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  1. Hi, which shade of pink is this, please?
  2. I do agree that it is important to speak up, and I am sorry to hear that your DD’s experience has not been a good one. I hope she is now accessing the help that she needs, and her friends too. I also think it is important, in the interests of balance and clarity, to say that this is not the case for everyone, and that some schools are really nurturing the children and many children are thriving at vocational school. To say this is not to deny or excuse any poor treatment that has happened in other institutions or to other children. Ongoing, frank conversation is essential with all our children, and even more so when we are entrusting them to a school that may be far from home.
  3. While this may be the experience for some, it is really not our experience or that of any of DD’s classmates as far as I know. We have found her school to be very nurturing, and an environment where she and her friends are thriving. Perhaps things have really changed for the better in recent years, but I felt that with so many parents nervous about sending their child off for the first time in a matter of weeks I wanted to reassure them that our experience so far has been wholly positive, and this certainly seems to be the case for DD’s friends too.
  4. Black jazz pants size 2a long £5 (+ postage) Florescent pink block booties size child L (£10 + postage) Both in very good condition.
  5. Perhaps it was more that the changes taking place at puberty were an indication that the body was growing into a shape that was not suited to ballet? One of DD’s RBS JA friends was told pretty much this when she didn’t reach WL finals. When DD started Year 7 the girls were all at different stages of development and several showed signs of puberty at that age. It wasn’t a problem for any of them. The Health and Wellbeing team treat the absence of periods beyond a certain age as an indicator that something may not be right. The weigh-ins are conducted in a way that is very low-key and the children don’t seem phased by them. Such frequent checks mean that any signs of eating distress are picked up on quickly and dealt with before they become serious, and having had DD home for an extended time the only worry about her eating is that she will eat us out of house and home! They get through huge amounts of energy each day, and are always reminded to fuel their body appropriately. The focus is on being strong as well as balletic, and you can’t achieve this on a minimal diet. I teach in a secondary school, and often see teenagers with signs of eating distress but I have no worries about how the matter is dealt with at Elmhurst.
  6. You mention a full time/ vocational ballet school... don’t you already receive written reports and appraisal feedback? We receive a written report after a term and then another after appraisals have taken place, plus a parents’ evening appointment at another point in the year. They give feedback on her ability in the different aspects of dance (similar to the things marked in a ballet exam), response to corrections, artistry, attitude in lessons, plus ‘next steps’ to work on in the immediate future to develop their work. This level of feedback is extremely valuable, and absolutely what I would expect when we are talking about full time ballet school. Dance has at least equal status with all the academic subjects, more really, as it’s the reason DD is at that school and boarding 120 miles away from home! A regular school wouldn’t dream of missing maths off a school report (for example).
  7. Wayne McGregor gave a talk for Elmhurst students during lockdown, and has been in several times working with upper school students in the last few years. Carlos Acosta was the guest speaker at the summer show gala last year and had only just taken up his post officially at BRB when lockdown started, but there is already talk of a project with the school. Their involvement with the school is definitely active
  8. I think the schools talk to them in very realistic terms about ballet as a career path. Boarding at vocational school is an amazing experience in itself, if it is what the child wants to do, and even if it doesn’t lead to a career it still enriches their life while they are there and gives them a wealth of transferable skills. If your DD wants to apply, and has the resilience to handle any disappointment that may come her way, and you are able to make it work if she is successful, you could try and see what happens.
  9. The All England website gives a good list of well-established dance festivals. It’s normally here (https://www.all-england-dance.org.uk/nominated-festivals) but is being updated to allow for changes due to Covid-related cancellations this year. The website also has information about rules that are followed at all the linked festivals, including time limits for dances depending on the number of dances, age etc. Groups are fun, and a nice introduction for dancers new to festivals, but more difficult to arrange rehearsals. Trios and quartets are easier from this point of view. Solos require more confidence, but the dancer can practice at home more easily. If there is a festival relatively near to you, going to watch will give you an idea of how it runs and the standard at each age group. They are great fun and build confidence and performance skills as well as giving students a chance to stretch their skills.
  10. The full-time students also use the studios on a Saturday morning, and the dining area is used by both groups, so if they followed the current model it would be difficult to keep them apart. They may well be waiting for further guidance before coming up with a plan. It’s reassuring to see that they are so cautious, especially when it would involve increasing the number of people on site considerably on a Saturday.
  11. The skirt is so beautiful! DD barely wore hers, as the teacher at her centre didn’t use them very often with the Year 6s, but they are gorgeous!
  12. I have an almost unused character skirt and an unworn JA white leotard (size 1... I bought the wrong size and hand-washed it but it was never worn). The skirt is 58.5cm waist, 63cm long, and was made by the official RBS dressmaker. £35 for both
  13. The results for vocational places are always later than other secondary school offers, even without this. We accepted a place at a non-vocational secondary school for DD and then gave our place back when her place at vocational school was offered. (In actual fact we handed it back later than that, as we waited until after induction day so we knew she was sure!) 16+ offers at normal sixth form are only confirmed after GCSE results, so not a problem then, but finals could be even closer than normal to GCSEs in 2021, which sounds stressful!
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