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Just wondered on anyones views regardings International Students filling 6th form places.

 

I heard comments from yr 11 students whether they are at vocational school or not saying how amazing a lot of the International students were at the final auditions.

 

I was just wondering how and why if they are so amazing compared to british trained students - why they would want to come over here, and secondly would their countries training methods be permitted over here - would some of their techniques be assessed as abuse in this country and if so why are we as a country supporting such training methods.

 

I may be completely wrong and I don't mean to offend, I know all our dc work extremely hard and have a lot of passion and love of dance but shouldn't we be standing up for our own to have places available in sixth form. Don't misunderstand me I'm not racist or saying talented international students shouldn't get any places at all after all Ballet companies are their to showcase the most talented dancers in the world. Just shouldn't they all be on a level playing field.

 

My dd is at vocational school and we are both extremely happy with her training and would hope that she will still be there and hopefully gain a place to continue training as a 6th former - financial restraint from the goverment being addressed.  

 

Appreciate any views if if you think I'm completely wrong.

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My own opinion is,I guess that`s just the way the world is now.The UK is part of this global economy and I suppose we can`t cherry-pick which parts we like about it and which we can`t. Personally I find it far more worrying regarding the news report I saw yesterday about the increasing shortage of nursery and primary school places dues to the population increase.The same ,of course,for demands on the NHS and housing. To be perfectly blunt,I think there are far more important issues to be concerned about other than vocational school places. I realise the issue doesn`t affect me so it`s easy for me to say. But if a child is talented enough,even with the  increased competition from overseas, then surely that talent for a place will prevail.

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Just wondered on anyones views regardings International Students filling 6th form places.

 

I heard comments from yr 11 students whether they are at vocational school or not saying how amazing a lot of the International students were at the final auditions.

 

I was just wondering how and why if they are so amazing compared to british trained students - why they would want to come over here, and secondly would their countries training methods be permitted over here - would some of their techniques be assessed as abuse in this country and if so why are we as a country supporting such training methods.

 

I may be completely wrong and I don't mean to offend, I know all our dc work extremely hard and have a lot of passion and love of dance but shouldn't we be standing up for our own to have places available in sixth form. Don't misunderstand me I'm not racist or saying talented international students shouldn't get any places at all after all Ballet companies are their to showcase the most talented dancers in the world. Just shouldn't they all be on a level playing field.

 

My dd is at vocational school and we are both extremely happy with her training and would hope that she will still be there and hopefully gain a place to continue training as a 6th former - financial restraint from the goverment being addressed.  

 

Appreciate any views if if you think I'm completely wrong.

There have been lots of discussions in the past on this topic.  I personally like to know that the schools are accepting talented students internationally as it means that students can be assured they have places on merit not because of Nationality.

 

I have seen many overseas dancers in class with British students and quite honestly haven't felt they were better- there is a reason why they choose British training.  Very often international students can do all sorts of "tricks" and can bend and turn like no tomorrow but there is often no refinement, musical awareness or knowledge of placing.  We in the UK are very lucky to have so many good schools whereas opportunities are not as varied in other countries.

And when it comes to auditioning for jobs it is truly a global competition out there and the sooner dance students (of any nationality) realise it the better.

 

It works both ways, we have British students going as far away as Russia to train having too got their places on merit.

 

My plea to British students is don't be put off by "amazing" international students in audition, hold your own and know that if you get in then you are pretty special too!

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Exactly hfbrew. I'd add this - don't be put off by ANY other student, foreign or not. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, just dance YOUR best.

 

At the end of the day, I personally wouldn't want my dd to go abroad for training at 16, but that's just me. Plenty of people do so and go to overseas schools for Upper School, so it's swings and roundabouts with some leaving the UK to train, and some coming here to train.

 

I can see why students want to train at RBS because the name is such a draw and their graduate employment record is excellent. Personally I have more of a problem with Upper Schools not committing to working with students for the full three years, and taking a high percentage of students in for the 3rd year, leaving some students with nowhere to go for their 3rd and final year.....but that is a different issue.

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I tend to agree with thequays about the way the world is and the fact that it is a global eceonomy.  I think culture also comes into it.  In other European countries I think people have been thinking 'Europe-wide' a lot more than we do here.  Many years ago I spent a year living in Germany and met many students from the nearby university. Even back then there was a good mix of German, French and Italian students with a fair few from further afield. They were not students studying languages but had chosen the university for its courses.  After graduating they would be looking for jobs all over and not just in their own countries.  Contrast this with our own country and how many people looking to go to university, looking for jobs etc look further than Britain and Ireland ie English speaking.  Some of our British students do go abroad to train in ballet and I am sure their numbers will increase with the recent changes in funding but in all honesty how many of us have even looked at all the European ballet schools  when thinking of applying for vocational school.  Yet I imagine these international students have looked at the reputations etc of the best ballet schools accross many countries.  For our ballet students it is perhaps only at graduation that the majority first look wider than the UK.

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I think there are many "bits" to this. Where are students coming from? We get very few students from Russia unless they go to RBS. Alot from Japan and that is simply down to the fact that job opportunities are very limited in Japan and appallingly paid for women. They need to come to Europe. Australia, again training opportunities aren't huge and companies limited. Alot from Italy. Italy isn't doing well for ballet companies, same for Spain so they need to move away from home. Very few from Germany because ballet training in Germany is excellent, vocational schools very good and opportunities good. Germany has alot of companies, big and small. France again has some excellent training and does have quite a few companies.

 

Do i think they should get the places? Yes. A school needs the best and if the best aren't British then the better question is why? Personally I do think training in this country needs looking at. The attitude of pupils and staff etc. but not the place for that discussion:-)

So I'm afraid I want the places to be given to the best available then, if you get a place, you know you should be there. Trying to find a company is hard but to know your place in the school is truely on your ability gives you a confidence that your standard is high enough.

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Even in my day (30 something years ago) there were a lot of extremely talented overseas students coming into the RBS upper school. But the school was a lot bigger and 10 out of the 12 White Lodge girls in my year were accepted on the dancers course. When we arrived it was quite a shock to the system when we were confronted with dancers such as Alessandra Ferri, and several amazing Australian girls who could all to things we could never dream of, and in truth had been told not to do. Throughout our time at White Lodge we were told to keep our legs lower, and then along comes Ms Ferri !  and only do 16 good fouettes, when our Australian counterparts where whipping out 64 ! We of course were slightly shocked and surprised that our teachers hadn't tried to build us into these type of dancers if this what they in fact wanted, rather than the slightly staid, perfectly placed, but not terribly exciting dancers that we were. One of the Australian girls got into the RB and the other two into Sadlers Wells and we all know what happened to Alessandra Ferri. Although the White Lodge training is now a lot tougher and I have no doubt they are pushing the children a lot harder than in my day, it still makes me sad that those in charge of the RBS are still so enthralled by those foreign students who have been taught abroad. These students are still a lot more savvy than our dancers, as many of them have entered international competitions and know, what  is out there and many are honed in the tricks that make ballet so exciting for audiences (and judges alike ). If this is what the RBs want in their upper school then surely they should be moulding their lower school pupils before it is too late, obviously some are going to fall by the wayside but if you have the best bodies and most enthusiastic minds for five years solid training you should come out with dancers of the required calibre at the end, if you don't and you have to look for dancers who have trained elsewhere, then this surely should tell you that something is wrong. Nobody is saying that foreign students shouldn't come here, but our students should not feel overshadowed or passed over, as they should after five years be of the same calibre of those training elsewhere and should be appreciated by their school principal.

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From across the pond....

We are in Canada and my dd is in her 5th year (15yo) at Canada's National ballet School. Here we see the same thing. The higher the grade, the more international students accepted. I've always assumed it had more to do with the age of the student though.

The older they are, the better they should handle the distance from home, therefore they don't seriously consider foreign students until the last 2-3 years of the program.

Regarding RBS... yes it has a reputation that you should be envious of! My dd would pack her bags in an instant if it was an option. As would most of her classmates.

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International students work just as hard as British students and deserve the equal chance to study in some of England's most prestigious vocational schools. Their nationality should not make a difference. There all dancers who have a mutal passion for dance. I also don't think it's fair that international students have a much less chance of receiving funding, if any at all.

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International students work just as hard as British students and deserve the equal chance to study in some of England's most prestigious vocational schools. Their nationality should not make a difference. There all dancers who have a mutal passion for dance. I also don't think it's fair that international students have a much less chance of receiving funding, if any at all.

Ah well there you have two separate issues twinkletoes. I think that citizens of the country in question should be eligible for funding. If you take the UK as an example, there are precious few funded places available as it is, let alone if every candidate was eligible for funding regardless of where they come from.

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Thank you for all your wonderful input. I wasn't suggesting that anyone but the best be accepted into any dance school or company.

 

Just wondering about the difference in training methods.

 

I'm sure everyone on this forum hopes their dc is talented enough to gain one of these prestigious places. There are a lot of talented dancers out there both at vocational schools, on CAT or associate schemes and a local dance schools globally, it's a small world.

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if funding wasn't a issue anywhere in the world - but unfortunately that's not the case.

 

The joy of dance is shared by us all and I enjoy watching dc at all levels when they dance with, joy and love and dedication. Each is an individual and some will get to follow their dream and others like myself will enjoy dance for life both watching at all levels and taking part in a weekly lesson and appreciate the very talented dancers in the fantastic companies out there..

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Am I right in understanding that POB does not accept International students or if so very few.

I'll try and answer that question since I seem to be the forum's French contingent by myself... I remember actually explaining the process on a earlier post but for the benefit of new members, here goes...

 

I am not aware that POB does not accept international student. Nothing on the website nor on the application form states that one has to be French to apply. But you're right, there doesn't seem to be foreign students in the school. To start with, the audition process is very different than the RBS one for instance. There is only one school hence no Lower and Upper Schools. Then the audition process starts at age 8 and stops just before you turn 13.

DD2 will audition this year for her second and last time at 13 and she's allowed to do so because being born in October, she hadn't turn 13 yet on October 1st of last year. If she fails, the only option after that is to try and get a private audition from them! Not easy... If you manage, you audition on your own in front of a panel of judges! If successful, which is rare, one can enter the school...

At whatever age one is successful, there is a trial period between 6 months for the youngest and a school year for students over 10 and there are yearly assessments until the end when one can be asked to leave...

 

I think the reason there are no international students is that academic and vocational school is totally in French, you have to follow the full French vocational curriculum and sit the compulsory number of A'levels which is normally 9 if I remember right plus some optional ones... Until last year, they also picked students who were bright students and one had to give them a copy of your marks and I don't think it has changed since.

 

All in all, not easy when French is not your first language or even your second... and it tends to scare applicants...

 

Not to forget the size and weights requirements that are pretty drastic!

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I think that it is reasonable that funding should only be available to UK residents, whose parents have been paying taxes for years. I too wonder why outstanding international students want to complete their training in the UK when they have achieved an extremely high standard in their home countries. It seems to be the case that international students are often very advanced technically because, like it or not, they are pushed to do more earlier. For example, girls go on pointe earlier than in the UK. Marienela Nunez, for example, started working professionally when she was 14 years old. Of course, there are dancers who have done all their training in the UK who have reached the top as well eg Darcey Bussell, Lauren Cuthbertson (and there are quite a few on their way up or who are doing very well).

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I do think that the younger students are pushed more overseas.The defiantly do more stretching and strenthening,and are expected to push their turnout as much as they can.The teachers can be very strict.They can touch the students without any problems.They can shout at the students and also give lots of love and kisses!they expect the parents to push them and help with exercises at home.

Not saying this is right or wrong only what I have seen from abroad from my dds classes, (most of her teachers have been Russian).

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I do think that the younger students are pushed more overseas.The defiantly do more stretching and strenthening,and are expected to push their turnout as much as they can.The teachers can

be very strict.They can touch the students

without any problems.They can shout at the

students and also give lots of love and

kisses!they expect the parents to push them and

help with exercises at home.

Not saying this is right or wrong only what I

have seen from abroad from my dds classes,

(most of her teachers have been Russian).

I agree! I spent 12 years in vocational school in eastern Europe and children are pushed harder and they practice up to 10 hours a day (weekends). Also, what I think is different, they compete against each other from early days (rather then support each other). I'm not saying it's better I'm just saying it's different

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It's a very silly law that the UK have emposed onto dance teachers. How can a child understand fully which muscles to use and where to turn the head to or to correct a foot or arm. It is nearly impossible to teach professionaly without physically correcting a student.( if the student wants to improve ). Overseas this rule is probably either ignored or has not been emposed. Is this why some international students are extremely stronger than some of the UK students? It seems that overseas the standard is much higher than here. Majority of children who start training CORRECTLY from a young age (not just prancing about skipping around the studio for 1 hour) are better than the girls that started later. I still disagree that just because we pay taxes here in the UK, only British students should be eligible to funding. Overseas also pay taxes even though its for their own country.

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Not a 100% sure but I think in the Uk some teachers prefer not to.My dds current teacher pushes and pulls and really gets stuck in and I don't think they do that at weekend and local dance schools in the Uk, maybe at vocational school?

Fortunately dd has two teachers (local and Associates) who are both willing and permitted to be completely hands on. My dd in particular finds this hands-on approach invaluable, as her hypermobility means that she can "feel" things less than some students. So thank goodness for her teachers' willingness to get hands on!

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Best not to get political regarding funding to foreigners as I can see passions being ignited. I nearly put my tuppence worth on the forum and deleted it as I could see that it might offend some people. At vocational schools the pupils are touched and discipline is of a very high standard. But I think that it is brilliant that our children dance alongside children from all over the world. My daughter has friends from Japan, Italy, Spain, France and probably more nationalities.

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Ok first POB school. Certainly have taken "foreigners"in the past. I remember a very interesting article in Dancing times ( I think) about a japanese student accepted and how incredibly hard it was. But in France, companies as well, they do seem to favour the french.

 

2nd funding  the scholarship from the school, should go to the "best" student. Wherever that student is from. But gov't funding is different so the tax question is not really relevant. Overseas schools can offer huge scholarships for UK students.

 

3rd touching. My understanding is that what is necessary for the lesson is fine but that does not include slapping. No good teacher I have ever known has ever held off on the touching.

 

4th at vocational school there is a lot of shouting but I totally disagree that discipline is high in British vocational schools. Hopefully things have changed but when my son was at his school discipline was shocking with boys who told teachers to "F" off not being sanctioned. This is very dispiriting to hard working students and as I've said before something the amazing Russian teacher could not cope with.

 

Again I do hope things have changed but my brief experience of vocational school was not rewarding. I think our students benefit hugely from interaction with other nationalities and learn a huge amount about life, dedication etc. to leave Japan at 16 to come here is tough and tbh our students need to know this dedication is what they are up against.

 

We now have students going to Russia which must be so hard but boy do I admire them.

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