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Jazz/ modern


Happymum
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My DD has been described by her teachers as "very classical" dancer. And she does just ballet- several classes, different grades.

She went to Tring for a day workshop and was very upset that she couldn't keep up with others in jazz class as she didn't know the vocabulary and steps etc.

I know that it's good to practise different styles but do you think it's necessary? Will she need jazz for year7 auditions ( all 4 schools but she dreams about RBS and Elmhurst). There is just not enough days in a week ( and pounds in a

bank).

And second question: is jazz and modern about the same? There is no jazz class available but she was invited to join modern and I've been told that it is pretty much the same ( same vocabulary etc). Thank you.

Edited by Happymum
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Yes, I would say until you get to the higher grades Jazz and ISTD Modern are very similar. A jazz class was part of the Tring audition a few years ago; hopefully someone who has been more recently will know if that's still the case. My daughter does one ISTD Modern class among all her ballet classes and the two are very complementary because with her long limbs, good ballet posture and precise movements she looks great doing Modern (unlike tap where she looks like a ballet dancer with tap shoes on!).

 

It is beneficial to have some jazz/modern vocab. As I say, it was needed for the Tring audition (very basic jazz class); not for Elmhurst, and possibly? for the Hammond audition?

 

I would say it would be worth doing a little bit of Modern - it's fun and "relaxing" according to my dd. :-)

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I was at a talk given at Tring yesterday about vocational training there. It was said that the auditions for the dance course are made up of a Ballet class, a Jazz class and a solo of their choice.

 

So yes modern or jazz of some kind is very useful, I would start her on a modern class as soon as possible. I remember a friend of DD's at Rbs Ja's who just did ballet, was told by the Ja teacher to definitely do a modern class as well to 'loosen her up a bit'. She hated it but got into WL so presumably it was of some use.

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It depends on the syllabus as to how different modern and jazz are. As an ISTD modern and jazz teacher I only have knowledge of their syllabi, and while there are elements of Jazz style within the modern work there are also elements of lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre styles. The ISTD do have a 'jazz' awards syllabus where the exercises/combinations are more stylised.

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I agree. In terms of basic vocab needed for a yr 7 audition though, I think either class would be fine - dd was probably taking Grade 2 or 3 (?) ISTD Modern back then and she was absolutely fine with the level of vocabulary needed for the Tring audition.

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Thank you all. The only class she could join is ISTD grade 3 modern. She is going to try it this Sat ( after her JA class and over 2 hours in a car :-( ). Sometimes I worry that she does too much, only to find out that she needs to do more! Hope that this modern class once a week will be enough to get her ready for jazz part of Tring/Hammond auditions

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Oh, she does lots of classes, 3 on Monday, 2 on Wednesday, 2 on Friday - grade 2,3,4,5 and Pilates. Plus JA every other Sat and Midas on Sun once a month. In September she will do 4 classes on Thursday as well. There is no other modern in our small town just this on Sat afternoon. She is fine, never has enough and is looking forward to more dancing in September. Reading other posts I see that other DDs are doing even more so i probably shouldn't worry but I can't help it.

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From my admittedly non-expert viewpoint but as someone who has watched a lot of ballet and read a lot of reviews in the last couple of years, I would say that a student will increase his or her employability if s/he excells in contemporary work, particularly if s/he is considering European (especially German) and American companies. Whilst MacMillan was choreographing his highly dramatic ballets for the RB Forsythe, Kilian, Van Manen etc were creating work for European dance companies which has now become a staple of ballet companies around the world and newer choreographers such as McGregor and Elo are being embraced by many ballet companies as well. In many classical ballets there are few substantial soloist roles but in much contemporary work all the dancers are showcased and need to be able to dance in a contemporary idiom at an extremely high level. Dancers in such pieces are much more exposed than they are in the corps roles in traditional ballets. So what I'm really saying is don't neglect 'modern' at your ballet school. Your daughters won't always be dancing snowflakes, fairies and peasants. The other thing that I have noticed is how incredibly sexy a lot of contemporary work is. It's not for the wallflower or shrinking violet!

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Goodness! Hope she doesn't end up at an academic secondary school which doles out as much homework as my dd's school - she may have trouble fitting it all in! :-)

Yes, I'm worried about it too. Well, her plan is to go to vocational school, not an academic secondary school :-) At the moment she's doing very well at school but does her reading and spelling in the hall of our dance school waiting for her class....

She didn't like street dance class. Also Isn't that good at RAD free movement. I see it is important So I've contacted her teacher and she'll start modern this Saturday.

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I agree with Aileen. The repertoire of most, if not all, classical ballet companies definitely includes contemporary works nowadays. Dancers have to be very versatile to cope with it all. When I trained at RBS many moons ago we had no modern classes - nowadays it's part of the training of all the vocational schools.

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