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Ability/level needed for Upper school


live4ballet
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I am considering options for post 16 education at upper schools and I was wondering if you needed to have been in specific programmes like CAT's or Associates in order to get into an upper school? I understand that all schools will have different standards but any advice would be great. Thanks

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Like Chaperone says there would be no specific scheme. Although I think the general consensus for classical ballet schools these days is that those auditioning are at RAD Advanced 1 or 2 standard or equivalent at the age of 16. In my day,[1984] RAD Intermediate [the old Intermediate] was acceptable. I think nowadays a much higher standard,especially for the ballet schools is essential.

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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Today's RAD Intermediate is the old Elementary. Old Intermediate is today's Advanced 1, so levels haven't changed really Lisa.

Oh I see. Well in that case ,are students not expected to be at Advanced 2 by age 16 then at the top ballet schools?

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Oh I see. Well in that case ,are students not expected to be at Advanced 2 by age 16 then at the top ballet schools?

For the top ones yes, they probably would want that level or thereabouts at 16, and of course you are competing with students who are in full-time training already - not to mention candidates from all over the world, some of whom will have competed in YAGP, Prix de Lausanne, Genee etc.

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In my opinion, studying RAD Advanced 2 - or equivalent - by the time you start full-time upper school is fine. Lots of schools which offer optional RAD exams offer Advanced 2 so there doesn't seem to be a widespread expectation among selection panels that students will have already passed.

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Hi thank you for all the helpful comments! FullContretemps - I'm 13 nearly 14 (in year 9 and just about to take options so still have two school years before applying). I am in the associate scheme at Northern Ballet and am currently studying grade 6 RAD at my home ballet school, am I on the right tracks? I didn't start ballet until I was 9 so have had to catch up a lot in the past few years!

Thank you Anna C, taxi4ballet, chaperone, Lisa O'Brien and Pas de Quatre you have all given me an idea as to where I need to be when I apply for Upper Schools.

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Live4ballet best of luck to u my youngest DD didn't start ballet till late as well she didn't audition for any ballet schools at 16 apart from BTUK and she was offered a place but decided she wanted to be an all round dancer and is now doing dance course at Millennium so don't worry that u started late they look at potential x

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Try and attend as many open days and audition workshops as you possibly can - many of the schools do them. The experience of dancing in new places and with different teachers will stand you in good stead during the audition process. It isn't quite so daunting if you have been there before!

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Wishing you lots of luck, live4ballet and I'm sure that having been selected as a Northern Ballet associate and studying RAD grade 6 you are on the right track and considered to have potential! If you are able to study RAD Intermediate and if possible RAD Advanced 1 alongside your grade 6, that might also be useful in terms of ensuring that you 'stretch yourself' and are familiar with the terminology and steps possibly required in upper school auditions. 

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Best of luck :) It sounds like you're doing all the right things. I would echo the advice to get to lots of audition days and workshops as it is just great experience as a dancer to work under a variety of teachers. And if you can get to a class for Intermediate or other of the vocational level that would really help keep your technique progress going. Now trying to work out whether I might know you or not as I'm York too! Are you central or outside town? (Obviously no pressure to answer location/identifying questions - I'm only being nosy!)

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I'm year 10. I'm 14 turning 15 this month, I'm currently studying grade 6 and intermediate, expected to take intermediate in the summer and grade 6 in Autumn, after intermediate we do adv foundation instead of adv 1. Will this hold me back? I'm currently taking 4 hours a week of non-syllabus(1 of those is pointe), 1 hour of grade 6 and 2 hours intermediate. I also will be doing a Easter and summer school this year. Am I average in terms of grades for my age? I think I may be a bit behind....however at summer schools I've never felt like I was particularly behind in terms of ability only grade.

 

Will I be able to get into vocational school studying grade 7 and advanced foundation?

(I have my heart set on Central!!)

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It's very sensible to do at least a term of Advanced foundation as good preparation for advanced 1.

 

And it sounds as if you are doing very well in terms of hours per week danced, particularly in non syllabus classes.

 

Remember that when you audition what matters is what how you dance on the day, not what grade you've passed. It sounds to me as if you will be working at advanced level when it comes to upper school auditions and therefore you will have a good dance vocabulary, meaning that you should be to anything that's asked of you!

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Thank you everyone for the support and feedback! I have looked into open days etc. and will try to attend as many as possible in the next few years! I will also talk to my teachers to see if I can do any extra classes or something. Thank you all again and sorry for the late reply just been mad busy all week!

 

*edited by Mods to remove personal info, with permission from poster*

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Just looked at central, I probably will audition. The associates their seem to have the most dense associate schedule I've ever seen. But it's close enough to me, as I'm in London. I'd probably have to drop grades though if I ever became an associate as the majority of my syllabus classes are on Saturday... Also going to audition for LSB/LJB as that's much closer and I think on Sunday's.

Thank you for opinions! And I'm sorry for butting in on someone else's thread!

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Just looked at central, I probably will audition. The associates their seem to have the most dense associate schedule I've ever seen. But it's close enough to me, as I'm in London. I'd probably have to drop grades though if I ever became an associate as the majority of my syllabus classes are on Saturday... Also going to audition for LSB/LJB as that's much closer and I think on Sunday's.

Thank you for opinions! And I'm sorry for butting in on someone else's thread!

There is also the associate programme at Tring on Sundays - their Classical Ballet Academy. They do a lot of workshops and short courses too, and aren't too far from London.

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Yes I looked into Tring, my mum said it would be too far as next year's GCSE year. But the short courses look good. Is the summer course good if I only want to focus on ballet?

They only have six CBA sessions a term so it works out about once a fortnight.

 

The short courses are good as well, and it does help to do jazz and contemporary as well as ballet - you need to be versatile in the job market these days. 

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Just thinking, live4ballet, do have a type of school in mind yet - classical ballet or a more general course? That might affect what sort of extras you want to add if any. Are you doing any Inter classes? That would probably be your best bet at the moment, and if not going for classical ballet, think about whether your school provides all you need in other disciplines.

 

Ballet.baby good luck with Central - I was at a summer school with one of their teachers a while back and the teaching was amazing. Keep us updated on your journey!

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