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News from Amsterdam (or 'as one door closes...')


CeliB
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For those of you who followed DSs progress through Lausanne to the Dutch National Ballet Academy, some rather dramatic news.

 

After only 5 weeks at the NBA, DS and the academy parted ways, in what can probably most kindly be called an irreconcilable difference of artistic opinion. Whilst some fault on DSs side for not coming clean about the fact that he couldn't get on with the teaching, the reaction from the so called adults has been shocking in the extreme, and my opinion of their processes for dealing with student problems is unprintable. I would only note that if anyone is considering the NBA for their child please do PM me in the future and I can provide details, just to ensure no one falls foul of their (lack of) due process.

 

Anyway, following a shocking weekend which necessitated DH and I leaping on the next plane to Amsterdam to pick our very distressed son off the floor in pieces, pack up his entire life and ship him home, I am very happy to report he was immediately invited to audition for the Vaganova in St Petersburg (they heard he was leaving Amsterdam via one of his teachers from Kirov Washington).

 

He then spent a few weeks at home in a serious slough of despond (understandably, given the character assassination meted out upon him by the teacher at the NBA) and came very close to giving up ballet altogether. It has been a very, very tense month...

 

But he agreed to at least go and see the Vaganova, duly flew out, had the fabulous opportunity to take company class with the Mikhailovsky Ballet where one of his best friends is in the corps, (he ended up doing floor combinations with Leonid Sarafanov- one of his all time heroes!), arrived late to the Vaganova class (they gave him the wrong time!) so he had to join at jumps with no barre, but was accepted after his first combination (luckily ferme which is one of his strengths- thank heavens it wasn't pirouettes).

 

So pending visas, DS is now back on track and very positive about the future. DH and I, meanwhile, have our nerves in shreds.....

 

As a friend said to me, sometimes these things, whilst grim at the time, end up being for the best. Let's hope so- I'm not sure I could cope with another month like the last one.

 

Mine's a gin please, easy on the tonic...

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Oh CeliB! What news! It must have been extremely difficult and stressful for your DS and you, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened - but the outcome is fantastic! Things do happen for a reason! Your DD is very talented and it all calls for a very large glass of gin indeed!

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Oh Celi B don't know what to say ....and lovely to see Oscar in class in October ....we all just spontaneously clapped one of his jump enchainments ...just stunning....which is why I can hardly believe what you have said about his experiences at the Dutch school. He did say then that the training was really hard work but I cannot understand why some dance teachers think the way to get the best out of a student is to destroy their confidence....weird!

 

Anyway what good news to follow so glad he is back on track as he would definitely be a loss to ballet if he were to give up but it is a tough old world out there for Dance students (have just heard yesterday of another DC having to leave a school in the middle of training)

Wishing him all the best and he already has a fan club tell him!!

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What a horribly tough time you have all had. How distressing for you and outrageous that such bad treatment still goes on, and in a top school too. Most odd given that they watched him all week, and offered him a placed based on his achievements at the Prix - they new what they were getting. I believe that everything happens for a reason and the benefit of this situation will unfold in time. Good luck with the next phase of your ds journey.

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What a horribly tough time you have all had. How distressing for you and outrageous that such bad treatment still goes on, and in a top school too. Most odd given that they watched him all week, and offered him a placed based on his achievements at the Prix - they new what they were getting. I believe that everything happens for a reason and the benefit of this situation will unfold in time. Good luck with the next phase of your ds journey.

 

I think the issue was that the director of the NBA and the ADs of the junior and main companies are different people, and although there are close links (in the sense that the companies explicitly say they will look to the NBA first before looking elsewhere) the ADs of the companies do not have any influence over how the NBA runs. So the NBA director was persuaded to take DS by the junior company AD but even at the time seemed disinterested in DS (so DH felt). I am wondering now whether there is some kind of political rivalry going on, of which poor DS was simply collateral damage since no matter how we review his sins (and honestly we do know fairly well what he was up to and what he shouldn't have been!) he was viciously treated compared to others in his class doing the same or worse.

 

Anyway, I could like all the above posts but will just say thank you all for your kind words and support. I am crossing my fingers, toes and everything else crossable for the next step...

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Gosh, that's horrible. Using children as collateral damage to make a point in a power struggle. Whatever next?

 

Given how hard it is to get into these top-flight schools, it's wonderful that he managed to get into another really good school without too much trouble. That certainly attests to his talent and his work ethic. I hope he thrives there and that you and your DH don't have too many extra grey hairs as a result.

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What a stressful time you must all have had.  It just goes to show that nothing is certain and every step our children take on this vocational path is uncertain and holds risk.  All power to your son and you you for taking a leap of faith again and continuing on the journey!  Wishing him every success at the Vaganova and wow for the achievement in and of itself!  x

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ah yes the pic is of him- but its quite old now - this is him after only 2 years vocational training, I believe his jump is bigger now (haven't actually seen him perform in a while)- although he struggles with turns still... hopefully the training at vaganova will be sufficiently in tune with the way he dances that they may be able to help out with that.

 

I think he is also reassured by the fact that the chap form the States who is in the Mikhailovsky Corps also spent 2 yrs at Vaganova and is now 22- I suspect DS was worrying that he would be 'behind' if he did any more training (at the ripe old age of 18!) even though he felt he needed it because he started vocational training so late.

 

Anyway we are cautiously optimistic- I know his work ethic is pretty good if he feels he is learning and enjoying himself, but he tends to opt out pretty fast if not, which was partly why the NBA was such a disaster.

 

Will keep you all posted...

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Hi CeliB sorry not been in touch sooner. Really sad to hear this BUT I've seen so many kids here go on somewhere at 16 and have it all fall apart it's soul destroying so thank goodness you have plans in place and he's not being wasted! Some places just don't suit some- I've seen more give up in this country during/after vocational training than I can count. So potentially a much happier ending for you all and wishing him all the very best! Do keep us posted. And if there is any warning you think I need to hear please inbox me x

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