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Launching DanceEnhance!


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An exciting new collaboration between myself and Didy veldman.

 

We are delighted to be offering masterclasses for Vocational students to be held at White Lodge, Richmond.

 

We are very pleased to let you know that Chris Powney, Director of the Royal Ballet School, will be teaching our first senior class on 14th Nov and watching the juniors.

 

As our Patron Chris will take classess periodically.

 

Its a course to further the contemporary aspect that is so vital today.

Each date runs 10am to 4pm at £90 and rotates through various added elements;

14th Nov contemporary solos

28th Nov Movement 

19th Dec Choreography etc.

 

2hrs of Ballet, Contemporary class and 'solos' for example.

 

We are looking forward to helping the young dancers of today fulfill the requirements to succeed in this current world of Ballet.

 

www.balletboost.com for further info

Email; danceenhance@yahoo.com 

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On 19/10/2020 at 01:52, Emma northmore said:

An exciting new collaboration between myself and Didy veldman.

 

We are delighted to be offering masterclasses for Vocational students to be held at White Lodge, Richmond.

 

We are very pleased to let you know that Chris Powney, Director of the Royal Ballet School, will be teaching our first senior class on 14th Nov and watching the juniors.

 

As our Patron Chris will take classess periodically.

 

Its a course to further the contemporary aspect that is so vital today.

Each date runs 10am to 4pm at £90 and rotates through various added elements;

14th Nov contemporary solos

28th Nov Movement 

19th Dec Choreography etc.

 

2hrs of Ballet, Contemporary class and 'solos' for example.

 

We are looking forward to helping the young dancers of today fulfill the requirements to succeed in this current world of Ballet.

 

www.balletboost.com for further info

Email; danceenhance@yahoo.com 

Isn’t there a conflict of interest here when applying for a position at RBS. Is Mr Powney excusing himself as a AD when deciding on the placement of these kids in White Lodge or Upper School. I was under the assumption that RBS staff couldn’t coach individual students who then gained a place at RBS. If it was an RBS course then there wouldn’t be an issue. It seems blurred lines here - a course offered by a company so close to an RBS staff member in RBS buildings but not by RBS staff and I assume run for profit. Not for the benefit of RBS. This looks a difficult position for the AD and conflict of interest perceptions. 

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Nama

3 hours ago, Nama said:

Isn’t there a conflict of interest here when applying for a position at RBS. Is Mr Powney excusing himself as a AD when deciding on the placement of these kids in White Lodge or Upper School. I was under the assumption that RBS staff couldn’t coach individual students who then gained a place at RBS. If it was an RBS course then there wouldn’t be an issue. It seems blurred lines here - a course offered by a company so close to an RBS staff member in RBS buildings but not by RBS staff and I assume run for profit. Not for the benefit of RBS. This looks a difficult position for the AD and conflict of interest perceptions. 

Nama - I think you are missing the point.  Its a great opportunity but is not affiliated with Royal.  Christopher Powney teaches classes abroad (most recently southland ballet in California for a summer course). And whether they use the studios or not doesn't mean anything as Rambert school etc rent out their studios as well.  I am not attached to DanceEnhance in any way but I think this is a fabulous opportunity.  This is so much more than Christopher Powney teaching the occasional ballet lesson!  Look at the credentials of Didy Veldman and Emme Northmore - lucky dancers

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But it’s not associated - no where does it say it’s associated - Christopher Powney already teaches at other places and he is a patron of it taking one class  - only one - for a programme that has many different days.  Sorry I don’t see it your way but that is the beauty of this forum so lots of people can put their opinions forward.  If I sent my DC I don’t remotely see it as a way to the royal ballet school but maybe I’m in the minority! 

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No they don't say it is associated, but it could easily be misinterpreted by people who aren't aware of the ramifications of the ballet world.  Another query is how is this Covid-19 compliant?  This is a children's boarding school, where presumably the pupils are in "bubbles".  Why on earth at the present time are they going to have random people from all over the place entering the building?

Edited by Pas de Quatre
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The course is for vocational students.  I know nothing about the ballet but as my dc is a vocational student I am aware how the vocational schools are run so understand “the ramifications of the ballet world”

 

rbs is the most risk adverse place ever and  The way they deal with their school and associate program illustrates this so if they are happy to have the course there they must have passed rigorous standards.  Also the student will probably be on an exeat and if not I doubt they will come in contact at all as the campus is big.

 

I understand why people might not want to go in the current climate but I don’t think there is an issue about its location or teachers.

 

I think I will bow out now but let me say again I have no connection with DanceEnhance or white lodge! 

Edited by coniger
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There are many, many teachers at vocational schools who have associations with other dance institutions and teach at various places, sometimes their own students, sometimes students from other schools. It’s quite clear in the promotion materials that this is nothing to do with RBS as such. 
 

As far as the premises go, the school will have rigorous RAs in place with regard outside lettings. The resident students are on exeat on those weekends. 

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7 hours ago, coniger said:

But it’s not associated - no where does it say it’s associated - Christopher Powney already teaches at other places and he is a patron of it taking one class  - only one - for a programme that has many different days.  Sorry I don’t see it your way but that is the beauty of this forum so lots of people can put their opinions forward.  If I sent my DC I don’t remotely see it as a way to the royal ballet school but maybe I’m in the minority! 

I believe that people promoting their ballet summer schools or extra programs around the ballet world all know that the attraction for students - especially the ones wanting to progress to a career in ballet - need to offer not only fabulous teachers but a showcase type aspect to influential directors and sponsors. This is especially true to RBS and other top schools. Why is it then people go to Prix or YAGP etc to name the top comps. For showcasing as well as scholarships. It is naive to believe in this ballet world that exists today that a student can get a top spot at an upper school without showcase to an AD or via an influential teacher or comp winner. Just look at the kids in the schools. Look at the offers received at Summer schools for automatic entry/ entry to finals/ international scholars etc etc. Why do you think RBS offers endless audition opportunities as part of their spring/ summer schools and why it’s a widespread thing now across the world. Not only is it a money spinner - huge boost to their coffers - but sells the hope of getting noticed and therefore entrance to the RBS programme. The other poor kids are sending in photos and videos and praying !!!  The issue about conflict is so clear - when you put it in context. Is this course more attractive to students because of the showcase opportunity directly to the AD of RBS and the location than it would be if it relied on the reputations and expertise of the course teachers alone. To be blunt - ballet world is currently under the spot light. The time has come for the situation for ballet students to be considered in the same regulatory and legal environment as every other institution and ballet world has to stop believing in its own exceptionalism . This should include the way courses are advertised to students. 

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7 hours ago, Farawaydancer said:

There are many, many teachers at vocational schools who have associations with other dance institutions and teach at various places, sometimes their own students, sometimes students from other schools. It’s quite clear in the promotion materials that this is nothing to do with RBS as such. 
 

As far as the premises go, the school will have rigorous RAs in place with regard outside lettings. The resident students are on exeat on those weekends. 

I think my point is that the instance of conflict of interest in ballet world is in the example where - for example - your child auditions for a spot at upper school. They get 1 class to show their capabilities. They could be in a class against another student who was coached by the AD privately. A student who had attended a us summer school and had a series of private lessons by the AD or a student who is connected to a teacher or panel member either via family or past teaching. Would you feel that it was a level playing field for your child.  Another example is - would you be comfortable if your child was in a class and competing against another student who’s mum paid a current teacher at the school to teach at her own summer school in the holidays. That same teacher then selects students for rolls in performances et.  

 

Its this type of conflict of interest that needs to be highlighted and addressed. Its going on in major schools. Parents need to ask what is the schools conflict of interest policy.  Is it available to all parents. Are the parents aware of the conflicts in their child’s class. It’s a business in which opportunity is on a selected basis and can be hidden in style or artistic choices - the perception of conflict is as important as the actual conflicts. I’m saying. - go find out what’s happening at your child’s school - find out if it’s a level playing field. You wouldn’t accept it in a normal school. Don’t accept that ballet world is different. Go ask. 

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But education of any sort isn’t a level playing field. In any school there are kids being tutored, sometimes by staff who work at the school. Neither is entry to any career a level playing field. In many it’s all about who you know. All you can be concerned about is what you and your family do; leave everyone else to make their own decisions about what they’re prepared to accept, in the ballet world or any other. 

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I do not have school age children, but if I were still at the stage where they were auditioning for vocational school, I suspect I might try my utmost to afford a place on this course as a way of getting my child seen - and this is why it sits uncomfortably with me, particularly where it says the AD will be watching classes.  

 

I'm sure this says more about me than the course.  And presumably, seeing this is aimed specifically at Vocational Students, they will have to get their current school's permission to attend (assuming exeats line up.)

 

Incidentally, in no state school that I have worked in have members of staff been allowed to tutor students in that school for payment.  

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7 hours ago, Farawaydancer said:

But education of any sort isn’t a level playing field. In any school there are kids being tutored, sometimes by staff who work at the school. Neither is entry to any career a level playing field. In many it’s all about who you know. All you can be concerned about is what you and your family do; leave everyone else to make their own decisions about what they’re prepared to accept, in the ballet world or any other. 

Firstly even the RAD prohibits a teacher assessing their own students as blatant conflict of interest. All schools in academic schools prohibit staff coaching for cash their own students. Even at ballet comps there would be outrage if a competitor was a student of the judge. The point is not you taking advantage of a bias system where others can’t. It’s the system that needs to be recognised as biased and able to be distorted- by money - needs to changed. It’s ok to practice hard and get your kid every facility you can - they can be the best possible dancer. But the “who you know “ Aspect distorts the level playing field and destroys the students belief in working hard and striving for improvement- which they are told constantly at these top schools - that it’s their fault they don’t get the role or a job etc - not that another student has a “who you know “ contact to get ahead or be showcased. The system needs to be brought into the light for all to see ! 

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I don’t know about the RAD, but I know for certain that there are teachers who tutor students at their own schools (not their own students) in academics, and whether it is prohibited or not is up to the schools management to decide. I also know the judging ‘conflicts of interest’ happens at dance competitions.  My point isn’t that any of this is right, it’s more the assumption that this is all news to anyone. Neither of my dc are under any illusion that the ‘best’ dancer always gets the role or the contract. It’s not hidden at all and therefore hardly needs ‘bringing into the light’. It’s just how it is in lots and lots of careers. 

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7 minutes ago, Farawaydancer said:

I don’t know about the RAD, but I know for certain that there are teachers who tutor students at their own schools (not their own students) in academics, and whether it is prohibited or not is up to the schools management to decide. I also know the judging ‘conflicts of interest’ happens at dance competitions.  My point isn’t that any of this is right, it’s more the assumption that this is all news to anyone. Neither of my dc are under any illusion that the ‘best’ dancer always gets the role or the contract. It’s not hidden at all and therefore hardly needs ‘bringing into the light’. It’s just how it is in lots and lots of careers. 

It does need to be transparent. It’s not right. And just because that’s the tradition - and people accept it and work the system - doesn’t make it acceptable. Nor should it continue and not should people be paying into a corrupt system and the government shouldn’t be funding it either. Time for change is here and transparency will make it happen.  

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Of for goodness sake this is getting silly now!  It happens in every private school both academic and vocational. It is very transparent - always has been - this is no new revelation and like I have said before - this is a course that is taught by Didy Veldman and Emma Northmore - they are the main teachers - give them a break! 

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1 hour ago, coniger said:

Of for goodness sake this is getting silly now!  It happens in every private school both academic and vocational. It is very transparent - always has been - this is no new revelation and like I have said before - this is a course that is taught by Didy Veldman and Emma Northmore - they are the main teachers - give them a break! 


Exactly this! The course will be amazing for those lucky dancers taking part. 

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Thank you for saying that, @coniger - you're more eloquent & polite than I could be ...

 

For better or worse, the UK is a country where there has been a very long tradition of buying educational advantage (fee-paying academic schools of all sorts, for example). In my view, if we accept this system, I don't think we can pick and choose which opportunities for this sort of purchase are OK, and which are not. And to direct this personally against some respected & expert teachers & coaches seems to me to be somewhat close to breaching the ethos of this forum.

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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Launching DanceEnhance!

I agree. This course is not some covert, unattainable opportunity... it’s a chance available to everyone and thus not comparable to secret private lessons. 
 

WL is a business. They need to rent our space for money presumably (don’t they also do weddings??). 
 

All of the dance world is hugely unfair if you think about it: who can pay for lessons, costumes, have parents willing and able to ferry them around everywhere, take photos for auditions etc. Children turn down places at VS every year because there isn’t funding, whilst other children can attend because their family is wealthier. That’s not fair but it’s life. The dream of making it on pure talent alone is naive.

 

This course sounds great!

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 Potentially it could be a conflict of interest, teaching privately on RBS premises is different to teaching at another venue. However, RBS themselves would need to judge based on job description, responsibilities etc. If they have allowed it then they must be happy with it. I did try and google their COI policy/ register but couldn’t find it. I can’t see that there is any issue with ballet boost arranging the course 

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Of course there is no issue.  It wouldn’t be happening if there was.  I wish people would stop looking at ways to derail this course.  It’s happening, the teachers are amazing and the dc going are going to have a brilliant time.

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On 21/10/2020 at 19:37, Pas de Quatre said:

To my mind it blurs the boundaries. A class taking place at The Royal Ballet School delivered by the Director of The Royal Ballet School will appear to many people to be part of that educational establishment. So it comes close to misrepresentation and is indeed distasteful. 


Does it now  ?   or is this onjly important because of some   unproven beleife it will impact on the  chances f these YP  to get a place  at  RBS  whether WL or Upper ? 

there area a hell of a lot of blurred boundaries with associates  and summer schools for young people, before we   go into the blurred boundaries and contradictions we see with adult  'recreational activities'   ballet  activities ...   (  such as the class in the studios of a top five UK company, taught by  a Principal Dancer  of that same same company ,  that  threw out  the company rule book for adult   recreational activities ) 

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On 22/10/2020 at 20:24, Nama said:

Firstly even the RAD prohibits a teacher assessing their own students as blatant conflict of interest. <snip>

 definition   and citation please , I don't recall  seeing an interpretation of this   so if you  could point me in the direction  of such a standard  ,  if only   so i know how long I have to wait  before  no longer having to declare having taken  class with an RAD Standards Examiner and  previous  member of the Board of trustees today 😉  

I know the   applicant   and the candidate have to  make  statement of 'substantial links' with  Examiners when  making an application for  RAD exams 

Edited by NJH
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2 minutes ago, Peony said:

I came across their policy when looking for the RB one https://media.royalacademyofdance.org/media/2019/01/11124302/RAD_exams_conflict_of_interest_policy_9_feb_2018_ex.pdf

 

On quick glance it looks like they wouldn’t be given an area/ school/pupil that they have taught in the previous 2 years, but there are many more informed on the RAD on the forum!

Thank you   Peony  

well looks like  it;s likely that at least 2 examiners are unlikely to be allowed to examine me  (  saying much more would identify which two examiners )

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