Jump to content

Graduates 2021


balletbean
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

I appreciate there are many topics on the subject of auditions for LS & US. 
I’m sure I’m not the only one on the other end of the scale with a DC due to graduate US this coming summer. 
Their three yr training programme having been devastated by recent events. Many I’m sure having probably managed one full year and two broken and fragmented 2nd and 3rd yrs. 

Advice, support or an open forum for parents to bounce off ideas trying to support their DC as they embark on their much longed for career in a decimated industry might be helpful. 

I’ve tried to suggest to my Dd she might like to consider staying on in the training environment for another yr on a Masters programme to allow the world to start turning again. Mmm, didn’t go down quite so well, probably my fault as I could have possibly timed it better as she had been desk bound having just completed a very long essay. 😉
Would love to hear from any other parents who find themselves in a similar situation with their DC.
Thank you .  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 154
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

My dd is also in third year and is unsure what to do in July similarly she isn’t keen on a graduate programme it’s all so devastating for all the graduates this year. It would be great to hear from other parents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD is in the predicament in other years Id say clear off and do Camp America etc or PGL but even that won’t happen this year by the look of it,   My DD is a trained acro teacher also atm she’s Completing her Duke of Edinborough Assesors Qual,  ideally an agent would be lovely and her dreams but it’s not looking that way and we’ve tried to keep her focused and keep up with her other interests whilst at Uni, a friend has already offered her a volunteer work at a local special needs sports charity teaching children dance ........ yes some of her friends have discussed a Masters but my Dd is 90% against this as her past two years under lockdown his somewhat deflated her learning curve and she just wants to get out and doing what she loves todo 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Pirouette21 said:

My dd is also in third year and is unsure what to do in July similarly she isn’t keen on a graduate programme it’s all so devastating for all the graduates this year. It would be great to hear from other parents.

 

10 minutes ago, WrapsnBows said:

My DD is in the predicament in other years Id say clear off and do Camp America etc or PGL but even that won’t happen this year by the look of it,   My DD is a trained acro teacher also atm she’s Completing her Duke of Edinborough Assesors Qual,  ideally an agent would be lovely and her dreams but it’s not looking that way and we’ve tried to keep her focused and keep up with her other interests whilst at Uni, a friend has already offered her a volunteer work at a local special needs sports charity teaching children dance ........ yes some of her friends have discussed a Masters but my Dd is 90% against this as her past two years under lockdown his somewhat deflated her learning curve and she just wants to get out and doing what she loves todo 

Throw in Brexit and the implications for those hoping to join a European Company is also looking less likely. 
My DD was told (during a recent zoom tutorial) that those company’s are only interested in applicants who hold a European Union or Irish passport. 

Edited by balletbean
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had reply as a parent with a son in vocational training but at the other end.

Your situations really touched my heart for your children due to graduate and for all of your families.

I don’t have any words of advice, I don’t know enough about it all, but I had to post by way of support for the devastation that Covid has brought for children due to graduate.

 

What I did think as I was writing. Would a year out be possible, whilst keeping up with dance, and waiting for the situation to settle, or see how the vaccine program plays out.

Are there any jobs that might compliment their training and chosen paths that are possible on a short term basis?

Also having time after they graduate to regroup, grieve and reframe their expectations for the new hopefully short term future of the arts might be what is needed.

Also I’m great believer in a dance counsellor or therapist independent if possible from their schools. This might also help them explore the situation without feeling maybe any family pressure or expectations. (not suggesting that there is any, but sometimes a stranger can be a helpful sounding board)

❤️

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, balletbean said:

Hi all, 

I appreciate there are many topics on the subject of auditions for LS & US. 
I’m sure I’m not the only one on the other end of the scale with a DC due to graduate US this coming summer. 
Their three yr training programme having been devastated by recent events. Many I’m sure having probably managed one full year and two broken and fragmented 2nd and 3rd yrs. 

Advice, support or an open forum for parents to bounce off ideas trying to support their DC as they embark on their much longed for career in a decimated industry might be helpful. 

I’ve tried to suggest to my Dd she might like to consider staying on in the training environment for another yr on a Masters programme to allow the world to start turning again. Mmm, didn’t go down quite so well, probably my fault as I could have possibly timed it better as she had been desk bound having just completed a very long essay. 😉
Would love to hear from any other parents who find themselves in a similar situation with their DC.
Thank you .  


Having had dc graduate in 2019 and 2020, 2021 is going to be very tough 😢, especially for girls. All the boys in Ds and Dds years secured contracts, only a couple of the girls had paid contracts, the majority going onto apprenticeships etc that parents pay for. The school have a post graduate program, usually for one girl and one boy, but last year that was extended to all those who didn’t have a contract or other place to go. They are classed as staff and have duties to perform in exchange for ballet classes. This gives them the opportunity to re audition for contracts this year. So sadly it isn’t just this years graduates, it’s last years, the year before and all those who have lost their jobs due to Covid and companies shedding dancers 😭 Dd was lucky to gain a paid contract in the US, but due to Covid the US embassy will remain closed until August 2021, so no visa. If she had not stopped, for other reasons, she would have been waiting over 18 months to start her job. Living in the deepest south west training opportunities are limited so it would have been very difficult to maintain ballet fitness etc. There are a few post graduate courses popping up around the country that 6:3s could consider. Having gone through the company audition process twice now I personally feel that the international competition is incredibly strong. Dd danced with lots of international dancers at YAGP, short term placements and summer intensives and knew the competition. In my experience it’s sometimes who you know that gets you ahead, a determined AD and or teacher can be invaluable in getting your dc into that audition class. 
It is only slightly easier for boys and on a positive Ds secured a fantastic ballet company contract in Europe during the pandemic having had to give up on his US one. 
As I’ve said before, plan B is essential. A levels are important for University applications. Don’t let the school get away with reassuring your Dc that they will get a dance job and not help them explore other opportunities or avenues. I truly feel for this generation of dancers and wish all your dc all the luck in the world  xx

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, balletbean said:

 

Throw in Brexit and the implications for those hoping to join a European Company is also looking less likely. 
My DD was told (during a recent zoom tutorial) that those company’s are only interested in applicants who hold a European Union or Irish passport. 

My Dd said something about that as she would like to go to Germany lucky enough I think she’s got 7

years left on hers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, WrapsnBows said:

My Dd said something about that as she would like to go to Germany lucky enough I think she’s got 7

years left on hers

The old (British issued) Red passports with European Union imprinted across the top are still valid for travel (until their expiry date) and for staying in the EU up to 90 days however, holders can’t seek work like they used to. 🙁 A quick phone call to the passport office confirmed that. 
We were advised that if you have a close relative that lives in Ireland (our ancestors left in 1746 so that doesn’t quite work for us 😂) or the EU is to seek out and apply for dual nationality and then an EU passport. 
 

Edited by balletbean
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't seek work :(  (I never did understand just why so many people in this country were anti-freedom of movement, but I guess that's another story).  But if you just happened to be somewhere in Europe which had a ballet company, and asked if you could take class with them, and happened to catch the AD or whoever's eye ...?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, balletbean said:

The old (British issued) Red passports with European Union imprinted across the top are still valid for travel (until their expiry date) and for staying in the EU up to 90 days however, holders can’t seek work like they used to. 🙁 A quick phone call to the passport office confirmed that. 
We were advised that if you have a close relative that lives in Ireland (our ancestors left in 1746 so that doesn’t quite work for us 😂) or the EU is to seek out and apply for dual nationality and then an EU passport. 
 

Be aware that this process takes 12-18 months even if clearly eligible (with an Irish parent or grand parent) - longer in the current pandemic. We have already been asked about what passport DC holds by a company before they were even willing to view the submission. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, danceparent said:

Be aware that this process takes 12-18 months even if clearly eligible (with an Irish parent or grand parent) - longer in the current pandemic. We have already been asked about what passport DC holds by a company before they were even willing to view the submission. 

Interesting as that’s exactly what my DD was told. ie don’t bother until you hold an EU passport. We happened to mention this to her friend who is currently 6:1 as she has some Italian family members. Foreword planning by her family, she had already applied for dual nationality and after quite a wait she has secured an Italian passport. 
What I don’t know is how it works when a British company is touring EU countries? Do the company members have to apply for a visa before departure? That last question was just too much for the guy at the passport office 😂

Edited by balletbean
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, balletbean said:


What I don’t know is how it works when a British company is touring EU countries? Do the company members have to apply for a visa before departure? That last question was just too much for the guy at the passport office 😂

 

I believe if a company is touring abroad they would deal with any required visas.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really do feel for all graduates in these troubled times and there is no easy solution.  Some people may take what I say next as flippant, but it is true.

 

There was artistic life before UK joined the EEC (as it was then).  Tours happened, British dancers worked abroad, there was more paperwork, which all got done.  At the moment I think there is a lot of uncertainty but it will eventually settle down.

 

Most European countries have a great amount of bureaucracy and reverence for "rules".  Remember last year during the lockdown, in France you had to download, print out and fill in a form to take with you if you needed to leave your house, and show it alongside your identity papers if requested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I believe if a company is touring abroad they would deal with any required visas.

Thank you. Would that be for Europe as well further afield? Brexit coinciding with Covid I presume there hasn’t been any touring companies leaving these shores to test the practicalities across the channel. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

I really do feel for all graduates in these troubled times and there is no easy solution.  Some people may take what I say next as flippant, but it is true.

 

There was artistic life before UK joined the EEC (as it was then).  Tours happened, British dancers worked abroad, there was more paperwork, which all got done.  At the moment I think there is a lot of uncertainty but it will eventually settle down.

 

Most European countries have a great amount of bureaucracy and reverence for "rules".  Remember last year during the lockdown, in France you had to download, print out and fill in a form to take with you if you needed to leave your house, and show it alongside your identity papers if requested.

The problem is that British dancers aren't competing on as much of an even footing as they were back then when everybody would have needed paperwork.  When companies already have an oversupply of excellent dancers available to choose from from the EU27 countries, plus the additional EEA countries like Norway and Switzerland, with limited budgets the companies - still reeling from the covid hit - simply aren't going to go to the expense and hassle of hiring a UK dancer unless they are already an international star.  

 

It is disappointing to hear that the schools are advising students not to bother auditioning, rather than lobbying the government in support of their UK students, who have worked so hard and been put in this situation through no fault of their own.  The music industry has been very vocal about this - who will speak up for our dancers? 

 

If a reciprocal EU visa scheme cannot be achieved for these young dancers, the government should really be looking at having ballet and contemporary dancers removed from the occupation shortage list to give them more of a chance of getting contracts here.  There was an oversupply previously but UK dancers still had options open to them in the EU - with that lifeline gone, surely the situation has changed.

 

It's just not good enough to train all these talented UK dancers then turn around and say 'tough luck' at the end of it.  I hope the schools and companies will speak up and support them.  

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, alison said:

Can't seek work :(  (I never did understand just why so many people in this country were anti-freedom of movement, but I guess that's another story).  But if you just happened to be somewhere in Europe which had a ballet company, and asked if you could take class with them, and happened to catch the AD or whoever's eye ...?

Whilst technically not allowed, this has always happened, globally.  It's more a question of whether the company is then prepared to go to the expense of hiring you when they could get a dancer from their own country (or 27+ other countries in this case) for free.  They usually also have to submit evidence to prove that you are better than all the other dancers in that labour market - we were always told not to even bother trying in the USA for this reason, at least until you had considerable experience. 

 

It sets the bar much, much higher for those just starting out, or at corps de ballet level.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD isn’t a graduate, but she did get ballet job offers during the pandemic and changed jobs. However, she’s experienced and not a newbie. I am glad she got into her present company before Brexit, but she has no idea yet of what will happen when it is time to renew her contract. I know  of other dancers who did not get their visa renewed (outside of Europe), so although the company wanted them, the visa authorities said no.  I echo a lot of what Cotes says about the situation. The standard of many international dancers can be exceptionally high. Japan and Brazil seem to turn out lots of great dancers, not to mention the Russians. These are outside of Europe, so visas are definitely obtained for them, even straight from school. The British are in the same situation now. German companies are highly sought after, not a second- or third-best option. And graduate dancers are up against experienced dancers who already may be soloists in another company. Mine did A levels alongside ballet training. I really think they are essential (or at least a proper alternative plan). I know young graduate dancers who have now applied for university instead.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It must be so difficult for this year's and last year's graduates.

 

Going back to when my dd graduated many years ago, her approach was to apply for pretty much anything going.  This included ballet companies, contemporary companies, West End shows, cruise ships, post-grad courses, small local projects.  

 

She took the view that the more auditions she went to the greater her chances.

 

I appreciate there will be MUCH less around at the moment and the competition will be much fiercer, but if you are less selective about what you apply for you may have more options.

 

That's all I can suggest really.  It must be so tough.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, glowlight said:

It must be so difficult for this year's and last year's graduates.

 

Going back to when my dd graduated many years ago, her approach was to apply for pretty much anything going.  This included ballet companies, contemporary companies, West End shows, cruise ships, post-grad courses, small local projects.  

 

She took the view that the more auditions she went to the greater her chances.

 

I appreciate there will be MUCH less around at the moment and the competition will be much fiercer, but if you are less selective about what you apply for you may have more options.

 

That's all I can suggest really.  It must be so tough.

Thank you. 
I appreciate last years graduates had it hard but I can’t help but feel for this years grads. They have literally completed just one full year out of a 3yr training programme. I am praying that the industry does bounce back. Albeit veery very slowly. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter has applied for a Masters and has chosen courses that also focus on acting and voice rather than focused on dance.  She has a potential project in the pipeline in a creative role but its under wraps at the moment as the producer has stated the project is not suitable for streaming but will need to wait until live performances are allowed again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, balletbean said:

Thank you. 
I appreciate last years graduates had it hard but I can’t help but feel for this years grads. They have literally completed just one full year out of a 3yr training programme. I am praying that the industry does bounce back. Albeit veery very slowly. 

 

This is how my daughter feels.  She feels that last year's grads completed pretty much all of their training,the final term would have been pretty much taken up with showcases etc which they missed out on but her year have, as you say, really only had 1 year of un-interrupted training and they will be competing for jobs against those who are better trained.  

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Jewel said:

 

This is how my daughter feels.  She feels that last year's grads completed pretty much all of their training,the final term would have been pretty much taken up with showcases etc which they missed out on but her year have, as you say, really only had 1 year of un-interrupted training and they will be competing for jobs against those who are better trained.  

 

My DD school is affiliated with the local UNI and over the pandemic the Uni have limited there lectures, reduced the practical lessons extended the deadlines and as it stands now some of her practical lessons are ending and the deadlines are now end of April / May!!!   My Dd has just phoned me really brassed off to say the least as like she said she went to a top vocational school for the training and the degree was an bonus! If she wanted a degree she would of just gone to any uni and done an in-house degree without the industry training 😡

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, WrapsnBows said:

over the pandemic the Uni have limited there lectures, reduced the practical lessons

 

We were told by the national government to cease any teaching in person from early January. My Department had special permission from our university to teach our practical classes in our studios, face to face fromJanuary 2021. However, the Government law prohibits this at the moment. We're doing what we can, but safety of vulnerable students and all staff has to be paramount. As does obeying the law ...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Kate_N said:

 

We were told by the national government to cease any teaching in person from early January. My Department had special permission from our university to teach our practical classes in our studios, face to face fromJanuary 2021. However, the Government law prohibits this at the moment. We're doing what we can, but safety of vulnerable students and all staff has to be paramount. As does obeying the law ...

Just to clarify the school are doing everything to the letter and we can’t fault this at all as they have made sure that all students are safe and the staff have been amazing all lessons moved over to zoom at the beginning of the first lockdown!  but it’s the fact that the uni have reduced the teaching hours and keep moving the assessment dates and contents of the degree. Without 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Jewel said:

 

This is how my daughter feels.  She feels that last year's grads completed pretty much all of their training,the final term would have been pretty much taken up with showcases etc which they missed out on but her year have, as you say, really only had 1 year of un-interrupted training and they will be competing for jobs against those who are better trained.  

 

To try to make light of the lockdown and the zoom lessons (and there’s been plenty of those). I’ve suggested to my DD that her yr group save some of the more ‘you’ve been framed’ moments to make a compilation video for their teachers incl the outtakes from their showreels (I’ve seen a few and they are hilarious). Sadly I strongly suspect they won’t have a traditional graduation and party but at least they can hold onto those lighter moments and try to convince themselves it’s not that bad (even though we know deep down it is) 🥲

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD is graduating this year (studying overseas not in UK US) but not interested at all with EU companies despite having EU nationality. She never was. Where we currently stand? After long and mentally draining weeks, I have convinced her to give up dance as career and look at UNI course instead. We will fly over for her graduation and I am burning all her ballet shoes. I am unwilling to continue to finance the new trend of postgraduate training. They seems to be popping up just about everywhere and I do not believe in them.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, FlexyNexy said:

My DD is graduating this year (studying overseas not in UK US) but not interested at all with EU companies despite having EU nationality. She never was. Where we currently stand? After long and mentally draining weeks, I have convinced her to give up dance as career and look at UNI course instead. We will fly over for her graduation and I am burning all her ballet shoes. I am unwilling to continue to finance the new trend of postgraduate training. They seems to be popping up just about everywhere and I do not believe in them.  


I am totally with you on the ballet shoe burning 🔥 

We discussed our Dd returning to her vocational school for a post graduate year but with the intention of going to university in September, she had no intention of auditioning for jobs, we agreed too that we would happily fund her future but ballet was her past and we weren’t going to spend another penny on it ☺️ Good luck to your Dd x

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My heart really goes out to all of you - even when I was attending auditions in 2017/2018, many of us were warned at auditions that they weren’t sure if they could take on British dancers due to the uncertainty of Brexit. I hate to think what it must be like now, especially with a global pandemic! 
 

Although I had a good experience with a postgrad scheme, I would say tread with caution. In many cases they are money making schemes and a chance to fill in a few costumes at no cost to the company. I knew of a few dancers who have done more than one, and it gets to the point when you can wonder if you will ever be paid for your labour. After my postgrad scheme I was offered work, but wasn’t going to be paid a wage. I was told it was good for “exposure”. There was no way my parents could continue to support me like that and realistically I wanted something in return for my work. 
 

There is also absolutely nothing wrong with calling it a day if your heart isn’t completely in it anymore! I wish I had made that decision far earlier in my US journey rather than living through a lot of agony and pain. I am a far happier person now. 

 

If you want to pursue it still, I would highly recommend looking and seeing if you have any Irish/European (EU) grandparents/parents and seeing what you can do with regards to applying for a passport. I am envious if you have! 😉
 

Wishing you all the very best of luck. Big hugs too - it really isn’t an easy journey! 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Chamomile said:

My heart really goes out to all of you - even when I was attending auditions in 2017/2018, many of us were warned at auditions that they weren’t sure if they could take on British dancers due to the uncertainty of Brexit. I hate to think what it must be like now, especially with a global pandemic! 
 

Although I had a good experience with a postgrad scheme, I would say tread with caution. In many cases they are money making schemes and a chance to fill in a few costumes at no cost to the company. I knew of a few dancers who have done more than one, and it gets to the point when you can wonder if you will ever be paid for your labour. After my postgrad scheme I was offered work, but wasn’t going to be paid a wage. I was told it was good for “exposure”. There was no way my parents could continue to support me like that and realistically I wanted something in return for my work. 
 

There is also absolutely nothing wrong with calling it a day if your heart isn’t completely in it anymore! I wish I had made that decision far earlier in my US journey rather than living through a lot of agony and pain. I am a far happier person now. 

 

If you want to pursue it still, I would highly recommend looking and seeing if you have any Irish/European (EU) grandparents/parents and seeing what you can do with regards to applying for a passport. I am envious if you have! 😉
 

Wishing you all the very best of luck. Big hugs too - it really isn’t an easy journey! 

Bless you Chamomile, thank you for sharing your experience. It’s a cautious tale that needs to be said. 
Wishing you all the best for your new endeavours and adventures in life. ☺️

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...