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  1. Love the idea of swing ball as a maypole! Now to find some ribbons or similar!
  2. Balletboost was too far for us sadly, so I only know what I've read on here which is all rather good comments I think - maybe do a search?
  3. The thing with associates is that they all differ re what they are looking for re body, musicality and flexibility. Also I suspect a few dance schools have jumped on the associate bandwagon as allnewtome mentioned, so those may have far better odds of a place, but may be not much better than just normal ballet classes. IIRC for the Royal JA/MA there are almost a thousand girls auditioning for just a hundred or so places all over the country. I'm sure you can google statistics as I think they publish them in their annual report.There are fewer MA places than JA places I believe. Tring CBA similarly has rather fewer places compared with the number of children who apply I believe. Auditions are a good experience in themselves however, but really there's no way of knowing what they are looking for or whether she has what it takes, other than auditioning. In our experience auditions are a normal ballet class that is more or less age appropriate (sight chance of tricky things to see how the children approach a challenge, but also mainly things that they should be comfortable doing that show them at their best) and some additional stretches. There will be a teacher taking the class then a panel or one or two or more dance teachers who are in charge of assessing.
  4. One thing I would add is that is she already does dancing 6 days a week then she probably does need time on the weekend to do homework and just time to relax a bit. It's important for growing bodies to have a break and not train 7 days a week. Maybe if you did an associates class then you could cut back or rearrange in other areas? I assume she is in year 6 currently? I'd have thought most auditions coming up soon will be for a Sept start. Keep in mind that once children start secondary school it's a steep learning curve, they get really tired and there is a lot of homework to fit in. Our DD saves most of her homework up for the weekend as she dances or does music most weeknights. She had at least 6-8 hours a week of homework in year 7, sometimes more. Also, I'd consider distance - opinions may differ, but driving halfway across the country for an associate class is bonkers IMO. I recall meeting parents at associates who did this for their children, and they and the child looked quite exhausted. Two hours drive there for a 2.5 hour class then another 2 hour drive back makes for a long day on a weekend on a regular basis. Quite a lot of girls at our associates who travelled long distances quit or rarely turned up in the end. I'd see what is within say a 40 minute radius of where you live as a starting point.
  5. Probably can't really sell them on as they are reasonably used, but not worn out if that makes sense. Probably just wishful thinking on my part though as it's a hassle to buy new ones and better for the planet to reuse the ones we have.
  6. Thanks, that's helpful to know. I suspected as much re the longevity of any painting that it would be fine for a few weeks only. I don't know if there is such as thing as movable shoe paint - I've seen it advertised online in Australia when I googled painting leather ballet shoes. It would be easier if it was black shoes that was required, as we could colour them in with a sharpie or something 😀
  7. Has anyone ever done this, and is it worth the effort re buying the paint and does the new colour lasts for the duration of once a week shoe use? We have oodles of old but still serviceable pairs from our oldest, but now her younger sibling is starting ballet and it seems a shame to have to go and buy new shoes, when we have a stable of shoes already, albeit in pink not in white.
  8. My mum taught me to sew and I've taught our children. I also did a dressmaking course as a teenager which was invaluable. Most children we know look in horror when I suggest sewing something out of felt on a play date! They don't do much sewing at primary level these days and secondary is fairly minimal but they do basic things with hand sewing (sock monkey) plus make a bag or PJs and so on I think. I think it's a bit of a dying art these days as is cheaper to buy something than make something quite often.
  9. Fair point and I guess if we went further afield that might well be an issue. However most of the regular classes she goes to, the associates she does and also the occasional school holiday one off days elsewhere are taught by ex dancers who have had a successful career in ballet before teaching. Also in the main they all trained and even in some cases taught at the same vocational school, so in theory they are all trained the same way one hopes.
  10. It wouldn't occur to me to 'ask permission', especially in school holidays. DD attends two dance schools, both know I think (one only does one ballet class at the correct level and is more a once a week type of level), plus also an associates programme at one of them. Also on occasion does holiday 'back to school' type workshops at another one locally. I am the paying customer and it is my child, so thus I wouldn't sign up to a dance school that stipulates they are to be the only dance school.
  11. What a lovely article and how fab that he makes his daughter's shoes!
  12. I'd wait until a couple of weeks before term starts rather than buying them right now, just in case she grows. They are supposed to be a snug fit so you don't want her to grow out of them too quickly. Also, as tempting as it is, don't let her wear them at home until the teacher has seen them.
  13. Re the links to the knickers on Amazon. They ones I purchased are super thin almost nylon tights type of fabric but high cut so they don't show. I don't recall which version they were - silky maybe, but I suspect they are all pretty similar anyway. They work well as they can be washed more easily than a leotard that is only worn once a week and are more hygienic etc, but also they don't show, so best of both worlds.
  14. We just entered into this new territory recently. I searched and read up on here, watched a lot of you tube videos (some of which were a bit scary re the breaking in of shoes that experienced dancers do) and did some googling which helped a bit but also in some ways added to the confusion - different feet shape and names for feet shapes and all sorts! It is indeed a whole new world out there with terminology for the parts of the shoes, different brands etc. And that's just before the breaking in issues and finding out how the shoes then perform in class! We found most fitters really helpful, although they really differed from shop to shop in terms of advice especially re padding suggestions, which was confusing given we had absolutely no clue. Do allow a fair amount of time to be fitted and to go away and think about things if needed - if there are alternative shops nearby to the main shop you want to try, it might be an idea to try them too and see if they have any different thoughts. We found it took a few pairs to get the idea for my DD of what it's like to stand en pointe as it is a whole new experience, and them come to terms of what would be good or not and what felt wrong and what felt right as they need to fit on the flat but also en pointe, both of which are quite different positions.
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