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  1. I would just echo that many of us "on the other side" wish we had raised our heads. With hindsight we were, effectively, condoning the behaviour by not challenging the support given, or not given, to our DC. Make sure you know the school policies inside out and you can, in a non-confrontational way, ask to understand how they are being implemented to support your child. Good luck!
  2. Hello all I'm producing our school play, and at least 3 girls have been to see me to say that although they said they had dance shoes - they haven't. If anyone has any old character/jazz/ballroom/pretty much anything shoes between sizes 5.5 and 7 in black they could send to me I would be eternally grateful.
  3. I'd love to think that an institution exists where the playing field is completely level and all are equally valued. Never personally seen it, including at conservatoire level in music and drama. This means, unfortunately, whatever experiences anyone else may have, doesn't mean it will be the same for your child, good or bad. There is no excuse for bullying, inequalities must be challenged, that is the only way there will be change. And as others will say, if you wouldn't accept the actions from a "normal" school, don't accept it from a vocational school. There is always a choice, there is always more than one way to reach any goal.
  4. When mine were younger it was often quite difficult to differentiate between home sickness and tiredness. Nothing like a few nights good sleep and a full tummy to make the world a better place. Also just to get away for a bit. The pressure of starting a new school is immense.
  5. The sight of me and my Ikea bag hand delivering books around the school (picked with gloves on, placed in a bag and quarantined for three days on return) is, apparently, one of the enduring memories of the last year. Students reserve books on line (or email me) and I take them to their classrooms. Fortunately the school has also invested in a high quality ebook scheme which includes a large wellness and mental health selection. Otherwise my knees would have given way a long time ago under the weight of books lugged around the school site.
  6. Speaking as a librarian, rather than not enjoying cheerleading, could she not read a book? Best thing you can do for your mental health and really great habit to get into at a young age. A lot of performing is sitting around waiting - and learning to use that time productively is as important as any dance training.
  7. Nothing is ballet in easy! I think it's one of the great ironies is that something that is so hard to get into, so badly paid, with such a short career, is such a sought after profession.
  8. I think there's a big if there - our experience was it was very difficult to find good quality male training (rural location). This is why we decided on vocational in y7. There was also the issue of being the only male in an entire ballet school. Admittedly our DS rather enjoyed this for a while but I think the social aspects are hard in that situation. CAT was impossible as it would have involved leaving school by 1pm for every weekday session. Not ideal even had the school allowed it, and finances stretched to me reducing my hours. As with all things it's a case of find out what works for your DC.
  9. we could never afford Prague - ironic as Ds' first job was in the Czech Republic. International was, however, generally cheaper and gave better life skills. Not practicable this year sadly, musical DD has just turned down a fantastic summer school in France for this reason (100 Euros total cost inc. food and accommodation - this is our level). The main purpose of the summer was rest, cycling, swimming and growing ! Every year when he stopped dancing he grew and I genuinely believe the opportunity to grow physically without otherwise stressing his body was more beneficial than any course could have been. Also sustained family time so that conversations could be had without it being on the way to/from/during other events.
  10. Huge congratulations to your DS Bunny! Decisions to make now?
  11. Just to say it is, according to DS, more about technique than sheer muscle. Strong core and willing to communicate means happy partnership. Both apply for both genders!
  12. Know people who have developed successful careers from both. And not-so-successful careers. Do look at the overall package - are the A levels on offer ones your DS would wish to pursue. Elmhurst is very urban, Tring more spacious - which suits your son? Does he want to be with just dancers or a wider range of students? Accommodation? Distance from your home? Exeats? Read the recent threads from us oldies - nothing is more important than mental health. Physical health is a close second. Which offers the best "Plan B?" Everyone hopes not to use it, but .. Prestige is a long way down the list. As well as where your son would feel happiest, which do you think will support him best, and support you? The best of luck with your decision making process.
  13. If they are already in Voc. training do you need associates? And could it be that it's one thing too many?
  14. You might also wish to consider the academic aspects of each school - how important is the opportunity to study for A levels?
  15. Well, presumably if you PM the posters, they may feel able to share more. The thing is, for every good experience, there's a bad experience. For everyone who suffered at an institution, someone flourished. And some steered a middle course. Personally speaking, I am sharing my experiences so that others can see the warning signs, not to discourage anyone from accepting a place anywhere. This is a more media-enabled society than when my DS started so it's great parents today can be aware of both sides of the story.
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