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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Huge congratulations to your DS Bunny! Decisions to make now?
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. If they are already in Voc. training do you need associates? And could it be that it's one thing too many?
  10. You might also wish to consider the academic aspects of each school - how important is the opportunity to study for A levels?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 have just assured her, hand on heart, that she should only do this if she wants to do it, not because of us. As far as I am concerned, she's learnt as much about her future from her non musical activities. She's involved with a charity which takes music and theatre to refugee camps, and a VP of her student union. These, I hope, will be a route to secure employment if she decides the life of a jobbing musician is not for her. A little part of me hopes she does decide to use her undoubted organisational skills as the basis of her employment. Like others, I don't regret letting my children go to vocational school, but I do regret not being more assertive, and remembering that there were choices. I don't regret the summer schools, I do regret feeling I had failed because I couldn't afford expensive ones. I do regret thinking that "better" schools would be "better" for my child. Musical DD certainly learnt from this and refused point blank to consider a place at a school which, at audition, she felt was wrong for her. No one, parent or child, should be made to feel as if they have "failed," if they have done their best, and made informed choices. No one should feel belittled for having the courage to recognise we all change our views and aspirations as life progresses. I will confess that I no longer feel David Cassidy is the finest pop star in the land, and have sadly come to realise the chances of owning the classic sports car I dreamed of are receding - and I probably couldn't get in it or fit in it now anyway. If it doesn't work for you and your family, don't be afraid to stop. If you are all enriched by the experience, happy days ...
  14. 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.
  15. 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 many, many such trips to come (although I obviously no longer play taxi). We've had more lovely days out with nothing to discuss except where to have lunch than successes over the years, but that early training still comes in useful!
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