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Goodbye - but only as a moderator


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Just thought I'd post on here as I know lots of people in the Doing Dance - whether in person or just "virtually".  I just wanted to let you know that I have stepped down as a moderator.  I became a moderator when the new balletcoforum started, having been a member of the old ballet.co forum since about 2001 I think, when my son was starting out in JAs, but as I haven't had a child in ballet education for many years now, and no longer have a performer in the family since my son changed career, I find I don't have as much to contribute these days - I was therefore mainly only coming onto the forum to help out with moderation.  I've found my other interests (and work) have taken over my time so I can't give the forum the attention it needs.


I hope I've been of help to some of you over the years with my experience of JAs with a boy and a girl, knowledge of White Lodge and Elmhurst, the trials and tribulations of being assessed out of WL, dealing with injuries, auditioning for schools and then companies.  When I started on the original forum I was looking for information about WL and there was just one, yes one, post about the school.  We didn't have Facebook......  When our audition results came in they were by letter and we rang each other up (if we'd remembered to ask fellow JA parents for their phone numbers) to find out what was going on 😂😂


My previously (seriously) dancing children are now adults in their 20s - one's a personal trainer (until he works out what else he'd like to do) and one's a vet (her new rugby coach asked her what sport she did before she took up rugby at uni - her answer was "ballet").  I will never forget the 3 biggest moments in my son's dancing life - getting the offer letter from WL, getting the "assessed out" letter from WL, and his phone call telling me he'd got a contract in a ballet company - I wouldn't change it for the world. 


The forum's an amazing resource - please keep it the friendly, informative place it always has been. 


My final pieces of advice for parents of aspiring dancers, from my own experience:


  • You'll learn as you go along - don't try to learn everything in one go - it will all fall into place with experience 
  • Give your children opportunities to see if this ballet lark could be a future career, but many talented dancers change their minds as they grow older, or don't get a place at vocational school - it's sad when they stop but it's not the end of the world
  • Keep talking to your children - especially the ones at full-time vocational schools - about whether they still really want it - they have to really want it to be successful, and they might still change their minds later
  • It's a rollercoaster ride - there will be highs and lows and at some point you might step off, or you might fall off - but there is life outside the theme park!  


I'll still be popping in for a read to see how you're getting on.  If you ever need help, especially with issues around the assessment process, or children choosing to give up, please do send me a PM and I'll offer a listening ear with the benefit of my experience.


Bye for now - maybe see you at the ROH.

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Thanks for that Julie, it’s lovely to read there is life after a childhood ballet career! I myself danced till injury forced me out at 19, I’ve since gone on to have a successful career in mental health nursing after being everyone’s favourite agony sister at vocational school! 😄

My DS dances now, and I’ve always said to him when it stops being fun is when it’s time to stop. For now he leaps out of bed like a gazelle on dancing days!

Lots of luck for the future to you and your DC.


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Thank you for all the work you’ve put in over the years Julie. I am a few years years behind you on this roller coaster but have always read your posts with interest and felt like there was such a wealth of wisdom. I too found this forum when my dd became a JA and over the years it has been an invaluable source of information and support. Dd is now in upper school and it certainly has been a roller coaster ride but thanks for being there, even though you probably did even know you were! Enjoy your extra time with your other interests x

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Thank you for all your contributions and hard work as a moderator, Julie.  Hope the new interests are as fulfilling and fun as dance. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re back one day as a ‘dancing grandparent’! 

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Thanks so much everyone, even though some of you have made me cry!  Some of us have certainly seen some bad times together, but also plenty of great times. (And Karen made me laugh with the "dancing grandparent" comment - I'll do my best 😉  )


I won't be going far - I'll still be popping in to read threads of interest and chipping in if I feel I can contribute.  My eldest son's girlfriend is still a professional dancer (and BASI qualified Pilates instructor in the Wimbledon area - if anyone's interested in 121s or classes please do get in touch - she's fab!!!) and we have friends who perform in ballet companies and the West End, so I have plenty of excuses for watching regularly.

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