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So glad you found the comments helpful. I marvel at the way parents, who don't come from a dancing background navigate this strange world. My mother was a dancer, now teacher. I trained vocationally and now my son is training vocationally. I left the dance world for a time and became a chartered tax accountant and couldn't believe the difference in the dance world to the business world (left that after 7 years as it didn't make my 'heart sing', financial security yes, joy, no!). My heart sank a little when my son decided to follow dance - however, I fully understand why and I am incredibly proud of his determination and work ethic - things which will transfer into any career if the need arises.

 

The sensible, logical part of my brain says persuing a dance career is crazy. The artistic, feeling part oft brain says follow your dream, your passion and find a career you love because then you will be really living. That is actually what I want for my son.

I knew nothing about ballet or the ballet world and it never crossed my mind to send DD to classes. I still don't "get it" (as my DD describes it) as I hate drawing attention to myself and I can think of few things worse than "performing" on stage. DD's father feels the same! I kept hoping that DD would "grow out of it" and although I have been supportive of her dream  to be a professional dancer, I (confession time) haven't encouraged it. 

On the positive side there are not many kids who have an all encompassing passion that has so many benefits, regardless whether they end up pursuing ballet or dance as a career.

My DD has tried to describe the sheer joy and exhilaration she feels when  performing, the closest I can imagine is the huge adrenaline rush you feel when going on a thrilling theme park ride or abseiling! 

Although talking of theme park rides, it has been a huge roller coaster of emotions (more no's than yes's) for DD to get to where she is now (European full time vocational school).  

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Hi Mae989

I can empathise totally with how you are feeling , I was in your very position . That year nearly all the JA class reached finals except for my dd also after the teacher had given me false hope after our yearly chat .

I must say the following lessons were very hard listening to chatter of leotards and trips to Richmond Park.

I knew getting into the school would be difficult but I was hopeful just for finals.

Our local teacher was lovely and she received very positive feedback from Mark Annear that made perfect sense.

We have turned her Royal disappointment into a bit of a standing joke as every year she has tried for Summer School and has been placed on the waiting list four times also MAs wait list at the time.

I will PM you later when I have more time with our little story ( she's at a Vocational School)

But for now my favourite quote that I constantly tell myself " What is for you will not pass you by"

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I am so sorry to hear of your rejections but I would echo what others have said about being a JA and getting one yes is a great achievement in itself. I can understand if you are a JA if must be extra difficult to be cut off from the RBS. I would also agree that the lack of feedback is frustrating however at least it is across the board but it did set me wondering if you could request anything under the Freedom of Information Act!!  ;)

I would say the vast majority of DC will not end up being a professional, even those who go to vocational school so one needs to be realistic from the outset but if you truly want it then you have to keep trying until all hope is lost and take every opportunity that is offered. It certainly teaches them perseverance amongst other things. 

Good luck with the funding. I hope everything works out.

Congratulations to you DD for getting into Oxbridge chaperone - what an achievement and no less that getting into vocational ballet school IMHO. 

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Private Schools are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act but even if it were because it is personal information it would beg the Data Protection Act (you can request details of admissions policies/how decisions are made by a school but not details of an individual decision.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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big hugs to you and your DD! it may not be anything personal at all like body shape etc. if it is - then bodies change all the time especially at that young age and there are plenty of dancers out there that have been told they don't have the right physique and gone on to do great things. as she's only 11, it may be that she's just not ready yet, she still has years ahead of her and a lot can change in just a year so if she auditioned again next year it could go very differently! 

 

do not fret, she has plenty of time and if dance is something she definitely wants to pursue then there's no harm in pushing forward and seeing where you end up! your daughter is clearly very talented, she got a yes!! and she's a RBS JA - that's something not many can say! there will be plenty more opportunities for your dd, good luck to you both :) 

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Private Schools are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act but even if it were because it is personal information it would beg the Data Protection Act (you can request details of admissions policies/how decisions are made by a school but not details of an individual decision.

Plus on almost all (if not all) application correspondence, it quite clearly states that feedback regarding auditions will not be given. If your teacher has contacts at a school then it MAY be possible to glean some informal feedback, but it's not a given. The process is clear from the outset, and as frustrating as it may be, it's good preparation for company auditions. Imagine the time involved in giving individual feedback to hundreds of auditionees?

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I agree about giving feedback to hundreds of children would be hard but it would be nice to give you some feedback when your child has trained with them as a associate for 3 years and not even getting to the finals

Edited by grumpybearzuk
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Isn't it just about numbers? There are more RBS JAs than there are places at the RBS and, of course, there will be applicants with potential who are not JAs, perhaps because they are an associate elsewhere, perhaps because they do not attend any associate scheme for some reason or perhaps because they are applying from abroad.

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I think some have missed the point of this thread. My issue isn't the fact DD got a no, or that there was no feedback (which would've been nice but I do understand why). My questions were simply how do I get her through this with the same passion she had before, how do I know if she really ticks enough boxes and what are these boxes?!!! How do I know if she has enough to let her go through this again and again? I am not a dancer, I don't know what people look for. No's are inevitable but I don't want to set her up to fail either.

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I'm afraid you don't know if she ticks enough boxes. We as parents all wish we knew these things.The best person to judge will be her teacher or her JA teacher. And even they don't have a crystal ball and don't really know either. And you don't need to get her through it with the same passion she had before - that's up to her. If she has the passion, if she has "enough" to keep going through it again and again, that's all that's needed at this stage. If her passion fades at some point, or she doesn't want to continue, that's fine, too. Be guided by what she wants - bearing in mind that in her teenage years, what she wants may be totally different!

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I agree with Rowan wholeheartedly- none of us can ever know if the work, sacrifice, cost, absence (four those who end up going away from home young), dedication and endlessly putting themselves forward to be judged (and picking themselves up again when they have been found wanting) will result in a 'happy ending' (whatever that looks like?). I have always worked on the basis that my DS has to be enjoying the journey, at whatever stage, for its own sake and not for the promise of glory at the end. There are simply too many variables that go into making a success in any art form and potential to succeed is impossible to predict - even children who have been told should give up as they will never make a dancer sometimes are proved wrong (so I would even caution against taking your JA teacher's word as gospel).

As long as the journey is enjoyable and your DD is learning and happy then go with the flow.

 

In case it helps my DS was never even offered a place with JAs (he auditioned twice). After Lausanne aged 17 and with only 3 years vocational training under his belt he was offered places and scholarships to many schools and both junior company and main company contracts all over the world, so he clearly has the ability to get a job with a classical ballet company. What a tragedy if I'd taken RBSs opinion as the gold standard....

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We must never forget it is our DC's journey and we are just along as spectators and bankers for the ride.

 

We live with their triumphs,disappointments,heartaches and joy.

 

However if they choose to move on to pastures new,have disappointments, change emphasis or keep on going then we must respect their wishes whatever comes.

 

We are their cheerleaders, punchbags and their greatest supporters.

 

It is a job for which we are not paid but do willingly.

 

We all hope they will glide through effortlessly but this is rarely the case. I for one am just glad she has tried.

 

Your DD will learn something from the whole experience and hopefully it will inform her and empower her in the future. If not then as quoted earlier "what is for you will not pass you by" ( roughly!)

 

It is natural to try and protect our DC's from harsh realities but will it help them in the long run?

 

All we can do is love and support them and hope they find the strength within themselves to keep going.

 

I am sure in the short term she will be upset/disappointed but it is how she deals with it in the longer term which is more important.

 

With such a caring mother she is more than half way there.

X

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Thankyou Rowan and CeliB. I have maybe been told on many occasions by teachers/parents etc that the girls have to be a certain height, physique, even head size!!! It makes my head swim! I think you are right, I need to learn to let go and let her live this and just be there whenever she needs me. I did look at the Micheala DePrine autobiography and think that would be a great read for both me and DD. Very inspirational

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I can echo the size of head bit - that was one of the reasons given me as to why I hadn't been accepted to the company, when I'd just spent three years coming in the top 3 or 4 every test of my class at RBS.  Oh and that I had one leg longer than the other!  Doesn't everyone?  I also didn't get into Festival Ballet (pre ENB days) or Stuttgart, because at that particular time, they wanted tall dancers with long legs.  Actually come to think of it, none of my fellow students at RBS had the bodies that dancers seem to have to have nowadays,  I doubt I would have been accepted to the school at all today.  So I think I'm rather lucky to have been born when I was!

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Mae989, having been in the same position as you last year, along with most of Dd's JA group, I'd say don't worry about whether your dd gets any offers at this stage. She is only 11 and the RBS etc are not necessarily the only dance routes.

 

Speak to your JA teacher. She might agree that your dd has potential and should continue to pursue the vocational route. Maybe she can suggest ways to train vocationally with private lessons. Also, think about how to utilise the local dance school to best effect for your Dd. Join another associate scheme if poss too. Your dd is only 11. Don't let a few no's at this stage put you off unless the JA teacher tells you it's not in your Dd's best interest to carry on trying. You won't get feedback from a school, but in my experience, there's nobody more plain speaking, straight talking than a ballet teacher.

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Hi my daughter did Pvps at Elmhurst from the age of 8 but she didnt feel like she was ready at year 7 to leave home and i don't think at that time she would have been successful! She worked her socks off and joined in year 8! she then got through her appraisal in year 9! Tell your daughter to keep following her dream!

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I agree that in the end the main "passion" must come from your DD (original poster)

 

Ballet is a tough old world and I think success......eg....having an eventual career ....requires other personal qualities other than the ability to dance.

 

I really love ballet but my own passion only took me to the age of 15!

 

I think my mother was a bit relieved when I finally relinquished any idea of a career in ballet but she didn't encourage(but supported) or discourage my first dreams of becoming a dancer. Because in the end you can't live someone else's life for them no matter how much you love them!!

 

However all was not lost.

I found other passions......which have served me well in my non dancing career and........now I have retired I am back doing ballet again and loving it all over again but from a very different view point. So now it is serving me into old age......even if I didn't have that career!!

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We must never forget it is our DC's journey and we are just along as spectators and bankers for the ride.

 

We live with their triumphs,disappointments,heartaches and joy.

 

However if they choose to move on to pastures new,have disappointments, change emphasis or keep on going then we must respect their wishes whatever comes.

 

We are their cheerleaders, punchbags and their greatest supporters.

 

It is a job for which we are not paid but do willingly.

 

We all hope they will glide through effortlessly but this is rarely the case. I for one am just glad she has tried.

 

X

Couldn't agree more, hence my forum 'name'

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Mae989

 

I really hope I won't offend anyone with this post but my impression has always been some schools pick 'bodies' and not 'dancers' at the yr 7 etc stage. If your DD is a JA she obviously still has a good body for ballet despite not getting through to all schools so I really wouldn't worry about it.

 

From what I can see some of those taken at yr 7 don't last the course (and are assessed out in yr 9, sometimes replaced by those who didn't get in in the first place) so clearly the selection process is a bit hit and miss- or perhaps fairer to say there is some subjectivity/an art not a science etc. If those who know her (eg her teacher and any other pros who see her dance outside auditions) are enthusiastic about her then that's the only thing you should listen to imho.  

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I think you are spot on there Flora, and although it's super for all the yes's, it's certainly not the end of the world for the no's. There are a lot of wonderful dancers out there who got no's, and after the initial disappointments, it just might make them stronger in the long term.  

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I agree about giving feedback to hundreds of children would be hard but it would be nice to give you some feedback when your child has trained with them as a associate for 3 years and not even getting to the finals

 

I understand the reason for no feedback from auditions but if your dd is an associate at a school, what about asking for feedback from the associate teacher? I think it's reasonable that you could say something like "DD was disappointed not to reach the finals for the full time school. What are your honest thoughts on her suitability for full time training in the future? What are her strengths and weaknesses at the moment?" You're not asking about why she did not go further in that particular audition but about her potential in general.

 

Regarding feedback from auditions, three of my friends once auditioned in the same year for the same vocational school. 2 were accepted and one was not. Although it was stated that no correspondence would be entered into, the teacher of all three friends called the school and said that X was really upset not to get a place and could they give her some feedback. The school said that they felt that X wasn't experienced enough. So... she got her feedback but really was no further forward, particularly in view of the fact that the other girl who was accepted has the same amount of experience and the guy, much less.

 

I agree with CeliB. You have to enjoy the journey, you must keep wanting it. That's true even if you get a professional contract!

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My experience has been associate teachers are guarded about giving feedback on a child's chances I assume because they don't really know if they're not on the panel and they don't know who else will be auditioning. 

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I think that it has to remembered that an audition is essentially a competition. It's not like an exam where everyone who reaches a certain standard will pass, get a distinction etc. There are only so many places and the applicants whom the panel regard as the 'best', 'most suitable' or whatever that year will be offered places. Some years the competition will be tougher than others. It's the same with things like the National Youth Orchestra. A talented violinist whom I know didn't get a place one year and was told that another year she would have got a place but there was a very strong cohort applying that year. Feedback is only useful if it gives the applicant things to work on. It is likely that there are very small differences between most of the applicants and that the feedback would be something along the lines that the other applicants were just 'better' (in the panel's opinion). If you give feedback it will lead to parents and students challenging and questioning the feedback which could become very acrimonious as well as time consuming.

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My experience has been associate teachers are guarded about giving feedback on a child's chances I assume because they don't really know if they're not on the panel and they don't know who else will be auditioning. 

 

I meant general feedback on her ability at the moment, not in relation to the audition. The panel won't give her feedback, but the teacher who sees her regularly can, and should. You can only do your best, and her teachers should be helping her to be her best.

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