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London Senior/Junior Ballet Auditions


tierneylina
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hi I am new to this forum and after some advice

My DD did the LJB audition on sunday we just got a letter today saying she didn't get a place she is really upset !!!!!!! Bless her

It was our first time going to one of these Saturday associate auditions, I am not sure we will do it again as we are from Norfolk and it was a long way to go to keep getting rejected.

I find it quite hard to know if she has what they are looking for, her teacher tells me she is good but it is a little school in the heart of rural Norfolk and in the grand scheme of things she may not have it !!!!!! DD is 9yrs old and doing grade three and four RAD. Do you know any of the associate schemes that are closer to Norfolk ????? And how you know if your child has what they are looking for as I have no idea myself, DD loves her ballet that is all she talks about and does but as a parent I am worried to let her get pushed down when it is something that will never happen as she doesn't have that something they want !!! It is all so very hard not sure what to do for the best

Any advice would be fab thanks

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Hi Maisie Lou, welcome to the forum.

 

Please don't be disheartened by your daughter's first "no". I should think every one of us with dancing children has received a "no" letter at one time or another. There are the rare dancers who are accepted every time without fail, and even get their chosen contract at their first audition having sailed through training - but I suspect they are the exceptions rather than the norm!

 

I like to think of "no" letters as "not yet", rather than "never". Your DD is very young and many children get turned down at their first audition because all children develop at different rates. It may be that in a year or two your dd might get a "yes", you literally never know.

 

All schools and associate schemes look for different qualities. At 9 they will probably all look for potential, physique, turnout, musicality etc. but remember they all have limited numbers of places so don't take the "no" personally.

 

Let your dd carry on enjoying ballet - at 9 the main thing is that she takes pleasure from her dancing. Next year if she wants to, I would let her audition again and audition for more than one Associate Scheme. The good ones often mean a long journey but they are well worth it. :-)

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Our children as so special to us parents and just want to protect her from rejection but I am starting to realise that the dance world can be a very curul place and a very competitive one too !!! Can I ask about the physique thing, what is the right physique DD is slightly above average hight and not skinny skinny but thin with a muscular build she is very strong but not quite got the flexibility yet all though she stretches every night bless her !

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That's a good question! I suspect it's essentially whether children have enough turnout facility, feet with enough flexibility, long, flexible hamstrings. Some schools like long legs and a shorter torso, long neck etc. but others are more interested in potential than what a child currently looks like.

 

Your dd's teacher should be able to measure turnout, assess hamstrings etc. and recommend exercises for flexibility.

 

It's very difficult for us as parents to see our child rejected. It does get easier though and if you can stay positive and try to convince your child that "no" is not personal and often means "not at the moment" then it will give you both the strength to keep trying.

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Maisie Lou - it may be worth having a look at the Centre for Advance Training (CAT) in Ipswich

 

http://www.danceeast.co.uk/academy/recruitment/the_basic_facts.aspx

 

As to how you know if your child has what they're looking for ....well you don't until they get offered a place. If she's keen I would say its worth trying again, as different schemes look for different things, they may have more places one year than another, she may perform better one day than another. My dd was unsuccessful the first time she auditioned for an associate scheme, but successful for the same scheme the following year.

 

If she has a succession of 'Nos' and absolutely no 'Yes's' over the next few years, you probably will want to call it a day, but I certainly wouldn't say you should be put off by the first 'No'.

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Bless - its always hard getting a 'no' I agree with spanner that I like to call them a 'not yet'. Don't despair about being in a rural location at a very small school. Ultimately it is about the quality of training your DD receives and at age 9 about her enjoyment of dancing. An associate scheme is a bonus but numbers are limited for each years intake and a lot can happen in a year. My DD is also at a small rural school. She has never done an associate scheme as she is more the queen of the 'waiting list'. She did not want to apply for vocational school at 11 but has successfully applied to start in the 6th form in September. Her teacher always had confidence in her and she would not be about to start on the next exciting stage of her dancing journey if she had listened to those 'no's'.

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Maisie Lou - We knew a dancer many years back from the Norfolk/Suffolk border who was a RBS JA and MA in Birmingham as they said this journey was easier for them than travelling to London so perhaps this might be worth considering next year and of course there is also Elmhurst associates and there has been some talk on here recently about one or two schemes in the Midlands. Didn't really read this in depth as we are past all this now. Would however agree with other posters not to let one 'no' put you off. If your dd's teacher thinks she has potential I would say go for it, enjoy the auditions for the experience (there will be many more along the way if she keeps dancing) and if she is offered a place that's a bonus.

 

Many years ago my dd's teacher suggested she try for RBS JAs - I didn't even know what it was at the time but we went along to the audition and subsequently got the 'no' letter. I wasn't surprised as dd couldn't do any splits at that time and I had seen all these other girls in perfect box-splits etc but teacher believed it was more to do with a lack of confidence. The following year the teacher asked if we were going to try again. I didn't really think there was much point but Upper School had just moved from Baron's Court to Covent Garden and I thought it would be nice to see the new premises. We had a lovely day with no expectations and this time she was offered a place. She still couldn't do any splits fully but went through JAs MAs then Central Pre-Seniors before being offered 3 funded places for sixth form. I often think how nearly I didn't take her to the second JA audition and wonder if she would still have managed to take this career path.

 

p.s. She can now do all splits but definately not over splits (oh dear I think I wandered into another thread!)

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Good advice as ever on here but also you could look out for the workshops and short events run by RAD HQ, RBS outreach, ENB etc Last year there were free workshops in August with ENB as part of KIDSWEEK but I haven't seen any ballet ones offered this year. DD did one at RAD HQ too which was reasonably priced and a good day out in London for us too. I think some of the CAT centres run short dance workshops in the summer hols too. Try summer classes/schools and maybe try other forms of dance to add to your DDs experience. Lots of DCs do tap, modern, contemporary etc which can be fun and another route to dance if not quite right for vocational ballet training. Try to take your DD to some live ballet and dance performances as often as you can.

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Maisie Lou,

Sad to hear Norfolk scholars is down to only five times a year. When DD was a Norfolk scholar it as far more frequent and we didn't let her try for a 2nd year as it was too much of a commitment.

 

Apart from the Dance East CAT scheme they also run various workshops in different styles during the year. I know for the ballet workshops they set a minimum grade standard. Don't think there are any ballet ones on the current program but might be worth getting yourself on the mail list and keeping an eye on their site too.

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My DD wanted to audition for the English youth ballet but was on a school trip at the time of the auditions, she wanted to not go on the school trip but I feel that there has to be a balance I might be wrong but there is always next year if they come again !!!!!! Thanks for thinking of us though x x all the advice I have had is fab and I can't thank everyone enough I wish I had discovered this forum months ago lol x x We are going to go to see it too so that will be good for her to see other young dancers on stage

 

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EYB usually return to venues every 2-3 years so you may have to wait a little or travel a bit further away. It's a bit late now I know, but EYB will sometimes accept video auditions if there's a good reason why a child can't attend on audition day - just something to bear in mind for the future.

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They usually return every other year. Pups_Mum is right, if there is a good reason why you cannot attend the auditions you can submit a video/DVD audition. In a bid to be fair, Miss Lewis views video auditions on the very same day as the audition.

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  • 1 year later...

I've continued an old thread on this rather than start a new one- hope thats ok.  Wanted to say that my dd went to the London Senior Ballet auditions this weekend- all enjoyable and friendly and held at Salders Wells theatre.

 

For future reference for anyone auditioning she found the content more advanced than other associate auditions she has attended (and therefore made more mistakes!) and I think that they structured it differently in that some of the time they looked at the dancers in twos/fours which was unusual.  Anyway DD got lucky this time and was offered a place which is a relief.

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Hello Maisie Lou...

 

...take heart, I think the majority of dancers out there have had a no sometime or other (OK, maybe there area few exceptions to the rule as spannerandpony has said) but if you can explain to your DD that it's definitely a not yet rather than no. I think a few rejections are character building (sorry if I've upset anyone) and it toughens the young person up for what is a very tough, and if lucky, career. DD has a very level-headed outlook as a result. She puts in more than 100% but realises you win some/you lose some. (Although I agree at 9 that's a hard concept to accept). Also different schemes do look for different things, DD has friends who perhaps made one scheme/school and not the other and vice versa.  And... DD has friends who go for auditions for the thrill of it. (DD wanted to go for the late Elmhurst audition for numerous reasons including a fun day out, off school, dancing in fabulous studios etc etc! Voice of reason has stepped in and I've said no.) So it may help if you see the auditions as an experience, a fun day out with a meander round the shops/museums etc too.

 

Like you we're in beautiful but 'miles-from-anywhere' rural East Anglia and it is a very early start on a Saturday, (4.30 alarm call). There's no way we could have managed it when my DD was 9... she's just about managing it at 13. I feel at 9 enjoyment is everything. In fact I feel the same about enjoyment at 13 too. Even 16,  20, 24 and so on. I mean it is such a hard path to choose one has to love it.  We've done some crazy journeys in the name of ballet. We used to go to Tring for their CBA,  5 1/2  hours return journey for one (excellent) class! (Again voice of reason stepped in). And now we merrily traipse to London and come back absolutely shattered except for DD who's like a Duracell bunny and she's off to Ipswich the next day for DanceEast. Mary Goodhew gave my DD advice, some years ago, that we must get her on a good associate scheme. I said where we lived, implying impossible, and she said well that's the way things are and we need to make that weekly trip to London, (or wherever). It took a lot convincing my husband but now he's more than happy to go so we alternate. So, if your DD is up for it, and you are able to support her, in time and energy, I would definitely persevere with the associate schemes as, (apart from the training), it's a great way of meeting like-minded dancers.  In the meantime you could look at summer schools and workshops. Tring is running a summer school, (I think you can go daily for £45, someone correct me if I'm wrong) and RAD too. We know of someone who travels from Norwich area to Leicester for an associate scheme and  sometimes it's easier to go west than south to London. But do, definitely, try again. No one falls at the first hurdle, especially in dance, or otherwise I'd think we'd have no dancers whatsoever!

 

Finally, after all my waffle, (sorry Maisie Lou!) DanceEast is a fantastic facility for the East of England and runs lots of workshops, not just their excellent CAT scheme. There is Danceats too, serving lovely coffee and cakes, always a plus for those of us not lucky enough to have the constitution of a Duracell bunny :) !

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