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  1. This is such an achievement! Well done to him.
  2. To be fair, a lot of it is the lighting - it can be very unfortunate. I warned a student at my school about the need to double underlayer given the style and colour of the bottom of his costume (grey lycra). He didn't believe me. But his parents were seen placing a Prime order during the interval of the first performance!
  3. There are no 100% musts for anything - every ballet school will have exceptions to every "rule." If you can cope with rejection there is no harm in trying for anything. Be guided by your teachers, and associate teachers if appropriate, as to the reality of the chance of success. And to quote King Lear, regarding results and second guessing No, I will weep no more. In such a night To shut me out? Pour on; I will endure. In such a night as this? O Regan, Goneril! Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all— O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that. Good luck to your DC.
  4. I'm not sure what others did but .. DS stayed for 1 week to do RAD exam one summer - yep, from 1step to taking exam in a week. Also took summer school at RCS and open class at Scottish Ballet. Came home and did Chantry summer school, and took class with them when the company was back in September. A couple of weeks at the cheapest-we-could-find European summer school. Relaxed, cycled, worked at the local pub to earn some money. Weight training at local cheapy gym (also did this while in Scotland). We couldn't afford Prague let alone US camps but the options were there if you looked for them most years - sometimes we couldn't even run to that. And we didn't have a "home" ballet school he could go back to. I don't think he ever went more than a couple of weeks without class and I don't think the rest did him any harm. He certainly picked up remarkably few injuries during his training. Going back physically and mentally strong were more important than the technical aspect.
  5. Can I just say that being assessed out, or changing school, isn't necessarily the end of the world (although it certainly seems like it at the time). For us it forced an issue that needed forcing - DS clearly wasn't flourishing at his first school. Which he went on to do elsewhere. It wasn't necessarily the dancing, it was the whole ethos and environment which was wrong for him. I can honestly say I don't think he would have been able to move on to the wonderful RCS, or work abroad at 18, if it wasn't for his time at Hammond. It was the right place for him dance, socially and academically, with a far more equitable approach to their students than his previous school. DS is now sharing a role in an upcoming production of his current company with one of his original cohort. The ultimate proof that there are many roads to Rome ...
  6. Scottish Ballet are using a recent former student to choreograph some of their projects.
  7. Not sure about the current hours - DS graduated nearly 4 years ago - but students have gone on to have successful careers in both contemporary and ballet fields.
  8. I think the difference, for state schools, is League Tables. MFL may, for example, be compulsory as they are an Ebacc subject. Don't get me started ...
  9. Having had two children changing school for year 10 (one changing vocational ballet the other starting vocational music) my observations: The biggest challenges were: Making sure that your DC is correctly set for ability - DD was in too low a set for maths but this only became apparent at A level when missed material at GCSE came to light. DS vastly overestimated his ability to complete GCSE music based on his level 8 performance at previous vocational school. I still have no idea how they came up with that one. Syllabus mismatch - make sure you know what the school you are going to has already covered - especially if they have a 3 year GCSE syllabus. Also exam board/module choices. I know I shouldn't say it but .. teachers. Not all teachers are created equal. DD was taught German by someone for whom it was a 3rd language. Not ideal. I wish I had checked previous exam performance. Not perfect but at least an indicator. I didn't know anyone where she went to school but DS picked a subject he went on to love because he had heard from friends what a great teacher took the subject. Definitely one for PMs - one advantage of this forum is that someone will know who teaches what at xxx. Having said that, having had a great grammar school grounding DD was able to come out with a decent set of GCSEs. And it meant that she could make informed choices at A level, knowing the staff. Year 10 was, for both of them, a good changing point. Enough time to benefit from the excellent vocational training, make friends and that lovely in-between freedom when you know they are safe but they feel they are not too constrained.
  10. Likewise - ditto 3 A levels is the new norm, even for the Oxbridge/Russell Group universities. A few take 4 but not many.
  11. My son didn't get a place at WL primarily, so I am lead to believe, because he was so bendy. Having been a JA he was a known quantity and was whisked off for an assessment on arrival. They were concerned about hypermobility and possible lack of core strength. I was told his body type and overall presentation was more suitable for another named school. He did develop core strength but very late, would love just a tenth of that flexibility back now, and (touching wood) his career from Y10 onwards has been a slow but steady upwards trajectory. They know what they are looking for unfortunately we don't!
  12. I hope she has a splendid day. Kudos to your DD for being able to change her opinion. It's a skill as adults we tend not to always use ...
  13. I take it she has changed her mind about not wanting to take things further ☺️
  14. I so agree we tend to be "humble and grateful .." experience of first vocational school was the "chosen few" were probably chosen at the end of the first week of Y7 - the rest were paying the electricity bill. One advantage of being assessed out (and yes, there really are some) was moving to a school where opportunities were more equitably shared. Ditto being at a less well known upper school. Of the 12 in his year 10 got jobs (real paid jobs) or apprenticeships at a variety of establishments in Europe and the US. No, they weren't always the most prestigious companies but they were sufficient to start careers. They also came out of the school mentally and physically in good shape. Very happy to discuss help given to DS if anyone PMs me, but I suspect that this varies as much within institutions as between them so not sure if you can generalise from an individual experience.
  15. Hard as it is, try not to think too far ahead - one thing that is certain about RBS is that they are a law unto themselves. No second guessing. And please don't think WL/MA is the only route to a successful dance career, it's simply not the case. Try and leave as many doors open as possible for next year, based on what suits your child and their aspirations - not what is considered "best" and take it from there.
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