Training at 16 or 18 ?

A place to talk about full time schools and post 16 training.

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Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by HollyMae » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:05 am

After hours of discussion, research and some sleepless nights my DDs decision about going now at 16 ( she has just received a 3 yr diploma offer from Bird ) or waiting til 18 has boiled down to which is the best option career wise, as in chances of actually getting a job after the three years training . Lots of people have tried to put her off going at 16 because they question if she is mature enough and ready , the lack of A levels etc,the funding but while we've obviously considered them , none of those are really the issue . She just wants to give herself the best possible chance of getting a job at the end of it and is now worrying that at an audition for a show they are more likely to take the older auditonee if they are a similar standard performance wise . I have no idea and not sure what she is basing this on herself but does anyone know if going at 16 instead of 18 and so graduating at 19 instead of 21 gives you an advantage / disadvantage going forward looking for work. We have been through all the other issues people mention .....not having a back up of A levels , not being able to get on a degree course , are you ready mentally/emotionally to leave home etc and this isn't the problem . She absolutely knows this is what she wants to do but wonders if she should be patient and wait til 18 to give herself a better chance in what is already a tough industry ! Thanks to anyone who has experience of students finishing training at different ages and thoughts on whether it actually makes any difference .

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by jennifer1972 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:12 am

It's a tricky one because maturity levels vary so much and only you know how mature your daughter is. The only concerns I would have is firstly she will be socialising with older students. Would she cope well with this if they all go out and she can't go because she is underage, that sort of thing? Secondly, with regards to finishing training at 19, would she be able to cope with possibly living and working in away from home, going to auditions, finding herself extra ballet and fitness classes to keep herself in shape, that sort of thing. In an audition, I don't imagine age would come into it unless she looks particularly young but I would say if she has the chance to do her A levels and have a qualification to fall back on, all the better. Has she thought about what she would do if she had an injury and had to change career plan? Good luck with your decision!

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by 2dancersmum » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:46 am

Congratulations on your DD's offer at Bird.

In terms of when she graduates college I think you will find it makes no difference whether she graduates at 19 or at 21. My DD went at 16 and has found that the majority of auditions where minimum age is stated the min age is stated as 18. The only exception to this has been for a few of the cruise ship companies where some of them ask for min 21. Age has certainly made no difference in auditions and for getting roles.

As for her age at college, I am sure there will be other 16 year olds. Regardless of age, social life at college was mostly meals together, movie nights and sometimes parties. They were too tired of an evening to do much else. There was an occasional night out that she could not attend - mostly 18th birthday parties in nightclubs (and her birthday is at the end of the school year) but she never felt left out.

Maturity is a difficult one. I would not have said my DD was totally ready to leave home at just turned 16 and she found the first 3 or 4 weeks quite tough but it was what she wanted and by half term she was well settled and never looked back. She thrived at vocational college, doing what she loved all day every day and was more than ready for auditions in the real world when she graduated. She certainly has no regrets.

It is always a very personal decision though and depends on home/local circumstances too. DD would have struggled to get enough classes of a high enough standard to audition at 18 - especially for dance as we were already having to travel more than an hour each way and she would have struggled with the workload of A levels and local(ish) training. So that did play a factor in her decision. I should perhaps point out that DD did however still do 2 A levels alongside her diploma. Best of luck with whatever you and she decide.

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by lyndahill » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:45 pm

If it is an offer with a DaDa I would go for it. My DD is going at 16. It's all she wants to do and yet she would probably get good A Level grades as her GCSE predictions are all high. I can't say no to an opportunity that may not come along again as in 2 years time she may not get any offers. If your DD can cope with living away from home at the age of 16, which she must feel she can or she wouldn't have auditioned, then my view is let her do what she wants to do. Bird College is very hard to get in to so grab the opportunity. Well done to your DD.x

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by martint » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:27 pm

As above it's a difficult one but she obviously has the potential.

I'd be prepared perhaps to have to give more support in the first year away from home but hey you're on here so I guess you will.

Moving on, they cast the right person for the role. Unless age is a criteria it doesn't come into it, neither do A levels for that matter. Your DD has the talent, best of luck to her!

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by Munchpot » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:25 am

It's a real tough choice, and only one that you and your DD can make - as others say it's about her maturity

My DD will be starting degree at Bird in September after doing the Foundation. We also have a lodger from the college and what 2dancersmum said is right about socialising. Yes, sometimes they head to the pub, but mostly a night our seems to consist of a Nando's or pizza and back to bed by 10. They work extremely hard all day

Your DD will obviously have to be with a host family for the first year and that will help with the transition from moving away from home. If she does have the odd wobble, then just try not to get her to go home for at least the first half term at weekends

If she loves to perform and she's going to give it her all and will be fine - Bird has great pastoral support too

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Re: Training at 16 or 18 ?

Post by Laurellen » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:52 am

I have a 16 year old going to Bird with a DaDA and an 18 year old going to PPA.
The eldest would not have coped going at 16 but they are so different.
My 16 year old knew she had to get funding or I couldn’t have afforded it, she would have just tried again at 18.
She did have a wobble and almost said she would wait. She is on the list for Laine funding and wondered if that was a better option as it’s closer to home.
But Bird is the right place for her skill set.

Equally I know lots of people who go at 20. So there is no rush. My 16 year old has worked in the West end and is in the CAT scheme so goes on residentials where she stays in Youh Hostels and cooks for herself. So she was just more mature.
I have heard people say they don’t like casting 19 year olds... but I know someone who hasn’t been out of work since she was 19. If your daughter wants to wait it really won’t affect her at all. They have time. But if she wants to go for it now and feels ready then go for it.
Has she got accommodation sorted?

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