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  1. When I first started reading this forum I began to think it was the norm to attend from age 16 (whether that was for diploma or degree courses). Then I realised it was only the norm for ballet. For musical theatre it’s much more common to start at 18 - although there are some 16 year olds on the diploma courses it’s our experience that they seem to be in the minority. And for straight drama it seems that many are even older than 18 and some apply several times before being accepted. I think it really depends on your child’s talents and wishes. But I personally felt much better when I realised it was far from essential to move away from home at 16 years old.
  2. Having a daughter who has just gone through this process it is very frustrating! We had to tell her not to audition as we didn’t want to get her hopes up when we knew we couldn’t afford it. You can get the full student loan for fees along with the means tested maintenance loan from urdang, bird and performers if you want to consider other options,
  3. I don’t understand this if I’m being honest. could you explain more what the concern is? Who is it alienating? (Genuine question to help with understanding).
  4. Hi my daughter did two local, well respected associate schemes over the years (one at a time). She was never going to be royal ballet material but that doesn’t mean she can’t have a career in dance of some sort. I would suggest asking around locally and hopefully she has a supportive teacher who you can ask as well. We are more familiar with what’s available in the north. So for example KS dance and ballet boost are places you could look at. But I’m sure you will find something similar if they are no good for you geographically - what my daughter needed was a supportive class of a good standard but without the pressure to be the very best of the best! Some places also offer taster days in the school holidays which is a cost effective way of letting her try something new without the financial commitment. We sometimes bought tickets to a dance convention or a short course as a birthday / Christmas present just for a fun day out.
  5. My daughter is 18 and her long term aim is to own her own dance studio. She is going to study for a degree in musical theatre in September. She wants to dance professionally for a couple of years and then teach but will go straight into teaching if necessary. She has done 2 associate schemes over the last few years and has just finished her A level dance and drama along with another unrelated A level. I would disagree that associates and wider training aren’t beneficial to trainee dance teachers. Although they are not essential they enable the dancer to see a variety of good (and sometimes poor) training as well as seeing lots of different choreography. She has put a lot of thought into what type of teacher she wants to be and what she wants her dance school to offer. She has picked up lots of ideas by attending associates and summer schools and really enjoyed these. What I would say though is that there is no pressure to apply for elite schemes. You have the freedom to look at what your daughter will enjoy and which schemes suit her best. There are lots of good quality smaller associate schemes or holiday schemes that you can research and make a decision based on her goals and ambitions. She’s only young so she has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do and explore her options x (Also edited to add try not to get drawn into the competition between students - who is doing the most hours, doing the best associate schemes, in the highest grade, spending the most money etc! We made this mistake briefly and it really isn’t worth it. Focus on what will be beneficial in helping your daughter meet her own goals rather than what other people are doing)
  6. Hi my daughter is just finishing performing arts 6th form. They are all leaving with 3 a levels or equivalent. There is quite a long list of what people in her year group are going on to do: Musical theatre degrees Contemporary dance degrees Primary education Drama degrees Drama with teaching Dance school teacher training A couple are going straight into employment / starting apprenticeships Working with youth groups / children’s sports Costume design Choreography Stage management Some have moved away from a dance focus altogether and have successfully applied for other things. Some have continued to have an interest in dance but moved away from the performance element and chosen a different route.
  7. I believe it’s because they have ‘core subjects’ so much of the training overlaps. It’s not a route we went down in the end as my daughter has always done ISTD syllabus work so it made more sense to continue this with teacher training. I hope someone with more experience may see this to clarify but I’ve just found my email communication with them to confirm this is definitely what I was told (the email is from 2018)
  8. Hi just a couple of comments - please do check though that these are accurate as things change so quickly. ISTD - ballet, tap and modern are taught separately. You can do one at a time or all three together if you wish. If you don’t have intermediate exams then you can do them as a module as part of your DDE. You can enter children for exams in the genre you have qualified in - so you don’t have to do all 3 to start teaching. IDTA - you can enter children for exams in any genre even if you only qualify in one. This really surprised me to be honest but I checked it with them directly (two years ago so may have changed). If your daughter is happy to start these alongside her btec and stay at home then it’s definitely possible as you can study at your own pace on weekends / evenings. If she would like to go away to study then I would agree to look at Prestons or KS dance for a course with a teaching focus alongside dance and performing experience.
  9. If you look on the dada chart there are some income brackets where you will get a contribution for living expenses. As you move up the income brackets it quickly reduces to nothing at all so accommodation has to be self funded. We haven’t found any way round it unfortunately and for this reason my daughter could only apply for degree level courses. We do know of someone last year who was offered additional funding directly from the college but I don’t think this is common.
  10. Just my personal opinion but with MT there is really no need to go from GCSE to level 6 diploma unless you are completely certain that’s what you want to do. Something that often gets overlooked is that the whole uni experience at 16 will be very different to those going at 18 (social life and learning to live independently).
  11. Hi just to add that the foundation courses don’t always open up the possibility of a degree if started at age 16. My daughter’s friend did a foundation course at a well know musical theatre college at age 16 instead of A levels. She had a very good experience of the course itself but she didn’t get any ucas points from it so she then went on to do a level 6 diploma rather than a degree - which meant she couldn’t access student finance. We had to rule out a foundation instead of A levels for this reason. I believe some universities offer a foundation year in some subjects that are linked to a degree covered by student finance so it can be quite confusing.
  12. Hi, I can’t answer your specific question but I hope this perspective might help. My daughter has known for quite some time that the does not have the potential to be a ballet dancer. She loves ballet and spent a long time feeling frustrated and upset that even though she worked really hard she was not as good as some of her friends. A couple of years ago she found another style of dance that she loved. She still does lots of ballet but also now has another focus that has made her feel better about her potential and ability. She’s now at college doing her A levels and she has a future plan to be a dance teacher. If you ask her about what she wants to do she doesn’t just say ‘be a dance teacher’. She can tell you what type of studio she wants to run, whether she wants to do competitions, what exam board she wants to follow. She has researched it all and put a lot of thought into it. Who knows what will happen in the future but the point I’m making is that she’s found something she believes she can be good at without moving away from her love of ballet (and dance in general). If I think back to when she was in year 6, knowing what we know now, I would still support her because I knew it was what she wanted to do.
  13. Hi I have 2 children - one in school and one in college. They couldn’t have had a more different experience. Youngest has had very little support. Work is set online but not handed in. They have been asked to mark it themselves wherever possible. Lack of feedback unfortunately can mean lack of motivation for the child. Very little teacher contact. Eldest is in college doing a combination of Btec and A levels. A level work is set online, handed in and marked. Btec practical is taught by live online dance and drama lessons. Everyone without a laptop was given one to borrow on the day they were sent home. Anyone with a lack of space, difficult home life or other such issues has been allowed to go into college. Parent / teacher communication has been excellent. Teachers are certainly facing huge challenges and it can’t be easy but I just thought I would share an example of how they have made it work with a lot of determination and being proactive.
  14. Planet dance sells gaynor minden and is open for home delivery. I ordered a leotard from them last week and received it within a few days.
  15. I never even thought to do that! Thank you
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