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  1. Rumer Godden: it’s A Candle For St Jude, not a Candle in the Wind 😂 and Listen to the Nightingale. I confess that I found copies of these quite recently and re-read them with enjoyment and I am considerably older than 12 and read widely and voraciously. Jean Ure: the other one is Hi There Supermouse.
  2. I loved (and re-read as a teenager 😉) the Moth Graham books by Jean Richardson (The First Step, Dancer in the Wings and One Foot on the Ground) and also the dance books by Jean Ure (Nicola Mimosa, A Proper Little Nooryeff and one title which currently escapes me). The Rumer Godden dance books were also enjoyable - ?Candle in the Wind (although I’m now doubting myself about that title - and humming the Elton John song) and at least one more. I shall try to find the correct title/s. I also preferred Curtain Up by Noel Streatfeild to her Ballet Shoes. (I realise that this is probably sacr
  3. I couldn’t agree more. I got very tired hearing that one associate scheme had continued to reject a particular child for 3 years solely because she wasn’t tall for her age and that another child had only had successes at various festivals because a relative of hers had once been a well-known teacher in the area. It is very easy to ‘blame’ any perceived successes of a child who isn’t one’s own on something that isn’t the extremely likely truth that they were simply a better fit at the time for that particular scheme/festival category, etc.
  4. DD was lucky enough to be taught by Brenda Last on a few occasions. She found her demanding, incisive and exceptionally inspiring. This coaching will be a joy to watch, I’m sure.
  5. Tears streaming down my face at that, Tango Dancer! 🤣🤣👏👏
  6. I have no idea whether they do satin split soles but when DD was younger we found that Roch Valley satin shoes were nicely narrow. I hope you find a pair of split soles that work for your DD!
  7. I believe from a friend that the dance CAT schemes also offer MDS funding? If so - and if these MDS awards affect the vocational schools’ ‘pot’, then as the only classical ballet CAT scheme is the Nothern Ballet one I am not sure why each of the CAT schemes have MDS funding available? Surely they can’t be said to be offering a classical ballet based course when they are very clearly contemporary based save for Northern Ballet and places on the other CAT schemes will not be awarded based on candidates’ suitability for classical ballet training?
  8. Is this run Francesca Hayward’s debut as Odette/Odile? Or has she danced the role/s elsewhere but not in this production?
  9. RAD Primary used to include polkaing with a partner. Wearing our white dresses with ?pink sashes (or was it pink, blue, white and yellow as for badges for the graded exams) and remembering to dance so close to our partners that ‘we could hold a newspaper between us’.
  10. DD had cellulitis as a result of a blister caused as a result of one of her sports. It was nasty and lasted quite some time despite all appropriate medical treatment. I absolutely agree that blisters must be taken seriously, Pups_mum.
  11. I’m sure there is more chance for a Y7 place simply because that is a new intake of students as a year group, rather than hoping that a Y9 place will be available. In addition, a student hoping to enter WL or any vocational school in Y9 will need to be technically proficient enough to join a class of students who will mostly have been training at WL (or another vocational school) since they were in Y7. A less experienced and less technically proficient student who has talent, musicality, the ‘right’ physique and a burning passion for dance may be successful at audition for Y7 however
  12. I thought Ian McKellen - a masterclass in acting a song, Steven McRae - also great at putting across a song in just the right manner, embodying his character completely and of course absolutely fabulous dancing, and Laurie Davidson (the actor playing Mr Mistoffelees) were much the best things in the movie. Much as Francesca Hayward has an expressive (and very beautiful) face which the camera loves, I felt it would have been better for her to have done the bare minimum in terms of singing and certainly not to be given the new song - which is instead sung by Taylor Swift in the credits - and for
  13. I agree, Fonty - I also trained at a good amateur dance school and as far as I remember our choice was between Gambas and Freeds. There was no discussion about widths/platform size/profile/vamp lengths etc. So thank goodness for the developments in pointe shoes and the wide choice now available, with advice as to which features of which shoes would suit individual dancers, especially as ballet itself has developed and different kinds of choreography place different demands on dancers.
  14. I couldn’t agree more, Anna C. Pointe shoes have developed so that dancers can now almost always find shoes which suit their feet in every respect and can choose different shoes for different roles if they so choose. Whether or not the audience consider that the shoes are the ‘prettiest’ is absolutely immaterial. Furthermore, the wider, more square-looking shoes are not being worn to make balancing easier (DD, only ever an amateur dancer, was quite clear that the size of the platform did not affect her ability to balance once she had danced in the shoes for half an hour or so) but because they
  15. How awful for the studio owner to treat you like this, Viv! I assume that your ballet teacher only teaches at this studio? Is it worth asking her advice as to how to proceed and explaining how you feel about the studio owner’s behaviour towards you? Obviously she may not be able to offer any solution but may be in a position to have some influence with the studio owner, especially as you say she has a state-wide reputation for her teaching and presumably the studio owner wants to keep her on.
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