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I need a wise advice


lallamum
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Good afternoon to you all. I am quite confused and need a few wise advices. My DD (14 y/o year 10) has been doing ballet since the age of 3. She is very talented (or al least this is what her past/present teachers said/say) but she lacks confidence. Due to my husband's job we have been travelling around the world for the apst 17 years and she has been obliged to change, every time, both academic and ballet schools. We live in London now and she has been attending for the past 2 years a very good ballet school. She trains 5 days a week for 1.5 hours each time and she loves it. Nevertheless she feels she would like to do more and she needs to improve a lot. She would like to dance most of her time although the whole process of going back and forth from classes takes 4 hours of her afternoon time, daily.  

Now, her ballet school will have a very big show during Christmas' time and she's been selected to dance 3 different routines but she is frustrated because she feels she could do a much better job if she'd train for longer hours but her ballet school is not equipped for this. DD eventually started thinking of quitting this school at the end of December (after the show) and from January 2014 start with private lessons (it's still a big question mark about where we can find a teacher, fees and results. Maybe location can be discussed with the headmaster of her actual academic school).  Sorry for such a long post but needed to explain the situation. Have you got a word of wisdom for me? I really don't know how to help her. She wants to become a professional ballerina. It has been her dream since she was 3. Thank you very very much. 

Edited by lallamum
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whereabouts in London are you? It's a big place and difficult to get around so it does make quite a difference... and what kind of style is she used to training in (or want to train in)? I could recommend Anna Du Boisson or Madame Zina at Dance works (fairly central), or Russian training at the London Russian Ballet School (Clapham).

I'm sure other Londoners will have recommendations...

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Anna de bioson sorry don't know how to spell her second name is outstanding, she teaches at a young dancers academy. I am sure other forum miners will correctly point you in her direction. A lot of Anna's students have got into top vocational schools.

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Anna du Boissons school in West London had an outstanding Ofsted so should be good.

 

I can also recommend the London Russian School in Clapham and they will often take on the late training of pupils. They also give their pupils a lot of chance to perform in the local community....with which they have very good links.

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Thanks everyone for your kind replies.

We tried London Russian Ballet School but it's very far. She was accepted but, as we live close to Hammersmith, it took us more than 1 hour to get there and another 1.5 hour to come back. I had to drive her up and down as no public transport could cover the distance in such a short time.

As far as it concerns YDA, well we found out about it only last july; hence it was too late both to join it and to cancel her local academic school. I was thinking of some private lessons which can fill the gaps of her ballet classes. She loves her ballet school and she would be sorry to leave it for good. Also do you think it's important to have one to one classes or not? 

Thanks again.

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You could try contacting london senior ballet maybe to see if they wouldconsider late application. Its all day on sundays in chiswick.suitable in addition to other classes. If interested and cant find their webpage let me know and I can send link when on a computer not phone.

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Yes, I agree. I would look at a good Associates Scheme plus weeknight lessons. Private lessons can be very beneficial in conjunction with group classes.

 

It would be worth looking at the schools detailed above (Natalia Kremen, London Senior Ballet etc) plus Anna du Boisson's evening and weekend classes at West London School of Dance: http://www.wlsd.org/

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Thank you all so much! It's my first experience with a forum and I am very touched by your kind advices. 

 

Thank you Tulte. I'll do it straight away as soon as I have finished replying to this thread. I had never heard of it, but I have never heard of many other schools someone else mentioned.

 

Thank you Tomuchtallent. I will do the same with the school you mentioned.

 

Meadowblythe: I totally agree with you. In fact that's why I haven't decided to move her to YDA last july (when I found out about the school). Her GCSE's subjects are very different from the ones offered by YDA. On top we should have paid a penalty to our present academic school for withdrawing her with such short notice. She has already changed many schools. Every time it's a huge effort for her (and us). On top she's very shy and all this doesn't contribute to make her feel relaxed. 

 

And finally Spannerandpony. Thank you for your recap and information about WLSD. I also appreciated that you supported our idea to have extra private lessons together with her normal ballet schools classes. I will definitely look into all these schools and discuss it with DD (that's the tough part as, although shy, she's very opinionated when it comes to discussing ballet with ME!).

 

Posting on this forum has been a very pleasant and informative experience. Thank you very much again.

Now I know where to turn whenever I have a doubt (which happens quite often, so watch out for my threads!!).

 

Have a good afternoon and take care.

 

lallamum

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Contact Mary Goodhew, based at the British Ballet Organisation in Hammersmith. She has girls privately training there under the name of 'british Ballet Academy' and offers very, very, very good private lessons. 

She was the Ballet Principal of White Lodge, before joining Elmhurst in Autumn 2004.

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Hello,

 

YDA is the best.  My daughter has been there since 11 and is about to do her upper school auditions.  Anna Du Boisson is the most amazing teacher and I can not recommend the school highly enough.  It is never too late in the term to join.  If your daughter auditions and is accepted, I am sure they would be accommodating.  A boy joined from SAs this week.

 

It has been perfect for my daughter, to attend vocational school and live at home.  Also, she did her English GCSE a year early to take the pressure off of Year 11 and got an A. 

 

It is based in Shepherd's Bush and therefore close.

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I would add that changing academic school in year 11 is still a huge step - not something my daughter would choose to do, certainly. Plus YDA is privately funded, although I understand that there are sometimes scholarships available, so funding may (or may not be) an issue.

 

Friendship groups and study patterns are usually fixed by year 10 so moving in year 11 would be hugely disruptive. I would personally investigate Anna du Boisson's part time classes and the other associate schemes given the age of lallamum's daughter.

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I would say changing schools in Year 11 is just about the worst year group to do it in both from pupils and teachers points of view

 

Some people have to do this out of necessity but personally wouldn't advise unless really no other choice.

 

 

When I was younger I took most of my "o" levels a year early.....except all the important ones I needed for "A" level

The School I went to didn't offer a second Language which I needed so transferred to the Grammar School in the normal "O" level year.

Nobody else was transferring at this time(though loads did for "A"levels) I'd lost my friends and knew no one and ended up with a strange timetable(with subjects like cooking added which Imhad never done) and were basically fillers whilst I did the rest of my "o" levels.

I spent most of my time in the school library hiding. I missed loads of meals because I couldn't face the dining room and avoided the big Assembly as much as I could(I only got away with it so much as nobody seemed to know who I was)

My previous school had been small and this was a school with 800 girls in.

This did not do my social confidence any good of course and I didn't recover from this move until the following year when others joined the sixth form both from my previous school and my original Primary school so I did settle eventually and enjoyed the sixth.

But that year was a bit of a disaster and even the Head of the previous school who had advised it said later it had been a mistake.It would have been better to take the O level I needed a year later in the end than change schools!

 

Sorry a long story but I do agree with S and P on this one.

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I know there is a lot of two way movement between White Lodge and YDA. My own daughter is year 10 too and she would not countenance moving schools in Years 10 or 11 because firstly she has a lovely established friendship group at school and secondly she is determined to get as many good GCSEs as possible, in case for whatever reason a career in Dance isn't possible.

 

I do think that with so many wonderful part-time ballet classes and great associate schemes in London - including West London School of Dance - there is probably no real need to move to Vocational School mid-year in years 10 or 11.

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my DS moved just before starting year 10 but of course to a totally different academic system so that wasn't too easy (and he was never an academic high flyer anyway). But in terms of social life he found it a breeze by and large. I do think moving to vocational school is slightly different to moving school per se as they tend to be closer knit communities with a common goal which unites them compared with a standard school - especially if there are boarders (even if not everyone boards).

 

I also remember thinking that it was a good test of his ability to cope in the professional ballet world- where at a relatively young age you are expected to be completely independent, self disciplined and able to move to another company in a different country at the drop of a hat- possibly all from the age of 17 or 18 with no buffer of university as a half way house for growing up... Maybe our DCs need to start getting the hang of adaptability earlier than most!

 

(btw way LinMM I was also moved in year 9 from a grammar school in the south of England to a co-ed in deepest rural Wales where no-one would speak to me cos I wasn't Welsh- had 3 years of hell and it ruined my university experience as by that time I was too scared of being mocked by all and sundry to open my mouth. I never really recovered from this formative experience so I can completely relate to hiding in the library! But I would never have coped with any of the stuff DS does- he is far tougher!!!!)

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That's awful CeliB

On the whole I do think that schools tend to do a lot better now with their pastoral care than they did in the 60's!

The upside of hiding in the Library was that I ended up reading all the Shakespeare plays I really wanted to instead of ones we were supposed to,be studying(well was a bit intense in those days!)

 

Sorry to all those who are lovely in Wales.....but I had an experience on holiday in Wales where they just wouldn't serve me in the pub!!

It was really embarrassing! I didn't know if it was because We didn't speak welsh(was with few friends) or because I was a woman!!

 

I had to get quite aggressive in the end but in different circumstances I would have just walked out!

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