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English Youth Ballet Newsletters


JulieW
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Me too! The newsletter fills in a lot of detail that you don't even know about when your child is participating. I had no idea that Julianne was injured at Newcastle for instance.She really gave it her all - what a star. The newsletter gives great insight into the trials and tribulations of the company, as well as giving praise where it's due and and celebrating the successes. Dominic tells it like it is and the newsletters are always a good read.

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How strange the newsletter commenting on the three children that had left, no commitment , an insult to proffessional dancers.

and then commenting on how the girls who took there places, were of a higher standard

i feel that was very unpproffessional of them to say.

of cause the children taking there place was good they had more training , are they not forgetting they are not proffessional dancers.

and us parents are paying alot of money

i feel sorry for these children for what ever reason they left it must of been difficult , something the newsletter did not comment

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Yes it must of been difficult for both the EYB and the girls :( but they also mentioned these 3 girls felt they were too good to be swans!!! They made this decision to leave... There choice? I suppose leaving the production then left EYB feeling very let down!!! Hence why Dominic words maybe come across as being harsh... Yes?

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. I had no idea that Julianne was injured at Newcastle for instance.She really gave it her all - what a star.

 

I don't actually think that this should be celebrated. It's setting a really bad example to young dancers that it's ok to dance through an injury.

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hi charlie4dancin

we only have there words that the dancers left for that reason, i have a feeling it was alot different.

but untill we hear from the other side. suppose none of us will really no

dancerbabe82 i agree with you to dance on a injury is nothing to celebrate.

at dartford one girl was in so much pain, they still made her dance as it would of looked,unproffesional,

on there part, as other girls were much stronger, than this poor girl

i think the eyb is not as proffesional as i once thought

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you are right that there are 2 sides to each story and the reality is probably in between the 2 sides, I have had a few dealings with the EYB and always found them to be rather professional and i think they do a very good job and offer opportunities to dance in a large scale show that many dancers would not have otherwise, however, they are all very passionate about what they do, its a family type company and where they feel that they have been 'let down' and they take it personally when people do leave in rehearsals as they have 'taken' a place that could have been offered to other dancers.

 

I'm not a fan of mentioning that type of thing in a newsletter as i think we never know the back story but i suspect that Dominic was trying to phrase their disappointment and expectations, possibly not effectively.

 

I hope for those in Newcastle it doesn't impact on their decision to go back there :(

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Those of us that have had experience of EYB will know their professional approach and expectations. Yes these dancers had taken places that could have gone to other dancers. It is also the reality of life as a dancers - you are very lucky to have an offer and whatever the part there is always something to learn and most offers are going to be as a corps role. Equally you get out of it what you put in and generally those students who work hard will have improved beyond measure and gained a wonderful insight into the workings of a company.

 

Whilst Dominics words may have been clumsy these is no room for Prima Donnas and this needs to be understood. The audition and casting audition allows the company as much flexibility as possible to support emerging dancers and give opportunity and encouragement to everyone involved. Yes, you are paying to be part of the EYB experience however that does not confer the right to a particular part. Those girls who let EYB down are possibly not as good as they think they are and may possibly struggle to understand the opportunities within the profession if they have that attitude at this young age.

 

Heather

aka Taximom

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The comment "they felt they were too good to be swans - an insult to professional dancers" is very unpleasant - who knows the reasons why the girls left? It might have been financial (£420 is an awful lot to pay) but no-one wants to admit that. I hardly believe the girls left saying "I'm too good for this" which is what is being inferred in the newsletter.

 

If I were the girls' parents I'd be very angry and upset (and tempted to sue for defamation of character!)

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Having just read the newsletter, and all the above comments, (plus comments elsewhere in this forum about dancers deciding to leave EYB during rehearsals because they were unhappy about the parts they were cast in), I find myself thinking:

 

Professional dancers really do need to dance with minor injuries whether they like it or not - they have to earn a living and if they take too much time off it has an adverse effect on their career.

 

Although it is understandable that some might be unhappy with the part they have been allocated, it probably doesn't do them any good if they up and leave because of it. A career in dance very often means that you are cast in roles that you wouldn't necessarily take from choice. It's much better to adopt a positive attitude, accept what you have been given and do your best. Your turn will come.

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my understanding is that they will have paid the £420 before casting so the money is lost. The girls are no identifiable from the newsletter from what I could see and therefore there is no defamation as there is no identification ... but if it was my child i would be fuming so i can see the point :)

 

i'm rather intrigued by it all and find myself wondering what on earth happened in Newcastle :)

 

I can't believe that someone who has auditioned for the process would leave for no good reason but then again i have come across quite a few dancers in my career who have issues with accepting that they may not be as good as they think they are and think they deserve a 'better' part than they have, its hard often when they go from being a 'big fish in a small pond' to suddenly being one of the crowd. I always tell dancers that many a career is made on being a hard working understudy and it seems to me that this is the case here where they may not have stood out in casting but shone when given the opportunity to stand in.

 

I also agree that a dancer who only dances at 100% health is a dancer who will go hungry as in my experience there is always some niggle there and you find a way to either push through it or adapt, of course only for minor issues and most dancers know their limits :)

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Well, I am not going to comment on other people's decisions because there may well be more to it than meets the eye.

 

But -

 

If my dd ever tells me that she wants to pull out of a production because she thinks she's too good for the role she's been given, or that she's better than someone else and should have got that part, I know how I will react.

 

I'll tell her not to be a spoiled brat, to take a good look at her attitude, and to get on with it.

 

But then, that's just me...

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While I think that perhaps it shouldn't have been put in the newsletter I do know that the girls were out of order as my dd and her friends witnessed what happened. There was a complete lack of respect from at least one of the girls from what they told me and it's saddening to think children can speak to people like that. The girl in question has had other 'issues' too with several schools in the area so it wasn't a huge surprise to be honest. Quite a sad situation overall but who is to blame? The parents? The children? The schooling? The circumstances? A combination of several factors I guess.

 

I don't think it would prevent EYB from coming back to newcastle but I imagine they wouldn't take those girls again (in the unlikely event that they chose to audition again).

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Message to all

 

Let's not start picking the newsletters to pieces. They are available on the the EYB website for anyone to read but of course it's from their side. If those who were directly involved would like to comment, they are of course free to, but let's not make suppositions about what happened.

 

And before anyone jumps down my throat, of course you are all entitled to your opinion - as are we all on here, but as we've already discussed this a lot on the other thread, let's draw a line under it now.

 

There is an interesting point being made about dancing with injuries but can someone start another thread if they would like to talk about that more and not talk about this dancer in particular (dancers are frequently dancing with minor injuries and as long as they've taken sensible advice and they are unlikely to do further damage there's no real reason to stay of dance completely - any further comments please start another thread)

 

Thanks everyone :)

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Yes dancers should never be picky about parts - a part is a job at the end of the day, and bratty teenagers will never go far as dancers BUT what was written the a newsletter which will last forever a) did not need to be written at all, or B) if they wanted to make a point about people letting down a cast which IS unprofessional I personally feel there are more appropriate ways of wording that point.

 

Secondly - NO DANCER SHOULD HAVE TO DANCE THROUGH AN INJURY. Ever.

 

Ok so this is my personal view but there is evidence that shows that dancers who dance through injuries are much more likely to have more severe injuries later which will end a career. Another point is that dancers don't actually need to suffer injuries. The vast majority can be avoided. I refer to a previously quoted statistic that I think came from dance UK - the injury rate in ballet is 80%. The injury rate in rugby is 30%. Prevention and early recognition saves time and gets the dancers back on stage quicker in the long run.

 

By accepting that "it's how it is" and "everyone does it" the cycle will continue, and nothing will ever change. By letting young dancers believe that it's the only way and congratulating dancers for dancing when injured - eg "well done, good girl/boy you didn't show the pain on your face, look at so and so, isn't she brave for dancing with a broken toe" etc etc your young DD and DS are not only accepting it, but thinking that it is something that will get them praise.

 

"Professional dancers really do need to dance with minor injuries whether they like it or not - they have to earn a living and if they take too much time off it has an adverse effect on their career."

 

Taxi4ballet:I hope your young dancers don't think that this is true. If they don't take time off with minor injury, they will end up with a major injury, which will force them out for a hell of a lot longer. And possibly end their career.

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If I may add my tuppence worth, the issue of Julianne - who is an adult and a professional dancer - choosing for herself to dance with an injury, is entirely her perogative. She is old and experienced enough to know her own body, so that is entirely up to her.

 

With regards to "the girl at Dartford" being made to dance whilst in pain, we don't know the circumstances so shouldn't discuss it.

 

At EYB, you audition; if accepted you pay your fee (and they give you the option to pay in instalments, thank goodness!) and then - usually around 2 months AFTER you've paid in full, you have casting day. So we can probably safely say that whatever reason the girls had for pulling out after casting day, it wouldn't have been financial.

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On a positive note my ds is delighted to see his name in the latest EYB newsletter, as one of the group that won Miss Lewis’s special award.

 

I was hoping that Newcastle would be memorable to the EYB staff this year for having 13 boys. I sincerely hope it won’t be infamous for rudeness upsetting Miss Lewis. We want them to come back!

 

I defend Dominic’s right to show the hurt and upset the staff felt at what happened, and how unprofessional this behaviour is seen in the real ballet world. I can only refer back to the thread about corps de ballet dancers, and reiterate how Swan Lake is the epitome of a ballet that showcases the talents and strengths of the corps de ballet. To have the experience of learning the choreography of the swans, only somewhat modified, is something that should be valued by any dancer hoping for a professional career, or indeed any dancer who loves the grace of the of beautiful lines and movements of the corps in this ballet.

Edited by amum/Cathy
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hi charlie4dancin

we only have there words that the dancers left for that reason, i have a feeling it was alot different.

but untill we hear from the other side. suppose none of us will really no

dancerbabe82 i agree with you to dance on a injury is nothing to celebrate.

at dartford one girl was in so much pain, they still made her dance as it would of looked,unproffesional,

on there part, as other girls were much stronger, than this poor girl

i think the eyb is not as proffesional as i once thought

 

Unfortunately Dominic was correct in what he said.... two of the girls did leave because they felt that that they should have been cast a better part, and they had stated that being a swan was basically beneath what they felt they were capable of..... i know this as fact as my DD was also witness to some of the incidents which occured. I do not know why the other girl left but i did advise my DD that whatever part is given you should be happy with (fortunately both times my DD has danced with EYB she has been very happy with her part) however i wanted her to understand that it is about commitement, team work etc.......Aurora is certainly correct in saying that one of the girls possibly had a number of "issues" she has been to 52 dance schools in the North East Including my DD's however none were good enough????? and this came direct from her mothers mouth in the staff room !!

 

I am not sure whether it should have been put in the newsletter i would imagine alot of the parents were aware of the situation but i feel it clouds the success that the show was for all of our children who continued, however understand that EYB were upset over the behaviour of these 3 girls.

 

As to Julieanne dancing with injury, only she knows how bad her injury is and as a prefessional made that judgement as to whether she was able to perform.

 

Hopefully the behaviour of others won't prevent EYB from returning to Newcastle and they did say they had been invited back in 2014 and my DD is looking forward to them coming back whatever part she may get :)

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Some months ago I had a conversation with another mum whilst waiting to collect dd at the end of a workshop.

 

She was complaining about the part her dd had been given in a performance (not EYB). She said it had been a complete waste of time and money, her dd was hardly on stage, and hadn't even been given a solo (!) They wouldn't be bothering again and wouldn't recommend it to anybody.

 

Later on, my dd and this woman's dd came out together, having made friends during the day.

 

In the car on the way home, my dd was saying that the girl had told her what a wonderful time she had performing in this production, she had loved every minute, and couldn't wait to do it again.

 

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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Indeed it does. EYB do like to ensure that everyone gets at least two "dances". My dd wasn't particularly delighted about being in a stuffy padded mouse costume with full headgear in Nutcracker, but she did like the steps. The disappointment was eradicated by also being a Mirliton though, with their lovely dance and pretty costume, so she was fine about it all.

 

I really think EYB try to be as fair as possible when casting, and they do their best to try to ensure that everyone gets a good amount of time on stage.

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On a positive note my ds is delighted to see his name in the latest EYB newsletter, as one of the group that won Miss Lewis’s special award.

 

I was hoping that Newcastle would be memorable to the EYB staff this year for having 13 boys. I sincerely hope it won’t be infamous for rudeness upsetting Miss Lewis. We want them to come back!

 

 

 

I don't think it will be the first or the last time Miss Lewis will be upset .......a few years ago when my dd did EYB she couldn't believe it when she and her friends saw Miss Lewis stuff a bouquet of flowers in the bin .......they were an apology for dropping out !

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It is very difficult for these youth companies to give everyone equal amounts of time on stage. I have been involved with a youth company since it started and every child will be in a dance in the ballet and another dance in the first half, though the time on stage can vary especially for the younger dancers. For the older students they may do more.

 

When my DS performed with London Children's I felt he did very little but I didn't feel it was my place to say as each dancer has their role to play in the bigger picture. I've watch RB when some dancers have just sat on the side of stage and not actually danced.

 

With the company I've been involved with dancers know the role cast before rehearsals start, there have been some who don't accept maybe due to the part cast I guess as they turn the part down at least we know before we start. There have been people drop out during rehearsals usually due to illness or they thought they could fit in rehearsals around other commitments then found they couldn't.

 

I enoy reading EYB newsletters even though we have never done EYB but have found the tone sometimes very negative about attendance, again from experience I think some children just try to do to much and have other priorities and yours isn't the same as theirs.

 

For me if you're not there on the day I need you, you run the risk of not having a costume which fits or is only ready at the last minute. Making over 150 new costumes for each show takes planning. For us each year it's new costumes some are reused though not many, not like EYB who reuse there costumes we also like to make sure you can see the face of the performer. Did wonder how EYB could make the costumes for Swan Lake before they knew who would be taking part!

 

For me I think it is the parent rather than the child who thinks they are better than the offered part as taxi4ballet implied the children throughly enjoy the experience, but maybe the parent doesn't think they got value for money

Edited by KathyG
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In reply to children dropping out of EYB productions, my daughter has had to drop out and I had already paid. I feel it is unfair if EYB judges the children on their committment, my daughter is extremely committed in all her dance but cannot continue with EYB because I cannot get her to all the rehersals and shows, it is us after all that our children rely for this. I would be most upset if my daughter was judged because of my downfall!!!

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dancing10, reading all these comments must have been very frustrating for you, what a shame that your dd can't do the show. I'm quite sure that EYB and any other similar organisation will understand when someone has to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances or illness etc.

 

Perhaps the comments made about attendance are because (with the very short rehearsal time involved) it makes it very difficult, not only for the staff, but for the other dancers, who have to dance around empty spaces, and allow for people who are away one day and back the next.

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In one ballet company my daughter used to be involved with the chairman used to give a talk at the first rehearsal in which he always said that he never wanted to hear anyone say "I'm only a......" as EVERY part was important to the overall production even if some people had less on-stage time. The same company also said no flowers were to be sent backstage because of allergies and space but in reality it was to avoid the situation where some got flowers and others didn't. A lovely caring company that both my dd and I have fond memories of.

 

I would also like to agree totally with dancing10's comment that all too often children are criticised for a lack of commitment when in actual fact it is the parents who have control over attendance, I can never forget arriving slightly late to a drama group and while helping my dd to remove her coat and shoes quickly witnessed the teacher having a moan at a 6 year old boy for his absence the previous week. The poor boy probably couldn't even recall what he was doing the previous day let alone a week ago and really if there was a problem it should have been directed to the parent.

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Miss Lewis did try to help by saying my daughter could have permission to miss some but not all of the three dates but sometimes things happen that you cannot get around. I am feeling desperately sad for my daughter and feel I have let her down so your kind words were very much needed. Thankyou x

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