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  1. Haha that did make me chuckle 😄 it’s not even pc and fluffy for professionals but anyone trying to be serious! i watched it and thought it was a lovely reminder of why my DD likes to just focus on the dance and creating and leave everything else at the studio door where she can. All the pressure of FE, teachers & peer pressure etc
  2. It’s true that the majority of parents I would guess, choose a ballet teacher based on convenience, where their children’s friends dance etc. Even when you do grasp an early concept of checking credentials, it’s all a bit meaningless really IMO. DBS = not worth the paper it’s written on. RAD qualification = doesn’t mean you’ll have someone without their faults (who can do a lot of harm). Professional experience = we all know some teachers exaggerate on their “About Us” pages of their websites or their CV’s. it would be a lot more useful I believe for the RAD to give practical information on warning signs to look out for rather than come across as just being a bit sour to lose market share to the unqualified teacher population. I think theres also some responsibility there with their own exam structures for pre-Primary and primary as there’s minimum ages presumably for a good reason. Interestingly at intermediate foundation level where the first phase of pointework is examined there is a minimum age but we know of lots of children who get authorisation to take the exams early. Surely if they truly believe in the minimum ages, there wouldn’t be so many exceptions. i know of quite a few teachers happily providing vast amounts of private lessons, with children coming out of school, in order to be fast-tracked. It doesn’t seem as if the minimum ages are a deterrent to this at all.
  3. My dd was 8 when she went through a phase of saying ballet was boring. It turned out that there was a bit of a divide in the class of kids who wanted to do ballet, work harder, practise at home and progress and the kids who weren’t particularly interested. The teacher also gave a lot of attention to new starters to ballet and it turned out it was pretty boring for some of them who were disproportionately ignored and stood doing nothing all the time whilst she concentrated on working 121 with a child. That was what she meant by “boring” at the time. Around that time she did her first EYB which couldn’t have come at a better time as it was exactly what she needed as a pick-me-up. We also went and watched some performances and she fell in love with swan lake.
  4. Signed. So very sorry for your loss. In this day and age there simply are no excuses. My heart goes out to you and your family. Ill share wherever I can via social media. could we have this as a pinned post at the top of the forum maybe?
  5. So do the voc students already there then get to choose/apply age for Theatre or Dance? Do they get streamed into those pathways?
  6. Yes I think the recommendations are very gentle prompts at the moment to get the students to take responsibility for researching and thinking about things themselves. The talk they had with her was specific to her though. When she relayed some of the conversation I too was like .. OK that's pretty broad! haha But maybe that was deliberate to get her to start thinking a lot more in depth for herself. Lots of kids trot out names but have no idea why they are saying the names of the places if you asked them. Or they only know little snippets of information. My dd liked the sound of Urdang because the logo had horns! (yep, true story) and then started to research I think the starting point for us is OK.. what do you see yourself doing and enjoying the most and why? who do you see as someone to aspire to be like in their career? How likely will you change your mind in the next couple of years? why might you change your mind? (I just want her to see about specialising versus not closing training options, hence starting to sing). She and I are doing a spreadsheet now (I remember others on here with the spreadsheets and I'm at that stage!) plotting things and adding in experience days, open classes, shows to go and see, intensives so thanks for that advice. We are subscribing to the social media channels and newsletters etc. Thanks for advice
  7. Well we’ve heard of a fair few getting offered diploma courses theatre colleges at 16 but not many scholarships or much funding which has been prompting our plan if she really wanted to do those and hopefully get on dance courses with contemporary and jazz ... but I’m in favour of A levels, some part time work, less pressure on ballet as you say and go at 18 if ballet contemporary route. we are just starting to get advice from CAT now. They recommended Central, Northern, LSCD, Rambert for her at this stage so I’m just really trying to understand courses, funding, what she really really loves rather than “everything”!
  8. Grade 6 ballet or other style? Honestly I'm just putting it out there as we have done things by timetables and availability and tbh it's been either really frantic to 'get through a grade' in some classes (talking into private lessons) or doubling up at more than one dance school or overlapping grades (goodness knows how it all happened but it did) ... or super-slow in others (grade 2 tap and grade 6 tap were both two years haha)
  9. Before all the experienced parents depart .. please help with a situation. My dd, year 9, on a CAT scheme, is 100% sure she wants a career in dance and she loves anything contemporary ballet with choreography in some form. She's OK with ballet but has struggled over the years to see herself as a ballerina. If we were to measure in grades she achieved a mid distinction RAD grade 8 six months ago, and one point off distinction for Intermediate RAD. In both cases her teachers felt she had more to give and in hindsight she possibly took them too early and could have worked for another 10 points or so in either grade. (we were pressured by available classes and timetabling) I know measures aren't everything but I guess on a forum its a bit of something to go by. She's continued with other dance styles working at ISTD Modern Inter/Adv 1, ISTD Tap Adv 1 and non syllabus lyrical, contemporary, street/hip hop, and just started singing. We've had conversations about what, if anything , she wanted to do either at age 16 or 18. Up until now she has always said one of the big theatre colleges on the dance course including modules for contemporary and jazz. This is why she's started to do more with singing. Her thinking was that she likes MT and commercial dance and that she could see herself doing that. But actually, all of this stems from having a lack of confidence around ballet. She feels, even on the CAT scheme which is ballet and contemporary, mostly contemporary, that she is not cut out "body-wise" to pursue the contemporary conservatoires. The CAT scheme are extremely careful to not make reference to personal bodies/appearance in any way. I personally think she has grown into her body and has a lovely graceful quality starting to emerge. Has anyone else had a child who appears to be a good all-rounder but want to make a choice between theatre/MT/Commercial and Ballet/Contemporary? How did you help guide their choices and thinking? Any tips appreciated
  10. There's more than 6 grades. After grade 6 it goes to Intermediate Foundation (which is a voluntary grade and some teachers skip this) and then Intermediate, then Advanced 1, then Advanced 2. (so 4 more after grade 6 and they all get a lot harder). Have a look on the ISTD website under the Exams section. https://www.istd.org/examinations/ My 13 yo is taking Intermediate and overlapping Advanced 1. Some of her friends her age have already taken Intermediate. The Grade 6 class at one of our local dance schools is aged between 12-14 years and I would say this is consistent with other dance schools we've attended. Most of my dd's peers will aim to reach advanced 1 everything (ballet, tap, modern) if at all possible before going off to college but not compromising on technical progress along the way to achieve this. It's an aspirational target they all seem to share if they know at this age they want to go down the vocational route. Some dance teachers are completely out of touch with kids going off to college at 16. They still think they go off at 18 and then do ISTD Intermediate lol. A lot of teachers have no clue what the audition standard is like, student fees weren't about in their days so the pressure to do well at auditions and get DaDa funding is new to them. It's not just getting a place, it's also about getting scholarships and funding unless you can afford to pay £25-30k. Depends if you have a teacher that is out of touch or whether you have one that is in touch with recent students auditioning and going through the funding audition. Sorry, but if I had realised all this a few years ago I would have put a rocket up a few teachers bottoms, or moved schools sooner, or not cared about their peer groups or minimum class sizes, and not been so co-operative and sympathetic about the little sally-delicate-socks who misses half a terms full of classes yet the class gets held back for (gosh I've turned into such a jaded dance mum hahaha)
  11. Surely the venue itself would have license as they must have oodles of events there there’s some info on the .gov website that might help saying it’s not normally needed if audience less than 500 and between certain hours https://www.gov.uk/guidance/entertainment-licensing-changes-under-the-live-music-act#do-i-need-a-licence-to-put-on-a-play-or-a-performance-of-dance
  12. I’d say on average a grade a year. You can actually go into the website and look at the spec for ISTD and just chat with your dd about what they’ve covered, what she feels confident with, etc. You might find some content on YouTube too. There is also recommended hours on there I think which includes practise hours. I say average because sometimes my dd did grades a lot quicker ie; one term. But depending on teacher/classes/other students it could take up to a year if you are waiting for others to catch up. Especially if the schools needs to have minimum numbers before holding an exam session or if the teacher wants to put a whole peer group in together in which case ... welcome to the world of being held back youll need to think about how you feel about that and how important it is to keep progress going at the rate you would like and balance that with moving. It’s going to feel very different if there are younger children in the class but try to see if it’s reasonable for the teacher and if your child is going to be impacted with people who don’t get it as quickly or who don’t practice at home that much. Don’t be tempted to race through grades with lower marks than your dd could obtain as it’s not worth it as more important in my view to develop technique in line with the structure. 20 months seems excessive so possibly it’s “operational efficiency” for the teacher/school ie; bigger class sizes = more profitable. Class sizes seem to get smaller as they go up through the grades so you might find more schools do this. even if your dd did the exam would there be a class available at the next grade? If so, could she overlap it now? You could try the Saturday school at urdang in London perhaps?
  13. I hate to sound the pessimist but currently given the industry structures, professional and regulatory bodies, legislation, market demand, amongst other things, I believe it is wishful thinking unfortunately. It’s like a complex game of silly dance monopoly 🤣 Breaking the cycle and speaking out are two different things. I’m all for breaking the cycle but in all honesty I think the speaking out part needs to be a lot more carefully considered if there are other ways to respond in the best interest of the child affected. We have this automatic sense of justice and things just sometimes don’t work out that way. That’s life. I would never repeat to my child what I’ve posted on here. As far as she’s concerned we did the right thing to speak out.
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