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Is emotional health & happiness always more important than quality training?

(29 Posts)
KatyMac Sat 23-Feb-13 19:50:44

DD isn't terribly happy at the school she does training at; it's been brewing over time (probably best part of a year)

The training is good & she has a scholarship; but she isn't confident and is often unhappy

She spent a week at a holiday class which she has loved and she has come home considering giving up her classes/scholarship.

I'm ambivalent as I worry about her happiness but I am a bit hmm about losing the scholarship & maybe about finishing it before anything else replaces it (not sure I want her home that much wink)

What do you think?

sittinginthesun Sat 23-Feb-13 19:58:53

Lots of questions, I'm afraid.

How old is your DD? What subject is she training in? Does she board? Was she really driven to do it in the first place, or was she told she was gifted and it would be an amazing opportunity?

KatyMac Sat 23-Feb-13 20:06:40

Dancing; and she will continue dancing at all her other classes even if we put nothing else into place - but she loses about 6 hours. She is driven to dance & lives for it but not these particular classes. In her other classes she is with students 3-5 years older than her and this school she is with children 3-5 years younger than her. It could be style, is Jazz/Ballet/Tap better for her than contemporary?

She is 15 and is anticipating a career in Musical Theatre, the week she spent as at a college she is considering (in about 18months - auditions in a year or so)

The school/scholarship 'turned up' at the same time as she realised she needed to up her game to continue with her career - serendipity maybe?

I only posted here because most people won't understand the 15-18 hours of activity outside of school as it's a bit intense

KatyMac Sat 23-Feb-13 21:34:22

The fact that she sweats more in a 45 minute class outside of the school & barely sweats over a 6 hour session with 3 x 1.5 hr classes says a lot to me

sittinginthesun Sat 23-Feb-13 22:05:47

I know nothing about dance, I'm afraid, but understand the hours thing (I have a friend whose 9 year d does 20 hours gym per week).

What is the alternative? If the school classes are not stretching her, and she's not enjoying them, then would she lose out by stopping them? Is there an alternative she could replace them with?

KatyMac Sat 23-Feb-13 22:11:59

Not immediately by September I'd think (pending auditions)

& I guess I have to give notice whether that is a term or half a term I'm not sure

I'll talk to her other teacher & see what she suggests; this last week has really focused her mind

iseenodust Sat 23-Feb-13 22:18:51

I know nothing about the world of dance but wading in anyway...Your DD is mid-teens, been unhappy with the class for the better part of a year and it is doing nothing for her confidence. Will giving up the scholarship be seen as insufficiently committed or can she say early decision to focus on specific styles?
Would I be right in thinking that in 18 months she'll be off away to college to persue her career? I'd be thinking get her into the best place confidence and happiness wise to face the challenge of independent living.

KatyMac Sat 23-Feb-13 22:23:57

"Will giving up the scholarship be seen as insufficiently committed" I guess that's what worries me

"or can she say early decision to focus on specific styles?" that is a possibility

Yep - London (probably) in 18m - if (& it's a big if) she makes the grade and you are right she needs to be on top form (particularly emotionally)to get there and manage the big changes she needs to address

iseenodust Sat 23-Feb-13 22:41:46

You say your DD is thinking of giving the classes up. What does she think the consequences would be? Does she have a mentor? Could she on her own have the conversation with the other teacher about options? At 15 is it time to make her own decision and live with those consequences? Tough for you to stand by but if she's going to be living in London in 18 months...

purplepenguin86 Sun 24-Feb-13 04:32:44

Which classes would she be giving up in terms of styles of dance? That would be the key factor in my opinion.

KatyMac Sun 24-Feb-13 08:01:54

She would lose a basis ballet class (below her level), a contemporary class & a creative class. She still has 4 ballet, 2 tap, 2 jazz, an african, a salsa & would maybe add a modern (grade 5).

Oh yes she must make the decision; but we tend to go for big discussions about these things with lots of input from dh/me/grandparents/friends/teachers etc then she goes away & thinks & decides

& she is comtemplating the consequences, otherwise think it would be gone already

KatyMac Sun 24-Feb-13 13:23:41

Sorry about the mistypes last night

DD has decided to discuss it with her other teacher and think about things a bit

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 24-Feb-13 20:29:34

It's the CAT isn't it?

She's not been happy there for a whole - she's getting a bit run down. I know loads if kids who've gained places at good colleges without going to a CAT or associates.

It might free up some time to perhaps audition for local amateur musical theatre shows to give her more performance experience.

Dd got through her audition today by the way. Almost 300 kids there think they picked about a third for the show.

KatyMac Sun 24-Feb-13 20:36:16

I'm slowly coming round to that idea; I've worried about it for long enough (I think)

purplepenguin86 Mon 25-Feb-13 00:28:08

There's no problem in her dropping it Katy. It is well known that some CATs are better than others, and as long as she is keeping up with her other classes, particularly the ballet and jazz, it won't be a problem. The colleges appreciate that these kids do not have unlimited time for dance, particularly during their GCSEs. If she's not happy with it then drop it.

KatyMac Mon 25-Feb-13 20:00:36

Thanks Purplepenguin (I sent you a PM)

Could it be that Contemporary isn't her thing? She is fine with Ballet (& Jazz & Commercial & Salsa & Ballroom & Latin & African) but in contemporary & street she is less proficient

KatyMac Tue 26-Feb-13 19:44:32

How do I work out which CATs are better then?

She is fairly fixed on giving up (this has changed over the last day or two)

I need to find out about notice etc

BooksandaCuppa Tue 26-Feb-13 23:07:59

Katy, I watch with a lot of interest the progression of my old (small town) dance school's current/recent students and I see and hear about lots of them getting places at the top London schools every year and I'm pretty sure they're not doing any more hours than your dd (if she stuck to those core classes you mentioned and gave up the extras, I mean). They have also had time to be involved in local amateur dramatics/pantos (large scale, full theatre productions) and some, but by no means all, do Urdang etc.

KatyMac Wed 27-Feb-13 21:37:54

Thanks - that's reassuring

purplepenguin86 Thu 28-Feb-13 01:15:03

Katy, it isn't really something you can work out - it is just that CATs are run on different lines, focus more on different disciplines etc etc. You can't choose which you go to anyway, but some just are more suitable for certain children than others, and it sounds like yours just doesn't suit your DD.

On the plus side she is dancing for enough hours a week without it, and doing holiday courses etc as well, so she should be fine without it.

purplepenguin86 Thu 28-Feb-13 01:21:23

Oh, and contemporary covers a massive range of styles really, depending on who the influence is etc. It is something that a lot of people find takes longer to get into though - personally I have always been much happier in a ballet or jazz class than a contemporary or street or hip hop one. It's like everything else - people have their strengths. It is partly just down to what you have done most of. If she goes to dance college then she will do contemporary there, but for most colleges it isn't part of the audition (except obviously for the colleges who specialise in it). The only exception I can think of is London Studio Centre, who see Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary classes, but they know people have different experiences, so they are very much looking for potential.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Feb-13 16:07:38

Contemporary always used to mean Rambert/Cunningham style which I always found easy to adapt to from ballet (just remember no turn out!) but does it now mean street type stuff too (as in actually contemporary to this age!)?

purplepenguin86 Thu 28-Feb-13 16:55:21

No, there isn't any street in contemporary, but I think it's more of a difference than don't turn out (that's what's I think about modern/lyrical!)

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Feb-13 17:53:45

...I was only joking!!

(I had a PE teacher who loved contemporary and had us do it as a module at school but hated anyone studying ballet..)

Just wondered as it sounded like it was being referred to to mean something different from what I think of.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Feb-13 17:54:45

Oh, and modern/lyrical was really my favourite...for those good at the graceful side of ballet but not so good at jumping!!

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