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  1. I hope that your sister can be honest but I’d set expectations now that it will fall on deaf ears simply because schools that practise this level of favouritism will already have lost students and seemingly don’t care enough to change maybe she can be honest without burning bridges too
  2. I appreciate that was pretty yuk, but at least the Monday night class was open to others? I suppose the flip side of your story is that the dance teacher was trying to show the benefits of the extra class and sell it to others. 😀
  3. I read your rant earlier and it’s such a shame. You could read through RAD code of conduct and see if there is anything in there that makes it worthy of a grievance ie; discrimination, but I doubt it. And nobody wants to feel like they’ve forced a teacher to teach them. And I totally get your point about non-RAD teachers doing the teaching and being put in for exams by RAD teacher. In one case we had a substitute “teacher” who was three years older, in the same grade as dd, then did her exam three months before her (and didn’t even get a great mark! Haha) what a rip off. She didn’t mind (dd) but I did! I negotiated non-profit rate with a local church hall for dd’s dance club. No mirrors and used chairs as barre to start off with. You might find you can access some funding to help initially from sports groups, freeman’s charity, rotary, lottery, church funding as it helps people in the community socialise, stay fit, get involved with the arts etc. maybe a different approach with the RAD via their marketing dept? They are obviously keen to expand their customer base with silver swans so possibly they could help a) find a teacher and b) help find students by doing or helping with advertising c) get a regional manager to help. I think there’s more teachers than show up on the find a teacher search facility as I think it’s a paid extra service. were they all 16 and under that did their intermediate? I honestly think there is enough demand to get enough students to break even. There’s always dancers who want an extra class, or want to get familiar with the next grade up, or who want the benefits of having input from a second teacher. I can’t remember where we advertised for a teacher. I think it was just Facebook and Star now free ad. I got about 15 cv responses and dd interviewed then did a paid trial class. I think the going rate requested was £20 per hour and around £10 per hour for venue. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind paying a bit more than the average class fee to start off but less than private lesson, and word will spread quite quickly. Happy to help via pm if you’d like
  4. Emma northmore at Ballet boost does private coaching for auditions and London venues including pineapple
  5. Viv, it sounds to me as if you would miss your ballet and this teacher too much if you left right now with no alternative class. if it makes you feel any better it also happened to my 15yo daughter 18 months ago when her RAD teacher moved advanced foundation from a regular established weekday evening to a weekend day that clashed with associates. I later had a comment relayed to me that she wanted to give others a chance to “catch up” including some hot favourites. So, I ended up doing an internet search to find the teacher and school she’s with now and she couldn’t be happier. some teachers just have massive egos and are a complete pain about “committment”! Urghh! i think if you can drop the jazz and contemporary and feel better about not being talked about behind your back, and stop doing the favours and literally just go for your adv class whilst this teacher is still there then I’d try that. Stay in your car till the last minute to go in, avoid eye contact with anyone and just get in the class. Haha as an aside, my dd got so fed up with poor teacher organisation she set up her own club, did her own marketing via social media (Instagram and Snapchat!) and before long had enough people to run a class herself (hired a venue, found a teacher and hired her!) her friends were happy to have an additional ballet class alongside their current one. She worked out she only needed 4 or 5 people per class and it wasn’t hard to get it up and running. (She now has two classes running and was up to 12 people including 3 boys who would never dance anywhere else). anyway, Maybe you could do something similar with any like minded friends? Maybe uni students who still want to dance advanced levels? also it might be against the teachers contract terms as restrictive trading clause to teach students elsewhere ie private lessons but it will be ok to be an employer/studio owner! Food for thought
  6. For anyone who wants to keep updated with the outcome of this trial .... https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-england-50264895 the reason I’m posting this is because various news articles have now named where he was teaching. I’d like this discussion to be allowed to happen so that as parents of dancing children, we consider that DBS and other “safeguarding” measures are usually not worth the paper they are written on, and instead think how we can learn lessons as parents, guardians, chaperones or even as young dancers to alter our behaviour to better safeguard against vulnerability. the thing that resonates with me is how readily parents are to hire someone for private coaching based on their C.V. and then not be present. whenever my dd has had private lessons, I’ve either stayed in the room or just outside the door. Is that just me? it’s never too late to come forward as a victim and we should have healthy conversations about red flags and how best to protect our dc’s and I’m hoping the moderation team won’t close this thread and allow this conversation to take place!
  7. I was just about to say that Taxi about UCAS. A lot of theatre or ballet organisations don’t get it when students are keen to do an exam because as Meadowblythe says, they don’t care too much anyway. but for the op, the key word I’m picking up on here is “favouritism” and I can completely understand the negative effects of this. whilst I also agree “comparison is the thief of joy” and “get rid of any beliefs of fairness” I also don’t think that anyone should put up with a sub standard experience through favouritism. It’s really harmful and fuels lots of self doubt and feelings of inadequacy. The aim is really to get your niece feeling good about what she’s doing regardless of what others are doing but also making sure she’s getting an equal proportion and quality of teaching. im sure there’s a few of us who can think of times where favouritism has made our own dcs feel rubbish. I personally don’t have a problem with favouritism UNLESS it takes away from someone else. Then it’s a huge problem. In those cases, forget what you hear about not comparing because you do need to compare the quality and proportion of training being given that your sister is paying for. I had a situation once where a favourite pupil was having private lessons to get extra tuition on a non voc exam grade and then the teacher was using her to “teach” the non favourites whilst she caught up on admin and parent conversations! In that case, yep, I said something. Can you tell us more about the impact on your niece? What is it that seems unfair? it would be great if she could find a way to be inspired, motivated, and learn from the ft stage school kids without paying those extortionate fees!
  8. Astrid - not sure my post will be “pearls of wisdom” but it’s just an opinion based on moving around a fair bit of dance schools with clashes and other things. at 8 I think the schools you’re currently at have seemingly done a good job as she sounds happy and friendships and teaching styles and relationships make a big difference to the future. the clues are how many advanced/vocational grade classes do they both have on their timetables as this will give you insight into the demand they have at both schools and whether dancers stay with them and onto further education in dance or fizzle out. If neither of these have them then look for a third option I personally wouldn’t worry about modern (hindsight is wonderful) because your dd will always catch up later if need be and there’s things such as jazz associates or contemporary associates you could pick up instead for a while. If the teachers want your business they’ll find a solution (Even if it’s the occasional private lesson) I’d be wary that the grass isn’t automatically greener with a larger school. If it were me I would be cautious and do some open classes, guest/drop ins, and a trial. I honestly wouldn’t worry about syllabus grades for non vocational grades and try to get the best teacher you can find with a great reputation and preferably professional experience alongside a recognised teachers qualification. Also, I’m a bit jaded. Loyalty is over-rated. Just do what’s right for you
  9. Feel your pain Balletbean and I’m guessing that if you felt a snub there by this parent then it was intended I say this because I’ve had the same thing recently from no less than three dance mums I’m in regular contact with. You know the type .. their dds came out of the womb wearing pointe shoes! Haha my dd is taking up a place offered for vocational ballet school age 16 for sept 2020 (We are very excited for her) and most people in our circle have been surprised that she’s chosen this over a theatre college for age 18 because she is an all rounder and likes to sing too. Behind all this she just loves ballet and feel that this will challenge her more and it’s what she wants to do all day, every day. the remarks I’ve had (about academics) have been pretty snotty from these three mums. But.. I know for sure it’s based on their own insecurities and I can relate and sympathise with how they are feeling/worrying even though it doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Someone once said to me that others will want you to do well but not that well! And the snobbery around academics -v- dancers is not justified at all. It’s purely choice. I’m just extremely happy that after such a bumpy journey with dds dancing, that I can sit here and say I have a dd that loves her dancing so much and is in good shape physically AND mentally. No amount of snubs will tarnish that. She’s worked so much on mental health alongside some awesome training that what she wants to do next is something we are really positive and excited about. It’s no accident. We didn’t just think “oh but what about academics” at the 11th hour. She’s comfortable knowing she will pick things up later in life and has another career plan for that. but it’s the way things are said. There was one comment made in front of her actually but she gets it with pushy mums as has had this in various forms over the years and can just gently roll her eyes. Let the others worry with their insecurities and don’t let it get to you it’s totally rubbish and a toxic waste of energy
  10. None of us are surprised in the slightest. FWIW at least they have taken action and relieved of duties. Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope that change is happening. Now the uk needs to follow where things are called out
  11. Yes we know people there and also on the associates and with the agency. They seem to enjoy it. Mostly they are good all rounders if that helps
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