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Ballet4Boyz

Musical Theatre Schools with a strong ballet focus?

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Hi everyone, just wondering if some of the post 16 musical theatre schools/colleges are known for having a more ballet-focused training that may suit an all-rounder student with an overall preference for ballet ......I know that all college courses provide ballet training - but wondered if some offered more than others or put a higher emphasis on it - just curious ?

many thanks 

 

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Hi. Northern Ballet School sounds as if it will fit the bill. Even when the pupils split on their 2nd yr the Jazz Focus still has the core genre of ballet. 

Unlike other MT colleges who offer ballet but equal or less so to other genres. Hopefully that makes sense. 

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Thanks balletbean - just doing a bit of research and other people’s experience of the different courses prove invaluable 😊

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Thanks tutugirl - our DS is just curious about post 16 courses and it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of forward thinking. He’s probably leaning towards Central/Rambert/Northern/RCS etc - as although an all rounder at the moment - ballet is his preference/strength. He’s also really happy with his present school & that’s an option to apply there. The musical theatre courses are a bit tricky to understand how much Ballet content they offer & to what level ...... but don’t want to not consider them either , if that makes sense 😊

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3 minutes ago, Ballet4Boyz said:

Thanks tutugirl - our DS is just curious about post 16 courses and it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of forward thinking. He’s probably leaning towards Central/Rambert/Northern/RCS etc - as although an all rounder at the moment - ballet is his preference/strength. He’s also really happy with his present school & that’s an option to apply there. The musical theatre courses are a bit tricky to understand how much Ballet content they offer & to what level ...... but don’t want to not consider them either , if that makes sense 😊

Even though MT colleges accept 16yr olds majority of the big named college pupils are 18yrs+ when they start some don’t even accept 16yr olds. There’s no necessity to apply to 16 unlike the classical route where the doors can shut if you don’t go. If a pupil starts at 18 they can train for a BA rather than Diploma at some colleges. It can always boil down to funding as student loans can be taken out at 18 but the younger pupils have to rely on a DaDa or bank of mum and dad. Having had children in both camps I’ve learnt so much as well as friends DC that have attended a wide selection of those establishments. We’ve all become an unofficial expert on the subject 😉 Happy to answer any more questions to the best of my knowledge. 🙆🏻‍♂️🙆‍♀️

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Thanks balletbean .... am I right in thinking students can enter straight onto a degree course at Central/Rambert/RCS at 16 & have access to government loans & maintenance grants to help with funding (even at 16) ?

 

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It might also be worth looking at London Studio Centre.

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Just now, Ballet4Boyz said:

Thanks balletbean .... am I right in thinking students can enter straight onto a degree course at Central/Rambert/RCS at 16 & have access to government loans & maintenance grants to help with funding (even at 16) ?

 

 

Yes, they can.  With regards to Rambert and the other more Contemporary schools, going at 16 can be done but it might be better at 18.  Contemporary often requires more maturity and a bit more life experience but as well as that, living independently at 16 is not for everyone, nor is starting a degree course which academically can be a huge leap from GCSEs.  

 

For Musical Theatre and Contemporary there is definitely less urgency to be in FT training at 16. 

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Having attended a vocational Lower School my dd originally intended to go back to normal school and apply for Musical Theatre training at 18 thus having more options (degree & diploma).  However in her case she was given feedback both by a teacher at her vocatinal school and at an external college that it would not be the best course of action for her due and she would in effect be wasting her time doing two years recreational training at a much lower level than she was used to so you really need to look at your own circumstances and what is available locally and at what level.

 

From our research she found that the musical theatre courses where the standard of ballet is higher/more intense than some of the more jazz/commercial colleges was Tring Dance course (not their MT course which is a 2 year pre voc type course), Hammond &  Laine (Betty Laine likes ballet dancers). 

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I do, however, have to agree with Anna about living independently not being suitable for everyone at age 16 and dd chose to mostly apply for schools that offered either home stay with a family or boarding.

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No problem with student finance for BA courses for 16 year olds at Rambert, Central or RCS. 

 

5 (or possibly 6) of this years 1st years at Rambert were 16 year old boys at the start of the academic year in September, so it’s certainly not uncommon. Most stay in Homestay, at least for the first year. 

 

Betty Laine loves her ballet, and seems to particularly like the ballet boys. Several grads into Matthew Bourne’s company.

 

The other one that springs to mind as worth a look is London Studio Centre. 

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Having been pretty certain that LSC required level 3 qualifications which precluded most English educated 16 year olds it appears they are now accepting 16 year olds onto one of their dance courses (not Theatre dance though).  This must be very new.

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Juts to clarify, when you speak of all rounder  you are talking about dance/singing/acting ie musical theatre as opposed to all rounder in dance genres with a strong focus on ballet as opposed to a qualification in classical?

 

I ask because there are 2 level 6 Trinity diplomas out there - one for musical theatre and one for professional dance. It may help you to look at the actual qualifications and how they are assessed as the balance/emphasis put on dance genres and the singing/acting components does vary according to the course. Using Hammond as an example, as they offer both qualifications, - the first year is common to both courses but 2nd and 3rd years the MT students will do far less ballet as their hours of vocal and acting classes are increased whereas the hours of ballet and contemporary in particular are increased from 1st year for the students on the dance course. They will still do an acting and vocal class each week but it is dominantly dance genres.https://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=270

 

 

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Thanks to everyone for their replies - really helpful !!

yes 2dancersmum, DS is competent in dance/acting/singing (although by far his comfort zone is in dance - all genres but particularly the more classical side) . He has a nice voice and his present school has dragged that out of him 🤣 - but singing at the moment he feels is his weaker of the three compared to dance & acting.

so if he were to go down the diploma route - it would be the professional dance diploma. 

I just didn’t want him to entirely focus on the classical/contemporary schools and not consider some of the musical theatre options -  particularly if they offer a strong focus on ballet/dance. 

When I ask him ..... it’s ballet all the way - so I suppose I have to trust his judgement, perhaps things may become clearer over the next couple of years 😊

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7 hours ago, Ballet4Boyz said:

Thanks balletbean .... am I right in thinking students can enter straight onto a degree course at Central/Rambert/RCS at 16 & have access to government loans & maintenance grants to help with funding (even at 16) ?

 

Central comes under conservatoire I’m not too sure about the others. 

Student Loans are applied for by the student and not the parent so as far as I’m aware a pupil at 16 wouldn’t be eligible for a standard student loan. Just by age. Still a minor. Many of the establishments that don’t offer a DaDa have other in-house funding schemes. Like a scholarship either part or full.  Tring and Elmhurst definitely do.  Frustrating and also challenging. One to meet the needs of your own DC whilst trying to balance the old books.  Not easy and I wish everyone best of luck.

Fortunately I live under a different jurisdiction that offers a grant for students with 2 x level 3 (ie A levels at 18yrs) qualifications wanting to study an undergraduate degree. I met them head on and had to ‘educate’ the dept that Ballet exams above grade 6 are level 3. And that a level 6 Diploma is the vocational equivalent of a BA(Hons) .  So a 16yr old qualified for funding something they didn’t realise. I proved them wrong. It’s shocking how uneducated an education dept can be. 

There are also local private trusts and bursaries available from those who support the arts. Just takes an immense of time and energy whilst pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to research and ask. But well worth it. 

Edited by balletbean

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8 minutes ago, balletbean said:

Student Loans are applied for by the student and not the parent so as far as I’m aware a pupil at 16 wouldn’t be eligible for a standard student loan. Just by age. Still a mino

 

This is incorrect. Student finance is dependent on the course studied not the age of the student. 

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Ps. There are some useful templates buried deep into the RBS website that helps with the wording for letter when seeking funding. Either via local media outlets or direct to businesses. As I’ve mentioned writing these kind of letters isn’t easy so it’s helpful when there’s some guidelines to refer to. Even if a pupil receives a full scholarship/funding from the school there’s always ongoing costs for them. From uniform to travel. Every little helps. Even more so when balancing the needs of one child against the needs of their siblings and the family as a whole. 

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1 minute ago, Farawaydancer said:

 

This is incorrect. Student finance is dependent on the course studied not the age of the student. 

Oh. Thank you, must have changed  as when I did my research my my non DS he was too young at 16 as he couldn’t legally sign the paperwork for a student loan. It would have been me as a parent but then I wasn’t the student so couldn’t sign. The staff were great and understood the situation but their hands were tied. I could have applied for a bank loan or other finance houses that offered student funding but obviously not at such a favourable rate or terms.   

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2 hours ago, Ballet4Boyz said:

Thanks to everyone for their replies - really helpful !!

yes 2dancersmum, DS is competent in dance/acting/singing (although by far his comfort zone is in dance - all genres but particularly the more classical side) . He has a nice voice and his present school has dragged that out of him 🤣 - but singing at the moment he feels is his weaker of the three compared to dance & acting.

so if he were to go down the diploma route - it would be the professional dance diploma. 

I just didn’t want him to entirely focus on the classical/contemporary schools and not consider some of the musical theatre options -  particularly if they offer a strong focus on ballet/dance. 

When I ask him ..... it’s ballet all the way - so I suppose I have to trust his judgement, perhaps things may become clearer over the next couple of years 😊

Hi  Just to add a voice.  My DD currently attends RCS (1st year) and loves it.  She gets full student loan (so helps out with finance side of things) and scholarships are available too.  She started at 16.  There is a heavy focus on ballet, with 3 different genre of contemporary being taught across the 3 different years.  It's a degree course.  They also have jazz classes and have the opportunity to collaborate with the other performing art disciplines throughout the year which is great.  Finally, there is the opportunity to dance with the Scottish ballet company in final year.  2 of the current 3rd years are in the BBC young dancer ballet final on TV next week- have a watch.  DM me if you have any questions :)  

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Yes we also had student finance and loans at age 16 , lived with other students not homestay whilst studying at Rambert, school very supportive would check on students if unwell even took to chemists/doctors, depends on maturity of student of course.

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5 hours ago, Ballet4Boyz said:

Thanks to everyone for their replies - really helpful !!

yes 2dancersmum, DS is competent in dance/acting/singing (although by far his comfort zone is in dance - all genres but particularly the more classical side) . He has a nice voice and his present school has dragged that out of him 🤣 - but singing at the moment he feels is his weaker of the three compared to dance & acting.

so if he were to go down the diploma route - it would be the professional dance diploma. 

I just didn’t want him to entirely focus on the classical/contemporary schools and not consider some of the musical theatre options -  particularly if they offer a strong focus on ballet/dance. 

When I ask him ..... it’s ballet all the way - so I suppose I have to trust his judgement, perhaps things may become clearer over the next couple of years 😊

Ballet all the way you say is his likely choice? Then let that guide him in priority for applications/auditions. A well trained Ballet Dancer at 18 will more easily be able to transition to a more all round dance or Contemporary or MT course or career than I suspect could ever happen in reverse....

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might be worth looking at Stageworks 2 year Audition Preparation course. It's Btec Advanced so funded and a good all round course. DS went and was offered full funding/scholarships at all the schools he applied to at 18 including being the first boy in set 1 Ballet at his choice - Urdang. There is managed accommodation for all students in shared flats houses.

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I have been following this topic with interest and have been moved to join the forum in order to ask for your advice. Is it possible that DC can go to Central or RCS when they are 18. 

I know that with ballet it is usual to go to vocational school at 16 - or of course earlier. Does anyone have an advice that they could pass onto me. 

 

With thanks

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8 minutes ago, Dd123 said:

I have been following this topic with interest and have been moved to join the forum in order to ask for your advice. Is it possible that DC can go to Central or RCS when they are 18. 

I know that with ballet it is usual to go to vocational school at 16 - or of course earlier. Does anyone have an advice that they could pass onto me. 

 

With thanks

 

My impression from the pre-audition talk was that it is very unusual for Central to offer places to 18 year olds, especially girls. I think RCS are a little more flexible with starting age. 

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I’m going to have to say don’t forget KS Dance in Warrington. My dd has never been happier! Small classes and  fabulous teachers. If you can get there, they are performing Romeo and Juliet at The Brindley Runcorn tonight and tomorrow. There’s nothing like seeing a performance of a school to get a feel for what they do. There’s also contemporary, modern, musical theatre, hip hop and tap on show. 

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Thank you so much for your advice and knowledge! . DD got to finals of two vocational schools but didn’t get a place... she is 16 but loves ballet so much - we are trying to think of ways to help her but I have always thought that 18 is probably too late ...

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