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  2. Fantastic news! Congratulations - how exciting to get the phonecall!
  3. My child’s additional needs do not manifest themselves in that way. My child wasn’t the only child who didn’t receive applause, but as per forum guidelines we can only write about our child’s direct experience when talking about vocational schools. This is not about my child’s SEN, this was about the teachers behaviour. And yes you are right if my child had sensory issues around noise he would not be dancing. Usually noise sensitivity with autism is when the child is under particular additional stresses, and also it is usually particular sounds, not all sounds.
  4. @LinMM I can’t say too much about the observed class without betraying the identity of the dance school whos’ vocational training program has an excellent reputation. There are however cultural differences in play that do not excuse any part of what I witnessed, but I have seen things like it before on YouTube ballet videos. I did bring my concerns to the Director of the school, but was told this was a typical class, although I was told they had to keep trying to ‘reign the teacher in.’ The Director was far less accepting of the behaviour than the parents who wholly accepted this as part of their children’s training. The Summer Intensive issues bother me more as they are to me emotionally more damaging day to day, and not visible. I think it would be naive of us as parents to believe that all aspects of the past training styles had been completely eradicated in today’s vocational schools. Ultimately we are dealing with the very top schools where everyone wants to go. It takes a very strong person to potentially rock the boat, because the impact is not necessarily on the parent, but potentially on their child. I might be way off here, but I don’t believe for one minute what my child told me doesn’t happen all the time, but it quickly becomes part of the training culture because as a parent my experience of the vocational training world is that they feel a bit like cults, or secret societies. I have never experienced anything like this world, and I’m old 😁, it’s a strange place to me.
  5. RE reading the original post something has struck me. If this teacher knew about your Child's problem he/she may well have not allowed the clapping as for some children loud noises like clapping can unsettle them. For example I know there are special music concerts which children can go to ....I believe they are called "Relaxed Concerts" .....in which clapping isn't allowed. I would have thought a child being able to cope with a ballet class though wouldn't have quite as sensitive needs as this. So perhaps it was the "divide and rule" type not allowing clapping for some ....but allowed for others .....after all!
  6. I'm almost speechless! Am really finding this hard to believe as this against all modern thinking in how to treat children ....well in State schools at any rate...and it's a sort of negative way of learning. In State schools smacking or pinching would be illegal anyway. But even if it wasn't ....teaching like this doesn't get the best out of pupils at all. There has been a bit of a history in the ballet world with extreme harshness as par for the course but I'm hoping we've moved on since the beginning of the twentieth century!! All very strange....and filmed too!
  7. I Know myself well enough to realise I won’t be able to leave it alone. I will wait until my child has finished the week. Something similar happened one time when my child was a JA that was brought to my attention by another parent and I let it go then. It’s a strange position to be in as parent, usually I am assertive and a strident advocate for my child. The ballet world has me somewhat disempowered, and I think it is one because my child has SEN and I know this makes aspects of their dance life more tricky to navigate, and two because I don’t want to ruin their path through training by what might be something that is just part of the fabric and culture of vocational training schools. its certainly has me thinking lots today.
  8. Today
  9. Well, I thought it was great! So exciting for Francesca Hayward to have a lead role, and she looks wonderful in it. I haven't seen the Twitter comments, but I couldn't care less about some people who maybe feel they must put everything down and deride it. Roll on December 20th when (I believe) "CATS" opens in the cinemas!
  10. I think I would still speak to someone about it. In the years that dd has been at vocational school I have had many an occasion to speak to staff about things and the way my complaints/concerns were handles reassured me greatly. Ds on the othe hand at a non vocational but highly sought after academic school had a totally different experience and I ended up removing him despite 2 years of brainwashig that he would not fulfil his potential if I did and that they offered the best possible education. Maybe they did, but at the expense of my child's mental health! So I guess what I am saying is that if you do mention this, then how seriously or not you are taken and wheter any changes are made may have an impact on how you feel about the school long term. A friend of my dh was subject to the most awful, serious abuse during elite training in another arts genre (I can't say more as it went to court and was aquitted on a technicality) but one of the things was that these elite students kept returning becasue of the reputation/calibre of the teacher despite the abuse. Totally agree.
  11. My training is in psychotherapy with adults, I know about safeguarding and abuse, and yet I still questioned what I saw happen in the class. i appreciate this is somewhat off topic and not what is happening to my child.
  12. She then proceeded to smack and pinch the children making them cry when they didn’t pull up. I got up and walked out. This behaviour was out in the open, classes were recorded, which then made me question whether I was overreacting!. This is called "in plain sight" often people will behave in a certain way very publicly and like you say in front of parents. That way parents and others do wonder if they are overreacting and so don't challenge it. From a safeguarding and legal point of view, there is no doubt that smacking and pinching children is abuse.
  13. In my comparatively short time in the rarefied world of ballet training, I have heard parents reduce, dismiss and excuse a teachers’ questionable approach in another school because that teacher has an excellent reputation and gets fantastic results. The school in question was open and transparent enough to allow me to watch a pre-vocational class where the teacher in question kept standing on the feet of the students because their turnout was not acceptable to. The teacher then proceeded to smack and pinch the children making them cry when they didn’t pull up. I got up and walked out. This behaviour was out in the open, classes were recorded, which then made me question whether I was overreacting!
  14. Just managed to watch the trailer and I found it disappointing. Jennifer Hudson is really straining and I agree with AnnaC’s comments about the bizarre changing size of the cats and their much less feline appearance when compared to the original production.
  15. Oh dear - I now foresee potential elements of the reviews, if the film turns out less than well...
  16. What role does Francesca Hayward play? I assumed that it was Victoria, the white cat, which is not as far as I remember a main role in the original production - but may of course have been adjusted for this film.
  17. @joyofdance this approach has nothing to do with discipline; it is toxic, and IMO emotionally abusive. It gives our children the wrong message, the wrong aims, and creates vulnerabilities and divisions in an already highly pressurised, competitive environment. @SissonneDoublee you are right, this is only a week, but for the children who are subjected to this on a regular basis so that it because their normal worries me a great deal.
  18. I hope the rest of summer school is a positive experience. It sounds like an eye opener. Easy enough to shrug off when it’s only a week, but the thought of DC being subjected to those sorts of mind games on a daily basis in full time training is very worrying.
  19. Sorry to hear that your child had to experience this. It is such a shame that our children have to experience this type of behaviour from adults. I have seen this and worse several times at non vocational dance schools, I have witnessed it aimed at my daughter and many others. As an educator, parent and generally decent human being, it does not sit well with me. I have heard other dance parents describe it as "discipline" and allow it to happen because "that is what dance training is like" . It is toxic, bullying behaviour and not acceptable under any circumstances. The dilemma of confronting it with the risk of making things worse for your child is not something that we as parents and paying customers should have to worry about, but sadly we do.
  20. Hi yes she loved it last year and learnt so much! She was 9 in may. I have only just paid and registered so still waiting to hear any more details. Last year my daughter was the youngest by a mile so it will be lovely if there are other young ones. They will put similar ages together 😀
  21. For what it’s worth, I’m unlikely to watch this at the cinema (and always was), I think they’ve managed to make Francesca Hayward look less beautiful than she really is, and I agree that Jennifer Hudson sounds a bit ropey; but I find the criticism I’ve seen on Twitter silly and overblown. Twitter has many things going for it but it’s a platform which actively rewards negativity.
  22. I thought so too...almost cat-erwauling in fact ! However, even in these brief scenes, Francesca looks wonderful, whether cutlery-sized or lion-sized! So pleased she seems to be the central character. She has a song too! If the movie needs a new star to save it, she will be the one...... Hoping for some great dancing from her and the other ballet stars, even if other elements turn out to be cat-astrophic.
  23. I just want to clarify my child is having a fabulous time, but this approach got into their head in a way that shouldn’t happen in a child so young. They love ballet enough to bound into the school today raring to go again. It is me that is cross 😡
  24. My child is asleep in our hotel room within 5 minutes of getting into bed. This. Never. Happens!! 😁
  25. My goodness this is such a shame for children giving up their school holiday time to work hard on their ballet in a summer school. I think the teachers running these summer schools should be particularly mindful of that ....and that the children are happy to work hard but the general atmosphere should feel light and fun so they all enjoy being with each other as much as possible.....ballet can be competitive enough as it is without encouraging this atmosphere. I think that all the children should be given some individual personal encouragement at some point in the week ( even if it means the teacher keeping a mental note ....or even written one ...of who they haven't spoken to yet!) Some of these summer schools are extremely expensive so children should be feeling they've achieved something positive by the end of the week. It could be for some younger children eg 10/11 year olds that it's the first time they've experienced such an intensive time ....just working a whole day on different aspects of Dance....for as long as a week ...so this can be tiring as well so any negative comments/ experiences can seem heightened. Hopefully for the OP's child things will improve as the week goes on.
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