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oliviaT

Improving between 16 and 18

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Hello 

 

I’m interested to hear from anybody who auditioned at 16 but then decided to apply again at 18 (dance/MT not specifically ballet). 

 

My daughter applied for 3 level 6 courses this year. For her to do a level 6 diploma we couldn’t afford London accommodation so she applied to reputable colleges but more northern / midlands based.

 

To give you an idea of her standard her results were:

1 no 

1 yes with funding 

1 yes without funding 

 

After a lot of thought she decided these were not quite right for her. Her aim now is to apply again but for a London /southern based degree course at 18. 

 

I know that nobody can say for sure whether this is realistic. But has anyone been in this position before? Any tips or thoughts on whether this is achievable? Xx 

 

 

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1 hour ago, oliviaT said:

Hello 

 

I’m interested to hear from anybody who auditioned at 16 but then decided to apply again at 18 (dance/MT not specifically ballet). 

 

My daughter applied for 3 level 6 courses this year. For her to do a level 6 diploma we couldn’t afford London accommodation so she applied to reputable colleges but more northern / midlands based.

 

To give you an idea of her standard her results were:

1 no 

1 yes with funding 

1 yes without funding 

 

After a lot of thought she decided these were not quite right for her. Her aim now is to apply again but for a London /southern based degree course at 18. 

 

I know that nobody can say for sure whether this is realistic. But has anyone been in this position before? Any tips or thoughts on whether this is achievable? Xx 

 

 

Hi. Having had two DD’s follow both training pathways I have learnt so much. 

16 definitely for classical route 

18 for MT without a doubt. Not just my DD’s view as she went as 18 but also a member of the teaching staff at Birds has made it very clear but even though they accept 16yr olds they prefer the 18yr olds on the BA(Hons) course. Citing the following reasons. Obviously this is very generalised but still worthy. 

1) Maturity emotional and physically 

2) Costs, Degree is less than the diploma and therefore students can apply for a standard student loan

3) Physical strength & stamina (especially the boys).  

4) Dancing standards are overall higher due to the increased training a pupil has received before starting. 

5) Higher Level of academic education that supports their BA course. 

6) The industry (according to the college) prefer the older graduates ie 21 not 19. I appreciate the industry is huge and you can’t rely on just one colleges view point. 

With the majority of pupils at 18 and over the younger pupils can sometimes get ‘lost’ in the year group as they cannot socialise with their fellow peers re pubs & clubs (if that makes sense). Many MT colleges are huge. Over 100 in some year groups. 

You also have the situation that 16yr olds some MT colleges have to live with host families. Whilst their peers live independently mainly privately rented. This might suit some but many I know frustrates them completely. Showing a divide amongst their older peers. 

Whilst I recognise that many go down the MT route at 16 I do think ‘why the rush’. Carry on your studies. Do the best you can academically as you can fall back on them if needed later on in life. Then embark on your MT training. 

Hope my rambles helped. 

 

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Hi 

Thank you, that is reassuring to read. 

I’m not too concerned about her being too old. We’ve been told the same as you have said - that 18 can have its advantages. I’m glad to hear this was your daughter’s experience. 

I’m more wondering about whether the improvements she needs to make in the next 12 to 18 months are realistic. I know it’s a case of she won’t know until she tries but I’m interested to hear about other people’s experience of this x 

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To be honest, an awful lot does depend on what sort of training your DD can access locally between the ages of 16 and 18.  My eldest DD went at 16  as she was lucky enough to get funding at the college she liked but she would have struggled to get dance classes at a high enough level locally. Our closest dance school to offer adv 1 and 2 was over an hour away - but most at that school tended to apply at 18. Both my DDs have friends who applied at 16 and got either a no or a non funded place on diploma courses and the results applying at 18 varied from no offers to 'unfunded diploma with no to degree' to multiple degree offers.  The extra 2 years for those friends in some ways were a benefit - at 16 they applied for dance courses, at 18 some had a more consolidated interest in MT or contemporary so I think those 2 years helped define where their interests and talents mostly lay - general dance, mt or contemporary. So ultimately , providing she can access enough quality training, then she has not lessened her chances by deciding to wait but of course there are no guarantees in auditions.

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Thank you for your honesty. 

She’s very lucky to have good quality training locally.

Based on the auditions she did this year I think she has shown she has some potential but I don’t think she was at the right standard for her first choice colleges. We shall see how things go over the next 12 to 18 months 

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Yes from 2 out of the 3 although not in detail. She has limited singing and commercial experience so needs to address that. Jazz is her strength. Physio / flexibility assessments were good. Needs to work on her self confidence.  

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On the whole, especially for dance/MT it is far better to stay at home until you are 18 and get some A-levels under your belt. You never know where a career in dance may lead, and for some it does turn out to be unexpectedly curtailed for various reasons. If you have A-levels, then there are far more options open to you in years to come if things don't work out as planned.

 

As others have already mentioned, most of the dance/MT colleges (and for contemporary also) actively prefer students to start at 18+.

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53 minutes ago, oliviaT said:

Yes from 2 out of the 3 although not in detail. She has limited singing and commercial experience so needs to address that. Jazz is her strength. Physio / flexibility assessments were good. Needs to work on her self confidence.  

Self-confidence and singing is rather like the chicken & the egg. One benefits the other just difficult to know which way around it goes. Voice box is defined as a muscle. Just like a dancer exercises their body they also need to exercise the voice box. Something our darling children don’t always recognise when dancing is their first love. Many colleges don’t expect the next lead singer/soloist but they do like pupils to be able to hold a note and to be able to read songs straight from a musical score. So being able to read music helps. Maybe use the next 12/18months for seeking some singing lessons. Not necessarily all private but even joining a church choir/group could help and that training would be free. Gaining confidence surrounded by others without looking at the ‘audience’ straight in the face 😉. Am Dram clubs & societies are also a good way to have fun whilst exercising the old voice box whilst also having fun. Check out your local area for any suitable organisations. My DD’s loved their time with the local clubs. A form of escapism from regular studio work. 

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