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The Hammond registration fee


balletbrokemybank
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My ds has been offered a place at the Hammond for YR10 entry. He could only go if he gets a funded place or a scholarship but as these are harder to achieve further up the school this is not likely. He also has final auditions for 2 other vocational schools both of which would be preferential as they seem to specialise more in ballet/contemporary whereas at Hammond the dance curriculum is broader and he would have to do tap which he has zero interest in.  In order for him even to be considered for funding at The Hammond we would have to pay a £150 registration fee and I have to say this has really put me off the school. Essentially we could just be throwing away £150 which is not something we are in a position to do. Ds is currently at a very good academic school although it is hard for him from a balance and a social perspective. He is also progressing well in dance having come to it relatively late. I just don't know what to do. I resent having to pay £150 just to register to be put forward for funding. Part of me thinks if he doesn't get offered anything from the other two then it is only two more years and then it is a different arena post 16. The other part of me worries that if we don't explore all opportunities for him now we are limiting his chances of success in the future. Does anyone have any insight? Thanks

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From Hammond's point of view, is it a good investment in their scholarship places if they offer it to someone who makes no commitment to them, effectively tells them they are third choice?

 

There are plenty of ex-Hammond students who make careers as successful ballet dancers.  And our experience was that there was some flexibility to accommodate a very classically orientated dancer.  

 

Although my son was never going to be a tapper, one of the great strengths of the Hammond is to learn other people's disciplines, and to appreciate how good they are in their field.

 

As to whether it's only two more years - that's your decision - can you access high quality male training from your home base?   Certainly the support my son got from Hammond and the specialist knowledge of male teachers at a range of post 16 schools enabled him to make an informed choice.

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I echo much of what Meadowblythe  says & it truly upsets me when the myth that Hammond is not for serious ballet dancers gets perpetuated wrongly! Nor should Hammond be viewed as 4th in line choice school!!

Congrats Balletbrokemybank on your DC’s successsful first round auditions are various schools.... I am sure he will secure a place & you may be lucky to be able to choose the best fit school for him & you the family! 

Lits ofvthjngs to consider when choosing a school.... not just the precieved status can I add....

We have very good experience of Hammond & am thrilled that DC is not only excelling in first love of ballet but also getting way more experience in other dance & performance forms than her peers at what I imagine many consider to be Schools 1 & 2 on ‘the list’. Plus great music & academics too - all great for whatever future life plans they may develop....

In my experience all schools ask for registration fees.... but you may find these refunded; finance departments in all schools you are considering will I am sure will be happy to talk to you.

But please please can parents out there wake up to the reality that the perceived ‘pecking order’ has little bearing on future successes - what will have far greater effect will be the level of dedication, hard work & quite likely adaptability that our DC’s show in their time training & in their professional careers! 

It upsets me when people assume a DC is only at Hammond because they didn’t get a (funded) place at the ‘other 3’. I don’t wish to admonish anyone but it is frankly insulting & tactless & perpetuates these myths further & can hinder a child’s enjoyment/progress if they constantly feel they are third rate & spend time wondering ‘what if’ they were elsewhere.There are occcassionslly attitudes of ‘we are at x school so we are better than you’ out there also...not a pleasant thing. Well it can be a case of careful what you wish for with worries of assessing out from these  ‘top schools’  so look carefully & openly at all options & by all means PM me if you have any Q about our Hammond (& other schools) experience....

Good Luck to your DS in his dancing journey!

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Can I also add that the Tap section of annual shows each year are astoundingly good! your DS may not tap no, but a year at Hammond & you bet he can then! Tap is a useful skill in many ballet choreo.... Acosta's Carmen seems to spring to mind...???

And look at the wonderful RBS Principle Stephen McRrae....tapper extrordinaire! And I'm sure it's done him no harm to have 'an extra string to his bow' :D

Edited by Peanut68
typos!
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Daniel de Andrade had a great career as a dancer in Zurich Ballet, Scottish Ballet and ultimately as a leading dancer at Northern Ballet.  He is now the Artistic Associate at Northern Ballet and has choreographed both for Northern Ballet and abroad.  He came to The Hammond on a scholarship from Brazil.

 

As far as tapping goes, and being a follower of Birmingham Royal Ballet, I understand that tapping experience is very helpful if you are cast as Widow Simone in Fille and as Will Mossop in Hobson's choice and is essential for the Hoofer in Slaughter on 10th Avenue.  Tapping has not done Steven McRae of RB any harm and Lachlan Monaghan, one of the rising starts of BRB, went to the same tap teacher.

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Many, many years ago my son met Sam Archer and Richard Windsor when they were starring in Edward Scissorhands.   He commented on the fact that one (can't remember which) had tap shoes next to his ballet shoes.  "Of course" came the reply  .. "how else do you think?"

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There is quite a list of dancers who trained at Hammond Lower School who went on to have classical careers. The ones listed as alumni on their website include 

 

Name Production / Role Destination
George-Murray Nightingale Corps de Ballet The Australian Ballet
Harriet Mills Principal Dancer Staatsballet Karlsruhe
Daniel Dolan Soloist Lithuanian National Ballet
Nahum Mclean Dancer LA Dance Lab
Jack Thompson Dancer Phoenix Dance Theatre
Caroline Crawley Edward Scissorhands New Adventures, Matthew Bourne
Robin Gladwin Swan Lake (Cygnet) Matthew Bourne, UK & Int. Tour
Tom Cummings Swan Lake (Cygnet) Matthew Bourne, UK & Int. Tour
James Morgan Lord of the Flies New Adventures, Matthew Bourne
Tobias Batley International Guest Artist Northern Ballet Company
Amy Hollins Corps de Ballet English National Ballet
Jo Desmond   New Adventures, Matthew Bourne
Martin Joyce Dancer / Choreographer Rambert Dance Company
Robin Gladwin Dancer Rambert Dance Company
Amy Dolan Company Manager Scottish Ballet Company
Fran Hemmer-Beaumont Dancer / Choreographer Kibbutz Contemporary Company, Israel 
Fran Hemmer-Beaumont Dancer Latin Ballet of Virginia
Alex Newton Carousel (Louise) Opera North
James Morgan Orpheus in the Underworld Opera Della Luna
Sophie Smart Corps de Ballet Vienna Festival Ballet
Carly Morgan Corps de Ballet Hamburg Ballet
Alfie Jago Corps de Ballet Moravske Divadlo Olomouc
Matthew Powell English National Ballet Romeo & Juliet
Naomi Shimon Bailie Peter Schaufuss Ballet London Coliseum
Paul Lightfoot Nederlands Dans Theater Artistic Director
Chad Taylor Shokarillas Choreographer
Arielle Smith English Youth Ballet Choreographer
Edward Myhill National Dance Company Wales Dancer
Daniel de Andrade Artistic Associate Choreographer Northern Ballet
Daniel de Andrade Soloist Scottish Ballet
Daniel de Andrade Principal London City Ballet
Caoimhe Ni Einigh Corps de Ballet Irish National Ballet Company

 

James Hobley (Scottish Ballet I think) can also be added to the list. 

 

But going back to the original post. I know that in the past when students have been reliant on funding to be able to attend then they have allowed the deposit to be paid after finals. As recently as last year when  dd was offered a place in Upper School the finals firm asked for a deposit but I didn’t pay it until after the Dada was offered. 

 

So so if you are interested contact them and explain. 

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Errol Pickford left to go to Royal just before I joined Hammond. 

 

I was there the same time as Daniel de Andrade and a few other people got classical work, mainly boys. I also had a performing career before going into teaching. 

 

Very happy memories of Hammond 

 

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I think if you would only attend the school if achieving a scholarship then you may not need to pay a deposit. The MDS is funded by government and it would be discrimination if you couldn't attend finals because you couldn't pay a deposit. I would call them.

 

Onto Hammond and ballet. Our experience at the time DC was there was that there was no flexibility in timetable depending on your preferred dance genre. DC found that lots of time spent rehearsing for Christmas Carol concerts etc dug into ballet time significantly. There are some excellent ballet teachers there but there appeared to be a lack of overall dance planning and consistency in training.

 

Clearly there are many other issues to consider when applying to vocational school - academics (very happy with Hammond), pastoral care (turnover of boarding staff an important issue) etc. We were declined a dance timetable for information during the admissions process. Personally I would be more pushy if doing it again - this is core information that should be available to parents to enable decision making.

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À propos of George-Murray Nightingale, although only in the corps de ballet he has just made a successful début as the Mad Hatter in the Wheeldon Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - because he can tap. Which he learned at Hammond before finishing up at English National Ballet  School.

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My post is not a criticism of Hammond. It is a description of the training experience of a DC who wants to major in ballet. For those who are more interested in a wider range of dance or MT the experience will be different. And it is not a criticism of the teaching itself - I noted some excellent teachers.

 

The longer you are in the system the more you realise that each of the main lower schools have issues as evidenced by the recent Tring report. Parents need to make a decision based on the best place for their child at that time.

 

As many children will not have a choice of offers and because parents do not always know which questions to ask before entering the system there is a lack of accountability; exacerbated by the fact that once in the system parents/children are afraid to raise issues in case it affects their training.

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55 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

I agree that year group sizes are possibly too large & think it would be better if cerysi lynthe ballet - like the tap - could have some lessons streamed by ability/those actually interested in nallet as a career 

 

They are streamed in Seniors. Dd is in A Jazz & B ballet so maybe this is something they could look at in Lower School. 

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In RAD classes they are split into those doing Intermediate and those doing Inter-foundation, not by year, so there's a mix of year 7 and 8 in DD's current RAD class. They have non-syllabus classes together as a year group. 

There were a couple of girls who were ready to take the IF exam at Christmas as they'd already studied at that level, DD and others are taking it next week, and there's a few who aren't quite ready yet who'll do it in year 8.

Edited by margarite
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Yes, it’s just been RAD where they are in classes according to Grade not year group. Must say they really do push them on well with this... DD further on than ever expected by now! 

Edited by Peanut68
Typi
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I think it would be hard to stream them for non RAD ballet class as in my daughters year there were only 14 girls ( boys taught separately). In year 10 and 11 my DD was asked like a couple of others to come in earlier for extra ballet class ( not extra exam class)during the week. X 

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On ‎05‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 15:55, balletbrokemybank said:

Part of me thinks if he doesn't get offered anything from the other two then it is only two more years and then it is a different arena post 16. The other part of me worries that if we don't explore all opportunities for him now we are limiting his chances of success in the future. Does anyone have any insight? Thanks

 

I think you first need to decide whether Hammond is the right school for your son. If it's the only offer of a place you get, and you get the funding you need, would it be better for him to go there or stay at his current school and continue with dance outside of school? Have you got access to high level training locally that could prepare him for sixth form entry?

If you decide that Hammond is suitable, you need to clarify the situation with paying the deposit as it seems some posters here have given information different to what the school seems to be saying. Regardless of whether Hammond is your first choice or not, I understand your feelings about having to pay the deposit before finding out whether you'll be able to accept the place, it seems unfair.

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When dd started in year 7 there were 12 dancers. One of the smallest year groups for some time. 

 

In year 10 there was quite an influx and there were about 28 ish dancers. 

 

It it was quite an exceptional influx. I’ve never known that happen before and was partly due to an unusual number transferring from other schools. 

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