Last month, my daughter auditioned to become a Junior Associate at the Royal Ballet – basically to have weekly lessons there. Even to audition was a fantastic opportunity and I was so proud that her teacher thought she was good enough to give it a go.
We knew the odds were massively stacked against her. There were around 700 kids auditioning for a handful of places.
She did her best and she enjoyed it. We didn’t get our hopes up. (Although of course there was a part of me, and I’m sure a part of her, that thought ‘what if?’ I was picturing how we’d cope with the weekly trek to Birmingham on the train.)
We were told the results would be at the end of June or the start of July, so I was surprised when the email came in.
It was a lovely email, but, as expected, she didn’t get in.
She took it really well. I know she didn’t expect it, but I still thought she might be upset. But she wasn’t. I’d obviously got managing her expectations just right.
There are other years and other dance schools. We looked at Elmhurst – another Birmingham dance school – but the audition clashed with the dress rehearsal for our annual summer show this week. I am already completed overwhelmed by June – two birthdays, Britmums Live, the dance show, my eldest’s French exchange partner coming over and my younger son’s school residential. I was kind of pleased when she said she wouldn’t do it as she didn’t want to miss the dress rehearsal.
So the Royal Ballet dream stays a dream for now. She’s had her audition, she’s good enough to have done that and nobody can take that away from her. I’m proud that she wasn’t upset when she didn’t get in. And she’s still, and always will be, a really beautiful ballet dancer.
We went to watch our first professional ballet the other day – Cinderella. It was stunning (and remarkably funny). Only two of the dancers had trained at the Royal Ballet.