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DD a bit isolated


Pups_mum
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As the title suggests, my 15 year old DD is starting to feel a bit isolated. We live in a fairly geographically isolated area which is part of the problem as it makes accessing ballet related activities quite difficult, but it's a bit more than that. She goes to an excellent local dance school with lovely friends and high quality teachers, and in recent years the older end of the school has been very strong. However, this summer alot of the seniors are leaving to take up post 16 or post 18 training which will cut the numbers in the more advanced classes very significantly. A couple of DDs best friends will still be at home, and they are both excellent dancers but their main interests are in other dance genres.They do ballet because they know it's beneficial, but they don't love it, whereas DD is the opposite. I guess this is not an uncommon problem - if the numbers competing in the older age groups at the dance festivals we go to are anything to go by there is definitely a drop off in interest in ballet compared to other types of dance beyond the early teens.

I guess what I am after is any suggestions anyone has to help her maintain her passion for ballet in her slightly lonesome circumstances. She is doing her advanced foundation exam in a few weeks, and assuming she is successful she will be the only one moving on to advanced 1. I had been hoping that EYB would be back to Newcastle next year as that is a good opportunity to dance with other students of a similar age, but sadly that's not going to happen. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that they will come to another venue that we can reach but I am not overly hopeful. It doesn't help that she had a bad experience at a summer school a couple of years ago so she isn't keen on the idea of going to residential courses,plus

she's concerned that the other students of around her age will be mainly vocational students and she won't fit in. So I am at a bit of a loss what else to suggest for her. EYB has been brilliant in the past as she's got a great deal out of dancing with lots of other students so ideally I would like to find something along those lines. Does anyone know of any similar programmes to EYB in the north of England? There seems to be quite a lot around for younger students but not a great deal for the older end if they don't aspire to going into vocational training. Can anyone suggest anything? She is in no way unhappy at her present school, she would just like to do something to top up the teaching she is already getting.

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There's the CAT in Newcastle too although that's contemporary based so not sure she'd want to go down that route.

 

Not sure which area you're in exactly but if you're Northumberland it might be worth considering Ballet West's Aspiring Professionals programme. It's once a month in Scotland or Glasgow (plus I think there's another venue) but they've already held auditions for September starters.

 

There doesn't seem to be anything similar to EYB in the area, we were disappointed to learn they weren't returning to Newcastle too but still hoping they might end up in Sunderland or Durham perhaps, or somewhere else not too far away!

 

Other than that I guess it's Easter schools and summer schools!

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Scottish Ballet Youth Collective might be possible .SBYC3 is for age 15 to 18 - auditions are August 28. Application form is on the Scottish Ballet website under " join in".Or weekend trips to take a class in London at Pineapple studios or BRBs insights days .

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I can't help with suggestions but I can empathise.  DD has felt like this for a while, she is 'out of sync' with her school friends due to dance, she isn't in her age group for dancing and very soon will be by herself in classes.

 

I don't know what to suggest - we are travelling a good way to find classes with contemporaries but even then there is a difference in background which causes a chasm

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Thanks all. Unfortunately the CATs and the SBYC all seem to be on weekday evenings and our journey would be too far to be feasible on a regular basis. I could do with finding some one day workshops or shortish self contained projects like EYB but not much luck so far. I've just seen that the RAD is running a repetoire day based on Giselle in Glasgow in November though, which I may look into. Has anyone got any experience of these workshops? The older age group is for older than 12 working at IF or above so it sounds like it might be a possibility.

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DD did the RAD RW in London in March and it was very enjoyable but she felt it was not really long enough for her to benefit just a great experience and a fun day out.  Ability was very mixed, the price was very reasonable, teaching excellent and they learnt about applying stage makeup.  We are thinking about the one in December at HQ.  This made us think about RAD SS but we were too late applying for the week we wanted.

 

If she has had a bad experience with SS then I would highly recommend Tring Christmas w/e.  It is only a few nights, they go to the ENB's Nutcracker and then do a mini performance on the Sunday.  It might be a way of gently introducing her to being away from home with other girls.  The ability is also very mixed and they are all given a chance to shine.

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Hi Boogalou there isn't a link yet as the new Tring courses timetable isn't announced until mid September but I reckon it will be on the w/e of the 15/16/17th December.  My DD loved it and the ENB's performance of the Nutcracker is surely one of the best.  On the Sunday afternoon they put on a mini Nutcracker, DD did Waltz of the Flowers, then Santa comes and gives them all a lovely pressie and they sing carols.  I can't quite remember the price but it was reasonable ( I think she had it for her Christmas box) and was a lovely start to Christmas.

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If the Tring summer school is anything to go by then the Christmas course should be lovely. The atmosphere at the SS was so nice with children of all abilities dancing together, my DD had a great time and made some lovely friends even though she knew nobody when she turned up on the first day. I would definitely reccomend it.

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Pas de chat, my dd also did the Tring Xmas weekend not last year but year before - 2011. She had a fabulous time.

 

The thing I remember most seeing the Waltz of the flowers performance on the Sunday was dds expression. She can be quite a serious dancer and finds facial expression very difficult. But at that performance, she had a beautiful smile throughout, very natural not forced. It honestly looked like a different child, I couldn't believe it! I don't know what Tring did to bring that out in her. I haven't seen her smile like that on stage either before or since! That memory will always stay with me.

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