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Lit

Advice for ballet schools in London

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My daughter 11, would like to start ballet again - she had lessons from 3-7 years. We live in London, and I am currently looking at Central School of Ballet (Clerkenwell) and London Ballet School (N4). They both seem good, and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations and advice. She is very keen to build up her strength to eventually do pointe work, also. She would like to go to both, but would that be advisable? 

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Welcome to the forum, Lit.  Are you relatively central in London, or north, south, east, west?  Would that have any bearing on your choice?

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Hello Lit and welcome.  😊

 

If you’re thinking about your dd auditioning for Central’s Preps on a Saturday, the Prep/Pre-Senior scheme is designed to be an add-on to the student’s main training, in which case yes, your dd could do both.    

 

Or were you thinking of Central’s Junior School on weekday evenings? 

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Have a look too st DIBA - the nallet academy at Danceworks in Central London which I think would offer excellent personal programme for your daughter’s return to dance! 

Calll then for a chat - I’m sure they will happy to help with advice!

Goid luck! 

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2 hours ago, Anna C said:

Hello Lit and welcome.  😊

 

If you’re thinking about your dd auditioning for Central’s Preps on a Saturday, the Prep/Pre-Senior scheme is designed to be an add-on to the student’s main training, in which case yes, your dd could do both.    

 

Or were you thinking of Central’s Junior School on weekday evenings? 

 

Thank you.

I am thinking of the junior school on weekday evenings. What do you think?

 

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3 hours ago, alison said:

Welcome to the forum, Lit.  Are you relatively central in London, or north, south, east, west?  Would that have any bearing on your choice?

I am north London, holloway, so quite easy access to central too.

 

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1 hour ago, Peanut68 said:

Have a look too st DIBA - the nallet academy at Danceworks in Central London which I think would offer excellent personal programme for your daughter’s return to dance! 

Calll then for a chat - I’m sure they will happy to help with advice!

Goid luck! 

Thank you, I'll have a look.

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7 minutes ago, Lit said:

 

Thank you.

I am thinking of the junior school on weekday evenings. What do you think?

 

 

No experience of the Junior School but my dd had a wonderful 5 years as a Prep/Pre-Senior.  At some point Central is moving premises across to South Bank so I’m not sure whether that will change things for you from a logistical POV?

 

IIRC Sarah Toner has a ballet school in North London.  That might be well worth checking out? 

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Just thinking out loud - could you get to Battersea or would that be too far? RAD HQ has its own dance school which has syllabus and non syllabus classes.

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Yes, I am aware of RAD in Battersea, but I think it might be too far to venture to, especially if it may for twice a week. But since you mention it, I will re-consider. Thank you.

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West London School of Dance offers excellent non-syllabus classes in a number of locations in West London, though most are based at their own studios in Shepherds Bush. They are the non-vocational sister school to Young Dancer Academy (YDA). YDA also run an Associate programme which runs on Saturdays. 

Edited by Balletmum1704
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2 hours ago, Lit said:

Any thoughts about the London Ballet School in N4?

 

 

Not one I know of, personally.  Hopefully some members might have experience of it.  😊

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43 minutes ago, valentina said:

Would definitely second Sarah Toner. Close to you too.

Great, thanks!

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Mary Goodhew in Wimbledon would also be excellent. She has been mentioned before on this forum. Probably too far for you though.

If you can find a nurturing school like this, then your Dd could do associates at the weekend?

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5 hours ago, valentina said:

Mary Goodhew in Wimbledon would also be excellent. She has been mentioned before on this forum. Probably too far for you though.

If you can find a nurturing school like this, then your Dd could do associates at the weekend?

I will look into Mary Goodhew, hopefully I can get an idea of what to look for. So, what do you mean by "associates"? Do you mean at Central?

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Yes, Lit.  When we talk about Associates on the forum, we mean selective auditioned schemes which are usually part of a full-time ballet school’s outreach work.  They are usually weekend classes designed to complement a student’s usual training (weekday evenings and/or whichever weekend day the Associates aren’t, if that makes sense).  

 

Associates usually offer non-syllabus training which means that there’s no clash between schools entering students for RAD exams and so on.  The good schemes are highly competitive and people travel quite some distance to attend.  The students are usually assessed each year to see if they will progress into the year above, repeat a year or not get another year’s training.  Dancers at good Associate schemes often go onto full-time training but equally, some change path.  

 

The most well known and often discussed (on the forum) ballet Associate Schemes are - in no particular order:

 

Royal Ballet School Junior, Mid, Senior and Advanced Associates

Elmhurst Ballet School Young Dancers

Tring Park School’s Classical Ballet Academy (CBA, not to be confused with Tring Park Associates)

Central’s Preps and Pre-Seniors

Northern Ballet Company’s Associate Division

Scottish Ballet Company’s Associates

 

There are lots of others, including London Junior and Senior Ballet, Young Dancers Academy Associates and so on.  Apologies if I’ve missed any.

 

There are also nationwide CAT Scheme classes https://www.nationaldancecats.co.uk/ but AFAIK the only classical ballet CAT is based at Northern Ballet in Leeds.

 

Hope that helps! ☺️

 

 

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Personally I’d ring a few and see what they have for her age. I don’t know of any of the mentioned schools but some schools will attract mainly serious students and your daughter may have to go with children younger than herself because the 11 year olds will have been training from a young age. Or she’ll be dropped into a high level class to suit her age which isn’t ideal either! Practically any school will introduce pointe work, so she should get her chance at that when she reaches the level and strength required wherever she goes. There are loads of good schools and opportunities in London, I’d look for somewhere that has something to particularly suit her as a slightly older near beginner. I don’t think it will be necessary to go to 2 different schools, there are loads of schools in London who will offer you 3,4 or more classes if you want them. If you go to 2 different schools it makes everything very complicated with timings as you change classes/ perform in shows or competitions etc and inevitably there are clashes. 

Edited by Moomin
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Wow, thank you Anna C lots of great information there. And also thank you Moomin for your advice. 

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