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Ballet Schools?


DancingtoDance
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I'd like to know the difference and similarities between Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst, and English National Ballet School. Can someone explain to me their training system? Also if possible can you include comparisons between Hammond and Tring? I'd appreciate it too if you compare the schools to schools in other countries such as Canada National Ballet School, Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, Hamburg Ballet School et cetera.  :rolleyes: I'm 13 and going into Year 9 next year, but I'd like to know the training system and comparisons from Year 7 to Graduate Year (Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst), from Grade 6 (Year 7) to Grade 12 (Year 13) (Canada National Ballet School), Levels 1 (10/11) through 8 (17/18) ( Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and Hamburg Ballet School), and Years 12 to Graduate Year (English National Ballet School).   :D Sorry I'm asking a lot :wub: , but I'd appreciate it if someone can give some comparisons or explain the training system of a school.  :)

Edited by DancingtoDance
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Welcome to the forum, Dancingtodance! :-)

 

I am sure some of our wonderfully knowledgeable forum members will be able to give you some idea about schools they have experienced, but comparing schools and training systems is very difficult. :-)

 

Have you spoken with your teacher to see what his/her opinion is? She may feel that there is a particular style which would suit you.

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And welcome from me too :)

 

I agree with Spanner's comment and question above.  It really is almost impossible to compare the training systems as most people only have experience of one (maybe two if they moved schools for some reason - but that's rare at upper school/sixth form level).  There's lots of information on the forum about each of the British schools, so it's worth doing a search, and if you search for the others you've mentioned, you might find something on those too - I can't remember if they've been discussed before.  Good luck with your research.

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And you know you can apply to a school and not be accepted and then what do you do? I think you should apply, audition and see which schools are willing to accept you and then do the research. Visit the schools and try and see the facilities and get an idea of the atmosphere. All the big schools are excellent. A student of mine was accepted for 3 Summer schools at RBS, but didn't get taken on for student training there, much to his disappointment. However, Elmhurst accepted him with alacrity as did Central. He decided on Elmhurst, because it was residential and because of its connection with BRB and it was a wonderful experience and first class training. We'll never know if he would have been better off at Central, but he became a very good professional dancer, so who cares?

Edited by Dance*is*life
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My comment is partly out of curiosity, but I think it is also because I am considering going to vocational ballet school very soon - next school year! I'm also just VERY curious though.  And I'm also aware I'm not able to apply for some of the schools I listed - at least not now.

 

I started looking for auditions for schools very late - or at least I started taking action to get into a school very late, so I could only audition for very few schools. If I don't get in, I'd have to deal with it - but I think I should just worry about auditioning and doing what I should instead of worrying about not getting in.  ;) I won't like it all if I don't get in even one school as I feel as if I just have to go to vocational ballet school by Year 9 - and yes I have kind of had a think about it. Then of course, there is the possibility of being assessed out, and even if I make it there's no guarantee I'd find work with a company. I really hope that won't happen, because I feel as if I know that this is what I want to do. I think I know, too, that if I get in a ballet school, the time there will be valuable, and will not be a waste no matter what.

 

But my main question was more about the training systems of the schools and comparisons. I'd appreciate any insight about the training systems in any one school, and any comparisons no matter how tiny they are, whether it is from a Year 7 student, a company dancer, a parent or someone else.  :)

Edited by DancingtoDance
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Well, let me reassure you that to have a career in dance, even in classical ballet, you *don't* have to be at a vocational school by year 9. :-)

 

Also, auditions for September 2013 entry for UK vocational schools are now over. They are held in the winter and spring, so although Elmhurst does have one further audition date this year (http://www.elmhurstdance.co.uk/audition-dates-1.html), you are really looking at auditioning this winter for September 2014 entry to UK schools.

 

As you are only 13, you can rule out English National Ballet School for the time being, as that is an Upper School - the equivalent of 6th form or Year 12.

 

So the UK schools you need to be researching at the moment are:

 

Royal Ballet School

Elmhurst

Tring Park

Hammond

 

and - if funding isn't an issue at all - there is also Young Dancers Academy which is a private fee paying vocational school in West London.

 

Do you live in the UK?

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Also, it's very, very difficult to get into one of these schools in years 8, 9 or 10, so I wouldn't like you to be put off if you don't get into one of them this year, or next.  Everyone gets a first audition, so you'll know that at least you've given it your best shot, but there are very few places in these years - more opens up again post-16.

 

I'm still not quite clear on what you're asking about the training systems.  The schools each follow their own syllabus of training which is leading the students towards being ready for post-16 vocational training, which is when the hard work really starts!

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Dancingtodance have sent you a pm, i agree with Spanner and pony you dont have to be at vocational sch but you do need to go to a good ballet sch that offers training that prepares you for the ballet world and how hard it really is,there is lots of good advice on this forum,good luck

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You can get a idea of what it's like - or used to be like - at Elmhurst on YouTube if you search for " ballet school -Elmhurst ....." The is a 4 part programme that follows 5 welsh students through one year of life there !

 

I don't know how to post a link perhaps someone else can .....ithe the one with an image of a pile of point shoes next to it !

 

My only observation of the differences of the first two schools , having visited with DS twice for auditions would be that White Lodge is quite steeped in tradition and almost exclusively a classical focus with excellent attention to details of technique, whereas I got the impression that Elmhurst may be a little more forward thinking and possibly has more contemporary content in the training , though still focussing mainly on classical ballet !

As I say that is only a parents impression and what I have gathered from the things we were told on our visits .

 

A good way to find out more is to go for an audition at the schools and ask questions of the students there.

Someone once said to us , that when you go to audition , and are shown around the school, think about the atmosphere and choose the place you feel that you could be at home in if you get the choice !

I think that may be good advice , and you may well find that the audition results will decide for you , so go ahead and audition for as many as you can , with an open mind , it will be good experience , as long as you are ready to accept the possibility of not getting a place and decide in advance that its a learning experience.

There are many paths to a dance career , so just push a few doors and see which ones open for you !

All the best.

 

http://m.youtube.com/results?q=ballet%20school%20-%20elmhurst%20school%20for%20dance#/watch?v=k4-q6N3Ib1M i have tried to past the link and a smiley but it doesn't seem to work ! Sorry

Edited by Billyelliott
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Well I can share abit about Canada's National Ballet School...

It has it's own syllabus but with many of the teachers from Russian, there are hints of Vagonava in the training. Academics and ballet studios are in one compound and the residences are about a 2 minute walk. Each grade has between 15 to 25 students.

The higher the grades, the more international students are accepted. Auditions are start in the fall but you would have to check the website for DVD audition standards. If you pass the first audition, you are invited to the 4 week summer audition.

There are many similiarities between life at RBS and at NBS. It is more difficult to get in at the higher grades and you can be assessed out at the end of the year.

Financial assistance is typically not offered to foreign students.

Ask away.....

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I know that I don't have to be in a vocational ballet school by Year 9 to become a ballet dancer, but judging the options, I think it would be the best thing for me.

 

However, my main question was about the training system of the schools, as well as super tiny to huge differences (yes, I'd like to hear about tiny differences such as the Royal Ballet School has a hot chocolate machine (am I correct?)!  :P ) In one of my posts, I did state that I'm aware that I'm not able to apply/audition/get in some of the schools I listed, at least not currently, so I'd still appreciate it if someone can give some insight into the English National Ballet School Partly out of curiosity, and partly for my own benefit - this post would be way too long if I got into that though! 

 

And, I'm not talking about schools just in the UK - I'm talking about all schools across the world from the United States to Australia!  :D The main reason I put more schools in the UK is because I thought this site is based on the UK.  :)

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I don't want to sound argumentative DancingtoDance, but you did ask about the differences in training systems, but then in your last post you sound like you're wanting general information about what it's like at the schools (when you mention wanting to hear about little things like the hot chocolate :) ). 

 

These are two very different things.  As we've already said, I think it's hard for anyone to tell you about the "training systems" (as in how the ballet is taught) and the differences between the schools, however there is a lot of information available (I'll try to find some links to other threads) about what it's like day-to-day at the schools.

 

My son went to both Elmhurst and White Lodge (RBS), and I'd say they were very similar in training and even just the experience of living there (although some students find it a bit more pressurised at WL). The main difference really for us was the location (Elmhurst being almost in the city centre of Birmingham and WL being in Richmond Park).

 

I hope to be back later with some links to threads for you.

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Thanks, I'd really appreciate links to other threads. I guess I do want to know about differences in both the training systems and general information , but I know that's really difficult. So links to other threads would be useful - I'd try the search function. I'd also like to emphasize that I would appreciate information about schools outside the UK too. Thanks to EVERYONE who has took the time to read and reply - not only is it useful information for me, I'm sure it'd help someone else too!  :)

Edited by DancingtoDance
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Dancingtodance, as someone said earlier on this forum, the UK vocational schools (with the exception of Elmhurst) have completed their auditions for entry in September this year and so you are almost certainly too late to apply to vocational school for year 9 (you have said that you are currently in year 8). You have not mentioned your teacher in this thread and I wonder why that is. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I wonder how realistic you are being if you have not spoken to your teacher about your plans. Normally, a good teacher should be able to give a student some idea as to whether or not s/he is likely to be accepted for vocational training. Ballet is a very, very demanding art form. Dancing ability, passion and hard work are not enough. The person must have the right physique which encompasses proportions, flexibility, strength and aesthetics. You have not said what level you are at or how many hours a week you attend class. These are also relevant factors. Of course, if you spoke to your teacher and s/he was discouraging about your prospects of getting into vocational school you could seek a second opinion from another teacher. I also wonder if you have spoken to your parents about your plans. I suggest that they research the option with you.

 

Please don't think that I'm trying to discourage you from pursuing your dreams. It's just that you are very young to be making plans without the help of your parents and teacher.

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Wow, Julies done a lot of work here.

 

Dancingtodance I wish more students could be like you and be as motivated into finding out as much as they can about anything that interests them, never mind dance.

 

With this approach in life you will do very well.   Just be aware that at these schools everyone's experience and opinions are different so don't be too swayed by either the horror stories or the wonderful ones!!   Also standards of teaching can vary and emphasis change according to the staff employed at the time- its not uncommon to go to a school expecting certain teachers and finding they've moved on. This is another reason why its difficult to make accurate comparisons as things are constantly evolving. School websites are useful indicators as to whether the training is predominantly ballet or whether they include other genres (eg jazz, contemporary.)

 

good luck

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Thank you ladies, but really didn't take very long once I was on the computer - just have to put some appropriate words in the search box :-)

 

Helps when you can roughly remember what the threads were about to ignore the ones that aren't so useful ;-)

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Hi DancingtoDance,

 

My dd and I are still on a journey of discovery with this topic, so I'm not sure how useful this will be, but you said you were interested in OS schools, even Australia - so - here goes.

 

We have one major company here, so the most sought after and hardest to get into school, is the Australian Ballet School. They have their own syllabus. I'm not sure that our schools fit neatly into categories such as pre-pro, vocational etc.

 

There are several schools which train students to a high standard, usually allowing them entry into a company school either here or overseas. Those schools vary from offering 2-3year courses such as Diploma of Dance to simply offering classes. The complication is that you need to be attending school or an approved training course until the age of 17. Some ballet schools offer classes and supervised distance education. The school my dd is at only offers dance classes and we are registered for homeschooling which is different from distance ed.

 

Of this type of school, most follow a syllabus such as RAD, Cecchetti or in our case, Australian Conservatoire of Dance. Some also teach more than on syllabus for the higher levels. There are a couple which have a youth ballet connected.

 

Here are the names of some of the major schools in Aus. They all have quite informative websites.

 

Australian Ballet School

Australian Conservatoire of Dance

Queensland Ballet

Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

Alegria

National Theatre Ballet School

Ballet Theatre Australia

Prudence Bower Atelier

 

These are all ballet schools. There are many more general dance schools which offer courses in contemporary styles - I haven't researched these.

 

Hope that helps :)

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Just to add another point about ballet schools in Australia. I don't know of any that offer boarding. They can arrange accommodation nearby with families or at other places such as convents but they normally require you to be over a certain age (usually 17) to attend the school and live without a guardian.

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My friend in Sydney's daughter attends The Tanya Pearson Academy.....but she is not a vocational student there yet.....she is 13.

You can attend classes there as a vocational or non vocational student and one of the problems seems to be that to attend the full time course.....which I think is offered from 14.... you would have to give up general schooling as they don't provide this.....and this is a risk at 14. My friend feels that attention is focused somewhat on the vocational students there but feels its too young to come out of general schooling yet.

In UK vocational schools do offer general schooling as well until the age of 16 at least which I think is an advantage personally if you have that choice.

 

There is a very young dancer in Royal Ballet who attended Tanya Pearson Academy will try to recall name.

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one of the problems seems to be that to attend the full time course.....which I think is offered from 14....you would have to give up general schooling as they don't provide this.....and this is a risk at 14. My friend feels that attention is focused somewhat on the vocational students there but feels its too young to come out of general schooling yet.

LinMM, does this academy offer boarding? If so, is boarding almost to definitely a must? And do you have any insight into its schedule? Because is there any time at all for academics - or is it like they are already fully trained so do 12 hours/day (basically like an insight to life in a professional ballet company)?If the schedule allows time at all for academics, perhaps arrangements to attend academic school outside of school hours can be made? I'm mentioning this because you state that they don't provide general schooling, but you didn't state that their schedule conflicts with attending general school. 

 

And if their schedule do conflict with attending general schooling, maybe the student can work ahead of time, or do the missed work at home in addition to general homework. 

 

What do you mean by "general schooling"? Because if you mean all academics, that is very strange because, as far as I know, most vocational ballet schools teach about history of ballet. 

 

I understand how 14 may be a risk for giving up general schooling. Do you think this applies to those who have finished secondary school, or do you only apply this to those who have not finished secondary school? But I think there are places where age 15 is the average age of entering a ballet company. From what I have read, it seems that doing that in the UK would be illegal, so I understand your UK perspective - if someone was really talented, and at 14 was more than ready to become a professional, it still would be impossible for someone in the UK to find work. 

 

I mentioned about attending another institution for academic schooling because I know about  a school where they don't offer academics, but attend other schools for academics; and because of its rigorous timetable, many have to attend a school which allows them to go to ballet in the day (unlike schools where you must stay in school from 8:15am to 3:20pm or another fixed time) they reach the upper intermediate levels. And I know there are other schools which situations are similar.

 

Thank you for writing about the possibility of having to give up general schooling in exchange for full-time ballet training in the Tanya Pearson Academy.

Edited by DancingtoDance
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What do you mean by "general schooling"? Because if you mean all academics, that is very strange because, as far as I know, most vocational ballet schools teach about history of ballet. 

 

I suspect that by "general schooling" she means mathematics, chemistry, art, languages, geography, physics, RE, biology etc. You know, the stuff kids do at school :)

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Hi DancingtoDance,

 

as far as I know, there is no boarding option at Tanya Pearson's. The hours are approx 9-3 or 4pm M-F, plus half day Saturday. In Australia, the law is that you must attend an approved training course or complete your education via distance or homeschooling until the age of 17. With TP's you must do distance or homeschool to meet the government requirements. You need to complete the work outside of ballet hours.

 

Hope that helps.

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Dancingtodance, from your posts I get the feeling that you don't live in the UK - am I correct?

 

Also, I would be very interested to know whether you have discussed your ambitions with your teacher(s), and what they say? You are wanting to know a huge amount of information about schools all over the world and with a wide range of styles.

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