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  1. I think my DD would absolutely agree with your DD. She said the JA audition she was in had too much “looking at feet and body doing ballet poses and stretching” 😆 she just wanted to get on with the dancing. The Elmhurst she found much more fast paced with lots to do. I think at the end of the day certain schemes suit certain kids. Having said that I don’t even know why I agreed to letting her audition for JA again this year, I think she’s just going for the RBS merchandise! She told me the RBS water bottle is the best she’s had as it doesn’t leak hahaha! An expensive way to buy merchandise 😞 I find a lot of kids these days who are aiming maybe to go full time attend multiple associate schemes. I’ve had the chance to see kids from various ones in a few classes and while not generalising, those I see are quite distinct from each other. RBS kids are very clean technicians, kids from other schemes come to their own during Centre/corner or rep work. Again not to generalise but my DD found that those who attend several have the tendency to always say “At Royal, this is how..” which I can imagine could sound a bit awkward to their other classes’ teachers. And thinking about it now, I find the parents tend to be the same. Not all, but quite a few of them. Hopefully your DD will get both! It’s handy in Birmingham as they timetable the classes I think so kids can do both. Going slightly off topic I know in the last couple of years at least that Elmhurst has made a good number of full time offers to their young dancers. I’ve seen some incoming year 7s bound for various vocational schools this sept -in classes, in person and quite a lot on social media and if I were to be shallow and make my personal observation (which could be inaccurate) I was most impressed with this year’s incoming Elmhurst girls’ class. I think it will be a very strong year
  2. Please don’t worry about her not being showy. I really think the Elmhurst panel can see through that because my DD is exactly the same! That’s why she can’t do festivals or anything like that. She prefers to sit back and watch the gymnastic/acro stretchers and be entertained by them rather than stretch herself. Some of my DD’s friends have stunning classical bodies or are amazing dancers that she’s used to almost not being noticed much even in class, while teachers rave about the others. The good thing about this is that she is overjoyed and stunned whenever she gets yes’s from auditions or when she’s praised 😊 she never has any expectations and so everything she achieves in her quiet way is a pleasant surprise 😊 I actually prefer this because she has no preconceived ideas going into anything, she never thinks she will get places because she is a so and so associate or because she looks like the ideal (because she’s not). She’s the poster girl of “no expectations” 😂 she feels no pressure. Your DD sounds amazing, I’m sure she will get the yes’s she desires and even if for some reason she doesn’t get it this year, it doesn’t mean she won’t ever get it. More importantly, it doesn’t mean she’s less of a dancer than those who get in are (especially in the case of certain scheme!)
  3. My DD and I found the Elmhurst YD audition process very lovely, the school has such a lovely atmosphere, not at all daunting. The audition itself my DD found very enjoyable, from how she described it, it sounded like it had so many elements to it that can showcase the strengths of the children. She said it was different from the JA audition in that she felt the panel didn’t look too much at their bodies and she felt like they looked at all the kids, not just a select few. Like your DD, she also just loves to dance and she felt very at ease during the audition. Although something to keep in mind with Elmhurst YD in Birmingham is that quite a number of the kids in each class are also RBS JAs in the BRB centre. I can just imagine how it might feel a bit odd for those who auditioned for both but didn’t get in to JAs, especially since those who are also JAs tend to change into their uniform at Elmhurst after their YD class. For DCs who really wanted both, it might make them feel a bit upset (especially at the start perhaps) seeing a select few walking around in their JA uniform. Like a weekly reminder of an unsuccessful audition. I don’t think this is the case with the other centres. Ironically I have on several occasions had the chance to watch classes with Elmhurst YD children in them (mixed in with children from other associates) and I must say they stand out with their artistry.
  4. Last year my DD auditioned on a Saturday and we received the result email by the following Tuesday (at shortly after half 3 in the afternoon), just 3 days after! Don’t worry too much about flexibility, my DD has non-existent flexibility 🤣 , slim but non-classical body and so-so feet and despite some girls doing acro style hardcore stretching in the waiting area, she was still one of those lucky enough to be offered a place. I would say I find Elmhurst much more varied and inclusive in who they pick - almost a more overall view of the child as a dancer. It’s not just about the feet, physique or flexibility. The audition according to my DD last year had a lot more “dancing bits”, jumps etc. She found it a much more fun yet challenging (in a good way) than the JA audition.
  5. Yes, it’s all very fascinating isn’t it? And having spoken to mums of DCs in various vocational schools, it almost sounds like the getting in is the less nerve wracking bit compared to the staying in, especially in relation to WL. It’s like if you get a no from the start then it’s heart breaking especially as most these DCs (and parents!) sacrifice so much to get them to that stage but a no is a no and at some point they get over it. The more awful feeling I imagine is when the DC actually gets in and both parent and child live year after year with the threat of being assessed out looming over their heads. I’m sure this isn’t the case for everyone as some just get on with it and are perfectly settled but I am sure it is something that’s always at the back of their minds. I suppose with JAs they might be to a certain extent used to this as they get assessed yearly (although not sure anyone actually gets assessed out from JA?)
  6. Interestingly, although this might digress from the topic a bit, my DD and I watched the RBS Holland Park summer performance last year and in the programme all students participating were listed. Those we were RBS Associates at some point before they commended full time training at the RBS had stars next to their names and it was very curious to see that at year 7 a majority had stars next to their names apart from the odd 1-2 students and the internationals. As you go up the years and into upper school the instances of these stars became less and less and by the final year I think there might only have been less than a handful in total.
  7. Yes sorry, I meant year 7 entry too. Entry into the other years is a whole different ballgame I think. As you said increasing numbers of internationals and at times it seems like the wait list being bypassed.
  8. It definitely does seem as Motomum describes it. If I’m not mistaken, last year, 10 WL offers alone were given to JAs in the London centre. It does seem obvious that there is significantly higher percentage of JAs who gain entry into WL. If your DCs dream school is WL, then most will apply for JAs every year until they get in. As mentioned before they get prepared for WL auditions, RBS would have very detailed files on them, they get checked by physios - things other DCs wouldn’t really have access to in the “RBS-way”, or at all. I noticed for other schools it’s not as much of an issue but for WL it does help A LOT. And this is probably the reason why students who get into WL without being JAs are treasured almost, as they give hope to those who want to get into WL without being in the JA system. Also the reason this thread year after year is always the longest and most active around this time of year. I did notice, however, that quite a lot of JAs we know also attend other associate schemes. So I think in terms of WL entry,probably a significant percentage have supplemental training via other schemes or numerous private lessons and classes and intensives, physio sessions etc etc. I would be interested to hear stories of DCs who get into WL, doing just normal ballet classes, no privates, no JA, although this might be for another thread altogether...
  9. Funnily enough that was pretty much the first thing my DD told me when she came out of the audition last year. She said there wasn’t really much dancing apart from a bit of corner work (gallops, skips) and improvisation (which can be dancing depending on how the child interprets it I suppose). She also said that one of the very first things that were looked at by the panel very closely were “body and feet”. She said after that it was obvious the panel were looking at a few particular kids. I think that after those initial few minutes of physical assessment at the start, it’s pretty much game over for some kids sadly. Sure enough, looking at those who got places, all are of similar physique (regardless of height, which seems to have more of a variety). Those who were slightly different physique all seemed to either have lovely ballet feet (high arches, articulated toes etc) or are extremely flexible (or both).
  10. I do wonder then if they make the final decisions after all auditions? Because if they did it after every centre, taking into account what centre they want to attend, it would seem likely that London places can possibly get allocated even before the actual London auditions? And if they make their decisions after all auditions do they then go back to look at their marking sheets and photos? It seems like an awfully long time from the first audition to the last especially now there is an additional centre in Scotland. How could they possibly remember the children? I suppose as with anything RBS we never really know what the exact formula is
  11. Yes the half term dates are so annoying, especially since I often have to work over school holidays. I suppose we can (once again) make a nice day of it shopping and lunch. I’m just wondering if we get the anticipated no we should try Eastleigh for example next year as there would be fewer applicants and possibly a better chance ? Not sure if this is the case as the panel surely is the same for all centres? I travel quite a bit for work and actually it might be easier for me to bring DD to either Newcastle or Leeds next year and not miss a day in the office. Totally understand that most might have clashes etc over school holidays but this one just stood out to me as it looks like a good number from the same school were there. But yes, maybe it's because of All England. Not entirely sure as DD doesn't do festivals.
  12. Ah ok, makes sense. How does it work though, would those who audition in Eastleigh (or elsewhere) for London be 'compared' to those who actually audition in London? I know the results come out in centre order of where you auditioned.
  13. Very curious to see (on social media) a group of girls from the same dance school auditioning yesterday at Eastleigh. The reason it made me curious is because my DD says they were definitely in the London auditions last year as she saw them. I’m assuming they are auditioning in Eastleigh to attend the London centre as the dance school’s current RBS Associates all seem to be in London and geographically much closer to London. I’ve always therefore wondered whether it would be good to try and audition in different centres after a “no” result. I always thought this might be a bit naughty as one would assume, if there is no legitimate reason (for example, being away on holiday during the audition date of your nearest centre) , that you would choose to audition in the nearest centre which is likely to be the centre you would like to attend. It was this latter thought that made us apply to audition in London for London again this year - although I have been advised by some to try a different centre. Is everyone trying to avoid the London centre for some reason?
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