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  1. This, in spades. And make sure you tell her that you are really proud of her.
  2. If he is at vocational school, then 90% of what they are teaching him won't be exam syllabus work anyway. Don't worry.
  3. 14 and grade 3?! That's ridiculous, and quite frankly absurd. If the teacher can't get them to a sensible grade by that age then he/she is an appalling teacher. I know my dd was pushed along a bit quicker, but she'd taken her grade 7 by then. Average recreatiional students who have been dancing a while should be in grade 5 or 6 at 14, and the very keen ones would probably starting a little pointe work in a vocational grade as well. Most teachers would probably start a 14-year-old complete beginner in grade 4. Around 18 months for a recreational dancer is about right, although many schools only have exam sessions annually so some grades might take a year, others 2. One would normally expect a child of 8 to have already taken grade 1 (or be about to) and starting on grade 2. Not being held back so much that they haven't even taken primary yet. In my view you need to get your dd out of there as soon as possible.
  4. She may have suddenly announced her decision, but I wonder how long she has been thinking about it. Starting on the advanced grades really ramps things up. It starts to get physically, technically and emotionally demanding and the level of determination, dedication and commitment has to increase also. Maybe she's just decided that although she loves ballet, she doesn't love it enough.
  5. The school should make no money at all from the exam itself. All they are supposed to do is collect the exam fees and pass them on to the examining body.
  6. There is a ballet school in Hitchin, Hertfordshire which teaches the Russian method I believe, although I can't remember what it is called and I have no personal knowledge of the school. Is it particularly the Russian method you are looking for?
  7. On the whole, especially for dance/MT it is far better to stay at home until you are 18 and get some A-levels under your belt. You never know where a career in dance may lead, and for some it does turn out to be unexpectedly curtailed for various reasons. If you have A-levels, then there are far more options open to you in years to come if things don't work out as planned. As others have already mentioned, most of the dance/MT colleges (and for contemporary also) actively prefer students to start at 18+.
  8. AAarghhh... ! After a very trying week, please can somebody stop the world so I can get off for a few days? Feeling rather wrung out at the moment. Oh, and does anybody want three cats? Not my cats and not my problem, but has now been foisted on me to sort out.
  9. Oh no, what terribly sad news. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.
  10. It is good that you are getting an MRI scan. Make sure that the person looking at the results knows that you are a dancer. Has nerve damage or tarsal tunnel syndrome been ruled out? I can't help wondering whether the issue is in your ankle and there is a trapped nerve there, and the pain is going down to your toes. Also, it appears that you have had an awful lot of intervention and treatment, but you haven't actually rested the injury for very long. Perhaps all the treatment is continually stirring things up all the time, and continuing to dance in the meantime is not giving the injury the time it needs. I don't know how many hours a week you are dancing, but it may be that you need a much longer time off - up to 6 months or even more. Hopefully the poster DrDance will be along soon with some professional advice for you.
  11. I booked a week off work so I could stay at home and do loads of much-needed jobs around the house and garden, only to be faced with a sweltering week and the two hottest July days in the UK since records began. Needless to say I've done practically nothing, and have been lolling about wishing I was back at work in my nice air-conditioned office.
  12. Partner work is essential, yes. And in class they all take turns so everybody gets a go. The trouble is that there is usually (at least this was the situation in my dd's school) more women than men in a given year group. So when it comes to rehearsing for performances and training for classical pas-de-deux variations, the school will match particular pairs who suit one another together and they will be cast in those roles. This is commonplace in professional companies. Which means that since there are more females in the school, some of them will not be cast in pas-de deux roles so they get less pas-de-deux variation coaching than others. I hope that makes sense.
  13. I have only just stumbled on this thread today (and can't read the article as the link doesn't work for me) but as someone who watched a large number of classes over the space of 15 years, and having had a dd go on to full-time vocational training, perhaps there is a point to be made here. I have seen with my own eyes, and had it relayed to be by dd, that the male students in training get much more in the way of attention, individual coaching and virtuosity training than the female students. There seems to be the view that dancing girls are ten a penny, but the few boys are fawned over, supported and encouraged far more, right from the very beginning. Female students in vocational training generally spend much more time on corps work (where they all have to be alike and individuality is frowned on), and only a select few are chosen for individual coaching in classical variations. Whereas the boys are coached in partner work, and usually matched with the same few favoured female students (so the others don't get a look-in), and the lads get a lot of opportunities to show their individuality and personality in solo variations. So perhaps that is why female dancers are perceived to be falling behind their male couterparts.
  14. Indeed. The only reason my dd is remaining a member is so that she can continue to use the letters ARAD. Which in itself is a bit of a bugbear with be. Surely once qualified as an ARAD then always an ARAD.
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