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Reading, West Berkshire... Help...


afab
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Hi all, here I am needing your help once again...

 

DH is thinking of applying for a job in Reading. Given that we have 3 DDs and that dance is the centre of our lives at the moment, we can't consider a move without making sure there are excellent ballet schools around...

 

Does anyone know of very high level ballet schools around there. DD2 cannot apply to vocational schools because, even though British, she wouldn't have access to MDS for 2 years. She was offered a place at Tring last year and we had to turn it down for that very reason...

 

At the moment, she dances around 12 hours a week in a local school which has done a special programme for her and another girl.

 

DD1 & DD3 also need good schools but they are more all rounded dancers and not ballet orientated only like their sister...

 

PM me if you prefer!

 

Thank you all in advance,

 

Afab

 

PS It can be a local school as long as they nourish the dancers and make them grow at their own pace 

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Hi may PM you will start checking through my network there may be somewhere in Maidenhead but need to double check. I went to College in Reading and few years back went for a 40th reunion and didn't recognise ANY of it!! Hopefully will be in touch with some USEFUL info......won't do any speculative stuff trying to be helpful!!

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For associate classes, on a Saturday or Sunday, there is London Junior & Senior Ballet who have auditions on 15th June & 8th September 2013 for entry in September 2013 which might be helpful.

At the moment they are based in Chiswick at the Arts Educational School which is the West side of London, just off the M4, and according to google maps is 45mins.

 

http://www.ljb.org.uk/auditions.htm

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I think Lauretta Summerscales went to ENB school at 16 having trained at Susan Robinson's school. It has a very good reputation. I think it's in Surrey, not sure of the travel time from Reading?

You are quite correct, she did and it's in Byfleet, Surrey.

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Really does make a difference where you live in or near Reading. It's a big place which can take quite a while to get round. Off the ballet subject - doesn't Tap Attack have a base there? Try looking for their website - excellent for good tappers.

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Really does make a difference where you live in or near Reading. It's a big place which can take quite a while to get round. Off the ballet subject - doesn't Tap Attack have a base there? Try looking for their website - excellent for good tappers.

Yes JulieW Tap Attack does hold some of their classes  in Reading and also Swindon ........my younger dd is a Tap Attack  Northern Associate in Manchester. It is a fabulous opportunity for those dc's who love to tap.

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Gosh Byfleet is where I grew up and started my ballet lessons!! But wasn't Susan Robinson school then. However I think Ive seen her girls dancing at the annual summer fete though. Check its not in West Byfleet though people often get the two confused. And it is a bit of a trek from Reading.....know that journey well!! Hopefully reporting back with info soon.....just got back!

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Gosh Byfleet is where I grew up and started my ballet lessons!! But wasn't Susan Robinson school then. However I think Ive seen her girls dancing at the annual summer fete though. Check its not in West Byfleet though people often get the two confused. And it is a bit of a trek from Reading.....know that journey well!! Hopefully reporting back with info soon.....just got back!

No it is definitely Byfleet

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Yes I saw The Methodist Hall there.....seems to be spread out into other venues as well. My first Ballet lessons were in the old Binfield Hall in Byfleet.....don't know whether that's still there...haven't been down that road for years. Susan Robinson does have a good rep though but there are others good too a bit nearer Reading. Will be posting shortly to afab.

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afab is it necessary for all three daughters to go to the same school or are you okay with possible different schools for them but would prefer at one school if the ballet there was particularly good. I will be sending you PM about schools but just wanted to know this first. Also do you know which side of Reading your husbands job is likely to be on because obviously he needs ease of travel too. Two of the better ballet schools I'll send are nearer Oxford so would be great if that was a coincidence!! There are a lot more places to learn dancing if ballet is not the main concern of course.

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Hi Lin, no it's not necessary for all 3 of them to be in the same school. It would be easier to do the dance round though!

 

DD2 is the very ballet orientated one and she wants to apply for vocational schools at 16+. She wants to become a ballet dancer and nothing else!

DD1 is into MT but she needs to keep up with her ballet level to be able to audition in schools like NBS.

DD3 dances for the fun and hasn't decided what she wants to do. It's very importnat to her though that her ballet teacher teaches at a high level for her age...

 

DH doesn't mind traveling as long as it's a reasonable distance (by train or car). The job would be slightly east of Reading. Oxford sounds great...

 

Thank you LinMM for all this research for me and thanks also to all the wonderful forum members who have given me answers by PM or posts!

 

DH has applied so will see but since he's looking a bit everywhere so we might end up elsewhere... I hear Yorkshire is a bed of wonderful dancers and they have such a great accent there!  ;)

Edited by afab
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The CAT scheme in Swindon would be an hour away I think. They offer contemporary and urban dance options but I think the contemporary would include ballet and it is a high standard. Auditions are coming up fairly soon I think.

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Hi

If you can/are prepared to travel, I would highly recommend the East Oxford School of Ballet. 

http://www.eastoxfordballet.co.uk/

Trains and buses possible, although don't come into the right side of Oxford for most classes. A good range of senior classes with excellent teaching including one who is also RAD examiner and teaches at two of the vocational schools. Also has a Sunday dance school by invitation/audition. But depending which side of Reading, and schools etc, in terms of logistics you may be as well heading for London...best of luck!

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I would definitely look at London for weekend Associate classes, but remember when any or all of your dds are at senior school for academics, weeknight dance classes take up enough time - in between homework and dinner - even if they're local. That's why we left what was Tring's TPA because travelling over an hour each way for weeknight classes just wouldn't have been possible when the homework started to mount up.

 

In London for Associate classes, your options for ballet are:

 

Royal Ballet School

Central (11 and older)

London Junior/Senior Ballet

Young Dancers' Academy associates/West London School of Dance

 

 

Then you have the CATs at The Place and at Laban for Contemporary, and all sorts of options for MT like Arts Ed Chiswick, Italia Conti etc.

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I know what you mean Spanner. DD2's ballet school is only 15 minutes away but she dances 6 days a week! I used to travel much longer to another school with DD3, then a toddler, in tow and we had to wait during the lessons. It was horrendous! Luckily now, our kids are bigger and more independent. DD1 takes the train every day now to go to Paris and back!

 

Thanks for the info about London, it's a real possibility...

 

PS Non dancing question! At what age can kids have a driving licence in the UK? I heard it was 17. Is that right?

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Car insurance for youngsters costs a fortune here though (more than the car is worth, probably) so bear that in mind!

And in our case far more than the cost of driving ds ourselves and also more than what we had to find in fees...

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