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  1. BlueLou

    Just for the boys...😉

    Dd has just graduated the Northern Ballet CAT. Lots of boys there, but as dancingboy says it’s a big commitment. At age 11/12 it would probably be 2 nights plus all day Saturday. By age 14 it would probably be 3 nights plus Saturday. Plus compulsory intensives during most holidays, and extra Sunday rehearsals in the run up to the annual summer shows. Those who live further away often leave school early to arrive in time for weeknight training. The training is excellent though and there’s a great atmosphere about the place. Dd started on the Associates and moved to CAT when she was 14, which worked well for us because she was then old enough to get the bus!
  2. BlueLou

    Just for the boys...😉

    Hi MrsMoo2! My DS is also 11 and has been dancing for a couple of years. Good idea for a boys thread! Planet Dance have the best selection of boys dance wear I’ve found, but I do get a bit frustrated with them when things are showing as ‘in stock’ when you order then sometimes take weeks to arrive because they weren’t really in stock at all! Depends where you are in the NW, but Hammond Associates in Chester springs to mind. My DS will be starting Renaissance Scholars in Leeds (every other Sunday) and York Dance Scholars in York (every Saturday) next month. I will feedback on boy numbers!
  3. BlueLou


    No, you don’t. The only college dd needed a headshot for was Laine. I took it in our lounge! I was quite pleased with it though - it now features on her student railcard and student Oyster card . As others have said, dance shots are trickier, especially if (like me) you’re not an expert on technique. Dd had those taken at her dance school.
  4. BlueLou

    UK ballet summer schools for 2018

    Dd is starting at Rambert full time this September, so was looking for something to complement that. Also heard lots of good stuff about the home stay, so that’s what dd is doing full time from September . Her current ‘dream job’ would be NDT, so we are considering their SS.
  5. BlueLou

    UK ballet summer schools for 2018

    The only thing I can find on their website is only for dancers who live or were born in Wales It’s a shame because it does look very good. http://ndcwales.co.uk/national-youth-dance-wales
  6. BlueLou

    UK ballet summer schools for 2018

    Dd did 2 weeks at the RCS summer school this year and loved it. Small classes, lovely facilities. She stayed in the Liberty Living accommodation, which worked well (you have to be 16+). Thinking ahead for next year - does anyone have any experience of more contemporary summer schools, especially abroad (NDT or similar)?
  7. BlueLou

    Questions about Upper School auditions

    Good list! I have no direct experience of those schools, but would consider adding Laine to your list. It is an MT school, but Miss Laine has a well-known love of ballet and everyone there does a daily ballet class. They have several grads in Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.
  8. BlueLou

    Gender Identity and Dance

    Good (albeit brief) article on a trans ballerina at the Kirov Academy, published yesterday in Pointe. https://www.pointemagazine.com/transgender-ballerina-jay-ledford-2584094047.html?utm_campaign=RebelMouse&socialux=facebook&share_id=3730562&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Pointe&utm_source=facebook
  9. BlueLou

    Musical theatre or Contemporary

    I’ve been where you are now Anne (see my recent thread ‘Laine or Rambert’). My daughter was offered both and chose Rambert. My head was saying Laine because on the face of it employability prospects seem better, but the end of the day I let her follow her heart to Rambert. If you look at Rambert’s webpage or Instagram - so far they have announced contracts for this years graduates at BalletBoyz, New English Ballet Theatre, TanzTheater Munster, Richard Alston Dance Company x2, and Danish Dance Theatre x2. Also, two recent (but not this year’s) graduates are in the new Matthew Bourne line-up. They also seem to have quite a few graduates who choose to pursue freelance dancing or choreography careers. As for other similar schools - Trinity Laban also offer a BA in Contemporary Dance. Good luck!
  10. BlueLou

    IDTA Ballet Awards

    Dd has been nominated for ballet, tap and modern over the past couple of years. As I understand it, if you score 90+ the examiner may (but doesn’t have to) nominate you to attend the awards. Each section is basically half a day at The Royal College of Music in Manchester. The section is split into 2 - ‘grades’ is for those nominated for grades 4-6, and ‘performers’ is for those nominated for intermediate and advanced. There are about 80-100 dancers in each half-section. You do an hour long class on stage, which family/friends can buy tickets to watch. Then everyone performs the sequence that has been taught in groups of about 3. There is then a cut, with about 20 dancers making the final. They then have a bit more of a class and perform again. Ultimately there is a winner, runner up, and 5 or 6 ‘special commendations’. The classes are excellent and led by ‘famous names’. The tap was Jo Scanlon (of Tap Attack), can’t remember the others tbh, but they were very good! It is a great experience, I would thoroughly recommend it. Good preparation for upper school auditions too I should add that it is considered quite an honour to be nominated. The standard at the awards is very high. Congratulations!
  11. BlueLou

    Any advice for a newbie?

    Hello Astrid! *waves back*. I guess most of us on here felt like clueless newbies once, and I know from experience that it’s harder when you’re out in the sticks and your local dance school is maybe just a room in the village hall with a handful of children and a lovely well-intentioned teacher who is perhaps not up to date with all of the opportunities out there. I wish I’d known about this forum 6 years ago when we started on our journey - you have stumbled into the right virtual place to ask a million questions of very knowledgable and helpful old hands! I would say it’s always worth auditioning - you don’t know if you’re what they are looking for until you try. But you have to prepare your child for potential disappointment. Even the very best young dancers get their fair share of nos. The trick is to enjoy the experience and learn from it, then (if necessary) come back stronger next year. Going through the process, whether successful or not this time, is very valuable. *Controversial viewpoint alert!* Personally I think children are over-protected from failure in most primary schools - no winners or losers at sports day, that sort of thing - but that doesn’t really prepare them for the reality of life. The dance world, on the other hand, is harsh (sometimes even brutal), but most of them seem to adapt to it and I think that will ultimately add something to their character (resilience, perseverance, work-ethic ….. ) that is just as important as whatever success it brings them dance-wise. It’s usually us parents that take the nos harder than they do! Anyway, I’m waffling. And there are far more knowledgable people on here than me, so I’ll hand over the baton. Good luck!
  12. BlueLou

    Confused about dance types

    Well that’s a tough question, and I’m sure there are lots of different answers! I’ll kick off with my attempt ………... Modern is an umbrella term covering lots of styles, but as far as exam syllabi are concerned it’s usually jazz-style (funky, lively, think of the sort of dancing they do in Musical Theatre shows). At many festivals though the Modern section incorporates jazz, lyrical and contemporary . Lyrical is more floaty! Some festivals have a separate section for it because it’s so different from jazz. It often involves dancing to ballads wearing a floaty skirted leotard. Lots of emotion, soft arms, quite balletic. Contemporary also covers a wide range of possibilities. Often it’s a bit more edgy, more isolations. It can be quite experimental. Dd would describe her favourite style as ‘lyrical contemporary’! Try searching on youtube.
  13. Not heard of anyone not being offered an audition at all, but then I only know of 3 other applicants!
  14. Dd applied for Sadler’s, but as she doesn’t have a term time address yet I only put down our home address and so they offered her an audition in Bradford. Several emails later (I don’t think they believed that she was actually moving to London, just that she preferred that option!) they said that the London auditions were full, so it was Bradford or nothing. We declined.
  15. BlueLou

    Questions about Upper School auditions

    Anyone else got dc going to Rambert this September, or currently there, who wouldn’t mind me private messaging them about accommodation?