Jump to content

Ballet school ranking?


Aurora
 Share

Recommended Posts

Talking about purely ballet I think we would all agree that RBS is considered the top school in the country. There are 3 other major schools that take from age 11.

 

I always considered Elmhurst to be effectively second in line but a friend disagrees and thinks it is Tring.

 

I know it's just a matter of opinion really but what's your view? For ballet only and age 11+.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 84
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, there are so many factors that determine this, including personal opinion, personal experience of the school, who the Director of Dance is, likelihood of Graduate Employment, etc. etc.

 

Then of course you have to factor in whether or not Upper Schools/Post 16 schools are included!

 

A major factor for me would be - how happy the students are, the quality of the training, the likelihood of progressing from the Lower School to the Upper School, and for post-16 schools, the likelihood of being accepted into the third year. Then, how many graduates are getting classical contracts, and where are they?

 

What about facilities, nutrition, pastoral care?

 

I suspect that most people would cite RBS as the top British School. But some people not "in the know" would possibly base that on its age, location, and the fact that they think it's an automatic feeder school into the Royal Ballet. But it's not everybody's first choice of school for their child.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh this is an interesting question Aurora.

 

I must admit I would have always considered RBS as top and then I just assumed it was a matter of what suits each individuals taste and strengths and sometimes geography.

 

Interested in pre and post 16 rankings / opinions to see if they are the same.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember being told by Elmhurst that it is one of only two ballet schools in the country dedicated to classical ballet - the other being RBS. So they are in a slightly different category to start with, as Tring and Hammond offer a wider range of courses.

I would say also look at the direction of traffic. Students at Elmhurst audition to try to get into RBS (talking 11-16 here) every year. Most would see it as being in a higher rank. On the other hand, students from RBS seem only go to Elmhurst when they are assessed out. I've heard of students assessed out of Elmhurst going to Hammond and Tring, and some who have auditioned from Hammond and Tring to move to Elmhurst. I think this backs up Sodor's league table, though there may be fiercer debate about places 3 and 4.

However this is a reflection of the reputation, not necessarily the quality of the teaching, or the opportunities to perform.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find this a fascinating discussion as I have always thought it somewhat unfair that RBS's 100% employment rate for the Upper school includes a whole cohort of dancers who were trained elsewhere 11-16 and then RBS creamed off the top ones. The fact that so many top dancers apply to the upper school is due to its reputation, and they then RBS continues to enhance this as they have the top dancers at graduation. Plus they assess out throughout the school thus weeding out all those who are not fitting the bill at that precise moment...(and even then what proportion of the lower school make it to the upper school?)

I am not meaning to 'dis' the RBS- for all I know the teaching really IS the best in the country/world- but it's hard to tell based on just their much vaunted 100% employment isn't it? For example at DSs vocational school there is NO assessing out (except if children decide they want to leave of their own accord I suppose), not all the graduates go on to employment in dance (some go to university for example) but I am pretty sure all those who have wanted to stay in dance have got a contract somewhere (I will check the garduation yearbook when DS brings it back and find out!). DS ballet teacher who sent him there says all her previous students who went there are ended up in classical companies as principal dancers (even the ones she thought were not quite so good). Of course this is anecdotal so not really good evidence - I cite it only to show that one statistic about employemnt is hard to interpret when the baseline is so different....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting point CeliB - if we're looking at "results" rather that just which school people prefer for location, atmosphere etc etc, we should perhaps be looking at sixth form/upper school destinations (easier said than done, of course). I've often thought the same as you when looking at RBS graduate names, that many (maybe, most) of them were trained elsewhere pre-16 or so but RBS get to "take the credit" for their training.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think you should add into that how happy the parents are. Happy children are not always an indication of how good the care provided actually is.

 

Absolutely !

 

Not sure its healthy to ask such a question as has been stated above it is very much a personal preference and offense could easily be taken by some. Most students are grateful/relieved to be offered a scholorship at any of the vocational schools in the UK as they are all of a good standard - to list one as better than another is a very personal preference and I'm sure we all have our own thoughts. Do you judge employment rates / welfare / academic opportunities or achievements its like trying to set up a school league table. Some children attend schools at the bottom of the leagues and are very happy others attend schools at the top of the legue and are very pressurised - its what is right for your child and your family.

 

A huge factor to me is how many children from y7 are actually offered places into upper schools (not that that figure is ever available) - that shows success in their teaching and judgement. A lot of students comes from overseas into Upper Schools which could alter true achievements of the school. A lot of RBS students have in the past moved to Elmhurst Upper School - does their training truely reflect Elmhurst or RBS? You cant hold one school responsible in a lot of cases.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes the overseas students come in for as little as one year eg Marienela Nunez and Alina Cojacaru. I don't think that they can fairly be classed as RBS graduates. Nevertheless, most students who come to the UK on Prix de Lausanne scholarships seem to choose the RBS over other UK schools.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find this a fascinating discussion as I have always thought it somewhat unfair that RBS's 100% employment rate for the Upper school includes a whole cohort of dancers who were trained elsewhere 11-16 and then RBS creamed off the top ones. The fact that so many top dancers apply to the upper school is due to its reputation, and they then RBS continues to enhance this as they have the top dancers at graduation. Plus they assess out throughout the school thus weeding out all those who are not fitting the bill at that precise moment...(and even then what proportion of the lower school make it to the upper school?) CeliB's quote.

 

I'm not sure where you have seen that RBS has a 100% employment rate as this is untrue. Their Annual Report states that they maintain a high employment rate of graduating dancers, but very few graduates (if any) join the RB company each year. In comparison ENBS states that they usually achieve 100% employment for their graduates and 45% of the dancers at ENB company received their training at ENBS.

 

I believe that if your child has talent they will thrive and be successful at any of the schools mentioned above.

Edited by Living the Dream
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is from RBS' Annual Report for 2010-2011: "For the fifth year running, the School trained a graduate class of whom 100% moved on to employment with an internationally renowned ballet company."

 

That's the most recent Annual Report I can find online.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Living the Dream, I'm surprised that as many as 45% of ENB's dancers have come from ENBS. Each year around 10-12 of the RBS's graduates seem to get into the four main UK ballet companies. Elmhurst graduates rarely seem to go to the RB or ENB and ENBS graduates rarely seem to go to the RB or BRB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Living the Dream, I'm surprised that as many as 45% of ENB's dancers have come from ENBS. Each year around 10-12 of the RBS's graduates seem to get into the four main UK ballet companies. Elmhurst graduates rarely seem to go to the RB or ENB and ENBS graduates rarely seem to go to the RB or BRB.

Aileen, I got the information regarding ENBS from their website. So far this year only 2 girls from RBS have contracts with RB and neither of these went to White Lodge (don't know about the boys going into RB) and I only know of 1 boy with a contract at ENB from RBS, all other RBS students so far have contracts abroad, but of course the year hasn't finished yet. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to the 11-16s and the original question - let's face it, it's kind of irrelevant when it comes to auditioning as you're lucky to be offered a place anywhere ;):) . RBS (WL) and Elmhurst have the highest number of MDS funded places, and has been said already, Tring and Hammond offer more than just classical courses.

 

And just seen LTD's last post as I'm typing - just to add about graduates, that almost all of the RBS graduates this year have contracts (they'll be published in the end of year performance programme) and the majority (and all of the boys) at Elmhurst have contracts. It is certainly interesting though that several ENBS students each year go to the company (is that right?) - it was one of our considerations when deciding about taking a place.

 

But can we save graduate destinations etc to another thread (I think there's one already going) - let's keep this one to the original question if at all possible otherwise people can find it hard in the future to find the discussions they're interested in :) .

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmmm. why is the 'ranking' important?

  • ask yourself if your child is getting the training they need for the route they want to take.
  • ask whether they will be happy at the school, safe and cared for at weekends as well as during the week.
  • and about the academic side as well.
  • ask about financial considerations
  • and remember that at sixth form, everything gets mixed up again.

So as has been said, it is difficult to compare.

 

Whichever of the vocational schools your child is at/has applied for, then I am sure they will get a very good education. Note the different training. If your child loves musical theatre, then maybe RBS is not the best choice. And note that for every example one way, there may be another example the other way.

 

once all those things have been taken into account, make the decision. Above all, remember that at various points along the way, the decision about continuing at a school may well be taken for you!

 

but ranking them... not sure I like the idea at all.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Above all, remember that at various points along the way, the decision about continuing at a school may well be taken for you!

 

but ranking them... not sure I like the idea at all.

 

Very well said :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's a very good question even though some people might get upset about the answers... And the answers do depend on who's talking... When one doesn't like the idea of ranking, it's very easy not to read the answers... But for those, like me, who would like some answers to that specific question, the posts are invaluable...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original question is which school is considered to be the best (not which IS the best - as we can see that's a matter of opinion!).

So it is about reputation and which is the best-known 'brand'. That must be RBS by long way. Ask anyone in the street to name a ballet school and I bet all they would come up with is the Royal Ballet School, unless they happened to live local to one of the others. Elmhurst has a much, much higher status within, say, this forum, than it does in the outside world. I really think it is ready for a big blitz on Elmhurst's PR and profile-raising. I think I would start with a name change to the Birmingham Royal Ballet School....

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RBS seems to be the only one the general public knows about.

 

Several times we have been asked if dd will go there, and when I explain that there are other schools as well, they say "Oh, I see..." , and I know they're thinking that anywhere else must be second-rate.

 

I believe that the best school is one that suits your child best.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion I would place Royal Ballet School first followed jointly by Elmhurst and young dancers academy, then I would place The Hammond School followed by Tring. When my dd was doing the upper school audtitions children from these schools featured. Because my dd knows most of the children in a lot of these schools, we were able to see the destinations for those going to upper schools in 2011. Just my opinion of course.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very subjective topic especially if any of your DC have attended any of the 4 schools as we will all have had different experiences.........but I would have to throw the CAT scheme at Northern Ballet Academy into the mix ....apologies if you are only discussing the main 4.

 

I have no idea statistically how NBT measure up but the small amount of training my daughters have had there has been a very positive experience.

 

After RBS and Elmhurst its classical training must come close to Hammond and Tring....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its probably a bit early to be able to say how the NB CAT scheme measures up against full time vocational school. The scheme has been running less than 10 years, and I think its only in the last year that graduates who have been through the scheme from the start are completing their post 16 training and getting jobs. Certainly the boys I know of who have been through the scheme seem to be doing well, I don't know about girls.

 

Actually when you think about it the same is probably true to some extent of Elmhurst. Elmhurst used to be a more diverse stage school and only became ballet focused some 10 - 15 years ago, so it doesn't have the long history of pure ballet training that RBS does.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking about purely ballet I think we would all agree that RBS is considered the top school in the country. There are 3 other major schools that take from age 11.

 

I always considered Elmhurst to be effectively second in line but a friend disagrees and thinks it is Tring.

 

I know it's just a matter of opinion really but what's your view? For ballet only and age 11+.

As you are talking "purely ballet", then yes, Elmhurst is generally considered 2nd in line, but I have heard of people preferring places there over RBS! I have also found that when talking to people not in the ballet world that they have quite often heard of Tring but not Elmhurst or Hammond!

 

This is just me trying to give a straight forward answer to the question, but I wholeheartedly agree with all the above posters that it is all subjective anyway and very much depends on what is the best place for individuals. I spoke to one well known teacher the other day who said that it doesn't matter where you start, its where you finish (we were talking about my now professional ds whom she has known since WL days.) DS didn't get into US but was one of the first of his original WL year to get work.

 

I have found that all of the schools have excellent training overall. But I have also found some of the weakest teaching at the supposedly best schools and the strongest at the supposedly weakest.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would depend on the experience the dance teachers have, who are training the children. Where have the teachers trained and what experience do they have? The director of dance have they danced professionaly or choreographed, this knowledge would be important as it would support the team of dance teachers. It would also depend upon whether the dance teachers had the ability to motivate and inspire their students. I know that to have the Royal Ballet on anyones C.V must be impressive, I really don't know about the rest.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard many good reports re YDA.... would you say it's not automatically considered in the same breath as 'the big 4' because it's inaccessible to many due to (and not in any particular order!) a) lack of funding and B) lack of boarding, therefore, you have to be London based?

 

Regarding ranking.... my hubby always compares the 'competition' between the schools as to the competition between Oxford and Cambridge universities. There will always be those who believe one is better than the other but there will always be those who believe a place at either is a testament to how talented, gifted, clever etc your DC is.

 

I know we are in the latter camp and let's face it, very few of our DC's have the luxury of a choice. Winning a place at any of these schools is a huge achievement and I for one would never want my DD/DS to think they were settling for 2nd, 3rd or 4th best!! ;)

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...