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A bit of advice please on when to start vocational training


grumpybearzuk
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Hi everyone I really need some advice as at the minute can't think clearly as off work with depression and anxiety . My dd is 11 next month and has been dancing since 4 with the same ballet teacher, she has been a associate at Elmhurst since year 4 and loves it so much :) she is a beautiful dancer and you could say has the body too and has always wanted to audition full time at Elmhurst . Well now the time has come to audition she has decided she wants to now go normal school and stay with her local ballet teacher (who she loves) . I am really surprised as all she has ever talked about is going to ballet school. I asked her why she had changed her mind and she said she will miss her ballet teacher and obviously me !!

I just don't want her regretting her decision to not audition and then later on change her mind but but she's adamant she won't audition.

Her training at home is good so not too worried am I doing the right thing by leaving it and not discussing more with her ?

Any advice would be appreciated :) xxx

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Everyone is different and only you know your daughter for if it is worth another chat with her really.  Has she genuinely changed her mind or is she scared of the whole process, or of leaving you?  It might be worth another chat as long as you make it clear from the outset that you support whichever decision she makes but you want her to be sure of her reasons - especially since this is the "easiest year" to get a place for - inverted commas as obviously it is not easy - just that there are more places for year 7 than the following few years.

For what it is worth though, my DD lived and breathed ballet from her very first class and she was adamant that she was not going to audition at that age but would wait until 16 - despite doubts that her training would be good enough (she said we would find better training if need be).  She felt strongly that she was not ready within herself to move away from home so she would not get the most out of the ballet school and in the end it would be her ballet that suffered.  She auditioned at 16, determined to try again at 17 and 18 if unsuccessful but in the event left home to go to vocational school just weeks after her 16th birthday.

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Hi grumpybearzuk

 

Personally I wouldn't push her - it is likely she wouldn't dance her best if she didn't want to be at the audition. If you step back she may well change her mind- auditions go on after Xmas so no rush. Children get accepted every year at Elmhurst so it is never too late.

 

The other issue in the longer term is that career opportunities are extremely hard to predict at 11 and will be tiny for most. Why persuade your child to go to an expensive school where academics may be affected due to dancing and career prospects are limited? I have personally only entered the audition process at request of dc. Wish they didn't want to!

 

Finally she will almost certainly be sensitive to your current distress. So I would give yourself a break over this and put it on the back burner. Look after yourself, enjoy your daughter and her dancing. I found the whole process incredibly stressful and it must be awful to cope with in your situation.

 

Hope you feel better soon. Xx

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Hi grumpybearzuk,I am so sorry to hear you are not well. I hope you start to feel better soon. Perhaps your illness is affecting your daughter and is making her reluctant to want to leave you? Could she be worried about you? Maybe she feels if she goes away if will make you feel worse. Have a good,long chat with her. I have suffered from depression ,anxiety and social phobia for almost 20 years. It`s a bugger,isn`t it??? Take care. 

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I would suggest it is very easy to get caught into the trap of 'following the crowd' when it comes to auditioning for Year 7 places.  It will soon become the only topic of conversation at PVP. 

 

If you daughter has expressed she isnt interested then I would follow her thoughts, although lots do leave home at 11 years it is very young.  If she has good teaching support at home there is no rush.

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Thanks everyone for your advice and thoughts . I think I will not mention it for a couple of weeks and then have a relaxed chat with her, she is back at elmhurst tomorrow so it might help her decision . And I'm sure her ballet teacher will give some advice .

She has always been clingy to me so I knew this might happen and maybe my illness had affected her more than I thought but I have always tried to stay positive for her and I won't push her if it's something she has decided on

Xx

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Moving up to secondary school is a big and scary thing for most 11 year olds,even when its only a move to the local high school.Moving away to boarding school is a massive change and whilst some children obviously do thrive on it,its not a move that will work for everyone. Both from reading posts on here,and from people i know in real life, it seems pretty clear to me that whilst it may seem like doors are shut to the children who don't go away in year 7,that's not truly the case. Rather,different doors open and shut all the time. A decision made at age 11 is not binding,and there are opportunities at every stage. One thing i believe very firmly, and not just in the ballet context is that children learn best when they are happy. However great the teaching is in any given school,if a child is unhappy they won't get the best out of it.

It could just be "cold feet" and maybe your DD will change her mind again nearer the time,but if not i wouldn't push the issue. If she has good local teaching,maybe supplemented with you associates,summer schools etc and she is happy at home with you then i think she will do brilliantly. There does seem to be a bit of an assumption that all JAs,PVPs etc will apply to full time schools,which is of course great if it's what they want,but i am sure that not all do. It must be hard to be in that position and i think your DD is being very mature in voicing her feelings, especially when she has previously been so keen on going. You obviously have a lovely relationship where she trusts you with these feelings too. Sounds like you are doing a great job bringing her up. If you encourage her to follow her heart i doubt you will go far wrong.

I hope your own health improves soon.

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That's lovely pups mum :) I love her to bits and just want to make sure she's happy , thank you all for your advice and comments it feels better just getting my feelings out as I was bottling it up! And it's great here as I know I can get some very valued opinions xxxx

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My DD was offered a full time place at vocational school at the age of 11 after attending an audition for associates at that school. It would have meant boarding and she wasn't ready for that and therefore would not have thrived. She went to our local high school, got great GCSE results & 3 A levels this year. Next week, at the age of 18, she starts at the same vocational school on their professional dance course.

If your DD doesn't feel ready now it doesn't mean that door will close forever and if it's meant to be it will be. Maybe she just needs her Mum more than full time dancing right now.

Whatever you decide together, be happy. xx

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The move to secondary school is a big one and, whilst there are some children who actively want to go to a school that few of their peers (if any) are going to, perhaps because they want to 're-invent' themselves or make a fresh start, most are keen to go where their friends are going. It can be hard being the only one going to a different school and towards the end of year 6, once school places are finalised, friendships can start to shift according to where children are going next. This can cause a bit of hurt and unpleasantness which can mar what should be a happy time in the last few weeks and months of primary school. It's possible that your DD and her friends have already started talking about secondary schools and that she wants to go to the same school as her friends, which is understandable. However, it's worth gently pointing out to her that friendships can change a lot once children go to secondary school. Some friendships last but many fall by the wayside surprisingly quickly as children's interests and tastes diverge and some become more sophisticated than others.

 

Of course, she may just be firmly against the idea of vocational school because she doesn't want to board.

 

I would let the subject drop for a couple of weeks but then raise it again to see whether she still feels the same way.

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Vocational school is a huge step for most children even those who have always dreamt of going to a ballet school . Quite a few friends of both my DDs have thought they would like to go to their school until it came time to audition , one or two are going this year at 16 and a couple of girls have waited will be auditioning this year .

It is so easy to be caught up in the whirlwind that auditions seem to create and in my opinion you and your dd are being sensible in questioning wether it is right, or not right now for her.

If she decides against it for this year she keeps her lovely teacher and from another thread I've read she can carry on classes at Elmhurst .

A friend once said to me about my younger dd " what is for her will not pass her by " and this will be the same for your dd and with a bit of luck it will be when she is ready for it.

Hope you feel better soon .

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Really good points made there I was thinking the same thing! Tried to point out to her that my son was best friends with someone from nursery age and when it came to secondary school , they both went to the same one and after a few weeks had both got completely new friends and I don't think he ever sees him now.

We have just put our application in for secondary schools as we both knew where she was going if she didn't go ballet school and there is no rush yet so thanks to you guys I feel a little lighter!! And will bring it up on a few weeks.

She did day to me in the car to ballet tonight that she wants to stay with her local dance teacher and doesn't want to leave me and have reassured her that if she doesn't want to go then that's fine with me :) I just have to make sure she's 100% sure but like most people have said there's no stopping her trying at 16 .

Thank you so much everyone for all the comments it has made me relax a little and I realise I have some time to play with yet:)

I would keep both my kids with me forever if I could :) xxx

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Sounds to me you are being very sensible and listening to what your daughter wants right now as well as double checking that she is sure about all this!

 

One thing Ive learnt over the past 10 years is that going at 11 doesnt guarantee a dance future and that many who are accepted later to train full time soon catch up and are, in some cases better because of excellent local training.

 

At WL especially the first 3 years were, I found, the most stressful due the appraisals. I had a pupil who did not start until year 10 thereby missing out on all the stress of wondering whether they would last the course because once in year 10 you are entitled to year 11 too. And think of the money that students parents saved too!

 

So please dont worry if your dd really does want to stay as she is for now. The best thing you can do is enjoy her company and start saving for 6th form because thats when it really gets tough financially.

 

Finally, I too hope you feel better soon.

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