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If DD wasn't a dancer, the chances are she woudn't be doing A levels then either......


Katymac
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DD isn't dramatically academic she's more of a do-er than a read about it type girl

 

We live in a rural area with 1 sixth form college which has it's strengths & weaknesses

 

If she was academic we would need to find an alternative school for her as this one isn't the best in the world but as it is, if she didn't dance she would probably do Catering as she is mildly interested in it, childcare as she knows what it would be like working in that field or maybe engineering (BTEC) if my dad had spent time with her developing those skills.  & with the best will in the world a BTEC in catering won't help her get into uni to do dance.....

 

But as it is, she does dance & she wants a career in it & she's reasonably good at it (see I can admit that now after struggling with not knowing for all that time)

 

So why do people not take on board that I have done loads of research, I know what is available 'locally' & unless something new & exciting has suddenly arrived there isn't a lot I haven't looked at.

 

 

At Move-it yesterday I spent several very long conversations with people I respect explaining that I really do know what is best for "my daughter" & that no just doing a few A levels at the local college won't solve all our concerns about her future training and career!  At a Dance Careers fair!!!

 

 

 

I do feel better getting that off my chest, sorry!

 

 

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I do understand Katymac, especially having a DD in the same situation.  I guess a backup plan or safety net is a good idea though, the audition process itself is a wake up to call to many, there are so many young girls who have potential, even some who make it through three years of upper school training still go off to universities rather than full time dance careers.

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Stick to your guns. You do know whats best for your daughter and so does she by all accounts.

 

From all your posts you come across as one of the most clued in parents around and you have clearly left no stone unturned in researching the possibilities for your daughter.

 

Some people, in trying to help do make matters worse dont they? Whats best for them wont necessarily work for you and vice versa.

 

Good luck to you and your dd in all your endeavours and I am so glad she got a confidence boost at MoveIt, that at least is a positive!

 

Edited to add that for many people the brain retains its capacity to study for A levels long after the body loses its capacity to undergo full time dance training...

Edited by hfbrew
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I too know where you are coming from.  My DD always just wanted to dance.  Her back up plan was to stay locally and do A levels because she is quite capable of passing them but she would not have been as happy and her dance training would have suffered.  We are rural as well and DD could not have got enough classes to keep her at a standard for her to be able to apply at 18 for dance.  As I said before, you just have to do what is best for your DD for your own family circumstances and take some of the advice with a pinch of salt as if if well meaning, no-one knows your DD and your life better than you.

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Reminds me very much of the school careers adviser when i was 15. I explained I wanted to be a professional dancer and audition for full time vocational school for age 16 entry. I can still remember her telling me to be realistic and that if I was to successfully be offered a place at this voc.school [urdang] there would probably be so much competition for places ,me getting in would be like a mountain to climb. She suggested a back up plan of applying to the local college to study A Levels just in case. I actually still have the form the careers officer woman wrote out with all these other " useful" alternative suggestions. It really just made me all the more determined to be accepted ,which I was. It wasn`t just her though but teachers at the school too. I suppose they have to keep people on some sort of reality check. What they actually did though was really help me.They helped me to do what I was determined to do. After the audition and back at school I told friends and teachers I had been accepted into a top performing arts school in London. The only one teacher who showed any support or interest had been my drama teacher. Yet when I told people I had got in suddenly it was like,"Oh I knew you would do well,"etc. This was from both teachers and other pupils. I suddenly turned from being a nerdy, unfashionable pupil who did[laugh laugh] ballet, to someone who danced a bit like those on the Fame TV show, so therefore I was cool. You stick to your guns,Katymac,and tell your daughter not to let the b******* grind her down.!

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Totally agree- my DS is hopeless academically. Dyslexic, dyscalculic and disinterested just about sums it up. He has only really got to grips with school work at all in the last year (year 11) which in the UK system would have been too late for GCSEs and I am completely convinced he has only got better due to the focus he has acquired through vocational ballet training.....it is a total relief to me that he has ballet- otherwise I would be in despair about his future (and as you all know how uncertain ballet is that's really saying something!)

 

Now just have to worry about DS2 who doesnt want to be a dancer (damn....)

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Hi Katymac

I have never met you but I have no doubt that you have/will help your dd make the right decisions for her. There can't be anyone else who has done more research and soul searching.

Just smile at them and thank them for their advice- with your fingers crossed behind your back.

Edited by sarahw
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Thanks everyone - it was just so frustrating

 

The people who knew her well agreed the courses on offer weren't suitable (like BTECs) & that A levels weren't a good idea but that there 'must be something else' to which my response is "well if there is I can't find it"

 

I just left feeling I was letting her down somehow & I wasn't sure how

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Katymac

 

I wish your girl every success in her studies and hope she achieves her ambition of a career in dance. 

 

Folk tried to dissuade me from my career choice too when I was young = no doubt out of the best of motives. I would probably have been better off financially had I entered the administrative grade or City but I should have had much less fun.

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If you and your DD are happy with the colleges that she has been offered and feel that she is going to get good quality training then she should go for it, at least you know that for the next three years she is going to be happy with what she is doing why try to make her do something that is going to make her miserable.

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My dd left at 16 to go to dance college and thrived, others seem to find it more difficult being away from home at a young age. She wanted to dance and I knew she would go to any college rather than stay on at school. She never bothered to apply to 6th form. 

The dance training at any "recognised" dance college is going to set your daughter up with skills and discipline for the future. It is still education but something she will enjoy.

Go for it.

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Katymac, Good for you. People can be so judgemental. Your daughter has to live her life as she wishes and not as other people wish her to. I'm certain all avenues have been considered by you and her and much thought has gone into your decisions.

 

My DD is academic but dance is her life. She has had so much grief about choosing the vocational route rather than a more conventional academic path.To be happy in life is what matters and dance is what makes her happy. I am bored of the "it's such a shame" or "it's such a waste" comments. It's her life so go for it !

As Hfbrew said in an earlier thread her capacity to learn will be there after her capacity to endure full time dance has gone.

 

I agree with thequays more sage advice

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Katymac, at a recent Yr11 parents evening one of my daughters teachers opened the consultation with "I hear your daughter is leaving home to study ballet. I wish her every success but think, as parents, you are mad ...." Not a lot we could respond other than we, as her parents, have done all the soul searching and continue to worry every minute of every day what the future will bring but whatever that may be we will support her every step and would never stop her trying.

 

I have loved reading your posts and riding the roller coaster with you and your daughter and look forward to hearing all about the next step - whichever she chooses.

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Again I say thank you to you all

 

I was feeling quite browbeated which was annoying as I only have the choices I have; I can't change them to meet some ideal people expect to be available (build a more local college, improve local public transport,alter DD's expected GCSE grades & the colleges expectations)

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Excuse me Katymac, I am having a senior moment!! :-D

I am unclear about what your dilemma is now.

My understanding is that your dd has received some good offers from her auditions to be able to pursue her dance training in September. Is it funding (or lack of it) that is now driving your ongoing worry and stress about the decisions to be made?

I'm sorry if I have missed this but it has been a long and stressful day!

I share everyone's concerns about post year 11 education for those young people who are not academic that has been exacerbated by the government insisting on education continuing until 18 now.

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I wasn't stressing too badly until yesterday at Move-it when everyone I spoke to (from colleges) told me I was doing "the wrong thing" I should keep her at home until 18, make her do A levels or a BTEC then do it all again at 18 (because it will be better for her/that college is not as good as ours/you simply can't do a foundation or pre-voc/& anyway it will be much nicer if she leaves home at 18)

 

Which was disappointing - as I would quite like to, but I can't really; as life doesn't always work out the way you want it to (cos if it did she would be a teacher or an accountant or something nice and safe)

 

I was reasonably stressy happy about waiting to find out about funding.....& then I got all this advise :rolleyes:

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 now driving your ongoing worry and stress about the decisions to be made?

 

 

 

By the way both my parents, my husband & my best friend would really empathise with your statement/question (& roll their eyes & sigh) - I thought it very apt and totally applicable to my personal world ;)

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Katymac. as the mother of six children, 2 of them dc, I can tell you from my experience that one size does not fit all! I knew when one of my children was 5years old that he would probably pass the 11+ and go to grammar school and university, he did! Equally I knew at 4 years old that one of my dc was going to be severely dyslexic and definitely would not pass his 11+ and go down the academic route. He eventually learned to read at 8years old and went to vocational school. My dd refused to audition at 16 like all her friends did, because I'm not good enough, she said and at 4ft 9ins, she was right. However it did not stop her performing and at 18 she went of to Paris to work at Disney. The following year she went to work in Mexico and now at 21, she is still performing and dancing. Encourage your dd, look for her strengths, you know her best after all. What's right for one child is not necessarily right for another and this is why I had 5 children at 5 different schools at one time, it was the right thing for them at that time. Good luck to you and your dd.

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.

I wasn't stressing too badly until yesterday at Move-it when everyone I spoke to (from colleges) told me I was doing "the wrong thing" I should keep her at home until 18, make her do A levels or a BTEC then do it all again at 18 (because it will be better for her/that college is not as good as ours/you simply can't do a foundation or pre-voc/& anyway it will be much nicer if she leaves home at 18):

YOU are the expert on your child not the people you spoke to at Move It. They are businesses and will be dismissive of other courses/institutions. You have also done your research about what the alternatives are (or aren't) in your local area.

 

You appear to have raised a confident, assertive, and talented dd who knows what she wants and seems more than capable of leaving home at 16 to pursue her dreams.

 

Nothing is guaranteed in the future (in any course of study) but if your dd is doing what she loves and is happy then you have made the right decision.

 

Best wishes to you both :-)

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I am sorry you are having these difficulties Katymac.  It is hard to have your decision questioned when you have thought so long about what is the right decision.  None of us have a crystal ball and we can only make decisions about what is right for us now.  I think the difficulty of life, particularly in the UK I think, is that people have a perception that academics are success.  I understand that in Germany more "practical" children are celebrated and encouraged but in the UK we measure everything in academic grades. Who is more "successful"?  The plump academic child who leaves school with great exams, the prospect of a good career but who will never embrace exercise and spend all her adult life overweight and unfit (this is me!).  Or the child who leaves school with a good work ethic and a healthy exercised body which will probably last that way until she is 95?  If the latter child is very lucky, she will be able to encourage her own children to be active and healthy.  This country needs a mind reset on what "success" is I think.  It's not all about academics.

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Her teacher just emailed me (after I emailed and angsted all over her) & said she "needs to feel comfortable about the culture and feel of the place and be excited to go there everyday" which actually is more important than anything

 

She also said "The type of qualification you come out with at the end of the course is not so important in dance. Once you start auditioning for professional jobs they just want to see if you can do the dance or not. Therefore the standard of teaching is of great importance. " which made a lot of sense too

 

& finally "I'm not sure who spoke negatively about pre-vocational courses but I do see their benefits." which was nice & reassuring

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I guess when you ask a question to somebody personally or post on a web page you have to be prepared to allow others to have opinions which may differ from your thoughts. You know what's best for your family and go with your gut feeling, dont worry about others.

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Like you we spoke to a number of people on the stands at MoveIt - and some of them were current students at the schools. Not all of them were experienced enough to give us the advice we were looking for (IMHO).

 

What they told us may well have been based on what they did themselves, and what was right for them personally, which won't necessarily be right for others.

 

Go with your instincts, and let your dd follow her heart - you know her best! :)

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Katymac, the time for your daughter to look at courses in catering or childcare is when she has finished her dancing career. 

 

I think anybody who wants to dance would be happier standing in the back row of a show on the local pier than they would doing anything else, no matter how sensible and practical those other things might be. 

 

So, no stress.  Let her follow her dreams, and those boring A levels will still be there if she wants to take them in later life.  After all, there is no law that says they have to be taken at 18, is there?

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I agree the country may need a mind reset on what "success" is.....post 21 but like to say that not all people successful academically are plump and will never embrace exercise!! There are many successful academics who are extremely fit......even triathlon fit.

 

Also there is no guarantee that being very fit and active when young will necessarily carry over into old age......unfortunately.

 

Just in the question of balance!

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Because the previous Labour government had the aspiration of sending 50% of young people to university. This is a real bugbear of mine. I accept the need for post-school training but this does not have to be in the form of a full-time degree. It is a con that graduates end up doing jobs which were previously done by school leavers. Many administrative and managerial jobs fall into this category.

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There is also the problem that many children are taking exams without any clear idea of what they want to do in the future, and then they drift into further studies of some sort,  And then at the end of that, they end up stacking shelves in a supermarket, or working in a fast food joint, if they have parents who insist they go out to work.  Otherwise, they continue to drift until one day (hopefully) they finally get an idea of what they really want to do.  Honestly, the whole education system in this country seems to think that unless you have completed your degree by the time you are 21, you are over the hill, past it, missed the boat, and a failure. 

 

Which is utter and complete nonsense, and very disheartening for those who don't enjoy studying in their youth. 

 

So somebody who wants to go to dance school, and is talented enough to get in, is to be applauded and encouraged. 

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