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Elmhurst auditions in Australia


balletmummy
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I wonder who is funding the cost incurred to visit considering Elmhurst do benefit from an element of tax payers money. You would like to think that the Ballet programme from PVP to Vocational Elmhurst run would be sufficient to prevent reaching out to far off places to bring in talent or is this an indication of it not working. Even if cost (including scholarships) has no burden on government investment, it would still mean valuable bed space is being used not for home grown talent.

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The U.K. vocational schools have always attracted applications from foreign students and surely this is an indication of how highly regarded they are worldwide? As Jane said, I would think this ties in with the Genee awards. I don't know whether Elmhurst are also auditioning in Japan again this year or whether Australia is in place of that.

 

The 'home grown' students will have to become accustomed to the worldwide competition for places whether at vocational schools or in companies. I'm sure that Elmurst associates and students are well-equipped to compete.

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In the eight years we have had working knowledge of Elmhurst there have always been international students. It's nothing new. There was always an audition in Japan in Mr Kelly's day. Australia makes sense this year in view of Genee.

 

ENBS usual head out to Italy and I believe Royal auditioned in USA a few years ago.

 

There are UK students at ballet schools across the globe.

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Ballet is an international art and ALWAYS has been. We want the best dancers in the world, and we should be really proud that our education & training is considered the best in the world, so as to train the best in the world.

 

I work in UK HE - which is SUBSIDISED by overseas students' fees. They pay the real cost of a university education. Don't ever think that UK taxpayers "pay for" overseas students, or that UK students are sacrificed for overseas students. It's the reverse in universities' finance.

 

We should be very proud that this little country has one of the world's best education systems from nursery to PhD training, and that people pay a lot of money to join it from all over the world. We should be celebrating this.

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I could understand a Ballet company auditioning overseas and by the sound of recent news by Elmhurst at the Genee,

 

but I can't get my head around a vocational school travelling all that way to search for students..

 

Finalists in the Genee are already in full time vocational training to have reached that standard in the first place.

 

Their next step (excuse the pun) is a place with a ballet company not another school. Or have I missed something? 

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Finalists in the Genee are already in full time vocational training to have reached that standard in the first place.

 

Their next step (excuse the pun) is a place with a ballet company not another school. Or have I missed something? 

 

I think what you have missed is that the dancers they would be auditioning are not going to be the same people as those participating in the Genee.  It seems merely an opportunity to take advantage of being in a particular location for one purpose, in order to do something basically unrelated.

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Finalists in the Genee are already in full time vocational training to have reached that standard in the first place.

 

Not necessarily. Plenty of 15 and 16 year olds apply for the Genee. The Aussies love to train here as there are far more company opportunities in this country as opposed to Australia. And as previous poster said, they will be auditioning other children who are not Genee entrants. Many Aussies come over to Europe on a grand audition tour which costs their families thousands, I'm sure they will welcome the opportunity to try at least one school in their own country.

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Not necessarily. Plenty of 15 and 16 year olds apply for the Genee. The Aussies love to train here as there are far more company opportunities in this country as opposed to Australia. And as previous poster said, they will be auditioning other children who are not Genee entrants. Many Aussies come over to Europe on a grand audition tour which costs their families thousands, I'm sure they will welcome the opportunity to try at least one school in their own country.

Thank you, I was just a little confused.  At the level of Genee entrants I really thought Company place was their next aim. Not another school, I have so much to learn.  ;)

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As I understand it, there are large numbers of overseas students in pretty much all  the vocational schools, particularly upper schools, and that's been the norm for a long time. I can't imagine that the fact that Elmhurst are holding auditions in Australia this year will make a massive difference to the make up of their intake next year - the australian auditionees will still have to be of the required standard, and have the financial means to live and train abroad, as presumably as non EU residents they will need to cover their own costs? I can't imagine that there will be huge numbers, but for those for whom it's a realistic proposition I'm sure it will be a huge relief to be able to audition in their own country (or nearer to their home country as i guess some will fly in from elsewhere too.). If there are senior Elmhurst staff in the country anyway it seems like a good use of their time, so i can't see any real objections myself.

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There appears to be an International Scholarship available for overseas students.  

 

If they are already in full time vocational training it sounds a bit like poaching. Not too sure how other schools would appreciate their actions. That was the way I looked at it. Even if the numbers are low.  

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The Aussies love to train here as there are far more company opportunities in this country as opposed to Australia. 

 

And let's remember, the British monarch is also the Australian Head of State. We are hoping (post leaving the EU) that Australia will want to trade with us on good (even free-trade) terms. This sort of exchange is part of that broader international exchange - it's called "soft power" in international relations. 

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The Aussies love to train here as there are far more company opportunities in this country as opposed to Australia. And as previous poster said, they will be auditioning other children who are not Genee entrants. Many Aussies come over to Europe on a grand audition tour which costs their families thousands, I'm sure they will welcome the opportunity to try at least one school in their own country.

 

I don't think it's necessarily true that there are far more company opportunities in the UK – I know that each of the states in Australia has a professional ballet company, as well as the Australian Ballet and many other dance companies (have a look here http://www.danceinforma.com.au/full-time-dance-auditions-guide/)

 

In NZ we only have one national company and one national pre-professional training school (plus some private schools that take 15 and 16 yr olds). But the Elmhurst ad I saw said 'ages 11-16' and there is no way I'd be sending an 11-yr-old across the world to train!

 

Also, if Australia is anything like NZ, a large proportion of the residents were born in other countries. I'm a British citizen, and so are my kids, although we all have dual NZ/UK citizenship. This wouldn't necessarily help with funding, but means we have the right to live in the UK. As usual, it's much more complicated than it seems!

 

That said, I wish anyone auditioning well!

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Also, if Australia is anything like NZ, a large proportion of the residents were born in other countries. I'm a British citizen, and so are my kids, although we all have dual NZ/UK citizenship. This wouldn't necessarily help with funding, but means we have the right to live in the UK. As usual, it's much more complicated than it seems!

 

 

I think that this is so true - it's more complicated than any simple formula. The way I see it, humans are mobile travelling creatures. We're all migrants or come from families who are migrants, at some point in our families' histories. My family's been English for centuries, but contains some French Huguenot refugees, and I suspect my father's family were part of the Norman invasion a millennium ago. 

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I have to say that I do feel quite strongly that our lower schools should be training British children. There is enough ability and talent in this country waiting to be nutured. Our vocational teachers need to be looking at what they need to be doing in getting our children to the same standards that they are currently looking for when auditioning abroad. British children can be trained to those standards. I am not sure how I feel about the same applying to upper schools and would have more of an open mind to auditioning foreign students. I do think our vocational schools should be doing far more to be getting British kids to a more competitive stardards to our foreign neighbours. Why are the Chinese, Japanese and Russians so much better, is it training or something else? Now I am not saying this to cause any upsets amongst ourselves and I am not saying that our British kids are not good enough but looking at top ballet companies across the world and where these people are trained tells a story. I don't blame the kids or parents but our schools do need to be looked at. Another thing is why don't our children compete in the huge international competitions that are world recognised and gets faces known. The ballet world is all about net working.

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 Why are the Chinese, Japanese and Russians so much better, is it training or something else? Now I am not saying this to cause any upsets amongst ourselves and I am not saying that our British kids are not good enough but looking at top ballet companies across the world and where these people are trained tells a story. I don't blame the kids or parents but our schools do need to be looked at. Another thing is why don't our children compete in the huge international competitions that are world recognised and gets faces known. The ballet world is all about net working.

 

 

Good points, Primrose!

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is it attitude to training? I am certainly not saying it's right or wrong, but this country seems to be a little 'softer' in its approach when compared to the countries mentioned above. I know Russian and Chinese training has a reputation of being very tough, over here we seem to be very 'pc' aware and health and safety conscious. Does this have an effect on how hard our teachers are going to push the students? I wonder if it's a numbers game and our teachers are less prepared to ruin children's bodies or emotional states for the sake of a few more highly trained dancers.

 

Also, a lot of children just don't seem to want to work 'that' hard. There are easier ways to make a living and with so many other pressures and options I wonder if some very talented children just do not want to put themselves through the training and uncertainty. On the thread about the cbbc program where the teacher was shouting, I was surprised that anyone would think that was shouting! (I know this was aimed at tinies who may never have heard a loud voice) Talking in a loud voice is not shouting and to me shouting conjours up images of aggression and nastiness. If kids are offended by loud voices, hands on teaching (such as seen in Russia) then they probably won't be suitable for serious vocational training. Vocational students face repetition, an element of monotony, loud voices, sarcasm, hands on teaching - and that's from good teachers. Other teachers they have may be wonderful dancers and technicians but may be downright rude in their teaching style. At what cost do we want to produce dancers? It takes a very particular person to take the necessary steps to get to the highest level. I have absolutely no problem with anyone coming over to get our training, our kids have to compete with the best out there. Some come from very difficult circumstances when dancing is literally a way to save their lives or get a better life - our safe, cosseted children will find it hard to compete with that level of desire. The way I see it, those destined to dance will, those not, won't.

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I have to say that I do feel quite strongly that our lower schools should be training British children. There is enough ability and talent in this country waiting to be nutured. Our vocational teachers need to be looking at what they need to be doing in getting our children to the same standards that they are currently looking for when auditioning abroad. British children can be trained to those standards. I am not sure how I feel about the same applying to upper schools and would have more of an open mind to auditioning foreign students. I do think our vocational schools should be doing far more to be getting British kids to a more competitive stardards to our foreign neighbours. 

At long last, someone has finally decided to stick their head above the parapet and say this - hooray! Well done Primrose :)  Couldn't agree more. We have world-class upper schools in this country - we should be turning out more world-class British dancers.

Edited by taxi4ballet
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is it attitude to training? I am certainly not saying it's right or wrong, but this country seems to be a little 'softer' in its approach when compared to the countries mentioned above. I know Russian and Chinese training has a reputation of being very tough, over here we seem to be very 'pc' aware and health and safety conscious. Does this have an effect on how hard our teachers are going to push the students? I wonder if it's a numbers game and our teachers are less prepared to ruin children's bodies or emotional states for the sake of a few more highly trained dancers.

 

Also, a lot of children just don't seem to want to work 'that' hard. There are easier ways to make a living and with so many other pressures and options I wonder if some very talented children just do not want to put themselves through the training and uncertainty. On the thread about the cbbc program where the teacher was shouting, I was surprised that anyone would think that was shouting! (I know this was aimed at tinies who may never have heard a loud voice) Talking in a loud voice is not shouting and to me shouting conjours up images of aggression and nastiness. If kids are offended by loud voices, hands on teaching (such as seen in Russia) then they probably won't be suitable for serious vocational training. Vocational students face repetition, an element of monotony, loud voices, sarcasm, hands on teaching - and that's from good teachers. Other teachers they have may be wonderful dancers and technicians but may be downright rude in their teaching style. At what cost do we want to produce dancers? It takes a very particular person to take the necessary steps to get to the highest level. I have absolutely no problem with anyone coming over to get our training, our kids have to compete with the best out there. Some come from very difficult circumstances when dancing is literally a way to save their lives or get a better life - our safe, cosseted children will find it hard to compete with that level of desire. The way I see it, those destined to dance will, those not, won't.

I definately think it is a cultural thing. I was watching a BBC News report yesterday from Aleppo in Syria. It was following a small boy who had had his leg blown off. He was in considerable pain, obviously. The BBC caught up with the same boy a few months later. He was having a prosthetic leg fitted but was clearly still in agony. There was no pain relief at all. The boy was crying and the doctor said to him ,[it was translated into English] "If you don't stop crying i'll slap you a thousand times". The thought of a doctor saying that to a young child here is just unthinkable; but he was very matter of fact about it, and the boy tried really hard to suppress his crying. Nothing to do with ballet training, obviously, but yes ,different cultures are definately stricter with children in many areas.

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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Interesting Lisa,

 

Historically that might have worked but with the world getting smaller both through media and travel, what used to be acceptable bahaviour and attitudes because those affected knew no different will soon learn. Learn that they have a voice and don't have to treated like that. Times are a changing, I do hope for the better. You only need to look at the discipline that our parents used on us as children in the 70's (for some of us that are old enough). The current generation would cringe and even make those practices illegal. Other countries will find that they may well have to move with the times. Whether through dance, medicine or just as a parent..........

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Many of you will know that my daughter trained at vocational schools here in England and also at the Bolshoi in Moscow . I am sure jojo will agree with me in that my daughter was not treated badly by the Russian teachers at all. The expectations from the Russian teachers are far greater. The student who works the hardest is given far more respect and that is not usually the best dancer in the class. The teachers are very hands on in that they show the student what muscles to engage and how to move. They don't however grab or pull a student around. The training is consistent and methodical. The students receive classical drama and gymnastic classes. It's unusual for students to have injuries. My daughter trained 18 months in Russia and the improvements in her abilities were incredible.

I edited this post to add that no student would ever question or answer a teacher back. If a student was rude or direspectful they would be ordered out of the class and potentially the school. The respect the students give to the teachers is very important and expected. When we visited the school, we walked down a corridor where younger students were stretching, every one of them stood up stood aside to allow us to pass and curtsied. This is something they do for all adults.

Edited by primrose
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As far as I know, in both China & Russia, there isn't necessarily free choice about attending the "top" vocational schools. Children - not teens - are selected for physique and potential. There's not much choice if you're not selected. Poor families see ballet training as a way for a child to get an education & status. The children are trained away from home, from the age of 10 or 11, and the training is full-time & tough. 

 

Here - as in the US and Australia (and I'd guess Canada and the EU but I don't have personal experience of those countries) - anyone can set up a local ballet school, and any child can go along for lessons from the age of 18 months ("Baby Ballet"). 

 

It's very different - we live with free choice & a commercial system of small local dance schools, not a fully funded State-run system which selects out as well as trains. I just don't think you can make a comparison between the UK and China or Russia. Totally different mindsets & ideologies. British citizens have voted since the election of the Thatcher Tory government, for a low tax, low state subsidy regime. We still are (even if individuals posting here didn't vote that way!) and the vote to leave the EU confirms that. The low tax, private enterprise ideology that we live in is not the same as other countries' investment in state-subsidised ballet (or other arts) training eg China. We, the British people chose this, and maybe there are unintended consequences ...

 

And believe me, in most countries I know, there is the same "XXX country training for XXX citizens/children" It's not that the situation is unique in the UK. And frankly, what defines who a "British child" is? One born here? One who's moved here with his/her parents? One who's grandparents were born here but 2 generations have lived abroad? One who's parents can afford to pay? And so on ...

Edited by Kate_N
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