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It's tough out there this year


KathyG
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This is probably going to turn into some sort of rant but I believe I'm among friend's.

 

DS is in his graduate year and trying to get a job!!  We all wonder what a school is looking for but what is a company looking for?  Within his year group who are all applying to companies with various degrees of success.  DS applies to one company along with his year group they all get invited to audition and he doesn't.  Then we get the reverse where they all apply and DS is the only one invited to audition.  Then those you don't think will be successful are the first to get a job.  Everywhere he's been they all say you are good and have what we're looking for BUT we're still auditioning and we'll let you know.  There are also many more apprentice schemes now and after 8 years of paying for his training I can't afford to fund him anymore.

 

As mentioned in previous threads it's expensive, thank you Granny and Grandad though I have got to the point where it all goes on a credit card and I'll worry about it when he's finished school!!

 

On a positive for someone who hasn't travelled much he is now quite accomplished at finding his way even when mum books him a bus ticket but forgets to find out that he has to get from the airport to the bus station first!  Or he lands into the worse snow storm for 5 years and takes 5 hours to get from the airport to his hostel when it's normally a 20 minute journey. That's another experience staying in hostels although he has shared a room with others since he was 11 sharing a room with 7 grown men who offer you drinks and drugs is slightly daunting.  But it's cheap!  We also double check everything after the first trip where half way to the airport DS says I've forgotten my coat!! He was going somewhere cold! Also I forgot to check his phone would work abroad so no contact from him until phone got connected.

 

When I read all of the posts about whether our DC are getting offered places at schools and funding I start to wonder about the number of our DC gong into training and if there will be enough work at the end for them. I have a friend who's DD graduated 18 months ago (MT) got a first job but is now working as a waitress struggling to find dance work.  If you're not getting offered funding is someone gently saying although you're good enough to train we don't think you'll get a job at the end of your training!  How many students come out of all of these schools/colleges each year.  There must be 100+ just from the ballet schools. We all want our children to follow their dreams but we have to be realistic that there isn;t enough work for them all.  Midde child wanted to be a mechanic how ever hard we tried it wasn't to be but he's turn out to be a jolly good welder!  How ever much DS wanted to dance without funding he was going nowhere.  Refering to the post on DaDa's and when the MP David Laws refers to state training in the performing arts (BTEC's) you won't be getting a dance job at the end of that course without further training at a private institution.. It was also said that it was easier for boys, that isn't the case now with no thanks to Billy Elliott!

 

Alongside all of this DS is performing in Aladdin and is literally getting of a plane and then having to find his way to the next stop on the tour, when he retiurns tomorrow he has to get back to Birmingham then a train to Manchester ready for performances in Salford.  BRB has no intention of offering him a job so why are they so insistent he has to chase them around the country to take part.  It is costing them though as it is more expensive to fund one rail ticket for someone who missed the coach.  It is still a wonderful opportunity for him and he wants to do it and enjoys the experience.  We also get to go and watch when they come to London.

 

There is still time to find a job and he still has a couple of options but each time it's getting harder, I'm grinding my teeth again and work is wondering where I keep disappearing to as I have to keep taking and collecting him from airports.

 

As I said a bit of a rant but it helps to put it into writing and share with those in similar boats.

 

Good luck to those also auditioning one or another this year it is definitely a journey.

 

 

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Oh Kathy, keep positive and take strength from friends on the forum. Your DS has done so incredibly well. How fabulous for him to be in Aladdin, I hope to see him at the Lowry, how fabulous to have that on his cv. No one, other than those who have been through it, can truly understand how hard it must be. Wishing him all the luck in the world and maybe I will watch him in the end of year performance, or maybe I won't, if he has started work.

 

NL.

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Kathy, thanks for sharing your experiences. It is so very tough, so very expensive, and such a worry for you as parents. Your son is having such great life experiences despite the stress, and maturing hugely in the process. I so hope he finds work at the end of it all. My son is in yr 9 and we have it all to come. Thanks to this forum, we will be under no illusion as to how hard it is to get a job. Huge luck to your son and please let us know how he gets on.

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To add a little context to Kathy's remarks, I thought I'd count the ads in the March Dancing Times that arrived this morning for Ballet Schools and Performing Arts-type colleges in the UK offering vocational-level training.  I made it 29 in all, from the Royal Ballet School outwards, generating (at a guess) at least 500 graduating youngsters looking for dance-related jobs each year. And any such a number must lie well beyond the ability of the ballet/dance companies and the West End to absorb it.

 

It will be of no comfort at all to those involved today to know that it has long been like this.  Kathy, I wish your son, and all those like him, all the very best in the weeks ahead.  They have chosen a hard road to follow.

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KathyG

 

Thank you for your post. We are at the start of a vocational journey for 6th form. I take your point that if not offered funding perhaps it's a gentle hint about potential/ability/future employability.However the new DADA funding will if you are too "wealthy" not give you this indication and I for one was using this as some sort of guide and even if I did not fall into the funding bracket I would like to know if I would have been offered funding for my DD to know if even starting the journey is worthwhile.

 

DD is very mindful of employability at the end of her formal training and not many schools post comprehensive lists as to where their students end up.....some perhaps with good reason.

 

Good luck to your DS but I'm sure whatever happens the tenacity he has shown over and above his talents will stand him in good stead.

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Guest Autumn days

Do they offer DaDA places and then ask for financial information or ask for the information first and use that to decide who to offer awards to?

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Kathy, it's incredibly difficult for all young people to get jobs. It's probably little consolation that graduates with degrees from good universities (who are a few years older than your DS) are struggling to find jobs which could easily be done by school leavers with few or no qualifications. It's wonderful that your DS is appearing in Aladdin. This will give him valuable performance experience which can only help him at future auditions.

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There has always been a means tested part of DADA.  The contribution to fees was the same for anyone but help with accommodation costs was means tested.  In addition DADA rules and regulations stated that the DADAs should be given on meirt but that where 2 (or more) candidates were deemed to be 'tied', the DADA should go to the candidate with the greater financial need.  So yes finanical information was always asked for before DADAs were awarded.

 

Good luck to your DS, Kathy and Aladdin was fantastic.

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Can I ask why they asked for them at all seeing as the DaDa was not means-tested last year? Sorry probably a stupid question :-z

As from this year a DADA is means tested.

They have a pot of money to allocate so if all the most talented pupils need large sums of money then fewer DADAs can be awarded. Equally if they need less of a contribution then more DADA places can be offered.

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I'm not sure the DADA scheme is that generous Ecarte. I asked before if funding was based on 'a limited pot of money and therefore variable number of awards' as you suggest or if it was based on a limited numbers of awards and the varaible being how much the government had to contribute each year.  The response to Jaylou's letter in the threads on DADAs seem to suggest that the number of DADAs does not change.

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My understanding from what was said yesterday at a DADA audition is that there is a pot of money for each provider and then this is allocated. This seems to be all DADA considered students are ranked and then they work down the ranking until the pot runs dry. So the number has to be variable as the means testing gives different sums based on parental income.

 

I suspect that the pot of money available at each school is considerably less than previously available.....

 

It's all a work in progress I think and even the providers themselves are still working through the finer points of it.

 

Whatever is available generous is not a word that can be applied!

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I wish everyone the best of luck, whether auditioning for a contract or for 6th form.  Both are tough and it seems to get harder every year.  Ian does have a valid point though - there are simply too many graduates chasing too few jobs.  Sometimes I think it might be better to be have to re-evalue at 6th form level, with the possibility of a change of direction, rather than spend three years training with no prospect of success at the end.

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With regards to DADA grants, what happens if a child's parents are divorced and both parents are living with someone new? Is mum plus her boyfriend's combined house/property/income,  as well as dad plus his girlfriend's house/property/income  regarded as the total household income on which the sliding scale of funding is allocated?- thus probably bringing the total income of both houses to well over 70k? Or is the household income of just one parent considered? (assuming that the child lives with each parent for an equal amount of time).

Edited to make things a bit clearer and correct spellings

Edited by swanprincess
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With regards to DADA grants, what happens if a child's parents are divorced and both parents are living with someone new? Is mum plus her boyfriend's combined house/property/income,  as well as dad plus his girlfriend's house/property/income  regarded as the total household income on which the sliding scale of funding is allocated?- thus probably bringing the total income of both houses to well over 70k? Or is the household income of just one parent considered? (assuming that the child lives with each parent for an equal amount of time).

Edited to make things a bit clearer and correct spellings

 

Hello swanprincess, unfortunately if a child's parents are divorced and are living with a new partner, you have to include yours, your partner and any court ordered maintenance for your child from your ex husband/wife. This is of course assuming that they live with you more than your ex husband/wife. If it is equal time between the parents, then you would need to decide which parents' name you are applying in otherwise, they may take into account both sets of divorced parents income plus their partners. Sorry if this sounds horrid, but I was in this situation last year and called them to clarify.

 

LTD

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Hello swanprincess, unfortunately if a child's parents are divorced and are living with a new partner, you have to include yours, your partner and any court ordered maintenance for your child from your ex husband/wife. This is of course assuming that they live with you more than your ex husband/wife. If it is equal time between the parents, then you would need to decide which parents' name you are applying in otherwise, they may take into account both sets of divorced parents income plus their partners. Sorry if this sounds horrid, but I was in this situation last year and called them to clarify.

LTD

It's enough to make ones head explode!!

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I just saw this AD and thought it might be of interest Lexington Ballet

The Lexington Ballet is currently auditioning dancers for its 2013-2014 season.
We have three openings for male dancers, 2 opening for female dancers and 2 unpaid apprenticeships. 
Not sure if it is open to non US citizens but it might be worth an enquiry.
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  • 3 months later...

The continuing hunt for a job...

 

DS has continued his trips abroad and several in London.  He auditioned for a very well known ballet company in London who said we will email all of you and he's never heard a dicky bird from them.  Doesn't hurt to send an email to say no!

 

A number of company directors came to see their appraisal class but only one job was offered to one boy in his class.  The appraisal class was followed by a Graduate performance but DS had to miss this due to still performing in Aladdin.

 

DS was beginning to panic so thought he'd try a cruise ship open audition, encouraged by one his teacher's at school he came home from school got a peak train to London to be told you're to tall before he even got into the audition.  He had triple checked the details and no where was it mentioned any height restrictions. At least he was back in time for his sister's birthday lunch.

 

After this he had 1 audition left, so another early morning run round to Luton and put him on a plane, Arranged a pick up for him on landing as timing was tight.  Then following a nearly 3 hour audition I get the call "They've offered me a job" I didn't scream loudly I was waiting to collect my car at Merecdes World but I did walk around quite excitedly saying "Seriously" I did get a few strange looks. He'd also said that he'd fallen and hurt his ankle.  It was also my birthday so what a lovely present.  The paperwork is now in progress and it's looking good.

 

I had arranged a hostel for the night but his ankle was causing him trouble so he got a taxi to the airport and he stayed in the airport for the night so he didn't have to walk to the airport.  Flight home was at 6.30 in the morning.  Turned out he had fractured his ankle though he is now recovered and is waiting to find out if he can resume his place in some of his dances in the Summer Show.  Though he is more concerned now in keeping well and not agraviating his ankle.

 

So after 5 trips abroad, 1 trip to Wales and 4 London auditions it is looking very promising that DS has a job.  It has been a long haul, we have learnt alot about airports and where to park.  It has cost about £1200 in flights and accomodation not including the UK auditions. In his year group at school 3 boys have already left to take up jobs and 2 more with jobs to take up in Aug/Sep. It's not looking as good for the girls with only about 3/4 having jobs for Sept. Though that may be out of date.

 

Looking forward to the end of term now but not having to find homes for all of the stuff he has accumulated in his house.  Then arranging for his move to another country. 

 

It will be good for us all to have our DC home for the summer before they either start or continue this long and hard journey.  Did we envisage how this journey would run when 10 years ago we started at JA's would we have done anything differently? Possibly but he is happy and that is all that I want for all of my DC.

 

Wishing everyone a happy summer, enjoy the summer shows and good luck to all for the future.

 

Kathy x

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Phew - so glad to hear about the job ! Have several times wanted to ask if there was any hope in sight , and now at last news .

What a relief . Well done for getting through it all and coming out with a job and in England as well .

Hoping that all will go smoothly now and that the ankle is soon as good as new !

 

Keep us posted as to how it goes after a much deserves summer break :)

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