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Summer school reviews


Tulip
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I don't know if we are allowed to do this, but wouldn't it be interesting to hear peoples views on how this years summer schools have gone. Perhaps comments could be based on class sizes, standard of teaching, personal corrections and attention, evening events etc. This way we will all know which summer schools would be more suitable for our children and then book them quickly.

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I am sure my DS would not mind me recommending Northern Ballet's senior summer school on his behalf. It is a two week non-residential course held at the Company's headquarters at Quarry Hill in Leeds. The cost of the course is just over £300 and is for students aged 16+. Although non-residential the company will arrange for students to stay in Liberty Living accommodation nearby.

 

The students were divided into two groups with approx 25 students in each group. I believe the majority of the students are students from the Company's CAT scheme although a number of them, incl my DS are at vocational school or about to start vocational school. There are daily ballet and contemporary classes with some jazz. My DS found the course tough, particularly the first three days and he is used to full-time dance! However, overall after the initial couple of days he found it very rewarding with a lot of individual corrections which tied in and extended what he has been told before by his usual dance teachers. A variety of teachers taught the course but they were consistently taught by Yoko Ishino for ballet who is the Company ballet teacher. She made the point at the parent demonstration that she wanted the students to experience what it was like to be a company dancer and that certainly seemed to be the case with the need to pick up steps quickly and the opportunity to regularly watch company rehearsal.

 

I would recommend the course from the point of view of the teaching, the overall learning experience and value for money.

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This course sounds really good skintmum. Stupidly I didn't know that Northern Ballet were running a summer course. When was this course on? I will definately get my daughter to read your review, she is actually at Elmhurst summer school this week. This course sounds ideal for 16+ age range all getting ready to dance professionaly hopefuly. I could kick myslef for not knowing about this course as we do not live a million miles away from them grrr.

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Senior course just finished on Saturday 11th. My DS did one week intermediate course a couple of times when he was in his early teens which he enjoyed. He then had a break from Northern for a couple of years to do London summer schools. We knew this course would be a challenge and it was. Thankfully it was also a positive experience :)

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My dd was very impressed with Ballet West summer school, extremely friendly and welcoming, with all the students accommodated in the main building or near by. DD also loved the food. There were only about 20, split into 2 groups, so lots of personal attention - also the teachers were all from the full time school. The overall standard was varied, but there is no selection process, although some wonderful ballet performed in the demonstration at the end of the week (Swan lake with all the costumes). They also have classes in jazz and stretching/coaching. It really is located in the middle of nowhere - however they walked down to the village shop after class and watched videos.

 

DD loved it, as compared to other summer schools it was just so friendly, without the cliques that sometimes form when children know each other from various vocational schools.

 

Realise it is a long way for people down south to travel to - but they do pick up from the station/airport! Also the scenery is fantastic and well worth the trek for a family holiday.

Edited by Millie3
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My grandaughter did the Rambert Summer School which was excellent and the demonstration at the end of the week was breathtaking. Great opportunity to learn contemporary technique and rep and the teacher was wonderful, highly energetic and enthusiastic.

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i think this is a great idea! Would it help if we tried to keep the feedback more objective by answering specific questions rather than just saying it was great? It is easier to make comparisons that way!

 

Happy to work on a checklist if any one thinks that this is a good idea!!

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That would be great Jellybeans, but personal comments are also important rather than just a check list.

 

Up to now the feed back that I am getting about Elmhurst is that the day is very full.

 

9.00 am ballet

 

10.30 Swan dance (Swan Lake)

 

something else I think and then lunch

 

1.30 pm Princess Solo dance

 

and then two other classes I think.

 

Children for this summer school have to be aged 14 and at a certain level. My daughter absolutely loves being taught by the BRB Company. I know there are jazz classes aswel as par de duex. There are roughly around 20 people in a class and the children do get personal corrections. This is my limited review so far and I know that I have got some of the times wrong, but up to now this summer school is of a very high standard of teaching. The children during the day do not get a lot of free time so therfor do not become bored. In the evening or rather last night the students watched a DVD of Swan Lake.

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Also forgot to add they seem to be grouped by age or birth year. A lot of the girls in my daughters group will be going into 6th form in September.

 

Unfortunately that is true and is something that is quite unhelpful when you are born at the end of the school year.

 

Also, whilst my DD enjoyed being taught by the BRB dancers immensely, she actually valued other summer schools more where there was a consistent teacher from the school who taught them everyday and made progress with them during the week (as well as having rep with company dancers). Fabulous dancers don't necessarily make the best teachers and the actual teachers from the school are very experienced in teaching students.

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Unfortunately my DD is having trouble getting a consistent signal so I have only spoken to her briefly and a few text messages.

 

She seems to be having a ball, one text saying everyone is soooooo friendly she is sharing a room with an old roommate from Hammond and there is even a girl from her old JA class 5 years ago.

Lots of familiar faces from festivals as well.

 

Food is "ok " which translates as very good as she usually insists the food at school is awful.

 

I am looking forward to the performance on saturday and hearing all about the week.

 

 

Which other summer schools has your DD done Ribbons?

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has anyone on here, or their dd, attended the RBS Covent Garden ss? i will be old enough to apply next year but am interested to know what grade/standard was required, as the £20 application fee is a lot of money, and not really worth it if i am below whatever grade they expect!!! :) xx

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My daughter has said that her feet are very sore, and this is coming from a child at vocational school who is used to point work. I have told her to stick her feet out of the window to cool down he he. Ribbons my daughter is a summer birth also, but in the past she has hated the fact that all of her school friends at other summer schools have been put in a class above her due to age, it is difficult for the organisers I suppose. A valid point made though regarding consistency of teachers, however again my daughter has loved the experience of diffirent teachers. This is one of the reasons these reviews are good, so that we can all listen to each other and try and find out what suits our own children. Summer schools are very expensive at the end of the day, also for the children to give up their valuable time is important to try and get as much out of these events as they possibly can.

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My dd is at the Elmhurst SS this year for the third time and is also finding the level of teaching very high as they are all being stretched physically and artistically.

 

She is is with other dancers who are about to enter year 12 whilst she is going into year 11 - although at the top of her age range. Her group and above are in single rooms and I get the feeling a lot of the girls are just too tired to do anything other than hang their aching feet out the window or soak them in a cold bath/sink!!

 

She too is loving the work with the BRB dancers and is happy she is there.

 

Basically Elmhurst is a SS which pulls no punches when it comes to giving the older dancers a real taste of what it is like to dance for a top notch vocational school 6th form or ballet company,this becomes more apparent as she progresses up the set/age groups, Not everyones cup of tea I suspect.

 

T

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My dd did Hammond summer school. There were quite a lot of them and they were in 4 groups. Think they arranged them according to ability rather than age other than the very little ones. The teaching seemed good and the performance at the end was lovely. They got to go swimming one night and watched movies some other nights. I feel this course is good value for money coz the residential is only £350. Dd said the food was ok, but she is a fussy eater.They did ballet, contemporary, street and musical theatre.

Ds went to Northern Manchester. Again the teaching seemed good, but he said it wasn't very challenging for him. There were two groups but this summer school is only for 13years up. The performance was adequate to show off what they'd learned but not stunning. They did ballet, jazz and theatre dance with an option to do tap. This course comes in fairly expensive at £650 for a residential place considering the students still had to buy their own lunch. They ate at nando's and pizza hut in the evenings and one evening they were allowed to go into town and were given money to purchase their own evening meal. Please note these are my own observations and others may or may not agree.

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Swanprincess i did the Royal Ballet Summer School in Covent Garden for the first time this year. I thouroughly enjoyed every day and every class.

 

As girls, we were split into 3 groups and these were set by age i think. However, the difficulty ranged in the different age groups. It seemed like there was a year 10 group, a year 11 group and a group that had years 11,12 and 13. I'm year 11 and i am studying advanced 2 RAD and the class i was in (years 11,12 and 13) was deffinitely of that level.

 

We needed to be there at 9.00 am to warm-up and our first class started at 9.30 am. We finished at 5.00 pm and the day was really full, so you were always busy.

 

We were taught by amazing teachers from the school, and from the Royal Ballet Company, Zenaida Yanowsky, and we had a really big treat when we were taught by Darcey Bussel! Both the ballerinas were inspiring and amazing to watch and learn from.

 

Its a very international summer school and i have made friends from all over the world.

 

There's no harm in applying because you never know if youre going to be what they're looking for, regardless of your grade.

:)

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oh *WOW*, BallerinaX, i wish i could be taught by Darcey!! when you say you're year 11, do you mean starting year 12 next academic year (ie in September?) if i was lucky enough to get in next year i think an Advanced 2 level class would definitely be far too hard!! (im going in to year 10 this year, so would be year 11 next year)

do you have any idea of how many applicants they have/ how many places were available? And were the British girls mostly at vocational school,or RBS associates? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to plan ahead with regards to next summer!! (Would pm you, but i havent worked out how to yet, lol!) x

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It was amazing :)

 

I am going into year 12 in september. I dont really know the difficulty for the year 10 group so i cant really comment (sorry!) :) I don't know whether they look at grade anyway, so can't really help on that one.

 

I'm not sure how many applicants they have but there are probably quite a lot. I think that quite a few of the british girls were vocational, definitely not all, but I'm not sure how many. I'm not currently vocational but I will be vocational in September though. I was an SA this last year but I don't know if many of the other non-vocational girls were SA's or not. I'm not really much help but would say that I am so glad I applied because it was a brilliant summer school and if I was lucky enough to be selected again I would most definitely want to do it without a second thought.

 

Sorry I'm not all that much help Swanprincess

 

:)

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How did Yorkshire Ballet Seminars go this year, and what was the performance like. Another question has any one gone or is going to Morroco with Wells Away?

 

I'd never heard of Wells Away it looks like a wonderful course in a fabulous location from their website,would love to hear people's experiences of this.

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My dd (aged 12) loved every minute of YBSS once again. There were three classes a day (4 when pointe classes were offered), for the younger children, these consisted of two ballet classes and a baroque class. The older children did contemporary. She felt the classes were larger this year, although she wasn't sure of the numbers (perhaps someone else can help here, maybe about 25?). They were divided by age, and she felt the level was about right, but she would perhaps have liked to be challenged just a little bit more. The younger group were divided further by ability, although she missed out on this as she was sick on the day this was done. DD loved the variety of teachers, some of whom had been there the year before and remembered her. Corrections and praise were regularly given. Pointe work for her age group was optional and this really did challenge her as she normally only does half an hour a week and she felt that this was where she learnt and improved the most.

 

The house parents took them on a couple of outings into town for shopping and ice cream - I think the older children were allowed to go by themselves. In the evenings they watched films, had a kareoke evening, played games and listened to a variety of speakers, for example a member of the Royal Ballet. She was certainly never bored and she also said the food was good. She can't wait for next year!

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