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Everything posted by JulieW

  1. Hi HBM Thanks to Annabel for pointing me in this direction - since I stopped being a moderator I don't read the posts as regularly! I can empathise completely. My son was assessed out of WL year 9 over 10 years ago and I still had to fight back tears when I was talking to someone about it recently. It's such a huge thing at the time - your whole life gets turned upsidedown and they don't just have to change school - they are leaving their 2nd home. I'm happy to chat more privately but here's my initial thoughts - you've had some excellent advice here about seeing a physio for feedback on any potential issues (like Shirley but it might also be worth speaking to the lady who runs MIDAS). A lot of time has passed and new staff in place - when we were there the school were pretty hopeless at saying why he was assessed out other than (as we knew) his lack of flexibility compared to others. Also have you spoken to RBS about doing associates? They offered my son a mids place (I was a bit cross with the director of the school at the time and wanted to walk away completely, but if my son hadn't gone to Elmhurst, he would've gone to his old dance school and MAs). We've known a couple of children to be assessed out, have some intensive 121 training and get back in again. Not something we'd've done but it might've been nice to turn them down 😉 My son stayed until the end of the year. A couple of others in his year didn't and I always felt sad that they just "disappeared". My son held his head high, worked hard and improved over the next term. He had a chance to feel he'd "finished" his time there, and had a leaving party at the end of the year. It was heartbreaking for me personally going to every "last" event (and I was on the PTA so I even helped out at the "induction" day for new students/parents - goodness knows how), the summer fair and especially the end of year ROH performance but I'm glad he stayed and I believe he's glad too. He'd've missed not doing them. Once they're back, they soon get back into everything and stop thinking about the fact they're leaving until the year draws to a close Over the years I've seen some children give up ballet altogether after being assessed out, most have carried on in some form, either other vocational schools or local schools with added associates or workshops - there's so much more available now than even in our day! For us it was always about having the opportunity to see if he could be a great dancer. He turned out to be a good dancer who went on to have a short ballet career and stopped by choice. Even if and when it turns out to be the end of the ballet dream, the experience is never wasted. That's it from me for now. Please do message me if you'd like to chat about more personal stuff. Please don't be ashamed but it's normal to be very upset x
  2. I know it's a while since my son was at WL and Elmhurst, but none of his classmates took "associate" Saturday classes. Some did summer schools but not all (we were all broke - couldn't afford it on top lol)
  3. Facebook reminded that 10 years ago today my son was offered a place at ENBS. I was more than a little excited having felt very stressed for weeks over the auditions - we heard on the day of the final audition and we were still waiting to hear from others schools at the time. He went to WL from year 7 to 9 then to Elmhurst, which is where he chose to stay for upper school in the end. He went on to work in a ballet company in Europe for 3 years before coming back to work freelance in the UK but then decided to give up dancing. We (that does include him) don't regret a minute despite some terrible lows - there were plenty of highs to keep us going. It was always about giving him the opportunity to try and see what happened with no regrets of "what if?". Out of his WL year group most have gone on to be professional dancers - well the boys at least. I'm not sure about all the girls - fewer of them are still dancing. All you can do is make the best decisions you can at the time without looking too far ahead because you just don't know what's going to happen. Some will go on to be Royal Ballet principals, most won't, but they will have amazing experiences along the way.
  4. Our experience of my son being assessed out of WL was about 10 years ago now, but I remember it like it was yesterday. He went on to a new school and a career (albeit short - his choice in the end) as a ballet dancer. I'm happy to chat online or on the phone to anyone who would like some support - just send me a pm. I'm no longer a moderator on here but have been a member since the early original forum days and have seen a lot of ups and downs for lots of people as well as our own!
  5. Vague info so as not to make too public, but here's the outline of the situation. Friend has done some drawings for her friend (for a sports-type course). Her friend has asked her to sign over copywright to the drawings. My friend would like to get some advice on a few aspects of the situation - she's happy to pay obviously but can't afford to spend a fortune! Any ideas on where she could go?
  6. Hopefully your mum, as an ex-dancer can help you out with some advice on exams, summer schools and auditions. Did she train in the UK?
  7. As a recently "retired" moderator, I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year and I hope 2019 brings you joy, and how that the moderators have a peaceful year ahead without too many issues to deal with!!
  8. Thanks so much everyone, even though some of you have made me cry! Some of us have certainly seen some bad times together, but also plenty of great times. (And Karen made me laugh with the "dancing grandparent" comment - I'll do my best 😉 ) I won't be going far - I'll still be popping in to read threads of interest and chipping in if I feel I can contribute. My eldest son's girlfriend is still a professional dancer (and BASI qualified Pilates instructor in the Wimbledon area - if anyone's interested in 121s or classes please do get in touch - she's fab!!!) and we have friends who perform in ballet companies and the West End, so I have plenty of excuses for watching regularly.
  9. Just thought I'd post on here as I know lots of people in the Doing Dance - whether in person or just "virtually". I just wanted to let you know that I have stepped down as a moderator. I became a moderator when the new balletcoforum started, having been a member of the old ballet.co forum since about 2001 I think, when my son was starting out in JAs, but as I haven't had a child in ballet education for many years now, and no longer have a performer in the family since my son changed career, I find I don't have as much to contribute these days - I was therefore mainly only coming onto the forum to help out with moderation. I've found my other interests (and work) have taken over my time so I can't give the forum the attention it needs. I hope I've been of help to some of you over the years with my experience of JAs with a boy and a girl, knowledge of White Lodge and Elmhurst, the trials and tribulations of being assessed out of WL, dealing with injuries, auditioning for schools and then companies. When I started on the original forum I was looking for information about WL and there was just one, yes one, post about the school. We didn't have Facebook...... When our audition results came in they were by letter and we rang each other up (if we'd remembered to ask fellow JA parents for their phone numbers) to find out what was going on 😂😂 My previously (seriously) dancing children are now adults in their 20s - one's a personal trainer (until he works out what else he'd like to do) and one's a vet (her new rugby coach asked her what sport she did before she took up rugby at uni - her answer was "ballet"). I will never forget the 3 biggest moments in my son's dancing life - getting the offer letter from WL, getting the "assessed out" letter from WL, and his phone call telling me he'd got a contract in a ballet company - I wouldn't change it for the world. The forum's an amazing resource - please keep it the friendly, informative place it always has been. My final pieces of advice for parents of aspiring dancers, from my own experience: You'll learn as you go along - don't try to learn everything in one go - it will all fall into place with experience Give your children opportunities to see if this ballet lark could be a future career, but many talented dancers change their minds as they grow older, or don't get a place at vocational school - it's sad when they stop but it's not the end of the world Keep talking to your children - especially the ones at full-time vocational schools - about whether they still really want it - they have to really want it to be successful, and they might still change their minds later It's a rollercoaster ride - there will be highs and lows and at some point you might step off, or you might fall off - but there is life outside the theme park! ENJOY THE RIDE WHILE IT LASTS I'll still be popping in for a read to see how you're getting on. If you ever need help, especially with issues around the assessment process, or children choosing to give up, please do send me a PM and I'll offer a listening ear with the benefit of my experience. Bye for now - maybe see you at the ROH.
  10. Here we are on graduation day - had to do a selfie. Started work as a vet this week - sounds like she's had a great week.
  11. I find it weird tbh. As long as you know how to apply stage make-up, that's all that should matter. It doesn't make them a better performer out improve their technique and that's what they're at college for. I find it sexist to say girls have to wear make-up on a daily basis. Why should they? Grrrr
  12. We have a friend in the final - so thrilled for her!!!!
  13. Just to add my experience into the pot.... My daughter wanted to be a ballet dancer from a very young age, got into RBS JAs and had a wonderful couple of years with them, and was certain she was heading to WL to join her brother. Sadly (at the time) it was not to be - she hit puberty and grew boobs and hips - her talent remained but her physique meant it was not to be. But she found a love of science and academics at secondary school and has just qualified as a vet. Good luck with whatever the future holds - enjoy the journey.
  14. Great opportunity. My son worked with them after they were looking last minute for a male dancer a few years ago (and he'd recently returned from 3 years in a European company). Sadly he injured his back after a few performances and gave up dance shortly afterwards (not directly related, but partly!!). The last time I saw him on stage was with them - they gave him a walk-on part as a pizza delivery boy 😁
  15. Welcome from me too. I'm sure you'll hear from some Tring parents, past and present, soon, but my impression had always been that academics are pretty good there. But let's see....
  16. Thank you so much everyone - sorry for the delay replying, been on a camping holiday in the Peak District for a couple of weeks enjoying this fabulous weather! We only saw her briefly before we went away - to clear out and clean the house - so it was lovely to have a celebratory drink or two in the garden last night. Now looking forward to Thursday and graduation - although it's an early start as they've given them the first time slot and they've got to sign the RVC register beforehand, so we've got to be there at 7.30 🤔. I'll try to put a photo on! Right, must go.... Got a mountain of washing to do.
  17. Hello and welcome to the forum. Two of my children were RBS JAs but it was a very long time ago so I'll leave the newer parents to tell you all about it. You've obviously already read quite a bit on here. Keep reading - we all have to learn as we go along.
  18. Well here we are.... I first started this thread in November 2012 with the above message. Yesterday we heard that she passed all her final exams so we now have a doctor in the house (they've only been able to call themselves "Dr" in the UK since 2015 https://www.rvc.ac.uk/news-and-events/press-office/veterinary-surgeons-can-be-called-doctors) We are exceptionally proud of her. It's so hard to get into vet school in the first place, then such hard work all the way through, with long days of lectures, constant exams and assessments, virtually no holiday breaks to speak of due to placements. Not all of her friends have made it to the end but those who have are so lovely and it was amazing to hear everyone in the background on the phone sounding so excited. Graduation will be extra special this time (some of you will remember she got a first class degree in her 3rd year so we had a graduation then too) because the 5th years go back to the vet school in the afternoon to sign the register enabling them to practise as a vet. It's going to be happy and sad at the same time - they're such a close-knit community. She has a job to go to starting in September so she's going to have a lovely summer. She's going to write to all the people who have helped her along the way, from the farm where she went lambing in year 11, to the lady who let her help with her dog's whelping, to the farms and vets who have taught her so much. She's going to be busy. And thanks to all of you who have supported me along the way too. It's hard work being a "dance mum" but a "vet student mum" too is possibly harder 🤣
  19. I haven't been (to the summer fair) for a couple of years now but before that had been every year since my son first went to JAs (and he's nearly 25 now). Such a lovely day out and my memorable moments include: watching him and his friends doing the sword dance (with metal swords) during a thunderstorm, seeing my daughter dance there as a JA on the same day as watching him perform as a year 8, helping on the door to the theatre (on a rare rainy day) and stopping one of the mums from taking her dogs in much to her indignation, and winning a raffle prize of an oil painting of Lauren Cutherbertson's pointe shoes and my daughter having her photo taken with Lauren. Even after my son was assessed out I went most years to catch up with friends. He's been with me a couple of times and was always greeted enthusiastically by the staff. Sadly, most have changed now so it doesn't have quite the same draw for me. It's still a very magical place though.
  20. Far too young and so sad for his wife and daughter as well as the many others who will miss him. My son loved being taught by him, and enjoyed some socialising too! RIP Errol
  21. Welcome to the forum Curlypearl! My JA experience was many years ago now (son's now nearly 25!) but he got a place from the waiting list and then went to White Lodge, followed by Elmhurst, then danced professionally for 3 years (sadly no longer, but hey ho....) Daughter got straight in but then didn't get WL or MAs much to everyone's suppose at the time, but then decided to dance for fun (but seriously) throughout her teens and concentrate on academics instead - she's (hopefully) about to qualify as a vet). Youngest son also got waiting list and didn't get in. Quickly realised he was only doing it because the others did lol. We hear of lots on Thistle forum who don't get in the first (or other) time but go on to have dance careers. I'm just saying all this here to show you that there are many different stories behind children applying for JAs. Good luck to everyone waiting to hear. You'll have many more years of this kind of waiting ahead if they continue on this mad path - believe me - it gets worse 🤣
  22. I'd echo this. Look at me - I've been on the forum for about 16 or 17 years and I'm still here after my son gave up professional dance nearly 3 years ago!
  23. Good luck to him in his new job Lisa!
  24. What lovely news. Sorry I can't help with any advice but the regional final probably won't feel different to him than the festival, so I hope he enjoys it.
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