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  1. We have 3 types of tights in this house 1 - Brand new - oooh look how clean and pink and pretty they are 2 - Grinks (I love that term!) - washed a few times,but still decent 3 - The desperation - Aaah all the good ones are in the wash/need washing and we have to leave in 15 mins, which of the desperate pairs to go for, the one with the hole in the toe or the one with a ladder from ankle to thigh. Obviously most of the tights are a number 2 because I (or my husband) just chuck them in the washing machine with anything else pink. For a while I did hand wash them and that helped retain the pinkness and also helped get out the sweaty/dirty foot shaped marks on the bottom better(with lots of scrubbing) but I really can't be bothered doing that every week. So it's grinks unless she has an exam and then we buy 2 new pairs, never making the mistake of only having one new pair after she turned up for her grade 4 exam (straight from school) got changed into her new tights and managed to rip a little hole at the top of her inner thigh. As she waited (and practised) it slowly got bigger and bigger until you could just see a tiny patch of her skin right at the top of her thigh, I had to hike them up and skilfully twist/tuck the tights under the leotard.
  2. Oh you know how I feel about this Annaliesey, drives me mad that for so long you have had to try and juggle things, private lessons, plead your case and then other kids can say "oh but I have swimming that day" and just like that the class will change to a more suitable time for them. I know teachers can't base their timetable around just 1 or 2 kids (who am I kidding I've seen this happen so many times lol) but you think they would have a bit of a 3 tier priority system; 1st tier, High priority (really try and work around ) - CAT's, associates, credible youth dance/theatre companies 2nd tier, Moderate priority (if possible work around) - Other comittments such as swimming, netball, parents work schedules/childcare arrangements 3rd tier, Low priority (if it's possible without disrupting tier 1/2 work around if not ignore) - Tired, prefer a different day, don't want to have to wait around in between / would like a large gap in between or whatever. If it were me I would be looking at my "serious" dancers the one's who want to take their dance further and try and accommodate them as best as possible. From a business perspective it's good advertising to have these dancers, it means you are doing something right if they have chosen to train with you and are so successful. If someone is doing dance as a hobby then in the long run it doesn't matter to them as much if they have to drop modern for a term because it clashes with brownies VS a serious dancer who is taking their exam that term but can't get to the now changed class time because they have their associates class. Although really it boils down to how the teacher views the school and if they feel they are a recreational school who do grades and all these "Abby Lee style" advanced kids are few and far between and not the norm, then more fool them. I don't get why anyone running a dance school would not want to have something so credible as an associates or CAT scheme saying yes your training is good, we have accepted your student into our advanced training programme, it's like a seal of approval. I also think some teachers can be so controlling it's almost a way of stopping students from doing anything that whole "I'm the best thing for you" attitude, they don't want to share this beautiful, successful dancer with anyone else, maybe that's the angle for a lot of them, they want to take full credit for getting a student into vocational school/employment, they don't want partial credit, maybe it's an ego thing.
  3. I have been absolutely shocked by some of the things said in this thread about me personally, and of course it was locked for a while so I couldn't reply. Firstly my daughter is dancing because she wants to, I have no interest in dance whatsoever, I never have, I never danced as a child, nor wanted to, the only interest I have is to support my dd in something she loves. If she woke up tomorrow and said she never wanted to dance again and wanted to go into water polo, well I'd be researching water polo and how best to help her achieve her dream. If being involved in a supportive capacity makes me a neurotic parent then so be it! I have not ignored people's suggestions/advice, what I have been doing is mulling over all the options, discussing it with my husband and with a friend. I'd also like to highlight that not everyone has said to take a break, there have been a number of different suggestions (new teacher, cut back, counselling, etc) all of which I am genuinely taking on board and considering what is the best way forward. However it seems that certain people have got a massive problem if I don't take THEIR advice and their advice alone, that somehow their opinion/suggestion trumps anyone else's because they are right and everyone else is wrong and clearly they know what is 100% the best thing for my dd. I will say this once more, thank you for the comments on here and PM's with advice, suggestions and just personal anecdotes, it's good to have so many different views and have so many possible solutions. I will however very carefully and in my own time (with my husband) decide what is the best way to support dd mentally/ emotionally as well as with HER chosen passion of dance.
  4. Sorry for my previous lengthy posts, I was trying to respond to each person individually, I'll try to keep this one brief. I think perhaps I have given the wrong impression that somehow my dd is an absolute emotional wreck on the verge of a mental breakdown, she's not, what I was saying is that the emotional/mental/physical abuse at the old school had a very big impact. So much so that in the new school all negative comments were re-affirming everything she'd been told at the old school. Right now dd is at a place mentally where a negative personal remark might drag up the past and all the bad thoughts from the old school and she might feel down for a few days but she will eventually brush it off as the teacher just being mean or depending on her mood she might shrug it off right away. I think having the new positive teacher for 90% of her classes last term has helped with that a lot, she can see how corrections can be given without personal remarks. So it's the teacher with the problem not her..BUT..as with anyone if she's having a bad day, those remarks can be taken on board too much, especially with the age she is and hormones being all over the place. My original post was looking for advice on how best to help her with her technique, I've had different suggestions from different people but mostly don't focus on syllabus/exams so much, find a new teacher/school and cut back on classes/stop dance altogether for a while, so I have a lot to think about thank you xx
  5. Thank you all for your comments,advice and suggestions a lot for me to think about xx Colman - I am thinking more and more that this one teacher in particular just has a problem (what that is I'm not sure), going back several months when she was still receptive to private lessons during them she would say things about DD remembering to tuck her bum in because she's got quite a bottom on her compared to "X child". She would say things like that but in the same session that DD is the hardest working student she has, I don't know if she felt it was balancing the negative out but it really didn't. DD would still apply the correction but you could see she wasn't enjoying herself, the other teacher she has however is very much about positive correction, so she could still remind DD to tuck her bum in but without the extra comment about how big it is compared to another child's. Aileen - Yes it's the new syllabus and I do feel like she's been rushed through these grades, something the teacher complained about in regards to other teachers/students. When she was getting ready to do grade 3 in Autumn 2016, the teacher had already said she planned to put her in for grade 4 in the spring and at the time she was having a regular private lesson to go over grade 3. I suggested to the teacher that maybe she should forget the grade 3 exam, still continue doing the class but focus (particularly during the privates) on grade 4 as she hadn't spent as much time on that as she had grade 3, she didn't agree and wanted DD to do the exam. Same with grade 4, not long after she did the exam she said DD could do her grade 5 in the autumn as she would be ready. I suggested maybe she should wait at least another term as although she got a merit in her grade 4 the higher marks were not on technique it was all the other stuff (think her highest mark was in character) but she insisted DD would be ready and she wouldn't really improve much between the Autumn and March this year, maybe a point or two difference if she was lucky. This was just before the summer term started and I asked if we could do around 3 private lessons a week to focus purely on her technique, she said she didn't really have time (when previously she did have time) not unless I take her out of school like a couple of the other kids do. LinMM - A friend's DD has already done grade 6 so she has the videos and is going to send them to me so at least I can check and see if DD knows the syllabus as well as doing it correctly. Something very strange has gone on with the teacher, she use to be very enthusiastic couldn't do enough to help DD with her technique (or any of her students with anything) but this past year something has changed with her and she is completely disinterested. Another mum is having issues with her DD, not with technique but other things and she has seen the same change and I think she might have hit the nail on the head. The teacher seems to have all the time in the world for students who just want to do a handful of classes and nothing more but the minute a kid wants to train seriously and in particular if they go off and do other things (like associates, EYB or just extra classes elsewhere) it's like she switches off to that child. I know another girl who wanted to up her training (she was doing maybe 5 classes or so a week) and her mum asked if she could go into grade 6 instead of grade 5 (completely misunderstanding what another mum had said about doing the grade above as well as current grade). Rather then calmly explaining things, the teacher lost her cool and suggested she find another school if she wanted to do that, so she did after 10 years with her she just up and left. The teacher didn't try and resolve the situation at all and from what I understand of the school's history this girl had been a bit of a favourite (not in a bad way, just very well liked/featured in shows etc by the teacher because she was really good). Fiz - It's finding someone who is willing (and available) to teach private lessons purely on technique, like I said earlier there's not a huge selection of teachers around here. Well there are plenty of teachers but I don't hear good things about a large majority of them and I don't see any of their students going off to vocational training or associates or anything (apart from maybe 1 out of hundreds of kids). Taxi4ballet - Her teacher keeps on about training her muscle memory but then the focus seems to be all about syllabus, I think that's why she's been through these grades quickly, she doesn't have the technique but the knowledge is there so when exam time rolls around I think the teacher has looked too much at DD being spot on with timing, knowing the steps etc and (particularly with ballet) hasn't really considered that she hasn't quite got the technique, it does seem to be a bit of a "we'll work on her technique in the next grade" every time. You're right about her being de-moralised and how it can be hard to make any progress and it is definately the teacher that makes or breaks these situations. I'm just thankful that she has had a few people in her life (other then me and her dad) who tell her not to listen to the negative and cheer her up. One of her dance friends is a lovely girl who also came from the abusive school and can spot when DD is having a down day and will have her laughing she is a lot more resiliant then DD and I think it's rubbing off a bit. She seems to be slowly but surely getting to a point where she can take the correction and shrug off the nasty remark (sometimes not always). I think because she has the other more positive teacher giving her the same correction in a nice way it's helping. So she can take the correction, apply it and is slowly understanding that taking the negative personal remarks to heart is pointless as that's the other teacher just being mean. We only changed 90% of her classes to the new teacher last term so hopefully the longer she's with the new positive teacher the more she can see the older negative teacher is just being horrible with the personal remarks. Princessballerina - That's the thing, despite all the negative stuff that's happened she absolutely loves her dance. I've suggested to her before about maybe cutting down classes or whether she really wants to do it all and she is adamant that she HAS to dance. She is still doing a handful of classes with this more negative teacher but she sees them as extra classes to her main (nice teacher) classes and she gets to be with girls she seems to get on well with. Pups_mum - I'm hoping after this next exam (tap) things will calm down a bit and we won't have any more exams for at least a year. I keep suggesting to DD she does less or is she sure she wants to do this day or that day when she could have an extra day off but she won't hear it, she sees it as a punishment if she can't dance. She has scaled back a lot compared to this time last year. She was doing in total including all the show/competition rehearsals about 21 hours a week (last January) whereas this term she is doing about 15 hours, next term it will be less(around 12) as a couple of the shows she's doing will have ended. Balletmum55 - I completely agree it's not about the grade they are in / what they achieve at the exams but the technique and that is why I'm so concerned. I don't think she has done anywhere near the recommended hours and that her teacher has put her in for the exams based mostly on her knowing the syllabus as well as moving up with the peer group. She was doing grade 3 once a week from January 2016 to the November, she started grade 4 in the February(2016) alongside it but she was doing 2 classes a week of that (which is why like I stated earlier I thought it best to ditch doing the grade 3 exam but continue with the class for technique and concentrate on grade 4 as she was doing more hours in it). November 2016 (after her g3 exam)she started doing grade 5 so she was doing 1 grade 4 and 1 grade 5, took her grade 4 in March 2017 and was then doing 2 grade 5 classes a week and did her grade 5 exam a couple of months ago. She was doing regular private lessons before her grade 3, a handful before grade 4 and half a dozen privates on grade 5. She was also doing 3 hours of inter foundation,2 hours of intermediate and an hour of freework so she was doing a lot of ballet hours but not specifically on grade 3, 4 or 5. She has however done more hours in total on grade 4/5 then the other kids who only do 1 class a week and never do the grade above/private lessons. Lisa O'Brien - I agree, she needs to go back to basics but it's finding somewhere she can do that. I know at some of the CAT schemes (don't know about all) in the ballet classes they take everyone no matter how good back to basics, which is something DD really really needs but it's finding somewhere she can do that. That's why I considered ballet associates as I assumed they would really drill technique into them without the pressure of an exam and learning particular steps for a syllabus, but then maybe it's not right to go to a ballet associates (if she was lucky enough to get in) if she hasn't got the natural ability/potential for a ballet career. joyofdance - The more I think about it the more I think she needs to take a break from syllabus, it's clearly not working for her but then that would leave us in an even worse situation as most of the non syllabus schools around here are the franchise style places (you know the type 3 hr session on dance,drama,singing). It feels like we have 2 choices in our location full on syllabus school or the franchise type school, I don't know anywhere that is purely about technique / freework (or even some syllabus but focused mostly on freework/technique classes). I agree so much with what you said about the dance industry,I would much rather she was getting 8's / 9's for technique and 1 or 2 on knowledge of syllabus after all at an audition they won't ask to see the RAD grade 4 character dance or whether you got a distinction in your ISTD grade 6 modern. Mummy twinkle - I know of one cecchetti teacher but I have only seen one exceptional student from that school and I think she's one of those kids that would do well anywhere (she's taking classes at a few schools/associates / going off to London for training). From what I have heard on the local dance grapevine it's not a great school, but who knows might be worth a shot, no harm in trying it out. newdancermum - We've definitely cut back on the grade above stuff, that was mostly DD's decision, the negative teacher wanted her to stay with the peer group who had just moved into grade 6 tap, DD was only grade 4 at the time and doing grade 5 as well, it was DD saying there was no way she was doing 3 different grades. So we made the decision partially because of timetable clashes and partially based on the teacher's opinion on her ability to skip grade 4 tap and focus on grade 5, she has her exam soon and then after that she will be grade 6 in all 3 (ballet, tap, modern) but the only thing she will be doing the grade above in is modern and vocational ballet and again that is a timetable thing, she'd be there anyway waiting to be picked up (because I can't get her any earlier) so she may as well join in. The only class she will double up on is grade 6 modern, so it's all been scaled back so she can just focus on her grade 6 stuff. 2dancersmum - We have considered doing the grade below but it's the timetable problem again, for her to do that it would mean giving up a class in her current grade or giving up her day off (which I'm hesitant to do, we try to keep one day a week when she has absolutely nothing and can just relax). I didn't know about the RAD associates, I'm going to look into that as they sound like a good solution running alongside the grades and if it's only 1 Sunday a month we can hopefully get out of show rehearsals once a month. proballetdancer - She's a complicated girl, if everything is going okay then she will be in the right frame of mind for anything thrown at her, but like I said it doesn't take much to bring it all back and it's not just her. Another girl I know who went to the same school (that hit them) she is so talented but all it takes is a harsh remark to make her feel bad because she had years of these horrible teachers humiliating, belittling and abusing her. Another girl (much older) who moved from the abusive school to DD's new one has now given up dance completely because of the same problems. She was put down so much at the abusive school that it didn't take much from the new school's (negative) teacher to send her back mentally to that dark place where she wasn't good enough so she gave up. I've talked with DD about whether she really wants to do all this, whether she wants to do it professionally, just do it as a hobby, whatever she wants to do we will support her all the way and the answer is always the same she 100% wants this as her career. I have suggested she cuts back, maybe just do the bare minimum and not all the extra stuff (contemporary, hip hop, competitions, shows etc) but she is so against dropping anything, she just wants to dance all the time. junedancer - I really think way too much emphasis has been put on the syllabus, when I spelled it out about focusing on technique to the (negative) teacher her response was that 'we can work on that as part of grade 5' (but that was the conversation about pulling her out of school for private lessons, something I'm not willing to do). I don't think the new teacher is keen to do private lessons anymore which is a shame as she's really nice, she's re-arranged her timetable so that there are regular lessons when previously DD had privates at that time. The (negative) teacher has made snotty remarks to another child about how her and my DD are the only ones who do private lessons (like it's some sort of horrendous thing). I know that's not true because 2 other kids do privates but they are the coming out of school whereas DD's privates fitted around school / before dance (or after the last class). I'm hoping these next 2 terms will be calmer because there isn't (as far as I know) any exams planned (at least for DD) until probably this time next year. So she won't have that exam focus and we will have more time to think about what's best for her. I think she really needs something that is purely technique and not syllabus, it's just finding someone/somewhere we can get to without any clashes (shows,rehearsals, CAT satellite etc).
  6. proballetdancer - She knows she doesn't have a typical ballet body and knows she has no chance of becoming a professional classical ballerina but I think what's happened is that being told regularly that she is not a ballet kid has put her off ballet, even if it's just as a good foundation for everything else. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see the harm in encouraging anyone to pursue something they enjoy, encourage but be realistic. So don't make out someone is the next Misty Copeland when clearly they are not but you don't have to keep reminding them or discouraging them when they want to do things. If one of DD's friends came to me and asked about auditioning for royal ballet (without any dance training at all) I would advise her that the standard would be high but if she really wants to then why not apply, what have you got to lose (shoot for the stars and all that). The counselling happened when she was at her old dance school, when she moved to her current one she completely changed, she was happy again. She is doing very few classes with the teacher at the new school that has a lot of negative views as well (up until last term she was doing everything with her). The other teacher who she does most of her classes with now can give the same sorts of corrections without the negative use of language. For example saying she is lazy with her tap, when I asked the other teacher her opinion she said sometimes she can be a bit flat footed in certain exercises but she wouldn't call it lazy (she recommended getting full sole tap shoes instead of split sole like the other teacher had recommended, which would make all the difference). She absolutely loves dance and she's already decided she wants to go into it as a career, she knows classical ballet isn't an option but still enjoys it, she seems to flit between really loving ballet, wanting to do associates etc to hating it and she's no good etc. aileen - She has it all planned out already, she wants dance to be her career, she wants to continue her training, go to college, dance professionally when her pro career(if she manages to have one) is over teach dance and own a studio. She's already considering things for GCSE's that will help her, she's looking at graphic design so she can do all her own logos, business studies so she has a good business head for owning a studio. I think she probably would go for a ballet company but has had the idea squashed so early on that it's not considered an option for her. There's a fine balance between lying to someone about their chances and not crushing them and I think she's been crushed so often by local dance teachers it's hard for her to get back up time and time again. She's happy most of the time but it doesn't take much to bring all those negative emotions/thoughts back, sometimes she can just shrug it off as the teacher being a bit stroppy but it's the other times when maybe she's having a bad day herself and it's a bit of a "yes she's right, look at my shoulders I'm rubbish". joyofdance - oh dear, maybe our kids went to the same dance school as the way you describe it is almost word for word how I would describe her old dance school. Unfortunately for us, we are in a fairly rural area so there is not a lot of choice when it comes to dance, especially if you want to train seriously/do exams. My daughter responds better to positive corrections, so reminding her about posture will get a better response then shouting something insulting or comparing her to other's, different things work for different kids. LinMM - joyofdance described the grooming that went on at the old dance school perfectly (either our girls went to the same school or there are way too many of these horrible places out there). For me it was the mental grooming that I found so terrifying, DD genuinely believed that she deserved to be hit, she had been groomed into that way of thinking, along with everything else joyofdance mentioned (pitting children against each other, favouritism,making children and/or parents feel they weren't loyal/dedicated enough). Timescale for her dance is as follows; Age 7 (Autumn 2012,dance school 1) - starts informal dance classes (no proper structured syllabus other then the tap) At almost 9 (Late spring 2014, dance school 2) - RAD grade 1 ballet, ISTD grade 1 tap, grade 2 modern (for 1 term and then in grade 3), bronze jazz and several non syllabus classes, did tap (Merit)& ballet(distinction) exams summer 2015 Age 10.5 (Jan 2016, dance school 3) - RAD grade 3 ballet (also doing g4 class) & inter foundation, ISTD grade 4 modern, grade 2 tap (also doing g3) and several non syllabus classes Summer 2016 - g4 modern exam, g2 tap exam (Merit) Autumn 2016 - G3 ballet exam (Merit) Spring 2017 - G4 ballet exam (Merit), g3 tap exam(Distinction), silver jazz exam (Distinction) Autumn 2017 - G5 ballet exam(Pass), G5 modern exam(Merit) Whatever grade she is at she will always do the grade above and as many of her current grade as she can get to, so for example she will be doing 2 grade 6 modern classes and an inter foundation modern class, but because of clashes with the CAT scheme she will only do 1 grade 6 ballet but will also do 1 grade 7 class. With the exams coming up these next 2 terms by summer she will be 13 and grade 6 ballet, grade 6 tap,intermediate foundation modern. What I don't want to happen is for her to cruise through these next grades on knowledge of syllabus, performance etc only, it's the technique she needs but I don't know if perhaps she's at a point where she won't improve.
  7. Hi, I'm looking for advice about my daughter (age 12.5) and how to help get her technique on track. She started (very) informal dance classes at age 7, the standard (looking back) was not very good at all it was more like fitness classes (the tap was okay as the teacher for that was actually ISTD qualified). We moved to a new dance school a couple of months before her 9th birthday, she started doing every class possible ballet, tap, modern, contemporary, lyrical, drama, hip hop,jazz.... everything she was allowed to, she couldn't get enough. She was in RAD grade 1 ballet, ISTD grade 1 tap, ISTD grade 3 modern, ISTD bronze jazz, she did her ballet & tap exams (Summer 2015) and at the end of the following term I found out her teacher had been smacking her (and also grooming, emotional abuse), so we moved. When we moved (Jan 2016) she was due to do her grade 3 modern, bronze jazz, grade 2 tap and grade 2 ballet exams. New teacher was shocked by how little grade 2 ballet she knew considering she was meant to be doing her exam with the old school (and also shocked that at age 10.5 she was only just in grade 2 when her grade 2's were aged 7/8). So DD ended up skipping grade 2 and went straight into a grade 3 class, she was also allowed to do grade 4 (to try and help her improve) she also started doing intermediate foundation, grade 4 modern, continued with grade 2 tap and some other non syllabus classes (contemporary, hip hop etc) she was doing the grade above and at least 2 classes of her actual grade (she's a hard worker). By the end of 2016 she was grade 4 ballet, grade 5 modern, grade 3 tap gaining Merit's in her exams (just shy of distinction in tap/modern). By summer 2017 she had done grade 4 ballet (Merit), silver jazz (distinction) grade 3 tap (distinction) and seemed on track to sorting out all the technique issues she had from the poor training for the first few years at the other schools. Then her last 2 exams grade 5 modern & grade 5 ballet (done last term) her technique marks have been shocking, her knowledge of syllabus has been high, same with musicality, performance etc but technique has taken a nose dive. She's not doing anything different, I know the higher the grades the harder they are but for her technique marks to go from 7's, 8's and in some cases 9's to 4's and 5's I'm starting to question whether her teacher is pushing her through her grades too quickly based on her knowing the syllabus really well. She is very very good at picking things up, to the point she's remembered some things better then the teacher has (and when the teacher has checked the RAD app/videos/books DD has been right) and I'm now worried the teacher just has her ear marked as scraping through on knowledge of syllabus rather then her technique being of an appropriate standard for the grade. There's also the mental health side of it, DD has been told so many times by so many different teachers that she is no good. From that very first dance school at age 7 she wasn't 'good' because she wasn't an amazing singer (something the principal there valued more then anything as that was her personal strength). Then at the next school from just before her 9th birthday until 10.5 not only was she told ballet wasn't her thing (and so she would claim she hated ballet anyway), that she was rubbish, not flexible enough but she was also smacked alongside it. This affected her tremendously to the point we were having regular meetings at her academic school as they couldn't get to the bottom of why she felt so worthless (she was seeing the school councillor and all she could get out of her was that she felt even worse after dance). Obviously when the emotional/physical abuse came to light it all made sense and when we changed dance schools she was like a different kid, back to her old fun loving happy self. Now the new school, although the teacher doesn't intend to cause harm (I don't think) she has said so many things to my daughter in a blase way it's bringing up all the really negative things that have been drilled into her from a young age. For example she wanted to audition for associates, we filled in the form, took photos sent it all off to hopefully get an audition date. In the meantime the teacher is telling DD how they are looking for certain body types, one of the associates she wanted to audition for one of her dance friends already attended and the teacher said of course that child got in she has the right body type but that DD shouldn't get her hopes up because she wasn't really the right look. The teacher was very surprised when one of them (not naming who on here but a well known but very new associates at the time) came back and said she was borderline but they wanted her to come along to the first class to see how she got on. Well she never made it to that first class because she had convinced herself with the words of her current and former teachers that they didn't really want her, that she wasn't good enough and should forget ballet...and besides she "hates ballet" (despite that at the time she was doing about 7.5 hours ballet a week). Another associates also ran modern classes and after she attended the modern class, they said she was a good dancer but again DD let those negative thoughts creep in and we didn't send off the application for their ballet associates. She was back to stating she hated ballet, didn't want to do it and had no chance anyway because she was nothing like the other kids at the dance school who were already in associate schemes (at one point we had problems with her starving herself because of one of these kids making comments about her). When an EYB audition local to us came about I told her teacher about it and that she wanted to audition, her teacher's reaction was basically that DD had no chance, they want a whole company of mini ballerina's and she doesn't fit the bill (so when she didn't get in it was a bit of an I told you so moment). She's referred to DD's body shape saying that she has a "bit of a bum" not like "x child", she's told her she's lazy in tap, that her shoulders are no good (and suggested I get this vest contraption to pull her shoulders back more). When I've asked if we can have 2 or 3 privates a week to just work on her technique she wasn't interested (unless I wanted to pull her out of school on some days like some of her other students do). So not sure what to do, DD clearly enjoys ballet when she's doing it and now and again says it's her favourite class and she loves ballet, but more often then not if you ask her she will tense up and claim she hates it which I think is a defense strategy i.e "you're not designed for ballet...that's okay I don't like it anyway". The mental attitude is hard because even when she is successful she talks herself out of her achievements, for example a local small associates had auditions, she was offered a place (we couldn't accept as they changed the day at the last minute and it conflicted with a prior commitment) and she said they didn't have much choice considering how few went to the audition so it was probably just an automatic offer. Same with a satellite CAT scheme she's been offered a place on, she's concerned she's just making up the numbers/cost for them rather then genuinely gaining a place (all of which is not helped when her teacher is shocked that she receives these offers), I'm hoping the CAT will help but the focus is on contemporary (not like other CAT's with ballet being part of it too). I know she needs to work on her technique but I don't know how to go about helping her with that, the teacher isn't interested in doing regular private lessons, she can only get to so many lessons on top of school/homework/timetable conflicts. Ballet associates is likely the answer but if her technique is so bad, she's going to struggle to get in anywhere and if she can't get in she can't improve and that's a bit of a never ending cycle. I'm just feeling a bit sorry for her really, she's worked so hard, given up so much to get to every class she could (at one point in ballet she was doing grade 4, grade 5, freework, 3 x inter foundation, 2 x intermediate) and it's not paying off. Maybe it's just her and the teacher is right that she's just not cut out for ballet (even recreationally) so that's as good as her technique is going to get. Thoughts? Advice? Really not sure where we go from here now, whether she can improve in the right environment or if some kids just get to a certain level and that's it for them I don't know. TL;DR - DD's technique has taken a nose dive and I think maybe she's been pushed through her grades too quickly (she has done RAD ballet grades 3, 4 & 5 in the space of a year) on the basis that her ability to pick up is very good so she knows the syllabus well and is cruising through on that strength. Advice on how to get her technique sorted (teacher isn't interested in doing private lessons), it's possibly that bad she won't have a chance with a ballet associates which is probably the very thing she needs (she's 12.5 years old), or with some kids is it just a losing battle and she should just accept that when it comes to ballet from now on (grade 6+) she will just scrape a pass?
  8. Thank you both for your suggestions, I'm going to make some enquiries and hopefully get her checked out over the summer, thanks again xx
  9. Hi, My daughter has struggled with her flexibility (specifically splits) for quite some time now, we've plodded along encouraging her and hoping it will just come naturally at some point but we are starting to question if there may be a medical reason. She was having weekly private lessons last term to work just on her flexibility and her dance teachers are just as baffled, one of them has commented that DD does not feel stretches in a normal way, so for example if the stretch that is being done should be felt in her hamstrings she is feeling it somewhere completely different. Another one of her teachers has said a few times she thinks DD has normal hips but her quads are unbelievably tight and with any leg stretches her muscles are just so tight she's not making any progress. My husband has just recently been diagnosed as hypermobile and whilst he was with the physio he mentioned how bendy I am (swaybacks, being able to bend my fingers back etc) and his physio said it can be hereditary so there is a very good chance DD is hypermobile. When she was born they thought she had hip dyslpasia (her hips would click/pop in and out) but an ultrasound at 6 weeks showed everything was fine. We went to see the GP about 2 years ago with the same concerns, limited flexibility/concerns from when she was born and the GP just moved her legs/hips around and said she was fine it just takes time to develop flexibility and some will never have much at all (not something an aspiring young dancer wants to hear). So any suggestions on good dance physios? we are based in cambridgeshire but willing to travel a reasonable distance.
  10. This is exactly what is happening with my DD, she took her g3 exam this term but because she has been doing g4 as well she is taking her g4 exam next term (she has started learning g5 now that her official grade is 4) and once she is officially g5 she will do g6 as well and so on. It's not just ballet she is doing the higher grades in, she is g5 modern but also goes into the g6 class, the only thing she is unable to do it with is tap.
  11. My DD was 10 (and had been in RAD g2 for just over a term) when we left the old dance school and is now 11 (and is RAD g4, taking her exam next term)
  12. My DD started doing more then one grade when we moved schools, her old school / ballet teacher refused to let her overlap, refused to let her do private lessons in order to catch up to her peers so along with that (and several other reasons) we moved. When she moved she was grade 2 ballet and initially wanted to do all of her grades she didn't want to skip them (despite new teacher trying to convince her to just forget about g2). It was a bad idea and she did get confused but that was because she wasn't use to it. She went from doing 1 x g2 class a week to 1x g2, 1x g3,1x g4 and 2 x IF, it lasted about 6 weeks I think before she said she couldn't do it she was getting mixed up between so many grades, so she dropped g2 and instead started doing 1 x g3, 2 x g4 and 3 x IF. We have seen a vast improvement in her from doing so much ballet and being pushed as much as possible, in her old school she was never corrected on anything, as long as she sort of knew the syllabus that was all that mattered, her teacher never taught her to point her feet or extend, even her posture was never corrected, so many little things (like holding her arms correctly) that not once did her old teacher mention and it has made the world of difference being corrected/reminded of everything (feet, arms, turnout, posture, neck, chest)! Would it be possible to get additional classes at another school as well? So if your DD does her current grade plus the one above but also try and get another of her current graded class elsewhere, also what about some free work classes to get extra hours in?
  13. DD was given a maybe, she is "borderline" (not surprising really given how she was held back in her old dance school) but she is being given a chance to come along, so she's ready to work hard and hopefully get a firm yes, she's really excited for January!
  14. I was in a similar situation earlier this year with DD, she was in a school that had ridiculous amounts of favouritism and essentially if you were not part of their competition team you were held back. When we moved (for other reasons) I hadn't realised how much she was being held back until her new teacher explained how shocked she was that she was in lower grades when her ability to pick up/take corrections etc was amazing. So at age 8.5 she joined the (old) school, she went into RAD g1 ballet, ISTD g1 tap, ISTD g2 modern (and did lots of non syllabus classes as well), fast forward to last xmas at age 10.5 she was in g2 tap, g2 ballet & g3 modern, we changed schools earlier this year. After a lot of hard work, doubling up on classes (and in the case of ballet doing the grade above and also doing 3 hours of IF a week) and private lessons she is now at age 11.5 g4 ballet, g3 tap (exams next term) and g5 modern. She is still working her socks off to improve due to being so behind for so long and is continuing to do the grade above her current ones. So I completely understand the need to get through grades quickly, if DD had of remained at the old school she probably would have ended up being in g3 for everything until she was 13/14, which is fine if it's just a hobby but not if you want to dance professionally. We are really lucky to have such a wonderful teacher now who not only lets DD do as many additional classes as she wants (so she will do 2 x g5 modern, 2 x g4 ballet etc) but also the grade above because she knows DD wants to work hard and catch up to her peers and make a career out of dance.
  15. My dd has gone from being in grade 1 last summer to just about to take her grade 3 in a few weeks and then grade 4 next term alongside doing inter foundation (she's not on pointe yet). It seems like a huge leap but she is 11 and has gone from doing 1 x 45 min grade 1 ballet class last summer to (when we moved schools earlier this year) 1 x 45 min g3, 1 x 45 min g4, 3 x 1hr inter foundation and up until this term 1hr freework ballet (because of a conflict on the timetable she's had to drop that class but is doing an extra g4 instead) and has had regular 1hr private lessons so she has put in a lot of hours to catch up, so I find it insane that this new teacher is expecting girls to not only be on pointe but ready to do their exam so soon! and it is a huge jump from a grade 2 class to intermediate (DD is doing RAD but I expect it's similar in level of difficulty), glad to hear you are getting her out of there!
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