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Against All Odds

Accommodation in London for Central Summer School

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Deal all,

 

I am looking for affordable accommodation for my 15 year old daughter in London during Central Summer School from 27.7.2014 till 9.8.2014. Can anybody please give us tips or advice? I am also happy for her to stay with a "dancing" family. Thank you.

 

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Hello Against All Odds,

 

Have you looked at the Premier Inn website? They have some good deals for London in the Summer holidays if you look at all their London hotels and can navigate the tube system. London Wembley and London Ealing are often on special offer.

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Dear against All Odds

 

We stayed in the 'Jurys Inn' on pentonville road, Islington road when my dd attended Central Easter school a few years ago and walked to Central each day.

There are student studio rooms in Aldgate East which is just a short tube ride to Central. The top floor rooms are rented out to the public. Assam Place, Commercial road, Aldgate East.

Have Central not given you a list of possibilities?

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I think that many of these places will not take a 15 year old alone - are you travelling with your DD Against all Odds?

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I'd agree it was very hard finding accommodation for DD when she was 15 (not much easier at 16)

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have you looked at airbnb?  people who rent either a room or their whole home out by the night/week/whatever.  Not sure they'd want a 15 on her own but if its more than one of you may be a reasonable cost.

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Thank you all very much. My daughter travelled daily when she did her spring course at central, but we felt that it would be too much during the two week course. We live in Portsmouth area and it is a two hour bus journey to Victoria. I was hoping to find a private family who would let her stay as all the places suggested do not take children under 16. Looks like we will have to do a bit of "mix and match" with staying for a couple of days and travelling a few times to balance this with the needs of the rest of the family. A juggling act - as always. Thanks for all of your ideas.

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Have you investigated the Homestay companies? I know they arrange host families for students under 16 coming to London to attend language schools - short term accommodation but no idea of the prices.  There are various companies that do this but I don't know names or have any personal reccommendations.

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One other suggestion - might be worth contacting schools like Sylvia Young and Italia Conti as I believe a lot of their students (under 16) stay with host families in London. As it's the summer holidays, their students will have broken up & gone home so the host families might be delighted to have someone else stay for a fortnight.

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Hi, Still on the subject of accommodation but moving on from summer schools to 16+ full time course.  

 

My DD and I are currently researching the ballet schools throughout the UK (RBC, Elmhurst, Ballet West and others), and would appreciate a parents perspective on the accommodation on offer for a couple of the schools, ENBS and Central in particular. Not the "rose tinted" view as conveyed in the prospectus of those schools but the reality of the situation.  How do the girls, that have only just turned 16 cope with the cooking, cleaning, shopping, travel etc  as well as the intensive/exhausting days that they put in at the studio, coupled with being away from home for the first time? This is all completely new to us, before we even complete any application forms. No point raising her hopes and incurring costs for auditions for some if its a non starter regarding unsuitable accommodation setup. PS, We have the time to take this process slowly as it would be for Sept 2018. 

Thank you.  

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Hi, Still on the subject of accommodation but moving on from summer schools to 16+ full time course.  

 

My DD and I are currently researching the ballet schools throughout the UK (RBC, Elmhurst, Ballet West and others), and would appreciate a parents perspective on the accommodation on offer for a couple of the schools, ENBS and Central in particular. Not the "rose tinted" view as conveyed in the prospectus of those schools but the reality of the situation.  How do the girls, that have only just turned 16 cope with the cooking, cleaning, shopping, travel etc  as well as the intensive/exhausting days that they put in at the studio, coupled with being away from home for the first time? This is all completely new to us, before we even complete any application forms. No point raising her hopes and incurring costs for auditions for some if its a non starter regarding unsuitable accommodation setup. PS, We have the time to take this process slowly as it would be for Sept 2018. 

Thank you.  

 

We’re in exactly the same boat - just started research for 2018 entry! Dd did a day at Central a few months ago and we noticed a new student residence (a Liberty Living I think, or similar) was being refurbished right over the road, literally a stone’s throw away. I was a bit concerned about her potentially spending a lot of time on her own, but I like the idea that Central students can spend some evenings at the studios doing Art A level or similar. At a parent Q&A session accomodation was obviously the main concern of most parents, but the Central representative pointed out that their dropout rate was practically nil over the last few years so the students seem to be doing ok!

Would also love to hear some first hand experience from parents/dancers :)

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Hi, my dd has just started at Ballet West. A young 16 as a June birthday. We looked at the schools and accommodation options and in the end her school choice was Ballet West. Only a couple of days in but so far the school is fantastic and she's delighted with her choice. I was very worried about a self catering option and personally thought that a boarding environment would be easier but actually she was ready for this and being a bit fussy can make more personal food choices etc. luckily she is a great cook and I'm amazed but she is actually cleaning now which is a new experience as refused to look at a Hoover or dishcloth at home! She's made wonderful friends already and fb has been a lifesaver in calming nerves before starting school as they get to know one first. Obviously she hasn't travelled home yet but I'm really confident that she has her head screwed on and will be fine! I couldn't be any prouder right now. I will look forward to posting updates as the year progresses but right now it's a big thumbs up! Good luck x

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Thank you Liveforballet,  

 

My DD attended the Ballet West Summer School, absolutely loved the school and probably would have stayed given half the chance! The stunning location and even the set up for accommodation was spot on. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind as you have now first hand experience. How do the students go food shopping, without transport how do they manage? Not forgetting the slight issue of access/travel when on their own at the end of term.  Would love to hear more about Ballet West from an insiders point of view. No matter how many other schools we look at my DD keeps bouncing back to Ballet West, I'm just trying to encourage her to "not to put all her eggs in one basket" and look elsewhere to gain a balanced view and ensure she makes the right decision. My only stumbling block for Ballet West is that the school doesn't offer any A levels and this is what as a mother I really wanted her to obtain, most of the other ballet schools offer this option. 

Thanks again. 

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Hi ballet bean

 

I can't answer travel questions yet but will let you know soon! The plan at the moment is to get the train from taynuilt to Glasgow and then fly home to London. A lot of the older girls do this and have said that although a long journey it is straightforward. Regarding food we have set up a tesco account and they do home deliveries. My dd hasn't ordered yet though as we stocked her up before we left! With regard to A levels, it wasn't a consideration for us but as it happens the course at Ballet West does include the AS equivalent of English in the Scottish Highers. So there definitely is some academics involved. Hope this helps, feel free to ask more and as we go along I will be happy to answer.

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Hi, Liveforballet.

 

Your post has been most helpful. A Levels was really my focus and was the negotiating point for supporting my DD to spread her wings at 16 and not at 18. This has all been a learning curve for me as I realise at insisting my DD completes her A levels before any further vocational training is not fair on her as it will certainly put paid to her dreams.  She is certainly not MT focused unlike her peers at her dancing school. She is out on her own, they are focused on Birds/Laines/Arts Ed etc. This is a brave move but one I totally support. Just getting my head around this A level bit! Ballet West pastoral care during the summer school was superb and I instantly felt comfortable unlike a school in a City but still felt I should complete my research to the best of my ability. With others not providing accommodation really does not tick my boxes. Cannot fault any of their training and I'm not beginning to even compare that part. As far as travel, that's quite reassuring as my DD would need to return to Glasgow airport for a flight home, with the possibility of other students doing the same is comforting. Even if they are not on the same flight! Home delivery service sounds the way to go, it's all these little bits that prospectus for the schools don't say. The other question, if you don't mind. Uniform and replacement items in particular pointe shoes that can't be ordered online. Do the Ballet West organise that aspect, or is it a trip to Oban, if there is a ballet shop there? I tried to investigate the area this summer whilst DD was at the summer school but was in awe of the scenery. It was absolutely stunningly beautiful in July. Interesting and challenging no doubt in the winter months!.  

Thanks again, this is certainly more helpful that what I had even thought I would learn when joining this site only yesterday  :) 

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Hi ballet bean

 

It's a great site isn't it! I continually learn things I didn't know and have found so much information that I would have had no way of accessing elsewhere.

 

Uniform is from Dancia. We are London based so can easily go into the store. But for those who can't get there they deliver and I have seen other mums posts on here about how helpful Dancia have been with sending out leotards and exchanging sizes with no problems etc. I sent my dd with enough shoes to keep her going but as she will be home in half term we can get anything else she needs then. Again I think lots of girls have ordered numerous pairs and get them delivered. The school sell the logo hoodies which are not compulsory.

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Thank you Liveforballet, 

 

Another question off my list, still unsure about the issue of pointe shoes but sure will get there. It's not like she leaves next week!  If any of the schools are like my DD's ballet teacher they seem to have their preference for a particular make of Pointe Shoes. Does Ballet West have a preference?  I treated my DD to a hoodie after the summer school and it's the same colour and font of her current ballet school uniform. When are the full time auditions held and how long did it take to receive a reply? What format did the audition take and any other hints or tips would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this has gone slightly off topic from the top of the page. I'm still learning how to navigate this site as I'm no techie geek. Sad I know.  Did you daughter audition elsewhere and how did they compare. I want to offer my daughter every opportunity however I'm mindful of the costs involved for the audition process before we even look at a full time course fees! How much, if you don't mind me asking is accommodation at Ballet West, as in the main house then the house on the drive and then the chalets also on the drive? Was your DD offered a choice, as it appears she would be one of the younger students, I was led to believe that they could stay in the main house.

 

Gosh, I could chat for ages. oops  :)   

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Hi BlueLou, 

 

Still not too sure how to link one post to another without getting lost so any advice gratefully received.  I saw that Central offered A Levels but it appeared as evening or weekend studying. From what I gather its at KCC just below the studios. Have you been able to find any details on the additional costs involved? Central appear to have a fantastic reputation, the only negative point I have found upon research is that the studios, because it's an old building are rather cramped, including the corridors. The location is good for us as its on the main line from Gatwick to St P however, my concern is my dear little 16 year old and how she would cope with the chaos of the big smoke. Hence my additional concern that accommodation was provided either on site or nearby which would also mean that there was no House Matron or similar to assist the young students whilst they make the big transition from home to vocational school and the demands of the actual course both mentally and physically.  So many questions!  So pleased that I'm not alone and starting my research so early compared to others.

Thank you.     

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I also had worries about her pointe shoes not being the ones the school favoured but so far we are ok! My dd auditioned at several schools and was lucky enough to have more than one offer. The Ballet West audition was unlike others as it was only a few girls auditioning in the existing class of first year students. The parents sat in the main house and chatted to Gillian. It was a really lovely experience. There was no pointe work but a short interview after the audition with Gillian. Accommodation costs are £500 per month including bills. Obviously food etc is an extra personal cost. The younger ones do seem to be allocated nearer to school in the chalets or main house. But some first years are 18 and are in the village. The website says auditions for 2017 apply now so I guess keep an eye for 2018 auditions quite early! It is such a hard thing to let my dd go and live so far away but she is so happy so far and says everyone is friendly so I couldn't ask for more. As long as she is happy I'm happy.

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That is great to hear, to be offered a couple of places is a fantastic achievement and you are right to be so proud. I shall continue to complete my research but I think Ballet West will remain at the top of our list. I spoke to Gillian at the end of the Summer School. Lovely lady and you can just tell that along with the staff are passionate about what they do but also the welfare of their students.  I wish your DD all the best for her new life up in Bonny Scotland. x

 

Ps  How long was it between submission of application form, audition then hearing the results? Time line etc  Thanks

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If any of the schools are like my DD's ballet teacher they seem to have their preference for a particular make of Pointe Shoes. 

The pointe shoes to wear are the ones that are the best fit and suit your feet, and I'm not a fan of teachers/schools who insist on their students wearing a particular brand (and I know I'm not alone in feeling like this) :wacko:

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Thank you for your kind wishes. Everything was really quick from audition dates to offers. It is only through this forum that I have found so much info on Ballet West and other schools and to get parents opinions and in some cases the actual students is really helpful as you say a prospectus doesn't always give the kind of info we need! I only joined a couple of months ago although I had been reading for a while! Wishing you best of luck on your dance journey.

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Thank you Taxi4ballet,  

I feel like a rebel in the camp at DD school, as I insist that my DD has shoes that are right for her and not always seems to be the same train of thought as her teacher, Bless her, love her to bits but sometimes, just sometimes teachers can get it wrong. To be fair on them they teach and not in the industry of pointe shoe manufacture and can't possibly keep up with what is out there. 

 

PS How do I copy a previous post or part of it to reply to, like you have? I'm so useless, when I was at school I was doing well if I got in the classroom and bagged the electric rather than the manual typewriter!

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PS How do I copy a previous post or part of it to reply to, like you have? I'm so useless, when I was at school I was doing well if I got in the classroom and bagged the electric rather than the manual typewriter!

If you look at the end of each post, you will see a 'Quote' button. If you press that, it takes the contents of that post into the 'reply' box at the bottom of the screen. You then type your comments underneath the shaded quote. You can edit the quote and delete lines if you need to, leaving the relevant bit (as I have just done here). If you would like to have a practice, go to the main part of the forum, where there is a section called 'Test' and you can have a go there. :)

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Taxi4ballet  you are a star. Thank you.  

 

Must get off line as my darlings expect me to conjurer up a meal from my kitchen and at present that isn't going to happen.  I shall have a go tomorrow. Very informative afternoon. Thanks again    :rolleyes:

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