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Has anyones 16yo gone away to college?

(36 Posts)
KatyMac Sun 07-Oct-12 16:23:03

How did you deal with the practicalities (emotionally I will be a wreak but I need something to concentrate on)?

Did they live in digs or halls or did you arrange something?

Leaving home at 18 it is hard enough to manage finances; I imagine it is worse at 16!

Any handy tips or hints?

How did your DD/DS cope emotionally?

KatyMac Fri 29-Mar-13 22:35:53

It's been an interesting few months - so much has changed

We went to London Studio Centre yesterday & they def only take from 18 (well possibly from 16 but only if you have the UCAS points)

I'm coping better with the idea of her going away; she managed Urdang in February without too much stress. She was all set to go away again (Bodyworks) next week but it was cancelled on Wed (very last minute)

& she didn't get into YMT (but she auditioned in the midst of Glandular Fever)

Her 'favourite' places to Audition so far are Urdang, Bodyworks & Millenium - but she wants to see Laine, Bird, Arts Ed & Performers before she finalises her decision.

She is also looking at StageWorks (In St Neots) as a possible level 3 course for 16; she looked at Ipswich but didn't fancy it much

KatyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 22:11:13

Thanks - apparently it might be £1200 or so <gulp>

EvilTwins Thu 25-Oct-12 22:07:52

Definitely worth giving it a go. The YMT website doesn't mention specific age limits other than the "mostly 16-21" thing, by which I guess they mean they will make exceptions where appropriate. The more experience she can get, the better. BTW, the friend I mentioned up-thread who went at 16 went to the London Studio Centre- it suited her.

KatyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 21:58:26

Well yes but I doubt they want an ungraded African Drummer (Djembe) grin - they were talking about grade 8 shock

She can sing & dance (& is better at dancing)

EvilTwins Thu 25-Oct-12 21:54:27

Does she play an instrument ? Looks like they want actor/singer/musicians.

KatyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 21:43:28

It was that particular show DD fancied; everyone at dance school 'ignores' her Latin & DD loves it so much - it would be fun to 'do' something with it iyswim

I'm not sure we could spend all that money on something she was less interested in <spoilt brat>

EvilTwins Thu 25-Oct-12 21:39:01

Katy - an ex-student of mine did a YMT course a couple of years ago and he loved it. He was 19 at the time- just finished his first year at uni. What about NYMT? They recruit from 14 yrs- have a look at their website. Next lot of (regional) auditions are in the New Year, I think.

KatyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:07

Eastpoint, I'm not sure she is ready yet; there is a good 18m to go before final decisions need to be made. I do think she would love it there - but I can't see anything about open days

littlemisstax - I sent you something by PM

littlemisstax Thu 25-Oct-12 20:11:39


Eastpoint Thu 25-Oct-12 20:08:06

She could do her A levels at Arts Ed, or if she is really desperate to dance could transfer there after Christmas. I think they have families pupils can live with if they aren't based locally. The school starts at Yr 7.

KatyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 19:53:32

Thanks Startailoforangeandgold

Well littlemisstax I just took a big chance & emailed them & I am sat here chewing my nails trying to second guess if I was right to or not

littlemisstax Thu 25-Oct-12 19:47:16

I've not read it in detail KatyMac, but are you sure she's too young? It says "mostly 16-21" so they may take her

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 24-Oct-12 23:06:10

My BF at uni was 17. The only effect it had was that she had to live in halls.

No ID in those days so she drank just as
much or as little as the rest of us.

She said she noticed it far more at school, because she's short and PE etc were a nightmare.
(she'd been homeschooled by her teacher Mum and came back to the UK way way ahead of her year).

KatyMac Mon 22-Oct-12 18:03:27

It's very confusing for me

We just found this & I can't tell her about it because she is too young for it; but it is right up her street!!

Arts Ed is from 18 isn't it, I haven't looked at London Studio Centre - I'll have a look at that - I thought to split the open days between this year & next and also look at colleges at Move it

purplepenguin86 Mon 22-Oct-12 00:24:08

If she's only 14 it sounds like she is fairly on track. She does need to really focus on her ballet in particular over the next couple of years - as Darkest said she wants to be aiming at Inter standard in ballet and modern for when she is auditioning. Tap is useful to have, but she won't be auditioned on it, so it is less of a concern at this point really. Good she is doing the local CAT - what does yours focus on? Some have a more contemporary focus and others are more classical etc. It might be worth her auditioning for EYB next time it is in your area - it's really useful to get some classical performing experience.

Ballroom/Latin/African are by no means worthless, and could be very useful for her, but in terms of auditioning for colleges they are unlikely to be much help, apart from in that she will have learnt and grown from the experience she has gained from them. However, if in 5 years time she is at an audition for Dirty Dancing or The Lion King for example, they could prove invaluable, and be the difference between her getting the job, and someone else getting it. Nothing is worthless - there are just some things that are useful in that she WILL be auditioned in them, such as ballet/jazz, and other things that are useful in that they can get her jobs in the future, such as tap/ballroom/latin/African.

The singing is great if she is interested in Musical Theatre. The grades are less important - she doesn't need to be at a particular grade for that, it just matters how she sounds!

Depending on whether she decides to go for musical theatre or jazz or contemporary etc there are different colleges to look at. For an all rounder I would suggest London Studio Centre, as they don't have to specialise there until their final year, and she will reach a good level in all areas of dance there. Millenium is quite well thought of at the moment, and graduates from Bird and Laine always do well (personally I dislike Laine, but there is no denying that their graduates work). Don't look at Italia Conti unless she decides to go for musical theatre. If she decides to wait until 18 then LIPA is very good, and for Musical Theatre Arts Ed is arguably the best. If she decides to go down a contemporary route then you want to be looking at different schools again (with the possible exception of London Studio Centre). But wait and see how she develops over the next year, and where she thinks her interests lie.

KatyMac Sun 21-Oct-12 19:46:35

The first big step is a course in London next Feb; we have arranged accommodation for her with family

Which is a massive weight off my shoulders

KatyMac Sat 20-Oct-12 18:56:14

Aww Thanks Mutteroo

It is hard being a mum

Mutteroo Sat 20-Oct-12 13:54:58

Look for somehow here that has good pastoral support. As long as you have people keeping an eye on your DD and making sure she's eating, sleeping and enjoying the experience, she'll be fine. Of course it will be hell for you! Make sure your talented young lady feels confident and work through any homesickness should it arise. Last little bit; make sure DD realises you are 100% behind her decision to board. If she feels your anxiety it is likely to rub off on her. You have time to get used to the idea and worrying about it isn't going to help anyone. If you ar yet to look at colleges and speak to the staff and pupils. Take a list of questions and make sure you happy content with the replies. Talk to your DD aboit her expectations and make sure they're realistic. You are bound to feel nervous because it's the fear of the unknown but it will get better.

How do I know all this? DS boarded from age 13 to 16 and has returned home for sixth form. Can't tell you how happy I am to have him home! In his time away, he has gained a well developed sense of maturity and a brilliant way of tolerating those around him. He had a very short fuse three years ago and now he even gets on with his older sister! Never thought that would happen? When DS said he wanted to go to the local sixth form college, while I was pleased to have him living at home again, I was also happy for him to continue where he was because I knew he was well looked after. Money can't buy that reassurance, it just builds up over time.

Good luck to your daughter. I hope she's able to live her dreams and be th success she dreams of. OP, be that strong parent you know you are.

KatyMac Sat 20-Oct-12 09:54:41

She is ISTD & studying Grade 6 & the next one (is that intermediate?) atm

I have PM'd you - thanks

I think DD is quite confused atm tbh; she 'needs' to dance

TheDarkestNight Sat 20-Oct-12 09:51:12

What sort of marks is she getting in the exams? What really matters is quality of dancing, of course, but I'd expect someone to be Intermediate-ish in everything by the time they're 16. Do you know what exam board she's with?
Hammond is nice, too. Is your DD thinking about doing musical theatre, or does she want to focus on dance, IME dance courses are usually quite ballet-heavy, especially at interview. Ballet is seen as the cornerstone of dance, so they want it to be of a fairly good standard. I'm not sure, but I think for musical theatre they might be a little more forgiving, especially with someone like your DD, who has so many other skills to offer.
If you want any advice, please PM me. I'm no expert, but I've been through the process myself, and would do my best to help.

KatyMac Sat 20-Oct-12 07:30:11

She is 14 (yr10), she started Ballet last September & did her Grade 5 in May started Tap & Jazz in January & just aced Grade 2 & Bronze respectively.

She is about to start Modern, with a view to doing Grade 5 next year

She also does Ballroom & Latin (which are apparently 'worthless') and African.

She is in 2 choirs and has singing lessons (working towards Grade 5 - I think)

She has 'starred' in a local Youth pantomime hopefully passed her BTec Dance (should know by Christmas)

She attends the local Centre for Advanced Training (p7)
& spends half her life of stage - normally Choir,Drumming or African Dance. With a few B&L comps thrown in & last weekend a Talent Show

But she isn't really 'Ballet'; I like the look of Italia Conti (as the teaching is important to me) or Urdang (as there are different levels/types of dance). Tring seems too Ballet but for some reason Hammond also appeals.

The main difficulty imo is the absence of advise, the teacher either don't know or contradict each other; I'm putting a lot of hope in the pre-audition course being realistic & Laine also have a pre-audition day. But I am out of my depth

TheDarkestNight Sat 20-Oct-12 01:55:01

I moved away at 16 - similar reasons to your daughter, KatyMac. I lived in halls with students from the local university, and was fine. However, I did know some girls who struggled a lot more. If she's really committed, she'll probably have thought it though fairly hard herself. I know I had. The courses you have planned sound great and it looks as if you and your daughter are being realistic in weighing up all the options. Have you looked at Tring? They board right through to 6th form and have a good MT course. To me the pastoral care seemed a bit overwhelming when I auditioned, however if your daughter needs a little more support it could be worth a look.

purplepenguin86 Sat 20-Oct-12 01:18:28

So how old is she now? What sort of standard is she at? If she does pure dance what style would it be? Different colleges have different strengths so she needs to consider her aims when looking at colleges. For some reason I thought you were in Scotland and I have no idea why confused Don't worry overly about the cleaning/washing stuff - she'd get the hang of it soon enough!

KatyMac Fri 19-Oct-12 22:52:45

We booked some open days today hmm <gulp>

KatyMac Fri 19-Oct-12 07:42:55

She hasn't been away, although she has done the normal school trips & group holidays; so being away is OK (under those circumstances)

She is looking at doing the Urdang pre-audition course in Feb; which would hopefully give her the feedback she needs you know:
#can she hack it as a dancer
#how much work she needs to do to get there
#if pure dance or MT would be better for her

& then maybe an Italia Conti course (or somewhere else) in the summer and repeating the pre-audition course in Oct to see if she has been able to put into practise anything they have suggested

On another thread I am trying to get my head around her travelling in London by herself <gulp>

But she can cook, use public transport (albeit in Norfolk), balance her cheque book bank account; we need to work on cleaning her own space, washing her own clothes and I'm not sure what else she needs to be able to do

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