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Dance School of Scotland and Scottish Ballet associate scheme


OllyO07
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Hi - Looking for advice/thoughts on how folks have come to a decision on whether to apply for a place at the Dance School of Scotland or instead audition for Scottish Ballet's mid associate scheme (currently in Junior Associates). Mid Associates would mean travelling to Glasgow each Saturday instead of the boarding option at DSS. I've received feedback that attending mid associates each week on top of normal ballet/dance classes (3 a week) just isn't enough if a career in dance is the eventual goal. DSS offers a slightly cut down national curriculum to accomodate dance whereas attending SB associates would allow the full school curriculum to be taught.

 

Would be great to hear from anyone who has first hand experience of both!

 

Thanks

 

 

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Hello! Athough not entirely what you’re looking for I hope this is somewhat useful! I’m a current 2nd year at the Royal Conservatoire (sort of what Scottish Ballet Associatds hopefully leads up to) and was a Scottish Ballet senior associate for my last year at school (5th year) and was the only new girl accepted that year. On the flip side I auditioned for the Dance School for going into 3rd year I think and didn’t even get a final audition! In my year now there’s a girl who came from the Dance School who would have been in my audition but yet here we both are now. I can’t say anything about Juniors or Mids because I didn’t do them but 6/20 people in my year came through the Scottish Ballet Associate programme in some form or another. I don’t have anything negative against the dance school but I would say I’m very glad I did the route I did and got 5 Highers as well as dancing because I certainly don’t want to just be a dance teacher for the rest of my life so am glad I have the option of going to university hopefully after a successful dance career!

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Just to throw on my DD’s experience.  Attended local Ballet School since she was 4. Regular RAD classes incl ISTD Tap & Modern. Average 10hrs per week of mixed genres. Passed here exams with excellent results. A couple of SS’s when she was 14/15. First audition for Vocational school and was accepted. No associates/Mids etc. Whilst the experience is obviously fantastic I don’t think it’s essential for all. Especially where travel/costs and impact on family life. After all no matter the skills and ability at a young age ‘mother nature’ will have the final say at around 15/16yrs. 

Good Luck just think of the bigger picture. 🥰

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I'm not Scottish but as a BW associate I have friend at both DSS and Scottish ballet associates! My friend says the best thing about the associates, other than the amazing training, is getting to dance with Scottish ballet in productions such as the nutcracker. At dance school of Scotland you are not allowed to attend any external Associates but obviously you dance much more and the facilities there are first-class, with not only excellent classical ballet training but all other genres too (I've taken classes there myself and the staff were all very kind as well as good teachers.) However of course you may have to board there and miss out on a full 'traditional' academic and social childhood.

 

Why not audition for both to get a feel of what would be right? If your home training is top quality with some summer schools, associates etc on the side, there is no reason a non-vocational won't become a dancer X 

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Have heard good things about both options - as Accurina says, if you can, why not audition for both and see how it goes?  Certainly RCS students via both routes and  students from both schemes had plenty of offers elsewhere.  BSS also offers excellent training in other genres, students have, for example, had offers from Laines/Bird.  

 

 

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It really depends on the QUALITY  of training your Dd receives from her local dance school rather than the quantity. Are there lots of older students at her school who are doing very well in exams/ associate schemes? I remember reading a few years ago about a girl in UK who got a place at RBS upper school ( incredible achievement) by taking private lessons each night. It was, however,  with a  world renowned teacher. You would also need reassurance that more lessons/ private lessons  could be added as time went on. Associates, whoever they’re with, are always just a compliment to weekly lessons. DSS do their training after school and finish late. The difference then is that the academic homework is tailored to the training. Does your Dd manage the homework easily or does she struggle to fit it all in? The homework only gets heavier the older they get. Also, there is no wasted time travelling to and from classes. The big plus for opting for SB must surely be that she comes home every night and all the benefits that has!

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  • 2 months later...

My daughter is at DSS- she loves it there. Most dance classes are during the school day- timetabled with academic lessons between. The higher up the school you go you can also have additional dance classes straight after the school day but the children never finish late. I have no experience with SA except that a number of children in my daughters second year class have come to dss via S associates. 

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