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xanthe

RBS JA questions

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Hello to all!

 

I've done a bit of a read through old threads but didn't find an answer so hopefully I'm not asking something that has been asked a thousand times before. Apologies if I do!

 

So, two questions...

 

I have a 7 year-old DD (turns 8 in the summer) who has been dancing for around 3 years (modern) and 18 months for ballet. She's currently doing Cecchetti Standard 2. We've had some issues with timings for ballet classes and have had to move schools this year - finally found what seems like a fantastic class, but I haven't had a chance to get to know the teacher well and with evening sessions back to back it's not going to be easy. 

 

I was thinking of putting DD in for the JA auditions this year, but worried about whether I need to get permission from the new teacher (I don't want to look like 'that parent' being pushy about their child from the start). Can I apply without a reference - do RBS even contact the teacher? Is it a terrible idea to do a self-entry? 


My second question is about the medical section on the form. DD has been being seen for growth delay since she was 2 years old. She lacks a hormone called IGF-1 which is basically the ignition switch for the body to use growth hormone. Other than lacking this and having a 2+ year delayed bone age on x-ray she is 100% healthy and the hospital will monitor till her 20's but almost certainly never treat. Physically she is small for her age (10th centile), very slim, short body, long limbs, very high insteps and arches and has a fair degree of hyper-extension. 

 

Should I put any of this on the application form? One of my reasons for asking is that I come from a family of giants and I am the tiny one at 5ft 10". Both my father's cousins were at WL and both were asked to leave the Upper School as they grew too tall. I have no idea if height is a major issue these days, but I remember being devastated as a child when a ballet teacher told me that I may as well give up now after she met my 6ft 8" father at the end of class. I would hate the staff to take one look at me and feel that way when she's unlikely to make more than 5ft 5", but also don't want to add a load of stuff to the form if it's not relevant!

 

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I would mention it to the teacher out of politeness. if she's small and I presume one of the youngest to audition she will look petite so not sure you would need to mention it?

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My dd is applying this year too and i think it does say on the application form to mention it to your teacher and the form asks for the dance teachers name and dance school. I wouldn't have thought they would contact them though, they have too many applications and i don't think you need permission.

I personally wouldn't mention any health issues on the form if she is fit and healthy.

My dd will be just 8 by september and is very petite, 118cm.

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It does ask for teachers info but thats only so that if they are offered a place they can email the tecaher inviting them to come and watch classes. And on the odd occasion they have contacted me if they cant get in touch with the parent.

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Hi Xanthe, personally I would consider mentioning the growth issue. They ask for parental heights to predict a rough final height. So mentioning that due to a medical issue you don't expect her to be tall may help - especially if you say it doesn't otherwise affect her health. Not an easy decision.

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It's difficult, they may also presume that she will be too small. It may also be in her favour that you are tall and she could edge up the centiles chart. I have children who are very different heights, I'm not sure how much they can tell from parental height!

Edited by Moomin
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Good points - it's a guessing game quite honestly! It may be worth considering other schemes in addition which are slightly less obssessed with build......

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Thank you all for the welcome and answers!

 

The growth one is tricky - one doesn't want to make a point of mentioning a health issue, especially when it has no day to day effects, but I know the parental heights will give them a prediction of 5ft 9", yet the hospital are pretty certain that she will be between 5ft 2" and 5ft 6" and probably on the upper end. I think I will try and find a very simple way of explaining it - sadly/happily she doesn't fit in any of the standard 'conditions' so no nice, easy label either. It's annoying as she is probably going to be a perfectly reasonable height for dance, but on paper she won't.

 

I'm going to send an email to her new ballet teacher and see how things are going, and I will let her know that I'd like her to have a go at the JAs. 

 

Princessballerina - lots of luck to your DD. I've been looking at the photo instructions... yikes!

 

sarahw - I will go and have a look at some of the others in the London area, thank you for the suggestion.

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If she's a lovely dancer I'm sure it's probably not going to put them off at this stage, things change so much. I was tiny at that age but grew and my youngest is at least 4 inches taller than her sister was at the same age. It's all so unpredictable at age 7/8!

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I would send a note/covering letter attached to the application about her medical "issue". And no need to keep it simple - just explain it in medical terms. Good luck - doing RBS JAs is lovely if you get the opportunity (I had 2!!)

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Unless i missed it, i don't think the 'parental height' question was on the application forms this year.

Unless it's different for JA's, ( dd is now a MA).

Feel free to tell me i'm a forgetful old bat if it *is* on there, and apologies in advance! ????

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Unless i missed it, i don't think the 'parental height' question was on the application forms this year.

Unless it's different for JA's, ( dd is now a MA).

Feel free to tell me i'm a forgetful old bat if it *is* on there, and apologies in advance!

 

I think you're right, Gowiththeflo.  I didn't spot 'parental height' question on the application form for JAs this year.

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Feeling a bit deflated just now. We have just got in from ballet and after asking my dd teacher about rbs associate auditions she said she thought my dd would be a no and go for it next year rather than this year.

She said she has potential and beautiful feet but does not have the 'ideal' body proportions for rbs.

I knew this really but now doubting wether she should go for it at all. My dd knows it is highly unlikely to get in and we have discussed it at length. Am i just wasting her time and building her up for a fall? My husband thinks i should just leave it.

Her teacher told me to have a think about it. She said if i decide to go for it she wants full control of photos, hair in braids, new leo of her choice, new ballet shoes and extra coaching etc. I had the impression none of this mattered it was all about potential.

By the way, she knows what she is talking about she has been to white lodge and is an rbs teacher.

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How do you think she would cope with the classes as I understand they are quite long? Both in terms of concentration and strength with her being only just 8 and very petite?

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She is very strong Moomin. She does 6 hours of gymnastics a week, in the squad.

Her teacher has said she is like a robot!

She has lots of stamina and energy, the problem is her body shape. She is a skinny minnie, all in proportion. Maybe she should stick with gymnastics!

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If you really want to let her try. Let her try. You never know what they're looking for on that day. And her body shape sounds good to me for JAs. At our JA Class there's quite a range, from an absolutely tiny girl (in build and height) to a range of very slight girls of all heights and some girls both smaller and taller without that totally skinny body that you expect. It really is a mixture. What I think they're looking for is the love of dance, and the ability to focus for a full 2hours or more doing lots of repetition without getting bored. I'm sure other people have other ideas about what they're looking for. My dd isn't ultra flexible (some are) nor does she have crazy long limbs (some do) but she loves it so much I'm sure that's what they saw in her. So, in general, I'd say go anyway. It's a lovely class. They make it such fun for the children, and my dd came out having loved the experience but with no expectations and I'm sure would've tried again for the fun of it if she hadn't got in xx

Good luck whatever your decision xx

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Thank you. I have always known about the ideal body type but i thought she does have lots of the other atributes ie, good feet, stamina, stength, musicality, good memory, great flexability and gracefulness etc. Her teacher told me today that they have a tick box regarding body type which she will not get ticks for ie, long limbs, long neck and short back. Think i will have another chat with her next week.

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The audition experience in itself is lovely and worth doing. Obviously I would have thought better to do with the support of the teacher and its great that she will help with photos, hair, choice of leotard etc. Not sure why extra coaching would be needed. So many successes for Year 4 entry in particular have been for dancers with very little experience but who show enormous potential to benefit from the type of training offered by the Royal Ballet School. On the gymnastics front, 6 hours a week may still be sustainable if your dd were to be awarded a place, but I know both of my dds have had to cut back substantially on their gymnastics hours since becoming Associates in other schemes. It's mostly logistics, but also whilst the gymnastics certainly helps with flexibility and core strength, they have had to focus hard on "undoing" some of the impact it has had on their posture and feet (can cause "pro-nation, doesn't sound like this has been a problem for your little one). If your dd loves dancing and would not be overly disappointed with a no or a waitlist place, I would just go for it. It certainly doesn't go against you if you audition more than once so what's to lose? (Imho). Good luck!!

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I see your dilemma and it's really tricky to know what to do, especially if you don't want to upset the teacher - or your child. With the auditions only being once a year it's not as if you get many opportunities to have a go and you don't want to make the wrong choice. Is there anyway you could get a second opinion? I'd also heard that while the photos are fairly important, they are judging more on potential than what they've learnt so far.

 

I'm in a slightly similar position - DD's new teacher wants to discuss her taking an extra invitation-only class and doing both standard and grades exams.

 

Although madam has boundless energy, she will be taking 2hrs ballet, 1hr modern, 1hr drama, 2hrs singing a week plus her school have a dancer-in-residence that she does an hour with and she has choir after-school. If she was to get a place in the JA, that would be a heck of a lot for a child her age.

 

It would feel criminal turning down the opportunity so now I'm not sure if she should even try out this year. I think frank discussion is probably needed but tricky at the moment as the teacher hasn't known DD long enough to know her strengths/weaknesses yet.

 

At least applications are open till March!

 

Double checked the forms and parental height isn't on that one. Not sure which forms it was on as I know I saw it somewhere!

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If she's an rbs teacher and says that she won't get in as I parent I would presume she was correct and make the decision based on that. I'm sure there's always something to be learnt from an audition though and always a chance so depends on whether you want to proceed or maybe try somewhere else where her body type won't be so much of a problem? They get a huge amount applying for rbs, who knows exactly what they look for but they can surely be very picky about finding it!

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Feeling a bit deflated just now. We have just got in from ballet and after asking my dd teacher about rbs associate auditions she said she thought my dd would be a no and go for it next year rather than this year.

She said she has potential and beautiful feet but does not have the 'ideal' body proportions for rbs.

I knew this really but now doubting wether she should go for it at all. My dd knows it is highly unlikely to get in and we have discussed it at length. Am i just wasting her time and building her up for a fall? My husband thinks i should just leave it.

Her teacher told me to have a think about it. She said if i decide to go for it she wants full control of photos, hair in braids, new leo of her choice, new ballet shoes and extra coaching etc. I had the impression none of this mattered it was all about potential.

By the way, she knows what she is talking about she has been to white lodge and is an rbs teacher.

My DD's ballet school teacher told us when we were applying for year 4 when she was 8 said she had no chance and yet she has been a JA and MA since age 8 is now 14 and just auditioned for SA's. Has also reached finals a few times. DD only wanted to go for the experience and to try another class as she was doing one ballet class a week for 45 mins at age 8. They audition all children who apply and the class isn't at all intimidating my DD thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Good luck x

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Thank you all for the welcome and answers!

 

The growth one is tricky - one doesn't want to make a point of mentioning a health issue, especially when it has no day to day effects, but I know the parental heights will give them a prediction of 5ft 9", yet the hospital are pretty certain that she will be between 5ft 2" and 5ft 6" and probably on the upper end. I think I will try and find a very simple way of explaining it - sadly/happily she doesn't fit in any of the standard 'conditions' so no nice, easy label either. It's annoying as she is probably going to be a perfectly reasonable height for dance, but on paper she won't.

 

I'm going to send an email to her new ballet teacher and see how things are going, and I will let her know that I'd like her to have a go at the JAs. 

 

Princessballerina - lots of luck to your DD. I've been looking at the photo instructions... yikes!

 

sarahw - I will go and have a look at some of the others in the London area, thank you for the suggestion.

Xanthe I personally wouldn't mention anything medical unless it specifically asks about medical conditions or injuries on the form. If your DD gets into JAs they tend to be looked at by the physio at some point anyway. In terms of asking your teacher I am aware when my DD went for JAs we had to ask the teacher for her signature of which she wasn't happy however I explained my DD wanted to have a go and as stated its an added extra to regular ballet classes and my DD was doing one 45 min ballet class a week at that stage.

Good luck x

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Princess ballerina - my DD applied for Yr 5 JAs 'just to see' and as an extra ballet lesson - she got a place and is now yr 7 MA and trying for Yr 8 vocational school. Who knows on the day what they are looking for, you cannot second guess any of it - we have tried. However you have got to be in it to win it, and the audition experience itself will be so valuable for next time - just remember it's like a Rollercoaster, it's very difficult to get off once it's started. Yet we all do it year after year. As for height and med condition, I agree with Sarahw- if parental height not mentioned leave it off, don't give them anything else to think about. Good luck xx

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Thank you. Sorry for hijacking your thread xanthe!

My dd is adamant she wants to try even though i have told her she is unlikely to get in and she was there when the teacher said it would be a no. She is a very determined little girl!

Will speak to her teacher again tonight telling her she is auditioning.

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Princessballerina. Chances are better for Year 4 entry than any of the other years. Whatever the outcome, it's great experience and a nice thing to be able to say that you auditioned for RBS. Plus a day off school. Good luck ????

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