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Boys flexibility and lower school.


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My ds will be auditioning for lower school this year. Are they expected to be very flexible in the auditions/audition videos or do they look at potential at this age? Ds has tight hamstrings and is unable to do splits although his flexibility is improving. 

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I think flexibility is obviously definitely something they assess, but I don’t think splits is an absolute requirement. (Though happy to be corrected!)  I also think different schools will look for different things and different levels of things. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Is he an associate anywhere? I would have thought his associate teacher would have raised any areas that needed work perhaps if he is. My DS is auditioning for Lower Schools this year too and I’ve come to the conclusion that at audition he can only bring what he’s got and he can’t do any more than that! Whereas one boy might have amazing feet, another might have fantastic flexibility and another brilliant musicality. No one dancer has absolutely everything. Wishing your DS lots and lots of luck! 🩰🤞🏻

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Thank you, no he’s not an associate anywhere, we live too far away from any associate classes so have never tried. He does pre-vocational classes and his teachers have said his flexibility is improving but haven’t said whether they think it will be a problem. 

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I wouldn’t worry about lower school with a Ds. Mine auditioned twice for lower school, no finals, once for US, finals but a no, then once more at 17 and got a place 😀 He was very petite and couldn’t do the splits til 6:1. It’s all about their potential. I would definitely invest in a boys class associate program though. Ds travelled for 3 hours each way for 2 years, then 4 hours each way for one year. Think that made the difference. I’m happy that he didn’t get in til US. 

Three years of training, now he’s living the dream with a national company ☺️ 

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Its definitely something they look for as there are splits 3 ways in rbs video audition and box splits is in tring audition, however, as to whether it is a deal breaker I am not sure! As one of the other posters said, they look for a lot of things. 3 years ago my daughter could not do any splits. She worked hard on stretching and managed to get front splits one way (year4). She didn't get in to associates that year and not sure if flexibility was a factor. This year (year 6) we decided to try for associates again and we decided to really work on her flexibility. She did some stretches each day (or most days!) (only 10-15 minutes), she eventually got splits 3 ways! One side is still difficult and she needs to stretch before she can achieve them. we didn't see results straight away and she thought she would never get them! Good luck with your applications for LS x 

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We auditioned two years ago and DS was unsuccessful x2. What we did notice was the ones who got in were generally associates at that establishment, and although they say it doesn’t give them an advantage it’s hard to not think they know these kids really well from their classes and know what they can do. If you’re not successful, make sure you ask for feedback to give you pointers for the future. DS was told to work on his upper body strength and musicality. Two years later he’s obviously grown, and upper body strength seems to be something that has come with age. 
I’d just say 11 is very young, I’m not sure had my son got in how he would have coped with being away from home, (He’s an August baby!) As it is, he’s had lots of different experiences in the past few years at lots of different associates and classes and has realised there are more ways to crack an egg! He’s made so many friends and contacts in the dance world that he may not have made if he’d gone vocational at 11.

Best of luck! xx

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Hi 

 

As mentioned before I feel being an Associate can be a disadvantage ... however, I suspect that the establishments are probably looking for the same physical characteristics in their associates as in their full time students.

 

My August son certainly struggled with being away, and moving from a rural to very urban environment.  We now laugh at the edict that football could only be played with an inflatable beach ball so that the noise and damage were limited.  At the time it was probably the last straw ...

 

Certainly two of his peers dancing in very "prestigious" (your definition may vary) companies joined the school in Year 9 and Year 10.  Musical DD  daughter was able to join a school that just "clicked" with her because, as a year 10 student, she could cope with living 6 hours from home.  I'm not sure that would have been the case in year 7 and also the exeats, although exhausting for all, were much less of an issue over the shorter time period.  As @MrsMoo2 says, many ways to crack an egg, and many eggs to crack. 

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1 hour ago, trog said:

I have found Brad Appleton's Stretching FAQ to be helpful in improving flexibility.

 

Useful info and at a quick glance it looks to be fairly sensible and standard science. HOWEVER..... children are not mini adults. A pre-pubescent body is physiologically different to an adolescent body which is also different to a fully-adult body. All the structures of the musculoskeletal system have a different composition and therefore behave differently. The neuromuscular compononent should also not be overlooked and this too is different in children/teens/adults. 

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Boys are all about growth spurts and very often one part will grow before another and the muscles can't keep up!  I would say that many boys at 10 or 11 are not all that flexible, but it may well come later.  There's nothing much he can do, except to keep on working on his flexibility and hope for the best!

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