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Momapalooza

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  1. I don’t think all 4 have gone or would go straight to RBS upper from Tring? I’ve seen one incoming one and one who is now in second year but I don’t think either were at Tring from first form either. I am guessing the other two maybe started at Tring but moved to WL or other schools. But you’re right in that they did train for some time at Tring. It will be interesting to see apart from the one who has been announced as going to RBS upper how many of the recent graduates (this year and maybe last 2-4 years) went on to classical ballet schools such as RBS, Elmhurst, ENBS, Central and overseas classical ballet schools. I have seen one girl go on to the Bolshoi but I don’t think she started or finished at Tring. Does Tring publish their graduate destinations?
  2. I personally feel this as well, how it's so much tougher these days. I am just thinking 6 or so years ago and I don't think it was anywhere near like this. I have been wondering why, I think a big part of it is obviously social media and everything is just so much more visible and the world so much smaller. But it almost feels like ballet in general seems to have exploded in popularity and has become more "mainstream". With this comes what feels like a more and more intense and frenzied audition preparation to get into full time training, almost the younger the better. I expect the volume of applications into lower schools have steadily grown larger and larger certainly in the last 3 years or so.
  3. I am so pleased you went for it, and yes, ignorance can be bliss. I personally wish I haven't been on social media the last few years. At the same time, it's also good that you have now seen and experienced what you have this year. Although the last year has been very different, I still think the trend will continue and auditions will be more frantic and frenzied in the coming years. There are definitely kids out there who have been training for at least the last 2 or so years solely with the goal of gaining a place in vocational school in mind. Your DD has done amazingly well, especially if she is not a JA. There are very few non-JAs who get a place in WL at Year 7 certainly in the last few years. I suspect those who are not are either from overseas or have had very high quality pre-vocational training prior to starting Year 7 and are most likely associates for other programmes/schools. Happy to be corrected here. It does make sense for their incoming groups to be predominantly JA though as I assume the programme was started to feed into their full time school. There are certainly still schools out there, I know of some overseas, whose auditions I think are carefully designed to look more at physical suitability and potential for entry at Year 6/7. Apart from basic exercises to check for musicality, the audition is more a check of whether or not the child would fit into their kind of training. These schools appear to me, my personal opinion, looking more for blank slates with the right ingredients to mold into their specific kind of training. I quite like this idea, because a child of 10/11 still has so much growing and changing to do. This also places less emphasis on prior training or performance experience. Somehow, it feels more like an even playing field. No need for intensive training before auditions, no need for fancy photographs, etc. Ironically, I think these are also the same schools where a high percentage of students who enter in the lower years go on to the higher years, on to their junior companies and finally their companies.
  4. I became curious with the American way of training too @rowan One of my DCs was offered scholarships to a couple of “full time” virtual places for pre-professional training (I think this is what they are called? And yes, I too was surprised such a thing existed virtually!) and when I looked at the timetables, they were actually during the day time! I did query this and it looks like most who undertake serious training are home schooled to be able to squeeze all the training hours in. We had to decline them because despite the time difference, the timings still encroached on school hours here or are too late at night! I did wonder how they managed to train so many hours. I think Australia might have a culture of home schooling too for those who are training seriously. However, from what I’ve heard, it’s all very structured with a set timetable within the school. Most DC are able to train good full time hours while still living at home. And even for those preparing to go into the big schools there, there are good pre-vocational programmes all within the same school and students normally just attend other schemes similar to associates. Friends in Australia, not making a sweeping comment, has told me that as far as they know there is no culture of going to multiple schools and teachers In their area anyway. even when they have privates with another teacher, these are those who specialise in just privates and would need the permission of the main dance school before they would teach anyone.
  5. I very much like the idea of ballet as a hobby. I often have open conversations with DC and am honest enough to admit that if it were up to me, I’d rather DC consider auditioning at age 16. Part of this is because, based on my first hand experience alone, I find kids age 10/11 hardly know what they really want and are easily influenced by big names or what others want. Mine change their mind about most things every week! I don’t want DC, if by some miracle they get the opportunity to go away full time, to realise 1-2 years down the line that it isn’t what they wanted but then would be too guilty or hesitant to let me know because they know full well how much we have possibly invested (in the limited amount we can) in getting them there, or for fear of others thinking they are giving up or are failures. I think that at age 16, they are more mature physically, mentally and emotionally and have a better gauge of what they want to do with the next couple of years of their life at least. I also think that by that age, their bodies are more like what they would be as an adult, and is a better gauge of whether they might actually still have what it takes physically to go the classical route.
  6. This is my priority @Fudge, that all my DCs remain in a nurturing environment and there is no doubt in my mind that this is at home. It is of course a big factor if DC dreams big and is actually given the opportunity, pros and cons would need to be weighed but for me, personally, I do not want to miss any second of their growing up years. I know that someday they will move away but if I had my way I would try and delay this as much as possible as long as this doesn’t hinder their big dream AND provided it is actually their dream and not anyone else’s (me included).
  7. Thank you @Harwel I was actually just reading through a couple of other threads on this forum and combined with what stood out for me the most in your post (the last sentence), it really has helped me get a good dose of reality. After hearing and reading about other people’s experiences too, I do think I know how to manage DCs expectations and hope that DC sees the reality too - hopefully before the “should I or should I not audition” decision. I have my personal thoughts and preference on this (I like a quiet and easy life) but I am going to go with what DC wants.
  8. This may well be the case and you’re right there was and still is a wealth of free ballet classes through social media. However I do think there is a difference between “follow along” classes and actual classes and I think the reference on this thread is more about actual classes where teachers can feedback to students. And of course it’s also true that perhaps some were posts from previous schools or teachers celebrating past students’ successes as this does happen often too but I believe this thread is more to do with those who appeared to have been training quite at a very high level and frequency (for example, those who have been posted multiple times a week doing various classes with several different teachers whether ballet, stretch etc). Don’t get me wrong, I believe if we could do this we would as well! Especially leading up to auditions. Why not try to maximise and complement existing potential leading up to auditions. It does make sense. The sad reality is that not everyone can do this, especially not a sustained level over a few months. And one of the the purposes of this discussion is whether people think this alters the playing field or not. It is hard reality that depending on family situation, not everyone can access the same training. Social media I think just highlights this disparity. Only time will tell whether this trend will continue and whether child A who has potential but very minimal training (and can only do exercises at home as there is no available or affordable training classes) is actually on a level playing field with child B who has potential but also able to take lots of quality ballet classes and associates with multiple teachers/schools, complemented with other training such as conditioning, strengthening (in a formal class setting with a teacher).
  9. Precisely this. But for families who will have to make extra sacrifices to help their DC achieve their dream, perhaps more than others, it is good to go into this with open eyes. To go blindly is to assume that because your DC has been told to have heaps of potential and works really hard with what DCs got that’s it’s a level playing field. What if the family situation dictates that you cannot easily access quality training? That the nearest school is a small one that only does syllabus and exams every so often? that the nearest associate centre is miles away and the family cannot afford to send DC weekly. Parents have no dance background therefore cannot guide accordingly. The teacher isn’t really used to preparing students for auditions. There are no exercises assigned to improve and strengthen, no programme as such. I would not trust a 9/10 year old to Google or YouTube exercises (possible, but could be dangerous). I wouldn’t trust myself to do this. I do believe in the last year that there has been a distinct shift of something I can’t put my finger on, could be due to the pandemic and rise of online delivery, but I cannot deny that for me this seems to be the case. Again my personal feeling only.
  10. Thank you @Motomum. You managed to brilliantly express what I originally intended to be a valid discussion. I fear I’ve upset some due to my inability to maybe get across what I was trying to say x
  11. I think I’ve created a storm in a teacup here which was not my intention at all. I just want to reiterate that I never said these children didn’t get in on their own merits. Quite the opposite - the ones I’ve seen are stunning and appear very polished, amazingly trained, with all the seemingly right ingredients (plus hardwork, determination etc). Of course they got in on their own merits because at the end of the day it’s them who go into a studio in front of a panel regardless of training so each and every one completely deserve their place otherwise they wouldn’t have been offered it. So yes, perhaps it’s my mistake for being misled by things I see on social media as they aren’t an accurate reflection of what might be reality. And yes, I don’t know the situation of these people despite maybe encountering a few in this very small world. Maybe this year is actually reflective of previous years and it’s just me suddenly noticing things that aren’t there because of undue worry with the year or two ahead. Bottom line is there was absolutely no intention to be distasteful or to take anything away from any deserving individuals. I am sure the situation is the same as before, and everyone has an equal chance, regardless of means. Based on a lot of comments on this thread, the most likely response to my original title is therefore, “yes”, which bodes well for everyone who has potential regardless of region, means and quantity of training.
  12. I’m sorry you feel this way. It was not my intention to make comments based on hearsay nor did I intend to be distasteful. I actually avoided mentioning specific schools, clearly stated that my observations were based on information easily seen by any other on social media, and did not speculate on anyone’s situation. The ballet world is very small, it’s hard not to encounter, perhaps even first hand on some occasion, these things.
  13. In line with @Jan McNulty’s amended title, I did wonder this weekend how many post year 7s (years 8, 9 etc) WL will take. Also I wonder if for this year only, there would be less internationals to finals due to the travel restrictions. Related to this, I read somewhere on this forum that there is a new 3-year training guarantee for the incoming year 7s. I do think this will make people think twice about applying for years 8 and 9 next year? I would have thought there would be very little, if no, movement. Anyone who would consider trying again must realistically aim for entry at Year 10. Now at this age I think international families would be more okay with sending their DCs to board overseas. Also, one must consider whether they can sustain training that is almost at par with vocational schools for 3 years to even a stand a chance against the internationals. There are so many stunning young dancers from Europe, Australia, Turkey, South Korea and the USA recently. We watched the PdL and YAGP recently and wow!
  14. @Bunnyyour DS has done extremely well and you should be very proud! I still think that’s how it should be - how your DS approached it. As some posts said, this year is not the “norm” (I am so hoping it won’t be for the following years) and might just be coincidence for this particular year. It won’t count for much as it’s just my personal opinion but I do think boys still have more of a chance even if they have potential alone and not extensive training. For boys, the time before auditions I think doesn’t get as intense as it does for some girls, which is always a good thing and should be the norm. This year, I get the impression that it’s been a bit of a frenzy for some leading up to auditions! I will keep my fingers tightly crossed for you, that your DS gets a place.
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