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When the going gets tough ...


gazelle
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Just wanted to share this, in the hope that it may give encouragement to someone out there.

 

My DD has been an associate at Northern Ballet for the past two years. Associates do not need to re-audition each year, but undergo an interim assessment in February. A report is then sent out only to those whom the teachers have concerns about, outlining the areas which need improvement if the student is to keep their place the following year.

 

Having not received an interim report last year, my DD was upset when she received one in early March this year, as her experience from the previous year was that many of those (that she knew of) who had received such a report, did not keep their associates place for the following year. The report was very negative, commenting on lack of core strength, poor posture and lack of turn out - all crucial it seemed to me to an aspiring ballet dancer! Although hard to read, both my DD and I and also her local ballet teacher acknowledged that all the points were fair.

 

Now, it has to be said that I am a bit of a glass half empty person and, having received the report, I immediately assumed that she would not maintain her place at Northern next year. I half-heartedly looked into other associate options, but questioned how willing I was to keep travelling around the country, giving up precious weekends and paying for courses and workshops if my DD had so many fundamental issues with her dancing. I decided that my DD should not take up her offered place at the Northern Ballet Summer School as, if any sort of future in ballet was unlikely, it would be better to spend the money on a school exchange trip.

 

My DD, took a very different approach. Having been initially upset when she read the report, the very same evening she had stuck the report up on her bedroom wall as 'seeing it every day will make me work harder' (not something my DH and I thought possible, as she has always taken her dancing incredibly seriously and worked extremely hard).  Although quite reserved, she plucked up the courage to speak to her Associate's teacher after class, who gave her some exercises to work on. Even though she has had a very busy term at school and has precious little free time, she has done these every morning and evening with no prompting from anyone (in fact I wasn't even aware that she was doing them until I walked in to her room to find her on the floor with her legs in the air!). While I looked into possible dance degrees at university to try to interest her in, she continued to hold on doggedly to the idea of auditioning for vocational schools next year.

 

Yesterday we received her final report with the fantastic news that she has been offered another year's training at Northern Ballet Academy. There are still many concerns and a long way to go, but she has improved in every area. Best of all, the teacher has commented on her positive approach and her excellent determination and drive.

 

We are under no illusions that it will be easy for my DD to be able to pursue a career in dance - apart from all the concerns mentioned above, she has never had nor will she ever have the ideal ballet physique - but we are very proud of her right now, not so much because of what she has achieved (keeping her place) but more because of how she went about achieving it.  

 

So for those of you out there who have had knockbacks, perhaps remembering that 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going!' or even 'If a door appears to be closing, keep knocking!' might help as it does appear to be the case that, sometimes, determination can be valued as well as ability.

 

Sorry, this is a very long post already. but I would just like to add that we know of others who also got an interim report this year (although not as negative as hers!), but have also kept their places, so for anyone else who has got or gets such a report in the future, don't necessarily assume the worst as I did!

 

 

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Gazelle I'm so glad your dd kept her Northern place, her determination is so inspiring!!! From what I have seen at BTUK associates she is a beautiful dancer, I admire her musicality and grace! (And if it's any consolation to her, I received a very similar report from my teacher yesterday- she said that although she entered most of the class for RAD Intermediate exam, she wasn't going to let me take the exam yet due to lack of core strength and turnout!!!! But, likewise, it really helped learning what my weaknesses are!) I think your dd will do well in her vocational school auditions as she is evidently very determined :) a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt springs to mind... "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" :) xx

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Love that quote Swanprincess .....Thankyou

 

And hope you get to take your Intermediate exam soon. :) xx

 

I know it's not the same as it's all much more important for you young ens out there but Ive been told a similar thing core strength not strong enough (though I thought it was okay!!) and not working from the hip enough for turn out! In my case important for injury prevention!!

 

Well Ive now enrolled with a local Pilates class........something I thought I'd never do (actually will admit have not exactly been a lover of Pilates so far) Am definitely aiming to get to grips with my core this year!!

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Swanprincess - thank you for your lovely words. I think that everyone who has followed your story on here will be full of admiration for you and for your determination to continue doing something you clearly love so much.

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Thank you Lilac.

 

It is funny how  DC can vary. While my elder DD perhaps has always had more determination than natural ability,  my younger DD seems to have some ability (in Musical Theatre/Drama rather than dance), but very little drive and I find it  frustrating at times!!

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