want him, and for us to give up what he currently has access to. 

I have been assured by the RBS powers that be, everything is about the child’s dancing potential and ability, so we shall see.

 

For my son he is very happy to be spending a day at White Lodge doing what he loves, and it is for me to weigh up the pros and cons afterwards should he be offered a place.

 

I have many misgivings and concerns about the whole process of auditioning. For now though I just want my son to enjoy this experience alongside his dancing peers.

I wish you and your son all the best. The benefits of dancing is well documented for pupils with SEN. With many becoming highly skilled in their genre where SEN holds no boundaries. Unfortunately I don’t think the message has quite got through to so many in authority. 

Supporting your son to audition could be very rewarding. With the explanation and understanding in place beforehand about possible outcomes. Then the next step (excuse the pun) and outcome of the audition. The experience could be very beneficial. Pushing him outside his usual comfort zone. Skills could be learnt from being more independent, decision making and interacting with peers as well as being away from his usual social circles. Along with the right support and understanding from the audition panel I would say, as long as the old bank account can support the cost, go for it. Enjoy the day not just your son but for you as well. Treat it as a great day out. Amazing what can happen without heightened expectations. 

Just listening to the Minister for Education this morning supporting Music and Sport without even mentioning Performing Arts as a whole was so demoralising this morning. 

Just wish there was a spokesperson that could become an advocate for the Arts (dance & drama) that would be able to have high level discussions with the Ministers and to ensure the Arts get support and recognition from the base level right through to professional level and even beyond. The endorphins that are released through dancing can be the best medicine but many only recognise sport as the be all and end all for everyone’s health and fitness. Silver Swans is a prime example.

I wish both you and your son all the best. 🙆🏻‍♂️❤️

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In my view, best chance of getting into RBS at 16 is to get full time training.  Not sure but I believe only one girl has received a place at upper school who was non vocational in the last few years. Boys do better at vocational school.  We all miss our children when they go away to vocational school, it’s a sacrifice we make to help them follow their dreams. I imagine that as your son has places now, you are not looking for funding as the funding auditions have not been yet (unless he is so exceptional he was not required to do the funding audition). That being the case I would try to find a very highly regarded, independent assessor to give a true opinion on your sons suitability to perhaps stand a chance of RBS upper school (hard to say as bodies change as do desires and understanding of the realities of life as a dancer).  

 

RBS upper school do not pick raw talent.  They pick virtually fully trained dancers who just need polish, style, more strength and artistry. 

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I imagine your family's successful experiences of state education have more to do with the teachers who inspired you and your attitude to learning than they have with the fact your parents weren't paying extra for your education. If the teachers who inspire your son happen to be in a fee-paying school, then don't let the state vs private debate put you off ......

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I think it would be fair to say that, although many Dcs dream of making it to RBS upper school, that dream is for a minuscule minority, whether you have been to vocational school or not - and that includes White Lodge. Important to have the dream and inspiration but as time goes on most dancers reflect on where they will best suited and expect to follow other routes, classical or otherwise.

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4 hours ago, balletbean said:

I wish you and your son all the best. The benefits of dancing is well documented for pupils with SEN. With many becoming highly skilled in their genre where SEN holds no boundaries. Unfortunately I don’t think the message has quite got through to so many in authority. 

Supporting your son to audition could be very rewarding. With the explanation and understanding in place beforehand about possible outcomes. Then the next step (excuse the pun) and outcome of the audition. The experience could be very beneficial. Pushing him outside his usual comfort zone. Skills could be learnt from being more independent, decision making and interacting with peers as well as being away from his usual social circles. Along with the right support and understanding from the audition panel I would say, as long as the old bank account can support the cost, go for it. Enjoy the day not just your son but for you as well. Treat it as a great day out. Amazing what can happen without heightened expectations. 

Just listening to the Minister for Education this morning supporting Music and Sport without even mentioning Performing Arts as a whole was so demoralising this morning. 

Just wish there was a spokesperson that could become an advocate for the Arts (dance & drama) that would be able to have high level discussions with the Ministers and to ensure the Arts get support and recognition from the base level right through to professional level and even beyond. The endorphins that are released through dancing can be the best medicine but many only recognise sport as the be all and end all for everyone’s health and fitness. Silver Swans is a prime example.

I wish both you and your son all the best. 🙆🏻‍♂️❤️

Thank you very much. Your words are lovely and very true to what I k ow as a parent to child with additional needs.❤️

I know with all my heart that ballet has changed the course of my sons life, it has positively affected everything he does and so much of who he is becoming.

His SEN is absolutely insignificant in his ballet classes, when he is learning, when he is performing, in his dance exams. He is a more resilient, emotionally well balanced boy because of it.

He brings his own spirit of uniqueness to ballet.

Nothing about ballet has been a negative for him.

He is very much in the moment, loving his life whether he stays doing ballet or not, he has had a more enriched life experience because of it whatever the outcome.

I hope that those in higher up places can see further than his SEN. 🤞🏻🤞🏻❤️

 

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Back in December I posted a comment about the NBS ballet production, whilst congratulating the cast I made mention of the young lady that played a guest part in the show. On stage throughout  A truly outstanding performance . The most amazing news was posted today. A friend took this young lady to a Mid Associate audition in Manchester. RBS have just written back and invited the young lady to the Finals 2 for a full time place at WL. Making reference in the letter that they appreciate that she ‘may not have considered a full time place’. As she hadn’t even selected the box!! Amazing things do happen to amazing people. Keep going folks you just never know who it will happen to next. 🤩🙆‍♀️

Edited by balletbean
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With regards to education at Hammond.  My DD was always “just average” (her primary teachers words) and I worried about her being lost in the local

comprehensive system as she was also very shy. It wasn’t an easy decision to board but we are very pleased we did. She has excelled academically and on target to achieve grades we would never have expected.  She has matured into a confident, mature and kind individual (was worrringly shy but being with likeminded peers resulted in her being her true self) and I truly believe this is as a result of her schooling at Hammond. 

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