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Football Academy parallels with Dance training


Pas de Quatre
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There is an article in today's Times - The Tony Pulis Interview - which makes very interesting reading.  Is it possible to add a link to it somewhere?  It is in the Sports Section.  He talks about the Football Academies which spot and train footballers from a very young age.  I couldn't help but make parallels with the dance industry.  The main thrust of the article is that it has become a numbers game.  Many are enrolled with a huge commitment from families, but only a very few go on to a career and the young people involved who are released, or simply don't make the grade, suffer severe mental health problems.

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Parallel in today's Guardian talking about a review of mental health papers in the arts People in performing arts twice as likely to have depression, Equity finds | Mental health | The Guardian

 

Unfortunately, no link to the actual paper (if there is one) and not referenced on the author's or Equity's website

Edited by oncnp
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1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

There is an article in today's Times - The Tony Pulis Interview - which makes very interesting reading.  Is it possible to add a link to it somewhere?  It is in the Sports Section.  He talks about the Football Academies which spot and train footballers from a very young age.  I couldn't help but make parallels with the dance industry.  The main thrust of the article is that it has become a numbers game.  Many are enrolled with a huge commitment from families, but only a very few go on to a career and the young people involved who are released, or simply don't make the grade, suffer severe mental health problems.

 

If you give us a clue of the title of the article we may be able to find it to link.  All I could come up with were from 2015-2017.

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22 minutes ago, oncnp said:

 

Thank you.

 

As oncnp has shown, it really is very easy to include a link.  Copy the address of the link (it is in the address box at the top of the page and usually starts https://) and then in your post, paste it.  

 

oncnp has used the "link" function to show the title in English but if you are not confident the link is fine.

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Being prone to mental health issues is perhaps correlated to whatever it is in a person that draws them to a career in the performing arts. I don't find that fact hugely surprising. If that correlation has now been established by a recognised study, then there is no excuse for not providing better support for performing artists.

 

As for football, couple of school mums are in the football academy system, and it struck me a while ago how similar it is to the ballet world, in so many ways. There is so much more money in football though, the arts are dramatically underfunded, so if anything is done about the football, I am not expecting anything to change for ballet!

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I watched an interview on BBC breakfast a few months ago about a scheme set up for children partaking in football academy schemes to help their mental health and commented to my husband at the time the parallels with the dance world. Interesting this article has come out this week as I referenced the above interview the other day in a discussion with a friend about the parallels of football and ballet.  interesting article, thank you for sharing! x

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I wonder if football parents pay for their ‘graduated’ football academy son or daughter to play with a club as ballet parents pay for their children to dance with a company ? 
I guess if you really make it in football you really make it £££

There is no real comparison to ballet wage wise 🤔

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Quite Cotes du Rhone!

Luckily for the young footballers it would seem that if they make it through academy into a second team or youth team then they will likely be paid...probably quite handsomely (no doubt negotiated by savvy managers/agents & almost a gamble by clubs to buy loyalty based on likely future talent being realised with success...) 

I also think often (always?) the academy training at the ‘audition for a place’ level is free. Often including boarding, family relocation package, private academic education.... also a parallel where too private schools (& unis?) recruit high achievers in sporting world... I often wonder why does this not happen in the Arts too? Afterall, many of the stories are seen as quite elitist with heavy costs at entry level (think show jumping 😱

Maybe we need Managers/Agents..... horror of horrors!

I do think the application, efforts (of students & family) in any high level ‘hobby’ that could lead to a career are pretty similar....

Thinking of long term payback? Wish I’d sent DD to tennis or golf club instead of the ballet studio!! 

 

Edited by Peanut68
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I am horrified by the idea of kids being put into situations where it is thought necessary to provide routine mental health support. 

I'm certainly not saying that kids shouldn't dance or do serious sport, but these activities should always be life enhancing. When the pressure gets damaging, it's time to leave. 

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Agreed DVDfan, but these days I think even every mainstream school has to provide a level of support for mental health issues....let’s face it, it’s a jungle out there & I don’t think any environment our kids enter is immune from potentially creating/exacerbating issues of concern. 

(I do kind of miss the stoic stuff of my youth; the stiff upper lip, the put up & shut up, the ‘adversity now will make you stronger in the long run’ but have to face facts & our youngsters today are subjected to way more harmful outside influences - TV/Internet/Socisl Media/Direct Messaging//constant ability to be contacted/image manipulation/body shaming/promotion of celeb lifestyle/culture etc etc so it is a very different world...& also, I do think ‘back in my day’ the ignore/brush under the carpet culture has done more harm than good in the long run) 

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12 hours ago, DVDfan said:

I am horrified by the idea of kids being put into situations where it is thought necessary to provide routine mental health support. 

I'm certainly not saying that kids shouldn't dance or do serious sport, but these activities should always be life enhancing. When the pressure gets damaging, it's time to leave. 


I'm intrigued by this. Do you mean leave the establishment they are currently receiving the pressure/ abuse?

Or leaving the profession altogether?

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What I had in mind was leaving the activity alone as a profession. 

 

Peanut:- mainstream schools providing mental health support, stuff happens - bereavements, illness etc - that can't be avoided and it's good if schools are a source of support and not, as in our experience, a major source of the ill health.  When that happens it's time for the school to give itself a good hard look and make some changes.

I agree that there is a fair degree of 'snowflaking' that wasn't present in our (sixties) generation. In our anxiety to remove the stigma around mental illness I think the impression is given to young people that anything unpleasant must result in a crisis of the mind.

For example, a few years ago I had my car written off when a tractor reversed a disc harrow through my windscreen. I was driving at the time and everyone thinks I should have nightmares and flashbacks. In fact I just have a rush of adrenalin if I see a green tractor coming towards me - a  normal, learned response to a single event.

Unless the event is very severe what usually causes problems are repeats - if I couldn't go out without being run into by tractors I should soon be a mental wreck. And when things are wrong with these schools/academies/training schemes,  I think it's either the repetition of comments, what kids used to call 'being picked on', or the experience of being sucked in, of becoming a dancer/footballer/whatever and then spat out,  thus loosing your identity, your friends and your future. 

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Interesting comparisons between the world of ballet and football, although there are some major differences too. In sport it’s much more obvious why you aren’t achieving as much as someone else - it’s  much more quantifiable than in the arts where aesthetics and other aspects are so subjective. It’s interesting to see that some of the depression amongst the performing arts is related to the precarious nature of their employment (actors have higher rates than dancers, perhaps because they go from job to job rather than being in a company). Creative work does require you to make yourself open to rejection and self criticism but that act of creativity is also hugely fulfilling and for some it’s the only thing that can make them happy. Ideally there is more than one route to this, not only as a star of stage/screen/concert hall but also as an amateur or being a teacher nurturing those skills in the next generation or a creative career behind the scenes. I guess if we had a world where children could learn these skills but also be well educated and resilient that would make up for the potential disappointments ahead. Unfortunately this is hard in both  the arts and sports and more needs to be done to help support them when they “fail” - which might  mean changing paths but hopefully lead to something just as fulfilling. 

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2 hours ago, Kerfuffle said:

Interesting comparisons between the world of ballet and football, although there are some major differences too. In sport it’s much more obvious why you aren’t achieving as much as someone else - it’s  much more quantifiable than in the arts where aesthetics and other aspects are so subjective. It’s interesting to see that some of the depression amongst the performing arts is related to the precarious nature of their employment (actors have higher rates than dancers, perhaps because they go from job to job rather than being in a company). Creative work does require you to make yourself open to rejection and self criticism but that act of creativity is also hugely fulfilling and for some it’s the only thing that can make them happy. Ideally there is more than one route to this, not only as a star of stage/screen/concert hall but also as an amateur or being a teacher nurturing those skills in the next generation or a creative career behind the scenes. I guess if we had a world where children could learn these skills but also be well educated and resilient that would make up for the potential disappointments ahead. Unfortunately this is hard in both  the arts and sports and more needs to be done to help support them when they “fail” - which might  mean changing paths but hopefully lead to something just as fulfilling. 

My ds was in the same primary school class as a boy who went through the academy system and is currently signed to one of the big premiership teams. Whilst their earnings might be poles apart, I at least know my ds has had a good education and has a plan b/c/d. The same cannot be said for his primary school friend, who’s secondary education has been patchy at best. 

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On 12/05/2022 at 08:27, Elz said:

Being prone to mental health issues is perhaps correlated to whatever it is in a person that draws them to a career in the performing arts. I don't find that fact hugely surprising. If that correlation has now been established by a recognised study, then there is no excuse for not providing better support for performing artists.

 

It's standard basic Freudian psychology ... we are drawn to that which we need. I see this in the preponderance of young women aiming for an acting career. They want to be seen, in a society which doesn't necessarily value them, but socialises them into a version of femininity which in part suggests they should be objects of the masculine gaze (and there's a lot of evidence in the history of theatre & actresses to confirm this!).

 

Of course, none of this (or only a very small part of it) is deliberate or conscious.

 

But a friend of mine, an academic behaviorial psychologist, confirmed that in our work we are all drawn to what we need psychologically. Humans - go figure!

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@Kate_N very interesting theory. Is your theory that a person is drawn to performing because they need to perform, or because they need the pressurised environment (or both)?

 

@taxi4ballet I am not sure which way round the cause and effect works. My comment was simply that they correlate, or go hand in hand, rather than one causing the other.  I don't think a propensity to poor mental health causes talent to be a great performer, nor the other way around. Add in the external pressure of all that goes with a career in performing, it's obvious that all but the most resilient will suffer mental health issues with varying degrees if severity.

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Highs and lows come from creative pursuits - I think this is the same across all arts. I don’t think it always has to end in depression, these activities are hugely satisfying too. I think it’s something all artists understand in one another. Of course extrinsic factors can impact how an individual artist  feels but there is always an underlying urge to create which you can’t totally suppress - it has to come out somehow! 

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I hope women don’t act or dance in order to be ‘seen’ in a society that doesn’t necessarily value them.  That thought makes me sad.  
 

Art involves a lot of ‘taking yourself out of your own brain’ to please others.  And artists are always walking that tether between the real and the imaginary.  I think artists explore realms of thought that aren’t always accessible to more pragmatic people, and those realms of thought are usually fraught with deep emotion.  …that’s my ‘more romantic’ view of why artists can be prone to mental illness.  Their greatest strengths are also their weaknesses.

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But what’s more about this topic: I have read a lot about overuse injuries in children who specialize in a sport too early.  It has caused me to really rethink my inclination to mindlessly ‘keep up’ with all the hours others are spending on dance.  We are trying to keep up with her age group but not do more.

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Just now, Beezie said:

But what’s more about this topic: I have read a lot about overuse injuries in children who specialize in a sport too early.  It has caused me to really rethink my inclination to mindlessly ‘keep up’ with all the hours others are spending on dance.  We are trying to keep up with her age group but not do more.

Sensible. As people often say here, it’s quality not quantity that matters. I think also that they are trying to encourage cross training with all sorts of sports for youngsters as they are less likely to get injured using a range of muscles. 

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