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pastel

Looking for a first job - questions about travel/accommodation

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Hello,

 

my daughter is beginning the audition process and I have some questions about the practical side of working with a company.

 

She is currently auditioning in London. If she is offered a contract, I know the pay is very low and my biggest concern is how she will afford rent and how she will travel safely late at night after performances back to her flat. I have heard the tour bus delivers the dancers to a place where they can take night buses, but they still have to walk to their home at the other end. Rent looks terribly expensive, so I imagine her room won't be in a particularly nice area.

 

Has anyone had experience with relocating for a company job, or helped their child locate?

 

Thanks :)

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Hi Pastel, I have no direct experience of this to share but I am aware of recent graduates who joined RB and ENB who clubbed together to share flats and have managed to find reasonably OK accommodation in not too bad an area e.g. Barons Court appears to be a favourite where the trade-off between price, standard of accommodation, distance from the centre and decent area seems to be optimum.

 

I think it's a struggle and like you say, travelling late at night is fine in the centre but it can feel very deserted when you arrive back at the suburbs. I guess the key thing will be if she can share with others and where her company is based which will decide whether there are affordable areas not too far away.

 

Good luck with her auditions!

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Thanks, yes, I hope the new ones can find somewhere to share. It is a bit hard without much local knowledge of which places are safe.

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I've lived in London for many years now, and rent is very high indeed. I'd consider an area like Barons Court to be very desirable now and probably beyond the means of most young people in London at the time of their first job, even sharing. Young dancers at the RB/ENB will probably be earning more than most other dance jobs will pay. They will also have the advantage of having a longish-term contract. If you are employed on a freelance or ad hoc basis, even on a short-term contract, you might find it difficult to get somewhere to rent, unless you have someone to act as guarantor of the rent. A friend of mine, newly returned from Australia, had to spend six months living with her sister while she built up enough of an employment reference to be able to rent somewhere with friends. I would suggest that anywhere within Zone 1 or 2 is likely to be unaffordable, and Zone 3 is also now very expensive.

 

The other thing in London is the distance you should be prepared to travel between your work and home. This can be a long way and take a long time, and is often very out of proportion to what people would be prepared to do in other parts of the country. I, for example, spend nearly three hours a day commuting, one and a half hours each way - and that's just between one part of London and another, and I work shifts, so not standard hours. These sorts of times and distances are normal.

 

Travelling at night should be fine, as long as your daughter takes sensible precautions. Good luck!

 

edited for typo

Edited by rowan
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I think this is an issue they face for any job anywhere , not just dancers - though the hours worked by dancers can make it more difficult but at least in London there is still public transport running late at night.  London of course has the added complications of expense and long commute times and especially the speed of the rental market.  When my non DS was looking for a room in London we made appointments to view six rooms/houses one evening and by 11am the next morning 4 had already been taken.  He ended up with sharing a twin room at Holland House (London Hostel Association) initially as it is a lot easier to find somewhere in London once you are already there - at least when you are looking at rooms in shared houses.

 

As another poster said, I think the key thing will be to see where her company will be based and see if she can share with others.  Also, to use any contacts she has made through her dance in the UK to see if they can help.  A lot of dancers head to London after they graduate and while they are still looking for work (as dancers) and often I think you can find help with accommodation, classes etc that way.  One of DD's friends took over a room, for example, of a fellow dancer who went on tour for six months.

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As a long time London cyclist (26 years and counting) I have to throw into the mix the ease, speed and low cost of travelling by bike. Before you throw up your hands in horror, the capital really is beginning to become more bike friendly - with more bike lanes, bike super highways and the city bike system (Boris bikes). Plus a trebling in the number of bikes means it is safer for all (when the rate of cyclists in any given place goes up the accident rate falls dramatically). As a young student in London I always felt much safer travelling by bike than by public transport. By the time anyone has registered your presence you are past and gone. You are always on time. And you can pretty much buy a brand new bike every 6 months for the cost of a daily travel card.....

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As a long time London cyclist (26 years and counting) I have to throw into the mix the ease, speed and low cost of travelling by bike. Before you throw up your hands in horror, the capital really is beginning to become more bike friendly - with more bike lanes, bike super highways and the city bike system (Boris bikes). Plus a trebling in the number of bikes means it is safer for all (when the rate of cyclists in any given place goes up the accident rate falls dramatically). As a young student in London I always felt much safer travelling by bike than by public transport. By the time anyone has registered your presence you are past and gone. You are always on time. And you can pretty much buy a brand new bike every 6 months for the cost of a daily travel card.....

 

Quite aside from the safety aspect, however, how many dancers are going to fancy a long cycle commute after a long day of class, rehearsal and performance in a physically-demanding job?  I'm sometimes too tired to face my usual one-hour walking commute after a busy day, and all I do is sit at a desk...

 

(That said, Eric Underwood has mentioned on Twitter that he commutes by bike, though I'm not sure if he meant pedal or motorbike...)

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I knew someone would bring this up - and I would cite the Dutch- in the documentary on the National Ballet (Blood, Sweat and Ballet) you can clearly see principal dancers cycling to and from the company, some also dropping their children off at nursery en route. My DS happily cycled to his rooms in Amsterdam after all day classes plus another 2-3 hours practising in the evening in the studio.

 

Personally I find cycling LESS tiring than trying to battle with London transport, with its attendant overcrowding, temperature changes and the stress of never being on time. I cycled to work in central London through 4 pregnancies, right up to a week or so before delivering. And I find my end of day cycle actually makes me feel less tired and more refreshed when I get home compared with any other mean of transport. Plus aerobic exercise is something dancers could do with a bit more of IMO.

 

I think the tiredness argument is far more psychological than actual....It's about normalising cycling as your main means of transport. Once you've done this you never go back...

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I am with CeliB on this, when we lived in London both DH and I regularly cycled to work in the centre - City and Knightsbridge at different times.  We had moved away before DD was born, but now she is there, she has also made good use of her bike over the last few years.  Sometimes she cycles the whole way, sometimes just to a major station and leaves her bike on the cycle racks.  It can also be particularly useful if you want to go "across" - most tube & bus routes radiate out from the centre, so it avoids going in and out again.  She also assures me that night buses are busy and safe!

 

With regard to accommodation, there is an online company  called i-rooms with properties around Stratford/Leyton near the Olympic Park.  Stratford is a major transport hub - trains, tubes & DLR so you can quickly get anywhere.  They have shared houses, each room let independently.  The advantage is that they let in blocks of 2 weeks up to 12 (or maybe 14 weeks).  You choose how long you want, but when you renew you have to pay £50 admin.  So for example you could book 4 weeks, giving you time to find something more permanent but renew if you haven't.  You pay every two weeks and the initial payment is two weeks rent and the same as a deposit.  We have found it very useful when DD didn't want to commit to a 6 month lease anywhere.  Many other tenants appear to be young professionals, there are lots of Australians and New Zealanders over here for a couple of years as Primary school teachers or Assistants.   

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I've taken a few night buses in the early hours of the morning. I'm not from London and I have always felt completely safe.

 

There's a website, I can't remember which one though, which shows you crime rates and things in certain areas which I guess you could take a look at? Alternatively if you are worried about walking in the dark alone from stations then it might be worth choosing a house closer to a bus stop or station to cut down on that distance?

 

For short term places to stay if you are looking for a house or want to check out an area, airbnb can be reasonable enough and some places offer discount for longer (week) stays.

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I am with CeliB on this, when we lived in London both DH and I regularly cycled to work in the centre - City and Knightsbridge at different times.  We had moved away before DD was born, but now she is there, she has also made good use of her bike over the last few years.  Sometimes she cycles the whole way, sometimes just to a major station and leaves her bike on the cycle racks.  It can also be particularly useful if you want to go "across" - most tube & bus routes radiate out from the centre, so it avoids going in and out again.  She also assures me that night buses are busy and safe!

 

With regard to accommodation, there is an online company  called i-rooms with properties around Stratford/Leyton near the Olympic Park.  Stratford is a major transport hub - trains, tubes & DLR so you can quickly get anywhere.  They have shared houses, each room let independently.  The advantage is that they let in blocks of 2 weeks up to 12 (or maybe 14 weeks).  You choose how long you want, but when you renew you have to pay £50 admin.  So for example you could book 4 weeks, giving you time to find something more permanent but renew if you haven't.  You pay every two weeks and the initial payment is two weeks rent and the same as a deposit.  We have found it very useful when DD didn't want to commit to a 6 month lease anywhere.  Many other tenants appear to be young professionals, there are lots of Australians and New Zealanders over here for a couple of years as Primary school teachers or Assistants.   

Sounds interesting - tried searching for i-rooms and didn't really get anywhere, any ideas x

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It may be that they don't have their own website, but are just a company that owns flats and houses that they advertise on other sites.  Will try to find out from DD.  Certainly that was the name on the bank account where the rent was paid - it is probably the facebook link.

Edited by Pas de Quatre
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Their website at http://www.iroomuk.com/leads directly to their Facebook page where their 'about' tab explains what the company does.

 

[Edited to add that I have no connection to the company, just passing on the info.]

Edited by Yaffa
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There's a website, I can't remember which one though, which shows you crime rates and things in certain areas which I guess you could take a look at?

 

The Met Police one?

 

With regard to accommodation, there is an online company  called i-rooms with properties around Stratford/Leyton near the Olympic Park.  Stratford is a major transport hub - trains, tubes & DLR so you can quickly get anywhere.  They have shared houses, each room let independently.  The advantage is that they let in blocks of 2 weeks up to 12 (or maybe 14 weeks).  You choose how long you want, but when you renew you have to pay £50 admin.

 

This reminds me that the Evening Standard property section (on Wednesdays, if that helps) ran a series of articles on more unconventional types of accommodation in London a while back.  I seem to remember that one involved occupying unused buildings for security purposes (what that series "Crashing" on Channel 4 has been about - I can't think what the term for it is), but others were rather more potentially viable options.  Trouble is, I don't know how you'd search the website for them.

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Another thing which might be worth throwing into the mix, location-wise, is that I believe both Clapham Junction and East Croydon have an all-night rail service from Victoria because the service to Gatwick runs 24/7 - probably only 1 per hour, though.  Not sure if there's something similar for the Heathrow line.

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6 minutes ago, Mahbub said:

Hi pastel

You can find best room for your child on room share in London in my past experience Hamletts Ltd  is the best website for rent share room & single room in east London and canterl London.

 

Hello Mahbub and thank you for your post but the thread is over three years old. 🙂

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Hi there

We live in central London (Bermondsey), (direct bus ride to Covent Garden average 20 mins), very quiet area. We have small single room that is not occupied during the school terms as my DD is away in school in case you want room to start with.

We rent it to students over the summer and I act as host family to the younger ones. I often drove them to and from classes if they finished late or had early start.

In case you stuck for options – happy to give helping hand for a start until she settles and gest her friendships going and move elsewhere in shareflat or similar.

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Thanks Flexynexy but this thread is over three years old - I’m going to lock it for now so that the info is still there but so people don’t mistake it for a recent request.

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