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  1. Thanks - would the young readers' Misty Copeland be suitable for late Year 8/Year 9? That awkward age - I can't (won't!) let them at the senior section (year 10 and above) , but they need something to get their teeth into. Meadowblythe
  2. LNER looks pretty ghastly for the next couple of months. Some weekends already announced as don't go to London https://www.lner.co.uk/travel-information/travelling-later/kings-cross-upgrade/ Others with very reduced service. I often drive to Stevenage and just get the train from there - at present more reliable than getting the train the whole way from the Midlands, as so many services that you can jump on for the last 20 minutes. I stay at the Holiday Inn Express so I can park my car and just walk to the station. £4 for as long as you are staying ..
  3. Any performance will enhance both your lives and that of your DC. It doesn't have to be ballet - or even dance. Learning to love the theatre, and appreciate the skill and artistry of both on stage and off stage performers, is all part of joining the artistic world. Here's a challenge: go to a performance. Count how many people you can see on stage and off stage (programme sellers, security, box office staff, the sound engineer at the back of the auditorium.) Work out how many must be there, but you can't see (stage manager, lighting technician, follow spot, automation - those trap doors don't move themselves, musicians, make up, wigs, wardrobe ..). What percentage of the total company are performing? How long is the average performer on stage? That said, the Victoria and Albert museum has a fascinating theatre/ballet/musical theatre section I could visit every week. And I'd take a 9 year old to Matilda.
  4. Good luck BalletBear! For which schools have you chosen to audition? Don't forget to pack spare everything ...
  5. I wondered if anyone had read the Young Reader's Edition of Life in Motion? I think the "full fat" version might be little too much for our younger students but is there enough to keep year 8s engaged in the cut down version?
  6. I'm fortunate the head is a huge fan. Occasionally drops in just a bit of peace and quiet as do other members of staff. And our upcoming Harry Potter night is starting with students bieng sorted by mixing chemicals together - should produce one of the four house colours - head of chemistry is as big a kid as I am!
  7. My DS's favourite ever dance book. I haven't bought it because I wasn't convinced what suited a vocational boy would sit well in a general library, but now there is another vote I can go ahead and add it to our stock. Living in a rural fairly insular part of the UK it's great to remind the students there's a big wide world out there.
  8. I have also discovered Peril en Pointe by Helen Lipscombe which looks quite fun. Some of my readers have an insatiable desire for boarding school and/or whodunnit stories - Murder Most Ladylike, Mallory Towers (really!), Agatha Christie, Mysterious Benedict .. so I'm hoping this is as much fun as it looks.
  9. They sound perfect! Better too in depth than too lightweight - they are quite a sophisticated bunch of readers.
  10. I've been asked by some year 8s to acquire some dance books for our school library. Ideally they'd like some on technique (they said ISTD but I think they may be pushing their luck here!) and also a couple of biographies - we have Hope in a Ballet Shoe but I fear others are now pretty outdated. If anyone can suggest singing technique books along the same lines that would be wonderful. We have a number of older students who also dance so obviously I am hoping to stock titles that will also appeal to them.
  11. Agree with Peanut 68. As an aside, when my musical DD was at Junior Conservatoire, the opinion was that entering as private candidates, or with old teachers, would boost results by 10 marks on average compared with being examined at the conservatoire. Somewhat ironic as a condition of taking lessons at JD was that you didn't take them elsewhere. Equally ironically, none of the full time conservatoires care about which exams you have passed anyway.
  12. Ds wears flesh coloured - or whatever is provided! When he was younger a big fan of Capezio, Sancha So Danca. If in doubt, Sheila Beelam is your person.
  13. Interestingly, my dancing son doesn't promote dancewear - sports shoes, mens accessories ... as I mentioned he's not exactly RB standard but he does look a fit and healthy young man. His photography is done by his flatmate on a phone, with exception of aforementioned filming exercise. That was a friend from junior school who happens to study film-making .. and he's looking at starting a youtube channel - with some brazilian footballers he knows from the town where he lives so again thinking fitness rather than dance. I am wondering what this says about his own self image. As with all things ballet he is learning new life skills: how to negotiate a deal, to work with a company outside his area of expertise, digital marketing skills (he can tell which photos will increase his following), financial awareness, working internationally (he lives in a different country from any of the three companies he promotes, and none of them are even on the same time zone as each other). It has also opened up new pathways for when he finishes ballet - he'd always assumed he'd move into some sort of gym based role but has really enjoyed the whole digital marketing experience and is now hoping there may be opportunities in this direction. Hopefully this will be many years in the future, but you can never tell.
  14. My son is a dancer and endorses products. Working in Eastern europe it makes a huge difference to his income. He only endorses products he believes in (one a shoe brand he lusted after for years and could never afford to buy, they now send him pairs in return for him posting on Instagram). Another accessories company put some money in his account to "tell his story." 100,000 viewings later, maybe some people who never knew about ballet or thought about it have learnt a little about the life and how the sacrifices that need to be made. He is a good-but-not-great dancer - will never dance for ENB or RB but makes a living and gets some good roles. Unfortunately, what is good for Eastern Europe goes very little when it comes to flights home, and chipping in for Christmas presents is a real struggle. I know he saved his commission from the accessories company to buy all the males of the family (and probably some females!) presents. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll send you the link to the video.
  15. He came to a school I worked in about 25 years ago to record an episode of his programme. Even though they showed him pulling a roasted bird from our bread oven he tried 6 and burnt them all to a crisp - so cooked it in a microwave and just pulled it out of the oven for the TV. Also managed to bust the door an a top of the range Bently that a parent had lent to him to show him arriving at the school. Opened aforementioned door just onto an iron post while the car was still moving. But a really nice chap, very affable and his team cooked lunch (in an ordinary oven) for all the staff.
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