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Can i make it into a vocational school?


Shiloh
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Hi i am 14 and almost going to be en pointe i really want to audition at 16 for a a ballet school. But will me only being en pointe two years not be enough to get accepted? Since most girls go en pointe 11/12 if i cant audition at 16 am i able to try audition at 18?

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Hello Shiloh and welcome to the forum.  From memory - and it’s 6 years since my daughter was auditioning for 16+ vocational schools - I don’t think the number of years you’ve been en pointe will affect whether you get offered a place.  It will be about how you dance at audition, your physique, your talent, your technical standard (i.e. what level have you studied and do you know the steps/sequences you’ll be asked to perform at audition).  Some preliminary auditions might not involve any pointework, although finals certainly will. 

 

People who have auditioned more recently will be of more help, but in the meantime, are you taking or have you taken any vocational exams (for example Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate) or, if not, what level are you working at?  Most girls auditioning at 16 will have passed RAD Intermediate/Advanced Foundation or even Advanced 1 (or be working at the equivalent level) if they are not already at full time lower school.  

 

In answer to your question about training at 18+ - this is absolutely possible *but* not so much for dancers who want to study classical ballet with the aim of becoming a professional ballet dancer.  If you are more interested in Contemporary/Jazz/Musical Theatre with ballet as an integral part of your training, it’s definitely possible to start at 18.

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@Shiloh - How exciting that you will be going on pointe soon.

 

I don't think you should view it as simply as how long you have been on  pointe by the time you audition.  There are so many other things which an audition panel will consider, and you will see from the threads on this forum it is very difficult to say exactly what the panels are looking for.

 

I would speak to your teachers, tell them of your ambitions and get there advice and assistance.  If you can afford it (and if your teachers agree), maybe apply for associate schemes or summer schools at the schools you are interested in.  This may give you an idea of where you stand against other girls.

 

Whilst many of the schools which focus primarily on ballet take most students at 16, there are certainly some who take students at 18.  When my dd went to Northern Ballet School there were girls in her year ranging from 16 to 21.  And for contemporary dance there is a preference for older students.

 

Above all - do not try to rush your progress on pointe.  The last thing you want is to loose time to injury.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Anna C said:

Hello Shiloh and welcome to the forum.  From memory - and it’s 6 years since my daughter was auditioning for 16+ vocational schools - I don’t think the number of years you’ve been en pointe will affect whether you get offered a place.  It will be about how you dance at audition, your physique, your talent, your technical standard (i.e. what level have you studied and do you know the steps/sequences you’ll be asked to perform at audition).  Some preliminary auditions might not involve any pointework, although finals certainly will. 

 

People who have auditioned more recently will be of more help, but in the meantime, are you taking or have you taken any vocational exams (for example Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate) or, if not, what level are you working at?  Most girls auditioning at 16 will have passed RAD Intermediate/Advanced Foundation or even Advanced 1 (or be working at the equivalent level) if they are not already at full time lower school.  

 

In answer to your question about training at 18+ - this is absolutely possible *but* not so much for dancers who want to study classical ballet with the aim of becoming a professional ballet dancer.  If you are more interested in Contemporary/Jazz/Musical Theatre with ballet as an integral part of your training, it’s definitely possible to start at 18.

Thank you so much for replying! Well so far I’ve only done two exams, but I do NATD I’m at grade 6 level but I do mixed classes so I’m not sure at what level of RAD I would be at but in NATD grade 6 is when you start pointe work and then there is only two grades after that I think, I’m only really looking to do classical ballet though. But your response is VERY helpful thank you!

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3 hours ago, glowlight said:

@Shiloh - How exciting that you will be going on pointe soon.

 

I don't think you should view it as simply as how long you have been on  pointe by the time you audition.  There are so many other things which an audition panel will consider, and you will see from the threads on this forum it is very difficult to say exactly what the panels are looking for.

 

I would speak to your teachers, tell them of your ambitions and get there advice and assistance.  If you can afford it (and if your teachers agree), maybe apply for associate schemes or summer schools at the schools you are interested in.  This may give you an idea of where you stand against other girls.

 

Whilst many of the schools which focus primarily on ballet take most students at 16, there are certainly some who take students at 18.  When my dd went to Northern Ballet School there were girls in her year ranging from 16 to 21.  And for contemporary dance there is a preference for older students.

 

Above all - do not try to rush your progress on pointe.  The last thing you want is to loose time to injury.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for responding! I have talked to my teacher. I think she thinks it’s possible. In the past she did suggest some summer or spring intensives but with covid it’s hard to find info about them. I’m very glad to hear that it’s possible to get a place in a ballet school past the age of 16! I do understand the risks with pointe since my teacher is very careful about that, Thank you for replying!!

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It doesn't matter that you're only starting pointe work now. I started at around your age and still made it to a top ballet school but it is crucial that you get enough good quality training now. How many hours of ballet class are you taking per week?

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NATD also offer vocational grades starting with Intermediate Foundation and going up to Advanced 2.  Ballet schools differ but most start Inter F at around grade 4/5 ish and Intermediate around Grades 6/7/8 ish.  Does your school offer these classes.  They are designed for the more serious dancer.

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4 hours ago, invisiblecircus said:

It doesn't matter that you're only starting pointe work now. I started at around your age and still made it to a top ballet school but it is crucial that you get enough good quality training now. How many hours of ballet class are you taking per week?

Well that’s a relief to hear, im doing about 8 hours with zoom classes. Normally i do 9 hours of class but i do practice a bit. I might start doing intermediate classes if my teacher says i can but most of the girls are en pointe in that class since theyre 16-18. but thank you for responding!

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2 hours ago, Jewel said:

NATD also offer vocational grades starting with Intermediate Foundation and going up to Advanced 2.  Ballet schools differ but most start Inter F at around grade 4/5 ish and Intermediate around Grades 6/7/8 ish.  Does your school offer these classes.  They are designed for the more serious dancer.

The school i go to does do intermediate classes. I will ask my teacher next term if i could try, thank you for the reply!

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13 minutes ago, Shiloh said:

Well that’s a relief to hear, im doing about 8 hours with zoom classes. Normally i do 9 hours of class but i do practice a bit. I might start doing intermediate classes if my teacher says i can but most of the girls are en pointe in that class since theyre 16-18. but thank you for responding!

 

That is a slight red flag in terms of your development and what the school can offer.  Does your teacher have much experience of sending students off to vocational school?  It is good to take pointe work slow and steady at an appropriate rate for each student but as Anna said most 16 year olds going to vocational school will have already passed Intermediate by the age of 16.  If al the students in teh Intermediate class at your school are aged 16-18 it indicates that they are possibly a bit behind for anyone wanting to pursue ballet.  Auditions start in the autumn of year 11 and from our experience most will be pitched at Intermediate level so you need to know the vocabulary and technique by that stage.  

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7 minutes ago, Jewel said:

 

That is a slight red flag in terms of your development and what the school can offer.  Does your teacher have much experience of sending students off to vocational school?  It is good to take pointe work slow and steady at an appropriate rate for each student but as Anna said most 16 year olds going to vocational school will have already passed Intermediate by the age of 16.  If al the students in teh Intermediate class at your school are aged 16-18 it indicates that they are possibly a bit behind for anyone wanting to pursue ballet.  Auditions start in the autumn of year 11 and from our experience most will be pitched at Intermediate level so you need to know the vocabulary and technique by that stage.  

My teacher is very experienced But her school is mostly casual her students in grade intermediate are not planning a future in ballet. But she has had one student go to royal ballet and he is very successful. Most of the students are not going to pursue ballet but the ones that want to she is willing to prepare. And hopefully if i can do intermediate classes next term i can possibly do exams with them before i turn 16. Thank you for replying!

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I personally think that the top vocational schools probably wouldn't accept someone who was only Intermediate level.  However there are some excellent vocational schools around who probably would.  You are doing a fair number of weekly hours of dancing - that's a good start!   I would definitely recommend getting the Intermediate exam at least before applying.  Good luck to you - I hope your determination pays off!

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10 minutes ago, Dance*is*life said:

I personally think that the top vocational schools probably wouldn't accept someone who was only Intermediate level.  However there are some excellent vocational schools around who probably would.  You are doing a fair number of weekly hours of dancing - that's a good start!   I would definitely recommend getting the Intermediate exam at least before applying.  Good luck to you - I hope your determination pays off!

I agree. Im definitely planning to get more serious with ballet and i hope i can get to some of the intensives to see how i compare to others my age. Although im not looking to get into the royal ballet school. Thanks for the reply!

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Talking about intensives I would recommend:

Malvern Ballet summer School

KS Dance Summer School

Bristol Russian Summer School

Hammond Summer School

Providing they are running! But at least you have a couple of years that you can fit them in seeing as your 14 now!

Good luck 🍀

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Hi! I only really started ballet when I was 14 (sept of year 10) and then pointe a bit later and its definitely possible! I was accepted into 2 vocational schools in the Jan of yr 11 (I was only doing about 4 hours a week at the time + my own practice as I live in a relatively rural area) and then was accepted into another 3 in august (due to circumstances out of our control I, amongst others, had to find a new school). Just keep working really hard and I am sure you can get there soon, you still have at least 2 years! Best of Luck!

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9 hours ago, Dancing unicorn said:

Talking about intensives I would recommend:

Malvern Ballet summer School

KS Dance Summer School

Bristol Russian Summer School

Hammond Summer School

Providing they are running! But at least you have a couple of years that you can fit them in seeing as your 14 now!

Good luck 🍀

I will check those out. Thank you very much!!

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9 hours ago, MrsR said:

Yorkshire Ballet Seminars are booking for a 5 week challenge for your age now on their website. Might be worth a look? 

I will also have a look at that. Thank you!

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9 hours ago, BalletBear said:

Hi! I only really started ballet when I was 14 (sept of year 10) and then pointe a bit later and its definitely possible! I was accepted into 2 vocational schools in the Jan of yr 11 (I was only doing about 4 hours a week at the time + my own practice as I live in a relatively rural area) and then was accepted into another 3 in august (due to circumstances out of our control I, amongst others, had to find a new school). Just keep working really hard and I am sure you can get there soon, you still have at least 2 years! Best of Luck!

That’s great! And also encouraging. Thank you!! 

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