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Rambert - Ballet experiences please


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Hi all,

 

I'd love some opinions on Rambert please.

 

My dd is researching degree courses for Sept. 2019 and has always had Ballet West Scotland first on her list.  However, she has recently discovered that Rambert have a degree course in Ballet and Contemporary which sounds perfect.

 

Her goals are to eventually become a member of a Ballet Company with Contemporary under her belt.  She does not want to go the Musical Theatre route, she is classical ballet all the way but she does enjoy contemporary.

 

I would be so grateful to hear your views on this course and the school in general.  We are not from the UK so funding and accommodation are mysteries to us!

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Rambert is one of the major Vocational degree course/schools in London and personally I would rate it much higher than Ballet West.  However, they do not take that many students each year so to get offered a place is very hard.  Students live locally, with host families or share flats. 

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Rambert school is amazing with fabulous studios (my dd used to attend an associates program there). Its one of the oldest vocational schools in UK and also benefits from links with Rambert Dance Company on Southbank. I would suggest enrolling your dd on the senior summer school but it sold out weeks ago (which tells you a lot). In the last 2 years they have held an open day in early September with taster classes. If not too far for you to travel this might be worth a try. One point to consider, is that the age profile of new students is a mix of 16 and 18 year olds. I know of dancers who auditioned there at age 16 and were told to come back when they were older. However as Pas de Quatre already said, there is massive competition for a place at this school.

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22 minutes ago, TwoLeftFeet said:

Thank you all for your input.  My DD will be turning 16 in October 2019 so will be 15 at entry that September - too young??

Just a quick question: what school year will she be ? From the information you have given she is going to be in yr 11 in September 2019, which is GCSE year, entry at 16 is exactly that 16+ not 15  and turning 16 during the first year. 

Edited by Pointetoes
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In British schools the school year age is 16  and turning 17 during the school year! (Birthday between 1st September and 31st August during year of entry). Not 15 turning 16 if that makes sense? So if your dd won’t be 16 til the October, then her entry will be the following year! 

My dd’s Birthday is July so she is one of the younger ones in her year! October birthday - she will be one of the older ones!   Hope that makes sense!!

 

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6 minutes ago, Pointetoes said:

Just a quick question: what school year will she be ? From the information you have given she is going to be in yr 11 in September 2019, which is GCSE year, entry at 16 is exactly that 16+ not 15  and turning 16 during the first year. 

 

Our school years are not the same as those in the UK.  My DD will sit her Junior Cert which is the equivalent of the GCSE in June 2019.  Does this then fit with the UK system or do you think she should wait another year so she will be 1 month off 17 when starting?

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6 minutes ago, Dancing unicorn said:

In British schools the school year age is 16  and turning 17 during the school year! (Birthday between 1st September and 31st August during year of entry). Not 15 turning 16 if that makes sense? So if your dd won’t be 16 til the October, then her entry will be the following year! 

My dd’s Birthday is July so she is one of the younger ones in her year! October birthday - she will be one of the older ones!   Hope that makes sense!!

 

 

Hmmmm, I understood that the earlier they started the better and that they would be at a disadvantage if they were older which is why I presumed next year after her equivalent of the GCSEs was when to start her - am I wrong?

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Rambert take UK pupils from after their GCSEs at 16+, or following year at 17+, or after A-levels at 18+ and even older.  Many students come from overseas so their school years do not necessarily match those in UK anyway.

 

For purely classical training it is generally said the younger the better, but many contemporary teachers prefer slightly more mature bodies and personalities.  The best way would be to speak to Rambert to see if she would be considered.  If so, then go to the audition for 2019 and see if she is offered a place, put on the waiting list or not offered a place at all.  That would leave the possibility of auditioning another year.   

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You would need to check I think on the situation with a child coming in from abroad.  In the UK a child is not legally allowed to leave school until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they turn 16, unless they are home educated. However there have been instances wheras child prodigies have begun university at an early age.  It woulod need careful looking into and consulataion with the school I think.

 

My daughter is in the same school year as dancing unicorn, but she has an October birthday so will will be 1 month away from her 17th birthday when she begins upper school/seniors.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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There's at least one other member here who lives outside the UK but whose DD joined a British school whilst technically "too young" due to different school years, so it is obviously possible. However, if I recall rightly, that was a 17 Year old joining a post 18 course, which I think is a bit of a different situation. Personally, I would be very cautious about a 15 Year old starting an upper school course. To be honest, I think the degree of independence that is required is challenging for many older students, never mind a not yet 16 Year old. 

Whilst your DD would only be a few months younger than the youngest applicants in the "correct" UK school year for post 16 entry she would certainly not be too old a year later, and I would imagine she would be far readier to live and study independently then.  As others have said, Rambert do take quite a range of ages, so there's no harm in asking, but I certainly wouldn't feel that she has to start at such a young age.

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My dd (and others who I know have birthdays July/August!) were turned down for Rambert this year purely because of age! They do tend to take those that are older! 

I had already thought my dd too young for the London scene! It does depend on the child (and the parent!). I wouldn’t dream of sending my just 16 yr old off to another country to train, and yet lots of people do! 

Edited by Dancing unicorn
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Thank you all for your advice and input.  I understand the situation now and perhaps it is no harm to keep her here until she is 16 going on 17 and as you say, more mature.  Its a massive step in anyones life and I certainly do not want to ruin it by sending her too early.

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17 minutes ago, TwoLeftFeet said:

Thank you all for your advice and input.  I understand the situation now and perhaps it is no harm to keep her here until she is 16 going on 17 and as you say, more mature.  Its a massive step in anyones life and I certainly do not want to ruin it by sending her too early.

I think that's sensible. In the UK your DD would be at the older end of her school year, but certainly not unusually so. There will be plenty of students of her age and older auditioning the year after.

Not dance related, but I have two sons, one of whom is amongst the youngest in his school year and the other is one of the very oldest - in fact had he not been overdue he would have been in the year above. They are both absolutely fine academically, but my "old for the year"son has just had a generally smoother ride through his education to date. Obviously that's not the only factor, and things may yet change. But from my observations and indeed my own experience of being young in my school year, I do think there are potential disadvantages to being the youngest in a year group. When you add in the extra dimension of being a long way from home, I think a bit of extra maturity would make a significant difference.

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5 hours ago, TwoLeftFeet said:

 

Her goals are to eventually become a member of a Ballet Company with Contemporary under her belt.  She does not want to go the Musical Theatre route, she is classical ballet all the way but she does enjoy contemporary.

 

 

Rambert prides itself on being 50/50 ballet/contemporary. Your dd sounds like she might be better suited to somewhere with a slightly greater emphasis on classical ballet and a little less contemporary - like Central or RCS. Having said that, most aspiring dancers apply to a selection of schools and only decide which one is the best fit if and when they are lucky enough to have offers to choose between! As others have said, most of the more classical schools prefer starters at 16, whereas those with more contemporary may prefer slightly older. I believe roughly 25% of Rambert’s intake were 16 last year. 

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2 hours ago, TwoLeftFeet said:

Thank you all for your advice and input.  I understand the situation now and perhaps it is no harm to keep her here until she is 16 going on 17 and as you say, more mature.  Its a massive step in anyones life and I certainly do not want to ruin it by sending her too early.

I have no idea how easy it is for you to travel but Can I suggest you book her into Ballet West Summer School this summer  and maybe look at other summer schools or end of year performances.

Plus in March 2019 coming over to Move It, where you will be able to see a wide range of colleges / universities. In many ways because of her birthday you do have time on your hands, no rush, do the research. 

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32 minutes ago, Pointetoes said:

I have no idea how easy it is for you to travel but Can I suggest you book her into Ballet West Summer School this summer  and maybe look at other summer schools or end of year performances.

Plus in March 2019 coming over to Move It, where you will be able to see a wide range of colleges / universities. In many ways because of her birthday you do have time on your hands, no rush, do the research. 

 

She is booked in for the Ballet West Summer School and really looking forward to it.  I think you are all right, we do have time now that I'm reading all the comments.  I was so sure that next year was the right year to send her, now, I think I'm going to wait and see how the summer school goes and see what they say there.

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57 minutes ago, TwoLeftFeet said:

 

She is booked in for the Ballet West Summer School and really looking forward to it.  I think you are all right, we do have time now that I'm reading all the comments.  I was so sure that next year was the right year to send her, now, I think I'm going to wait and see how the summer school goes and see what they say there.

This is definitely a good idea, and will give you, and her a better idea of the best way forward.

However....a word of caution. Just bear in mind that whilst summer schools do give some insight into schools, they are not truly representative of full time training in the same institution - the timetable will be different, staff may be different and crucially the domestic arrangements will be different.

In my experience at least, most dancers love most summer schools and tend to come home full of enthusiasm for wherever they've just been. Which is brilliant of course, but can make logical discussions about different options a bit tricky sometimes!

Time is on your side. Look around, consider all your options and see how things pan out.

 

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You could also sign up to the Rambert school mailing list to hear when applications open for 2019's summer school.  As Pups_mum says, there are differences between full-time training and summer schools, but the latter are definitely useful for getting a feel of the school and the facilities.  

 

I agree that for courses that are part Contemporary, being slightly older is absolutely an advantage.  Not just in terms of emotional maturity and independence, but also to give the skeleton time to mature.  Some students are physically less mature than others and it's so important to be as strong as possible before embarking on full-time upper school training.  

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57 minutes ago, Anna C said:

You could also sign up to the Rambert school mailing list to hear when applications open for 2019's summer school.  As Pups_mum says, there are differences between full-time training and summer schools, but the latter are definitely useful for getting a feel of the school and the facilities.  

 

 

Also, most of the big school’s have active Facebook pages that are good for keeping up to date with holiday courses, application deadlines etc…. 

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