Ballet and maths - no boundaries

Ballet and maths – no boundaries

Welcome to the first Talent Within You blog.

We have received enquiries as to why we have added “No Boundaries” to our name.

The answer is simple; a boundary is a line which marks the limits of an area or a dividing line. Very often, boundaries mean we have to make difficult choices and sacrifices in life, such as choosing whether we are going to follow a scientific or creative career. Choosing a career for the rest of your life is a daunting task at the age of 14 which is the age when many of us are forced to make that life changing decision.

Talent Within You is very fortunate to already have two amazing talent enablers, Mandy Chapman of Glendale Theatre and Arts and McLaren Automotive. During discussions with Mandy Chapman, I learned that many Glendale dance students also excel in Maths – no boundaries whatsoever. I was amazed but it’s true and there is much evidence to back this up and upon doing further research for this, we discovered there are now combined maths dance classes. Below is an email from one of the Glendale dance students, we would love to hear from you if you would like to share your story.

With the above in mind, Talent Within You’s ethos is to make absolutely no limited assumptions or put boundaries in the way of its beneficiaries. No Boundaries: Unleash Your Niche is our slogan and it is there for a good reason. We are interested to learn about other subjects which you would consider to be poles apart, to have an intrinsic link.

Talent within you is all about unleashing your niche. Whatever it might be. Very often, as above, you may have three of four strengths and we will help you to use them all to lead a fulfilling life. My background is graphic design – at school I was not encouraged to nurture my creativity – I was instead forced to follow a mathematics path and I used to be dreadful at maths and failed my exams so had no maths qualification until recently. Interestingly, as a business owner, I have had to use maths everyday in both design side and also the business accountancy side and I achieved 97% in a recent online maths test. When a subject is taught by passionate teachers in an interesting way, we want to learn. More importantly if we want to learn something we absorb it more easily.


Email from a Glendale Theatre and Dance Student

I am writing in response to your wanting feedback regarding Glendale training and my academic path.

To set the scene, I undertook a lot of dancing at Glendale through some of my most formative years (ages 5-16), and subsequently achieved grades A*A*A*A in my A Levels (Maths, Further Maths, Business Studies and Chemistry). I then went on to achieve a first class degree in Economics at the University of Cambridge.

From my experience, I consider there to be an important connection between academic success and engagement with extracurricular activities, such as dancing. I think this benefit is symptomatic of something larger whereby large amounts of exercise with elements of competition are good both mentally and physically. In my opinion, and in my personal experience, a child (or teenager!) who does physical activity for a couple of hours every evening will undoubtably be more focused during the school day, as well as being healthier both mentally and physically. In a similar way, students at the best private schools in the UK do a couple of hours of sports everyday! My experience at Cambridge, and the people I met there, made me appreciate the extent to which an upbringing at a state school differs from an upbringing at a top private school, and one key component of this difference is the amount of exercise and team sports all students are expected to undertake. In my opinion this is a failing of state schools, albeit perhaps an understandable one given the extent of funding it would require. However, it does mean there is a significant benefit to be realised from undertaking dancing and other similar activities outside of school hours.

To elaborate in terms of more specific advantages, for me there are six that come to mind.

  • First, being competitive in my dancing, and continually striving for better, taught me to be more competitive in my academic studies, and to set high expectations for myself.
  • Second, and related to that discussed above, achieving well academically requires a sense of wellbeing and, for me, dancing contributed to that enormously, both mentally and physically
  • Third, performing in competitions, often as part of a team where your class mates are relying on you, puts a certain degree of pressure of you. Learning to manage and deal with that pressure helped me to better manage situations where I needed to perform in the future, particularly in an academic setting where so much of success is measured by results in exams.
  • Fourth, having to reliably attend dance class most days of the week required discipline and dedication. This really taught me the value of hard work, and of the rewards to be enjoyed from large inputs of effort. For example, at the age of 12, when your school friends are going down the park after school, and you are going to dancing instead, you can sometimes feel hard done by. But a few years down the line when you’re doing GCSEs, all this experience makes it much easier to revise rather than go out, because you feel the effort required isn’t so great, and the rewards to be enjoyed are very large.
  • Fifth, the team aspect of dancing – including friendships made, and camaraderie with other students – creates a hugely encouraging environment. This gave me a lot of confidence, and I think I still carry some of that with me today. It feeds though to success at university, and post-university also, where challenging work environments might require one to make presentations and such like.
  • Finally, achieving good grades whilst also spending many hours a week dancing proves you have “spare capacity” in your life: i.e. you can achieve those grades without working all hours under the sun. This is very important to university admissions tutors when they’re trying to decide who will best be able to make the jump academically to university-level study. For me, managing school work whilst dancing taught me to manage my time well, and this has remained valuable through to today.

To conclude, I feel there are lifelong advantages to be found in challenging and physical pursuits in childhood, and dancing has allowed me to realise many of those.

I hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions or thoughts on the above, please just drop me an email.

Kind regards, J.

We hope this amazing email inspires you …

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  1. You are signing up to join free membership with Talent Within You. We will email you with life hacks which enable you to grow your talent and develop your niche. We will also signpost you exciting opportunities but never pass your your information to third parties. You can leave at any time by unsubscribing.
  2. If you live in Worthing, you can become a member of our Unleash Your Niche Club, please state this on the form.
  3. Unleash Your Niche workshops have room for 50 children aged 14-16. Anyone living in Worthing and surrounding areas can apply. Applications will be assessed on two factors: child's intended commitment to all workshops, and commitment to become peer mentors and enable other children once they have successfully achieved their award. 
  4. Unleash your Niche workshops begin in January cost £25 for 7 workshops. Thats approximately £3.50 per workshop. Meet other young people with the same mindset as you. Learn from with inspirational speakers and you will be given our very own journals to personalise and keep to help develop you. There are opportunities for internships, placements and voluntary work to develop your strengths.
  5. McLaren Automotive has offered two beneficiaries from Talent Within You an internship for one year at McLaren in Woking.
  6. Glendale Theatre and Arts has offered one scholarship for one of our young people who has completed our course.
  7. We are continually seeking further placement opportunities and will be reporting these back.
  8. Members must have completed all workshops and their workbooks in order to qualify for an interview.

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