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Everything posted by xanthe

  1. I had a lovely message from my father's cousin this morning - she was a JA back in the 1960's and then went to White Lodge. She wasn't accepted into the Upper School as her neck was deemed too short. She said she loved her time at RBS but her biggest regret was that she was left with the belief that if you weren't good enough to be there then you were no good as a dancer, and that this is both untrue and a very damaging way too think. The numbers accepted are so tiny and based on such a small snapshot of an hour's audition that none of us should take it as any kind of write off. The girl I mentioned who auditioned with DD and has SWL, I was convinced she would be a shoo in. She had the that perfect ballet body and feet, was like a rubber band in terms of flexibility plus mother was a dancer and now teacher and her DD was doing classes 6 days a week. DD also said she was amazing in the audition. There are just so many girls who have potential and so few places available.
  2. I know of one Y4 who has SWL for London who was at the audition with DD. Anyone know if it's true that there were 1800 applications this year? We have a couple of big MT auditions in the pipeline for the Autumn so DD is working towards those which helps.
  3. Is there anyone else on here still to hear? Fingers crossed if so!
  4. Tiredtoes - we were Y4 London girls. Huge well done on SWL to your DDs sunrise and meglorien.
  5. A 'no' here for DD. Think she'll be pretty philosophical - and I shall continue to enjoy not getting up early on Saturdays! Good luck to all
  6. What is the latest anyone has heard in previous years?
  7. Looking on facebook, I'm wildly guessing that they have batched by year group - seen some Y6 girls but nothing for Y4 or 5. DD at ballet class - me accepting that I AM just going to sit and obsess while muttering 'patience is a virtue' and trying to read the entrails as to whether later is better... Just hope we're not still doing this in 24hrs time...
  8. Oh Dancer123, I am so sorry. :-( I hope your DD is okay, it's so hard having to give disappointing news.
  9. Congratulations to your DS pinkbex81! Fantastic news and for Y4 as well!!! Huge congratulations to your DD as well sissonne - fingers crossed a place comes up! No news here... yet...
  10. All the one's I've seen today have been for boy places... so hope they put us out of our misery too. I was feeling very calm in the knowledge that it will almost certainly be a no, and now I'm watching email like a hawk! Ugh! In a meeting from 2 for at least an hour but will update as soon as I hear. Masses of luck to everyone!
  11. Nothing through yet. Do they send normally send London out as a block or is it staggered? DD was the very last group to audition.
  12. If they are using a mass email system, the time you get the email is more likely to be down to the initial your surname begins with - A's will get the email before Z's - whether you are a yes or a no.
  13. All done and dusted... DD's group was the 'rising 8's' and the last audition group for this year - staff still somehow looked upbeat and enthusiastic! DD went in really happy having made a couple of friends in the half-hour before... which also meant that she was so busy chatting she didn't spot the kids doing splits and mega stretches on the other side of the room. Came out utterly ecstatic and said if she doesn't get in then she wants to audition every year as it was so fun. From what I can gather they did tendus, plies, gallops, some stretches where you had to touch your toes while sitting, one where you had to get your legs from parallel as far to the sides as possible while sitting, froggies while lying on your back, that cobra type thing while lying on your tummy. They had to take socks and shoes off and then sit try and get their toes to touch the floor while legs straight and parallel, and there was some other thing where they were checking turnout. The free section involved making up a story based on pictures of a tree in the wind, a squirrel and a hawk. DD came up with some hugely complicated story line so good luck to the panel with that one! She must have really enjoyed herself given she remembered so much - generally I get 'don't know' or 'can't remember'... Acquired some nice RBS tat too - well done to the lovely people on the stall who must be exhausted! If anyone's interested, they apparently had 4 groups of girls on Tues, Thurs and today and saw boys on Wednesday. I'm guessing there were around 30 in DD's group. Such a relief that she came out so enthused and happy, but have also been told that she will be devastated if she doesn't get a place. Have spelt out the odds so hopefully it won't be too grim!
  14. All the ISTD Cecchetti schools I looked at across London seem to do the Standard classes as a matter of course and then the Grade classes are on top for those taking it more seriously - I don't know what happens with Imperial. Both the schools she has been at/is at seem to do pretty well in terms of getting children into Associate schemes and winning prizes in Cecchetti competitions etc and have good teaching. I liked the first school hugely and we only moved due to timetable clashes - the new one offers more classes so we're not moving back plus DD loves her standard class teacher. They are supposed to do their standard and Grade alongside each other - just seems to be this crossover at the moment, plus the vast majority of the kids in her standard class are only doing ballet as something to do after school and don't have any real interest. The class above there are a fair number who are a lot more serious and who are trying for Associates this year, DD is the only one from hers. I'm a little concerned as to whether they will have enough students to run a G2/G3 combined given that this class is invitation only and I have no idea how many G2s there will be in September. I ended up with a spreadsheet of pretty much every school we could get to in London and their class times etc trying to find something that would work and still took 3 months to sort out... think I will cry if I end up having to go through that again! Yesterday's class went really well thank goodness - DD said she was really pleased because she learnt a new exercise at the YDA audition and then they learnt it in class yesterday for the first time and she was able to demonstrate it for them, so I think that has done her confidence a bit of good.
  15. Standards have exams where the teacher is present and slightly smaller syllabus, Grades have no teacher present and extended syllabus. Generally schools only seem to do the Standards as a matter of course, the Grades are a way of offering an extra class at the same kind of level for children who want to do things more seriously. ETA: Cross-posted with Moomin who has given a much better explanation than me! DD has also just told me that she's the only one from her normal class in the current Grade class, so everyone else will be starting G4 while she has only just moved to G3... I thought there were a few of them.
  16. Both are ISTD Cechetti. I'm going to see what the situation is in September and if it goes back to a mixed G2/G3 class then that is fine, if it stays as a G3/G4 class then I think it would be much better for her to drop that class and concentrate on the Standard 3 alone and perhaps try and tempt her into giving another dance style a go. I'm not particularly bothered about her doing exams - if she wants to do vocational school, all the matters is how she does at the audition, not what certificates she's racked up, so a happy time doing the Standard class is better than a miserable time doing the harder Grades, and a good solid grasp of the basics is the most important. Thank you so much to everyone here for their advice and suggestions. Fingers crossed that everything settles down soon - she's said she does still want to try RBS so hopefully that will be a fun and happy experience.
  17. Really interesting articles! Just wondered whether you think that early ballet training leads to certain psychological traits developing - or whether it's a chicken and egg situation where children with/or with the predisposition for particular traits such as perfectionism, OCD, hyper-focus etc are the ones that have the capability to be accepted for this kind of intensive training?
  18. With old songs that aren't on iTunes, it can be worth having a look for it on CD on eBay and doing a download from there. I'm having similar issues with backing tracks for singing. I've had to do a YouTube download as I just can't find it anywhere else in the right tempo/key and without vocals, but I do worry a bit. The venue it's needed for are also being utterly hopeless and can't even tell me what format they need it in so I imagine copyright and performance fees for music aren't even on their radar. I can't see how the festival people will be able to tell what is bought and what isn't from a file done by a sound engineer - can the person who did the cutting reassure you on this? It may just be that they don't want people turning up with unprofessional sounding downloads.
  19. She's always done ISTD Cecchetti - she only does exams in ballet, everything else such as singing and MT are not exam based. She's only just moved up a grade - last term the extra class was a mixed G2/3, and I think it will move back to G2/3 in September - they're just keeping the same kids together for the rest of the year and then the G4s will go into a G4/5 plus an additional stretch class. I think that will suit her better as she will get more repetition of things she has already done and adding the new on top. She says she can't remember the names of things, so has to watch the others and then she knows what to do. With things like reading, she needs to see a word 50 times before it's stored away whereas a 'normal' child might only need to see it a couple of times, so it makes a lot of sense that this might be the same. Add in her perfectionism and I can see why she's upset if she's feeling insecure. I really hadn't thought the working memory issue could impact here... one to think about. Normal class teacher is aware and has dyslexic child herself so may have some ideas.
  20. That is very interesting - we have work arounds for singing where I get given the heads up and print off the lyrics in Arial 14pt so she doesn't have to struggle with the score, as she gets hugely frustrated with being unable to sight-read. She has said that she struggled at the YDA with remembering what the French meant and getting confused and said the same again on Friday about that class. Her major area of weakness is working memory - she's 7th centile so it's really, really bad. I've offered to go through them with her - just looking at one exercise a day or something. The competitions she enters herself for are all singing ones - she picks her songs and really works them up for weeks beforehand. She will only sing unprepared stuff with her teacher or on her own in her room, she detests having to do anything unprepared in front of people - she's a very unshowy offish child for that reason (bar the pirouettes on Victoria Station... it has the right kind of slippiness apparently!) I don't have that book, so will order a copy. Thank you!
  21. It's so sad to hear these stories - sadly it's not only in the dance world. I went to art college and found that a lot of the tutors were intensely jealous of some of the students who were winning big prizes and gaining contract offers with famous design studios. They could really make your life miserable and would find a way to pick holes in everything which could be very damaging to confidence - and this was 18-22 years olds not the young age that students are at vocational school. I know a number of people through politics, who also sit on the boards of some of the major schools in the UK and contribute a lot to their funding. They would be absolutely horrified if they thought students were suffering through staff bullying. I don't know which school is in question here, but if parents get to the point of withdrawing their child from a school where they would otherwise be happy, it's worth thinking about making the governing body and outside inspectors aware. These years should be happy and supportive - these kids are hard enough on themselves.
  22. I'll look out for those books - I don't remember them from when I was little... Noel Streatfield and Lorna Hill are the ones I was keen on :-)
  23. She's just moved to G3 (just moved to Standard 3 in her other class) and turns 8 later this month - the Friday classes are mixed, but she is probably one of the youngest there. We hadn't aimed or expected her to be moving to G3 quite so fast, but the teachers seemed to think it was within her capabilities and she had a strong grounding. It's a tricky one as she's likely to hit puberty very late (family pattern) and has growth delay - her bones are between 2 and 4 years delay as of the last x-rays in November - so she won't be going en pointe for a long time and I do wonder what the heck will happen when everyone else does and she can't, or when she gets to the point that you can't continue going up the grades without going en pointe. Haven't a clue, but hoping the schools have come across this before. Currently she does 1.45 hrs of ballet a week, 3 hours of musical theatre and a 1 hour session with a vocal coach - so not nothing, but I don't think overloaded for her age. Singing is her main interest and I think she'd go and see her singing teacher every day if I let her, but she loves dancing as well, but doesn't care for the street dance/jazz type things on offer. She does full-time theatre arts courses during the holidays and half-terms and dumps all the dance classes of that type in exchange for extra singing and drama. She's not a kid that can be easily talked into doing things she doesn't want to do! Ballet is the one dance form she really likes and we were quite surprised when she seemed to be doing so well. I tried to find her a modern or tap class, but the available ones for her age are at times that we can't do. She does like the very choreographed stuff that she does with MT but ballet is definitely what she wants to do most. She's been determined to go to vocational school since she discovered they exist last year - her aim is somewhere like Arts Ed or SYTS for MT, but I want her to keep her options as open as possible and not close doors, so when she seemed to be doing well at ballet, it seemed silly to not look at Associates. She is very dyslexic, so finds school hard and really looks forward to things she can do well at. I try to find teachers who she clicks with and who teach things safely - I have moved her from one place because they never warmed them up before singing and encouraged belting - but otherwise I am the kind of mother who likes to dump at the door and run away as fast as possible (I don't even know what her Friday teacher even looks like). Please don't worry about sounding critical - it's really helpful to get other opinions and points of view as we basically all just want our DCs to be happy and enjoying life, especially at this age. I did ask her vocal coach if he thought I was a 'pushy mother' - he laughed and said that I definitely wasn't, but that DD was most definitely a 'pushy kid' so I was basically stuffed! She auditions for MT stuff without blinking - was upset to get so close and then not get cast, but the actual auditions don't phase her at all. She's entered herself for competitions in her schools and is totally blasé about it. Part of the reason we are a bit taken aback is that this behaviour is really, really unusual for her. As parents, DH and I totally expected a rather shy and very academic child who preferred books and computers to anything physical, so DD has been rather a shock to the system and we're a bit lost. We expected to be stressing about 11+ in a few years time and knew the ropes for that. Children are never simple!
  24. They're not worried at all about progress - just worried about her worries. I suppose it's a bit like getting back on a horse after falling off - you don't want the fear to grow in their mind till they're making it into something it isn't, you just want the enjoyment back, and they don't know how to manage that and as she's new to the class they don't 'know' her if that makes sense. Happily she hasn't got anything like exams coming up for a year - so possibly just ignoring the refusal and waiting for her to decide it's more fun to join in will be best. I just don't know. Rather wish it was July and we had a big summer break coming up! It would also be easier if she was older - she's very hard on herself at times... hence why I asked, very seriously, if she wanted to not go to the RBS and to maybe drop one or both ballet classes. She knows that we are totally okay with that. So many children are passionate about things when they are little and then it takes a bit hit once they hit teen years - I'd never consider money or training wasted and she can change direction if she wants. Heck, I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up at 45 and am on career path number 200!
  25. Thank you all so much for the advice and comments - lots of things to think about. It's been a mixed end to the week - she saw her vocal coach on Thursday and had a great lesson with him. He's very high energy and fun and while he really makes her work, she comes out bouncing and confident. Then we had her invitation advanced ballet class yesterday and the teacher asked to speak to me at the end. Apparently DD is saying she's unable to do the exercises, and then does them no problem at all - rinse and repeat for each one. She's also lost the ability to point her toes or turnout as well, yet can get her legs flat on the floor in froggies (I'm not entirely sure how froggies work, but apparently this was significant). They're really worried about her and what is going on. It's a different teacher from her normal class and a mixed G3/4 (ISTD) so work is more advanced and students are all hand-picked so a jump in terms of interest and ability from her normal class but she's never struggled in previous weeks. I explained what has gone on, and they're going to take it slowly with her, but also feel that letting her be incapable when she clearly isn't probably won't help either. Ugh. Had a brief chat with her and didn't get very far other than establishing that she definitely doesn't want to drop classes and she definitely wants to do the JA audition (can't help thinking it would be much easier if she did want to give up!). She's panicking a bit over not being able to remember which name goes with which exercise - she's a huge perfectionist and control freak so I get why this is causing her stress, so I've bought some nice books with lots of pictures (Darcy Bussell's one), downloaded the syllabus and between them and YouTube, we're going to suss out what is what. She's been asked to sing at solo in a public concert next weekend, so I imagine that will do her confidence a world of good and get her passion for performing back. I think the boys at school are all at different ones, so bit tricky to have words, but the school are v unimpressed and are working out how to deal with it on a whole-school basis (DH has been a governor there since before we even met, so HT has already been in contact with him about ideas).
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