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  1. Hi MummytoIzzy, Your post gave me a nostalgic smile. My dd was a senior associate at Ballet Boost ( as well as in another associate scheme) and yes it was great. Indeed it was this that gave her the confidence to audition and get a place in full time training. Be careful what you wish for. What happened next? Well dd went into 2nd year with much better accommodation and still grimly determined to see it through to the end. This year has been easier for her - or so she tells me. She has developed a steely quality and as she is now legally an adult I feel the need to respect her choices. Quite a few of her comrades in arms have now either switched schools or given up altogether. I still feel enormous frustration at the way that the current system is so wasteful of these young lives and talents. I would never say ‘don’t do it ‘ to anyone but do go into it with your eyes wide open .
  2. Right now my dd is mourning the departure of one of her close friends from her school. He was within weeks of completing a foundation degree but left because he was so unhappy he couldn’t stand it a minute longer. Will he or his parents complain? Of course not! He has a place somewhere else next year. No one wants to rock the boat. And that is why we need an external statutory body.
  3. Agree that there needs to be a independent body with teeth. That will investigate grievances and conduct inspections. The article attached to this thread pales into insignificance compared to some of the examples I am aware of. And people are too afraid to complain openly. It is regrettable that individuals have posted comments in the past that have led to locked threads and a prohibition on discussing certain schools. But probably driven to it by the lack of other channels.
  4. And sometimes they really really don't want you to intervene. I did have a lengthy phone call with a senior member of staff during the first term when issues first began to emerge. He was charming, polite and entirely plausible. Nothing changed though. And Yda was absolutely furious with me when I told her about the conversation. Truth is a) there are plenty more where you came from, (b) its a very small world and you can't afford to be seen as whiney or difficult c) Anyone who is or has been a professional ballet dancer has never been one of the 'also rans' - they were a favourite pupil themselves once upon a time, and they are categorically incapable of walking in someone else's shoes. In the end I think you have to calmly and objectively weigh up the pros and cons of leaving soon, sticking out for another year or staying to the bitter end. I would like to thank all the kind people who have offered support and messaged me with suggestions and kind words. You are all a lovely lot and you have collectively restored my faith in human nature.
  5. I suspect the answer to your last question would be yes. They offered a hefty discount for payment upfront and although I was assured we would get a refund if things didn't work out, in practice I'm not sure how the small print would play out. The really sad part is that I don't think the school even realise the impact of their behaviour. We know of someone else who chose to leave early, and who was greeted with astonishment that she would prefer another school.
  6. Thanks everyone for your sympathy and support. Unfortunately this is one year into a 3 year course. And of course we have missed the boat for auditions for next year (location does not make it easy to audition elsewhere). The only consolation is that accommodation for next year will be different, and hopefully better (it can hardly be worse). My YDA is adamant that she wants to stay there in spite of everything and I think she will only change her mind on this point with a reasonable alternative on offer. Her greatest fear is of stopping dance altogether. Also given the many great things we had heard about this school before deciding to go there (including from other posts on this forum), we are both a little wary of jumping ship without doing a lot of homework. KS Dance sounds interesting, does anyone know if they are flexible if not possible to attend on set audition date? if anyone has other suggestions (especially schools with a contemporary focus -her confidence in ballet has been severely compromised) that would also be welcome. Thanks again.
  7. "I wish so much that I could have talked to people like us, at the beginning of this journey and been open minded enough to believe how absolutely gruelling vocational training is and how damaging it can be to young minds and family relationships. I wouldn’t have listened" Right now I am really envying the parents whose dc have already made the tough decision to call time on dance. My dya (dance young adult) is just completing first year of vocational training and I have to say that I am more worried about the future than ever before. The experience of the school to date (don't wish to identify it but has been widely discussed in other posts) has been exceptionally disappointing. Timetabling is done at very short notice (it changes each week) such that students often don't know until the last minute that they have free time, by which time it is too late to make plans. Lessons have been cancelled due to issues with e.g. utilities which surely could have been foreseen and avoided. On the other hand, lessons have gone ahead in an unlit studio with no music (piantist? nah) due to a powercut, a situation that would not be tolerated in a non vocational dance school. On my last visit I was appalled at the dirtiness of the accommodation which is also extremely cramped (1 bathroom for 5 students and a kitchenette). In the time yda has been there, a 14-year love of ballet has been almost extinguished and there have been too many distressing phone calls about assessment results delivered bluntly and brutally. Any suggestions that I might contact the school are met with horror, and I suspect out of fear of retribution. It seems to me that the school is run entirely for the benefit of a favoured few with focus of resource and energy on what I would term vanity projects. Yet all are paying the same fees. I have several times assured yda that just walking away is an option that we would support, but they are adamant that they want to continue with the training to the end of the course. Given that only a very few of the students graduate into work, I am struggling to see what benefit this will deliver, but on the other hand I do understand that my young adult has to make the final choice. I suspect that my anxiety is being further heightened because yda's sibling is departing to an extremely prestigious university next academic year and the contrast could not be more marked. My yda, although reasonably able, has always hated anything academic and yes I also worry about the consequences of jumping out of the frying pan into an empty grate. If there is anyone out there who has ever felt as helpless and hopeless as this, what would you advise? Am I being an hysterical parent - or should I listen to my instincts?
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