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  1. I'm so pleased to see how things have moved on in the last 10 years! It sounds like lots of dancers at vocational schools are hearing that rest and cross-training/strength and conditioning is really helpful for their bodies and minds and this makes me very happy! Summer schools and summer intensives are great experiences but they really aren't the be-all-and-end-all. The advice given here is all the same as I'd say. Work on strength, general fitness, maintaining active flexibility and do some work on basic technique (posture and turnout are always my go-to areas to keep working on). You can do PBT exercises, pilates work, floor barre etc all at home. If you're stuck and need some direction please PM me!
  2. They are - but shows where people buy tickets are not. So if someone wanted to 'flag' a teacher for dangerous/unsafe practices would it not be possible to raise a concern at this point? If people are buying tickets to watch competitions this might come under licencing laws somehow?
  3. Interestingly, although not directly related to bullying, I noticed something in my local councils 'children in entertainment' regulations (the joy of putting on a dance school show in 2019!) which states: "Dangerous performances The extent to which a child may be involved in dangerous performances is extremely limited. Performances of a dangerous nature include all acrobatic performances and performances as a contortionist. In addition, the regulations state: no child [of any age] shall take part in any public performance whereby his life or his limbs are endangered no child under 12 years may be trained in such work [ie acrobatic or contortion] a child who is age 12 or more may be trained under a licence issued by the local authority of the area in which the training is to take place (or any one area if more than one local authority is involved) subject to conditions which may be imposed. Powers of local authority with a warrant: An officer of the local authority or a police officer may enter any place where there is reasonable cause to believe that: a child is believed to be taking part in a performance or being trained for dangerous performances contrary to the provisions of the act and may make enquiries about that child." So - while not directly related to bullying per se, parents may have legal grounds to raise a concern (and potentially shut down shows/competitions/performances should they choose) if children are being trained unsafely. This is of pertinence particularly for children who appear in shows/performances under licence.
  4. The RAD did produce a character DVD which by all accounts was very helpful. But your teacher should be the one to help you and guide you!
  5. I teach it more like "hop step shunt" with a battement glisse devant action on the first hop, as the gesture leg comes through from low arabesque. The "shunt" is into arabesque on fondu
  6. We have a few spaces for talented and forward-thinking dancers who are currently in year 8 or above at our forthcoming auditions in Birmingham on June 16th. For more information about MIDAS or about the auditions please ask questions in this thread, or email director@midas-dance.org.uk
  7. Yes - not all with the same extensive performance opportunites, and I don't know if the smaller ones do. It's not unheard of for students to attend more than one upper school if they can't get a job (or for other reasons). Plus Elmhurst may be looking to attract overseas applications?
  8. Re year 14 - For someone graduating from another school WITHOUT a job, this could be the perfect stepping stone to a career.
  9. All the best to you both! Xxx
  10. Wise words from lots of fantastic knowledgeable mums got to you before I could! In young children (ie before around 10) it is possible to stretch ligaments around knees and hips to create more hyperextension and more turnout - although WHY anyone would want to forcibly stretch a child’s joints to make them unstable and prone to lifelong injury (not to mention harder to control etc) is way beyond me. But each to their own.... As for the winged/fished foot - I do this a bit in arabesques as the bow in my lower leg makes the line look “downwards” otherwise. It’s totally possible with a bit of strenthening and paying attention to the line of your foot whilst you’re stretching it. To help, you can work on ankle eversion exercises whilst non weight bearing - my favourite is sitting parallel with legs stretched out in front, feet stretched (good toes!) Start with the feet touching each other from heel to big toe joint then try to separate your big toe joints away from each other sideways whilst keeping heels touching. You should feel the outside of your lower legs/calves working. It’s actually quite a handy one to have in your arsenal of strength training as it strengthens the muscles on the outside of the ankle which helps to guard against/ aid recovery from lateral ankle sprains. I would never recommend a dancer wings their foot en pointe though as you’re just asking for injury!
  11. Definitely! Whatever nature or house gives is a great starting point. I would just add a note to say that ankle weights have been associated with hip injury as they increase torque in the hip joint so take care.
  12. Kate_N - I hear you on squats! Functional movements like squats, pushes/presses and pulls etc are so good for whole body strength! Kids actually find them easy enough, (look at a toddlers natural movement!) no harder than a ballet plie which actually is less 'natural'. Although re form and alignment, I'd say weight is distributed over the whole foot and rather than sticking your bum out, I tend to use the cue "send your hips backwards" - the hip hinge is something dancers are pretty good at once they realise they already do it in a grande plie. I always emphasise an upright torso where possible though as one of my pet peeves re squats is people sticking their bum out and leaning forwards with too much hinge, loading up the lower back. As for the age question - strength training is beneficial for any age, but it depends what you mean by strength training! It doesn't necessarily mean what looks like traditional gym based exercises. Children are developing their strength through playing all the time - as a little girl I would spend playtimes in the summer at school doing handstands! Give kids an outdoor play-rig with monkey bars, rings, ropes, etc and they're building strength.
  13. Re Kit - you don't actually need lots of 'kit'! A few resistance bands is all I'd suggest really. One small loop (to fit around both legs when standing in a small parallel first position), one long one not in a loop, and possibly a longer, heavier looped band too. Bodyweight exercises are phenomenal if done properly. The PBT stuff is good but it's still ballet and there are conditioning coaches working with dancers who believe that dancers should train in parallel/non ballet/functional movements as much as in turnout/ports de bras/ballet movements.
  14. A while ago several parents teamed together with myself to attempt to lobby the large exam boards to be more pro-active about dealing with damaging teaching practices. It was challenging and we struggled sadly. The ISTD were happy to receive anonymous complaints regarding teachers but I don't recall how pro-active they were in actually following these up. Other exam boards have complaints policies in place but these are not anonymous and to raise a complaint about a teacher doesn't necessarily have any actual consequences for the teacher! The NSPCC has guidelines for writing policies but that's about it. https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection/for-performing-arts/ - The only legislation regarding dance teaching/performance relates to stage performance, chaperoning etc rather than bullying/abusive teaching. Even complaints to local authorities about dance teachers being physically abusive fell on deaf ears unless you could provide unquestionable evidence - short of having video and audio footage of a teacher being abusive I doubt anything could be done. I personally think that there should be a mandatory, annual child protection CPD requirement for membership of all the major organisations - this is something that is relatively easy to implement and police. As a voluntary member of a parish church choir I have to complete yearly online child protection CPD so I can't see how hard it would be for the RAD/IDTA/ISTD/BBO etc etc to implement something similar and if I'm honest it shows a lack of understanding of the position of influence that these bodies have, that they haven't done this. However, it comes back to the age-old issue that ANYONE can set up dance classes without any qualification, without any insurance and without doing any training.
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