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Talented at dance - can the school support this?

(13 Posts)
SugarSkyHigh Fri 12-Nov-10 15:21:22

My dd is 12yrs old and is talented at dance (she attends classes after school across the week, and a special academy in London on Saturdays for children with potential). I never thought of her as in the category of G&T but actually she is, and has special requirements in order to fulfil her potential. The school don't seem to have a G&T policy - can anyone suggest a way forward?

cory Fri 12-Nov-10 19:44:02

They may be able to support it to some extent, but if she is truly talented then the kind of tuition she needs may well be too expensive for the school.

Dd has a friend who is talented at swimming (as in, Olympics have been mentioned); there is no way the LEA can afford that kind of coaching. My brother travelled across the country every weekend to take violin lessons from a maestro- again, rather more than could be covered from the average school budget (probably cost about the same as their whole arts budget).

But the school may be able to support/extend her in some other way: do they do drama classes for instance? Can she help in organising dance performances/Rock Challenge/choreograph the school play/the Shakespeare Schools festival?

SugarSkyHigh Sun 14-Nov-10 21:24:55

Hi Cory thanks for your answer - I'm not actually bothered about her getting tuition at school - the tuition she gets outside school is great and she is keeping up with the levels they would be at, at her age in vocational ballet school.

I am more concerned about the school understanding and supporting her in dance - they have a "dance club" (nothing like the sort of dance she does outside school, more like a fun thing) and because she is so good they are very keen that she takes part in their dance competitions with other schools, etc. but because they don't really know what they are doing (they are p.e. teachers) my daughter has ended up injuring her back (doing some weird movement without a proper warm-up). As a result she has had to rest for the past week, thereby missing out on a week's training.

cory Sun 14-Nov-10 22:19:47

I would send in a note to explain that your dd needs to be responsible for her own warming up if she is to take part in dance competitions. She is 12, so should be capable of doing that.

cory Sun 14-Nov-10 22:21:19

But don't really see how health & safety issues like warming up would come under the G&T policy: presumably a less gifted child would be equally at risk if performing strange movements without proper warming up?

seeker Sun 14-Nov-10 22:24:46

Puzzled by this. Surely a talented 12 year old dancer would understand warm up? And so would pe teachers?

sparks Mon 15-Nov-10 13:38:51

My dd is similar, loves to dance, attends lots of dance classes during the week, is in a dance club at her school.

What specific steps would you like the school to take to 'understand and support' your dd?

Have you spoken to dd's form tutor about your concerns? Form tutor would be my first point of contact.

I'm assuming from what you have said that dance is not part of the regular curriculum and they don't have a specialist dance teacher. If that is the case, it's hard to see what they realistically can provide.

JiggeryPoverty Mon 15-Nov-10 13:43:10

Is dance part of the curriculum, or it is an afterschool/lunchtime extra?

I'm not sure they're obliged to help/support her if it's not part of the curriculum.

If you think the school dance club is detrimental to her outside school dancing, maybe she shouldn't do it at school at all? Might be worth concentrating on her outside school dancing activities.

One of mine has outside school music lessons for similar reasons, so I do get where you're coming from.

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 15-Nov-10 17:52:35

Message withdrawn

scurryfunge Mon 15-Nov-10 17:59:50

Could you think about sending her to a performing arts college or a specialist sports college where dance is recognised.

SugarSkyHigh Thu 18-Nov-10 15:43:45

Hello again all - only just got back online to check the thread. Yes she should be responsible for her own warmup and actually is more than capable of it - I think Cory that it's a very good idea of yours to send in a letter saying that she needs to do her own warmup. Then they can support her to do it rather than her feeling like a freak when no one else is bothering! from what I can gather she injured her back because it was a bit of a strange move and i think she threw herself into it rather more zestfully shall we say, than the other girls! Have now seen physio and it will be ok with more rest and ibuprofen. Seeker yes I agree with you - PE teachers should understand the importance of warm up... I expect they do, really, it's just that I suspect that PE warming up is different to ballet? I'm not sure. I know you do some very specific ballet barre work to warm up and a barre can take half an hour.

SugarSkyHigh Thu 18-Nov-10 15:47:44

Scurryfunge yes we are thinking of her going to vocational school for sixth form, although she would like to apply sooner.

I have considered stopping her doing dance at school ( she does so much outside school anyway)! but it's the only thing she likes doing at school! it's good for her self-esteem too, because she doesn't stand out academically.

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 15:52:41

I wouldn't stop her dancing altogether but it would improve her self esteem and confidence if she got involved in teaching some of the younger ones. She could lead class warm ups herself. Are there any independent awards/qualifications she could work on to keep her motivated in school?

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