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Sugarplummum

Associate classes - increasing number of hours of ballet pw

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Hello,

 

This is my first post so I apologise if im posting in the wrong section 😕

 

My 9yr old  daughter has been doing dance for the last 3 years (ballet, tap and modern).

But she has a fondness for ballet and keeps telling me she wants to be a ballerina when she is older, and as much as im taking that comment with a pinch of salt 😉...obviously if it's what she's passionate about then i want to encourage that. I have no dance background so I don't know if she's got what they look for as regards ballet, however she has managed to achieve a distinction in both her pre primary and primary exams (but think these might be easier than grades?) And currently working on grade 1. 

Sorry im babbling...

 

So my issue is, the dance school she is at only do one 45 min class for her grade per week, and I want her to do more. 

The teacher wont let her go to another school alongside (understandable) , unless it's an associate class!

 

Ive googled it and it comes up with RBS 😲....i don't think we are quite at that level yet, so my question is, are there any other associate classes which would better suit her level, or have you got any advice as regards other ways to bump up the number of hours of ballet she does without upsetting her teacher?

 

Her teacher has told us to audition for EYB and get her in a summer school (was looking at OPES) so im in the process of sorting that atm. 

 

Any advice much appreciated for a mum totally out of her depth 🙈

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Hi. Where about are you based? A few I can think of are Royal ballet associates, (centres all over the UK) Tring Classical Ballet Academy (6 Sundays a term) Young Dancers Academy (10 Saturdays a term) Elmhurst Young Dancers (3 centres) plus loads more.

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Hello Sugarplummum and welcome. :) 

 

Yes, RBS Junior Associates is what you would be looking at for a 9 year-old.  Some Associate schemes like Central School of Ballet's in London start in Year 7 and can be an excellent way to increase good quality training hours for those not at full-time Vocational school. 

 

Depending on where you live, there are other Associate schemes for 9 year-olds.  In London there is London Junior Ballet, in Hertfordshire Tring Park school has Classical Ballet Academy 6 Sundays per term.  I will add the tag "Associates" to this thread underneath the title, and if you click on it, a list of threads all about associates will appear.  

 

It's not unusual for ballet teachers to allow Associates but not classes at other schools.  As your daughter progresses, it might be that her teacher has a "pre-vocational" class for students with potential to take an extra class.  

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Ms Sunshine and I were posting at the same time. :)

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I ought to add that yes, EYB is a super experience and well worth auditioning for.  I'm not sure if London Children's Ballet still run a Junior summer school but if so, they are lovely. 

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Thank you Anna and Ms Sunshine 😊

 

We are based in Nottingham, I can see RBS  has a Birmingham class whichis only an hour away but would assume she's not likely to get in RBS?

 

Are there any particular ones that are easier going and within a 2 hour drive of Nottingham?

 

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i could almost have written this post myself! also new to forum myself.

 

from my LIMITED experience, here's what i have learned... about 1 yr ago, i took my DD to a RBS insight day. we were too scared to ever apply for the associate scheme as i thought DD didnt quite tick every box plus her teacher had never indicated she was talented except for entering her for festivals, so i understood she was not going to be the next darcey bussell. having watched the insight day lesson (parents watch) i came away convinced DD didn't have the physical flexibility or ballet technique to apply ( maybe if she did more lessons or body conditioning this would have been less of an issue?) even if she did have certain other abilities in dance (mainly confidence!). so it kept me on the lookout, so to speak, and feeling we should be doing more to explore her interest because she wanted to perform perform perform.

 

however, if my DD did tick the flexibility box as well, i would not be put off from applying for RBS based on what i saw. they're not looking for high levels of technical ability but rather they look at a more basic level- timing, physical attributes. so i wouldn't rule RBS out just because she isn't on grade whatever. maybe your DD could try an insight day with RBS?

 

instead we have gone down to NYB route and just auditioned for the 2018 season. to our surprise, she is through to casting. will let you know if we get through to actual junior company ...

 

but we had looked at EYB but they had nothing in our area this year so ended up at NYB. so far it has been positive experience for her, auditioning at Sadlers Wells and getting a call back...so my advice is just to apply for these associate schemes and go along and see what you think...seems a great way to gain insight and get a feel

 

like your daughter mine only does 1 hr ballet a week, but does tap and modern too

 

she is 9 and grade 2- taking exam in june and as far as i know it's still 1 hr per week after that. if i could have done anything differently, i would not have told my DD why she wasn't likely to get in to RBS etc etc, i would have simply let her try.

 

hope that helps x

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25 minutes ago, Mummy2BalletFairies said:

i could almost have written this post myself! also new to forum myself.

 

from my LIMITED experience, here's what i have learned... about 1 yr ago, i took my DD to a RBS insight day. we were too scared to ever apply for the associate scheme as i thought DD didnt quite tick every box plus her teacher had never indicated she was talented except for entering her for festivals, so i understood she was not going to be the next darcey bussell. having watched the insight day lesson (parents watch) i came away convinced DD didn't have the physical flexibility or ballet technique to apply ( maybe if she did more lessons or body conditioning this would have been less of an issue?) even if she did have certain other abilities in dance (mainly confidence!). so it kept me on the lookout, so to speak, and feeling we should be doing more to explore her interest because she wanted to perform perform perform.

 

however, if my DD did tick the flexibility box as well, i would not be put off from applying for RBS based on what i saw. they're not looking for high levels of technical ability but rather they look at a more basic level- timing, physical attributes. so i wouldn't rule RBS out just because she isn't on grade whatever. maybe your DD could try an insight day with RBS?

 

instead we have gone down to NYB route and just auditioned for the 2018 season. to our surprise, she is through to casting. will let you know if we get through to actual junior company ...

 

but we had looked at EYB but they had nothing in our area this year so ended up at NYB. so far it has been positive experience for her, auditioning at Sadlers Wells and getting a call back...so my advice is just to apply for these associate schemes and go along and see what you think...seems a great way to gain insight and get a feel

 

like your daughter mine only does 1 hr ballet a week, but does tap and modern too

 

she is 9 and grade 2- taking exam in june and as far as i know it's still 1 hr per week after that. if i could have done anything differently, i would not have told my DD why she wasn't likely to get in to RBS etc etc, i would have simply let her try.

 

hope that helps x

Yes very similar story 😊

The insight days sound interesting, I'll have to keep a look out for them, thanks!

 

Congratulations on your NYB call back, that's fantastic 🤗

 

Yes so many boxes to tick, feel very much like a small fish in a big ocean!

 

But you're right, i suppose you never know unless you put yourself out there. 

We are going to try EYB for sure (but im very nervous for her), and a summer school , if she's successful at any of these then im sure we will find out wether she has/developes a passion for it and can build from there. 

 

Im going to have a browse on the associate tag Anna put on and see what's out there. 

 

🤞 your call back is successful 😊

 

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Staffordshire Youth Ballet are fabulous. Currently booking monthly so she could try it out and see what she thinks - they’re on fb, have a look. If you’re not Drop me a pm and I’ll send you the teachers email address. Auditions for the associate scheme are in June for a sept start. The teacher is one of those rare creatures, a previous professional dancer who went through White Lodge and the Upper School, and then becoming a professional dancer with ENB, but she has a real skill for teaching and bringing out the best in the kids. She travels from London to Stoke once a month for classes and is looking at doing more with the group. 

My dd started SYB when she was 9 (now 12) and the lessons definitely helped her become a RBS JA.  (Btw, I no links with SYB other than a happy customer!)  xxx

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Thanks Balletmum55 I'll have a look at their fb page 😊

 

Unfortunately the application date deadline has passed for northern ballet 😣 

X

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Anna C said:

With regards to RBS JAs - you won't know until you try!  

 

Is Leeds do-able? Northern Ballet company has associates:  https://northernballet.com/academy/training-programmes/associates


 depending where she is  in Nottingham , Leeds is  an hour up the M1  from J25 / 26   and  Brum is an hour from   J24  M1 ( a42) 

Edited by Nicola H
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There is MIDAS (Birmingham), Graham Fletcher (Leicester) Elmhurst (Birmingham) 

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It's too late to apply for northern and rbs, so mabey next year 😉

 

I've had a nosey at syb, but the audition date for it clashes with one of the EYB rehearsal dates so as I've already paid for EYB audition, would have to wait for results to see if she could apply for syb 

 

I'll check those other 3 bluebird, thanks x

 

 

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RBS JAs definitely worth a try, at least you will have a better idea of whether she has potential or not. My dd didnt want to try for yr4 but auditioned in yr5 as teacher kept asking her to apply. She was successful for JAs  and Elmhurst associates for yr5 and yr6, got a place as MA for yr7 for a year before being offered a place at vocational school - not bad for dd who wanted to be a Dr!! 

The more she danced the more she loved it and still does. 

 

My other dd didnt get a JA place but glad she auditioned and knows that at that time there were better dancers. She still enjoys dancing but enjoys her other activities too, when she knows what she wants to focus on we will support her just like our other dd - not an easy feat though.

 

If the applications have closed - email and see if it is possible to still apply. 

 

Hope that is helpful.

 

Xx

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I also second Peter and Shannon Parker. Not sure of the age, but there's also chantry school of contemporary and balletic arts in Grantham.

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7 hours ago, TBG said:

RBS JAs definitely worth a try, at least you will have a better idea of whether she has potential or not. My dd didnt want to try for yr4 but auditioned in yr5 as teacher kept asking her to apply. She was successful for JAs  and Elmhurst associates for yr5 and yr6, got a place as MA for yr7 for a year before being offered a place at vocational school - not bad for dd who wanted to be a Dr!! 

The more she danced the more she loved it and still does. 

 

My other dd didnt get a JA place but glad she auditioned and knows that at that time there were better dancers. She still enjoys dancing but enjoys her other activities too, when she knows what she wants to focus on we will support her just like our other dd - not an easy feat though.

 

If the applications have closed - email and see if it is possible to still apply. 

 

Hope that is helpful.

 

Xx

Thank you, lovely advice 😊

 

Suppose it won't harm to try 😉

I'll email them x

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6 hours ago, smallbythesea said:

I also second Peter and Shannon Parker. Not sure of the age, but there's also chantry school of contemporary and balletic arts in Grantham.

I've been trying to contact them with no luck?😣

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They have all been at Moveit in London over weekend so possibly catching up .

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Hi Sugarplummum, you don't say if your DD is doing RAD, but at 9 I would have thought she'd be a little further along than Grade 1. Is it possible for her to do Grade 2 alongside Grade 1 and maybe get extra classes that way? Just thinking that in the RAD system they start pointe at age 11 or 12 usually but she wouldn't get up to that level for another few years if she does one grade per year – ie Intermediate Foundation, where pointe starts, comes after Grade 5 so it seems that if she is very keen, she might want to move through the grades a little faster? (Not that I'm in favour of rushing kids, but if she did get into an associates scheme, the other kids are likely to be a couple of years ahead in technique. I know it's hard but sometimes you do have to speak up or do what's best for your DC even if it's difficult!)

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Hi Cara,

 

She's studying ISTD currently, so I'm not sure where ISTD grade 1 falls in RAD equivalent?

 

However I have a bit of a long story about this subject...

 

When my dd told me she preferred ballet to the other styles of dance she was doing, it got me questioning wether she is getting the best training/ studying the best syllabus etc.

Now I like the school she's at , the teacher herself is experienced, however I have a few issues:

 

It's only a 45 minute class and alot of the time the teacher is out of the classroom speaking to parents, paying her room hire etc, leaving her senior students (who offer to help her with younger years) taking the class. 

 

Most of the students are dancing recreationaly and there's alot of messing about going on which dd gets drawn into, naturally. 

 

Lastly, looking at the history of the school there isn't many achievements, i.e. students that go onto vocational. Infact I think only a handful over 32 years teaching 😕

 

So ive been researching local ballet schools to move her, and found one that has fantastic achievements as regards RBS, Elmhurst, northern ballet etc. And it's RAD syllabus. 

I contacted the school, and she is booked up. However after hearing about my dd situation, she offered for her to attend a couple of classes to see what dd thought. 

We went, dd was very nervous, not knowing anyone and I felt so sorry for her 😔.

I managed to peak through the glass in the door and I was very impressed with what I saw.  No messing about, kids were there to learn ballet and respected the teacher! And was taught by the teacher for the full hour. 

Now watching the RAD exercises, they seem alot more performance based (correct me if I'm wrong) which Will play to dd weaknesses and benefit her imho! And although she had not a clue about the exercises/style/music etc. I thought she handled it extremely well and gave it her best under the circumstances and I was incredibly proud of her 🤗

After the class the teacher came to speak to me explaining that dd was very brave and she would be happy to have her.

Dd loved the class, and we went to another the following day (the school have 2 grade 1 classes a week, another bonus). After the second class it came to decision time.  Dd loves the classes but doesn't want to leave her 'friends ' at the other school, the teacher said she was happy for her to attend both classes and dd was super excited at the prospect of this, but her current dance teacher said no, and also it would mean dd would be learning 2 different syllabus, with the issue of exam dates/show dates clashing etc.

So im left in a pickle as i want her to go to the New class but she wants to stay with her friends (showing her age) , and it's a fine line because I don't want to force her and upset her.....what would you do?

 

That's when I went back to her current teacher (didn't tell her she had been to see another school 😉) to explain that dd wants to take ballet seriously, and she's suggested EYB, private lessons with her (fortune) and a SS  etc.

To be honest I don't think her teacher knows what to do with her!

 

And I'm left pulling my hair out 😣

Oh and just to throw another spanner in the works, if I did manage to move dd to another school, I would still have to see her old  dance teacher every week as I work at the centre she hires 🙈

 

Told you it was a long story 🤣

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Hello

 

It can all be a little overwhelming can't it? However there is time. My daughter (14) didn't even start ballet until she was 9. I didn't dance and my only knowledge came from Lorna Hill and Noel Streatfeild books (which were very much of the too much to soon harms the child's development. Goodness knows what they'd think of all the courses today) ballet wasn't on our radar at all. If she hadn't had a huge growth spurt and kept falling over I probably would never have sent her to classes at all... 

She skipped Primary, still took her Inter F at 12, has studied IDTA g 1-3, just taken ISTD G6 and is about to take RAD Intermediate, jumped 2 tap grades and all the Modern Grades to take her G5 in Dec and currently learns at 2 dance schools (one ISTD, one RAD vocational) and two Associate schemes. All this was possible because she had a fantastic and helpful RAD ballet teacher who has gone above and beyond to support her as well as teach her at a high level, phoning up to get her associate auditions when we missed deadlines, suggesting summer schools, coaching for comps etc.  

It's a little hectic! Will she be good enough to get a funded place at 16? I have no idea. Should I have tried to get her into Voc school at 11?  No. She didn't want to leave home, or her RAD ballet teacher  and I couldn't afford to send her. So we do our best and while she enjoys it and is motivated to work hard and doesn't mind missing out on sleepovers and parties and not taking her place in the school hockey team etc it we'll continue.

It doesn't sound like your daughter is going to progress where she is. If you think she's serious about wanting to study ballet then talk to her about it and explain that moving will make that more likely. A good summer school or associate scheme will help her and you see what else is out there. But to be honest, she'll make new friends...

 

Hope that helps!

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Aside from all the associate schemes/courses/classes that everyone has already mentioned - another note - I would be concerned if your DD's teacher isn't in the room during classes, leaving students in charge. Apart from not getting the best teaching, this is dangerous if anyone got hurt or injured. If your DD wants to take her dancing more seriously, I would advise you to consider moving to a different school but I understand your predicament! I know a lot of people feel loyal to dancing teachers and there are lots of teachers who demand loyalty from their pupils but at the end of the day dance teachers are business owners, and parents/pupils are customers. If a pupil of mine did not feel like they were getting what they needed from my lessons I would have to respect their decision to 'buy' elsewhere; if you as a parent do not feel like you are getting what you need or want from your current teacher, then as the customer, you have the right to 'shop' elsewhere.

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Thanks guys 😊

 

YRosered- so is it ok/ normal for serious students to study more than one syllabus?

 

Drdance- you are absolutely right, I suppose sometimes you have to put loyalty aside and make sacrifices!

 

When i asked her if i could send dd to another school alongside her classes (that wasn't ISTD or clashed with timings etc) her response was: not really because they might not be as good as me at teaching technique and she'll pick up bad habits  😲

So would I be Within  my rights to still send her to another class even if current teacher didn't agree?

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How long has she been doing ballet. 

 

As an average I’d expect children to be taking Grade 1 around the age of 7/8. 

 

The teacher absolutely should not be leaving the class unattended with a young assistant. Those tasks should be performed once the class has ended. 

 

What happens when her friends move in to a different activity/give up dance etc?

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