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Questions about Upper School auditions


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There is no reason whatever for the upper school auditions to be scheduled for the same weekend as the Prix. Once might have been an accident, but three years in a row? 

 

The dates for the Prix are known months in advance, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to arrange the school auditions for another date would it?

 

If the AD wanted to be at the auditions for his school then he would make sure that his diary was consulted before organising audition dates. One can only surmise that he doesn't want to be there, and is only interested in offering places to high-flying competitors in international competitions.

 

Incidentally, the year my dd auditioned, there were quite a few candidates in her audition who had come from overseas, including the USA and Australia. I bet they were mightily cheesed off that they'd spent all that money to travel across the world, and weren't even seen by the person making the final decision.

 

mph, you are not alone in having worked in professional settings - and I for one can beat you there with more than three decades. We are really not as ignorant of the 'real' world as you appear to think. What the Head Honcho wants, the Head Honcho gets (in my professional business experience), so it appears that the AD doesn't actually want to be at his own auditions, because if he did, then he would make jolly sure that he could be, wouldn't he?

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To be honest this yr was our 3rd yr auditioning. The first was for JA which was a pleasant experience. The last 2 yrs was for lower school and RBS was very much the poor relation when compared to Elmhurst where you were made to feel welcome given a presentation about what to expect from the school, a brief tour of the School and invited to view the last 5 mins of the audition where you could see the process of the audition. Last yr there were 4 on the Preliminary panel, this yr 3 on the panel. The auditions are always filmed , and the AD is always part of the paneL and gives a brief talk at the end. You come away feeling that it is a fair process whatever the result may be - however RBS couldn't be further from this.

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Of course things may mean a head (or artistic director in this case) can't attend particular events and someone else of any job title may have to step in - but to schedule the upper school prelim systematically every year on the same date as Prix de Lausanne so that as director you can never be present - ever- surely says to all the parents and dancers you have no interest or concern in attending.

Edited by Flora
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Er well yes if you are fortunate enough to have a choice of school but for many the idea of picking the right environment is a bit academic and having decided to go for vocational school you get what you are given particularly if you choose ballet

Edited by Flora
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Some will be better off at home though up until senior level if they are fortunate to live in an area where the standard of training is high enough. We had no choice, vocational school or change path at 14 and my ds only wanted to try for 1 school! I just count him very lucky to have got a place and the school is a very good fit for him. At senior level obviously they have to go away to stand a chance, I would question that if you only get one offer is this the right path? I only throw that out there as a question I ask myself and I would still probably let my child pursue their dream as you never know how they will develop and what chances come their way. It is a very difficult path for dc and parents helping them make wise decisions.

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I totally agree with you Harwell however they are only picking the best of the best, to supply some of the best ballet companies in the world. That shouldn't deter dc from perusing their dream and to be chosen for 1 school is amazing and as we know children grow and change for better and worse so no-one really knows what the future holds - children/adolescents also change their minds! Xx

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I just hope they are picking the best dancers!! Dancer being the operative word. No good having big arches and sway back legs if you can't actually dance! Whilst the body must be pleasing on the eye, the ability to move is the most important attribute. There are many body types suitable for ballet. Simply look at the two RB companies. When I'm asked about the desirable physique for a dancer I always say, "a body that is strong with good technique and classical lines, a good face, decent feet, musicality and most importantly that x factor that draws you in."

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I know of a little girl who was a beautiful dancer. She had a tidy physique with all the attributes listed above. Sadly she was turned down by RBS on several occasions. This knocked her confidence and as hard as I tried to persuade her to keep going, she eventually stopped dancing. Very sad really. At one time the RBS would've snapped her up but not anymore. As dame Merle Park said years ago when she was director, "we look for that light in the eyes!" I remember those words because that sums it up.

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I totally agree with you Harwell however they are only picking the best of the best, to supply some of the best ballet companies in the world. 

Agreed, but the AD in question is only picking the best from the ones he sees... and he isn't seeing everybody.

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I just hope they are picking the best dancers!! Dancer being the operative word. No good having big arches and sway back legs if you can't actually dance! Whilst the body must be pleasing on the eye, the ability to move is the most important attribute. There are many body types suitable for ballet. Simply look at the two RB companies. When I'm asked about the desirable physique for a dancer I always say, "a body that is strong with good technique and classical lines, a good face, decent feet, musicality and most importantly that x factor that draws you in."

I agree absolutely! Dancing is about so much more than a short tick list of desirable attributes. But are all upper schools looking to fill their places with dancers that 'draw you in'? I’ve wondered about this. If they are ultimately trying to staff their company, then they need a lot of coryphee, an individual member of which shouldn’t generally draw the eye too much. Maybe they have to select dancers considering who will blend into the coryphee, both physically and as performers, and they might not necessarily be ‘the best dancers’. Just musings ………..

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Speaking from experience even to stand at the side propping up the scenery you have to be very good. They don't pick corps de ballet fonder. They pick individuals who all begin at the bottom. Even the greatest dancers were corps de ballet once. Then it's simple survival of the fittest as to who moves up above that. Speed of learning and being injury free will help with promotion through the ranks. A beautiful face or just charisma will win through. So many factors come into play within a company.

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After my hopeful prediction that we might hear soon after the flurry of activity on lower school results, no news here! Given the discussions above about the absence of the AD, could it be he wants to review the candidates chosen before the emails are sent to prevent anyone being 'missed' - I know how anxious my dd is for the result and we have only had to wait since Sunday, some of the prelims were a few weeks ago so surely the results of them must be available so wondered what the hold up is...hence my theory?

 

Anyway, whatever the reason, hope we all hear soon and good luck to all ☺️

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Little bit more about Rambert from today's audition. Dd really enjoyed the classes and parents had a fab, friendly informative tour with all questions well answered. Feels like a very friendly, supportive environment including financial support from the school (where possible)for each student.

8 dancers asked to perform solo (dd included) and 3 of the 8 had physio assessment and interview. We were reassured that those not asked for solo and physio/interview were equally likely to be offered places and the chance to perform solo did not guarantee an offer. Results might take a little longer than usual as the Principal is conducting auditions is USA and Canada and not back until next week. Around 45 places on offer with about 600 auditioning in total.

Good luck to all waiting????

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Quick update on ENB audition today. Parents allowed in to drop off/pin on numbers and dc's encouraged in to warm up in studio. Ballet class with no pointe work, small amount of stretches. Dd and her friend felt the barre was quite challenging compared to other auditions but centre work was straightforward with quite a lot of arabesques and adage. No talk or information for parents (as was made clear on audition information) - results by post between 1 and 2 weeks, dd was told. The building is in a smart residential area and is shared with an art and design college. The studio I looked in was bright and had windows and there was a room for physio treatment. Building was lovely and warm on this freezing day. The limited amount of time parents were in the building made it impossible for me to get any kind of feel for the place.

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