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Mae989

European schools and intensives advice

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My DD is currently Y9 and would like to focus on classical ballet. She is currently vocational but we are thinking about Y11 already (I’m a planner!) and where to go from here. 

Does anyone have any advise about which European schools have good reputations for full time and any experience of the intensives.

She already has a list of UK schools she would like to audition for but I know there must be so much out there in Europe also. 

Top tips most welcome please! I am not from a dance background so am totally clueless!!!😬

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Is your dd currently at school in the UK, Mae? If so, do you mean you are looking at options for Year 12 (16+/upper school)? Because in UK schools the students would be studying GCSEs in Years 10 and 11.  

 

With regard to European schools, the ones I know include:

 

John Cranko school:  http://en.john-cranko-schule.de/schooling/

Princesse Grace Academie de danse:  http://www.balletsdemontecarlo.com/en/training

Dutch National Ballet Academy:  https://www.atd.ahk.nl/en/dance-programmes/national-ballet-academy/about-nba/

 

I'm sure there are more but I've only had one cup of coffee so far so not quite awake yet. B)

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Lucinda said:

I suggest joining http://dancers.invisionzone.com/ there are a number of members who have personal experience of European ballet schools both year round and SI's.

 

assuming they  will let you  on - they have  some very funny ideas on what is an acceptable email address  to sign up with ...  

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5 hours ago, Anna C said:

Is your dd currently at school in the UK, Mae? If so, do you mean you are looking at options for Year 12 (16+/upper school)? Because in UK schools the students would be studying GCSEs in Years 10 and 11.  

 

With regard to European schools, the ones I know include:

 

John Cranko school:  http://en.john-cranko-schule.de/schooling/

Princesse Grace Academie de danse:  http://www.balletsdemontecarlo.com/en/training

Dutch National Ballet Academy:  https://www.atd.ahk.nl/en/dance-programmes/national-ballet-academy/about-nba/

 

I'm sure there are more but I've only had one cup of coffee so far so not quite awake yet. B)

 

 

 

Sorry, I should have made myself a little clearer. Yes I mean for 16+ but she will be auditioning in Y11 for a Y12 place😊

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A bit off topic, but I hope Moderators will forgive me ...

 

A couple of posters have mentioned Ballet Talk for Dancers: I'm a Moderator at Ballet Talk for Dancers - a 'sister' group to this one - mostly US based, but very international. We have around 10,000 to 12,000 registered members from all over the world.

 

The reason for the restrictions on email addresses is a very quick way for us as (unpaid) Moderators to be able to stop the flood of Spam that the board gets. It's a huge board with a huge membership & keeping the spam at bay is tricky.  It's nothing more sinister than that ... Yahoo & Gmail are particularly prone to be hacked and/or allowing loads of spam, so it's just a precaution for us.

 

I'm sorry people have found it unfriendly - if you want to PM me to let me know what it is that you've found unfriendly, I can take that back to the Moderators' discussion group (backstage) - no names mentioned! We'd be really grateful for feedback on things we can tweak.

 

BTfD, and its allied messageboard, BalletAltert live & die by the accuracy of first-hand information (no gossip) and sharing of dancers' and parents' experiences. We have some very eminent Teacher-Moderators, and other Mods who have professional dancing sons & daughters. The strength of BTfD is the accuracy of information & advice. Sometimes Modding policies feel restrictive to people used to more free-flow or blog style/chat style message-boards. If so BTfD isn't for them. But I've found it hugely useful as an adult ballet student. Once you get used to it, it's a wonderful community - just like here!!

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None of that addresses the issue of being allowed to join in the first place. 

 

I used to be a member using an email address belonging to the franchise I used to run. When I left that company the email address was taken back & given to the new franchisee. 

 

I also found the attitude of many on there very patronising & it was very much a case of whatever they believed (regardless of different school of thought or teaching practice/experiences elsewhere. 

 

Balletco  is a much, much nicer forum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree with you, PIFL. I found a number of posters to be rather aggressive.

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I read it as a guest. Training in US is very different and so posters over there may not always appreciate how we tend to train here. Anyway there is a very good discussion on there regarding Princesse Grace in Monaco.

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Yes, perfectly possible to read as a guest. I find the differences between European & US training approaches very interesting, and often find myself explaining European training to US parents. What did GNS say? 'Two nations divided by a common language'  ;)

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Just been thinking about other European schools- there’s Neuemeier (in Munich ,  I think?)  

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I have used BT4D quite extensively in the past and not just because DS trained partly in the US. What I notice is that there is much less traffic than on the UK forum but personally I haven't found it unfriendly in the slightest. And I have a gmail email which mostly works (occasionally the site tells me I'm not allowed on but it always resets after a day or so). A big difference I found was when I asked for advice several years ago on the advisability of sending a child away to train at a relatively young age (DS at the time was 13). Many people who posted from the UK site seemed to think that we have perfectly good ballet schools here and if you don't get in at X age then you should just wait and try at Y age, as if not getting in at a UK school is pretty much a 'no' for your potential to make it professionally. In the US far more people were open to the idea of travelling, no matter how far, to get the right training fit. I found it surprising because I have always thought of the US as being quite insular. Maybe it's because it's so big and people accept the idea of travelling a long way anyway, or because there isn't an obvious 'national' ballet academy. To be fair often the travelling they are discussing is within the US but such a distance it is as far as UK to anywhere in Europe!

In the end we went with sending DS which is a good thing as if he'd stayed here he would never have become a professional - the RB have consistently shown no interest at all yet he evidently is talented enough to be a professional dancer. 

 

Anyway I digress...

Re training abroad I agree with Anna C I have heard good things about John Cranko, DS's experience in Amsterdam was terrible but perhaps person specific so I'm not sure its relevant and in general Dutch NBA has a good rep, Princess Grace seems to consistently turn out successful dancers. I presume Paris Opera is out of the picture as they don't take at that age?

I know of schools in Hamburg, Dresden, Czech Rep, Budapest and Estonia but no knowledge of how they are viewed.

 

I have to put a little hand up for Vaganova or Bolshoi in Russia. The training is astonishingly good (esp Vaganova at the moment under Tsiskaridze) and overall the fees are not extortionate (though of course as an international there are no reductions). But fees include all classes, accommodation and food as well as Russian classes. DS was happier in St Petersburg than he has ever been- training wise and socially.

 

Edited to add- if possible (I think I have said this before on other threads) do an intensive BEFORE you decide to join the school as otherwise it is really difficult to see how it will suit. If DS had done an intensive at NBA I doubt he would have gone there (thus saving us a lot of money and pain). He did once do a summer school at RB and really didn't enjoy the training much so thereafter didn't even consider applying for upper school...

Edited by CeliB
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On 21.2.2018 at 02:56, Mae989 said:

My DD is currently Y9 and would like to focus on classical ballet. She is currently vocational but we are thinking about Y11 already (I’m a planner!) and where to go from here. 

Does anyone have any advise about which European schools have good reputations for full time and any experience of the intensives.

She already has a list of UK schools she would like to audition for but I know there must be so much out there in Europe also. 

Top tips most welcome please! I am not from a dance background so am totally clueless!!!😬

Our DS is at the State Ballet School in Berlin, in Year 9, and has loved it form day one (he started when he was only 9, as a boarder, in Year 5). They have a great reputation and almost everybody leaving the school do so with an employment contract for a ballet company, in Germany or elsewhere. PM me if you would like more info.

 

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5 hours ago, CeliB said:

I have used BT4D quite extensively in the past and not just because DS trained partly in the US. What I notice is that there is much less traffic than on the UK forum but personally I haven't found it unfriendly in the slightest. And I have a gmail email which mostly works (occasionally the site tells me I'm not allowed on but it always resets after a day or so). A big difference I found was when I asked for advice several years ago on the advisability of sending a child away to train at a relatively young age (DS at the time was 13). Many people who posted from the UK site seemed to think that we have perfectly good ballet schools here and if you don't get in at X age then you should just wait and try at Y age, as if not getting in at a UK school is pretty much a 'no' for your potential to make it professionally. In the US far more people were open to the idea of travelling, no matter how far, to get the right training fit. I found it surprising because I have always thought of the US as being quite insular. Maybe it's because it's so big and people accept the idea of travelling a long way anyway, or because there isn't an obvious 'national' ballet academy. To be fair often the travelling they are discussing is within the US but such a distance it is as far as UK to anywhere in Europe!

In the end we went with sending DS which is a good thing as if he'd stayed here he would never have become a professional - the RB have consistently shown no interest at all yet he evidently is talented enough to be a professional dancer. 

 

Anyway I digress...

Re training abroad I agree with Anna C I have heard good things about John Cranko, DS's experience in Amsterdam was terrible but perhaps person specific so I'm not sure its relevant and in general Dutch NBA has a good rep, Princess Grace seems to consistently turn out successful dancers. I presume Paris Opera is out of the picture as they don't take at that age?

I know of schools in Hamburg, Dresden, Czech Rep, Budapest and Estonia but no knowledge of how they are viewed.

 

I have to put a little hand up for Vaganova or Bolshoi in Russia. The training is astonishingly good (esp Vaganova at the moment under Tsiskaridze) and overall the fees are not extortionate (though of course as an international there are no reductions). But fees include all classes, accommodation and food as well as Russian classes. DS was happier in St Petersburg than he has ever been- training wise and socially.

 

Edited to add- if possible (I think I have said this before on other threads) do an intensive BEFORE you decide to join the school as otherwise it is really difficult to see how it will suit. If DS had done an intensive at NBA I doubt he would have gone there (thus saving us a lot of money and pain). He did once do a summer school at RB and really didn't enjoy the training much so thereafter didn't even consider applying for upper school...

Thankyou so much for this informative response! Yes we will certainly be looking at some intensives first. That’s why I would like to get organised now so we can be looking and hopefully trying some out.

 

Out of interest, do the Vaganova and Bolshoi like the very small super flexible girls?😏

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I would say super flexible will always go down well. Heights of the girls in DS's year seem to be fairly variable. I know two of the girls well enough to have a sense of their height and I would think they were 5'5 or 5'6, (def shorter than me and I'm 5'7)... But at school level the variation is more 'allowed' (if that's the right word) than at company level. For example I know DS has said of certain boys in his cohort that they would have to look outside Russia for a job as they would be considered too short for a Russian company (even the one of them who is Russian and has been at Vaganova for all his training). But they haven't been assessed out- it's just accepted that they will be looking further afield for jobs....

 

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Thank you for your first post above Kate_N.

I found the USA based forum invaluable over 7 years ago when it became apparent that my 14 yr old daughter was not going to grow out of her single minded dream to be a professional ballet dancer. Without the amazing support and objective guidance both she and I received from that forum, I doubt she would have achieved her goal. I am extremely grateful. 

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In that programme about a year or so ago .....just after Nicholas Tsiskaridze had taken charge at any rate...there was one delightful little girl who was extremely bendy but they nearly rejected because they didn't think she would grow tall enough down the line.

Apparently it is thought that if you do a LOT of gymnastics very young it inhibits your eventual growth....have no idea if true but this was what was thought.

Anyway after a bit of a battle one of the teachers spoke up for her and they admitted her.

She is still there and is still a delightful dancer but still one of the smallest.

Whether this goes against her eventually I didn't know but tend to think that if the dancer is outstanding enough things tend to happen....think of Wayne Sleep in the Royal for example ....he had to be exceptionally talented to do so.....and he was....but he made it into the Company! 

This post is in answer to Mae989 post

Edited by LinMM
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My son has been at the Ballettakademie der Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich since September, age 11, though. Very good and dedicated training, good dance facilities, less good fitness facilities. Part of the University. And it is WAY cheaper than anything you could imagine in the U.K.- currently £1200 a year (!), less for older “University “ students , i. e. over 16. They have independent accommodation for over 16s , no boarding. 

Ballettzentrum John Neumeier is in Hamburg! They board up to 34 students, and very well regarded, almost all their graduates find employment. 

Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin is the equivalent of the Royal Ballet School, they board up to 74 students, the only ballet school in Germany that has integrated schooling. 

All German schools teach Vaganova, which was quite a difference, and difficult for my son in the beginning, but he has adapted well now. All schools assess out twice a year, though, but generally it’s a lot lower key and less stress put on the youngsters. 

I hope that helps in a way 

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Hello,

Can anyone comment on the quality of training at Paris Opera Ballet School?  My 13 yr old DD could audition this May and we are trying to evaluate if it's worth the effort.  I'm also not from a dance background and find this all fairly overwhelming and hard to evaluate.  I've been reading another thread about the small number of British born/raised dancers that rarely progress from WL to US.  Is there a similar pattern at POB?  It seems that age 13 is the last year to audition formally....so is that to assume that the students aren't assessed out and all graduate?  Is the training that good that all are able to move into the Corps or find other jobs after graduation and progress through the years in the school?  Are they also recruiting students from competitions (we have not gone that route yet) into the school on scholarships? Any thoughts would be welcome!!

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There have been various threads about the POB School in the past.  It is worth doing a search on "Paris".  Here are some to start you off - they may contain some information that is of use to you.:

 

 

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Students can be assessed out at the end of any year. If accepted, it is affordable compared to UK schools but the boarding house shuts at weekend, and so you have to find host families (Afab mentioned this in a previous post).

The last two girls that entered the Corps de Ballet from the School (Concours last summer) both started at 15yrs, one came from the Prix de Lausanne and the other from the CNSMDP. Some students, who graduate, stay at POB on supernumerary contracts and try again a year/two/three years later.

On looking at their graduate destinations they seem to end up in companies in France and Europe, interestingly at the 'Opera de Bordeaux' there are graduates from POB and RBS.

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Thanks Jan and Sam for this information! 

 

So, are there many students entering the programme after age 13 through competition scouting by an invitation?  I'm wondering if the 2 -15 yrs girls that moved into the Corps de Ballet had been trained at POB from early ages?  It just seems like a trend at RBS is to acquire these desirable students in the US from other schools and then claim that they have been trained at RBS.  When actually, their core, fundamental training was done somewhere else.  It's hard then, as a parent, to determine if the school is really "the best" for a younger, promising dancer, or more of a finishing programme leading to possible employment for a upper teen dancer that has already had solid training?  As a parent of a 13 yr old, trying to decide where is the best training, it's a bit confusing. 

I guess my questions are asking if this is also perhaps the case at POB?

 

Thanks again!

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There are not many that enter after 13, but it does happen. I do not know the percentage of those that start between 9-13 and finish Upper School either, unfortunately. I do know two that started at 11yrs that graduated 2 years ago, one boy did two years as supernumerary before getting a contract in Italy and a girl who is on her third year as supernumerary.

Wherever you research , graduate destinations are important , but also , for me, it was school atmosphere, pastoral care and as others have said on this forum the right fit for your child.

My dd only started ballet at 9/10 and so did not try POB at 13yrs, she did two years of 'sport studies' , school morning and ballet afternoon/evening and then auditioned for vocational school at 15yrs , at the two schools of our choice.

Good Luck, its not easy!

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John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany has a pretty decent track record of sending their kids into Academy after the younger years.  It appears there are many factors that determine whether or not someone from the lower school would make it into academy.  If the student continues to show promise, maintains ballet-like facilities, etc., it seems like they are promoted to the JCS Academy.  

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On 21/02/2018 at 08:37, Anna C said:

Is your dd currently at school in the UK, Mae? If so, do you mean you are looking at options for Year 12 (16+/upper school)? Because in UK schools the students would be studying GCSEs in Years 10 and 11.  

 

With regard to European schools, the ones I know include:

 

John Cranko school:  http://en.john-cranko-schule.de/schooling/

Princesse Grace Academie de danse:  http://www.balletsdemontecarlo.com/en/training

Dutch National Ballet Academy:  https://www.atd.ahk.nl/en/dance-programmes/national-ballet-academy/about-nba/

 

I'm sure there are more but I've only had one cup of coffee so far so not quite awake yet. B)

 

 

 

Hi Mae989, I know of two girls who are currently at John Cranko and Princess Grace....  both loving it. However, please look closely at audition procedure as some are done through their summer schools rather than the standard audition season that vocational schools follow in the UK. 

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On 30/04/2018 at 19:02, balletbean said:

Hi Mae989, I know of two girls who are currently at John Cranko and Princess Grace....  both loving it. However, please look closely at audition procedure as some are done through their summer schools rather than the standard audition season that vocational schools follow in the UK. 

Thankyou! That’s really useful to know. She’s Y9 so next year I’m assuming would be the most appropriate time

for her to look at these summer schools/auditions? The never ending money pit strikes again!😬😂

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7 hours ago, Mae989 said:

Thankyou! That’s really useful to know. She’s Y9 so next year I’m assuming would be the most appropriate time

for her to look at these summer schools/auditions? The never ending money pit strikes again!😬😂

 

Have you considered YAGP ? Most of the European schools artistic directors are present and there is an opportunity to gain short term scholarships or summer intensives to their schools. It is excellent performance experience too and a fantastic opportunity to be taught by the AD and dance with international students. My dd had an amazing time and has made some lovely friends. Paris and Scilly I think this November !! 

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