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Students who dance (as opposed to dance students!)


Pups_mum
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Well my DD is in year 10, so we have 4 years before we really have to think about this, but if the last 4 years are anything to go by I have no doubt this time will go in a flash! We were musing about this last night, so thought I would ask here if anyone has any ideas.

My DD has no aspirations to dance professionally (her current thought is that she'd like to be a primary school teacher.) However, she's always been very dedicated to her dancing and she's not bad at it. She's currently working on RAD Advanced Foundation in ballet and ISTD Intermediate Modern. She'd like to get to at least Adv1 in ballet with her current teacher before she goes to university, though obviously we'll have to see how she manages with the increasing academic workload as school goes on.

But my question is, what then? I know there will be many other distractions at university (plus hopefully some work to do!) but I can't believe that someone whose life has pretty much revolved around dancing since she was a pre schooler is just going to walk out of her teacher's studio at the end of 6th form and that will be the end of it. She says she can't imagine ever not dancing but we don't know what she'll be able to do.

Obviously I know from reading the posts on here that there are adults who dance but I don't know much about it. Does anyone know if there are likely to be any facilities at university for students who want to dance but aren't studying performing arts etc? Or would she just have to look for a local school? We live in a rural area so I'm not really au fait with what most big cities are likely to offer - are there classes that you can just turn up at on an ad hoc basis? And what about performance opportunities - things like EYB stop at 18 of course so does anyone know how an enthusiastic amateur older than that can get to perform?

As I say, not an urgent issue but I'm sure the time will fly by. DD did say that if she has a choice of where to study and all other things are equal, then the dance opportunities would be a factor in her choice, so I thought I'd better start doing some homework. Any thoughts or experiences would be welcome.

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My non DS has just started university and I know that several universities talked about dance and performing arts facilities that were aimed at all the students at the university in much the same way that sports facilities and classes are for everyone. We looked at that many prospectus that I could not name any of the ones that looked good for dance. DD also has friends that have gone to uni in Oxford and Exeter and they have been able to continue with their ballet.

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My non DD went to Exeter and I remember noticing there were ballet classes somewhere. Didn't take much notice as not applicable to her.

 

Has your DD considered being able to teach dance as well as being a primary school teacher. Many private schools have ballet on the curriculum. Perhaps an extra "subject" on the CV would be helpful.

 

I noticed an article somewhere yesterday that was saying that after the interest the Olympics had generated in sport that perhaps there should be a way of getting more dance into schools - sorry not a very concise synopsis.

 

At my Junior school (many, many years ago) we had a Scottish gentlelman who took the final year. He taught us Scottish dancing and I've never really forgotten it. Lots of fun and everyone can join in.

 

I'm really for dance in schools - don't really care what form it takes, even if it's only a substitute for when a games or PE lesson has to be rained off or just a couple of lessons once a term. Get them all dancing!!

Edited by porthesia
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i think there are a number of schools that have adult classes, and adult performances. In places where we have loved, I can think of the London School of Russian Ballet, that has a well established adults programme. In Harlow, the harlow School of Ballet have adult classes, and contributes to the Chelsea-ballet.com - I think - and they put on performances.

 

then you have the other larger studies on London - Dance Attic, Danceworks, Pineapple etc and I am sure there are more. I don't know about other cities as I haven't lived there!

 

as for dance in schools Porthesia... I reckon that's a good idea, especially for boys (as I have a dancing son). There are some good programmes around. Forest Hill Boys school is one of the few that has an established dance programme and 2 super dance teachers. There may be more such things in the pipeline!

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Interesting question as I was having similar conversation with my year 9 dd just yesterday(nothing like planning ahead) .

 

We live in cambrigde-Cambridge students have a ballet club; I expect other universities will too and there seems to be plenty of adult ballet classes in Cambridge with some carrying on with advanced grades. So maybe the thing to do is to head for a university in a city with plenty going on and general investment in the arts(places like nottingham, leeds, manchester, ipswich spring to mind) so that there are more likely to be opportunities to carry on dancing -but chosing the right univesity course would have to be the highest priority.

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Dance students of mine who have gone to Uni to study non dance related subjects have been able to continue dance classes and taken part in dance performances! I am not 100% sure that the classes were at a local dance school or available at the University but think it was through the Uni! :)

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Thanks all. It's good to hear that dancing doesn't have to grind to a halt when school days finish. Obviously I'll be encouraging her to pick the best course that's open to her when the time comes, but I do think that there's more to university life than the academics alone, so i'd like her to go somewhere where she can continue to dance if possible. I have to confess that I hope she doesn't opt for London though - the thought of her going from our tiny little village to the capital is too much for me I think! Ah well, time will tell.

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I'm so glad you asked - my dd should be off to vet school (if she can get in!!) next year and should leave her dance school next summer with advanced 1 in ballet, tap and modern. She has danced since she was 3 and has spent so much time at the dance studio that I can't imagine her giving up suddenly. I know a friend of hers has found a good advanced level ballet class at her uni.

 

She did try hip hop/street dance for a while, which she loved, so maybe that's the kind of thing she'll look for.

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Many universities have a ballet society or dance society which offer classes. From personal experience I know that both Leeds and Birmingham Uni's both do. In fact at Birmingham they have a dance society and a medsoc dance group specifically for medics. Between them they offer ballet, separate pointe classes as well as a range of other dance forms.

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A friend of mine at uni kept up her dance at local studios and she became a primary school teacher. She used her dance and performance experience in her work with children at her school. It is always valuable to have this sort of extra skill when applying for teaching jobs.The other possibility might be a dance degree and pgce primary or teach dance at high school level. My dds school has a very good dance dept separate from the PE dept and teaches gcse and A level dance. Well done for your DD keeping up her dance to advanced level. :)

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A friend of mine at uni kept up her dance at local studios and she became a primary school teacher. She used her dance and performance experience in her work with children at her school. It is always valuable to have this sort of extra skill when applying for teaching jobs.The other possibility might be a dance degree and pgce primary or teach dance at high school level. My dds school has a very good dance dept separate from the PE dept and teaches gcse and A level dance. Well done for your DD keeping up her dance to advanced level. :)

I have suggested this but she's adamant that she wants to teach primary. In fact she said "Eww no. Who would want to teach teenagers - we're awful!". Got to admire the honesty! :rolleyes:

Edited by Pups_mum
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It's worth checking before applying as some of the larger universities have dance societies but some don't. I went to Middlesex and was really gutted I couldn't carry on dancing. I ended up going to a dance school nearby that had high level classes but it cost me a fortune! I know that Warwick has good dance classes, as does Sheffield.

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When I was at York (graduated 2 years ago) there was a separate ballet society (still going strong I know) and dance society giving modern, tap, jazz, street as well as Dancesport (ballroom). There were only 2 levels of class though, and I, at Intermediate, was one of the most advanced in the advanced class so I went to classes at the local school of the teacher who taught at Uni. And it's her school I've gone back to now I've moved back to York. Many local schools are happy to have adults in either an adult ballet class, on with the teenagers, or both (as mine is :)).

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My daughter's university advertised a dance society but the ballet was dire and the dance department would not like her join the dance classes as she was doing drama. She could not afford a separate ballet school and pined for dance lessons. She finally had ballet and tap in her last year and it was pitched a very good level - she knew she'd been working after it - but their dance teacher was full of unhelpful remarks like,"Well, you are hardly going to join the Royal Ballet, are you?"! :angry:

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My non DD is at Royal Holloway reading Economic and Management and belongs to the Dance Society, amongst other societies, doing tap and modern and they have a show to raise funds once a year. Other styles of dance are offered.

Perhaps you should ask at the Universities when you go to the Open Days that they have. Ask the students that you meet. We started going to these Open Days early, one in Year 11 and several in Year 12 to plan ahead and not leave it all to the last minute and have to rush things, plus having to arrange days off work.

Look on line at each University that your daughter is interested in and see when the Open days are as they seem to have them about the same time each year. Good luck.

 

PS Pups_mum. Even though Royal Holloway is a London University it's just outside the M25 near Windsor/Egham/Staines and it is quite a small and compact campus. Daughter loves it there. London Universities don't all have to be in the centre of London.

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I was going to mention Royal Holloway as my non-dd also goes there and is joining the dance society this year. I think there are a number of classes, some of which you have to audition for. I'm sure ballet is also included. There are pictures on their facebook page.

 

Perhaps I should describe her as ex-dd rather than non-dd as she used to do alot of dance :)

Edited by All4dancers
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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

I am a student at Newcastle University, currently doing my Masters year. I always knew I couldn't give Ballet up when I came to Uni but never really sought a Uni for its dance scene (although we do have a very active dance society at Newcastle). I decided that it was better for me to continue lessons with a teacher outside of University and that has proven to be a fantastic decision. It gives me something away from the pressures of Uni life that is all mine. When I finished 6th Form, I had just completed a Grade 6 exam with IDTA so I found my school by looking up teachers of IDTA and contacting them all once I got into Newcastle (literally, the day after results day!). I basically went with the teacher that seemed a best fit for me, and who wasn't too expensive!

 

I would really recommend finding a consistent class or teacher away from Uni, and if you want to get involved with anything at University then do. I always avoided things at Uni, largely because I am shy.

 

Hope this helps.

Cheyenne

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  • 3 months later...

Anyone know of any decent dance schools withing striking distance of Nottingham Vet School? Which unfortunately isn't actually in Nottingham!  It's a few miles south in Sutton Bonington.  I think the students can quite easily get buses into Nottingham though (can't afford for her to have a car while she's there!).  I think she'd most like to keep up with her tap (ISTD) so a tap teacher would be great - but she's now also thinking of street/hip hop (think she's finally had enough of ballet  :blink: ).  

 

Edited to add - it looks like the Student Union have a pretty good dance thing going on http://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/getinvolved/society/dance/  anyone got any experience of it?

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  • 1 year later...

I did my PhD at Royal Holloway but they didnt have a dance society then so I attended a local school called Symonds Stage School (dont know if it still exists) in Englefield Green Village a short walk from the campus. The school was lovely with an excellent standard of RAD ballet and ISTD modern and tap. I was the oldest student but did exams and was in the shows I loved it. I also used to pay my bill sometimes by teaching some lower grade classes so if your DD is determined to find somewhere I am sure she will. Also as a secondary teacher I use my dance training with the primary kids by teaching tap and ballet as after school activities. These are just fun classes not for exams or anything but they are popular so I would definitely say that having this possibility would definitely be a big plus when applying for jobs.

 

Drsc

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Don't think he's interested in trying for Cambridge. But Durham and Warwick are probably his favourites at the moment (and maybe Oxford if he can aim just that little bit higher!) So anything about ballet in those unis. Otherwise he will probably go down the musical theatre student societies route.

 

Just thinking about open days really.

Edited by amum/Cathy
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A lot of universities run dance clubs, but when I went, it was only interested in anything but ballet and when our youngest went, because they ran a dance course for students, there was no dance club! Nor could she attend it as she was not registered to do the dance degree but drama instead. We were both very unimpressed.

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I think I did more dancing after starting uni! I only started in my teens & became more serious before just leaving school, but haven't really stopped since! I stayed at home so carried on with my normal classes (then eventually other schools in same city). Loads of students at one of my schools in particular, the most serious/loads of classes one!

 

I know quite a few unis have good dance societies now that people I know go to & do various performances & competitions. Also there are a lot more adult classes now than there ever were in the city where I live.

 

As a teacher, I've used dance A LOT & it's always welcomed! After school classes, shows, concerts....good skill to mention at job interviews!

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