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Summer courses... all new to us!


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Hello I’m new on here so apologies if I’m not asking in the right place.  We live in Cyprus and my daughter (she’s 14) would like to attend a summer course in the uk this year when we visit for a wedding. We applied for rbs but unfortunately she didn’t get in (she’s on the wait list but I’m assuming so are millions of others,) I have a few questions that I hope someone can help with. First question, how do I know if she’s at the right level (good enough) or if we are out of our league. We have no experience of ballet in the uk. She did a summer intensive here in Cyprus last year but I’ve no idea how the standards compare. Next questions. If she is the correct level I need somewhere residential (or where we can take a family holiday) but it needs to be the weeks before or after July 11th. We really can’t afford to stay all summer in the uk or make 2 trips as we are a fairly large family and flights o Cyprus can be expensive  (dd is the middle child out of 5) school here finishes end of June so we can travel any time after that. So far I’ve found ballet west and Yorkshire ballet that tie in with our dates. Any other suggestions? 


Thank you you in advance 🙂

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Welcome Mrsmac.  Most schools in England don't break up until 10th July or later, so you may not find much happening before the wedding.


Scottish schools break up earlier so their courses may be earlier.  I see that Royal Conservatoire in Scotland in Glasgow have a course starting 13th July which is probably worth a look.   Their website helpfully says that students should be working at Intermediate Foundation or Intermediate Level.  Glasgow could make a good base for a family holiday too.


It's a long time since my dd was doing summer schools, so I can't really recommend any based on recent experience, but she always kept going back to Northern Ballet summer school.  She loved the way she got an insight into the life of the company.  Yorkshire would also be a great base for a family holiday.



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I can recommend RoyalConservatoire in Glasgow. It’s non residential but as there are no  audition requirements, the standard is very mixed, so no need for your Dd to stress about being at any level, other than the guidelines are inter foundation.

My Dd has done high profile summer schools but she will still say this is her favourite! The scenery around Glasgow is nothing short of spectacular too!

I can also recommend the RAD summer school which again has very mixed standards but fantastic teaching. I think it’s usually in August though, so probably too late.

Does your Dd do any exams in a particular syllabus such as RAD? Working at intermediate level would probably be an approximate  guideline for 14 yrs.

Hope you find something!

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Hi Mrsmac and welcome to the forum.

I would see getting on the waiting list for the RBS summer school as a very positive thing. There are huge numbers of applicants from all around the world and the majority will receive a straight " no". There will be quite a lot on the waiting list it is true and it is always hard to say if a place will come up as I believe the way it works is that they replace "like for like". So if a 15 year old boy drops out they will look for another one, rather than offering a place to a 16 year old girl if you see what I mean? So to get a place you need someone the same sex and around the same age to decline.

But they have obviously seen very positive things in your DD. Plenty of talented dancers apply every year that they are eligible and never make it as far as the waiting list. So whilst obviously it is disappointing to your DD that she didn't get offered a place, I think she can be reassured that she is very much along the right lines to have been put on the waiting list.

My daughter is an adult now and I am a bit out of the loop regarding summer schools so I can't recommend anywhere specific. They all have their pros and cons really, but most of the well known schemes will provide a good experience.  Obviously there are some exceptions, but I think that if a young dancer has a positive attitude and works hard then they will get something out of more or less any reputable summer school. As has already been mentioned, you might be better off looking in Scotland for the dates that you mention. In England, the majority of schools don't start their summer holidays until mid July so not many summer schools will be available until then. But the Scottish school holidays start towards the end of June, so the summer schools start earlier.

As Valentina has already mentioned there are lots of beautiful places in Scotland so if you combine with a family holiday you will find plenty to do. That said, Yorkshire is also beautiful and full of interesting tourist attractions. Just don't expect the weather anywhere in the UK to be as fabulous as Cyprus in July! And particularly if you opt to go to Scotland be sure to pack insect repellent. You won't catch anything nasty from Scottish midgies but they can give you horrid itchy bites.

I hope you find somewhere suitable and enjoy your stay in the UK. Tell your DD not too worry too much. There will almost certainly be other dancers doing their first summer school wherever she goes, most will have at least some international students and everyone speaks the wonderful international language that is ballet.

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There is a thread on summer schools, I’ll try and find a link to it. It’s been posted on fairly recently though so probably quite easy to find. It might be useful to you? 

Off the top of my head I can think of Moorlands, Malvern Ballet Seminars and Ballet Boost. They have some entry requirements not nothing too onerous I don’t think. 

There are lists on other websites too. I think Just Ballet has a good page. 

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I was going to add courses at the RCS worth looking at as Scottish schools break up earlier than the English ones therefore the SS’s are earlier . NBS in Manchester Wont hold their SS until August. Obviously not helpful fit you.

So hopefully  this link will work 🤞🏼


Glasgow is lovely and has great railway links as well as an excellent International airport. 
RCS is fairly central as well. 



Edited by balletbean
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Thank you everyone for the replies. We’ve now applied for Yorkshire and she would also like to apply to elmhurst. If we are unsuccessful for those then we will try one that doesn’t require photos. Her teacher is keen for her to try enb but she doesn’t want to go to a non residential. 

thanks again for the suggestions. Just need to sort photos for elmhurst now but that’s another post! 😄

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