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  1. Firstly - I'm so glad you didn't leave the forum in August - there are many of us here who are retired ballet Mums and we still have something to contribute, and the forum can still give something to us as well. Secondly - that feeling of grieving when your child makes the decision to stop dancing is normal. I think we all feel it to some extent, even when you know it is the right choice. Thirdly - It is interesting that the pandemic has given some students the space they need to realise that they are on the wrong path for them. Definitely a silver lining in all of
  2. Hopefully, if the schools are working together on this, students won't be put in the position of having to accept an offer at one school before final auditions have happened at others. I know this happens to some extent in normal years, but if some schools take an approach of delaying finals and others choose to go ahead with a video approach offers could be all over the place!
  3. How awful for you @meadowblythe that social services put that decision on you....although I expect you were grateful that they did at the time. I expect I would have made the same decision - trusting the school to deal with it.
  4. Oh @cotes du rhone !. What a humbling post. It made me so sad to read of your dreadful experiences and particularly that you still blame yourself for not speaking out sooner. Firstly can I say congratulations to your dd for making her difficult choice and moving on with her life. It is easy to forget that ALL dancers have to make that choice at some stage. For some it is after years in a successful career. For some it is after a few years of jumping from one job to the next and struggling to make ends meet. For many, sadly, it is after years of training but before they have s
  5. When my dd was young her dance teacher allowed her to go to other schools for extra classes and dance styles which she didn't offer. In fact she even set this up on occasion. I don't know what the position would have been for styles she did offer, but I think she would have been sensitive to the issue of timetabling not fitting. On the face of it, you might think that the teacher is trying to protect her business, but if so that would be short sighted as you could just up sticks and take all your business elsewhere. There could be other reasons for her position. The
  6. I too was going to suggest Northern Ballet School in Manchester. My dd went there (many years ago) and was on their classical (ballet) strand - but the variety of dance styles taught enabled her to get a job on cruise ships when she wasn't able to find a job in classical ballet. Have you considered going down the contemporary route? The colleges which offer contemporary seem to prefer their students to be more mature than the schools with a predominantly ballet focus where most students start at 16. You would still get a strong ballet training, but with more diversification.
  7. @Oakley - I too am unable to answer your question directly as my dd went to vocational school at 16. There certainly are people who take 'unconventional' routes, but I think a lot will depend on who is teaching you, and their contacts. It is difficult enough to even be offered an audition for a ballet company, and I got the strong impression when dd was auditioning for companies that the name of the school and what professional level performance experience you had made a big impact on that. And that brings me to a second point about vocational school vs private lessons. At schoo
  8. I remember you - many a Saturday morning spent sat in the lobby at West Park
  9. My husband just asked me if there was a category for 'Retired Ballet Mums' on the forum? A category for ...'Been there, done it, got the grey hair!'. I know that there are many of us here who's DC's are now grown up, and I love that we can still be part of this community.
  10. With any appeal, I think it is worth considering ...what is to be gained? Will it make a difference to these students' future careers if their grades are increased? If so - maybe it is worth considering. If not - maybe it is better to accept it as a quirk of the bizarre times we live in and move on to the next stage in their training (which I'm sure they have already done anyway).
  11. BBC news says Morrisons are stepping up on the face masks thing - but how staff will identify people who are 'medically exempt' I don't know as there is no legal definition for who is medically exempt. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55618408
  12. 'Cooking in a Bedsitter' was my cookery bible as a student in the 80's, and I have bought many copies since for students going away to college.
  13. A Nutcracker is for life..not just for Christmas??? Or maybe not!
  14. It's interesting to notice how ones perception has changed. I often find myself thinking 'gosh they're standing close together', or 'how rude that he's getting in her face like that' when watching films and TV shows which were made pre-Covid.
  15. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago in a moment of mellow reflection. For me this sums up 2020: The year of walks and picnics. Of sunshine and muddy trousers. Of missing family, but getting to know the neighbours. Of saving money on holidays, and spending it in local businesses who have worked so hard, re-inventing themselves again and again to keep going. The year of statistics and lockdowns. Of online rum tasting and virtual festivals. Of realising that life doesn’t have to include commuting on crowded trains, visiting busy shops and big parties.
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