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Stirrups36
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Our son chose ballet. He could have maybe chosen another route... so all those costs aren't mounting up.

So the appraisal system isn't so stressful.

So there are more chances of being in a professional system.

So there are less 'foreigners coming over and claiming our school places'

so it isn't so dependent on body type and physique

or at the whims of an assessment panel

 

Football maybe.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/4938593/Football-academies-kicking-and-screaming.html

 

er... maybe not!

 

so, in the meantime, we are enjoying every minute we can. He is enjoying every minute he can.

 

There are imperfections. How we shall afford 6th form if he doesn't go to Royal with MDS awards, I have no idea. Maybe abroad? who knows. Will he get to 6th form? will he get a company? who knows.

 

but he loves dancing and we shall cross those bridges as and when we get to them.

 

 

 

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You are so right Stirrups - you just have to enjoy it don't you, while you can.  I sometimes wonder why I/we are doing it all.   Do I want my DS to go to a vocational school?  Do I not?  Would it be "better" if he just concentrated on his studies and becoming an accountant, say?!  Or should he keep dancing which he enjoys?  If he does become a dancer, is he destined for a short professional career, probably abroad a lot, and at a not too competitive pay?  I have a professional job (law) so I am paid fairly well.  However, all my energy was poured into academics when I was young so I am very overweight now.  What is better in the long run?  To be fit and poor(er) or fatter and rich(er)?  So many uncertainties in life that is why it is just all about enjoying what you do, I suppose!

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Thanks for posting Stirrups. Seems even more brutal than I thought, not least of which because of the sheer numbers of boys involved but also the stakes are much higher for the clubs with the money that's up for grabs in football.

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our philosophy is not to look too far ahead, trying to think of all the options as otherwise we would never end up doing anything!

 

(I think the manager-speak term for this is 'analysis paralysis').

 

of course, some things you can't avoid, such as how to pay for things, but then that's the choice we have made. Our son wants to dance and we shall do all we can to make sure he can do that, as well as look after our other 2 children and the things they want to do and still pay the mortgage. Some make the decision to send their children to Eton, some easily afford it, others struggle to afford it, and for the vast majority, it isn't even an option. But we have been fortunate enough to have children who are dancing at the level that means vocational school is a choice (not a right) that we can make.

 

But ballet was a new thing for us and we shall just try to enjoy it as much as possible. We know he is enjoying it. To all those still dancing and reading this, then good luck and really, enjoy every moment, but be prepared for sometimes difficult  news (on future, on casting, on injuries...). To the parents, try not to analyse too much. We can't know everything that goes on and although we would love to be able to control every aspect of our children's lives, it gets to a stage where we can't. And yes, it sometimes seems unfair.

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Wow, having lived outside the UK for over 10years I am completely out of touch with stuff like this. My son is a footballer and trains 4 hours a week, he's 8years old but since we live in a former Soviet state this type of commitment is normal. He has trained since he was 5 and even then he was training 2.5-3hours a week, plus games and tournaments. He's talented but we have no illusions that he will be a professional one day. I certainly don't see him with the focus that this article suggests he needs, he has too many other interests. I sometimes wish he had chosen to be a dancer since it seemed easier for boys but having been following this forum for a bit, I see I am mistaken about this too. Mind you having one child in the family with stars in her eyes is enough heartache, my heart goes out to those of you with many dcs, how do you do it?

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A real eye-opener to another world! particularly interesting were the comments about the relative birthdays in the academic year groups, and how boys born in the autumn have a much greater success rate than those born in the summer months. Presumably something to do with being stronger and physically more mature... I wonder if there is a similar parallel with young dancers too?

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Matthew Syed's brilliant book, Bounce, has some discussion of why autumn born children achieve more in some sports than summer born. Well worth a read, for dance parents as well.

 

I wonder if at age 11, summer born children have an advantage in vocational dance auditions because of a liklihood of smaller/slighter build... One for someone to research I think.

 

And tomuchtalent... The things we do! Good luck to both.

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Matthew Syed's brilliant book, Bounce, has some discussion of why autumn born children achieve more in some sports than summer born. Well worth a read, for dance parents as well.

 

 

Presumably not tennis?  (Off the top of my head, I know that Roger Federer was born in August - the other top players I'd have to look up).

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Except ... Out of curiosity I just looked up Swiss schooling and found that their school year starts at the beginning or middle of August, and runs through to June.  So an August birthday there may be more equivalent to a September one in UK.

Not necessarily! In France, the school year starts in September like in the UK but the school age year goes from January to December. For example, DD2 who was born at the end of October is one of the youngest of her class but would be one of the eldest of the class in the UK...

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With the summer born/autumn born, any such statistics are always 'on average', so there will always be exceptions.

 

The Times article about the 9 year old footballer yesterday was very reflective of the discussions we see here.

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I've got a dancing daughter and a footballer son. The young boy may well get picked up later when he's older as many academies have either a development centre or a shadow squad where they can be monitored and not lost in the system. We've also heard this in the ballet world too, getting assessed out then get back in when older. There are so many similarities in the football world as in the dance world including having the 'right body' therefore my son and daughter are very appreciative of each other with all the highs and lows. The main difference is the money. Football courses are cheaper and my son has come back with a certificate as standard and often on top of that he's come back with medals,footballs,tickets to matches and tshirts etc.He has also met premier league players and former pro players who have chatted with them. Whereas my daughter has attended some and not even received a certificate.

If my son or daughter doesn't make it as a professional I certainly won't regret any time or money spent on dancing or football. My daughter started at 2 1/2 and my son 4 1/2. They are both very intelligent and well rounded children. They are doing extremely well in school and have a lot of discipline and respect towards others. They are organised and very fit and healthy. My son loves his six pack :) I mentioned it to the head when they started secondary school and he said that busy pupils always do well at school and to keep it all up. Well it appear to be true. So if they don't make it on their chosen fields they will have their education. We don't have a day free between the two of them but I'd much rather watch my son play football or watch my daughter do her class than sit and watch the soaps :)

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Wondering now if I should have kept my summer born DD back a year when she'd started school.She is struggling with lack of strength in year 8 and is physically immature compared to most of her peers.One of her dancing friends is thriving in year 7 and there is only 4 months difference in age.It is commonplace I know in some US sporty schools for older children to be kept in lower academic years to enhance their sporting success.I know she will catch up as she matures but will it be in time to stay on the right side of appraisal processes.Hindsight is great though I'm sure my DD wouldn't have accepted being kept back.

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I think if a child is going to be kept back, it is better to do it right at the beginning then they won't feel they have failed.  Dd was a September birthday, but two of her friends at pre school were August birthdays, only a couple of weeks older.  In their first year at school they were finding it difficult (socially as much as academically) and were offered the option of staying down for the following year.  They both did so and flourished, one in particular ending up with impressive GCSEs and A-levels.

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As an expat international teacher I do sometimes wonder at our British obsession with making sure our kids are finished with school when they are 18. I have taught kids in grade 12 (year 13) who were 19/20 because they didn't start school until they were 7. These students benefit from an added maturity and focus that they may well not have had if they had been two years younger and consequently are more successful. I know in the dance World there is a greater need to be successful when young because physically you become less able as you get older and the same in sport but I don't think that sometimes the fact that kids all develop at different ages is taken into account enough. I would be interested to hear other's views.

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I was friends with a girl at school who was 4 months younger than me but she had come up a year. I was the June and she was the following October birthday. She did struggle a bit socially but was very bright and still is! (We are 40 this year!). I think a lot depends on the child, the school, the parents and the genes!

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A schoolfriend of dd hs a birthday at the end of August and is maybe a little 'young' for her age. That wouldn't matter if she was one of the eldest in her year, but as one of the youngest she's really struggling, not only with schoolwork but with friendships and the social side too...

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