At what point does it stop being 'Extra-curricular' & what does it become then?(79 Posts)
Is it vocational?
I mean DD hit that about 12 months ago; but I still don't really know what to call it. And I have those stupid conversations with people about how much she dances, & why she doesn't go to guides/youth club/parties/PE at school and yes actually she does intend to do it for a living
How do you describe your DC's activity?
ALthough today I was asked if it was fair letting her compete in Sports Day (at Dance) as she was practically professional.....so some people understand
How old is your daughter? Mine is only 6 so we are still firmly in "extra-curricular"!!
15 with the intent to move to Performing Arts School at 16......14months from now
If she is good enough
I was talking to my mum about this the other day actually. We decided once you hit the stage at which you're not just doing it for pleasure anymore and you intend to make it your career, it becomes something other than extra curricular. 'Training' works, but then I have a cousin a few months older than me who was doing 15ish hours rowing training a week by 14, he was never aiming for GB squads or anything like that, that's just the amount of training you have to put into rowing if you want to compete even at recreational level. At the same time, I was doing close to 20 hours dancing a week, and I was intending to do it professionally. But the level of commitment he was putting into what he would describe as an 'extra-curricular' activity was not far off what I was putting into 'vocational' training IYSWIM. The difference is that 'recreational' junior rowing training is almost always 4-6 days a week training, whereas 'recreational' dancing at the same age can be as little as 1 day a week.
When I then changed my mind and decided I wanted to go into acting instead, I was probably only doing 4-5 hours maximum outside drama GCSE/A level etc at school on a regular basis, if you exclude rehearsal hours which weren't consistent. I was probably dancing about 10-12 hours a week but it was for pleasure rather than because I wanted to be a professional dancer, so most weeks my 'vocational' activity was taking up less than half the time my 'extra curricular' activity was, and my cousin's recreational rowing by this point was probably taking up the time of vocational drama and recreational dancing for me put together. The key difference was that when it got to exam season, the rowing hours and the dance hours were dropped to make room for revision. The drama hours were unaffected.
So by my definition, an 'extra curricular' activity becomes something other than extra curricular (vocational maybe?) when it becomes training for a future career rather than just for pleasure, and can't be missed or cut down on hours wise in order to prioritise anything else. But whether that makes any sort of sense or not is debatable
How is your DD getting on Katy?
She is fine; I'm agonising over where she goes to 6th form.....it's a nightmare & all my conversations revert to it
It's not about hours I guess
DD does 18+ hours a week
Definitely not about hours. Don't know if you're familiar with the US competition dance scene (which is more rhythmic gymnastics without the apparatus IMO, having taught dance there briefly) but this is a reasonable example of what the top level petite dancers (age 8 and under) on the West Coast are doing. The Prayer This little girl and the children she competes against will be doing around 10-14 hours dance per week, but very few of them will intend to go on to dance professionally, few will still be doing those hours when they hit their teens and those who do go on to dance professionally as adults will be extremely unlikely to perform the 'trick' elements of dance on a regular basis. But the number of hours they do per week aren't far off what a child tipped for an Olympic career would be doing at the same age in their chosen sport. That makes it seem as if it's more about mindset than anything else.
She will be fine, wherever she goes. I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason. Sure I've asked this before but has she got an idea of the sorts of places she would like to go to and her long term goals?
Gosh this is scary (& I knew this would be you Katy). I almost posted an identical thread title a couple if weeks ago
I guess dd aged 11 hit that point earlier in the year when she auditioned for full time vocational dance school for Year 7 and also decided that trampolining was too dangerous, family holidays could be better spent in summer school & year 6 leavers party was less important than being in the final show rehearsal.
Great minds hey Pictures
or fools seldom differ
Umm Urdang (visited) is her favourite, Bodyworks (end of August) is mine (Cambridge vs London) - Millenium (visited) is good for both of us
Performers, The Centre, Northern Ballet, Tring, Masters are being considered
Arts Ed, Italia Conti (plan B colleges) also under consideration
Stella Mann, Stageworks, London Studio Centre (only from 18 but if she does plan B this is a favourite for afterwards) have been rejected
But open to other suggestions plus more solid plan B colleges.........
No personal experience of musical theatre courses but a couple I danced with went on to do musical theatre at the Brit School, has she considered there? Not sure whether it would be a plan A or B option for her though.
It's a Plan B (BTEC level 3) & incredibly difficult to get into; but it is on her list (I just forgot)
Bird & Laine are on the no list too (I forgot them too)
I think the plan is:
Try for a level 6 & a DADA
If you don't get a place or funding try for a level 3 & a scholarship (plan B)
If you don't get a place or a scholarship cry (plan C)
Ah OK. FWIW it's good she has a decent number on her list she's considering (that's the mistake I made first time round ).
Sounds like a good plan, but can I suggest the following amendment
Plan C: if no place/scholarship keep calm, breathe, assess what she's good at and what needs improving, enroll in more pre-vocational courses for September 2014, maybe find a part-time job for the time being and re-audition the following year
Yeah, that might work for DD - but me? I'll just cry
DD's favourite quote atm is "it's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle"
That's only natural, my mum was more upset than I was when I failed to get a drama school place first time around. I think it's actually harder for the parents to cope with disappointment than the child experiencing it first hand, I remember feeling hugely disappointed but I picked myself up very quickly.
Love that quote! My ballet teacher used to work through stress/disappointment/nerves etc 'one pirouette at a time'
The thing is (& I have said this before about other children) the teenage years are not really a good emotional time to make decisions about the future
I've always been an advocate of letting teens work until early 20s before they make life decisions; of course that's not possible with dance
I couldn't agree more, even the teenagers who know exactly what they want to do aren't often mature enough to come up with reasonable back-up plans and be realistic about their chances, I was a brilliant example of that at 17. One extra year made a huge difference to me, but like you say, much harder to do in dance.
This is where I think in some ways, the US competition scene actually has the right idea. Think Blackpool ballroom in terms of the makeup and the costumes, which I'm not completely sure I agree with. But the plus side is that all involved are expected to commit similar hours a week to gymnastics in the UK, I've taught 8 year olds out there who were doing 3 hours of ballet, 2 hours tap, 3 hours jazz/lyrical combined and that was just the technique classes. The advantage is that the hours children like your DD commit to dance are 'normalised' in a sense, you have a similar situation to rowing where the hours the kids aiming to be professional are doing don't have to be too far off the recreational kids. It's not so much about the hours you're doing as it is about how hard you work in those hours and natural ability, which in theory means anyone in a 'serious' studio is doing enough work to be a professional dancer. That means they can do it purely for enjoyment into their teens and then decide they want to go professional- they've already got the training basis. It also means high level training is more widespread, eliminating at least to a point the crazy hours of travelling dancers like your DD have to do just to get the training they need.
The disadvantage of the US dance scene is that you get pushy parents failing to see that yes, their child can do 3 back handsprings and a la secondes into an illusion, but they have zilch musicality or technique and are unlikely to make it as a professional dancer, plus are unlikely to be needing those in the real world. It becomes more and more a technical battle, because everyone can do the extreme gymnastics tricks with varying levels of technique. But that's another story for another thread.
Yes DD was both awed and horrified by that clip - the flexibilty & the skill vs the repetitive nature and the almost disconnectedness of the dancer
I just don't know at this stage if DD will go at 16, I wish she had gone at 14 or even 11 as then this stage would be much more predictable.
I wonder how many 16yos get in first time of auditioning
Well the thing to also remember that she will probably be "retiring" from her 1st career at the end on her twenties to mid-thirties.
I keep pointing that out to people who think I'm mad letting her go
She will be a mature student from 23 & learning is lifelong imo so starting again at 28/32 is just 'one of those things' & no different to me starting a business at 35 or completing my degree at 43
You almost have to look at it as a completely different genre. Much more like rhythmic gymnastics with some tumbling and dancing thrown in IMO, and I grew up doing a lot of this stuff (although on a lesser scale to what the US competition dancers are doing now). What's happened is that over the years dance studios have become more and more desperate to win, so they're upping the hours of technique classes they require their minis to do before they even let them compete and introducing more and more 'trick' elements to their routines. But what's required of professional dancers has remained essentially the same, which means when these kids get too old for the competition scene, their only real options if they want to use their multiple turns and tricks professionally are becoming a competition choreographer or a dance teacher. Although I wouldn't be surprised if that all changed in the next 10 years or so. What I have noticed watching Vegas Nationals clips this year is that while there are 10 year olds in California who could blow British professional dancers out of the water skill and flexibility wise, few of them have the emotional range and connection with their movements the British dancers have. A lot of the American stuff is rhythmic gymnastics with modern music and no apparatus, not dancing in the traditional sense.
But not everyone is ready to go emotionally at 11 or 14, I know I certainly wouldn't have been. Some children go at 11 and burn out by the age of 16, by which point they've sacrificed their teenage years to train for a career they don't even want anymore. It's swings and roundabouts. I know of two I danced with, one got onto musical theatre at 16 and the other onto dance, both first timers. Both were glad they left it until then rather than going earlier, which would have meant a move to London 5 hours away from their families. If she has the ability they won't hold it against her that she hasn't been in a specialist school up until now.
She did look at it as a different genre; she was complimented recently by someone who thought her ballroom/latin experience would affect her Ballet & Modern negatively - she pointed out they were different and why would she mix them
I think she is ready skill-wise now but whether she is emotionally I have no idea
I think people in the dance world tend to (unfairly) turn their noses up at ballroom and latin though, don't they? Interestingly one of my dance teachers was an ex-ballroom and latin dancer trained in the states, and trained in both 'competition' dance and ballroom simultaneously, competed in west coast dance competitions and Blackpool Dance Festival. Your DD is spot on, it's just different styles, so you approach them differently.
I think to a point you just get on with it though, she knows if she wants to be in West End shows she's going to have to get the right training, and that means moving away from home. She might take a few weeks to settle in but she'll be OK. It'll be harder for you than it will be for her! How did she get on at her audition by the way?
I'd be very interested to know what your DD thinks of this: Vienna This girl is thought of as a protege on the US dance scene, she's been undefeated in dance competitions across the US since the age of 7. Again, a very different style to over here. The sad part is I really don't know what she's going to be able to do with all her tricks and turns career wise, besides teaching. By pure coincidence the track in this video I also danced to around her age at my parents' wedding and it's been one of my favourite songs ever since, you'll see why I'm mentioning that to start with!
Lots only go at 16 Katy - it's just the pure classical dancers that really need other than want up go at 11.
A big thing for us is dd going to a school where she feels she will fit in. If it wasn't for the fact that she can commute in I don't think she would be going.
She didn't get the once a month associate & we haven't heard about the weekly one - It was last Sunday & I'm too much of a wuss to email & ask
I know, Pictures, but so many go at 18 too
Oh Katy, sorry to hear that Give them until Sunday and email on Monday if you still haven't heard anything then. On a more positive note, does she have anything else lined up for the summer/next year instead?
She'll be fine going at 16, she really will. If anything, she'll be with like-minded people who share her passion and dedication, she'll have a better support network than at school. Plus any college taking on 16 year olds will have a good pastoral care system in place.
She is going to Watkins Summer School then most of Arts Ed MT - hopefully Bodyworks in the Autumn
My biggest worry is what if she doesn't get in or is my biggest worry what if she does?
We are waiting to see if her associate scheme has funding to run in Sept
So she's got other things lined up then, she'll be OK. It's only natural to worry, as I think I've said before my mum was a nervous wreck for weeks when I got my first job and moved out at 18, I think it's the uncertain nature of performing arts that's the trouble. If I'm perfectly honest, she's probably part of the reason I'm in the middle of a degree I'll (hopefully) never need to use. If she gets in she'll go off to college, and have a great time, and then you'll be worrying about what if she doesn't get work- sorry to have to tell you that, it never ends And if she doesn't get in, she reevaluates and she tries again. I didn't get a drama place the first time I tried, I did the second time. It worked out for the best in the end.
Dd really needs to work on her ballet technique over the summer. She was due to go to MIDAS but it might be cancelled which leaves us with a conundrum as everywhere else is either booked up or at the beginning of the holidays when she isn't free.
My DDs friend (16) got offered Northen Ballet and The Hammond but was reject from Tring. 16 does seem to be a common age for getting a place.
Oh no Pictures - how awful
I know InVienna, I'm dreading that too
I know 16 is the age to go but I'm not sure she is good enough
I think it becomes a vocation when they decide they aren't going to do anything else with their life.
I don't think it is age related at all, as some people know at an early age what they want to do.
My dd is a musician, she is only 9 but its what she does and her day revolves around this.
It isn't extra curricular anymore it is curricular to her. On the other hand she dances several times a week and has done exams and shows but knows she doesn't want to do this for a career, its fun and she enjoys it as extra curricular a hobby which she will continue until it clashes with music commitments.
Instead of dd have you done your homework it's dd have you done your stretches.
I'm at a different stage to you Pictures, I don't remind about anything
I guess it becomes vocational when you state the desire to do it as a career
2/3 weeks ago the Northern Line was down
DD travelled from Norwich to London - took a different route & got to class on time
The teacher & all the other students were late - all live in London
Maybe it's about motivation - btw the same thing has happened today
DD is considering not having a plan B
I'm not sure how I feel about it
Your dd probably can't consider a plan B and all the best Artists, Entertainers, Dancers, Musicians I know, didn't have a plan B either.
She is driven and self motivating, don't worry and let her go her way.
A plan B is a cop out, for somebody who isn't serious enough.
There is no question at all for her, she knows what she is going to do.
I say good luck to her.
Maybe - I'm not sure I can convince the school of that
I am such a wuss
I know plenty of great musicians and performing arts people (some of them pretty damn famous) who have had a succession of plan Bs from their schooldays through to their professional life. Plan B doesn't have to involve not doing what you need to do, it involves different routes to where you want to be. Only an idiot doesn't have a plan B. Plan B doesn't have to involve a different profession. Katy - your DD should absolutely have several Plan Bs for different outcomes of auditions etc. even if she gets offered a place at every school she auditions for, she should still be thinking in terms of funding options, mainly circumstances etc.
My dd is aiming at drama, so slightly different, but she also has a successions of Plan B's for various stages of her life, including what-if-I-don't-get-into-stage-school (take a year out and volunteer at theatre projects and do as many workshops as possible, then re-audition) and what-if-I-don't-make-it-to-professional-actress (she has decided she would rather work with anything theatrical, e.g. drama teacher/youth theatre than nothing).
My db otoh who started training as a violinist had no Plan B, nothing beyond his dreams of becoming a soloist. After a year at the conservatoire he was told that his fingers were too stiff to make a soloist career likely and that the best he could hope for was a place in an orchestra. He didn't touch a violin again for 15 years; he was totally traumatised.
He did have a good career in a non-music related field and has done fine in life, but music was ruined for him for a long, long time and his personality really changed.
Cory The actors that I know have often had to adopt plans B and C. And in some cases, they suddenly realised plan B or C was actually the way to go even when plan A hadn't fallen through. This is partly because sometimes opportunity comes knocking and you can't predict when or what form it will take. And also, sadly, because sometimes shit happens, and it's external and completely out of your control.
Oh she has plan Bs for when she has finished college, when she doesn't get a job, when she is too old to dance any more; it's just Sept 14 that she doesn't have a plan B for
But life can hit at any time, like for my brother - gap year, sailing to Caribbean, then to Australia for 9 months windsurfing teaching; diagnosed with cancer 4 weeks before going - he is fine now btw
Pictures can I ask where you DD will be going? Obviously you might not want to say on here, but maybe a clue? I'm wondering if it might be where DD is- I think you've said before that your DH teaches at one of them?
When DD auditioned last summer it wasn't really a plan A or plan B thing. In fact it felt so alien, so far fetched, and we didn't have a clue how to make it work that we had a huge panic when she got the place.
It wasn't that we didn't have a plan B, but nothing we looked at seemed right, I just knew that she felt "out of place" and we didn't know what to do for the best. She attended a holiday school and came out after the first day and said " I want to go to that school." I understand how you feel Katy. I think if DD hadn't got a place then we would have waited til 16 or til the point where she wasn't happy, which might only have been a year or two, who knows.
What I have noticed is that at this school, which takes from Y5, there is quite a bit of transience. Some start and hate it, some can't cope with the work load. Some only intend doing a year or two. Some find out its not for them or the school decides the child isn't right for the school. It's quite a harsh environment and I am surprised how many drop by the wayside. All I care about is DD happy? And at the moment she is.
Ill PM you.
Fitting in was a big factor for us. We had actually accepted a place at an academically selective school but dd just felt at odds with everyone. She loved the academic side & the breadth of study eg philosophy but she just had a different mindset to everyone else. She went to a taster day & felt she fitted in.
Just had an amazing meeting at school; they started off with them being a bit hmm about the whole thing
After I'd discussed the whole situation:
They were awestruck at DD & the amount she does (& a little concerned)
They are worried about her GCSEs (finally) & agree she is doing too many
They are worried about her auditions & the amount of time off school she will need
They understand my need to be in regular contact with the school & DD's teachers
They agree (tentatively) with my audition strategy
But they don't have any solutions - they have to think about it
You are lucky they are thinking about it. There are a few parents on here who have been told the head will no longer agree to time off school for auditions and concerts, shows etc. Those auditioning for panto have been told to forget it, in some instances. Some are turning to H.ed as we did last year. If they are considering it, that's grat.
Dd1 has no problems getting time off school for music stuff. And she is at a very high powered school indeed. Mind you we don't take advantage, and she is highly thought of, so there is that. Dd2 will be in panto again this Xmas, as she has been for the last 3 years, no trouble at all from her school (primary). She is starting with a new flute teacher in September - the old one retired and the school were being a bit un-energetic about finding a new one, so we managed to get DD1s teacher, who teaches at her school, and also teaches at a private school very close to where we live, to take DD2 on as a private pupil (hopefully she will end up going to Dd1s school so there will be continuity). She doesn't normally teach pupils below grade 5 (dd2 has just passed grade 3) but she made an exception because of dd1. To make this possible, Dd2 will have to leave school 15 mins early on the days she has a flute lesson - the school have been fine about it (they still get a net 15 minute increase on her time in class). I had no idea how lucky we were with schools! Mind you I think it probably does help that Dd2 isn't what you would call behind in her school work.
It is worrying though if there is a trend for arts stuff to be less valued. Schools. I bet those school morethan is talking about still let kids have loads of time off for sport. It's outrageous really. Studying Music in particular is proven to have a beneficial effect on all aspects of academic education. As well as the additional skills such as discipline, team work etc that it can help with.
We knew we had made the right decision to change dds school after sitting through two hours if prize day with sporting achievement after sporting achievement. No mention of music or drama at all.
Saying that she's never had a problem getting licences for the shows/panto she's been in - just zilch acknowledgment & a music teacher who doesn't seem to like her singing much.
Well DD competed in Dance for Sports day (which I was amazed at)
I just feel a bit better that they know what we are doing, one teacher (who I really like) knew what was going on, on teacher (who I also know & like) suspected & the other (who I think makes the decisions) was completely unaware.....he was gob-smacked, completely at what she already does....never mind next year
The schools I was talking about were mentioned on here, I don't know them personally. It was in response to the new ruling of time off as educated off site. My dds school were all right about it when she attended, but apparently some have been told to forget it from September.
I heard it was schools worried about Ofsted and attendance percentages. My dds percentages were very low when we left school. This wasn't the reason though.
I think they are saying no to anything outside school tbh. I agree it absolutely stinks and so glad we don't have to worry about it happening to us.
Luckily for us one of the local education welfare officers will over rule schools if necessary for panto. & other performances and issue a licence anyway.
In fact they actually issue a booklet to head teachers saying why they must give permission unless they have string valid educational reasons.
It isn't for shows tho' it's for further/higher education (I guess a bit like a uni interview)
Apparently the school being an academy makes a difference
When dd applied to vocational school for various reasons we wanted to be low key so I just informed the head she would be attending an entrance assessment day for a potential secondary school. When she got back the secretary asked her if she'd answered all the questions
She's just (22:22) been offered a workshop in London tomorrow night; some choreographer I've never heard of (which isn't really a surprise as I don't know any choreographers)
But she'd just agreed to help out her teacher with the babies & I hate letting anyone down
What to do, what to do; sometimes I hate being a mum
Dd had her last tap & modern class tonight (the teacher is also having a career change after next weeks show) last ballet class on Saturday.
I'm going to be completely lost next year.
You'll be fine - you'll just have different problems to deal with (& they will expand to fill your empty space)
DS has asked if he can do a drama class next year.
But he doesn't want to dance
He might one day; try a different Genre
Well, clearly not all schools are saying no to anything outside school. It's possible that schools will be more likely to say yes to kids who are comfortably achieving/ahead of targets, I suppose. It does all seem a bit nuts though.
Are you sending her to the workshop Katy. I think I would.
No idea - I was supposed to reply last night; but I didn't feel I could make that sort of decision without asking her.
She says she won't go unless her teacher can find someone else to help her (which I think is a nice decision) - so I'm waiting to hear from the teacher
But conflicts between activities is a major issue in my life atm - saying let DD decide is not as easy as it sounds, there are still conflicts about priorities
She needs a plan B for September 2014 Katy, even if it's carry on with her current dance schedule, find a part time job and try again for September 2015. There's nothing scarier than all your friends talking about where they'll be going next year for college/university etc and you having nowhere to go ( and according to my mum it's even worse for the parent!) can she apply to the local college anyway, then if she doesn't get a musical theatre place she could have her as year to work on her acting and singing (theatre studies as and lots of singing lessons, plus the dancing outside of college?) When I was auditioning for drama second time round, all the stage schools wanted to know what I was doing in my year out (amateur theatre group, job auditioning, teaching dance, etc ). They want to see proof that you're actively doing something to increase your chances of getting in next time around.
Coming to this late. We may be lucky - a very high achieving school (or schools, technically the girls and boys are separate)academically that maybe, because it's selective doesn't have to "whip the kids" all the time to get the amazing results they do get- they are all quite able to catch up.
We've never had any trouble asking for politely , and getting, time off for concerts/exams( and the day time rehearsals- though these, apart from pre Xmas and if school continues into Holy week- are all schools music service on the whole). We've had a day to extend a weekend when DD2 sang in the alhambra with the ballet, we have 2 days off at the end of term for NYRO (NYRO admin... look at the term times next time, it's embarrassing) etc etc
I guess they use the " educated off site " code , and it helps that the kids are exceptionally healthy.
I'm aware there are kids who do have "vocational commitments" that take them out of school much more than my "hobbyist" kids:
DD1 had a mate who did 3 day eventing and had a gap year sponsored by Dodson and Horrell (sp?) and DS has a friend who very nearly fenced at the olympics but failed at the last selection ('sok now as he's on a sports scholarship at a very famous boarding school now LOL) . Both must have had plenty of time off even around GCSE and A levels. Don't know about DS friend, but DD1s got the grades and is now doing law after her gap year so again academically, no problem.
So I guess it depends where academic achievement fits with all the time out, and where your priorities lie vs the school wanting to educate ( and to be a ble to " prove" that have educated) your child.
It's complicated; in the sense of not having a plan B - her idea is only to audition for the local(ish) college & for no other level 3s
So either leave home for a level 6 or stay for a level 3
The problem with that is that it is to some extent a wasted year if she doesn't get in to level 6
But we aren't sure if doing the auditions for other level 3s are worth the time; because
Brit school - very hard to get into
Arts Ed - very hard to get into
Italia Conti (Guildford) - very hard to get into
So they would all be as hard to get into as the level 6s in some ways & then they increase her training from 3 yrs to 5 yrs which for a dancer is difficult
The Centre & Reynolds are also possible but I understand also difficult to get in to.....
Are you sensing a theme?
Can she go to any of these places without funding because if you can afford to pay for her then it will greatly increase her chances. Also, she needs to concentrate on her auditions above all else as she will only get one shot at them, so it may be having to say no to any extra stuff.
Nope - it's a DADA or not going
At least we can still afford for her to go IF she gets a DADA; a lot of people can't this year
The girl I'm thinking of went to LSC after GCSEs & got funding
LSC is from 18 now (as far as I can see)
It is amazing
Hope it all works out for her - is she doing Miss Dance?
A competition for 16+, heats all over the country & finals at Blackpool.
I googled - it's IDTA; we're generally ISTD so that's why we hadn't heard of it
DD is only 15 - so not this year.....we will have a look next year & see but I don't think it's really her thing
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