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Guest Autumn days

Flexibility tests in 6th form auditions

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Guest Autumn days

Could anyone tell me what sort of flexibility "tests" female students are asked to do in 6 th form auditions?

 

I assume all splits, and froggies/butterfly but is there anything else?

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If it's for ballet school they will be looking for the key things like the ones you describe plus mobility of the upper and lower back, feet, degree of range of turnout. A lot of these can be seen in class but some schools have orthopaedic assessments which will check for things picked up in auditions and typical things like signs of scoliosis, length of Achilles' tendon which impacts depth of Demi plié, more accurate assessment of turn out as frogs are not a particularly good way of assessing. Sometimes they look for signs of hyper mobility or any other imbalances due to growth etc which might need to be worked on. Hope this helps but I would say normal stretching and strengthening exercises will have any dancer prepared to the best of their ability unless there is a known weakness which can be targeted through specific conditioning exercises.

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Guest Autumn days

Thank you, ballet teacher and yes, it is for ballet.

 

I was assuming that some schools gave physio assessments but remember that when my dd auditioned for yr 7 places every audition had a section where they did specific exercises to test for some of the things that you mention. Does that still happen in 6th form auditions? My dd isn't concerned, she is just keen to know what she may be asked to do!!

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The physio examinations are usually to investigate beyond the ballet movements to check the underlying physique.  In some schools they ask all candidates they are interested in to have an examination, in others it is just dancers where there is a particular thing they want to check.  This may be related to hypermobile joints, or the contrary, is restricted mobility in a certain area constrained by an underlying structure or will the dancer be able to respond to intensive training.

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Is hypermobility considered to be a disadvantage then?

 

I think it depends on just how hypermobile you are, and whether it is due to having very loose or lax ligaments and tendons, or simply having joints shaped in such a way that you have a greater range of movement than the norm.

 

My dd is hypermobile in some parts of her body, and not others, and inherited it from her dad's side of the family - definitely not me!

 

There is something called Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (BJHS) and there are some very good websites which detail how hypermobility is measured in individuals. They also go on to detail how hypermobility can affect everyday life, and the possibility of injuries arising from it, and so on.

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On the subject of scoliosis, Would a mild scoliosis (when standing in parallel, if you know what you're looking for, my left hip is a bit higher than my right, but it isnt noticable when im dancing, or in a tutu/ chiffon skirt) prevent me from getting into a 6th form scho such as Elmhurst, ENBS, Central, Rambert etc, do you think??

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Guest Autumn days

This has gone off on a bit of a tangent!

 

Does any one know what tests or exercises are done to look at flexibility during the dance part of the audition?

 

Many thanks!

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On the subject of scoliosis, Would a mild scoliosis (when standing in parallel, if you know what you're looking for, my left hip is a bit higher than my right, but it isnt noticable when im dancing, or in a tutu/ chiffon skirt) prevent me from getting into a 6th form scho such as Elmhurst, ENBS, Central, Rambert etc, do you think??

Has anyone spotted it other than you?

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Sorry, Mum In A Spin, should i start a new thread regarding scoliosis?

Pas de Chat, i was diagnosed with it at the doctors' a few years ago, they said the curve was about 11 degrees, but no dance teachers have ever mentioned it to me.

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Guest Autumn days

Swanprincess, that is up to you and I wasn't "getting at" you in particular!!

 

I was keen to make sure that my original question didn't get lost. Reading over my previous email the 'many thanks' comes across as a bit abrupt but it wasn't meant to be - it was just a genuine thanks to anyone that has a dd tha went through auditions last year that is able to help me!!

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A lot of things will be evident in class by arabesque lines, turn out, developpe to second, back bends, pointe work etc. They may well follow up any concerns in an orthopaedic assessment.

 

Is there something specific that you worried about re an area of flexibilty etc?

 

In relation to a scoliosis, this will probably be picked up but I do have friends who have attended vocational school with no difficulty with on-going Physio support and exercises. It would do no harm to consult with a dance Physio as they should be able to give you exercises to help if you have not been given these already.

 

Hope this addresses both questions????

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Guest Autumn days

No, I am not concerned about anything specific - concerned in general, yes, about the whole thing, but nothing specific!!

 

I am aware that a lot can be revealed at the barre and in the centre and also by having a physio exam. All I want to know is whether part of audition class for 6th form places is Given over to a demonstration of specific flexibility tests such as splits and froggies etc and if so, which they are asked to show!

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Do all these schools accept DVD auditions? Perhaps the info for the DVD would give you an indication of what they are looking for in an audition.

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Sorry, Mum In A Spin, should i start a new thread regarding scoliosis?

Pas de Chat, i was diagnosed with it at the doctors' a few years ago, they said the curve was about 11 degrees, but no dance teachers have ever mentioned it to me.

I would not worry about it too much but advice about seeing a dance physio is a very good idea.  

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mum in a spin - asked DD who auditioned 2 years ago.  She said that as part of the ballet class they had to "do the splits all ways, sit in second, lie back and do froggy legs and that the teacher came round and checked their feet"  She does not remember being asked to do anything else specific at any audition.  Physio assessment checked spine alignement and for swayback legs, hypermobility , stiffness or flexibility issues.  Flexibility was my DD's biggest worry leading up to the auditions as she was struggling with the splits at the time but I don't remember her being worried about it once she'd actually done the first one.  hope this helps.

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mum in a spin - asked DD who auditioned 2 years ago. She said that as part of the ballet class they had to "do the splits all ways, sit in second, lie back and do froggy legs and that the teacher came round and checked their feet" She does not remember being asked to do anything else specific at any audition. Physio assessment checked spine alignement and for swayback legs, hypermobility , stiffness or flexibility issues. Flexibility was my DD's biggest worry leading up to the auditions as she was struggling with the splits at the time but I don't remember her being worried about it once she'd actually done the first one. hope this helps.

sit in second? could you elaborate slightly on how to do this please, i am curious!!

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Guest Autumn days

Thank you, 2dancersmum, that was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! Does she remember if it was about the same for all the schools? It is funny how a simple thing like knowing this sort of thing in advance will help my dd to relax! Out of interest, did your dd's splits improve with time?

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swanprincess - I will ask my DD when I can but it will probably be half term before I get an answer as she is so busy.  I hear from her most days but mostly short text messages which won't help.

 

mum in a spin - likewise I will ask but I think it was about the same for all schools and always as part of the ballet class for the schools that also had a contemporary class.  DD's splits did improve with time and patience but it all became a lot easier after starting vocational school but she will never be the dancer who effortlessly lifts her leg to her ear.

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Guest Autumn days

Thank you. As I understand it, being very flexible is as much as a problem as not being flexible enough so maybe somewhere in the middle is good!

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