Think we've made a mistake.

(18 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 21:51:22

I think it was finding out that a talented child we met on the open day hadnt got in was one of the things that made me think it was beyond dd.

I was obviously wrong.

gottogetbusy Wed 10-Jul-13 20:57:27

I think truly optional selective exams put parents in a difficult position.

It ought to be the exam result that gives the suitability or not, with anyone and everyone entering just because they fancy that school. In theory!

In practice by entering a dc you're saying you think they might pass, and if you're way off in that judgement you can feel foolish, because someone being deluded about how clever/talented their own child is such a classic parenting conceit that other people enjoy bringing down.

I've known people be nervous of mentioning the 11+ for fear that people will think they're embarrassingly overestimating their child's abilities. So I know where you were coming from when you were unsure at first.

I'm glad your dd has the place she wants now.

BadgerB Wed 10-Jul-13 18:47:59

Good for your DD! Hope she loves it and does well.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 10-Jul-13 18:38:45

Just found this thread.

To update. We found out that the school hasn't filled all its places. Applied for a late audition and dd starts in September.

wol1968 Mon 18-Mar-13 12:50:37

I wouldn't stress. My SIL had a chance to try out for the Royal Ballet, and got quite far into the selection process, but her mum decided she didn't want her to go because (a) she didn't like the narrowness of the environment (b) because there was no guarantee she'd get anything at the end of the training and (c) because if she had to give up because she couldn't hack the training or turned out to be physically unsuited, she'd have burnt her bridges WRT any other form of dance, as the training is so specialised. SIL went to Laine at 16 in the end and spent a happy few subsequent years bumming around dancing in hotels in Japan and China and Hong Kong. She couldn't get anything in West End shows as she was too short (I think you have to be min. 5ft 6 or 5ft 7, and no taller than 5 ft 10 for musicals. Choose your genetics carefully!) She is now a beauty therapist training to teach her skills.

To sum up, even for the most talented, dance training can amount more to a highly polished lottery ticket than a preparation for a career. The more strings your DD has to her bow, the better, I'd say.

If she wants to do musical theatre then she won't be disadvantaged by not going to a stage school. It isn't like ballet, where you really need that intensive training at a young age. As long as she goes to a good dance school and keeps up with it during secondary school she won't be any behind children who have been through Sylvia Young or any of the other stage schools. I used to dance with a girl who had been to Sylvia Young and had then come back to her home area for 6th Form, and her dance was no better than her peers who had just been dancing after school at the local dance school, and not as good as some. The vast majority of children who have been through stage school and still want to perform as adults go on to train at a dance or drama college post 16 anyway, so I really don't think it makes any difference ultimately whether they have been in stage school for 5 years prior to that or not. I know you know all of this, but it can be hard having confidence in decisions you have made. I really don't think there is any need to train full time pre 16 unless she wants a classical career, and even then 16 isn't too late if you have the natural ability and good local training, and perhaps an associate programme - just look at Melissa Hamilton!

LondonMother Sun 17-Mar-13 08:56:10

I wouldn't beat yourself up about this too much, pictures. I take it she's currently 10 or 11. That's still very young. A good general education is the most important thing and there will be other opportunities to transfer to a specialist school when she is older if she continues to do well and to be really interested in dance. If you have family connections, that is bound to help - inside knowledge, contacts, good example, realistic expectations etc. At her new school she will probably have the chance to get involved in school productions and that will be all to the good.

If she went to a specialist dance school now you might find in a year or two that she grows too tall or her build is just not right for a professional dancer, or she might just lose interest as she moves into her teens.

I expect to be flamed for this, but personally I would also worry about eating disorders. I used to have a colleague who trained with the Royal Ballet when younger. She told me horror stories about trying to keep her weight down to the required level and the disordered thinking that led to both in students and teachers. The bit that particularly sticks in my mind is that when she was in class, in her leotard and tights, desperately hungry after eating a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese and a lettuce leaf, the teacher would scrutinise her body shape and bark out 'Burger and chips again, Emma?'

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 16-Mar-13 22:42:32

She wants a career in musical theatre. We can't discourage her seeing as how dh is in that profession it would be hypocritical.

ReallyTired Sat 16-Mar-13 21:48:04

Whether you send your daughter to a specialist school for dance depends on whether you want to encourage her to become a dancer or persue a different career. Dancers have short lived careers and its extremely competitive.

SanityClause Sat 16-Mar-13 20:49:14

Whatever she does in life, it's likely she will encounter failure, and have to learn to pick herself up, dust herself off, and come up with plan B.

If she had tried and hadn't got into the school, it would've given her a really good lesson in that. (And one feature of dancers' careers is they have to face a lot of rejection.) It wouldn't necessarily mean the end to a dancing career. Or she might have taken it as that, and formulated a new dream.

But to give her the idea that she shouldn't try something, because she might <gasp> fail! Well, that IMO, is just wrong, and is a major part of the reason why females in our society achieve less, despite having the same abilities as males.

LandofTute Sat 16-Mar-13 20:24:48

Your daughter can still continue her dancing though and may be able to get into a dance school later on if she has the aptitude. I think there is an argument for not specialising too early. It sounds like the school she is going to is a good one that she is happy to go to and she may find while there that her strengths lie in other areas instead. All is not lost OP smile

adeucalione Thu 14-Mar-13 17:02:54

I think you were in a very difficult situation OP. Nobody wants to teach their child that they shouldn't aim high, but I think parents also have a duty to manage expectations. Every year DC watch the X Factor auditions, and marvel at how many families are there supporting their tone deaf offspring, and we always say 'why didn't anyone tell them they couldn't sing'!

In your case OP it is impossible to know whether you did the right thing or not (without seeing your DD dance!) but if you felt in your heart that she was not of a high enough standard, did not have the necessary focus or indeed the support of her dance teacher, then I can certainly understand why you made the decision you did.

IslaValargeone Thu 14-Mar-13 16:36:00

Those excuses comments aside, in my opinion the issue is that you appear to have undermined your dd's confidence as well as suggesting it is acceptable not to try something in case you fail.
That's an awful example to be setting a young person.

Aim for the stars and you might just hit the ceiling, aim for the ceiling and you'll never get off the ground. As someone much wiser than me once said.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Mar-13 16:12:31

We also wernt sure that's what she 100% wanted and whether she should specialise so early. Since the application dates she has become more focused though.

We would have had to get references from her dance teacher and to be fair her teacher never said dd was if that sort if calibre.

seeker Thu 14-Mar-13 15:41:11

How would anyone have looked foolish?

marchart Thu 14-Mar-13 15:38:26

It's really sad that your dd didn't feel confident enough to apply for the specialist school. It's okay to apply for a school and not to be offered a place; it means that the school isn't right for you, and that's a good lesson to learn.

IslaValargeone Thu 14-Mar-13 15:35:37

Well yes you should have let her try.
"We didn't want to look foolish if she didn't get in"
You also think that it was you that gave her the idea that she wasn't good enough.
Poor kid.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Mar-13 15:31:38

Dd went on a taster day last year for a specialist school . She loved it but decided not to apply as she didn't think she was good enough. I think maybe we put that thought into her head as we didn't want to look foolish if she didn't get in

She has a place at a private school for September and is happy as lots of her friends are going there but I think we made a mistake not even trying. She would have loved the school. It would have saved us a lot of money.

She probably wouldn't have got in but we should have let her try.

Nothing to be done now but just needed to get it off my chest.

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