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  1. Associate Results will be out End of March/beginning of April.
  2. My son is boys Y7 MAs, and it is possible to be assessed out of Mids. It might not happen v often, but they have been told that it can if they are not where they should be, or not meeting the standards of behaviour expected of them. It is not just about the dancing, it is about IMHO as much about whether they fit within a certain image as they move through the training program. With our MA group, the parents were all booked in after Christmas with the class teacher for a report on how our child is doing, strengths, weaknesses, concerns, any questions etc One of the posts mentioned AD knowing and watching the classes; whenever AD is going to be in the building, the class is forewarned as he always watches at the viewing window. He also watches unannounced as well. Head of Associate programs always watches the class and takes notes on every parent watching day, undertakes the boys assessments and regularly watches at unannounced times throughout the terms. I am talking about specialist boys MAs, I cannot speak for other MA classes. AD WL said to parents last week on finals day for Y8,9,10,11, our selection process is about whether or not you are right fit for the Royal Ballet to train. In my son’s interview, the person interviewing him spoke a lot about if you are offered a place, you will be representing our brand and will have to behave accordingly. Yikes! It also said to me that selection is not solely based on talent. I used to think it was, but I don’t anymore. And the flip side of this, is that for me ‘assessing out’ is not based solely on lack of talent, but so many more things, many of which we will never fully know.
  3. @Efftee this is my personal opinion, but also framed by a professional background in psychological therapies, and with a ballet dancing son who has additional needs. your daughters ED should in reality make absolutely no difference where her dancing is concerned, especially if it’s in remission and she has excellent strategies and support in place moving forward. That would have been my opinion before my son entered the non-syllabus/vocational world of ballet training. i posted on here at the very beginning of his journey, and the feedback was amazing. My question here was whether to be open and honest about his additional needs in applications for training schools etc it is without doubt the single most difficult decision I have made on his part as a parent. Remember this is purely personal and based on my experience of this rarefied world we discuss here. Disclosing his additional needs has most certainly gone against him in some areas, but more than this it has somehow tainted him with a ‘different than’ label no matter how talented a dancer he is. And he is a talented dancer. His training schools currently all know, and all treat him very differently. 😕 Some inclusive, some not at all. Mental health issues, additional needs, differences from the mainstream, no matter how transparent and open the current zeitgeist may be, I feel we still are very long way from acceptance in an inclusive way. However all that said, I received on here a response that has stayed with me always, and it said would you really want your child to go to a school that you thought would reject him on the basis of his support needs/mental health needs? My thoughts for your daughter is if she is under intense pressure again, this could trigger her ED symptoms. A school that knows this in advance would hopefully be proactive and have that bit of extra support built into her training. Possibly avoiding a further relapse of her condition.
  4. In theory with GDPR and without your daughters explicit consent, the information cannot be shared. This is regardless of whether it is known to the current school, they cannot share this information. Might I suggest that you check the schools permission to share policy. You might need to ‘opt out’ of sharing, as oppose to ‘opt in.’ I would also write a polite letter to the lower school if that is where your daughter is stating you do not give details of her personal history to be shared with anyone other than GP, ED Clinic, parents. Your daughter will also need to sign it. Eating disorders come under mental health and this is private and confidential personal information. Check ICO website for more details. I have your daughter gets all the support she needs.
  5. Elmhurst don’t assess out at all. 😍 WL from this year group now assess out from Y7. 🙁
  6. @librarianne your comment about Clarke looking like a caricature of the role is very insightful, and captures perfectly what was not there in his performance. And my son also commented that the relationship between Onegin and Tatiana felt and looked ‘fake’ he’s 11!! Mathew Ball would indeed make a believable Onegin. Thankyou yours was a very thought provoking review, filling in some of the gaps still in my head about the performances overall.
  7. @capybara Thankyou. I am relieved to hear that I am not the only ballet fan who doesn’t worship at the feet of Nunez. 😀 I thought a bit before writing it, I felt as though I was disrespecting royalty. I shall tell my son that Reece Clarke hadn’t been let off his steps, we did think it would have been very unusual. The Royal Ballet training has made me absolutely obsessed with male dancers feet, as is my son, so that is where I tend to look first. Vadim Muntagirov has the most exquisite feet, as did Sergei Polunin (at the height of his ballet career), sadly not any more.
  8. There are more girls than boys invited to the finals, and the selection process (hearsay) is very very different for girls. I have a boy, and we know lots of girls through to WL finals, it was different to the boys finals. I hear you all shouting ‘of course they are different’ but i have been told both by parents and teachers the girl selection process is quite brutal in they really do know what they want. Again this is what I have been told, not what I know.
  9. I went to see Onegin last night with my ballet dancing son who is 11. It was a Christmas present for him. First time in the Opera House watching the Royal Ballet perform live. We have only ever watched them perform at cinema screenings and Sky Arts. The experience was really wonderful. It takes a lot for me to feel excited, but excited I was. Only sad part was I booked it because it was Osipova/Muntagirov who is my son’s ballet dancing hero, 😊 but they were replaced. I do feel though that I was watching a very different ballet from my fellow posters. For me Onegin felt, light and lacked substance. The music was beautiful, but the story and the ballet left me quite empty. I said to my son it felt like ‘ballet light.’ I did enjoy Ball/Hayward, but not Clarke/Nunez. Ball has a really lovely stage presence, and a lovely quality to his movements. Reece Clarke on the other hand had such appalling feet in a male dancer at his level, they were floppy and flat, with very poor articulation and turn out. I thought he lacked grace as a dancer. My son, who trains with the Royal Ballet, wondered if the steps had been simplified for him as they seemed so basic set against the lovely enchainments from Mathew Ball. It was my son who grimaced first at the feet situation. The people next to us said how boring he was. The other thing that struck me, please don’t shoot me for this Marinella Nunez worshippers, was the wonderful lightness and youth that Francesca Hayward brings to the stage contrasted against a much more mature approach from Nunez. Of course she is more mature, and she is of course an amazing dancer, but when I watch her I can see the effort she is making, unlike say Natalia Osipova who for me is like magic when she dances. I also think that Francesca Hayward possess some of that je ne sais quoi, that when she dances I can’t take my eyes away. I am not a fan of Nunez, I have tried to be, I want to be, but I find I don’t quite believe her, she doesn’t transport me anywhere. I can appreciate the technical excellency of her dancing as someone at the very top of her game, but that is all. All that said we had a really lovely time, I wonder if Onegin would improve for me with the dancers we expected to see perform. Swan Lake next!!
  10. @richieN my son is through to the finals and has always had a really positive experience at his auditions. nonetheless posters are making a valid point about their child’s experience and the approach of the panel. my son is perceptive enough to know that he has been treated ‘differently,’ (not I hasten to add more favourably) because he is an existing RB student. The panel already know him. He is referred to by name not number and he and another boy were spoken to by one of the panel at the end of the audition. This must be off putting, possibly disheartening to other auditionees no matter how resilient they might be.
  11. Mark Annear IME is far from always lovely. He can be both lovely and extremely severe (not mean, just not soft) in his treatment of young dancers. My son is an MA in the boys specialist group and Mr Annear most certainly does not pull any punches. He strikes me as quite ‘old school’ in his approach, which my son loves but I’m not sure I would if I had to swap places. I can understand why children might find him quite intimidating with his sometimes poker face. The audition process can be quite brutal. My son’s RB Preliminaries were taken by his MA teacher who did not acknowledge the children he already knew from his class, but treated the whole group as a first meeting. The panel however did give indications that they knew certain children and talked to them by name. i am in no doubt that this kind of familiarity must leave the unknown children feeling quite ‘less than.’ I do believe though that this approach is absolutely part of the arena our children have chosen to step in to. Preparing my son for this kind of thing has helped him manage the contrary process of auditions immensely.
  12. What year was your daughter auditioning for?
  13. @prs59 there were unfortunately no ‘death dives’ much to my son’s huge disappointment. There was more of a disappear behind the scenery kind of ending. Dramatic it was not. And Benno carrying the Prince was a sight to behold as the Prince was twice as long as Benno. It looked very odd indeed. Like a child carrying an adult!!
  14. If anyone is in Hampshire and has a spare three hours, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake opened last night at The Mayflower theatre in Southampton. I won’t attempt a review such as the ones I read on here, but suffice to say it was thoroughly enjoyable. It received a well deserved 4 stars in the Guardian today. The ballet had a much darker feel to the productions I have seen previously. The sets and the costumes all adding to quite a sombre, somewhat oppressive atmosphere. I didn’t love Prince Siegfried, Principal Tyrone Singleton, his Prince was a bit dreary, but his lightness and control in the grande allegro enchainments were lovely. Celina Gittens Odette was gorgeous, her arms were delightful and her swan like quality was utterly believable. I thought I spied some Russian style arms and hands and indeed after reading the Guardian review I found out the production was from a 1981 revival by Peter Wright and Galina Samsova. My 11 year old son and I were most impressed by the swans, and the gorgeous cygnets. All their lines and formations were wonderful. The swans being slowly revealed from underneath the mist at the beginning of Act 4 was an audience ‘oohh’ and ‘ah’ moment. Carlos Acosta was in the same row as us watching the ballet, causing quite a commotion at each interval. Good to see him so visible as the new director of the company.
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