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Royal Ballet School Auditions 2020

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22 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

Are we thinking it could be Manchester tomorrow ?

Hope its soon! 

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I thought we would have to wait longer - I’m surprised to see results are coming out already! (My DD was London year 7 group 4)

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@Sally-Anne we were in this group too! According to the website there’s still one audition to go on Friday! 🤔

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There’s definitely an audition tomorrow, I’m taking a student who wants White Lodge, so I’m hoping they are really fast getting the finals letters! 

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My DD auditioned in Birmingham on Friday and really didn’t enjoy the class 😟 It was the last one of the day 3-4pm, the room was super hot and the male panellist was struggling to stay awake. The class was short and they only did 2 mobility stretches?!

 

My DD read it that they took one look as they all walked in and decided that they weren’t interested in any of them 😳

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1 hour ago, DreamChaser said:

My DD auditioned in Birmingham on Friday and really didn’t enjoy the class 😟 It was the last one of the day 3-4pm, the room was super hot and the male panellist was struggling to stay awake. The class was short and they only did 2 mobility stretches?!

 

My DD read it that they took one look as they all walked in and decided that they weren’t interested in any of them 😳

Oh no! Not again! 

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2 hours ago, DreamChaser said:

My DD auditioned in Birmingham on Friday and really didn’t enjoy the class 😟 It was the last one of the day 3-4pm, the room was super hot and the male panellist was struggling to stay awake. The class was short and they only did 2 mobility stretches?!

 

My DD read it that they took one look as they all walked in and decided that they weren’t interested in any of them 😳

What year was your daughter auditioning for?

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Bath JA's: can anyone tell me the current times of classes please? V little info and no point applying for something we really can't make! I believe Birmingham JA are early afternoon on Saturdays, to fit with Young Dancers?? Many thanks x

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On 01/02/2020 at 13:43, DreamChaser said:

My DD auditioned in Birmingham on Friday and really didn’t enjoy the class 😟 It was the last one of the day 3-4pm, the room was super hot and the male panellist was struggling to stay awake. The class was short and they only did 2 mobility stretches?!

 

My DD read it that they took one look as they all walked in and decided that they weren’t interested in any of them 😳

Ditto for London today.... literally his eyes closed!! 🤔🙄 

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16 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

Ditto for London today.... literally his eyes closed!! 🤔🙄 

The male panellist is normally the lovely Mark Annear. He’s usually so positive and attentive. Could the vibe have been misinterpreted by nervous auditionees?

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My DD and a friend auditioned Thursday in Birmingham and both said they felt Mr Annear was very dismissive of them both. They’ve auditioned previously and didn’t have feeling then.

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We auditioned in Bath, MA first group in so my DD & I didn’t get those dismissive feelings, maybe because it was early? But I am sorry for the little DDs & DSs that experienced such feelings... However, for my DD it was the opposite. It was our first intro into RBS & my DS said the teacher felt her hips, held her waist, ran her hands down her hamstrings, held her hand??? Is this usual for an audition?? (as I said we’re newbies) or have we completely fluffed it haha... Either way the experience was positive as my DD didn’t mind at all! 

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5 hours ago, SissonneDoublee said:

The male panellist is normally the lovely Mark Annear. He’s usually so positive and attentive. Could the vibe have been misinterpreted by nervous auditionees?

No

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5 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

No

If the audition was for an older year group the candidates would need to be capable of joining an existing cohort with training already underway. The panel may have been able to make a decision very early on with regard to their ability to do this, I suppose. It does sound like a better poker face is required, but the hours of auditions that the panel have sat through by now may be taking their toll. I’m sorry that your DC’s experience was a disappointing one.

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59 minutes ago, SissonneDoublee said:

If the audition was for an older year group the candidates would need to be capable of joining an existing cohort with training already underway. The panel may have been able to make a decision very early on with regard to their ability to do this, I suppose. It does sound like a better poker face is required, but the hours of auditions that the panel have sat through by now may be taking their toll. I’m sorry that your DC’s experience was a disappointing one.

Perhaps,  but if your job involves outreach and children come out of an audition feeling that they've been dismissed before they've even danced then maybe you're in the wrong job. Lots of UK children audition for RBS US having never been in their system at all, paying to do so. Auditioning them in a way that knocks their confidence may mirror the professional audition circuit but it's rude. They all deserve the illusion of a fair chance - or better a real chance! 

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And before the auditions they encourage everyone to try again, hard for kids to want to do that if they feel like they are being dismissed! I’m so sorry that any child has been made to feel like that. I had a group of kids leave an audition last year having felt completely ignored, but thankfully there was a group and they were able to laugh and joke about it. 

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14 hours ago, SissonneDoublee said:

The male panellist is normally the lovely Mark Annear. He’s usually so positive and attentive. Could the vibe have been misinterpreted by nervous auditionees?

Mark Annear IME is far from always lovely. He can be both lovely and extremely severe (not mean, just not soft) in his treatment of young dancers.

My son is an MA in the boys specialist group and Mr Annear most certainly does not pull any punches. He strikes me as quite ‘old school’ in his approach, which my son loves but I’m not sure I would if I had to swap places.

I can understand why children might find him quite intimidating with his sometimes poker face.

 

The audition process can be quite brutal. My son’s RB Preliminaries were taken by his MA teacher who did not acknowledge the children he already knew from his class, but treated the whole group as a first meeting.

The panel however did give indications that they knew certain children and talked to them by name.

i am in no doubt that this kind of familiarity must leave the unknown children feeling quite ‘less than.’

 

I do believe though that this approach is absolutely part of the arena our children have chosen to step in to.

 

Preparing my son for this kind of thing has helped him manage the contrary process of auditions immensely.

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My daughter was in the first group for Upper School & AAs yesterday - does anyone know how many groups there were auditioning?

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32 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

I think 3 girls 1 boys - don’t know if any split re: yes 1/2/3

Thanks! 

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I absolutely agree with you @Yrosered

If people we deal with in everyday life behaved like this would we be so accepting? If a doctor didn't  bother listening would people say "Well have you any idea how many patients she has seen this week, and you really aren't that sick are you?" Or if a regular school teacher gave a class with his eyes shut would it be  "Gosh, he must get sick of having to spend every day with kids, you should be grateful be bothers to turn up at all?" If a checkout operator was rude we would probably complain. If you work in a public facing job there is a standard that your clients can reasonably expect, no matter how tired, bored, hot, cold etc you are. How can we hold shop assistants to a higher standard of behaviour than we do people entrusted with the care of children and young people, simply because they represent an elite institution?

A poster hit the nail on the head in another thread recently, talking about the "humble gratitude" that parents and children are expected to exhibit in these circumstances. Yes, we all know that the performing arts world is tough, but these are children and their parents have paid a sum of money which for some will be a significant amount, for this experience. The should be able to expect politeness as a minimum.

Some sectors of dance education are stuck in a mindset that most of the rest of the educational world abandoned decades ago, and it really does need to change.

Edited by Pups_mum
Typos
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I agree, Pups_mum.  As Ballet parents we are so often scared to rock the boat for fear our children will lose their place/get a bad reputation or whatever, even at a local level.  We forget that we’re paying customers and become so fearful that I think *some* - not all, of course - teachers/schools/ADs take advantage of that.  Had I known my daughter would end up taking a completely different path, I think I would have behaved very differently with one or two teachers but the ballet world is so small, it’s almost impossible to call out bad/unprofessional behaviour at the time if you fear that it will affect your child’s chances in future.  

 

Is this limited to ballet, I wonder?  Or does it happen in sports/music/theatre too?

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Well said Pups mum! I have more experience of specialist music schools than dance, but it took a string of very nasty scandals for them to even begin to admit that it should be "children first, musicians second".  And given the recent testimony from heads and governors of various schools in front of the National Enquiry it seems that complacency is still alive and well in many places.  I really hope that specialist dance schools can wake up to the fact that they are first and foremost in a position of care for children and that their mission to protect standards of dance is a secondary consideration. 

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Have any more results regarding WL come out yet, manchester??

 

presume we will be a while yet as we were Birmingham on Friday 

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Good point @Anna C

I suspect there are similar problems in any field where there are more children with talent and a desire to participate than there are places. But in my experience at least, sport is less bad, partly because of the influence of national governing bodies and partly because it is easier to be objective. For example, if there are standard qualifying times which must be reached to progress to the next stage it is easier to pick objectively. Also, sport has embraced science more, so rather than that rather abstract concept of "potential" that we face in the dance world, young people seeking to participate in higher levels of sport can be tested more objectively. Obviously that is not infallible  - for example Mark Cavendish who, whatever people feel about his personality, is one of the greatest cyclists of all time, performs very badly in the lab, and really shouldn't have been capable of his achievements. But I think its better than the vague "we know it when we see it" or really " we know what we are looking for but we aren't going to tell you" attitude that seems to prevail in dance. I know its harder when artistry comes in to it, but I do think more transparency would help everyone.

I suspect the sports I am involved in are at the higher end when it comes to Child Protection and appropriate training for youth competitors ( driven to some degree by previous scandals) but I don't delude myself that they are perfect. There is however a proper structure. If I saw something I felt was wrong I would know what to do about it, and there are easily accessible and clear standards and codes of conduct for all involved. Dance poses many of the same risks to our young people as does competitive sport, but it lacks the structure and accountability. 

Sorry, for derailing the thread....I will go now and leave space for those whose children are auditioning this year. I wish everyone all the best and I hope that all the young dancers have good experiences. But those that don't should be able to speak up.

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