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Ballet/Associates in Kent

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Dear all, 

 

First time to post something on here.. so here goes.. 

 

My daughter who is 8yrs, is showing some potential in ballet. We live in Kent , and i was wondering if any one has any ideas on where to take her for better training. 

I have seen some threads on here regarding associate classes.. what are they?  

I have also noticed that you need to audition? 

I don't particularly what to travel too far , or is there no choice? :wacko: 

 

 

hope some one can shed light to all this ? 

 

thankyou

 

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Oh I've just saw an advert for somewhere called Prima associates I think it was and I'm sure they were in Kent, might be worth a Google!! Good luck with your search :)

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Sorry I know nothing more than what it says on the website as I literally on heard of them this morning!! Again good luck in your search I hope something comes up for you x

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Hello love for ballet

Welcome to the forum

I looked at prima associates the other day it looks amazing and the teachers are all ex professional dancers my dd is going to audition. have a look at prima associates on Facebook all info is on there

Good luck

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Auditions ???? - oh dear !

It's good you recommend the teachers, that's a good sign .

I'm going to look at their FB and web sight will keep you posted .

 

But thank you that's great help .

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Yes, a lot of people are prepared to travel long distances for their dc to attend associate programmes connected to the major vocational schools, so they are clearly worth the hassle :)  A few years ago I heard of a family who made the trip from France each weekend as their dc was a Royal Ballet School JA.

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When DD was a RBS Mid Associate there was someone who flew in from the Channel Islands for sessions.

Edited by Pas de Quatre
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Hi love for ballet and welcome!

 

We are also in Kent and I really understand where you are coming from regarding travelling out of County and expense/hassle, especially if you have other children in tow. A new scheme that offers pre vocational training at a selective level which is close to home sounds ideal but I would have a few questions first regarding Prima Associates and what they could offer that would be different from attending one of the many excellent ballet schools in Kent or applying to the London based Associate programs.

 

What vocational school or examining body are they associates of?

 

One of the most attractive aspects of an associate course is the opportunity to be seen and trained by teachers affiliated with a prospective school with an eye to future prospects! It's no guarantee of course but without that tantalising connection any scheme loses a lot of its appeal for me.

 

So..they isn't a link to a vocational school but the teachers are well known and respected and the training will be great!

 

Ok so they have some professional names mentoring the program but as to who is teaching the actual classes - are they any more experienced than say my DD's principal at her regular school? I'm not sure. I'm not saying they wouldn't be but I would have to have some VERY good reasons to present to my DD's teacher by way of explanation as to why we would want to attend this scheme and apart from 'so she can have a chance of building a relationship at X vocational school' what other reason is there that wouldn't be construed as dissatisfaction?

 

but these classes will be selective so the standard will be higher than your average local class!

 

An 'associate' scheme can only select from the pool of applicants it attracts. Well established schemes will be more competitive but (and this is only my personal opinion) if DD wasn't accepted into any of the four major ones within reach from Kent - RB, LJB, YDA and Tring then it was an indicator she probably wasn't suitable. Joining an unaffiliated new program instead where the chance of entry is much higher could also raise expectations and involve more money and effort and endeavour and pressure with no guarantee such training will pay off at year 7 entry?

 

Because at the end of the day associates are just a class!

 

DD misses her usual ballet friends, has to forgo bigger parts in productions as she can't commit to rehearsals, can't do everything she wants to in festivals etc not to mention the missed birthday parties because it's a big chunk of time she has to forgo for Associates. There is always a sacrifice and for it to be worth that then what's on offer has to be waaaaaaaaaay over and above what DD could be doing at her local school. Both DD and her JA friend have been offered performance opportunities this term they couldn't dream of doing otherwise which makes the effort of schlepping up to London vastly worthwhile. You have to want it though.

 

Gymnastics training - that's new?

 

I don't actually believe this is as bad/contradictory to ballet training as one would immediately think I just imagine it's another way of marketing the sort of conditioning excercises DD currently does with perhaps more of an emphasise on competitive tricks. Some people love this type of approach some people hate it. I don't like the influence of gymnastics as it can sometimes lead down a road that I feel is unartistic at best. That's just me!

 

There is nothing wrong with new dance schools opening up - if that's what this is? Yet I can't help but hear warning bells. Its very important to me that a school display the highest regard for clarity and openness and this has to start right from the get-go in how it chooses to whip up support, especially online. I don't think any of the regular users on this forum are particularly naive.

 

New schools opening up in an already saturated area offering Associate credentials as a marketing technique brings a wealth of drama and critique which I want to stay well clear off. I wish it every success though, the pamphlets are beautiful, the website is professional, the mentors are well known and it should be an exciting opportunity for children or parents who are unhappy at their current school and want to move but you are a braver parent than I if you want to attend this school and keep relations with another!

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Well said PV. You have just echoed my thoughts exactly. Also, a graduate from RB does not NECESSARILY mean a great teacher(they might be, but a dancer does not equate to teacher) beware of labels, look with your own eyes and make well informed choices - your kids get one shot at this - travel goes with the territory and a child will only be successful if parents are 100% behind them.

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There is also the high likelihood that a ballet teacher will take a very dim view of their students attending associate classes which are affiliated to another local dance school - they might well regard it as poaching, or as an affront to their own standards of teaching.

 

My advice would be to always speak to your dc's current ballet teacher and take their advice on whether (and indeed which) associate programmes would be suitable for your dc to enhance their training.

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I would wholeheartedly agree with most of what previous posters have said.

 

For me an associate scheme has to offer several things.  It has to either be an associate of SOMETHING whether that be a vocational school, eg Tring/RBS, an exam board such as BBO Associates or it has to be independent but offering something you can't get at your local dance school eg MIDAS/SYB.

 

This scheme may be excellent but it is part of and run by Prima Stage School an IDTA school who appear to offer a variety of classes but predominately musical theatre genres and with a lot of young teachers who originated from the school.

 

There is no indication who will actually be teaching this associate programme, just mention of various names overseeing it.

 

Locally to where I live there are a plethora of these schemes and mostly they seem designed to poach other schools students.  I can imagine most dance teachers would take a very dim view of one of their students going there.  The exception in my local area is Staffordshire Youth Ballet, the teacher who runs it does not have her own dance school, she is an ex EYB dancer who also teaches for other associate schemes and vocational colleges.  The aim of that scheme is to compliment and supplement a the classes at children's own dance school and to that extent she invites the local teachers in once a term to observe etc.  Despite this scheme being non auditioned I would recommend it over and above auditioned schemes attached to a school.

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thank you so much all for the so much information to digest.. wawoooo  :huh:

i think for us it will be worth trying , as it is local, plus it really does sound good... 

i will have a look at the others further out too of course...

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Do let your dd's teacher know she's auditioning though, as a matter of courtesy :)

 

oh yeas of course - i mentioned it to her earlier.. and she's super happy to go for prima associates, and all thats is available for us.. she said the program looks good, and infant will be sending some of the other students too... .  

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Well if your daughter is serious about ballet, I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket when there are so many good and established associate schemes. The more audition experience the better if you are considering applying for Lower Schools later on, so why not also look at RBS JAs, London Junior Ballet, Tring Park CBA etc? They are all within reach of Kent. RBS has a lovely "JA for the day" taster day.

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Also South East Ballet Scholars? I've no personal experience or affiliation but another good option? Really there are so many schemes in and around Kent you're spoilt for choice if you put your mind too it!!

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Well if your daughter is serious about ballet, I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket when there are so many good and established associate schemes. The more audition experience the better if you are considering applying for Lower Schools later on, so why not also look at RBS JAs, London Junior Ballet, Tring Park CBA etc? They are all within reach of Kent. RBS has a lovely "JA for the day" taster day.

 

i totally agree anna c.. that is exactly what we ll be doing.. 

the thing is - i believe the more they do the better.. i don't mind if a school is NEW or OLD.. what matters is that the training os taken seriously.. so, i will be going for all .. and see what the outcome will be.. you can only try. 

 

Also South East Ballet Scholars? I've no personal experience or affiliation but another good option? Really there are so many schemes in and around Kent you're spoilt for choice if you put your mind too it!!

 

thank you petalviolet ...i will certainly look at that too... wahoo so many options . 

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I agree with many of the above comments and have already had issue with adverts being posted on to my pages without permission......just saying!! 

 

Can i be cheeky enough to pint out my own small associate scheme? Surrey Ballet Masters in Coulsdon surrey - I personally teach on it and also cover teach for RBS associates and Central and tring. My classes are small and the training personalised to each student. To "put it on the map" so to speak i am looking at studios in London - a question to you mums? is there a need or are we flooded with these courses already?

 

My approach is very current and achieves fantastic results hence i feel we need something different! Good old fashioned floor barre, technique class and repertoire with mentoring as part and parcel of what we do........good luck to you all out there in the search for what suits your child best x

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Just wanted to big Emma Northmore up - she is a fantastic, caring and enthusiastic teacher who gets great results with children. My DD has been taught by her for group classes and one-to-ones and also did her fabulous Easter Ballet Boost Course at Pineapple.

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Thanks!!!! thats so kind! Looking at rambert or sadlers to move my associates too - could be exciting while i plan my big school!!

 

ooh........do you think anyone on here knows how i can raise a massive amount of funds for this ballet school???

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