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Dance or academic?


Petite_Dancer123
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I am 14 years old currently studying GCSEs. I go to a private school (an idependent school that you have to pay for). I do 1 hour and a half of dance a week- includes ballet RAD Grade5 and pointe work (45 minutes each) I can't do anymore dancing because my family are struggling very much to pay for my school.

 I haven't told this to a lot of people but I want to be a choreographer sooo much! I dance whenever I have spare time, I get involved in any school productions and everyone always tells me I am an amazing dancer! I have high hopes for the future involving dance. I am capable of doing so much better than grade 5. I passed my grade 4 in under a year with a high distinction. My teacher barely ever lets me do anything because she favouritises other girls that have been dancing longer them then therefore I can never show her what I can actually do! All my friends dance almost everyday of the week and I feel left out and become very jealous because I'd love to dance as much as them.

Anyway, I can't afford to go to anymore dance classes and even though I am a clever student it is too late to drop out of private school because I am half way through my GCSEs. Even though, I love my school so much, I can never decide.

 I know that my family really want me to do something academically but I don't. I just want to dance. But I don't know what to do...

If I pick dance:

  • Private school education would've gone to waste
  • I don't stand a chance compared to anyone who has a bigger dancing background
  • I can never be safe with dancing

If I choose education:

  • I won't have to worry about competing for a job
  • I will do well
  • I will make other people happy.

 

What do I do?! The dance university I want to go to abroad and they only take poeple with experience in modern and ballet. I don't do modern!

Are there any dance schools that will understand and give me a discount and realise my full potential. Am I aiming too high?

 

Sorry.

 

-Rant Over-

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Thank you Kat09 :) I've talked to them about it but it changes of a day-to-day basis. They always tell me to study well. Sometimes they can say that I should do what I want but I can tell in the loneliness of their voice that they want me to do something academic related and to have dance as a hobby. And they always remind me though that I cant do more dancing because its too expensive!! I wish there was a place that would let me dance for free!

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If you explain to your m that the academics at vocational school is excellent. My daughter gave up her independent school and went to Tring, she left with 9 GCSE most of them A grades on sciences, maths, history and English. Ask your parents for a compromise could you audition to see if you got into any of the schools and then take it from there. No accademic achievements is ever wasted and you can always go back to accademic but if you want a career in ballet you can never go back to ballet, you can ofcourse for fun, lots of luck in your decision.

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Hi there petite_dancer123

 

Another option might be to think about working towards a dance degree - such as the one offered by the University of Surrey.

This would give you an academic background in dance as well as the chance to choreograph, perform and see what dance career options might suit you.

Might be interesting to google 'dance degrees' as there are an increasing number of options available. Maybe you can convince your parents that it doesn't have to be either or - as the study of dance at degree level can be very academic indeed! Good luck with your choices :)  

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If you want to finish your GCSEs where you are then you need to be researching your options for 6th form and keep talking to your parents about your aims and your findings.  There are vocational schools where you can still take A levels and there are places like Birmingham Ormiston Academy where the entry level for dance is perhaps lower.  It is a Btech course and aims to give dancers a lot of expereince in different styles, choreography and performance opportunities so that they can audition 18 for dance and musical theatre colleges.  DDs friends parents wanted her to follow an academic route but she is doing 1 A level and 1 AS level there in year 12 and by the end of year 13 should be leaving with either 2 A levels and 1 AS level or 3 A levels (all sciences)  She should easily meet the requirements for entry onto an academic course at university or could continue with dance.  This is just the one school I know of but there must others elswhere in the country.  So my advice do your research and keep talking to your parents.

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Thank you everyone who has helped me!! You really have. I will defaintly look into futher dance schools for sixth form. With all the people you have told me about I defaintly feel more confident. Do you know if other dance background is needed for dance schools? I can do any types of dancing, I have had loads of experience just I can't carry on with lessons.

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Petite dancer-

Private school education would've gone to waste:- of course it won't! No education, private or otherwise is ever wasted, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!

I don't stand a chance against people from a bigger dance background:- you've probably left it a little late for a purely classical ballet career but from what you've said in your post, it seems you're interested in choreography and dance in general. So if you have the work ethic and some talent and a huuuuuuge amount of dedication you do stand a chance.

I can never be safe with dancing:- true, but then name me a profession that you are truly safe with apart from the truly boring ones. If safe is what you want then the world of the arts is not for you.

I won't have to worry about competing for a job:- who told you that? Lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers all have to compete for jobs more and more these days. A good education helps,of course, but there are always more applicants than jobs out there in all vocations.

I will do well. I will make people happy. :- I'm sure you will do well. You sound like the sort of person who is ambitious, passionate and hard working so I think you'll excel whichever path you take. It's admirable that you are weighing all the pros and cons in such a mature and honest way. Also admirable that you're taking your parents opinion so seriously. But at the end of the day, petite dancer, it may be a cliche but its your life. If you really feel as strongly about it as you seem to, you need to explain to your parents how you feel.

 

Tulip is right. The academics at Tring, Hammond, elmhurst are excellent. What about Urdang or Rambert? Look them up on google. They take girls at 18 so you can get good A levels to pleae yourself and your parents and then go on to study dance . You're not shutting yourself off from academics if you go to any of these schools. You can do your A levels and then at 18 decide, Uni or dance?

It might also be a thought to find a dance school now that doesn't necessarily do RAD but non curriculum work where you might progress more quickly and be able to show what you can do.

Talk to your parents. If you show them how dedicated you are they may listen.

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Everyone has given you excellent advice. All I would add is that obviously I don't know what the schools are like where you live, but you don't have to be at an Independent/Private school to get excellent academic results. So if your parents are struggling so much to pay your school fees to the extent that they are unable to fund extra-curricular activities like dance, then perhaps it's time to investigate state-funded schools in your area to see if moving schools is an option?

 

My own daughter is at an outstanding school which gets equally good exam results as our local independent schools. So if for whatever reason a place at Vocational Dance School is out of the question, if you have any good state funded schools nearby, it might be worth looking at those.

 

May I ask - do you live in the UK? Because if you do, have you looked at the CAT scheme? http://www.nationaldancecats.co.uk/

 

As a final suggestion, maybe you could show your parents this thread, so they can see for yourself how serious you are. I firmly believe in following your dream but as a parent of course I want my daughter to also have academic qualifications so that she has as many options as possible in life.

 

But you are right in thinking that if you want a career in dance, you definitely need to be increasing your dance training now.

 

Lots of luck, and let us know how you get on.

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Yes, sorry Petitedancer, I missed that bit - I saw that you were 14 and assumed you must be in Year 9/ 3rd year. It would be difficult to move in Year 10. Do have a look at the info about CAT schemes though because they are funded, so although they are means-tested (so how much your parents pay depends on how much they earn), they can be a more affordable scheme, and the training is excellent.

 

Also, are there any other dance schools near you? I'm just wondering because you don't seem to have the best relationship with your current dance teacher, which can affect how you dance. It may be that you are able to reach your potential more with a different teacher?

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Thank you:) I have had a look at the website and all these different schemes look really good! I will have a proper look through them during my easter holidays and start applying. I would consider moving but her teaching technique is really good, better than other dance schools that I have been to.

Thank you so much for caring! You have helped me soo much :D

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