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Subject: "Re: Forum on RBS Performance" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1853
Reading Topic #1853
Terry (not Amos, but the original "Terry" who posted the original thread)

08-07-01, 10:19 PM (GMT)
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"Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
 
   Dear All,

I posted this message, just because I was simply interested in reading about the performances of the RBS. I was simply interested in reading about the kinds of pieces that were performed, the quality of the dancing by the students, and any impressions that you obtained from the performance. But this thread has turned into an inappropriate thread, which goes beyond discussing the actual performance of the school. We don't really have access to "who" is writing this, and any way to justify whether these points are correct, and I think a lot of inappropriate information (or IMO, rather many "assumptions" and "criticisms") are leaking out. It is unfair for the students, the parents, and people who have any relationship to do the school to read such a thread that seems to be in a food-fight.
I think there are other ways to express your feelings to the school, perhaps more directly by writing them a letter, or sending them an email.

Thanks for your understanding,
Terry

PS: Bruce, any thoughts about what to do with this thread?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Terry Amos 09-07-01 1
     RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance sue 09-07-01 2
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance tedi shall be writing at lenght on this tommorow. 10-07-01 5
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance tedi shall be writing at lenght on this tommorow. 10-07-01 6
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance roddy 11-07-01 7
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Eileen 11-07-01 8
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance tedi 11-07-01 13
     RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Bruce Madmin 09-07-01 3
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance rodri 11-07-01 10
     RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance James 11-07-01 9
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Terry 11-07-01 11
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Sonia 14-07-01 35
  RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Jonathan 09-07-01 4
     RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Eileen 11-07-01 12
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Ann Williams 12-07-01 14
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance sue 12-07-01 17
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance justine 12-07-01 23
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Jonathan 12-07-01 15
             RE: RBS Performance Brendan 12-07-01 16
                 RE: RBS Performance sue 12-07-01 18
                     RE: RBS Performance Karen 12-07-01 22
                     RE: RBS Performance Emma 13-07-01 25
                         RE: RBS Performance Edward 13-07-01 33
                 RE: RBS Performance Bruce Madmin 12-07-01 19
                     RE: RBS Performance Louise 12-07-01 20
                     RE: RBS Performance Jonathan 13-07-01 30
                 RE: RBS Performance A nother parent 12-07-01 21
                     RE: RBS Performance Sylvie 13-07-01 24
                         RE: RBS Performance Helen 13-07-01 26
                             RE: RBS Performance sue 13-07-01 27
                             RE: RBS Performance rod 13-07-01 29
                             RE: RBS Performance Joan- parent 13-07-01 31
                             RE: RBS Performance Claire M 14-07-01 39
                             RE: RBS Performance Bruce Madmin 13-07-01 28
                             RE: RBS Performance Edwin James 13-07-01 32
                             RE: RBS Performance a concerned parent 13-07-01 34
                             RE: RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 36
                             RE: RBS Performance Sophie 14-07-01 37
                             RE: RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 40
                             RE: RBS Performance Diane 14-07-01 46
                             RE: RBS Performance parent of former pupil 14-07-01 38
                             RE: RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 41
                             RE: RBS Performance anon pupil of rbs 14-07-01 43
                             RE: RBS Performance peter j 14-07-01 49
                             RE: RBS Performance emma 14-07-01 50
  RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Robert 14-07-01 42
     RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance ed 14-07-01 44
         RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 45
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Eileen 14-07-01 47
             RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance claire 14-07-01 48
                 RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 51
                 RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance pmeja 14-07-01 52
  RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance Bruceadmin 15-07-01 53

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Terry Amos

09-07-01, 02:26 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #0
 
   Sorry if the original Terry is being confused with me but there's nothing I can do about it. I always give my full name to avoid any difficulties of this sort.

But I do basically agree with what "Terry" says. A lot of nonsense has been posted and it seems to me just a mare's nest. I fear it is the work of a group of parents and others closely involved with particular pupils. As tends to happen, they are unwilling to accept that their sons and daughters might not be as good as they think. Alas, it is only too easy to spot a lot of jealousy and sour grapes creeping in.

Unfortuntely, if totally independent people like myself don't post in the thread and try to point out (kindly but, it seems, ineffectively)the lack of logic and fundamental implausibilty of some of the allegations, the case against the RBS wins by default.


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sue

09-07-01, 07:58 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #1
 
   I agree that some of the comments are inappropriate but at the same time feel it is a matter worth discussing. Surely the school needs to be aimimg to produce more than one or two dancers who are capable of gaining contracts with the Royal anyway and perhaps does need to address why this country still has so few who actually make it into the big companies.Maybe it is something to do with encouraging and giving more opportunity to more than just the very best in each year group.
I do agree that there are some very silly, jealous comments that have been made but it is difficult to have a child at the school from whom you are seperated and about whom you get very little communication.It is the school's responsibility to ensure that every child feels valued and at least gets some chance at a decent performance from which they can gain confidence instead of constantly encouraging and giving more and more confidence to a small group.I like to think I have a realistic view of my child's ability and prospects and can fully appreciate other's talents but surely they should be given more equal opportunity at school level;perhaps awards for effort and improvement rather than just for being the best.


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tedi shall be writing at lenght on this tommorow.

10-07-01, 11:28 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #2
 
   i shall be writing at lenght on this tomorrow. i agree with you wholeheardedly


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tedi shall be writing at lenght on this tommorow.

10-07-01, 11:28 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #2
 
   i shall be writing at lenght on this tomorrow. i agree with you wholeheardedly


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roddy

11-07-01, 11:34 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #6
 
   I await Tedi's comments with interest and I also agree with Sue's comments. To have achieved a position at RBS surely indicates a level of ability worthy of showcasing at school performances, which may be structured so that all students have the opportunity to shine. Some may shine brighter than others - so be it! I would encourage students not to become too dispirited if they feel they are being overlooked; one only has to look at the list of previous 'leading role' dancers in RBS productions to realise that very few of these individuals go on to achieve outstanding success in the professional arena. Perhaps they "peaked too early" as one correspondent put it.

I have lost count of the number of girls who have won scholarships and awards at a relatively young age only to disappear from the ballet scene completely for one reason or another. The most important issues are a realistic appraisal of one's ability (often the hardest thing to get), the determination to succeed in spite of this or that obstacle, having a love of dance and the enjoyment of bringing it to others.


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Eileen

11-07-01, 06:00 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #2
 
  
Dear Sue ,
you ,are so right.

It is totally unjust to ONLY develop the ones considered by the school to be the best, giving them the main roles, -time after time after time. Of course the others need the opportunity to grow , gain valuable stage / performance experience and confidence. Dancers all develop phisically at different ages so it is wrong to deny them opportunities for exposure and development, just because they may not be super athetic, or physically more developed than another pupil at an early age.

When will the management start to realise that there is more to the art of ballet than gymnastics.

I have witnessed some wonderful potential in terms of beauty, artistry and musicality( with good physique) who attend the school but are NEVER given the opportunity to do anything major.

I have taught for many years and staged productions and it IS possible to choose dances or develop new choreography TO SUIT SPECIFIC TYPES of pupil even if they are not yet able to manage
some of the professional level work. THEY MUST NOT BE IGNORED OR GIVEN STAGE DECOR ROLES, THAT IS THE EASY WAY OUT FOR THE MANAGEMENT.


They must be made to feel special and given opportunities to
develop their performance skills. Who knows how many have been wasted through management making early predetermined decisions as to who they will promote as the next stars.


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tedi

11-07-01, 11:47 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #2
 
   TO SUE and others who see her points.

You make yor point so well. I agree with virtually everything you say,but each pupil is capable of being showcased on stage, otherwise , why are they accepted in the first place?

Awards for effort and achievement are great ideas , but still, each pupil should get the chance to be worked on and developed for special performance opportunities , so they can grow in confidence and feel a sense of real achievement

They may not all have the same strenghts and may not all turn out to be great stars, but each has been selected for some quality, and this individual quality needs to be discovered and brought out ,IN ALL THE STUDENTS__ at whatever stage in their development.

That is what we SHOULD be going to witness at RBS Performances, not the same few ,we have seen year after year. Yes , of course the chosen few are developing beautifully; what else could you expect when they receive months of personal coaching and personal attention on a one to one basis, especially for the performances. As this is happening , the "rest" are falling further and furtther behind ,from both lack of one to one tuition AND phsychological damage caused by rejection and low self esteem.

I do not want to hear the age old story about " a tough life and fighting you way to the top" . They ALL need nurturing at this young age, both physically and psychologically.

When they are stable adults, then ,is the time for the real world of cut throat theatre work. Done in the formative years, abuse damages the very souls of some of these beautiful developing artists.Perhaps THAT is why we are so short on British artists of true ballerina status.


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Bruce Madmin

09-07-01, 10:59 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #1
 
   Terry (A) - thanks for flying the flag of reasonableness! Also to Anneliese for adding more common sense at:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/1801.html#67

Its sad for the school that there are such outbursts and trust seems to have gone out the window with some parents.

The reality is that we are all being selected all the time and some people need, indeed have, to be preferred if they are to reach their full greatness and really move the art forward - this happens in companies and it happens in schools. You have to back the best as you see it and you do dance no service at all by imposing some rigid set of rules that mean everybody gets to do Odette or Siegfreed in the school performance. Its important that all are trained well and have the opportunity to impress but not everybody can win the race to the top. The one thing I note about all the people who really make it into senior positions in companies is that no way are they victims of circumstance. If they had a reversal they will have pushed their way through it. What they won't have done is collected lots of 'evidence' about the sadness of the their lot, the wickedness of others etc. That is no way forward and impresses nobody.

Sorry for the lack of compassion here - the performing arts is a bloody hard life and its pointless pussy footing around and pretending its anything else. We have to push the best and I don't see any school as doing anything else. Indeed a school that holds back the best on the alter of some fairness thing will be failing in its job.


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rodri

11-07-01, 06:33 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #3
 
   No ,Bruce ,

'not every body can win the race'

but to prevent them from having a fair chance by tying their boot laces together is no good to the top cream of the dancers who attend the school.
Surely you dont hide behind the 'tough life' syndrome.
no wonder we are so short on dancing stars-- we should be nurturing them-- not strangling them!


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James

11-07-01, 06:25 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #1
 
   Terry,
I do not feel that you should acuse people of writing nonsense here. I have first hand knowledge of this system and I am sad to say that much of what has appeared on the previous RBS PERFORMNCE thread is founded in reality.

There are genuine grounds for dissatisfaction, especially when many parents and teachers have tried to approach the management with genuine concerns and received unsatisfactory responses.
It is bound to cause problems when parents' letters to the school are ignored/ unanswered or they are told to simply take their children elsewhere.

The management have unfortunately caused the situation which has arisen on the previous thread.

If they are not prepared to listen and learn, there are bound to be grave repercussions. Each child in the school is a highly talented dancer who has passed stringent auditions to get where they are. THEY MUST BE GIVEN STRICTLY EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP AND EQUAL EXPOSURE AND PUBLIC PROFILE OPPORTUNITIES.

IT IS NOT UP TO THE MANAGEMENT TO PROMOTE A CHOSEN FEW AND IGNORE THE REST.

THEY ARE THERE TO DEVELOP ALL THE TALENT IN THEIR CARE.

THE TIME FOR CHOSING TOMORROWS' STARS RESTS WITH THE COMPANY DIRECTORS WHO SHOULD HOLD THEIR AUDITIONS IN AN OBJECTIVE ENVIRONMENT AWAY FRON THE SUBJECTIVE WHIMS OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENTS.
At present we have a situation of misuse of power. The function of the school is merely to teach and develop all.


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Terry

11-07-01, 10:58 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #9
 
   James,

Where in my posting have I "ACCUSED" others?
I am simply stating my opinion, which I've felt, having read many of the postings on the previous thread, that some of the comments were inappropriate and that perhaps this kind of talk can be carried SOMEWHERE else in a different manner.

I will say once again that (as a fan of the RB, and a fan who never gets to see the RBS's performances) I started the thread because I was simply interested in hearing honest impressions of the performance and the general quality of the dancing of the students (because I never get to "see" them, this is the only way for me to be informed about them); I, myself (and I'm sure that many others), weren't really interested in reading about all the problems that go inside the school management and administration and their injustices. If you say that you have the first hand knowledge of the system, I'm glad, as I am sure that you do, but how do we (posters) have any real PROOF of what is being said here is 100% correct? This is what I meant when I said that some of the information that could potentially hurt students, teachers, families, etc. And this is what I am most concerned about.

I really don't want to have an argument with you on this forum, so I will end my comment here; I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Thanks.

I suggest that if people want to discuss this issue any further, they start a new forum on the "Injustices of the RBS." I started this forum for a different purpose, and as the starter of this discussion, I do not want to feel responsible for some of the potentially negative feelings that the people of the RBS may feel. Thank you for your cooperation.


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Sonia

14-07-01, 03:34 AM (GMT)
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35. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #11
 
   Terry, I believe James meant Terry Amos - once again, name confusion.


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Jonathan

09-07-01, 11:38 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #0
 
   At the risk of repeating myself (other forum) I don't think this sort of muck-raking on an open internet forum furthers the cause of the parents, students or ballet.co.

If parents can't be adult enough to make use of an institution's formal complaints procedures when they feel aggrieved, what message does that send out to their children - or, indeed, to the school itself?

Thanks to Bruce, who has created and nurtured good relationships with a number of people in the professional dance world, ballet.co is a high-profile, reliable site which is enjoyed by both dance audiences and professionals alike. I would be very sorry if those relationships were jeopardized by irresponsible postings.



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Eileen

11-07-01, 11:17 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #4
 
  
Jonathan, I do not feel you are aware of the the fact that there are many cases where people(parents,teachers & students)
have tried IN VAIN to sort out these issues quietly and sensibly, with the school management.


They are the last people on earth who want to "muck spread" on their own doorsteps. After all , it is their chidrens'school!

The outcome of these efforts (in the long tem ) only leads to the student being given even less to do , less contact time, less correction and LESS performance opportunities.The complaints proceedure is ineffective and many who have tried to
"talk it out" with the management have been met with deaf ears, untruths and further repercussions on their offspring.

Some parent on the other thread , suggested calling an open forum at school, to air all these grievances. They obviously do not realise the damage that this would eventually cause to their
offspring/ pupils, judging by what we know already.

Tt is not "sour grapes" which are causing the lid to blow off the can. There are genuine problems here which need to be addressed by the management before the situation deteriorates even further.


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Ann Williams

12-07-01, 09:01 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #12
 
   I am disappointed that this protracted 'whinge' is springing up again on this thread. Please, if you believe you have a genuine complaint DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, don't just go on about it here on the internet where you think you can publicise your gripes in safe anonymity. If you feel you cannot get a fair hearing or satisfactory answers from the RBS management, see your MP or go public by putting your names to a letter to any one of the broadsheet newspapers (i.e. Telegraph or Independent). They don't do 'anon' or 'concerned parent' there.



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sue

12-07-01, 04:58 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #14
 
   Dear Ann,
Sorry to hear you are disappointed and irritated by this thread but just try to imagine how parents feel! I was extremely upset when I read on this thread the implication that most of our children are supplying the funding for a minority and then very frustrated when I was practically warned not to approach the school !The very fact that they are using this postings page to air their views shows their frustration/fear/lack of trust in the school.Also it is very difficult to speak as a body; I don't even know the majority of other parents, I work full time, I have other children and I live a long distance from the school and I know very little about ballet myself.I do concede that there have been some very ill-advised, personal comments made on this thread that only fuel the view that these are jealous wingeings when, in fact, for the majority ,they are genuine concerns.This posting page will perhaps enable parents to get together as a body and speak as one voice to gather their collective grievances and then take them to the school without fear of individual reprisal. Please be a little more sympathetic, this hopefully is the start of a bridge of communication between parents and the school which is so obviously needed and won't be seen as pushy parents griping because their child has not been selected for something. Perhaps somebody objective(unconnected with the school but knowledgeable about children and ballet)could be found as a spokesperson. Surely if people are just told to stop moaning nothing will change or is everybody happy with the state of affairs at the Royal where only two or three each year seem to make it into their own company? Is this the same all over the world?


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justine

12-07-01, 11:39 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #14
 
   Ann, you obviously have no idea about the situations some of these parents and pupils are in . Please do not make snide comments about the way to 'go public'. Many of us have spent hours trying to resolve the problems without having to resort to such tactics. The situations our children find themselves in cannot be sorted by such immediate reactions . We have to take that avenue when the time is right for all of us- not just jump in on a whim.
We are making quite sure we have the right evidence which cannot be disputed under the auspices of 'subjective preferences'.


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Jonathan

12-07-01, 12:49 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #12
 
   >Jonathan, I do not feel you are aware of the the fact that tere >are many cases where people(parents,teachers & students)have >tried IN VAIN to sort out these issues quietly and sensibly >with the school management.
<...>
>There are genuine problems here
>which need to be addressed
>by the management before the
>situation deteriorates even further.

I do not pretend to know anything about this subject. My point was about a matter of principle: as you say yourself, problems such as they are need to be addressed by the management; and dissatisfaction with a complaints procedure is a separate complaint in itself.

I don't think that putting these views on the web will further your case one iota. For what it's worth, I don't think it does ballet.co any favours either.



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Brendan

12-07-01, 04:57 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #15
 
   The most recent OFSTED report on the Royal Ballet School did identify communication between the school and parents as an issue. The reporting inspector, J Tierney, visited the school in November 1999 and his findings were published last September. Among other things he said:

"The arrangements for reporting to parents have some good features, but could be improved. Formal reports are issued twice a year, along with a progress card that provides interim information four times a year. Parents are invited to meet teachers formally at a parents' meeting and the school encourages parents to respond to academic reports via a reply slip included in the pupils' reports. This is not the case for reports on ballet. The majority of parents feel the information provided on their child's academic work and progress is good. Some parents feel they have less information about their child's attainment and progress in ballet. The school has an effective parent teacher association that deals primarily with the provision of additional facilities for education. The Joint Forum has recently been established to ensure that both the Upper and Lower School associations work together to improve the liaison between the school and parents".

But the report went on to say:

"despite the school's published complaints procedures for parents, several reported a reluctance to approach the school with a problem or question for fear of jeopardising opportunities for their children. It would be helpful if parents had identified contacts within the school to whom they felt they could turn in the first instance. Parents also clearly expressed the view that they wish to have more opportunities to see their child perform in dance. There is evidence that in recent months the school has recognised the need to foster more extended communication and improved relationships with parents. However, this needs to be developed into a coherent policy and given urgent attention".

The full document is on:
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspect/docs/indy/ballet.htm

I must say I have some sympathy with the parents and students who have posted on this thread and can understand their wish for anonymity. They have made enormous sacrifices, the stakes could scarcely be greater, and they are entitled to be kept fully in the picture. Like Jonathan I cannot judge whether or not this is so. But the HMI report does seem to lend some support to the kind of view that has been expressed on this Forum.

I'm afraid I cannot agree with Ann that "the broadsheet newspapers don't do 'anon' or 'concerned parent'" Of course they do: very little journalism would ever get done otherwise. Where Ann is right, is that you won't find anonymous comments on the letters pages. Journalists do however protect sources by sometimes reporting comments anonymously.

There has already been investigative journalism about the RBS. The case that comes to mind is the Granada 'World in Action' on allegations of bullying at the school. But I doubt the programme did more than lead to a great deal of scar tissue all round. Ballet.co is not a full-blown journalistic venture, and investigative reporting isn't really what the site is about. So this may not be the best place for parents to take their complaints.

I could not instantly establish who the School's Governors are. Have they been approached? Is it worth talking to Ofsted? Or the ROH Board? In the FT profile to which we have linked elsewhere, Sir Colin Southgate, the ROH Chairman said; "I cannot bear people who reduce hard-working young people to tears - yes, it has happened in this organisation". Presumably he has a degree of accountability for the school?

Performing Arts Schools, however distinguished, are not exempt from the standards of accountability we expect in other institutions. While there is a kind of 'cruelty myth' surrounding the ballet world which mesmerises many, I prefer to believe that hard decisions can be taken in an atmosphere of transparency, accountability and open communication.

I wish all who have posted here the best in their careers.


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sue

12-07-01, 08:38 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #16
 
   Dear Brendan,
Thank you for not "tarring" all the parents with the same brush and recognising the genuine and serious concerns of parents and also for the information about the Ofsted report. This obviously makes it clear that there is a lot more to this than just "a mares nest"! The advice about approaching the governors or the board at ROH seems a good idea but I still feel that there needs to be an independent spokesperson who could be objective and fair.Again thanks for understanding and for the offering of practical advice. Lets hope that something can be done sooner rather than later!


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Karen

12-07-01, 11:30 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #18
 
  
Sue,

It is a really good idea if we could find an independent spokesman who could sort out these problems. Perhaps we should contact the Chief Inspector again. He must know how worried we are and that we cannot give our names. Perhaps we could write to him on an individual basis explaining our own grievences.He would have to accept our need to remain anonymous.

If he cannot help, we could all write to the Governors and ask them to come in and investigate our claims. I am sure we have all kept records of the catologue of events that occur in our own individual cases. I certainly have. The situations are imprinted on my brain, sadly.

Does anyone else have any suggestions as to how we can get an honest deal, or employ an independent spokesman for our children without wrecking their whole careers in the process?

If we cannot solve these matters as a group in a quiet way , I feel there is a going to be another media outburst.
Several people I know who are having problems with their offspring already feel they have nothing to lose by contacting the press, especially about the injuries and withholdig of performance opportunities.

It is good to be able to talk to you.


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Emma

13-07-01, 08:56 AM (GMT)
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25. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #18
 
   Do you not have a parent Govener?
(as you would in a state school).


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Edward

13-07-01, 11:48 PM (GMT)
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33. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #25
 
   Dear Emma,

I do not think there is a parent governor or a teacher governor either. Even if there were , they would probably be too scared to speak out against the system for fear of reprisals on their own child in the school.

There used to be a headmaster of a music school who was a governor but he seems to have left now.

The trouble with the directorts at the school is they are essentially ex ballet dancers who do not really understand the broader issues of how to run the school giving every one a chance. They were not really "educators " in the first place and have not breen brought up to think of the educational implications and their responsibilities to all pupils.

Some were grossly mistreated themselves and I feel they subconsciously wish to inflict the same sufferings on to those they now control.


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Bruce Madmin

12-07-01, 09:13 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #16
 
   >I'm afraid I cannot agree with
>Ann that "the broadsheet newspapers
>don't do 'anon' or 'concerned
>parent'" Of course they do:
>very little journalism would ever
>get done otherwise. Where Ann
>is right, is that you
>won't find anonymous comments on
>the letters pages. Journalists do
>however protect sources by sometimes
>reporting comments anonymously.

Agree that journalists protect their sources - but the important point is they *know* their sources, can quiz them and satisfy themselves that the story is OK, before passing it on to readers. That's not the case with people who anonymously post here - and for that reason we can't immediately and easily trust what is said by such posters.


On Jonathan's point, about Ballet.co potentially loosing professional respect with such postings, I would hope that we are seen as place worth visiting because issues can be raised and discussed even if such discussion is occasionally bad natured and fractions at times. We are not a place that seeks to stifle and smother debate in order to impress or keep on the right side of anybody. In this we are no different to most other publications.



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Louise

12-07-01, 10:37 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #19
 
  
Bruce M,

Thank you so much, on behalf of many, for remaining so objective and professional about this site.

We are really grateful that these issues can be discussed and that you do not wish to stifle the debate.

We really need to communicate with other parents and teachers on these issues , to find a way forward for our children.

Louise


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Jonathan

13-07-01, 12:36 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #19
 
   >On Jonathan's point, about Ballet.co potentially
>loosing professional respect with such
>postings, I would hope that
>we are seen as place
>worth visiting because issues can
>be raised and discussed even
>if such discussion is occasionally
>bad natured and fractions at
>times. We are not a
>place that seeks to stifle
>and smother debate in order
>to impress or keep on
>the right side of anybody.
>In this we are no
>different to most other publications.

Credit me with the intelligence to know the difference between good relationships and sucking up!


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A nother parent

12-07-01, 11:09 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #16
 
   Dear Brendan,

The information you have just supplied has cheered me up as I have just realised we are not in such a check mate situation as we thought.

Yes , you are right , the RBS MUST be still accountable to the Governors and the Board of Directors of the Royal ballet companies.

I feel that the school has sunk back into its old ways of fear and favouritism again , now that the Inspection is over, which seemed to have the administration on their toes for a while.

I shall try and find a list of current governors of the school and post them on this thread so that anyone who needs to can contact them.

Unfortunately the complaints proceedure has not worked and we have been fobbed off with falsehoods, flattery about how talented our child is and false promises which have turned out not to have happened.

My child has recently been punished for our approaches to the school re genuine concerns we had about our child's progress.

Psychological punishment is easy when you can withhold valuable and essential high profile performance experience from a pupil who is allowed to learn a part but not perform it. We have strong evidence that the level was competent enough.

It is a cruel and perverse way of controlling both students, their parents and former teachers concerned.

I am willing to take my case to the highest authorities if I could prevent others from suffering such injustice.

Surely such nepotism cannot be allowed to continue, unchecked.


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Sylvie

13-07-01, 07:48 AM (GMT)
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24. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #21
 
   Has anybody been to see the school at The Linbury Studio Theatre as I was very impressed-Please comment?


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Helen

13-07-01, 10:29 AM (GMT)
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26. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #24
 
   It would be very nice if someone could tell us about the Linbury performances in a straightfoward way. I wasn't able to go and would love to hear about them, but don't want to get involved in further arguments! Perhaps someone who was there could start another thread?

Some boards don't allow the discussion of student performances, but I think it would be a real shame if that happened here, especially with a top-flight school like the RBS - the students are, after all, more or less professionals. Surely we could have a report/review and manage to keep it civilised!


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sue

13-07-01, 11:05 AM (GMT)
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27. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #26
 
   Dear Helen,
This is exactly the situation we are talking about!! There isn't much to say because for example the upper school are hardly performing at all with some pupils denied the opportunity to perform at all when they have been at the school for at least a year and in many cases a lot longer!Is the tuition so poor that these children are not fit to be seen in a public performance and if they are, why were they taken in the first place?? I think the idea about posting the governors' names and the chief inspector's is a good one and then parents could perhaps compose a letter as a body and get this problem sorted and then we can go to these performances, enjoy watching lots of children performing at a decent level of involvement and comment on it.As a footnote, surely discussion of this sort is "civilised" whereas unjust treatment of children is not! Surely we don't want everybody to just pretend that everything is a bed of roses otherwise nothing will improve.


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rod

13-07-01, 11:44 AM (GMT)
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29. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #27
 
   Dear Sue

The governors' names are published in the RBS Annual Report,1999-2000. As a parent, have you not received a copy?


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Joan- parent

13-07-01, 08:10 PM (GMT)
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31. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #29
 
  
Some parents do not receive all the communications for some reason. I would be most grateful to receive the posted names of the CURRENT Governors. Do not send your letters to the school for the attention of the Governors. Two of mine did not apparently arrive. They seem to get 'lost' when they go via the school.

Sue , thanks for your sensible and reliable comments.


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Claire M

14-07-01, 02:03 PM (GMT)
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39. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #27
 
  
Sue,


"surely discussion of this sort is 'civilised' whereas UNJUST TREATMENT of children is not"

YOU have hit the nail on the head . You are SO right.


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Bruce Madmin

13-07-01, 11:22 AM (GMT)
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28. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #26
 
   >It would be very nice if
>someone could tell us
>about the Linbury performances in
>a straightfoward way.

I've started a fresh thread for this at:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/1868.html


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Edwin James

13-07-01, 11:28 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #28
 
  
Dear Bruce and other readers,

There really is not much to say which is very positive as Sue has already pointed out. We saw the same students in the same roles as June 19( except for one or two who were swapped in as minor corps parts).

What I am trying to say is that if this is all they can muster in terms of talent then someone is not doing their job properly. I feel quite sure that the talent they have got is not being developed effectively if they could not change the casts in their entirity so we could see some different students in all the roles. They cannot hide behind the excuse that no one else was good enough because we all know that there are some students in the school who have VERY high profile awards but were not given anything to show off their talents.

What worries me is that the management have had all year to 'get it together' and they still fail to showcase effectively the majority of their students, who are in fact the cream of dancers .


For instance: There was one dance called' Dance of the Hours ' which made me want to cry in pity for the vast majority of the dancers on stage who literally changed their stationary positions on stage a few times before being ordered by the Principal Thai Wonder to sit on the floor while she proudly strut her scene. Albeit a lovely dancer, who has been beautifully trained in Bankok and arrived on the doostep as a ready made package, the distribution of opportunity to dance for all but three, was sadly non existant. What must the parents of these girls ( and the pupils themselves) have felt like?

They have been studying at the school for many years and the parents have obviously put their trust and confidence in the teachers ( not to mention great financial and emotional sacrifice), to train their offspring to their full potential , and what do they get?--------- a semicircle of statues, oozing with a sense of deep sadness that they will never get a chance.

I am saddened to say that it is a disgraceful waste of government funding that these girls have not been developed properly. I bet that , had they had the same training as the Thai girl, they too would be future stars by now .

What must they and their parents feel like? I would be pretty sickened and angry.

Whoever allowed this to be put on as a public showcasing of talent from the Royal Ballet School, should be shot.

Whoever thought of this particular dance as suitable for most needs their head testing.

It is a blatent insult to all who have supported and trusted the school, attending faithfully for years.

It is an easy way out of the schools obligation to train effectively the talent it has , to shop the world for ready made and trained packages and pass them off as products of RBS, while its own pupils languish on the back rows.

The management need to get their act together.




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a concerned parent

13-07-01, 11:54 PM (GMT)
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34. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #32
 
  
I have just been told that there are a very large number of badly injured students in the upper school. I always assumed that injuries were usually caused by wrong training. Can anyone advise please?.

Does anyone have any statistics of a reliable nature so that we can compare the average injury rates of various professional ballet institutuions.


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pmeja

14-07-01, 12:11 PM (GMT)
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36. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #34
 
   i have a question for the parents who have posted here. however first, let it be said that i am not a parent of a child at the rbs or at any other ballet school, albeit that i have many years of experience with and exposure to these issues.

is it safe to assume that some of the students will have the potential to be stars, some to be soloists, some to be corps de ballet? would the parents of a student destined (not by idiosyncratic design but by their physical/artistic capability) to be a good corps de ballet member prefer to see their child be given a chance to solo first to test them? is that part of the current dissatisfaction? granted that some ballets give more dancing to corps de ballet than others, it might be nice in a school performance to see something like that, rather than having their children be nothing more than 'spear carriers' in their one chance to shine. does the school offer more than one performance a year? maybe the idea should be to do a small series?


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Sophie

14-07-01, 01:51 PM (GMT)
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37. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #36
 
  
No, it is NOT safe to assume that you can assess a pupils potential and thereby deny many the chance to develop. Who has the right to make such judgements at an early age,when they all develop at different rates and ages?

We are not talking about average children here. Many have reached the top of the list when it comes to open competitions ,judged by independent top professionals.

It is unacceptable for the school to subjectively assess who they should promote and who they should deem corps. You must realise that some are late developers , both in physical strength and artistic skill. To make early desisions is open to abuse of power and genuine mistake. How many times have you read about famous stars who did not develop until very late on in their training?

Of couse they should be given a chance to solo or main part-- whatever the private view of someones potential. Not all directors are looking for the same identical package. If the diector only promotes her idea of ballet we may as well just start cloning.

The essence of this art form is diversity. Not every one is satisfied by watching longlegged ultra thin anorexic type girls, who look like children , frozen in a time warp.

Some of us ballet goers prefer soul, artistry and musical expression-- an artist who can 'give' to the audience , rather than the bland gymnastic type, sometimes lacking personality.

The director MUST NOT BE GIVEN THE POWER to merely present to us, a narrow sample of her own subjective ideas on what constitutes a ballet star.

This is NOT her job. She should be giving all the talent she has selected a chance to develop in its own way. Then it is the company dierctor (not A school director) who will select what he wants. She must not play God. Otherwise the art form will merely be controlled by one persons subjective choices.

More performance opportunities are most certainly needed on an EQUAL footing for all.


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pmeja

14-07-01, 02:18 PM (GMT)
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40. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #37
 
   perhaps i wasn't clear enough. i wasn't saying that the school should make a judgment and present the results of that on the stage as though it were a final call on the student's potential. i meant that if one wanted every girl or boy to have a chance to do solo work, then perhaps a good idea would be to present a series of performances in which each student, within that series, was able to have at least one or two chances to do solo work and in addition, have the experience of corps work as well. in order to be fair.


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Diane

14-07-01, 07:58 PM (GMT)
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46. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #40
 
   dear pmeja,
Yes that would certainly be a good solution. At present it is the same students getting the experience of every thing all of the time. no wonder poeple are annoyed.
how can we get the school to see the error of thei ways . there really is a strong need for your suggestions to be adpted as soon as poss.


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parent of former pupil

14-07-01, 01:58 PM (GMT)
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38. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #34
 
  
I dont know the current statistics , but I withdrew my daughter this year as she had been badly ijured by the training. We are currently taking legal advice. The school cannot say she would have injured anyway, since this would merely prove negligence for accepting an unsuitable student. The negligence has occurred in the way they treated her both physically and psycologically.

I would advise any parent to think very carefully before allowing their chid to be subjected to this.


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pmeja

14-07-01, 02:21 PM (GMT)
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41. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #38
 
   under some circumstances i might ask if the school has counselors, but then if they are the school's counselors, they might be open to charges of favoritism in the school's direction. is there any provision for independent mediation of any sort, or any such forum?


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anon pupil of rbs

14-07-01, 04:58 PM (GMT)
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43. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #41
 
  

A friend of mine (pupil)is really unhappy.They were stopped from doing a really important part this year and the admin would not give any reason to them . They were really good , we all cheered them at rehersals , they were so good.
The problem is that the friends parent had a disagreement with the admin a few weeks earlier and they are getting their own back on this pupil. the pupil is really distressed and feels their career is being deliberately wrecked . the have noone to turn to for help or advice. If any of us say anything , our own futures could be seriously damaged. Can anyone giv us ome advice on how to stop this type of stuff happening . Although this pupil is really in direct competition withus , we do not like to see this happening to her as we have grown up together since 11 yrs.


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peter j

14-07-01, 08:20 PM (GMT)
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49. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #38
 
  
My daughter became seriously anorexic when she was told she was not thin enough. She has now been hospitalised more than once. Nothing is worth the anguish we have suffered though these thoughtless managers who do not care how many lives they wreck.

she is still not well. We are trying to help her piece her life together again. What is this preoccupation with 'thin'? Is the director suffering from some dread of normal body weight?
surely , we should be encouraging dancers of normal body weight. In some countries they assess out anyone who tries to damage themselves by becoming anorexic.


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emma

14-07-01, 08:23 PM (GMT)
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50. "RE: RBS Performance"
In response to message #49
 
  
she pretends to encourage normal figures but really , if you look at the ones she is really promoting , they are all extremely thin / anorexics!


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Robert

14-07-01, 03:15 PM (GMT)
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42. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #0
 
   Is the person that all the parents are grumbling about , the old friend who suggested Ross Stretton for the top job?


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ed

14-07-01, 05:06 PM (GMT)
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44. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #42
 
  
There is a relationship btween this person . The school and company are going to be very incestuous when the new director arrives. It does not auger well for justice and fairness in the future. there needs to be an independent monitoring body to overse fair play


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pmeja

14-07-01, 05:29 PM (GMT)
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45. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #44
 
   it seems obvious that even if you have a grievance process, you're not confident that there won't be reprisals. that's tough because you don't feel there is anywhere to turn, that your feelings have to be hidden because you fear making them known. are they really so rough, that if you very openly come to them in a non-confrontational manner and make it gently clear that you would like to be treated in the same non-confrontational manner, that you're coming in a spirit of cooperation, (being that theoretically you're all out for the same thing, to make the school as proud as possible of its students and to make them the best they can be) , that they won't so to speak 'relent' and do just that? one would like to give human beings credit for being human beings underneath. sorry if that sounds a little naive, but one has to start somewhere.


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Eileen

14-07-01, 08:08 PM (GMT)
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47. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #45
 
   pmeja,

what has happened to people who have tried this is as follows;

they appear to be nice to you and your offspring is treated fine for a while. but after a few weeks , they forget or want revenge or something happens and the old games start all over again . many of us have noticed the same situations happening as above. Perhaps they dont realise that they are slipping back to the old ways, or perhaps it is more vindictive; who knows?


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claire

14-07-01, 08:13 PM (GMT)
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48. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #45
 
   i was told that before and during the inspectors visit, the management were always asking how they could improve their image. they changed soon afterwards and everything that was achieved during this period of attempted reform has slipped back to what it was like before.

I dont think the director knows what is going on half the time . if she does, then she should not be doing this job


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pmeja

14-07-01, 09:16 PM (GMT)
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51. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #48
 
   LAST EDITED ON 14-07-01 AT 09:20 PM (GMT)

do the inspectors come on a regular basis? or does it only happen when there is a crisis? maybe one possibility would be to have their visits be more regular so that the tea didn't boil over, so to speak, and so that a system of checks and balances was in effect.


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pmeja

14-07-01, 09:18 PM (GMT)
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52. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #48
 
   do the inspectors come on a regular basis? or does it only happen when there is a crisis? maybe one possibility would be to have their visits be more regular so that the tea didn't boil over, so to speak, and so that a system of checks and balances was in effect. is there a parents' group that represents the causes of the students to the administration? would it be possible to have an objective, but qualified, third party mediate in some of these situations? the inspectors might welcome such an arrangement as well.


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Bruceadmin

15-07-01, 07:22 AM (GMT)
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53. "RE: Re: Forum on RBS Performance"
In response to message #0
 
   This thread has really become impossibly long and I have started a new one in the Training forum at:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/training/80.html

I'm locking this thread to further contributions.


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