Hot House Kids

Former prima ballerina Deborah Bull investigates elite child performers in sport and performing the arts.

Episodes

EpisodeFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
012009011220100121
20150729 (BBC7)
20150730 (BBC7)

Deborah examines the physiological development of a young person, what happens to the body and the brain of an elite child and what key things are needed to help nurture and realise its potential.

She also discovers that if a child is to avoid some of the short and long-term injuries which result in top class training, he or she may have to compromise on standards.

Former prima ballerina Deborah Bull investigates the advantages and the pitfalls of being an elite performer in the arts and sport and what young people need to succeed.

She also looks at the physiological advantages and problems of attaining perfection, discovering the optimum and the safe age to begin meaningful training.

Deborah started ballet training at the age of seven - dangerously close to the age at which, however hard she worked, she would have been too late to consider a career on the international ballet stage today.

The ability to excel at complex and extreme physical endeavours in ballet and other performing arts and sport requires a combination of two things: a highly trained body and an expert brain.

To achieve the levels of excellence necessary to compete on the global job market today you have to start young, taking advantage of the brain's early plasticity and the increased potential for muscle flexibility in pre-adolescents.

In the UK, most little girls (and some boys) start serious dancing and music training at around the age of seven.

A UK child has some degree of choice and control and, after a few years, the ability to decide whether or not to pursue one of the activities as a professional career.

However, in some countries in Eastern Europe and Asia children enter full time training as young as three - gymnastics and ballet training are key examples - and endure challenging physical and mental regimes to ensure that they are ready to compete - and achieve the highest standards as soon as they reach double figures.

On a journey that takes Deborah to the Ukraine, she visits the National Ballet School in Kiev, the elite football training centre at Dynamo Kiev and the National Gymnastics centre in Kiev where she discovers why elite athletes are achieving such high levels of achievment in Eastern Europe.

Because of the growing number of top-class performers coming out of Asian countries she also has contributions from members of the national ballet school in Korea.

In this first programme Deborah looks at the physiological development of a young person, what happens to the body and the brain of an elite child and what key things are needed to help nurture and realise its potential.

Deborah examines the physiological development of a young person.

Deborah Bull examines the physiological development of a young person.

Former prima ballerina Deborah Bull investigates the advantages and the pitfalls of being an elite performer in the arts and sport and what young people need to succeed. She also looks at the physiological advantages and problems of attaining perfection, discovering the optimum and the safe age to begin meaningful training.

Deborah started ballet training at the age of seven - dangerously close to the age at which, however hard she worked, she would have been too late to consider a career on the international ballet stage today. The ability to excel at complex and extreme physical endeavours in ballet and other performing arts and sport requires a combination of two things: a highly trained body and an expert brain.

To achieve the levels of excellence necessary to compete on the global job market today you have to start young, taking advantage of the brain's early plasticity and the increased potential for muscle flexibility in pre-adolescents. In the UK, most little girls (and some boys) start serious dancing and music training at around the age of seven. A UK child has some degree of choice and control and, after a few years, the ability to decide whether or not to pursue one of the activities as a professional career. However, in some countries in Eastern Europe and Asia children enter full time training as young as three - gymnastics and ballet training are key examples - and endure challenging physical and mental regimes to ensure that they are ready to compete - and achieve the highest standards as soon as they reach double figures.

In this first programme Deborah looks at the physiological development of a young person, what happens to the body and the brain of an elite child and what key things are needed to help nurture and realise its potential. She also discovers that if a child is to avoid some of the short- and long-term injuries which result in top class training he or she may have to compromise on standards.

02 LAST2009011920100128
20150730 (BBC7)
20150731 (BBC7)

Former prima ballerina Deborah Bull investigates the advantages and the pitfalls of being an elite performer in the arts and sport and what young people need to succeed, as well as the psychological advantages and problems of attaining perfection.

To achieve the levels of excellence necessary to compete on the global job market today a performer needs to start young, taking advantage of the brain's early plasticity and the increased potential for muscle flexibility in pre-adolescents. But in some cases the cost can be the stable emotional development of the child.

In certain countries of Eastern Europe and Asia children can enter full-time training as young as three - gymnastics and ballet training are key examples - and undergo challenging physical and mental regimes in order to ensure that they are ready to compete and achieve the highest standards as soon as they reach double figures. For the growing child as it moves into adolescence, interaction with a parent is vital to its emotional development. Yet, as the programme discovers, the intense training regime needed to hothouse gifted children to the supreme levels of performance frequently involves taking the child away for hours of training.

On a journey that takes Deborah to the Ukraine, she visits the National Ballet School in Kiev, the elite football training centre at Dynamo Kiev and the National Gymnastics centre in Kiev, where she discovers why elite athletes are achieving such high levels of achievement in Eastern Europe. Back in Britain she visits the Chelsea Academy, the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Central School of Ballet to find out if our softly, softly approach will work in such a competitive market.

The programme also includes contributions from members of the National Ballet School of Korea, reflecting the growing number of top-class performers today emerging from Asian nations.

Deborah investigates the advantages and the pitfalls of being an elite performer in the arts and sport and what young people need to succeed as well as the psychological advantages and problems of attaining perfection.

To achieve the levels of excellence necessary to compete in the global job market, a performer needs to start young, taking advantage of the brain's early plasticity and the increased potential for muscle flexibility in pre-adolescents.

But in some cases, the cost can be the stable emotional development of the child.

In certain countries of Eastern Europe and Asia, children in disciplines such as gymnastics and ballet can enter full time training as young as three, and undergo challenging physical and mental regimes.

As the child develops into adolescence, interaction with a parent is vital to its emotional development.

Yet the intense training regime required to push gifted children to the highest levels of performance frequently involves taking the child away from their parents for hours at a time.

Deborah travels to Kiev to visit the National Ballet School, the elite football training centre at Dynamo Kiev and the National Gymnastics Centre, where she discovers why elite athletes are achieving such high levels of performance in Eastern Europe.

Back in the UK, she visits the Chelsea FC Academy, the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Central School of Ballet to find out if the less intense British approach will work in such a competitive market.

The advantages and the pitfalls of being an elite performer in the arts and sport.

To achieve the levels of excellence necessary to compete on the global job market today a performer needs to start young, taking advantage of the brain's early plasticity and the increased potential for muscle flexibility in pre-adolescents.

In certain countries of Eastern Europe and Asia children can enter full-time training as young as three - gymnastics and ballet training are key examples - and undergo challenging physical and mental regimes in order to ensure that they are ready to compete and achieve the highest standards as soon as they reach double figures.

For the growing child as it moves into adolescence, interaction with a parent is vital to its emotional development.

Yet, as the programme discovers, the intense training regime needed to hothouse gifted children to the supreme levels of performance frequently involves taking the child away for hours of training.

On a journey that takes Deborah to the Ukraine, she visits the National Ballet School in Kiev, the elite football training centre at Dynamo Kiev and the National Gymnastics centre in Kiev, where she discovers why elite athletes are achieving such high levels of achievement in Eastern Europe.

Back in Britain she visits the Chelsea Academy, the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Central School of Ballet to find out if our softly, softly approach will work in such a competitive market.