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Pecking order of these school opinions


Flexible Fred
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Hi all

As you all know DD is currently auditioning for upper schools and after speaking to several moms last night at local dance school whose DC are in the same situation gave me thought for food.

My Dd is auditioned or about the audition of these schools, Elmurst, Kate Simmonds, Tring, BTUK and northern,

Now DD has her own opinion where she would love to go and she would have to board at them all so there would be no financial gain for any of them,

So if she was lucky enough and i could wave a magic wand to get a funded / scholarship/ bursery at all 5 of the above schools where would you advise to go

Now here is my pecking order which is based on..... NOTHING ... Absolutely nothing, and this is my point I have no facts or armed with much information about graduation stats about any of them.so my reasons are very brief,

 

So i put

1.. Elmhurst ( seems hardest to get into so must be good )

2. Tring ( only because I know a few older students from Dd school go there )

3, Kate Simmonds ( as I heard the teaching is good)

4. BTUK ( seems an up and coming school )

5 Northern ( as I know nothing about it )

 

So if you Dc got all 5 which one would you get excited about and think YES that's the one ( if any ! )

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Ooo that's going to be a controversial question !! On the dancing front I guess you need to look at graduate destinations. These could be misleading to a degree I suppose because they must partially represent the quality of who goes in as well as the teaching. A less well known school may suit your dd better , have not as good graduate destinations but the teaching could be fabulous. An example of this would be the ballet dancer from KS Dance who got to the young dancer final and now I think has a job at Northern Ballet.

 

I think the type of accommodation could be important at this age. Some such as Elmhurst is partially supervised. For some students this could make a big difference to their success.

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I would also think it depends a lot on what kind of dancer your DD aspires to be. Is she set on a purely classical career or is she more of an "all rounder"? The different schools all have a slightly different focus, so you are comparing apples with pears to a degree.  For example, DD has a friend at Kate Simmons and I know she is undertaking teacher training qualifications there, which would be a big plus for some and a waste of time in other people's eyes.I would think that the "pecking order" would be very different if an aspiring purely classical dancer were to rank them compared to someone who wanted a broader dance education.

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I feel that it all depends of what kind of dancer your Dd wants to be and whether that particular school would give her the training to achieve that. We tend to look at the graduate destinations and teaching faculty. We are on our second time finals for sixth form for Ds and will do it all again next year with Dd and Ds more than likely ???? The only advice I have for mine is to not apply for somewhere you don't want to go and that will not give you the career you want.

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I agree totally with Kat09 - it is a very personal choice and what may suit one child most may not suit another.  Your child will get more out of vocational school if they feel happy and can thrive within that environment. 

At this stage you need to consider things like:

1. where your child is most comfortable

2. finances and which you can afford. The ones you list are not all funded in the same way

3. qualification offered and what within the training is most important to your childs future aspiration.

4. if location of the school is important to you

 

Not forgetting of course, that you need to be offered a place to be in a position to choose.  My DD knows people who are at or have graduated from all of these schools and none have regretted their choice of school.

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Could not agree more with those asking where she is most comfortable.  One of the biggest mistakes of DS's life was when we chose a "prestigious" offer over a school where he obviously wanted to go and we could see he was to be valued.

 

Also - experience at a previous stage (associates,lower school) will not necessarily be relevant.  Again, we made the mistake (not a ballet family) of assuming life as an associate would be the same as full time training, and know of others who have found the differences between lower and upper school have meant a different experience of the school at a different stage.

 

Also - use graduate destinations as a guide rather than a gospel - an awful lot will change in the time between when they were published and when your daughter is looking for jobs.

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What a tough decision it must be for those DC who find themselves with these wonderful opportunities to chose between! Is it like walking into a house when house hunting and knowing it feels like home?

 

It sounds as if employment opportunities are tough for everyone. This is a question,therefore, from me as an interested parent reading this thread, and not one with a dc who is auditioning.....

BUT, does the very fact that you have a certain school (whatever one that might be depending on your vocational path) on your cv give you more chance of employment, than others? For example, many great dancers go to a ballet audition, all equally talented, do the ones who have, for example, been to Royal ballet, or English National, have an automatic an advantage over the others? In the same way that certain prestigious educational establishments can "open doors" in some professions?

 

I would love to think it's a level playing field for our lovely young people, but is it? I would be very interested to read peoples thoughts.

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Depending on range of offers on the table, as well as agreeing that gut feeling is important, whether the programme is degree or diploma would make me think. Not only does that impact on the funding mechanism, but having a degree in any subject will allow entry to alternative careers in many areas if/when diversification needs to happen.

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I`m sure I read on here ages ago that someone said Artistic Directors of companies do take into account which particular school everyone trained at when looking through their CV. Although I don`t know how true that is. From a purely personal point of view and not ballet. When choreographers looking for "showgirl types" of dancers would find out I had danced at the Moulin Rouge it practically guaranteed me the job. I actually never had to audition again for ANY  other dancing contract. It`s true. The name and reputation of the place where I had worked before was good enough. So I would imagine the name and reputation of a prestigious vocational school would be very similar.

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Lisa you've had a glamorous life!!

LOL.Hardly.!! The costumes were smelly. I used to get false eyelash glue on my contact lenses. Could hardly walk for an hour when I got up the next day because of that can can. But we did some nice television work with Sasha Distel [who pinched me on the bum,cheeky mare.!] ,and live TV shows broadcast on various French TV stations. We were photographed with some famous Formula One driver and his Ferrari on stage for a magazine.I have my photograph published in a book about the MR.[Not just me,but all of us .]We were photographed in our costumes for Paris Match magazine[sadly I never found a copy of it ]. Once we were given an actual police escort when lots of  us were heading out for the night somewhere;simply because of where we danced. And the pay ,compared to other dancing jobs was good as well.I dated a millionaire for a few months ,who I know wouldn`t have looked twice at me if I hadn`t been a dancer[i hated him in the end; he thought his money could buy me. Wrong.] But I had always wanted to go out with a millionaire so I suppose I got my wish. We had teams of dressers backstage to help us in and out of our costumes. When I left and went to Japan [i was given the lead dancing role. Guess why?It wasn`t because I was some brilliant dancer] .I was horrified to learn that we get ourselves in and out of our costumes and didn`t have help.The same when a costume needed mending. We had to mend our own .Shocking.In Paris,if a piece of costume became broken you would just hand it in to one of the machinists. The next show it would be back in its usual place,fixed and ready to wear. In the Far East we had to take lots of sewing kit with us and mend our own costume if it was needed.The Moulin has its own hairdresser.He makes everyone`s wigs and hairpieces look immaculate .You just handed your Prologue wig or Can Can wig into him and he would make it look lovely for when you next needed it.Once we were in the show ,after initial rehearsals lasting two weeks,the only time you had rehearsals was on a Tuesday .We didn`t need to be in our dressing rooms until 9Pm that night so you had the entire day to enjoy Paris. The thought of being in a company and spending ten hours or more six days a week in rehearsals; yuk.!! So yes it was all good.In fact it was the best year of my life. I wouldn`t get in now.In my day the minimum height for girls was 5FT 7 IN.I`m just about tall enough. But nowadays its minimum height 5FT 9 IN for girls. I was very very lucky indeed.

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I`m sure I read on here ages ago that someone said Artistic Directors of companies do take into account which particular school everyone trained at when looking through their CV. Although I don`t know how true that is. From a purely personal point of view and not ballet. When choreographers looking for "showgirl types" of dancers would find out I had danced at the Moulin Rouge it practically guaranteed me the job. I actually never had to audition again for ANY  other dancing contract. It`s true. The name and reputation of the place where I had worked before was good enough. So I would imagine the name and reputation of a prestigious vocational school would be very similar.

 

Must admit that I've heard that too - auditions where students are allocated a row based upon school/CV.  

 

BUT this is not always the case, and three/five/eight  years of (very expensive) misery can mean, to put the alternative point of view, talented students give up dancing and don't audition at all.  

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Just to complicate matters, if you start at an upper school and don't finish the course for whatever reason - injury, homesickness, etc. it can be more complicated to start an alternate degree/career path if you were on a degree course and have taken out a student loan, than if you are on a DaDa course or have a school scholarship.

 

So while a degree course may be more desirable than a diploma to some people, it can limit your options for future student finance should you not complete the course.

 

That probably hasn't helped much, has it!

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[quote name="Anna C" post="160265" timestamp="1456488897"

 

So while a degree course may be more desirable than a diploma to some people, it can limit your options for future student finance should you not complete the course.

 

/quote]

 

Just had a leaflet today from student finance that states you are entitled to your degree length plus one extra year in finance. If you have to leave during a year due to illness that year doesn't count in your total number of years of loan. So if doing a three year degree and leave during second year due to illness then as the rules stand presently you would still get student finance for another 3 year degree.

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From my understanding the level 6 Trinity diploma is a vocational degree.  A BA Honours degree is also a level 6 qualification on the national qualifications framework.  If you wanted to study dance at a higher level, the level 6 Trinity diploma is an entry level qualification for MA post grad courses.  Its a bit like how to get to university you could have done A levels (level 3 qualification) or a level 3 btec.

 

As a vocational degree it is less academic than a normal BA Honours degree, however, so if you wish to study something else at post grad level then you need to do the BA Conversion course first - this is the course done over 15 months to academically 'top up' the diploma and is done by distance learning whilst already working.  You can also choose to do this course to get a degree that is more widely recognised (ie outside the narrow world of dance) if you wish a more academic qualification.

 

Taken from the Trinity website:

"Conversion of the Professional Performing Arts Diplomas to BA (Hons) Professional Practice.

The Diploma  is an APL route onto some MA programmes, including the MA Professional Practice at Middlesex University.  However, students may first wish to acquire a more academically oriented qualification at the same level.

Therefore, students who have successfully completed their Diploma, can apply to Middlesex University to take the BA conversion course. The BA(Hons) Professional Practice (BAPP) has been created especially for students who have graduated from Trinity validated Providers. The course gives participants the opportunity to convert their diploma to a BA(Hons) while carrying on their professional activities. Taken over one year, participants will be required to compile a professional portfolio and undertake a practice based project."

 

DD has a friend that went onto do a postgrad MA in contemporary dance following her level 6 diploma and another who completed his conversion course (whilst working at Disney/cruise ship/theatre) and has gone on to study for his masters in something to do with business and theatre management.

 

 

This is my understanding of it all - though of course I could be totally wrong.

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That all sounds very accurate and was my understanding too. Perhaps the word conversion is more appropriate than' topping up ' as used in my earlier post.

The only point I was really clarifying is that Tring provide the level 6 trinity diploma exactly the same as Elmhurst and other institutes. I believe if you leave after 2 years in 6th form , you will have completed the level 5 rather than 6.

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