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cotes du rhone !

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  1. I see that Elmhurst are off to the US and Japan to hold auditions this year too 😒 Is this financially driven ? I think yes. There are a couple of Gofundme pages in circulation on social media for their students I’ve noticed.
  2. It’s not the only route and it’s not for everyone. I deeply regret letting our daughter go at 11 but we were naive and then when it started to go wrong too deep into it to make a rational decision to withdraw. It just sadly prolonged all our agony and if we had been brave then maybe she would still love ballet and found her happy place sooner. I think boys are very different. I know of quite a few who have started later and gone on to keep their love of ballet intact and have a wonderful career. My son is a happy dancer 😀 Good luck with you decision, go with your heart 💜
  3. Just ask a grad parent. They can decider the “ successfully secured a contract with ……….” which is in reality a trainee place that costs $ 10,000 a year. It’s still something to be celebrated and proud of but the next generation of parents need to know that the cost just rolls in after graduation for a majority of students. If others are honest and share then they can be prepared for the reality of the road ahead. I wish we had been warned. I like Trings approach to celebrating all their students 🥳
  4. He did 3 ballet classes a week in our local church hall, horrendous flooring 🤣. Then one associate class on a Saturday at Elmhurst for two years and then RBS SAs in Covent Garden for one year before getting a place at vocational school at 17. He attended Elmhurst and Malvern summer schools too. We were very naive back then at to what was actually available out there and thought that the only way to train was in a full time setting like his sister. After travelling the world and meeting so many other ballet students and parents we now know that it isn’t the only route. I feel he wasn’t prepared physically to make the leap from 4 plus local classes a week to full time and he got a bit broken. But now we are more aware of what we should have done to help him prepare. If you have any questions I’m very happy to help 😀
  5. You are so so right in every thing you have said. I found a lack of transparency and honesty during our daughter’s ballet journey. From the school and others who had gone before us. I wanted to share our story, the good and the bad. Like a majority of her year group she isn’t dancing professionally or at all actually. But is having an amazing time at University. It’s all she dreamed it would be and doesn’t regret her decision to stop ballet for one second. Most post vocational children don’t go onto have a full on professional career but that in no way means that they are unsuccessful or have failed. I don’t think the schools feel like this as they only seem too celebrate the small number of those who follow that pathway. And even that is a bit distorted or exaggerated in our experience too. The rest just disappear. In my children’s schools eyes, Ds is a wonderful, brag about success, and Dd doesn’t even get a mention on the grad destination list. Yet to us she is a survivor and a shining example of courage and determination to pursue another pathway. It’s the schools loss. They are missing a real opportunity to celebrate and be proud of all their students no matter what they choose to do post graduation. I would be happy to return to my children’s ballet school and talk honestly to prospective parents about our journey and outcome but I don’t think they would have me 🤣 Not attempting to portray perfection would I feel help them in improving the experience of their students.
  6. My son didn’t start ballet til he was 12 and trained locally and with associate programs until he went to vocational school at 17. He is now a professional ballet dancer. I feel that personally, boys especially, don’t need to go away for lower school. Our daughter went away at 11 and our experience of that is on other threads 😢 There are lots of positive opportunities for children to train whilst living at home x
  7. I’m so sorry for you and your child. I’m confused as to why you are not allowed to know how the school has dealt with the bullying. Also, why has there been no support offered ? In our experience the school played incidence / things down and liked to keep things very low key and in-house. You are correct that some policies don’t fit in with reality, take a look at the disordered eating one, if they have one, our schools was laughable. But we certainly weren’t laughing. I hope your child is ok, I really feel for you both xx
  8. @Luke Jennings You are so so right in everything you say. It was our responsibility as patents to speak up, but sadly you feel so isolated and afraid that you might be the only ones that you don’t. And then that time had past and you are left like me sharing experiences anonymously on a forum and accomplishing nothing 🙁
  9. Thank you 😊 In our line of work my husband and I are trained in safeguarding. But when your child enters a vocational school everything gets blurred. Those previously very clear decisions and actions become difficult as they come with consequences that may hurt your child further. So you become part of the problem. Our first experience was in the first 6 weeks. Now my brain fog has cleared I really can’t understand why we didn’t deal with it more firmly and not let it slide. Until you are faced with a situation in that environment you don’t know how you will act and if reported you trust that those caring for your child with do the right thing. Feelings of guilt and a child pleading with you not to call the school stop you reporting. If you break that trust you fear they will never be open and honest with you again causing further isolation and unhappiness. My heart goes out to all those that have been in this situation.
  10. @Luke Jennings you need to cast your net wider.
  11. I totally agree with what you are saying. It’s so hard though when the thing that they love/loved the most makes them so unhappy 🙁 and they just won’t give it up. Like your Dd mine too has found happiness away from ballet. She should have left sooner and not prolonged the physical and mental torture. It’s so damaging to keep hammering away when you are a square peg trying to fit into that round hole. Recovery takes time too and requires a lot of support and patience. I’m pleased your Dd is happy 😊
  12. On a very positive note ……. The academic staff at my children’s vocational school were fabulous. Not only in their subject teaching but in their emotional support. None of them had a dancing background, they were there to just listen without judgement. They have remained in contact after graduation too 😊 Without that support my daughter would not be having the most wonderful time at University. They really went the extra mile and I feel are the unsung heroes that don’t get a mention on the graduation destination list.
  13. When the school was inspected two children from each year group were selected by the leadership team to be interviewed. It certainly wasn’t going to be any of mine. They had a meeting prior to their interview and were coached on what questions they would be asked and their answers. The other children and parents completed an anonymous questionnaire about the school. We and others were honest about our experiences every time but the school always came up smelling of roses 🤔 The AD and principal were always very charming, helpful and approachable. But deep down I sadly don’t think they have the first clue as to what goes on in the ballet studio or what their pupils have to endure.
  14. I think it’s really hard for parents of a 10/11 year old to make the decision as to whether vocational boarding school is right for them. If you had asked me in 2012 when my daughter was in year 7 we would have given similar reviews to the posters above. Year 8 would have been good too. I remember the houseparent on that first drop off saying that it was going to be a sleep over with rules. And it was fun in the beginning. The girls made friends and we believed they were well cared for. There seemed to be no bullying, nastiness or issues with body image or food. I notice how there aren’t many posters of experience of the later years of lower school 🤔 The 9/10 and 11. The years when the serious business of ballet steps in and the assessments/assessing out/competitiveness kicks in. When the dynamics in the ballet class change as new children start and others depart. We were silent in these years. Quietly dealing with issues, smiling outwardly but inwardly crying 😢 I know I sound dramatic and full of bitterness but my daughter was successful if social media was to be believed. It’s hard to tell the truth. Fear of reprisals from the school and the ballet teacher if you go outside to seek help and talk about your experience. How can you as a parent persuade your daughter to increase her BMI above 16 when she gets so much praise and rewards for being like that. I say 16 because that is the schools cut off point for being taken off dance and being made to sit and watch the class instead. It’s cruel and damaging and does not help recovery. Specialist help outside the school was needed and she didn’t get it and we weren’t brave enough to take her out. She would have hated us. She loved ballet. It wasn’t just us that struggled. At some point they all did. Sort of like a silent epidemic. As one poster pointed out, there are very few lower school ballet boarding schools around the world. The majority start at 16. 11 is young. I don’t envy today’s parents making that decision. It’s tough. I just regret ours and wish I had been given a balanced view of others experiences before we said yes.
  15. @Balletmummy18 mentioned kindness. Last week I attended an NHS training day and we had a lecture on Incivility or rudeness and how this affects individuals and a teams performance. I think it resonates through all professions and teams and ballet schools and companies could learn a lot from it.
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