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Is it really still potential? (Royal Ballet School 2021 intake)


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To take only this year’s intake of one school, and only one gender within the Year 7 class as a sample, is hardly a representation of the children accessing vocational training. To claim that they all come from the south while discounting any reference to previous year groups ‘because we are talking about this year’s intake’ is absurd. Looking at such a tiny sample can only observe coincidences. Several posters have pointed out that this is not a pattern over time.

 

When talking about students accessing huge amounts of training and having a massive online presence, you have to also bear in mind the huge number of children that do both these things without securing a place at any of the vocational schools. Having lots of classes with ‘big name’ teachers and posting photos on Instagram doesn’t lead to a vocational place. Hard work sometimes includes these things, particularly the additional training, but there are many other factors. Any child in a ballet class is capable of asking for additional exercises to do at home and practicing daily. That will make more difference than a dozen online tutorials. Lots of posters have said that they know of DC who had very few lessons apart from a couple of ballet lessons and a good associates programme each week. Again, you can’t look at only part of one cohort and try to make any conclusions, ignoring all references to previous year groups.

 

Every year we comb through the ‘yeses’ trying to find an explanation or a pattern. It’s only natural to look for answers, especially when faced with a disappointment. But to try to put it down to privilege or geography rather than talent, hard work and physical suitability, is insulting to the children that have worked so hard to get there.

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40 minutes ago, Momapalooza said:

I am with you on this @Sally-Anne however I do also see the point of others when they say it’s a means to meet peers and like-minded individuals and to share their journey to inspire others. It’s very much a social thing as the name suggests but also I believe it’s to get out there, maybe even endorse brands. Some tag schools, places, teachers, brands of items they wear/use. A simple experiment would be to do a # search of school names. 

Interesting. Is there a financial benefit to endorsing brands? And back to your original point, do you think it helps these kids get places in the schools they tag? And if so, why/how? 
(Im genuinely curious)

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3 minutes ago, SissonneDoublee said:

To take only this year’s intake of one school, and only one gender within the Year 7 class as a sample, is hardly a representation of the children accessing vocational training. To claim that they all come from the south while discounting any reference to previous year groups ‘because we are talking about this year’s intake’ is absurd. Looking at such a tiny sample can only observe coincidences. Several posters have pointed out that this is not a pattern over time.

 

When talking about students accessing huge amounts of training and having a massive online presence, you have to also bear in mind the huge number of children that do both these things without securing a place at any of the vocational schools. Having lots of classes with ‘big name’ teachers and posting photos on Instagram doesn’t lead to a vocational place. Hard work sometimes includes these things, particularly the additional training, but there are many other factors. Any child in a ballet class is capable of asking for additional exercises to do at home and practicing daily. That will make more difference than a dozen online tutorials. Lots of posters have said that they know of DC who had very few lessons apart from a couple of ballet lessons and a good vocational programme each week. Again, you can’t look at only part of one cohort and try to make any conclusions, ignoring all references to previous year groups.

 

Every year we comb through the ‘yeses’ trying to find an explanation or a pattern. It’s only natural to look for answers, especially when faced with a disappointment. But to try to put it down to privilege or geography rather than talent, hard work, dedication and physical suitability, is insulting to the children that have worked so hard to get there.

If I sounded like it, I apologise, but I wasn’t intending to make sweeping generalisations. My original post was more about a concern that this could be the trend moving forwards. Of course I would be happy to be proven wrong and that this particular year would not be the norm for the following years. The past year has been a very different ones and this of course could be a factor. The only reason I was saying my comment was for a particular intake is to address those who thought I was making a general comment covering several years.  There is no pattern as such, and I wasn’t alluding to any, but what I was hoping won’t happen is that for this to become a pattern because that would severely limit the demographic of children who can access full time training in vocational schools. I obviously don’t know the circumstances of these DCs and I would never claim to, but an interesting thought I had was that how many of these kids would actually need a substantial level of MDS funding?   I know of many lovely stories of DCs who are funded through associates etc where the family cannot afford such extras, but I still personally believe that to attain a certain level to be truly competitive one has to have means to do so or be so stunning as to be awarded scholarships or other sorts of funding.  Would everyone have the time to travel long hours to access a particular associates? Attend classes almost every day of the week? Have privates? 
 

I had no intention to be insulting. In my previous posts I had made this clear that I don’t wish to take anything from ang children.  No one can dispute their talent, hard work and suitability which is why they achieved what they did. However, I stand by my statement that having the means to fully complement, nurture, progress and enhance these attributes helps. Perhaps I am wrong and a “rough diamond” can show up in a group of exquisitely trained, hardworking, determined dancers and be noticed. Anyone who gets to these final stages of getting into full time schools must have potential and facility  of some level. The difference might be that better trained young dancers would probably know how to harness their strengths, and hide weaknesses (if any).


The bottom line is that I would like to see a pattern NOT to emerge. You are completely right and that this is just this year’s. It would be a nice thought that everyone who works hard and has the potential has an equal chance to achieve their dream, regardless of having the means to do so. I always did say I love a good success story, and much prefer those that are about people who managed to defy odds.  

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2 minutes ago, Sally-Anne said:

Interesting. Is there a financial benefit to endorsing brands? And back to your original point, do you think it helps these kids get places in the schools they tag? And if so, why/how? 
(Im genuinely curious)

I am not sure to be honest, I wouldn’t have thought so? Perhaps they get provided products for free to advertise. I don’t really know. 
 

I would like to think tagging won’t help them get places as ultimately it would be how they perform in auditions. I wouldn’t know what their rationale is for tagging. Maybe it’s institutional pride as most would already be in the school’s system anyway.   I very much doubt schools browse through their own tags to identify potentials. 

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5 minutes ago, Momapalooza said:

If I sounded like it, I apologise, but I wasn’t intending to make sweeping generalisations. My original post was more about a concern that this could be the trend moving forwards. Of course I would be happy to be proven wrong and that this particular year would not be the norm for the following years. The past year has been a very different ones and this of course could be a factor. The only reason I was saying my comment was for a particular intake is to address those who thought I was making a general comment covering several years.  There is no pattern as such, and I wasn’t alluding to any, but what I was hoping won’t happen is that for this to become a pattern because that would severely limit the demographic of children who can access full time training in vocational schools. I obviously don’t know the circumstances of these DCs and I would never claim to, but an interesting thought I had was that how many of these kids would actually need a substantial level of MDS funding?   I know of many lovely stories of DCs who are funded through associates etc where the family cannot afford such extras, but I still personally believe that to attain a certain level to be truly competitive one has to have means to do so or be so stunning as to be awarded scholarships or other sorts of funding.  Would everyone have the time to travel long hours to access a particular associates? Attend classes almost every day of the week? Have privates? 
 

I had no intention to be insulting. In my previous posts I had made this clear that I don’t wish to take anything from ang children.  No one can dispute their talent, hard work and suitability which is why they achieved what they did. However, I stand by my statement that having the means to fully complement, nurture, progress and enhance these attributes helps. Perhaps I am wrong and a “rough diamond” can show up in a group of exquisitely trained, hardworking, determined dancers and be noticed. Anyone who gets to these final stages of getting into full time schools must have potential and facility  of some level. The difference might be that better trained young dancers would probably know how to harness their strengths, and hide weaknesses (if any).


The bottom line is that I would like to see a pattern NOT to emerge. You are completely right and that this is just this year’s. It would be a nice thought that everyone who works hard and has the potential has an equal chance to achieve their dream, regardless of having the means to do so. I always did say I love a good success story, and much prefer those that are about people who managed to defy odds.  


completely agree. I don’t think it’s absurd at all to make an observation on a specific year especially when this year has been such a changing year on how things are done. It is a discussion forum after all 

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My DS (from the north!) has made the WL waitlist. He doesn’t have an Instagram. We did absolutely no additional training, no private lessons, no one to one coaching. Just his normal ballet class and JA class via Zoom. Looking at the results and seeing all these posts on Instagram, as well as his reaction to the news, I can’t help but feel I have let him down by not realising this was the apparent ‘norm’ 😓 

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30 minutes ago, SissonneDoublee said:

To take only this year’s intake of one school, and only one gender within the Year 7 class as a sample, is hardly a representation of the children accessing vocational training. To claim that they all come from the south while discounting any reference to previous year groups ‘because we are talking about this year’s intake’ is absurd. Looking at such a tiny sample can only observe coincidences. Several posters have pointed out that this is not a pattern over time.

 

When talking about students accessing huge amounts of training and having a massive online presence, you have to also bear in mind the huge number of children that do both these things without securing a place at any of the vocational schools. Having lots of classes with ‘big name’ teachers and posting photos on Instagram doesn’t lead to a vocational place. Hard work sometimes includes these things, particularly the additional training, but there are many other factors. Any child in a ballet class is capable of asking for additional exercises to do at home and practicing daily. That will make more difference than a dozen online tutorials. Lots of posters have said that they know of DC who had very few lessons apart from a couple of ballet lessons and a good associates programme each week. Again, you can’t look at only part of one cohort and try to make any conclusions, ignoring all references to previous year groups.

 

Every year we comb through the ‘yeses’ trying to find an explanation or a pattern. It’s only natural to look for answers, especially when faced with a disappointment. But to try to put it down to privilege or geography rather than talent, hard work and physical suitability, is insulting to the children that have worked so hard to get there.

No intention to insult, in fact I think it’s been commented how immensely talented these children appear to be this year, that there doesn’t appear to be any rough diamonds in the mix. it is a discussion forum after all, I have mentioned several times how it was an observation that could be a complete coincidence. But with prestige schools it is well known that sometimes being more privileged can stand you in better stead and it again is just an observation that many have had access to multiple coaches that a lot would not have the means to access 

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1 minute ago, Bunny said:

My DS (from the north!) has made the WL waitlist. We did absolutely no additional training, no private lessons, no one to one coaching. Just his normal ballet class and JA class via Zoom. Looking at the results and seeing all these posts on Instagram, as well as his reaction to the news, I can’t help but feel I have let him down by not realising this was the apparent ‘norm’ 😓 

@Bunnyyour DS has done extremely well and you should be very proud! I still think that’s how it should be - how your DS approached it. 
 

As some posts said, this year is not the “norm” (I am so hoping it won’t be for the following years) and might just be coincidence for this particular year. It won’t count for much as it’s just my personal opinion but I do think boys still have more of a chance even if they have potential alone and not extensive training. For boys, the time before auditions I think doesn’t get as intense as it does for some girls, which is always a good thing and should be the norm. This year, I get the impression that it’s been a bit of a frenzy for some leading up to auditions! I will keep my fingers tightly crossed for you, that your DS gets a place. 

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In Australia, a number of young dancers are brand ambassadors e.g. Bloch, Gaynors...  This can be for dance photographers or merchandise such as shoes or dance bags or leotards and the like. if you are going through a lot of pointe shoes this can be attractive, especially to the parents.  Some dancers want audition photo's from specialist photographers. In these deals however you have to post very frequently.  That can be onerous.

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5 minutes ago, Bunny said:

My DS (from the north!) has made the WL waitlist. He doesn’t have an Instagram. We did absolutely no additional training, no private lessons, no one to one coaching. Just his normal ballet class and JA class via Zoom. Looking at the results and seeing all these posts on Instagram, as well as his reaction to the news, I can’t help but feel I have let him down by not realising this was the apparent ‘norm’ 😓 

You absolutely haven’t let him down - wait list is an incredible achievement and he should feel so proud of himself. And even if he hadn’t made wait list, or finals even, you’ve nurtured his love of dance which is the most important thing I think! As so many have said (on this post and others) vocational school at 11 isn’t the only way to achieve a career in dance. I hope he gets over his disappointment soon - easier said than done I know!

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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Is it really still potential? (Royal Ballet School 2021 intake)

What started as what seemed to be a general query seems to have morphed into a specific topic about one specific school in one specific year and the benefits or otherwise of social media.  I have, therefore, changed the title.

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34 minutes ago, Bunny said:

My DS (from the north!) has made the WL waitlist. He doesn’t have an Instagram. We did absolutely no additional training, no private lessons, no one to one coaching. Just his normal ballet class and JA class via Zoom. Looking at the results and seeing all these posts on Instagram, as well as his reaction to the news, I can’t help but feel I have let him down by not realising this was the apparent ‘norm’ 😓 


yes I feel you, I had no idea this was the norm either. Congratulations to your DS I hope he gets a place 🍀

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In line with @Jan McNulty’s amended title, I did wonder this weekend how many post year 7s (years 8, 9 etc) WL will take. Also I wonder if for this year only, there would be less internationals to finals due to the travel restrictions. 
 

Related to this, I read somewhere on this forum that there is a new 3-year training guarantee for the incoming year 7s. I do think this will make people think twice about applying for years 8 and 9 next year?  I would have thought there would be very little, if no, movement. 
 

Anyone who would consider trying again must realistically aim for entry at Year 10. Now at this age I think international families would be more okay with sending their DCs to board overseas. Also, one must consider whether they can sustain training that is almost at par with vocational schools for 3 years to even a stand a chance against the internationals. There are so many stunning young dancers from Europe, Australia, Turkey, South Korea and the USA recently. We watched the PdL and YAGP recently and wow! 

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40 minutes ago, Bunny said:

My DS (from the north!) has made the WL waitlist. He doesn’t have an Instagram. We did absolutely no additional training, no private lessons, no one to one coaching. Just his normal ballet class and JA class via Zoom. Looking at the results and seeing all these posts on Instagram, as well as his reaction to the news, I can’t help but feel I have let him down by not realising this was the apparent ‘norm’ 😓 

Hi @Bunny! Really, really hoping your DS gets that waitlist place! Can I PM you? 

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Even without assessing out, there is a lot of movement each year at all the big vocational 11-16 schools. It’s a huge commitment to dance, specifically ballet in some of the schools, and for some children this comes with a realisation that it isn’t what they want. Boarding doesn’t suit everyone. People move to other countries. Long term injuries sadly do happen.


It is always worth trying. Schools will also often increase the intake for an exceptionally talented child even if no one leaves to ‘make space’.

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37 minutes ago, Momapalooza said:

In line with @Jan McNulty’s amended title, I did wonder this weekend how many post year 7s (years 8, 9 etc) WL will take. Also I wonder if for this year only, there would be less internationals to finals due to the travel restrictions. 
 

Related to this, I read somewhere on this forum that there is a new 3-year training guarantee for the incoming year 7s. I do think this will make people think twice about applying for years 8 and 9 next year?  I would have thought there would be very little, if no, movement. 
 

Anyone who would consider trying again must realistically aim for entry at Year 10. Now at this age I think international families would be more okay with sending their DCs to board overseas. Also, one must consider whether they can sustain training that is almost at par with vocational schools for 3 years to even a stand a chance against the internationals. There are so many stunning young dancers from Europe, Australia, Turkey, South Korea and the USA recently. We watched the PdL and YAGP recently and wow! 

 

There are lots of extant threads about RBS if you have a look around the forum.

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2 hours ago, SissonneDoublee said:

Every year we comb through the ‘yeses’ trying to find an explanation or a pattern. It’s only natural to look for answers, especially when faced with a disappointment. But to try to put it down to privilege or geography rather than talent, hard work and physical suitability, is insulting to the children that have worked so hard to get there.

 

Thank you so much for saying this @SissonneDoublee I find these threads bordering on uncomfortable in the way they speculate about and discuss some children via hearsay, not first-hand experience. Fair enough to post about one's own DC, and share that first-hand experience, but I find the speculation about other children, about whom posters know very little at first-hand, close to distasteful.

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1 hour ago, Momapalooza said:

In line with @Jan McNulty’s amended title, I did wonder this weekend how many post year 7s (years 8, 9 etc) WL will take. Also I wonder if for this year only, there would be less internationals to finals due to the travel restrictions. 
 

Related to this, I read somewhere on this forum that there is a new 3-year training guarantee for the incoming year 7s. I do think this will make people think twice about applying for years 8 and 9 next year?  I would have thought there would be very little, if no, movement. 
 

Anyone who would consider trying again must realistically aim for entry at Year 10. Now at this age I think international families would be more okay with sending their DCs to board overseas. Also, one must consider whether they can sustain training that is almost at par with vocational schools for 3 years to even a stand a chance against the internationals. There are so many stunning young dancers from Europe, Australia, Turkey, South Korea and the USA recently. We watched the PdL and YAGP recently and wow! 

Someone with more knowledge may well correct me but I believe RBS can take up to 16 in each year group.  By ‘limiting’ the Yr 7 intake to 12 this effectively leaves room for more dancers to audition for a place in Yr 8 and above.  

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I have just signed up rather than lurk on these forums because of this thread.

My DC auditioned this year and got on waiting lists, one of which is for RBS (very shocked about that, but then I know nothing about dance😖).

They are fortunate that they do associate classes but we can’t afford to send them to a more dedicated dance school or travel to one. I have often wondered if not being able to afford the extra lessons and give them the same opportunities others are fortunate to have would be detrimental. I guess we will never know.

Not knowing anything about this whole process and only came across this forum a week ago, does anyone know if everyone who doesn’t get offered a place at RBS goes on to the waitlist and is a gentle rejection or if there is actually any chance of that waitlist becoming an actual offer? 

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58 minutes ago, Kate_N said:

 

Thank you so much for saying this @SissonneDoublee I find these threads bordering on uncomfortable in the way they speculate about and discuss some children via hearsay, not first-hand experience. Fair enough to post about one's own DC, and share that first-hand experience, but I find the speculation about other children, about whom posters know very little at first-hand, close to distasteful.

I’m sorry you feel this way. It was not my intention to make comments based on hearsay nor did I intend to be distasteful. I actually avoided mentioning specific schools, clearly stated that my observations were based on information easily seen by any other on social media, and did not speculate on anyone’s situation. The ballet world is very small, it’s hard not to encounter, perhaps even first hand on some occasion, these things. 

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20 minutes ago, No Clue Dance Mum said:

I have just signed up rather than lurk on these forums because of this thread.

My DC auditioned this year and got on waiting lists, one of which is for RBS (very shocked about that, but then I know nothing about dance😖).

They are fortunate that they do associate classes but we can’t afford to send them to a more dedicated dance school or travel to one. I have often wondered if not being able to afford the extra lessons and give them the same opportunities others are fortunate to have would be detrimental. I guess we will never know.

Not knowing anything about this whole process and only came across this forum a week ago, does anyone know if everyone who doesn’t get offered a place at RBS goes on to the waitlist and is a gentle rejection or if there is actually any chance of that waitlist becoming an actual offer? 

The waiting list for RBS is very small, normally around five children, maybe less. I think there are a lot more children on the waiting list for funding at Tring and Hammond, as admissions there are quite different, but presume Elmhurst is similar to RBS as the funding situation is similar. On the RBS waiting list, they are children that have met all the criteria for WL and will be given a Mids place to continue their training with RBS so that if a place becomes available before the Easter holidays of Year 7 they will slot into the year group. Places do become available off the waiting list pretty much every year.
 

We decided to decline a waiting list space, as DD had an offer at another vocational school that she loved. We felt that the uncertainty of waiting to be called on to join a different school would make it difficult to settle. It definitely proved to be the right decision for her. Every child is different though :)

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13 minutes ago, No Clue Dance Mum said:

I have just signed up rather than lurk on these forums because of this thread.

My DC auditioned this year and got on waiting lists, one of which is for RBS (very shocked about that, but then I know nothing about dance😖).

They are fortunate that they do associate classes but we can’t afford to send them to a more dedicated dance school or travel to one. I have often wondered if not being able to afford the extra lessons and give them the same opportunities others are fortunate to have would be detrimental. I guess we will never know.

Not knowing anything about this whole process and only came across this forum a week ago, does anyone know if everyone who doesn’t get offered a place at RBS goes on to the waitlist and is a gentle rejection or if there is actually any chance of that waitlist becoming an actual offer? 

It does happen! Just depends on the year, it varies 

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3 hours ago, Momapalooza said:

If I sounded like it, I apologise, but I wasn’t intending to make sweeping generalisations. My original post was more about a concern that this could be the trend moving forwards. Of course I would be happy to be proven wrong and that this particular year would not be the norm for the following years. The past year has been a very different ones and this of course could be a factor. The only reason I was saying my comment was for a particular intake is to address those who thought I was making a general comment covering several years.  There is no pattern as such, and I wasn’t alluding to any, but what I was hoping won’t happen is that for this to become a pattern because that would severely limit the demographic of children who can access full time training in vocational schools. I obviously don’t know the circumstances of these DCs and I would never claim to, but an interesting thought I had was that how many of these kids would actually need a substantial level of MDS funding?   I know of many lovely stories of DCs who are funded through associates etc where the family cannot afford such extras, but I still personally believe that to attain a certain level to be truly competitive one has to have means to do so or be so stunning as to be awarded scholarships or other sorts of funding.  Would everyone have the time to travel long hours to access a particular associates? Attend classes almost every day of the week? Have privates? 
 

I had no intention to be insulting. In my previous posts I had made this clear that I don’t wish to take anything from ang children.  No one can dispute their talent, hard work and suitability which is why they achieved what they did. However, I stand by my statement that having the means to fully complement, nurture, progress and enhance these attributes helps. Perhaps I am wrong and a “rough diamond” can show up in a group of exquisitely trained, hardworking, determined dancers and be noticed. Anyone who gets to these final stages of getting into full time schools must have potential and facility  of some level. The difference might be that better trained young dancers would probably know how to harness their strengths, and hide weaknesses (if any).


The bottom line is that I would like to see a pattern NOT to emerge. You are completely right and that this is just this year’s. It would be a nice thought that everyone who works hard and has the potential has an equal chance to achieve their dream, regardless of having the means to do so. I always did say I love a good success story, and much prefer those that are about people who managed to defy odds.  

Here is a story that “ defys the odds “ as you say. 
My son has fallen arches, hyper mobile everywhere, knocked knees, uneven turnout and not naturally flexible. He has been a JA for 3 years... midway through his 2nd year I was told he needed to improve flexibility, turnout & to “ fill out” a bit as not to look so angular if he wanted to stand a chance at full time vocational. He worked his backside off I tell you, exercises every night.. constant stretching, using his theraband to improve feet etc etc . He then also got accepted onto year 6 YD. 
Now I am his regular dance teacher and he was only havIng one ballet class a week with me ( plus tap, modern etc) and the his associates. I wasn’t able to give him extra tuition initially as I was always teaching  other people’s children! When lockdown happened we investigated and found an excellent male tutor who had a great success history. He had a 1-2-1 with him for a few months but then we came out of lockdown and the online class stopped. That was back in September. 
So from September to January he literally had 1 ballet class and two associate classes..He worked & worked in the evenings to get better and to achieve all splits.. improve his feet which actually now have an arch, improve his leg alignment when standing in parallel by lift his arches and using his glutes, inside thigh muscles etc to give a better appearance. He has continuously worked on his turnout for months & months most evenings!! 
I am proud to say my son got in to White Lodge on sheer hard work 😓 off his own back ( a bit of nudging by me) but his OWN efforts & OWN merits! He deserves this and shows hard work does pay off!! 
 

And that will be my only comment on this thread as feel it’s VERY distasteful 

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Looking back on this topic and even some of my own comments with fresh eyes today, I think it’s important that people respect the choices made by different parents, and not jump to conclusions (myself included). If I said that my DS did three associate programmes, that could easily be presumed that they are ‘pushed’ and over trained. However, given 2 of those programmes are fortnightly, have short terms and fall on alternate weekends, in reality they make up the same amount combined as Elmhurst YDs. So even though it might seem they do way too much, it’s actually a manageable amount. And their weekly local class is only 45 minutes.  With many things in social media and even sometimes in this forum, the reality can be rather different to the quick fleeting presumption. 
 

I do use and let my son use social media, monitored safely. It has bought us in contact with a number of other people on the same journey and provided a wealth of encouragement and support. Some of those people have large followings, some have small followings, some we have met don’t use it at all, some do many classes, some do fewer, but their dedication to their child's journey and progress is indisputable. 

Moving forwards, I’m going to be extra mindful that I’m not appearing to judge anyone, as we are all on the same journey and the reality is often rather different to quick presumption. 

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My knowledge of this age group is a few years old now, but I know of two or three who were offered places with only one dance lesson a week, plus a JA class. Definitely no private lessons, extra lessons or any other types of dance etc. They had come from outreach schemes.

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I think I’ve created a storm in a teacup here which was not my intention at all. I just want to reiterate that I never said these children didn’t get in on their own merits. Quite the opposite - the ones I’ve seen are stunning and appear very polished, amazingly trained, with all the seemingly right ingredients (plus hardwork, determination etc). Of course they got in on their own merits because at the end of the day it’s them who go into a studio in front of a panel regardless of training so each and every one completely deserve their place otherwise they wouldn’t have been offered it.  So yes, perhaps it’s my mistake for being misled by things I see on social media as they aren’t an accurate reflection of what might be reality. And yes, I don’t know the situation of these people despite maybe encountering a few in this very small world. Maybe this year is actually reflective of previous years and it’s just me suddenly noticing things that aren’t there because of undue worry with the year or two ahead. Bottom line is there was absolutely no intention to be distasteful or to take anything away from any deserving individuals. I am sure the situation is the same as before, and everyone has an equal chance, regardless of means. Based on a lot of comments on this thread, the most likely response to my original title is therefore, “yes”, which bodes well for everyone who has potential regardless of region, means and quantity of training. 

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26 minutes ago, The red shoes said:

Here is a story that “ defys the odds “ as you say. 
My son has fallen arches, hyper mobile everywhere, knocked knees, uneven turnout and not naturally flexible. He has been a JA for 3 years... midway through his 2nd year I was told he needed to improve flexibility, turnout & to “ fill out” a bit as not to look so angular if he wanted to stand a chance at full time vocational. He worked his backside off I tell you, exercises every night.. constant stretching, using his theraband to improve feet etc etc . He then also got accepted onto year 6 YD. 
Now I am his regular dance teacher and he was only havIng one ballet class a week with me ( plus tap, modern etc) and the his associates. I wasn’t able to give him extra tuition initially as I was always teaching  other people’s children! When lockdown happened we investigated and found an excellent male tutor who had a great success history. He had a 1-2-1 with him for a few months but then we came out of lockdown and the online class stopped. That was back in September. 
So from September to January he literally had 1 ballet class and two associate classes..He worked & worked in the evenings to get better and to achieve all splits.. improve his feet which actually now have an arch, improve his leg alignment when standing in parallel by lift his arches and using his glutes, inside thigh muscles etc to give a better appearance. He has continuously worked on his turnout for months & months most evenings!! 
I am proud to say my son got in to White Lodge on sheer hard work 😓 off his own back ( a bit of nudging by me) but his OWN efforts & OWN merits! He deserves this and shows hard work does pay off!! 
 

And that will be my only comment on this thread as feel it’s VERY distasteful 

All credit to your son, in defence though of the OP, your son and children like him are not the focus of this discussion.

It is not an attack on those children who don’t do extra, or an attack on those that do.  
It seems to me it is a very valid discussion about the trend toward more and more of everything when it comes to dance. It maybe distasteful but it is a valid discussion about children who are 8/9/10 being polished dancers because of privates, intensive ballet training and hot housing toward entry into competitions like YAGP, PDL and entry into prestigious vocational training schools.

The discussion doesn’t detract from these children’s achievements it asks whether potential is really what’s being assessed anymore.

This years WL intake is very relevant because many of the children whom we know have trained differently and more intensively and more than has been so in the past that I can remember, and this matters because it altars the playing field, altars it massively.

 

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1 minute ago, Motomum said:

All credit to your son, in defence though of the OP, your son and children like him are not the focus of this discussion.

It is not an attack on those children who don’t do extra, or an attack on those that do.  
It seems to me it is a very valid discussion about the trend toward more and more of everything when it comes to dance. It maybe distasteful but it is a valid discussion about children who are 8/9/10 being polished dancers because of privates, intensive ballet training and hot housing toward entry into competitions like YAGP, PDL and entry into prestigious vocational training schools.

The discussion doesn’t detract from these children’s achievements it asks whether potential is really what’s being assessed anymore.

This years WL intake is very relevant because many of the children whom we know have trained differently and more intensively and more than has been so in the past that I can remember, and this matters because it altars the playing field, altars it massively.

 

Thank you @Motomum.  You managed to brilliantly express what I originally intended to be a valid discussion. I fear  I’ve upset some due to my inability to maybe get across what I was trying to say x

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2 minutes ago, Momapalooza said:

I think I’ve created a storm in a teacup here which was not my intention at all. I just want to reiterate that I never said these children didn’t get in on their own merits. Quite the opposite - the ones I’ve seen are stunning and appear very polished, amazingly trained, with all the seemingly right ingredients (plus hardwork, determination etc). Of course they got in on their own merits because at the end of the day it’s them who go into a studio in front of a panel regardless of training so each and every one completely deserve their place otherwise they wouldn’t have been offered it.  So yes, perhaps it’s my mistake for being misled by things I see on social media as they aren’t an accurate reflection of what might be reality. And yes, I don’t know the situation of these people despite maybe encountering a few in this very small world. Maybe this year is actually reflective of previous years and it’s just me suddenly noticing things that aren’t there because of undue worry with the year or two ahead. Bottom line is there was absolutely no intention to be distasteful or to take anything away from any deserving individuals. I am sure the situation is the same as before, and everyone has an equal chance, regardless of means. Based on a lot of comments on this thread, the most likely response to my original title is therefore, “yes”, which bodes well for everyone who has potential regardless of region, means and quantity of training. 

You haven’t. 
I think the discussion  got muddied as the conversation veered toward a specific school.

It was a great conversation starter and well observed. I have observed it too over the years gathering momentum, making it very difficult for lots of children to compete alongside others on a level playing field.

There will always be places for exceptionally talented children who get through with no extras, but this year IME has been very different and has crystallised more powerfully what has been gathering momentum in ballet training.

The Royal Ballet wrote a piece on something similar a couple of years ago.

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