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Coffeemum

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  1. Congratulations to your daughter, @balletbean , lovely news.
  2. Definitely Nicola Tarry school. Xx
  3. Hello all. I've been reading this post with much interest and as a professional musician who had two, and now has one vocational ballet dd I have so much to say I don't know where to start! On the musical front, not only do we go to music college at 18 for a 4 year performance degree, most now stay on and do a postgraduate course or two. I stepped straight into a full and busy freelance life after my degree and almost regret not staying on, as my teacher suggested. But because of the difference of the length of career/peak in physique etc, perhaps its better for dancers to be able to continue studies alongside their dancing, as many do? There are many similarities between the two disciplines and the sacrifices one has to make in order to follow the path to a career, though the sacrifices that I made were always happily made as I loved what I was doing. The one thing I've always envied though, and especially during lockdown, is the group classes and the whole nature of learning together, albeit via zoom these days!! We've always had to have the discipline to stay a room by ourselves for hours every day to practice... I wonder what a scale class would be like for 15 violinists 😂 There are very much downsides to the one-to-one learning too, as you're probably all aware of the awful stories of abuse coming out over the last few years, and was prolific when I was at music school. This means I've always been on high alert for anything similar in the ballet world. I have so far, two hugely different experiences of ballet schools. My eldest dd went to vocational school for year 10 and other than the wonderful friends she made and the times she had with them, it was otherwise a horrendous experience for her and the happy, excited and confident child I sent there ended up broken by mid year 11. I still wake up angry with certain people at the school and at myself, for not dealing with it better and sooner. But, I didn't know the full extent of it until I heard my child talk to a councellor about it recently. In complete contrast, my youngest dd at a different school couldn't be having a more different journey. From the pastoral care, to the contact from ballet and academic teachers, how they're assessed, looked after physically and emotionally, it's a different world. However, I also know contrasting stories from both schools, so it's never the same journey for any child. I would just ask your child to be open about everything and not to worry about saying if it's not all they thought it would be or if they have any worries whatsoever about anything. We had a wonderful programme of teaching and performance ops for my eldest before she took her place in year 10. I just wish we'd stayed with it. I sometimes fear for my youngest who is still loving every second, and just hope she has a happy ride, no matter what happens for her regarding a career in ballet or not. It's a precarious world out there for the arts at the moment but the majority of people I work with and come across in the ballet world are wonderful people and I certainly wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I hope I don't have to! I very much hope to playing in the pit while one of your children (or even mine!) are on stage. Please just dance in time.. 😂😂❤️❤️
  4. Thecatsmother, so much of your post rings true. An eating disorder is a symptom of one or many issues and it is indeed, a silent way of expressing distress. An understanding of the child's distress is key to helping them. My dd had an unhappy two years at her school and the eating disorder (and I call it this as even though it was mild in comparison to others, I feel a mental illness shouldn't be difficult to talk about) was most definitely a symptom of the way things were handled over those two years. And I totally agree with you over a school needing to be careful about who and more importantly how, they visibly promote. A few months after leaving her school she is healthier and happier than I've seen her in a long time. It's enormously difficult for schools to get their handling of eating disorders right for everyone though, but a kind, caring and nurturing environment surely helps. Also, good and non combative communication with parents is key, too. I also believe that in order to become resilient in the arts, or indeed anywhere, the right encouragement and support is needed or confidence will always suffer, no matter how one seems to be 'dealing' with it on the outside. I say this as someone who's been at a vocational school (not ballet) and works in the arts.
  5. No, as a mother of a current WL child, I've heard nothing of being invited to attend masterclasses for free. We're in the scrum with everyone else. And my dd also had a place on the course, too. I also feel compelled to say, that whilst the feeling is that everything the dance schools do is a money-spinner to line already comfortable pockets, it is so necessary in our cash strapped world of the arts in this country. They all struggle to keep ahead of the required funding to exist and simply have to come up with ways of making money. I say this as someone also in the arts, albeit in a different sector but with understanding of the constant struggle of keeping afloat in a country that offers so little.
  6. Yes, you can absolutely keep up with vocational school training. But as other people have said here, it's a big commitment with all the planning, driving around and fitting around regular school. I would say private lessons are really worth the effort and money with the right teacher and also a good conditioning programme. My daughter also had permission from the local school to have half a day off for dance training... Training locally (ish) certainly comes with its problems but the great thing about it, is that you can really find the right teachers for your child and also do more performing than you'd do at vocational school. That's something that my eldest dd really missed once she got into a voc school. And by the by, we wish we'd stuck with the local training until upper school... But everyone's journey is unique and it's a question of finding what's right for them. One fabulous teacher said recently to her, it doesn't matter where you train, it just has to be the right place for the individual artist to flourish. Good luck!
  7. We are still waiting on a reserve list place, too..
  8. You too, Princess dreams. It's certainly an anxious time. And in the midst of it all, DD is thinking about giving it all up. X
  9. Hello. Is anyone else having an agonizing wait for a reserve list place for ENB? It seems so hard for their expectations to be raised, to then surely recieve a no...
  10. Hi dancingninja. Yes, a girl was invited to join my daughter's year from the summer school last year.
  11. I don't think 10 is too late if she's determined, has the right physique and a fabulous teacher. My daughter started taking it seriously at the age of 12, having done one class a week for 3 years prior to that. She gained a place at vocational ballet school at 14. Good luck to your daughter!
  12. Danceworks Ballet Academy in London is fantastic, as is Masters of Ballet, also London.
  13. I meant to add, it's good to get more of an idea of the academic side of various schools, too. I'm very hazy on the different courses, where they lead and how it affects funding etc. Her current school offers an A level, (or possibly two?) which is great, but I was surprised so few do. Also, the graduate destinations of most schools is a little terrifying. She has a few healthy plan Bs which is a bit of a comfort at the moment. It's enough to keep you wide awake all night though....
  14. Thank you so much fabulous people. Your advice is breaking down my wall of fear about this stage! The spreadsheet is also a golden nugget of a plan, thank you. Its hard with her being away (and me too - I also work in the arts and its not a good mix!) to plan dvds and photos, but if she knows deadlines, it helps. She is definitely after a classical ballet training and we definitely need funding! The best outcome would be for her to stay where she is, but there are no guarantees... Yes, the funding issue for Europe is completely up in the air at the moment so I'm very nervous about wasting time and money on those auditions. (and I've no idea how I'd get her over there or if she'd be allowed time off school?!) However, she's very keen on applying to a few. One seems to be. Dvd only, which helps! Her teenage stubborn mind is fixed on just a few schools in the UK, and I'd love her to broaden her mind and consider other options in case those few don't work out. I'm just not particularly knowledgeable on others she could apply for. I've not heard of KS dance, for instance and I don't know enough about Ballet West... it's funny how a new stage can take you right back to the not-knowing-anything-Help! Feeling of a few years ago. Thanks again for all the help. Xx
  15. Hello everyone. We've reached the stage, rather too quickly, of applying to upper schools for eldest dd. I'd love to have some advice on how many schools is sensible to apply for, how to choose which ones and any information and knowledge of German and the Dutch schools people know/have experience of. Organising dvds/photos and managing audition dates is ever so slightly overwhelming! Any info, small or big is very welcome. Thank you!
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