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After Graduation


Kat09
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This post is on behalf of a non forum member whose DD will graduate this year ….

 

1) Unpaid graduate positions - does anyone know of any funding available to support the dancer? 

 

2) Further training i.e. post grad schemes - have people found these worth the investment - do graduates who have been unable to find employment immediately on leaving school go on (in general) to find positions after another year of training.

 

Thank you to any on the forum who have knowledge of either.

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I know of 2 boys (men!) who did additional training after graduation from vocational school- one at the same school (Kirov Washington) and one at the Vaganova in St Petersburg as an international student. The former has just gained a company contract with Royal Danish and the latter got a contract with Mikhailovsky Ballet. Both got their contracts aged around 20. I don't think however that they tried for jobs before taking up extra training. Indeed my DS has graduated and hasn't tried to find a job, he always planned to do more training (but he didn't start serious training until 14 so perhaps a slightly unusual situation).

There were plenty of graduates on the pre professional program at the Dutch NBA and a fair few go on to get junior company positions (you can see this on the junior company website), so clearly pre pro to associated company is a tried and tested way in....

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Dancers have secured contracts after attending the Aud Jebsen programme at the RB and NB's graduate professional programme.

Aileen do you know if funding is available for this programme and is Aud Jebsen open to applicants outside of RBS?

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With regard to funding - it is well worth a trawl through all the charitable trusts, especially those local to you. Information can often be found online from links on local council pages or in the library. When DD was looking for extra sources of funding whilst doing her level 6 diploma I know there were at least 2 organisations that responded that they only funded post grad training and unpaid apprenticeships. Regretfully, I did not keep note of those 2 charitable trusts.

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My previous post did not reach the site.

 

Kat, I have no idea about funding. Last year the dancers on the Aud Jebsen scheme were from the RBS, ENBS and one or possibly two other schools. This year I believe that they are all from the RBS. I don't know whether this reflects a change in application criteria.

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Aileen do you know if funding is available for this programme and is Aud Jebsen open to applicants outside of RBS?

Re Aud Jebsen I know a girl who was at Cranko School then an apprentice with a German Company before working with RB (Aud Jebsen) I don't know the ins and outs, but just to say that it does look like it's open to applicants outside of RBS. x

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It is extremely rare now for major European ballet companies to offer full company contracts to student graduates. They tend to offer either apprentice contracts which have a high success rate of converting to full company status or Junior company contracts which have a reasonable rate of success with transition to full company. Both are obtained through either open or private audition. Aud Jebsen apprentices are the RB apprentice contracts which just happen to be named (in recognition of their funded/sponsor). There is no 'application process' - they are filled like all RB company positions through invite to private audition. They will generally filled by RBS students but could be filled by anyone that the AD likes the look of as he travels round the schools. I am aware that some apprentice and junior positions pay can be very low e.g. £300 per month and often need additional support.

 

Graduate schemes like Northern Ballet's graduate scheme aim to provide further training to bridge the gap from school to company, but I would see these sitting below apprentices with an even lower conversion rate than junior companies. You usually have to pay the company for a place.

 

I have not come across unpaid graduate positions - anyone got any examples of these?

 

I am also aware that some schools keep graduates on while they look for jobs - Elmhurst is the one I know of which does this but there may be others.

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There are three dancers currently in Northern Ballet who graduated from the NBA graduate programme:

 

Filippo di Vilio

Alice Bayston 

Kiera Flavin

 

This website page has video interviews with all three of them.  I can't comment on any of the other graduates of the programme.

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It would be good if Northern published on their website the destinations of all their graduates. It looks like a great course and the dancers seem to get lots of performance opportunities. However, if the majority are not getting places after 4 years of post 16 full time study then it's value is limited. There are reasons that it would be useful - late development, injury during training and I'm sure other valid reasons that I can't think of off the top of my head but I personally would question the expense after an already expensive, intense training period - what are the major schools not providing if ANOTHER year is needed?

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For my daughter, we viewed it as fantastic classes whilst she is still auditioning. It works out cheaper than living in London and attending open classes. At Northern there are only 12 student allowed on the course. The students are kept at the top of their game whilst still auditioning. Even when securing a job, contracts can be very short with very low pay.

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Another benefit of the Northern course must also be the students are nearer 20 when they finish which seems to be a prerequisite of some of the company auditions we have seen.

 

Do the students get much opportunity to do PDD?

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It would be good if Northern published on their website the destinations of all their graduates. It looks like a great course and the dancers seem to get lots of performance opportunities. However, if the majority are not getting places after 4 years of post 16 full time study then it's value is limited. There are reasons that it would be useful - late development, injury during training and I'm sure other valid reasons that I can't think of off the top of my head but I personally would question the expense after an already expensive, intense training period - what are the major schools not providing if ANOTHER year is needed?

 

 

 

David Nixon once said, during a talk to Friends, that often graduating students were not "stage and performance" ready in his opinion.  It is one of the reasons this graduate scheme was set up.

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This year there are only two boys and 10 girls, so partner work can be limited. I view this year not as an extra year for training as they are already fully trained dancers. This year is about staying on top form with fantastic teachers. I wish this sort of thing was available for dancers when they are in between jobs.

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Great, thanks. Some very good reasons for doing it. I really hope the majority of the dancers get the contracts they have worked so hard for.

 

Just to pick up on a point Jane makes about companies requesting dancers of 20 years. I presume this is for experienced dancers not recent graduate positions. Although, interestingly I was looking at a German company profile recently and I noticed all the new company entrants were 20 ish with the odd 19. They had all done an apprenticeship year prior to entry.

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Don't forget about New English Ballet Theatre, which was set up to provide new / recent graduates with performance opportunities with a view to helping them gain company contracts.

 

Kat09, your friend really needs to research these options ASAP as the closing dates may be fast approaching if they have not passed already.

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Harwel looking through the audition requirements possibly 80% were stating minimum age 20 and/or 2 years post graduate experience. It made us think even more about all of this especially as most European schools only have a 2 year training so their pupils will be looking for jobs aged 18 where as most of ours will be 19.

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Thanks Jane. Looks like graduate places are even harder to find. As I've always suspected, that first job is the hardest and most important to find. Quite a few dancers take small company places initially and then audition again in a couple of years, I guess this is being reflected in the audition requirements you have seen.

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Whilst being on a graduate programme my daughter performed in Nutcracker with the company, they are now rehearsing swans for swanlake. Some of the graduates are performing in the tortoise and the Hare. All good experiences to put on a CV.

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I agree with Tulip in that I also would view it as a way of getting the classes and keeping on top form whilst auditioning - a far easier and less expensive way than living in London and trying to afford that and get the right quality and quantity of classes. Another good point Tulip made was about how far away dancers are prepared to travel for auditions and if they can afford to do so. I would add in the time element of it also - particularly when in the graduate year of your course, be it level 6 diploma or BA degree. The final year of college is pretty intense - with final assessments and depending on the college - graduate tours and showcases. Not forgetting get the academic content finished. My DD intended auditioning for classical companies right up to graduate year and then the reality was that she could not finish her academics, rehearse for graduate tour held Feb and March and a full length ballet production end of March and still have days off at a time to fly here there and everywhere. And that was without the expense. So she decided she would finish her diploma before starting to audition for any classical company

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