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  1. 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 .. P
  2. If they are already in Voc. training do you need associates? And could it be that it's one thing too many?
  3. You might also wish to consider the academic aspects of each school - how important is the opportunity to study for A levels?
  4. 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.
  5. Definitely check the funding - as we are not in the EU when I checked for music, we are considered rest of the world (ie ouch!) Shame, it's a fantastic city. I reckoned London +25% if self catering.
  6. I just asked musical DD, who spent her formative years being dragged around after her brother, if she had ever felt hard done by. She was genuinely surprised I asked - as far as she was concerned, it was fun and as a family we support each other. She also said it showed her how hard you have to work if you want to succeed - being good at something was only half the story. Cote Du Rhone's comment about a square peg did, however, strike a chord. Just had a serious talk with musical DD about her plans - she wants to do a post grad because she feels she has more to learn. But I h
  7. Would have said the same thing, and my son graduated 5 years ago (gulp!) - I think to have two parents with the same experience over the years speaks volumes. Many of the same staff too - Fabrice is amazing! Incidentally, I only heard about RCS through this forum - it is such an amazing source of information for us non ballet parents.
  8. You may not all want to hear this but .... DS rang the other day, having got in a huff about something and nothing, he'd applied for a vacancy elsewhere. Should he now follow through and take the audition? I could think of many, many reasons why not but ended up rather feebly suggesting he treated it exactly the same as when he was little and we used to trot off to auditions together. The view was always that it would be a lovely day out and if anything came of it, so much the better and we'd discuss the implications then. So consider this the first of man
  9. That is appalling. The opposite happened at DS' school - some students without contracts were showcased in the final show. It does seem a particularly ballet thing doesn't it? Having two other children also involved in theatre/performing arts in various ways the idea that you during a course you find another route seems to be accepted, even expected.
  10. @tutugirl as you say, similar experiences. DS was lucky he got 2 offers on his first weekend trip to Europe to look. And a UK offer, but he wanted to work abroad. He also got support from his school and help looking at what might suit, but this because he took the initiative and ask. Certainly no one made a show reel or took photos, but that's one of the advantages at being at an upper school with film studies students! My DS has now travelled further East (I think!) but has very fond memories of his time in the company next to your DS. As have I. If he had stayed, I would seriously hav
  11. It is also worth thinking about the finances and what happens if anything goes wrong. If it doesn't work out for your DC (and this will happen at every school for someone I suspect ..) what is your financial commitment? For how long? How long will you have commitments to accommodation costs and training costs? I would check the quality of the degree and how acceptable it is to other institutions. Ring up the one most likely to be your plan B and ask them if they would accept the degree offered by your Plan A establishment. How long have the staff been t
  12. As the parent of a child who was assessed out, and, incidentally had zero support from his "home" ballet school, I have been considering whether the Pros and Cons .. Background: home school had a favoured child in the same year, all effort went on supporting them. No recognition of 4 finals and 3 MDS as he didn't get a place at WL (favoured child did.) First vocational school was one DS had set his heart on. It wasn't right for him and he had 3 years of limited progress both dance and academically. Assessed out in Y9. Told he had the makings of a dancer but not a b
  13. Exactly same experience - and roles were shared more equitably than previous school, where you were "in" or "out". And even when Dada declined for sixth form, they moved heaven and earth to help find a place that was going to suit.
  14. Don't forget to check which spaces are available for down time as well as the time periods - these vary dramatically between schools and if you have a sporty child some will be more suitable than others. Also whilst the extras are wonderful, our DC have always known that they wouldn't be able to audition worldwide - we couldn't afford the air fares - and summer schools were picked with care as funds were limited. DS did a variety of summer schools but was never, for example, able to go to Prague. He was fortunate that he got paid job offers from both his first 2 European audit
  15. Not sure if this is a postive or negative, but even in the days when there were Open Days and the like, there are plenty of cases, my DS included, where it turns out to be not quite the perfect fit .. teachers change, you may have bad luck with a particular cohort, boarding may turn out to be a more positive or negative experience than anticipated, injuries may come into play. And Open Days, vocational schools and otherwise, will paint a picture which may not reflect the every day reality. I'm genuinely proud of the school I work at - we have a policy of sending parents round wi
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