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TheDanceDad

Auditions & Competitions

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Hi guys, 

 

 Pretty new to this game so bare with,

 

My daughter is 10 years old, very keen and pretty good (I am a little bias), she wants to start auditioning and to do more competitions, so here's where I need help...….I've looked through threads and found things like RBS junior associate, London Children's Ballet etc.. Is there more? 

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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Hello TDD, I've moved your post to the more appropriate Doing Dance section.

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22 minutes ago, TheDanceDad said:

Hi guys, 

 

 Pretty new to this game so bare with,

 

My daughter is 10 years old, very keen and pretty good (I am a little bias), she wants to start auditioning and to do more competitions, so here's where I need help...….I've looked through threads and found things like RBS junior associate, London Children's Ballet etc.. Is there more? 

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

Hello, TheDanceDad and welcome.  Whether you go down the auditions or competition route will depend on a few things.  Firstly, how keen is your dd on trying for a place at full-time ballet school? Is a career as a ballet dancer her eventual aim?  

 

If so, does she have the required physique for classical ballet?  At 10 this will mainly be turnout (active and passive), a decent degree of flexibility (or at least no physical reason for inflexibility), long legs in comparison to her torso, feet and ankles flexible enough to function en pointe and so on.  If you haven’t already been given an idea of her “facility” (basically all these physical attributes) then a good teacher should certainly be able to tell you.  

 

The next step would be to gauge her potential, talent, musicality and - to a lesser degree - technique against other girls of her age.  Auditioning for Associates is one way, as is auditioning for youth ballets like London Children’s Ballet.  Depending upon where you are in the country and how far you are able to travel, there are several reputable and established schemes around the UK.  

 

Has your daughter taken any ballet exams and if so, how did she do?  Exams are a snapshot of someone’s performance on one day and marks can be affected by lots of factors but the teacher should have an idea of the standard a student is working at which can be helpful. Again though, at 10, schools will be looking for potential to study.  

 

Competitions can be fun and can certainly improve performance, musicality, projecting to the audience and so on.  Personally I would not rely on comps to prepare a young dancer for full time training at the expense of technique, body conditioning, non-syllabus work and quality teaching but as an occasional thing - Cecchetti or RAD awards etc - they can certainly be beneficial. 

 

What sort of dance school is your dd currently at? Does it have a good track record for getting children into Associates and full time training? Does it offer graded and non-syllabus classes? 

 

Sorry - I’ve bombarded you with questions. ☺️ But before people can give you advice it’s always helpful to know where your dd is at in terms of goals and so on.  

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Anna C said:

 

Hello, TheDanceDad and welcome.  Whether you go down the auditions or competition route will depend on a few things.  Firstly, how keen is your dd on trying for a place at full-time ballet school? Is a career as a ballet dancer her eventual aim?  

 

If so, does she have the required physique for classical ballet?  At 10 this will mainly be turnout (active and passive), a decent degree of flexibility (or at least no physical reason for inflexibility), long legs in comparison to her torso, feet and ankles flexible enough to function en pointe and so on.  If you haven’t already been given an idea of her “facility” (basically all these physical attributes) then a good teacher should certainly be able to tell you.  

 

The next step would be to gauge her potential, talent, musicality and - to a lesser degree - technique against other girls of her age.  Auditioning for Associates is one way, as is auditioning for youth ballets like London Children’s Ballet.  Depending upon where you are in the country and how far you are able to travel, there are several reputable and established schemes around the UK.  

 

Has your daughter taken any ballet exams and if so, how did she do?  Exams are a snapshot of someone’s performance on one day and marks can be affected by lots of factors but the teacher should have an idea of the standard a student is working at which can be helpful. Again though, at 10, schools will be looking for potential to study.  

 

Competitions can be fun and can certainly improve performance, musicality, projecting to the audience and so on.  Personally I would not rely on comps to prepare a young dancer for full time training at the expense of technique, body conditioning, non-syllabus work and quality teaching but as an occasional thing - Cecchetti or RAD awards etc - they can certainly be beneficial. 

 

What sort of dance school is your dd currently at? Does it have a good track record for getting children into Associates and full time training? Does it offer graded and non-syllabus classes? 

 

Sorry - I’ve bombarded you with questions. ☺️ But before people can give you advice it’s always helpful to know where your dd is at in terms of goals and so on.  

 

Grateful and thankful of the bombardment,

 

She is very fortunate to have the 'classical' ballet look, as for full time ballet school, yes this would definitely be something she'd love although having looked at the prices it wouldn't be something we would be able to achieve.

 

Her last RAD ballet exam (Grade 2) she scored 89

 

The dance school does have a good track record but it is a large school and I appreciate everyone needs attention, thus making it a little more difficult to gain snippets of info into other regions....not to disrespect the school or teachers by any means.

 

Simply looking for different ways to further a possible career in ballet

 

Thanks again

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Hello and welcome.

 

You say your daughter is 10, what school year is she in.

 

Disregarding competitions for the moment (of which I have no experience whatsoever) regarding auditions there are a few differnt kinds you may want to consider with varying outcomes.

 

1.  Auditions for Associate Schemes - The purpose of such schemes is to givce talented children extra, high level training with other like minded children.  They are not only available for ballet, ut also other dance forms.  Some are associated with vocational schools (eg RBS/Elmhurst/Tring/Hammond) others are independently run.  Travelling times are something to consider when deciding which ones to apply to.

 

2. Auditions for Performance Opportunities - You have already named some of these.  They can be expensive but offer a lovely opportunity for those children selected.

 

3. Auditions for full time vocational school - This is not for everyone, lots of things have to be taken into consideration, whether your child wants to go away to baording school (most of us never dreamed we'd be sending our kids away) and whether you can access high level training nearer home.  Most families begin to consider this during the latter part of Year 5, beginning of Year 6 as the main point of entry is Apply in September of Year 6 for entry in September of Year 7.  However you can apply in later years too.  Don't be put off by the fees until you have looked into it a little more.  RBS, Elmhurst, Tring & Hammond all have MDS places available where parents pay fees on a sliding scale according to parental income.  Only you can assess your family circumstances and whether you would be able to manage any expected contribution.  You do have to be aware that Tring and Hammond do not have enough MDS places for everyone though.

 

One more thing you may want to consider is a summer school.  Some are residential, some not.  Some are run by the vocational schools others are independent.  Some are pure ballet, others are various dance forms.  They can be fun and a way to meet other like minded children.

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2 minutes ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

Hello and welcome.

 

You say your daughter is 10, what school year is she in.

 

Disregarding competitions for the moment (of which I have no experience whatsoever) regarding auditions there are a few differnt kinds you may want to consider with varying outcomes.

 

1.  Auditions for Associate Schemes - The purpose of such schemes is to givce talented children extra, high level training with other like minded children.  They are not only available for ballet, ut also other dance forms.  Some are associated with vocational schools (eg RBS/Elmhurst/Tring/Hammond) others are independently run.  Travelling times are something to consider when deciding which ones to apply to.

 

2. Auditions for Performance Opportunities - You have already named some of these.  They can be expensive but offer a lovely opportunity for those children selected.

 

3. Auditions for full time vocational school - This is not for everyone, lots of things have to be taken into consideration, whether your child wants to go away to baording school (most of us never dreamed we'd be sending our kids away) and whether you can access high level training nearer home.  Most families begin to consider this during the latter part of Year 5, beginning of Year 6 as the main point of entry is Apply in September of Year 6 for entry in September of Year 7.  However you can apply in later years too.  Don't be put off by the fees until you have looked into it a little more.  RBS, Elmhurst, Tring & Hammond all have MDS places available where parents pay fees on a sliding scale according to parental income.  Only you can assess your family circumstances and whether you would be able to manage any expected contribution.  You do have to be aware that Tring and Hammond do not have enough MDS places for everyone though.

 

One more thing you may want to consider is a summer school.  Some are residential, some not.  Some are run by the vocational schools others are independent.  Some are pure ballet, others are various dance forms.  They can be fun and a way to meet other like minded children.

Thanks , this is really eye opening.

 

My daughter is year 5, so definitely worth a look into schools MDS places.

 

Really appreciate the reply

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Great post, Pictures.  DanceDad, absolutely do look into the MDS (sometimes called MADE) scheme because this can make a seemingly out of reach school manageable.  

 

Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst Ballet School, Tring Park School and The Hammond school all have MDS places (in varying numbers) for lower school (School years 7-11 inclusive).  There are other, non-MDS schools like Young Dancers Academy, Moorland etc that are fee paying but may offer some bursaries or scholarships.  

 

In terms of Associates, Royal Ballet School Junior and Mid Associates are probably the most well known schemes.  As Pictures says, Elmhurst and Hammond also have associates.  Tring has Tring Park Associates but actually this is not an associate scheme in the same way as Royal.  However, slightly confusingly, Tring’s Classical Ballet Academy *is* the equivalent to the other schools’ schemes and is very good indeed.  

 

Further north, Northern Ballet company has an academy with associate classes which I believe are very good.  There are others but just as with schools, I would do your research and see if there is more information here on the forum with regards to teaching, affiliations to schools, how long the scheme has been running and so on.

 

I will add the tags “Lower School” and “Associates” to this thread (the tags should appear under the thread title).  If you click on the tags, a list of previous threads on the subject should appear for you to peruse at your leisure. ☺️

 

 

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There are also bursaries available at some schools - good luck! It is something of a Pandora’s box you have opened 😉

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