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Shellym

Also feeling disheartened

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Hello, my DD is 10, yr 6 at school and like many of the children here loves ballet with all her heart. She got a no this year from Elmhurst, royal ballet and Kings international, just auditioned for the nutcracker with BRB and a no for that today, 

she’s currently grade 3 idta, practices in just about all her spare time, has extra private lessons.  She is petite, great flexibility, her teacher think she has great potential.  I see every rejection chipping away at her self confidence and there is only so much money, I can’t afford summer schools.  I want to tell her there is plenty of time and wish I could something to help.  
 

 

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Where does she do her ballet classes now? Are you local to Birmingham?

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Not exactly local, about an hour away.  We are close to Nottingham and Leicester.  She dances at a smallish village school, she also does contemporary, Irish, Tap, theatre, musical theatre but ballet is her absolute love

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2 minutes ago, Shellym said:

Hello, my DD is 10, yr 6 at school and like many of the children here loves ballet with all her heart. She got a no this year from Elmhurst, royal ballet and Kings international, just auditioned for the nutcracker with BRB and a no for that today, 

she’s currently grade 3 idta, practices in just about all her spare time, has extra private lessons.  She is petite, great flexibility, her teacher think she has great potential.  I see every rejection chipping away at her self confidence and there is only so much money, I can’t afford summer schools.  I want to tell her there is plenty of time and wish I could something to help.  
 

 

Please please please instil in your DD that ballet is not a race. At 10yrs old my DD was so scrawny with no muscle tone and one slight gust of wind she would have fallen over. She just attended her local dance studio in all genres with no SS until she reached 14 for a week at BW. Other than that just regular classes and exams with her dance teachers. Another 2 SS the following yr as she only turned 15 a week before SS at ENBS/Elmhurst. It was like watching a butterfly climbing out of a chrysalis. It was only then she realised what was possible. Auditioned that autumn and was successful at her first choice of vocational school for the following yr. 
No associate schemes of which I doubt at a tender age she would have been successful. If there’s potential work with it and trust her teacher. Slow and steady. There is also a potential for burn out or early injury by rushing for some. I’ve seen it happen on occasion . 
Use the knock backs in a positive way. Hard as it maybe but that’s what life is like even more so in the world of dance. The skills learnt of how we handle rejection can only make us all stronger. Might not feel like it at the time but everything happens for a reason. 🤞🏼

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1 minute ago, angel said:

My advice, if you a near Nottingham, would be to visit  https://www.gedlingballetschool.co.uk/

 

Mu experience has been that it is not about how much ballet you do but who teaches. 

 

I have no experience of the school mentioned  above 

but i would  echo, as someone who took up ballet as an adult, that who teaches you   can make a massive difference,  i've been lucky enough to  take  classes taught by soem real big names , but that is  a side step the the point beign made , i have had things i;ve struggled with  formonths and then  a coupel of hours with a different teacher  and 'boom'  sorted  ... 

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Unless she's also really fond of Irish dance, then perhaps that might be one to let go - the techniques of ballet and Irish dance don't really complement one another as my dd found out. Irish is all on the balls of your feet and you don't put your heels down when landing from jumps. This is completely opposite to ballet technique. 

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I’m feeling very similar feelings at the moment. I think it’s the time of year - hearing all the excitement of friends going to JAs and getting CAT places doesn’t help (although I am of course very pleased for them!) along with the miserable weather, coughs and colds! 😤

My DD had a no for associates and it feels like we’re at a standstill. BUT, after some excellent advice and kind words on here I realise that it’s just a lull in feeling ‘busy’ - it feels like we’re getting nowhere but actually the strength and technique my DD is building now we’re ‘back to basics’ is hugely valuable. After lots of focus on auditions, shows and exams before the summer, I’m taking a step back to appreciate the calm!

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17 minutes ago, taxi4ballet said:

Unless she's also really fond of Irish dance, then perhaps that might be one to let go - the techniques of ballet and Irish dance don't really complement one another as my dd found out. Irish is all on the balls of your feet and you don't put your heels down when landing from jumps. This is completely opposite to ballet technique. 

She is fond of it, they are busy preparing for a show, she enjoys all the dances, there will come a time when we have to cut back and focus on the strengths x

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10 minutes ago, HowMuch! said:

I’m feeling very similar feelings at the moment. I think it’s the time of year - hearing all the excitement of friends going to JAs and getting CAT places doesn’t help (although I am of course very pleased for them!) along with the miserable weather, coughs and colds! 😤

My DD had a no for associates and it feels like we’re at a standstill. BUT, after some excellent advice and kind words on here I realise that it’s just a lull in feeling ‘busy’ - it feels like we’re getting nowhere but actually the strength and technique my DD is building now we’re ‘back to basics’ is hugely valuable. After lots of focus on auditions, shows and exams before the summer, I’m taking a step back to appreciate the calm!

Ha ha, the dance school my dd goes to are busy preparing for a show!  No rest til March!!!

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43 minutes ago, NJH said:

 

I have no experience of the school mentioned  above 

but i would  echo, as someone who took up ballet as an adult, that who teaches you   can make a massive difference,  i've been lucky enough to  take  classes taught by soem real big names , but that is  a side step the the point beign made , i have had things i;ve struggled with  formonths and then  a coupel of hours with a different teacher  and 'boom'  sorted  ... 

I know teachers make a big difference, her private lesson is being taught by someone else than her usual dance teacher.  That’s why ideally we wanted to get into an associate class but easier said than done.  

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33 minutes ago, Shellym said:

She is fond of it, they are busy preparing for a show, she enjoys all the dances, there will come a time when we have to cut back and focus on the strengths x

Don’t rush. My DD continued with Tap, Modern, Greek and even Acro along with Ballet right up to reaching Adv1. One never impacted on another. It also allows the individual dancer to really decide on her genre/s of choice. Which can over time as their body develops. Obviously that can also help to keep as many doors open for later on.

ps. A friend on graduation (19yrs) secured a job on a international tour for Spirit of the Dance as she had continued her Irish dancing since childhood as well as other genres whilst her next contract was relying on her ballet training. Not a classical company however but she’s been in permanent employment 6yrs with continuous contracts since so no regrets. 

Edited by balletbean
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Children develop at such different rates - both physically and emotionally - that sometimes I wish full-time ballet schools could take them in when they’re ready rather than because they’re 11 or 16.  I would echo the good advice you’ve been given that it’s not a race.  The likelihood of a little ballet student making it, unscathed, all the way to graduating and getting a paid job in a ballet company is ridiculously slim.  It’s probably less likely than a football loving child making it into the Premier League.  

 

My advice would be to get the best teaching you can for your dd and keep applying for associate schemes BUT not to make that become the be-all and end-all because if you are only ever striving for a goal, it’s very difficult to enjoy the journey and keep that love of ballet alive.    Your dd can keep applying for CAT schemes and Associates until 16; there’s plenty of time.   I know it’s difficult but try not to be disheartened - literally *anything* could happen during adolescence.  Keep trying but enjoy the fact that she loves dancing because that is the main thing for now.  

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I meant to add that if the rejections are chipping away at her confidence, it might be worth reframing them as “not at the moment” or “not yet” rather than “no”.  After all, there are only so many students a class can take and often there are just too many good dancers for not enough places - a problem that happens all the way up to auditions for jobs!  It might also help to just encourage her to enjoy auditions as a nice class with a different teacher - again, focus on the experience more than the outcome.

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We always do say go in with the attitude that your going to smash it but have lots of fun and soak up the experience, I always say it’s a not yet, rather than no, and you’re time will come when it’s right xx

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I think it's also important to realise that it's easy to get a false impression of how many children are getting 'yes' by reading this forum. There are many, many, many children out there who receive 'no' - that much is obvious just by comparing the number who apply to White Lodge etc with the number of places available. This forum has a much higher than average concentration of 'yes' results than you would find in an average cross-section of applicants.

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9 hours ago, angel said:

My advice, if you a near Nottingham, would be to visit  https://www.gedlingballetschool.co.uk/

 

My experience has been that it is not about how much ballet you do but who teaches. 

I would definitely recommend the school. They have students at associate schemes and who have gone on to vocational training. My DD does ballet and contemporary there. The teachers are lovely and we have found them to be very supportive. 

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Another recommendation for Gedling Ballet School from me. As an associate scheme director for almost 10 years (😱) I have encountered lots of students training at various schools in the Midlands area and the students from GBS are well trained. I also have positive experience of students trained at Ogando School of Dance and Southwell dance school.  

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Your Dd is still extremely young and there’s loads of time yet for her to progress and enjoy.

Just because she isn’t doing a load of associate classes doesn’t mean she won’t develop and fulfill her potential. My Dd had only danced for a yr at the same age and has gradually caught up and been given chances. If she is still very impatient, then I think it’s about asking  some questions re the training she is getting, her physical potential - some of which will change over time and some that won’t, her musicality, and lastly confidence in audition situations. If she loves her school then it might be tricky and detrimental  to go elsewhere,  even if you do decide the training would be better. That’s a lot of questions which might be difficult for a non dancer parent to answer and maybe some of the teachers suggested above might give you more of an idea, but personally, at such a young age, let her enjoy what she is doing and see where it goes. She might just need time to mature and blossom. Anna C is so right when she says that the enjoyment of the everyday journey, classes and shows etc is what it’s all about and not this perpetual striving for something which is fairly unachievable even for those at the top schools worldwide 

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Annette Nicholson of Nicholson School of dance in Birmingham is an amazing teacher, ex brb dancer and is royal mid associates teacher, she does fortnightly associate classes on a Sunday from age 10, might be worth a look. I’m fairly sure she will also do a one off assessment of potential. 

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No's are hard, for DD and for parents, but are an important part of life as a dancer.  In some ways learning how to deal with that disappointment when young can help when they are older when there might really be much more riding on it.  The ability to dust yourself off, get on with it, and maybe try again is hugely valuable.

 

She's still very young and there is plenty of time.

 

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