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  1. Yes, I think it is very important to recognise that not every young dancer has a bad time at vocational school. At any given time there are probably some who are having a wonderful time, others who are miserable and others at all points between - even in the same class. It happens everywhere doesn't it? The same can be said of academic schools, workplaces, sports teams etc. Sometimes it's because particular people are treated more or less favourably of course, but other times it's just because they are different people with different needs and expectations. I had an absolutely wonderful midwif
  2. I think when we talk about regrets it's worth remembering something which I learned in counselling around an unrelated issue. The only thing you can guarantee would have happened if you'd made different choices is that things would have been different. It sounds obvious really but I'd never consciously thought about it. I had fallen into the common trap of believing that if I'd made a decision the outcome of which was "bad" then if I'd made the opposite choice the outcome would have been "good". Ergo, all bad outcomes were the result of my bad decision making. But it ain't necessarily so
  3. Good question. One I have asked myself many times. Would I do things differently if I had my time again? Yes, definitely. I would without doubt encourage DD to make some different choices. But would I have not done it at all? No, I don't regret letting her follow her passion and the positives by far outweigh the negatives. Much like Anna C has said, I don't want any of my children to look back on life and say "Maybe I could have done X but you stopped me". (Within reason of course - my youngest recently expressed an interest in skeleton luge and I did say no to that!) I wi
  4. There's often a lot of movement on waiting lists for upper schools as there are so many more of them than lower schools. Quite a lot of people apply to multiple schools and get more than one offer so it takes a while for things to settle down as everyone decides and more offers are made. If you're on a waiting list, don't lose heart at this point. Fingers crossed for good news for you all.
  5. That's good. I found it helpful. Just accepting that it's normal to have these feelings and that you're not actually weird or the only one to feel that way is a good start. It's paradoxically often easier to talk to a stranger than people that are close, so hopefully it will help your DD.
  6. I really feel for your DD @Glissé. Different situation but with some parallels- I've recently had to take early retirement due to ill health, from a role that was a massive part of my entire adult life. I know exactly what she means about not knowing who she is any more as my profession was a huge part of my identity. Obviously my situation is different, but the best advice I can give is to keep looking forward and not dwell on things you can't change. I know this sounds a bit drastic but would she consider seeing a counsellor? Talking to someone neutral can be very helpful. They won't t
  7. Well said @Anna C I completely understand the disappointment of not gaining a place. In some ways getting to finals and then getting a no must be tougher than getting a no from prelims. It's also natural to want to dissect the results and try to figure out what's going on - we've all done it. But speculation really doesn't help anyone. I think social media makes us feel that we know people, but for the reasons already discussed on this thread and others, a lot of that isn't completely real. And I've said it before but I'll say it again (in fact I've said it thousands of times in my
  8. That wasn't quite what I was getting at @Kate_N, maybe I didn't express myself very well. I don't mean opportunities for other dance related work, more like additional opportunities for high quality training and performance outsids of the vocational system. One of my sons plays hockey at county level currently. Technically he is very good but he lacks the physical attributes he needs to follow the pathway designed to develop professional/international standard players. A couple of years ago he was invited to trials for that type of thing but didnt quite make it and the feedback (y
  9. That's a really interesting point @Anna C There is a strange level of expectation in ballet its true. It's there in other things such as sport too, but not quite to the same degree. I will never forget another mother asking me "Well what are you going to do with her now?" when my DD didn't get into RBS JAs. The inference was now that as she, at the ripe old age of 8, had "failed" at ballet I needed to find something else for her to try. My reply was "Nothing. She's the same child as she was before I opened that letter and nothing changes." (Showing my age there - no email then!!) Eve
  10. It's certainly a double edged sword. Not dance, but I run the social media accounts for a couple of sports organisations and have mixed feelings about it. I think that in this day and age it is more or less impossible not to have a social media presence simply because everyone else does and it tends to be the first place people go for information. In some ways I love it. It makes life so much easier to be able to write "Training cancelled tonight due to bad weather sorry" once and know that the message is out within seconds than to try to call everyone, and during the pandemic it has bee
  11. The other thing to be wary of is conflating correlation with causation. The fact that the majority accepted into WL are JAs and/or belong to multiple associate schemes doex not necessarily mean that they get into WL because they are associates. Rather it's likely that the associates and full time school are looking for the same things, so if a child has the characteristics that associates are looking for then s/he likely also has the characteristics that the full time school want. Of course there are children who never applied for associates and others who have changed considerably since
  12. It is an interesting topic. I've got two main thoughts though. You only see what people choose to share and you can't change what you can't change.... Social media, and even forums like this can be very misleading because they only show a snippet of what's really going on. I don't doubt that there are youngsters and schools with a very active social media presence who have been successful gaining places. But by definition we don't see those who are not in the same mould. The quiet kid from the modest local dance school that doesn't have an Instagram page but who gets multiple offers won't
  13. As is often said on this forum, the destination for any young dancer is far from certain - only a very small number go on to successful classical careers - so it is incredibly important that the journey is enjoyable in its own right. If any particular teacher or scheme is making a young person unhappy then I would seriously doubt the value of continuing, no matter how prestigious it is. Yes, a lot of good teachers really challenge their pupils and can be strict, but there's a big difference between that and creating an atmosphere in which the pupils feel demoralised and unhappy. There hav
  14. My DD experienced this both ways. Her academic school made it pretty clear that they thought that dance was a waste of time and didn't include her in the list of leavers' destinations. Other pupils going to do music degrees, fine art, film, and media made the cut, but it seems a dance degree was not worth a mention. And then when she decided to go straight into teaching instead of trying to pursue a performing career she was looked down on by both peers and some teachers. Fortunately she is secure enough in her own decisions not to let it get to her too much, but I know it still hurt her.
  15. Just back to the EU passport issue - just be aware that some countries don't recognise dual nationality. Our family could fairly easily get citizenship of another European country, but we would have to renounce our British citizenship, which for the time being at least we don't want to do. It isn't the same everywhere of course, but it's worth checking the legislation in individual countries if you do have a claim to another nationality. I had just assumed we would be entitled to both and was disappointed to find we aren't. (But glad we did find out before we got far with it.)
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