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About Dance*is*life

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  • Birthday August 15

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    My family, ballet, theatre and musical theatre, music, books,films etc etc.

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  1. I nagged and nagged my parents to let me leave my grammar school to which I'd won a scholarship through the 11+ . All I wanted was to dance! Eventually they agreed to let me go to a performing arts day school. I will never forget the momentous day when our incredibly awe inspiring, tweed suited headmistress came out of her inner sanctum to try and dissuade me! I remember her words to this day - What if you don't succeed as a dancer? You won't be able to go on to university from there! My ingenuous reply that I could always become a housewife probably led her to wash her hands of me! But I have always blessed the fact that my parents let me do what I wanted, including going to the Royal Ballet upper school. I was very lucky in that the LCC, as it was known then, allowed my original scholarship, which I had given up, to be transferred to RBS. They renamed it an Advanced Academic Award and I was invited to a party in the County Hall for those with this award. I was a bit embarrassed to admit that I was going to train in ballet, when they were all off to do serious subjects at uni, but no - they told me that they actually envied me, because I was studying something I loved and knew what I wanted. I succeeded in having a performing career, turned to teaching when I got married and for twenty years had a second performing career as a character artiste with our pro ballet company. I also have a degree - a B.Phil (Hons) - through the RAD - just to prove my old headmistress wrong and I got it with First Class Honours! I have had a life of ballet, which has continued to fulfil and inspire me and honestly I wouldn't have had it any other way. My kids and grandkids and lovely hubby all know that for me truly dance is life............
  2. YBSS in York is excellent. Extremely high standard, great teachers and wonderful master classes in the evening. Lovely atmosphere and challenging too. If she can get in there, I recommend it even though it doesn't lead on to an upper dchool.
  3. I broke my ankle twenty years ago and it took me 6 months to get back to dancing again properly. I was in plaster for 6 weeks but did gentle exercises all the time and when they took the plaster off they were really surprised at how well I'd kept the muscle tone. Physio and patience is the order of the day. I do remember going to the physiotherapist for the first time and telling her that I'd lost a great deal of flexibility and couldn't point properly. She asked me to point and seemed to think it was fine - until I showed her my other foot!!!! The moral is try and find a physiotherapist who works regularly with dancers!
  4. As an RAD teacher myself, I think it's rather unreasonable to make your daughter wait so long just to take an exam. The exams give the students a goal and maķe them work harder, but I find that working for the exam longer than necessary has a detrimental effect on their progress. Some children do take longer than others, but not being in the UK we only have one exam session a year. If a child really isn't ready by then for the exam, we put them up anyway at the end of the year in the hope that they'll catch up. I very often find that sooner or later they'll be ready for an exam, and in the meantime their interest and enthusiasm has been maintained. Exams can't be compulsory- what if a parent can't afford them? If the school is being unhelpful I would definitely suggest you look fof an alternative.......
  5. It's fabulous that the ballet schools are getting brand new state of the art studios! Central is moving to the South Bank in a few months. Makes all the difference to have purpose built modern studios!
  6. Just wondered if anyone has heard anything about when ENB are moving? I thought the new building was supposed to have been ready by now, but I gather it's not.
  7. Thanks - I was sure I saw posé! Funny thing to ask for though - wouldn't you automatically include them in an adage -especially as they also ask for promenades!
  8. I'm helping a student prepare a video audition for RBS. One of the requirements for the adage in the centre is a grand posé. I'm presuming it's a step into an open position - like in the advanced temps lié en l'air. Does anyone know for sure what they want? Thanks in advance!
  9. I have to say that I disagree with sewing the ribbons and elastics only on the canvas, as I feel it makes the sides "gape" away from the foot. I do tiny stitches to catch the very top of the draw-string binding, without touching the actual draw-strings. This ensures that the ribbons/elastics are snug round the foot.
  10. I bought Capezio full soles and they are so soft and flexible it is almost like wearing split soles! They are very tight fitting, so good for narrow feet - I had to buy a size larger than usual!
  11. I would like to join in sending sincere condolenses to his family and to the balletcoforum family for whom his passing is also a loss. Sad news indeed.
  12. Not at all! Of course we all want to get top marks and prove to ourselves that we have value. It's natural and perfectly understandable. I'm just saying please don't take it to heart if you don't get the mark you want. It is definitely not true that if you get a low mark, you have no worth........ All the best of luck !
  13. I'd like to say something. Exam results are just that - the marks given by someone who sees you just once on a particular day. Examiners don't know your history and background - they have to mark on what they see on that particular day and they are also human, so can be affected by circumstances beyond their control. All this means that you may well not receive the mark you hoped for. However, in my opinion, the most important thing that results from taking an exam is the improvement that occurs from having the goal of the exam in sight. Not all my students are equally talented and some may be but can't cope with exam pressure - when exams are over I always see such an improvement in my students' work. I always tell them that what is important to me as their teacher is to see how much the work leading up to the exam has pushed them on and allowed them to develop significantly, regardless of what their eventual mark will be. I see the results in their technical and artistic advance. So please bear that in mind. I sincerely hope that you'll get the mark you're hoping for, but even if you don't, I'm sure you'll have improved considerably and benefited from working towards your exam.
  14. Thank you all very much - that's very useful. I will pass on the info!
  15. Just wondered if anyone knows anything about Preston Dance College? A teacher who trained there for 3 years has applied for a teaching position , so we are curious. It's not a school I'm familiar with. Thank you.
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