Jump to content

ENB youth dance company and going mad!


Janice
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all my Dd have been offered a place in the new ENB youth dance company. Have been going mad trying to make a decision on letting her do it, so could do with some perspective from people who understand. Dd really wants to do it but rehearsals are Thursday evenings and I would have to takeher out of school early to get her there. Phoned school and they are more than happy to let go early, she will not miss anything important. We will have to go by train timing is tight but doable and it will not be to late getting home unless we miss the train. But the journey one way is 2 1/2 hours, the class is 2 hours. I am going from thinking I am completely mad to consider it to thinking about the opportunities it may bring for Dd. I feel I am going to go mad trying to decide what to do for the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not at your stage but just wanted to let you know that I know how you feel.

 

I too am going slightly crazy trying to decide what is best for dd.

 

Maybe we are all mad and we just don't know it ;)

 

Would it be possible to set a length of time for her to see how it pans out? You never know, once you get into the routine of it it might be fine. On the otherhand, if it wasn't working,would the disappointment of saying it's not working be too much?

Edited by smallbythesea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, that's tricky. I think most of us have at some point or other got swept along with our child's enthusiasm for something and later realised that the logistics were more difficult than we had originally thought. In your shoes I'd probably give it a go. It's a great opportunity and your DD must have done fantastically to be selected.If it was my DD in that situation I think I'd feel I had to try to make it happen. If you don't, I think you may both always wonder "what if" but if you try and it doesn't work out, you'll at least know you tried your best. I would hazard a guess that if the travelling does prove too much then your DD will realise that herself.

Good luck, and congrats on her success.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things to consider - I'm sure you've thought of all this anyway! Is there any way your DD could do the journey, or part of it, on her own? This is my rule for anything dance-related. Do you have your own job, family, other children, life, to consider? Does your DD have to give up a ballet class at home? If not, a dance class at home might be of more value, if available. I think that a ballet class is of more benefit than rehearsals for a performance, no matter how prestigious the organisation. What's the cost, including the travelling? What might the "opportunities" be? I'm not sure if this is short-term thing or not - but that might have a bearing on the decision. Personally, I think 2.5 hours one way is too far, so it'd be a no from me!

 

Forgot to add, are there any other youth dance groups closer to home? Good luck with the decision!

Edited by rowan
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard but you must have known about the travel etc when you made the decision to audition and it seems a little harsh to say you can try for something but then say you can't do it because of the timing/travel etc. I agree with giving it a go and seeing what happens. If it's not do-able at least you gave it a go and hopefully she will see/understand why it has to stop.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone has there own line in the sand as to how much they are prepared to further their children's dance education. I do more than some people who think I am mad (or a saint) yet I read about what some families do on here and I am shocked.

 

I did look the web site to see what this opportunity involved. I was unclear whether it purely ballet and who would be teaching and what performing opportunities there would be.

 

Take away the name ENB does it still have the same attraction? Could your dd get a similar opportunity nearer to home? Is she doing it to get more hours of ballet, a chance to perform, a chance to be noticed? How much will the fares be? Would that pay for a summer school? NYB ? A week in Morrocco dancing with the Royal Ballet?

 

Only you can work out whether it is the best use of your time and money. Good luck

 

 

editted to add I just noticed I made the same points as Rowan

Edited by tutoo2much
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is so difficult for us dancing parents to know when to 'draw the line'. I have found myself recently having to say 'no' to various shows/awards etc. basically because of the rest of the family. Sometimes we get quite carried away then dh steps in and reminds that younger dd (who does it much more as a hobby) is not running all over the country. Then I feel guilty! I think Rowan has given good advice-look at the whole picture; maybe there would be opportunities closer? Equally, if you do go for it, I'm sure you will manage to juggle things (we mums are experts at that!)

Best of luck with your decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very difficult decision! If I were you I think I would at least try, even if you give it a probation period. If it turns out to be too difficult and other things are suffering, at least you will have given it a good go. Xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well done on the opportunity. I am no one to give advice as I have no common sense for things like this. When my dd was in year 6 and had been forever on the JAwaiting list, we auditioned her for Elmhurst PVPs...mainly to see if she was pursuing an unreachable dream . Lo and behold she got in and I had to do the journey from the south coast to Birmingham every week. It was exhausting! Was it worth it? In many ways yes. She made lots of friends, enjoyed the facilities and teaching at the school and seemed to make progress. The following year she was awarded 2 scholarships and a Mids place and now she is going to post 16 training. So yes...all in all it was worth it but costly in money and energy :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard but you must have known about the travel etc when you made the decision to audition and it seems a little harsh to say you can try for something but then say you can't do it because of the timing/travel etc.

I agree with this. I think it is perfectly reasonably to say "no" to any schemes that are too far away/too expensive/not practical for the rest of the family but I think that's best done before the audition.

My DD was previously interested in auditioning for a CAT but when I looked at the logistics I felt that it would be unfair on the rest of the family and would probably actually prevent her from doing quite a lot of other things.We had a talk about it and she understood my reasons but I don't think she would have coped well if I had let her audition, she'd been successful and then I'd said no.

I'll admit that I did briefly consider letting her go, on the assumption that she probably wouldn't get in and then I wouldn't have to be the villain of the piece but a wise friend pointed out that that was a plan that could go badly wrong! Since then I have had the policy of only letting her apply for things that are definitely do-able for us.

That said, everyone's idea of "do-able" is different. We live in a rural area and our nearest big cities are all over 2 hours drive away so we're used to having to travel. I remember on the old forum on a thread about EYB someone said they'd love to do it but the venues have never been less than an hour from them and that was too far. I'd think all my Christmases had come at once if we only had to travel an hour! Depending on location, family, finances, job etc what seems totally crazy for one person will be perfectly reasonable for another, but I agree that it's sensible to decide what your own limits are and stick to them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly congratulations to your DD on getting the place - an achievement in itself but I understand the dificulty now that you know timings for what is involved. I know the length of the train journey is probably not much of an issue for you as don't you already do that for Central associates every week but it must be adding sginificantly to the cost of your DD taking up this opportunity. The leaving school early aspect would also worry me. It might be ok with the school this term but next year for year 11 your DD will have an increased workload at school and missing some every week might become an issue. Bear in mind also that if she is auditioning for 6th form places she will already be missing a number of days, especially if she reaches finals. I think only Central have their auditions on weekends. My DD found that quite tough this year as at one popint she seemed to be forever having to catch up on work missed. I think I would be looking at the length of the commitment to the company as it may well be ok to give it a try this term and see how doable it is so that she can have the experience at least and perhaps see for herself if she can manage everything. In your situation I would be saying no as normally I go by a guideline of 'if it takes longer to get there than to do the class, its not worth it as a regular class' and because of concerns about balancing ballet and school workloads. Good luck in your deliberations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with 2dancersmum about the school commitments. Of course your DD will always say she can squeeze it all in because children always do when another opportunity comes up but only you know whether it's do-able based on all the considerations given above. IMHO I think you have to let her try now that she has passed the audition and then give it til after the performances to consider continuing with the next round of rehearsals/performance based on DD having been able to get the experience and your experience of juggling travel, school, dance classes, homework, family etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also err on the side of caution - as 2dancersmum says, Yr 11 is really hard with mock GCSEs and auditions all at the same time. Luckily we had a very understanding Headmistress so DD could keep her head above water.

 

As far as auditions themselves go - it is always a level playing field. No matter whether you have done courses with a particular school or have been one of their associates, as far as I have seen over the years, it does not give a student any advantage when they are selecting for vocational courses.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly, congratulations for your Dd on being offered her place - I agree with many of the comments already made, not knowing your other comittments its hard to make a judgement and I agree its so easy to get swept along without thinking of all the consequences on other family members (I have 3 children and Dd is the middle one) - we travel an hour and half (one way) to our Dds associate class and our youngest (who also dances but not as much) has to come with me - its not just the journey but the waiting - which can be pretty boring! We are doing EYB from next week and again - more weekends of travelling and hanging around! In saying that I dont regret doing any of it - Dd is loving her associate classes and has already made new friends and she is lucky to have such supportive siblings. I think maybe good planning will help - doing homework etc on the train - whatever decision you make it will be the right one for you and your Dd. Good luck! x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also err on the side of caution - as 2dancersmum says, Yr 11 is really hard with mock GCSEs and auditions all at the same time. Luckily we had a very understanding Headmistress so DD could keep her head above water.

 

As far as auditions themselves go - it is always a level playing field. No matter whether you have done courses with a particular school or have been one of their associates, as far as I have seen over the years, it does not give a student any advantage when they are selecting for vocational courses.

 

Completely agree, experience is always great but not at any cost, either financially or emotionally. Its not so much the missed time from school but the knock on effect from tiredness which will creep in and affect everything else

 

What your daughter does in that audition room is far more important than what may be written on her application form.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Schools can be very accommodating in allowing talented children to leave early for dance/sports activites. Rejigging GSCEs timetables (if they have enough warning) or giving catch up time during lunch/breaks. Speak to your dd's school about next year and what they could do if Thursday pm is not a subject that could be missed. I don't know anything about the performance project at the ENB - however if you live in an area without these opportunities you do have to travel - it's unavoidable if you want your child to have the same opportunities as those who live in and around the larger cities.

With regards to auditioning when you are not sure if you'd take the place - my dd is next month for central associates - she knows that she might not be able to go if lucky enough to be accepted - but it's an opportunity for her to experience the teaching at Cental and decide if it's somewhere she wants to audition for full time.

I'm sure that you'll reach the decision that's right for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have tried to reply earlier but it would not let me. Yes I did know about the travel when I let Dd audition but since then the times of the rehearsals have changed and to be fair we were given very little information as things where still being confirmed and still are.We do travel to Central on a Saturday. The rest of the family are very supportive and I only have one other child a son who is older and I hardly see him these days even when he is at home.

There is no charge for the company and the travel fares would be covered by the savings

from petrol and activities that would have

normally been spent.

I know being part of the company would make no difference when applying to schools at 16, but the possible experiences may be something for DD to look back on in the future no mater what else happens. I understand the first performance for the company will be with Wayne Mcgregors Random Dance company in Trafalgar square! Not something that would be on offer here were we live.

School are very supportive and understanding. I guess my main concern is the toll on her that squashing the travel in a weekday evening my have, but I guess the only way to find out is to give it a try. But then we would have the concern of letting people down if either of us can't cope. I have bought both of the up to understand that committing to something fully is important.

Thanks for all your replies it is great to be able to get advice from people who understand. Lots of food for thought over the weekend.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I would add to the discussion is that it can be quite difficult to find good, high quality, professional standard performance opportunities. As ballet is a performing art it can be very good for a young person to be part of something like this to remind them of what it's all about. Also to get experience of the long slog that leeds up to a performance and the amazing buzz of being on stage. This is something quite different to associate training.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who lives in the far SW and is used to travelling long distances I sympathise with your dilemma. IMO though a 5 hour round journey plus class time could become a chore especially during the winter months. Perhaps give it a go but set a time limit in which to assess whether or not your daughter benefits sufficiently from the classes to justify the long trek and if the scheme lives up to her expectations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I would add to the discussion is that it can be quite difficult to find good, high quality, professional standard performance opportunities. As ballet is a performing art it can be very good for a young person to be part of something like this to remind them of what it's all about. Also to get experience of the long slog that leeds up to a performance and the amazing buzz of being on stage. This is something quite different to associate training.

 

Yes, I agree Glowlight. Names and achievements may not have any bearing on a student's performance in an audition but the cumulative experiences you have do make a difference, particularly if your dance training consists of syllabus and Associate classes but little or no performance experience. This is one of the reasons why people scrimp and save to afford EYB etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

I am in exactly the same position as Janice and Ellen, and like her have been pulling my hair out trying to decide what is best for my DD. Looking for answers was how I found this forum.

The ENB opportunity seems to be fantastic but will involve lots of other compromises that have to be balanced. My daughter is 15 and will be doing not only her GCSE's next year but auditions for a sixth form place at a dance school. I have canvassed much opinion and have found that the best advice is that her technique and audition performance is what will get her into a school not what is on her CV.

However as far as life experiences go this seems to be a good thing to do.

Perhaps a trial run for a while is a good idea but not sure how it will be taken if they then pull out at a later stage?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does this opportunity offer much more than NYB or EYB, assuming of course that they are more convenient and your DDs get a place? How long is the commitment? I don't know anything about NYB, but EYB has the advantage of being a short-term commitment. IMO, it would look really bad if your DDs pulled out half-way through. I understand that the ballet world is a small one and the decision to pull out might come back to haunt your DDs in the future. Even if your DDs have no current intention of applying to ENBS (or ENB later) things can change and people move around. I, personally, would be worried about my DD taking her GCSEs, applying for vocational schools and doing ENB's youth dance company all in one year, but only you know what your DDs are capable of. What are your DDs' ambitions regarding their GCSEs? Are they very academic? Are they organised and hard-working and on top of things in Year 10? How close are the rehearsals and performances to the GCSEs? Can you draw up a realistic timetable which allows enough time for everything, including down time? I'm probably saying things that you've already thought of!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the application it was just limited to Thursday evenings but seems to be rapidly expanding the time commitments needed, hence why I am worried. We have had such a short timescale in which to make these decisions.

I believe that her GCSE'S have to come first particularly if she is going to dance. This would involve letting them down now, rather than when there is a natural break in the proceedings ie summer. Am acutely aware that the dance world is v small, and feel caught between a rock and a hard place with it.

She is awaiting final results for NYB at the moment.

My DD can remember dances from years ago, but remembering to do anything other than dance is a nightmare!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...