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  1. Well I have been on this forum, and its predecessor for around a decade now, but I think it is time I bade you all farewell. I've made some good friends, had some great advice and help - notably when we got stuck behind an accident en route to DD's Advanced 1 exam and I was able to get a message to the RAD via another forum member who was already there! But I have noticed lately that I have less to contribute. DD is an adult now and the days of auditions and exams are long behind us. I'm pleased to say that she completed her degree, despite a lot of problems. A particularly troublesome and persistent injury made completion of the course very challenging and there were several occasions when I thought she would give up. With hindsight, maybe different choices would have been better at various points, but I am proud of her for persevering and making the best of some difficult times. She has developed a passion for teaching and seems to have a talent for it, so that is her next step. Maybe one day I will find myself back at the beginning, making costumes and scenery for dance school shows and biting my nails over exam results, but this time on behalf of the teacher! But for now I wish you all and your DCs much happiness and success in the future. I'm sure I wont be able to resist dropping in occasionally, but I do think the time has passed when I can really be a useful contributor. So for now at least, its goodbye, and thank you.
  2. Not dance related from us either, but we are looking at my husband getting citizenship of his mother's country of birth, so that our children potentially could then do the same and have more options in the future. I think if there is a reasonable chance of them wanting to live and work in the EU in the future it is likely to make things a lot easier to have nationality of an EU country.
  3. I agree. I've never met an RAD teacher who couldnt explain the system and give appropriate guidance. I would be very worried if this was the case as its basic stuff. My DD and I were made aware of the different types of exams and what her likely path through them would be pretty early, certainly before she finished primary school. If my child was in a school where the teacher either couldn't or wouldn't share that kind of information then I would be looking to move.
  4. My DD used to get her canvas shoes from Grishko. They have a great range with lots of different widths. Only problem was it got a bit pricey once she was dancing full time and started wearing them out super fast. She swapped to Capezio after that but i cant remember the model sorry.
  5. The ISTD Modern syllabus includes lyrical and jazz components,or at least it did when my DD did it, some years ago now. That would be a good next step for a little girl wanting to diversify, in my opinion. An 8 year old certainly wont have the physical or emotional maturity for contemporary but modern is a good string to the bow. I think American shows like Dance Moms muddy the water as what they call Contemporary is definitely not - it would be modern or lyrical modern in a UK festival.
  6. I don't know what the norm is in the USA of course, but here I would say most 7 year olds would be wearing socks for class. Tights are often worn for perfirmance though. Personally, at age 7 I didnt worry about brands for tights etc. It is different when you are talking about a teenager who is in full time training and is wearing dance tights more or less all day every day when excellent comfort and fit are essential. But at 7 your daughter wont be wearing them for long periods and she will probably grow out of them in the blink of an eye. Ebay is as good as anywhere for basics such as tights in my opinion. Full footed tights are generally the least expensive type. The convertible type are great for older girls who need to get at their feet during class, for example to put padding or toe spacers in if they switch to pointe shoes mid class, or if part of the class is done in shoes and part in bare feet. Check with the teacher, but most 7 year olds will be fine with full footed tights, if they need them at all. Keep things simple and don't buy anything uneccessarily expensive. If your daughter sticks with dancing it is going to cost you a lot of money in the long run so save your money where you can!
  7. Its a long time since my DD had her first pointe shoe fitting but I remember it well. We live in a rural area with no suitable shops nearby so we drove a couple of hundred miles, spent an hour or two whilst she tried dozens of shoes on and came home empty handed. The fitter said she could have sold us a pair of shoes that "would do" for DD's feet but she wasnt satisfied with that. She knew she could get a better fit if she ordered in some different brands and styles and encouraged us to wait and try again rather than "make do". DD was disappointed, my husband was infuriated and I was impressed with the fitter who prioritised doing the right thing over getting a sale. She knew we had come a long way and that there was no guarantee we would return. But we did, and even though she had of course never been on pointe before DD said she could instantly tell the difference between the ok shoes and the right shoes. So my advice is to find a shop that sells a lot of brands and be patient. Try shoes on with whatever padding she will be using - probably whatever her teacher recommends in the first instance as she wont know what she likes until she has tried different things. Also you need to understand that choosing pointe shoes is not a one off thing. As your DD grows and progresses her feet will change and her preferred brand or style of shoe may change, as may her choice of padding. I didnt realise that at first - I thought once you had found "THE shoes" that was it, so I got a shock when the lengthy process had to be repeated multiple times, though fortunately my DD did settle on one type eventually. Once her fittings had been consistent over several visits and I was sure her feet had stopped growing I was happy to order on line, but i wouldn't advise that early on. Good luck with your hunt!
  8. Oh your poor little girl, that must have been a nasty tumble. On a positive note, at least it has happened just before the school holidays so there is a natural rest period coming up. Its not audition or exam season and I guess regular classes will be breaking up for the holidays soon. So her friends will soon be taking a break too and she has the summer to recover properly before hopefully getting back to classes refreshed and healed in September. I can empathise with the frustration. My sporty son is currently injured (from a silly slip on a school trip so not even a "proper" injury in his book!) and it is right in the middle of his sporting season. He had got off to a pretty good start to the season but is now watching himself plummet down the rankings as he can't compete. But that is life unfortunately, and hard as it is these things happen. The temptation to return too early is very strong but needs to be resisted as it is likely to be counterproductive. A month or two of missed classes or even a written off season feel like a disaster to our kids at the time, but ultimately they aren't going to have a long term effect on their lives. But a permanantly damaged joint certainly would. Keep her occupied other ways. Ask if non weight bearing activities are an option - my son has been advised to swim - but if not, find other stuff to fill the days. She will soon be back on her feet hopefully. Young tissues generally heal well if given the conditions to do so.
  9. I am a big fan of EYB and I think that in my observation they do try hard to ensure all the children get seen. As obviously one of the stronger girls in her age group I would hazzard a guess tgat your DD would be likely to be cast in one of the smaller groups so whilst she might not be on stage for any longer than the chikdren in the larger groups you would see more of her, if that makes sense? But obviously thats just a guess based on my observations and experience. What I would say though is that EYB is potentially a recurring opportunity for your DD, with multiple productions around the country every year and eligibility up to age 18. Can you say the same for dancing with the BRB or is that more likely to be a one off opportunity?? In your shoes, that would sway my decision considerably. EYB is a great organisation but the chance to dance with a professional company like BRB isn't something that comes to everyone..
  10. Yes, you certainly can do more than one associate scheme. It is not uncommon for children to do two or more. Whether you should do is a different matter of course and one that only you and your young dancer can decide. As a previous poster has said, it really all boils down to whether the commitment is workable for your family on a range of levels. One thing I would say, is that when you have a talented and enthusiastic child it is easy to get swept along and take every opportunity that presents itself. Unfortunately that can morph into a feeling that you HAVE to do everything possible, that "everyone else is doing it" and that you are puttling your child at a disadvantage if you dont. This isnt restricted to ballet of course - it happens in all kinds of fields like sports, music and so on. I've seen it a lot, and been guilty of being sucked into that kind of behaviour myself at times, but I am now certain that you definitely can have too much of a good thing and that the importance of getting enough rest cannot be stressed too much. If doing 2 or more schemes works logistically, doesn't eat too much into family life, doesn't exhaust or upset your child or negatively affect school work that's great. But if it means frantic drives for a stressed parent with an already tired child who eats most of their meals in the back of the car and never gets any real down time, then think again. I've concluded that if I start to notice that there is more tupperware than proper crockery in the dishwasher then it means the kids are doing too much!
  11. With EYB you get to watch the audition as obviously you already know, then that is it in terms of parental viewing until the last rehearsal day in the school. Then you get to watch a full run through of the performance without costumes - the change from the audition is usually quite amazing. There is always a space made available for parents in the school being used for rehearsals so you do have somewhere to sit if you are not local, but you are not allowed to watch anything. Personally I usually went out to find something to do during rehearsals, even if it was just mooch around the shops - they are long days otherwise.
  12. One of my DD's former teachers trained there. I know a sample of one is totally meaningless but she is an excellent teacher! I believe they do the ISTD teacher training alongside more general dance training, and quite a few of the graduates go on to do things like cruise ship and holiday resort work as teaching. My DD had lessons with a lady who was one of the senior tutors at Preston over the summer a few years ago. I believe she has left now unfortunately but my DD learned a lot from her at the time. A couple of girls from my DD's old school went there but i am not sure what they went on to do. I believe the enjoyed the course though. They were both strong dancers and I think they would have probably got places on more well known courses had they not preferred to stay relatively close to home. From my admittedly limited knowledge, it does seem to be quite a good course even though its not as well known as some others.
  13. It does kind of happen in sport actually - well in cycling anyway, Im not sure about other sports. Not that you're not first if you cross the line first, but the "value" of that first can vary depending on the number and quality of your opponents. The number of points that you gain towards your national and regional rankings vary according to the race. You can come 4th in some races and gain no points but the same position in another race will gain you 7. So I guess its the same kind of principle.
  14. As a PP says, you just have to wait until EYB are in your area and look at the schedule at the time. The rehearsals are never entirely predictable as they depend on factors such as availability of the venue, which is generally a local school, and travel times for the EYB team. They often have 3 productions on the go in different parts of the country at once - one at the audition stage, one near the beginning of rehearsals and one approaching performance - logistics must be very challenging. So until the details for your particular production are finalised you cant know for sure. My DD did EYB 4 times and the schedule was slightly different each time. Some had more weekends and others more days in school holidays depending on the time of year. EYB is a great experience but it can be hard work, with long days especially for younger children and particularly if you have a lot if travel involved too. They cram a lot of work into a relatively short time. Seeing the change from audition to final performance is one of the best things from the parental point of view. But for that reason, they do expect pretty much full commitment for the programme. Miss Lewis will accept occasional unavoidable absences but she gets annoyed - quite understandably in my opinion - if dancers are persistently late or missing due overcommitment. A lot can be missed in one session and as well as making it harder for the individual who was missing it is unfair on the dancers who are there as they are learning with a gap or inderstudy.( Its also tough on the understudies in fact.) Missing a couple of sessions can significantly impact on the quality of a dance. I know its tempting to sign up for everything and hope you can manage to squeeze it all in but sometimes its best to pick a smaller number of programmes, do them really well and ensure sufficient rest. Over the years I have seen (and sometimes been!) so many families who are leaving one activity early to arrive at another one slightly late, stressed, tired and always playing catch up and I've concluded that that is not good for anyone. If you can fit it in, EYB is a fantastic experience, but i would advise seriously assessing the commitment if you have associates to fit in already.
  15. I think you are right Peanut. It is about listening, believing, picking up on signs that your young person is not thriving, and, crucially, not being afraid to walk away. The last part is probably the hardest, particularly if it is a prestigous school, club or programme and you feel your child is going to miss out on opportunities, but long term it has to be the right thing to do. The more people start to refuse to accept bullying behaviour in this kind of setting, the greater the chance there is of change. Once the threat that "there are dozens of kids that I could replace you with" begins to ring hollow, these teachers and coaches will have to change or leave. But it is so hard and will take time. I think there is a growing movement though,,and forums like this help. For what its worth, my DD has experienced the whole range of teacher behaviour in the 18 or 19 years she has been dancing. She will hopefully be starting to train as a teacher soon and has a very clear idea of who she wants to be as a teacher, and the attitudes she plans to challenge. I don't think she is alone. There is hope!
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