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Northern Ballet School


Tulip
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From what I remember from an old thread, it seems to be a good school. What I did find interesting though, on reading the dancers' biogs on the Northern Ballet website, is how few dancers seem to have gone from the school into the company - whereas several of their dancers trained at Central. Is Northern Ballet School a feeder school in theory, or not really?

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Slightly off the topic - about the company rather than the school ....

 

Someone told me just the other day that it seemed that Northern Ballet have a tendency to "favour" students who have attended their summer schools when giving graduate contracts. However, from what Glowlight says, that may only be my friend's perception, if they're not connected. I wonder though whether David Nixon may just have seen them at summer school - is he involved with that at all?

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I'll try to clarify this a bit if I can

 

Northern Ballet - the company - is based in Leeds (formerly Northern Ballet Theatre). It operates its own education programs and although it doesn't have a full time vocational course they run VERY good summer courses and Easter courses. The senior International Summer course is geered at students over 16 already in full time training and is geared at getting them ready to work in a company. David Nixon does come in and watch the students working, and certainly some people have got contracts in the company have been to their summer school, but there are lots of others who go on the courses who don't get contracts. Looking at the recent recruits I don't think all of them have been to summer school, but summer school is an opportunity for David Nixon to see the students working over a prolonged period so he can get a good idea of who he might like in his company. The summer school students are taught by Yoko Ichino who is the company's ballet mistress and David Nixon's wife.

 

Norther Ballet School is based in Manchester. It is completely separate from the company. It offers full time vocational training to students aged 16 and above. They also run a summer school, but this is more targetted at younger students, to give them an idea for what it will be like to be in full time vocational training.

 

There is some overlap in the teaching faculties for Northern Ballet's education department and Northern Ballet School, but this is more to do with them both being located in the North of England rather than any particular association between the two.

 

My dd went to Northern Ballet School for her full time training at 16, and she did summer schools at Northern Ballet for several years, so had experience of both.

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Hi, from what I know, Northern ballet school (which is completely seperate from Northern ballet theatre) is in Manchester. I don't know much about the school except it's where my dd's ballet teacher trained.

NBT is based in Leeds (use to be Manchester, I think) and now has it's own academy, which runs open classes, also has it's own associate scheme and a profesional training program. They also hold summer schools, for which I think are just for students in vocational training (I might be wrong).

I think David Nixon is the artistic director of the company and the academy.

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Ah ha - thanks Glowlight - being from the South (and having a son at full-time vocational school who hasn't particularly wanted to do summer schools!) I have to admit I haven't taken much notice :D - I think I was assuming they were more linked than that - the names are perhaps misleading. My friend must've been talking about going to a "summer school" at the company rather than the school. I'm glad I asked!

 

Now my next question - I'm being lazy - could go on their websites - have they both had new premises fairly recently?

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Hi Julie, Northen Ballet (i.e. the company) have a brand new purpose built venue in Leeds. They hold their associate and academy classes there. They share the building with Phoenix Dance Theatre. I've not been inside but it looks amazing.

 

I don't think Northern Ballet School have new premises, was there a few years back for DD's RAD exam. The bit we were waiting in was quite old (think the building is around 1930's - quite art deco!) the facilities looked good though. I'm sure somebody else will be able to give more details...

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lisadebs is quite correct.

 

Northern Ballet Company moved into brand new purpose built premises about a year ago.

 

Northern Ballet School have been in the same premises for some time (probably 20 years at least). The building used to be a cinema I believe, and the cinema theatre is now the School's theatre. There are also several large airy studios.

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Hi we went to the new premises last year on their open day in Leeds. The studios and whole building are phenomenal!! Really modern and state of the art. The building has about 3 or 4 floors with 2 or 3 studios on each floor and fantastic views across Leeds from the top floor. My daughter went to the younger summer school last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, Michael Buerkin who trained at the RBS took the classes.

They also have a cat programme running and lots of classes for general public. Professional dancers rehearse there and all of the academy classes for associate and vocational programmes are taught there. Yoko Ichino and David Nixon both teach there. It is a working dance school combined with professional dancers visiting for their rehearsals.

Ax

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Northern Ballet Academy Leeds operates a non residential but vocational professional programme the only classical CAT programme in the country and is part of the MDS scheme.

 

My daughter is part of this programme, having previously attended a residential vocational dance school MDS funded(one of top four) leaving out of choice, having gained this place at The Northern Ballet Academy.

 

She receives over 15 hours of pure classical training per week which exceeds the amount of ballet she received at her previous school.

The programme is demanding, my child loves the school, facilities, staff and training and has made such progress.

 

As a parent of more than one 'ballet daughter,' in vocational training, it's a refreshing change to be in environment where every member of the dance faculity including Head of Dance is caring,supportive and approachable!

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Hi dancedizzy, does your daughter have to find accomodation in Leeds or do you not live too far away. The scheme does sound very impressive and one that I would difinately be interested in investigating. What school did your daughter go to or would you prefer not to say. Thanks again for this information.

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I believe that the CAT scheme at Northern Ballet (Company not School - lol) is aimed at students under 16 and they go to their regular schools for their academic education and to Northern Ballet evenings and weekends for their ballet training, so most students live within reasonable travelling distance of Leeds. We know several people who have been on this program. It offers a good alternative for those who do not want to/cannot afford to live away from home, and although it is a relatively new program it seems to have good results in terms of its graduates getting into good 6th forms. As far I know Northern Ballet (company) do not offer full time vocational training post 16. (Though as we've established before, Northern Ballet School, which is quite separate, does!)

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Northern Ballet School in Manchester offers fulltime vocational training post 16 as glowlight has explained. It actually has the highest Ofsted rating possible and is a well established school with a good reputation. It leads to the same level diploma qualification as the likes of RBS, Elmhurst etc. Dancers specialise in either ballet or jazz from the 2nd year but study both throughout the 3 years. I would say the fact they they hold auditions every Monday from mid-November to mid-March for a maximum of 40 places would suggest that actually a lot of people have heard about it and would like to train there.

 

As for the training linked to Northern Ballet (company), as that is evenings and weekends I would suggest it is perhaps well kmown in the local area but not outside just as many of the training opportunities available in London are less well known to those out of reach of the capital.

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