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British training at Lower and Upper Schools

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1 hour ago, Dancermum2003 said:

I’m interested in the funding element at Royal. I know one of the international prize winners who is entering US in Sept has advertised winning a ‘scholarship’ . I didn’t think international student could have scholarships? I wonder what checks the government make on the MDS students and their progression?

 

I thought that the funding in upper school does not have the same uk residency requirements. Which is why they can give scholarships to international students. Is that the case does anyone know?

 

aside from that I would have to agree with the posters on here questioning what is going on with the training at wl if they deem majority of these girls  they chose and trained aren’t good enough for their upper school (unless they ‘chose’ them after they had been trained abroad to a standard high enough to win highly competitive international competitions). But as someone pointed out are they a product of royal training if they came for two or even just one year and then went to upper?

 

 

 

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Yes out of the 5 white lodge girls 2 are British who trained at white lodge from yr7 the others foreign who joined from yr 9 or 10 onwards 

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Have the statistics from wl been like that for a while though? Or did many more used to get a place at upper? 

 

It seems that it is just so hard for the uk to compete with the international whom most seem to be home schooled and train for much longer hours. We still place great value on education here with most training just after school hours. 

 

I think most people are very realistic and have a back up plan/other options. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, atacrossroads said:

You’ve summed it up so well Sadielou.  

I’ve noticed this year that the majority of people reading or commenting on the audition stages of the Forum are parents of DCs from years 5-9. 

Once you get to the gruelling stage of US auditions there is a drop in contributions (presumably as the process becomes so intense and personal that you try not to focus on it hourly and just try to get through it with the end result of an offer somewhere.).

I would urge these parents of younger students to research widely into the business as a whole, the training beyond RBS being the be all and end all, and what else is available out of this country as well as within it in the form of private coaching or elite after school vocational classes.

dreams are very important, but a realistic perspective is more useful...

Thank you - this is such a reality check for those of us with younger dancers!! It's easy to get carried away with dreams about White Lodge and finding a way into the RBS, à la Darcey Bussell route, when in reality there is a much bigger picture and such slim chance of making it through to the Upper School, let alone the company! Like you say, dreams count, but mental stamina and stability is helped sometimes by a realistic grasp of the situation.

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28 minutes ago, atacrossroads said:

Interesting how the boy’s training seems to have been sufficient for more of them to be accepted into US (although I’ve heard it’s a particularly strong year). They are being joined by a UK boy from Tring which is a great achievement.

The training is no better for boys, my children are all boys. It is quite simply that regardless of the "Billy Elliot effect" there are still far fewer boys at US age (be it from the UK or abroad) chasing the pure ballet dream.

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Morning everyone!

This makes for a very interesting read! This is a bit off-topic but has anyone heard of WL offering places to day pupils, or is it boarding only?

 

TIA! xx

Edited by AdageKitty

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On a positive note we can all agree that Francesca Hayward, Anna Rose and Yasmin Naghdi (to name a few) are incredible recent success stories from the WL training system and are a joy to watch. 

I think someone hit the nail on the head earlier regarding the education/academic balance. Many other countries worldwide prioritize studio/training hours  above education so will be technically advanced by a young age. In the UK the children are fortunate enough to maintain balance. Knowing how an injury can swiftly ruin a classical career I’m all for balance! 

Equally, all super bright academic children who attend top tier schools will not land a coveted place at Oxbridge and will also compete on a global stage so it’s not limited to the ballet world. 

 

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Do not forget that the directorship and teaching staff have changed quite considerably since the above mentioned were at school. Lets hope we can quote as many English success stories in the coming few years.

 

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For anyone reading this with a child at WL or about to start statistically it does make for depressing reading . However I believe in “nothing ventured nothing gained”  and whilst there are many roads that lead to Rome taking the White Lodge route is still the most likely path to the eventual goal. ( If you wish for your child to study in this country from year 7-11) For the parents of children who have just completed Five years at WL without an US offer , those children will have still gained an invaluable  experience . From living in the beautiful surroundings to the exceptionally small academic classes, the opportunities to perform on one of the worlds most famous stages, the ability to deal with pressure and competition whilst being away from home from a young age. Not to mention the wonderfully close sibling like friendships they make there. These things will serve them well in life both in and out of the dance world. They will always have the Royal ballet school on their CV and I expect their future will be bright whatever or wherever they go to next . 

I think it is best not to get hung up on what the kids abroad can do and rather look to the likes of Francesca Hayward , Yasmine Naghdi , Anna Rose, Matthew Ball and Joseph Sissens among other company members. They are a prime example of successful intelligent artists with that unmistakable British stamp .

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Just out of curiosity, what happens to all those who went to WL and didn't make it to the US? Aside from the obvious like trying for Central etc, has anyone heard of children who gave up ballet vocationally and who went on to be successful somewhere else (ballet related or not)?
My DD (9) said that in case she doesn't succeed in ballet when she's older, she would be interested in designing ballet wear, so ballet will always be in her life :) 
Would be lovely to hear from others who went on an alternative path.

 

 

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We have this conversation every year 🙁🙁🙁.

 

I agree with all the potential reasons listed. 

 

I feel depressed knowing how much money British dancing parents spend on RBS fees for associate/summer school /WL applications bearing in mind how poor their commitment is to training British dancers.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Aklf said:

On a positive note we can all agree that Francesca Hayward, Anna Rose and Yasmin Naghdi (to name a few) are incredible recent success stories from the WL training system and are a joy to watch. 

I think someone hit the nail on the head earlier regarding the education/academic balance. Many other countries worldwide prioritize studio/training hours  above education so will be technically advanced by a young age. In the UK the children are fortunate enough to maintain balance. Knowing how an injury can swiftly ruin a classical career I’m all for balance! 

Equally, all super bright academic children who attend top tier schools will not land a coveted place at Oxbridge and will also compete on a global stage so it’s not limited to the ballet world. 

 

I'm not sure that's a valid comparison though - it's more like a school that recruits 6th formers from around the world especially those with academic prizes; dumps all their pupils who were taught by them at 7-11 and then at 18 publishes their high rate of Oxbridge entrants and claims it is their teaching that is responsible for the success rate. Obviously the last 2-3 years are important but I can't see how the first 5 years aren't equally or maybe more important as this is a really key learning age...

 

The main issue here I suppose is whether the international students are displacing UK students whilst UK taxpayers are subsiding the training. As far as I know for example the international students at the Vaganova do not displace any Russian students they are taught in addition and all pay full fees (Russians do not pay any fees). If RB had a quota for home taught students it would feel much less galling; the success at 18 would be more obviously/easily linked to the teaching from age 11 and poor results easier to identify and perhaps do something about. As it is, the true success of RB lower school training is almost impossible to evaluate. Of course it may be that the rate of success at RB is as good as other comparable national schools but without transparent data you just can't tell.  

 

(Also I have to say RB consistently claims to award places on the basis of potential and should be perfectly aware that students in other countries may have been pushed more at an earlier age. It doesn't say too much for their picking power if at 16 they still can't recognise potential over more hours training.....)

 

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What the cost would be to "send" a child to another country at year 9, I couldn't even imagine for most parents, even with a good income. It's hard enough them being away from home in this country,  Wouldn't it be nice for all talented children to be playing on a level playing field, I suppose that's the way the cookie crumbles.

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The training at some of the Swiss and German schools is free - parents would have to find money for living expenses, but It is also possible that a talented child could be awarded a scholarship to cover this. As a nation we are very reticent about looking outwards, there are some fabulous schools and Companies in Europe. 

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9 hours ago, Dancermum2003 said:

I’m interested in the funding element at Royal. I know one of the international prize winners who is entering US in Sept has advertised winning a ‘scholarship’ . I didn’t think international student could have scholarships? I wonder what checks the government make on the MDS students and their progression?

Scholarships that International students use for coming to the RBS are from competitions eg Prix de Lausanne, YAGP or others, not from the school.  Some International student receives 3 years Scholarship, some 1 year and some are paying full tuition by themselves or have private sponsors. 

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There were actually a  total of six Yr11 WL students (girls)  that were offered US this year. BUT out of those six only two are British & have been there since yr7. The other four are foreign & two of those only started in Yr11 last Sept so I wouldn’t class those as rbs trained.

 

The training the girls have received over the years has been inadequate. The teachers that they've had are what I would class as good but not amazing. The students are so far behind the standard of the foreign students that are being shipped in that yes, I would be embarrassed if I were the artistic director at WL. The students work their socks off there, but they can only be as good as the teachers that are teaching them! 

 

What also infuriates me is the artistic director swans off to teach & judge at all of these international competitions but I know for a fact that the current yr11 girls have never had a class with him... His own students! Just goes to show where his priories lie! 

Edited by Ribbons
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32 minutes ago, Ribbons said:

There were a total of six Yr11 WL students (girls)  that were offered US this year. BUT out of those six only two are British & have been there since yr7. The other four are foreign & two of those only started in Yr11 last Sept so I wouldn’t class those as rbs trained.

 

The training the girls have received over the years has been inadequate. The teachers that they've had are what I would class as good but not amazing. The students are so far behind the standard of the foreign students that are being shipped in that yes, I would be embarrassed if I were the artistic director at WL. The students work their socks off there, but they can only be as good as the teachers that are teaching them! 

 

What also infuriates me is the artistic director swans off to teach & judge at all of these international competitions but I know for a fact that the current yr11 girls have never had a class with him... His own students! Just goes to show where his priories lie! 

This is the the bare truth of it - I hope the message gets out there.

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I fully appreciate Forum rules need to be respected and no child outed but I wanted to add to the discussion we have a 17 year old DD having a fabulous time dancing overseas and receiving true world class classical teaching. It is tough and critical at times and the hours in the studio are staggering but it is under current nurturing of every student. 

 

By comparison my observation is we seem to know an awful lot of parents who have come bitterly to regret their child’s time in top UK training and feel they were horribly let down. It is such a familiar theme from year groups above and below my DD of the people we know and know of, and is consistent to a point too with our own experience. I am sorry to say I really and truly struggle to believe the complaints are always untrue.

 

Unfortunately what happens is when it goes wrong the parents pick up the pieces and they focus on sorting out their child and they don’t rock the boat and also don’t want to risk being told it is just sour grapes. Do parents need to do more boat rocking collectively in order to improve the quality of the training, the commitment to each dancer, the sometimes dire selection (how is it that lay people with no ballet knowledge can quietly KNOW a particular choice will go horribly wrong in only months, and lo and behold....) and ultimately the return on taxpayers’ investment? 

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17 minutes ago, Flora said:

I fully appreciate Forum rules need to be respected and no child outed but I wanted to add to the discussion we have a 17 year old DD having a fabulous time dancing overseas and receiving true world class classical teaching. It is tough and critical at times and the hours in the studio are staggering but it is under current nurturing of every student. 

 

By comparison my observation is we seem to know an awful lot of parents who have come bitterly to regret their child’s time in top UK training and feel they were horribly let down. It is such a familiar theme from year groups above and below my DD of the people we know and know of, and is consistent to a point too with our own experience. I am sorry to say I really and truly struggle to believe the complaints are always untrue.

 

Unfortunately what happens is when it goes wrong the parents pick up the pieces and they focus on sorting out their child and they don’t rock the boat and also don’t want to risk being told it is just sour grapes. Do parents need to do more boat rocking collectively in order to improve the quality of the training, the commitment to each dancer, the sometimes dire selection (how is it that lay people with no ballet knowledge can quietly KNOW a particular choice will go horribly wrong in only months, and lo and behold....) and ultimately the return on taxpayers’ investment? 

It is about time the boat was rocked and the authorities that be, are made aware of what is going on. It is wrong on so many levels, from first selection onward. 

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I don't have a child who has ever applied to the RBS and I never will have, so no personal axe to grind. But if I did have I would find info such as this useful. When I was applying for academic secondary schools for my children I discounted schools that, for example, hadn't taken an out of catchment child without a sibling in the last 3 or 4 years. Of course there was always a small chance that things would be different, but statistically that was unlikely, so I focused on the schools that were more realistic propositions.

Personally, I would take a similar attitude to vocational schools. If I knew that any particular upper school had not taken a British student who wasn't already at their lower school for the last however many years then I would save the money, effort and heartache and not bother applying.

The difference is of course that admissions data is freely and easily available for regular state academic schools, but not for vocational schools. So how can parents know any of this stuff if not via forums like this?

Dreams do have to be tempered with reality, and it's better to start any journey fully informed.

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On 15/03/2018 at 23:02, atacrossroads said:

With barely half of WL year 11s making it to RBS Upper School,  I would imagine it would be a bit of a stretch to think that a child doing one afternoon a week with them is going to get into Upper School.  They'd be better off not travelling the country and having a private lesson with someone good nearer to home possibly?

It does happen from time to time.

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5 hours ago, Sadielou said:

It is about time the boat was rocked and the authorities that be, are made aware of what is going on. It is wrong on so many levels, from first selection onward. 

It's knowing how and where to rock the boat and not to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness ..... 

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5 hours ago, Flora said:

I fully appreciate Forum rules need to be respected and no child outed but I wanted to add to the discussion we have a 17 year old DD having a fabulous time dancing overseas and receiving true world class classical teaching. It is tough and critical at times and the hours in the studio are staggering but it is under current nurturing of every student. 

 

By comparison my observation is we seem to know an awful lot of parents who have come bitterly to regret their child’s time in top UK training and feel they were horribly let down. It is such a familiar theme from year groups above and below my DD of the people we know and know of, and is consistent to a point too with our own experience. I am sorry to say I really and truly struggle to believe the complaints are always untrue.

 

Unfortunately what happens is when it goes wrong the parents pick up the pieces and they focus on sorting out their child and they don’t rock the boat and also don’t want to risk being told it is just sour grapes. Do parents need to do more boat rocking collectively in order to improve the quality of the training, the commitment to each dancer, the sometimes dire selection (how is it that lay people with no ballet knowledge can quietly KNOW a particular choice will go horribly wrong in only months, and lo and behold....) and ultimately the return on taxpayers’ investment? 

 

 

Flora

 

Could you give us any information on how you researched and auditioned for the overseas schools, and made your final choice?  Factors to consider?  No need to name individual schools (particularly the one your DD is attending), but I think we tend not to look abroad for training as much as we possibly should.  

 

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29 minutes ago, Kat09 said:

It's knowing how and where to rock the boat and not to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness ..... 

This... with knobs on.

 

Speaking from personal experience, and from what I have been told in confidence by a number of others, the level of pastoral care at almost all the upper schools in the UK is truly abysmal. You can't speak out - we all know what happens to whistle-blowers.

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And how many disillusioned dancers are there out there who have been through UK vocational schools and then cannot even get auditions, let alone get a job. Look at the grad pages of some of the schools, they haven’t even been updated for two or more years, why is that?

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Ive heard this too and it certainly dismayed a friend of mine from abroad enough to reconsider it as a possible option for her daughter to apply( though in the end she decided not to be a professional dancer) She has this knowledge from parents of students who have studied at Upper school in UK and at a pretty prestigious school too. 

Is there any reason why a student from abroad whose parents have taken the trouble and expense to move to UK to be there for their child why that child cannot live at home. Is it a rule that ALL upper school students have to be boarders even at 16? 

Response to taxi4 ballet post

Edited by LinMM
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No, I think students can commute and attend as day pupils at some schools, Lin.  I don't think Taxi is referring to just boarding when she refers to pastoral care - more the treatment of pupils by staff at school? 

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1 hour ago, meadowblythe said:

 

 

Flora

 

Could you give us any information on how you researched and auditioned for the overseas schools, and made your final choice?  Factors to consider?  No need to name individual schools (particularly the one your DD is attending), but I think we tend not to look abroad for training as much as we possibly should.  

 

Dance Europe website has a list of vocational schools to start investigating. 

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