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Questions about Upper School auditions


Anna C

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Hmm, thats tricky then.

 

I know for a "normal" private school we were asked to pay a non refundable deposit by the end of January for a place offered in October and I ended up paying a full terms fees in lieu when dd was then offered a vocational place mid May as the private school's rules were a full terms notice needed to be given even if the child hadn't started there yet  (although they were very quick to waive that requirement when they wanted to get rid of ds)

 

So I guess what I am saying is that for what are essentially private institutions they can pretty much set their own rules.  How over-subscribed is the school asking for the deposit?  It might be worth trying to negotiate an extension but also check the notice periods.

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On 30/10/2018 at 13:07, Bluebird22 said:

Is there scope with any of the vocational schools to push back the acceptance deadline? The deposits are quite substantial and with only a month to find them, plus the added issue of not having had auditions elsewhere by the acceptance deadline! Had a student come up against this 2 years ago and now another this year! 

 

Any experience of this? 

we went through upper school auditions this year (Sep 18 start) and neither of the schools we got offer from wanted to negotiate deadline to pay. Tring was first to hit us with their acceptance fee of £3.5k payable by 2nd week of February and we have hardly stared auditioning by then! The stress we went through was unbearable and the tears when declining offers 😞 because of it.

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13 hours ago, Dancing2003 said:

Hi,

 

 Central Prelim London Auditions 

 

Just wondered if anyone knew how long the audition classes run for and do they hold one in the morning and one in the afternoon, trying to work out accommodation and trains. 

 

Thanks in advance 😊

 

 

Possibly my biggest grumble last year was that that the schools didn’t confirm timings until a couple of weeks before, sometimes even later, so train prices (and accommodation sometimes) were more expensive. I think that most prelims (including Central) last about 2 hours, and there are usually more than one in a day. You could start at, for example, 10 or 12 or 3. I think dd’s RCS one was at 3pm (in London), the 3rd of the day. 

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 Thanks BlueLou,

 

My feelings exactly that is helpful though what you have said hopefully central latest start time would be 3/4pm so should be finished around 6pm at the latest.

 

For RCS it’s easier for us to fly up during half term and they have advised the auditions generally take place in the afternoon,  but not booking anything until confirmed. 😔

 

 

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Hi, sorry if this is in wrong place. Just thought I'd update on auditions so far.

 

So, first was my audition for KS dance. They were very kind, and the classes (ballet, pointe, contemporary, physio and interview) were amazing, but did not hide anything from you. I have been offered a final audition in May. They don't think that I am tall enough yet but as I am forecast to grow (delayed bone age), they said they would like to give me as big a chance as possible, because they liked my dancing. 

 

Elmhurst was a very expected no, and I've just got the result back from Central with another no. And I know I'm a very lucky and usually very happy girl, but I just feel very down-trodden. Am I just not good enough? Am I just not tall enough? It's so so hard, I am trying to use the rejections to spur me on to be a better dancer (I'm seeing a fantastic dance/strength coach who has devised a brilliant programme to help with my weaknesses) but I don't know, Just looking for some advice and happy ending anecdotes haha. 

3 more (+KS final) auditions left to go! 

 

I hope other auditionees are doing well and merry Christmas everyone x

 

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23 minutes ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

….. I just feel very down-trodden. Am I just not good enough? Am I just not tall enough? It's so so hard …..

 

Now is not the time for doubts and despair! You have to keep going - give every audition your best shot and your biggest smile and believe that you belong there. When all is said and done (for this cycle of auditions anyway), then you can review the situation and decide what to do next. But while you’re in the middle of it, you’ve just got to stay on the roller-coaster and sparkle all the way!

Very best of luck to you Arucaria, and Merry Christmas to you too :) 

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9 hours ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

Hi, sorry if this is in wrong place. Just thought I'd update on auditions so far.

 

So, first was my audition for KS dance. They were very kind, and the classes (ballet, pointe, contemporary, physio and interview) were amazing, but did not hide anything from you. I have been offered a final audition in May. They don't think that I am tall enough yet but as I am forecast to grow (delayed bone age), they said they would like to give me as big a chance as possible, because they liked my dancing. 

 

Elmhurst was a very expected no, and I've just got the result back from Central with another no. And I know I'm a very lucky and usually very happy girl, but I just feel very down-trodden. Am I just not good enough? Am I just not tall enough? It's so so hard, I am trying to use the rejections to spur me on to be a better dancer (I'm seeing a fantastic dance/strength coach who has devised a brilliant programme to help with my weaknesses) but I don't know, Just looking for some advice and happy ending anecdotes haha. 

3 more (+KS final) auditions left to go! 

 

I hope other auditionees are doing well and merry Christmas everyone x

 

Stay strong and positive Arucariaballerina! It’s such a journey and especially hard whilst studying for GCSEs too. Well done for finals for KS dance, have they told you how tall they would like you to be? It’s good they understand you may not be at your finished height yet, Sometimes things are just out of out hands and we cannot control our body shape or height, hard to accept especially when you are a beautiful dancer too.

Wishing you all the luck with the rest of your auditions! 

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12 hours ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

Hi, sorry if this is in wrong place. Just thought I'd update on auditions so far.

 

So, first was my audition for KS dance. They were very kind, and the classes (ballet, pointe, contemporary, physio and interview) were amazing, but did not hide anything from you. I have been offered a final audition in May. They don't think that I am tall enough yet but as I am forecast to grow (delayed bone age), they said they would like to give me as big a chance as possible, because they liked my dancing. 

 

Elmhurst was a very expected no, and I've just got the result back from Central with another no. And I know I'm a very lucky and usually very happy girl, but I just feel very down-trodden. Am I just not good enough? Am I just not tall enough? It's so so hard, I am trying to use the rejections to spur me on to be a better dancer (I'm seeing a fantastic dance/strength coach who has devised a brilliant programme to help with my weaknesses) but I don't know, Just looking for some advice and happy ending anecdotes haha. 

3 more (+KS final) auditions left to go! 

 

I hope other auditionees are doing well and merry Christmas everyone x

 

How tall are you at the moment? Just asking as Dd1 also petite and will audition next year. 

On a different note, it can be very hard to get rejections but just remember competition is always high and there are only so many spaces. KS obviously liked you as they have asked to see you again. Keep your chin up and keep going.😻👯‍♀️

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Well done for making finals! I’ve followed your posts for a while and you sound a very dedicated young dancer so I’m really pleased for you. Your height may be an issue for some schools and not a problem for others- they all look and see things differently,  so try not to fixate on it. 

All  you need is one offer of a chance at full time training. It may not be your 1st choice of school or even your 3rd or 4th but it will open your world to new teachers and new opportunities. From there, if you think intelligently, you can begin to work towards something  different if you wish.

Very best of luck.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. The minimum height for KS, and indeed for all the other vocational schools I have asked, is 5" and I am only a tiny 4" 10 ( so only two inches away). My family are feeding me up with loads of veggies and protein and calcium and ensuring I get as much sleep as possible haha! My doctor has confirmed that there is no condition stopping me growing, i just haven't hit growth yet. However, I have a good body and feet for ballet apparently which is reassuring!

 

Im feeling a bit better about it today, and already can't wait until my associates start again next year! ❤️

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4 minutes ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

Thanks everyone for your replies. The minimum height for KS, and indeed for all the other vocational schools I have asked, is 5" and I am only a tiny 4" 10 ( so only two inches away). My family are feeding me up with loads of veggies and protein and calcium and ensuring I get as much sleep as possible haha! My doctor has confirmed that there is no condition stopping me growing, i just haven't hit growth yet. However, I have a good body and feet for ballet apparently which is reassuring!

 

Im feeling a bit better about it today, and already can't wait until my associates start again next year! ❤️

Sounds like you will grow those 2 inches. I am not sure if you have heard of Ballet Cymru but one of their best dancers Lydia Arnoux was under 5 foot. She trained at Elmhurst, did the Genee and danced with them for years. It is harder when you do not quite fit the mold but there are petite dancers at the top- Maria Kotchekova 4ft 11 and Alina Cojacaru is 5ft. I remind my own Dd of this. She is 5ft.

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18 hours ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

Hi, sorry if this is in wrong place. Just thought I'd update on auditions so far.

 

So, first was my audition for KS dance. They were very kind, and the classes (ballet, pointe, contemporary, physio and interview) were amazing, but did not hide anything from you. I have been offered a final audition in May. They don't think that I am tall enough yet but as I am forecast to grow (delayed bone age), they said they would like to give me as big a chance as possible, because they liked my dancing. 

 

Elmhurst was a very expected no, and I've just got the result back from Central with another no. And I know I'm a very lucky and usually very happy girl, but I just feel very down-trodden. Am I just not good enough? Am I just not tall enough? It's so so hard, I am trying to use the rejections to spur me on to be a better dancer (I'm seeing a fantastic dance/strength coach who has devised a brilliant programme to help with my weaknesses) but I don't know, Just looking for some advice and happy ending anecdotes haha. 

3 more (+KS final) auditions left to go! 

 

I hope other auditionees are doing well and merry Christmas everyone x

 

Arucaria - wishing you all the best - have you considered The Academy of Balletic Arts - refreshingly different training 

 

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17 hours ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

Thanks everyone for your replies. The minimum height for KS, and indeed for all the other vocational schools I have asked, is 5" and I am only a tiny 4" 10 ( so only two inches away). My family are feeding me up with loads of veggies and protein and calcium and ensuring I get as much sleep as possible haha! My doctor has confirmed that there is no condition stopping me growing, i just haven't hit growth yet. However, I have a good body and feet for ballet apparently which is reassuring!

 

Im feeling a bit better about it today, and already can't wait until my associates start again next year! ❤️

Hello

 

I was advised last week to wait a year before my daughter auditions. She's Y10 right now, and her teacher has suggested she has an extra year of training and auditions in Y12 not 11 as her body just isn't strong enough and she thinks the extra year to mature will give her the strength she needs to get into the schools she wants to study at. I was taken aback at first as the message has been clear that for classical ballet you must go away at 16, but her teacher is very well respected and I trust her implicitly so, unless my daughter's strength improves faster than expected we will wait. Educationally this means she can concentrate on her GCSEs and do AS levels, plus she'll be a little more mature when she leaves home and get another year of top training and preparation. So, if things don't work out for you this year, there is always next, when you've had a chance to grow. It's not impossible. Congratulations on KS Dance and I hope there are more yesses in your future.

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Yrosered said:

Hello

 

I was advised last week to wait a year before my daughter auditions. She's Y10 right now, and her teacher has suggested she has an extra year of training and auditions in Y12 not 11 as her body just isn't strong enough and she thinks the extra year to mature will give her the strength she needs to get into the schools she wants to study at. I was taken aback at first as the message has been clear that for classical ballet you must go away at 16, but her teacher is very well respected and I trust her implicitly so, unless my daughter's strength improves faster than expected we will wait. Educationally this means she can concentrate on her GCSEs and do AS levels, plus she'll be a little more mature when she leaves home and get another year of top training and preparation. So, if things don't work out for you this year, there is always next, when you've had a chance to grow. It's not impossible. Congratulations on KS Dance and I hope there are more yesses in your future.

 

 

 

Hi. Sounds like a possible plan however, please be mindful some exam boards/schools are doing away with AS’s and making A levels a 2yr course as a stand alone qualification. Which means a yr of academic study for no recognition/qualification . 🤨

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12 minutes ago, balletbean said:

Hi. Sounds like a possible plan however, please be mindful some exam boards/schools are doing away with AS’s and making A levels a 2yr course as a stand alone qualification. Which means a yr of academic study for no recognition/qualification . 🤨

Hi, yes, this is the flaw in the plan! We'll be having a chat with the head of sixth form next year when we know for sure that we are going to wait to see what they advise... it might be that we have to pay for AS Level exams. It would be great if this doesn't happen and she auditions next year, but if a year makes a difference between acceptance at a good school and not then we'll just have to make the best of it I guess. 

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1 minute ago, Yrosered said:

Hi, yes, this is the flaw in the plan! We'll be having a chat with the head of sixth form next year when we know for sure that we are going to wait to see what they advise... it might be that we have to pay for AS Level exams. It would be great if this doesn't happen and she auditions next year, but if a year makes a difference between acceptance at a good school and not then we'll just have to make the best of it I guess. 

This time last year we (DD & I) took the chance. Only turning 16 in the July she was in my eyes far too young. Researched which schools she could make her home for the next 3yrs. Whittled the list to just two. Was accepted at her first choice. If she had been declined then we had decided it would be the full 2yrs A level course then try again at 18 but would have to be more MT route which really doesn’t tick her boxes but research again for more dance focused colleges rather than the strong triple threat colleges. It is hard as ballet really appears to be post GCSE. A pupil could start the same day they turn 17 whilst others in the class start the a week after they turn 16. That’s a big leap in maturity. It’s a personal choice. No two teenagers are the same. We took the gamble (independent living etc) and happy to report it’s worked brilliantly for my DD with no regrets. It’s hard as sometimes ballet has to take the back seat when making the decision. Accommodation, additional costs location, travel and all independent domestic aspects have to be included. It’s called a reality check. Hard for the youngsters as the thought of living breathing ballet 24/7 is all they think of. Not the other parts. 

Good Luck. 

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Ayrosered, auditions in Yr 11 for your dd would be over a year from now, so it seems rather a premature decision.  Your dd's teacher may have good reason for saying this, but anything can happen in a year.  I would suggest your dd do as many courses, Spring, Summer, Dance days with as many different institutions as you can fit in time/money wise and see if you get a feel for the others in her year who she would be auditioning alongside.  Does she match up to the standard or is she behind?  Is her current school large or small, so are there others at her level too?

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Ive been wondering whether to post this as I dont want to sound rude or discouraging, but I do think that its important to be realistic if you are a "non standard" size. I write as a very short mother of petite children. I am in no way anti short people....but I am afraid experience tells me that it does matter. Both my DD and my SS (sporty son!) are short and many, very well meaning people over the years have has the "well they might still grow" conversation and pointed out the exceptional people who have been hugely successful despite their lack of height. But there's the rub. They ARE exceptional. Both in terms of being exceptions to the rule and in having exceptional talents. If you are destined to be a soloist the being a lot shorter, or indeed taller, than the rest of the company is far less of an issue than if you are aiming for the corps. And let's face it, how many dancers have that level of talent.....very few. As a sporting example, Maddie Hinch, the world number 1 hockey goalie is unusually small for her position. But she is insanely talented. Caleb Ewan is a very short sprint cyclist but other aspects of his abilities are almost unique. If they were only "very good" their stature would have been far more of an issue.

Im not saying give up. But be realistic. Your physique may mean that some things are out of reach but a different path may be equally fulfilling. My DD is almost certainly heading down the teaching route and there's lot of exciting possibilities that way. My SS is being gently steered by his coaches into disciplines that he is more physically suited to but what he has done so far is not wasted.

Its a popular concept that if we just work hard enough we can do anything. Sadly its not true. Hard work is of course crucial, whatever "raw materials" the genetic lottery may have give you but it is not always possible to get what you want, however hard you work. I think perpetuating that idea is potentially very detrimental to hard working and talented youngsters who dont get to "the top" as they the feel they have failed, not give enough etc etc.

Work to be the best you can be. But recognise that that may be different to what someone else can be be, or what you currently want to be. And note "different"...not better, or worse..

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2 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

Ive been wondering whether to post this as I dont want to sound rude or discouraging, but I do think that its important to be realistic if you are a "non standard" size. I write as a very short mother of petite children. I am in no way anti short people....but I am afraid experience tells me that it does matter. Both my DD and my SS (sporty son!) are short and many, very well meaning people over the years have has the "well they might still grow" conversation and pointed out the exceptional people who have been hugely successful despite their lack of height. But there's the rub. They ARE exceptional. Both in terms of being exceptions to the rule and in having exceptional talents. If you are destined to be a soloist the being a lot shorter, or indeed taller, than the rest of the company is far less of an issue than if you are aiming for the corps. And let's face it, how many dancers have that level of talent.....very few. As a sporting example, Maddie Hinch, the world number 1 hockey goalie is unusually small for her position. But she is insanely talented. Caleb Ewan is a very short sprint cyclist but other aspects of his abilities are almost unique. If they were only "very good" their stature would have been far more of an issue.

Im not saying give up. But be realistic. Your physique may mean that some things are out of reach but a different path may be equally fulfilling. My DD is almost certainly heading down the teaching route and there's lot of exciting possibilities that way. My SS is being gently steered by his coaches into disciplines that he is more physically suited to but what he has done so far is not wasted.

Its a popular concept that if we just work hard enough we can do anything. Sadly its not true. Hard work is of course crucial, whatever "raw materials" the genetic lottery may have give you but it is not always possible to get what you want, however hard you work. I think perpetuating that idea is potentially very detrimental to hard working and talented youngsters who dont get to "the top" as they the feel they have failed, not give enough etc etc.

Work to be the best you can be. But recognise that that may be different to what someone else can be be, or what you currently want to be. And note "different"...not better, or worse..

I totally understand where you are coming from. To gain a coveted place at a vocational school may seem the only challenge between training and employment as a dancer but it’s nothing compared to the real world of Dancing.  Sometimes walking into the audition room and they say NO and you’ve still got your coat on!  

My eldest son (non dancer) wanted to be a jockey for as long as anyone cares to remember. Attended training college at 16 short in height, perfect we all thought.  but sadly Mother Nature had other ideas. 12/18months later he was one if not the tallest registered jockey at 6ft. At 6ft he couldn’t match the weight of 4ft11/5ft jockies. He had to diversify and rethink his career path. Heartbreaking at the time.  As it turns out all for the best. Still equine but not the route he had originally planned for but loving life and work in his new role. 

 

Dancers are no different.  Too tall, too short. Even the wrong bone/muscle structure it’s sad but it’s a truthful reality. But there is a plan out there for everyone. Maybe not the plan anyone had in mind and it may just take some time to see it or find it. But it is there. 😉

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10 minutes ago, balletbean said:

I totally understand where you are coming from. To gain a coveted place at a vocational school may seem the only challenge between training and employment as a dancer but it’s nothing compared to the real world of Dancing.  Sometimes walking into the audition room and they say NO and you’ve still got your coat on!  

My eldest son (non dancer) wanted to be a jockey for as long as anyone cares to remember. Attended training college at 16 short in height, perfect we all thought.  but sadly Mother Nature had other ideas. 12/18months later he was one if not the tallest registered jockey at 6ft. At 6ft he couldn’t match the weight of 4ft11/5ft jockies. He had to diversify and rethink his career path. Heartbreaking at the time.  As it turns out all for the best. Still equine but not the route he had originally planned for but loving life and work in his new role. 

 

Dancers are no different.  Too tall, too short. Even the wrong bone/muscle structure it’s sad but it’s a truthful reality. But there is a plan out there for everyone. Maybe not the plan anyone had in mind and it may just take some time to see it or find it. But it is there. 😉

Wow. That must have been a shock, growing so much so quickly! Glad he has found his niche though. 

I have learned a lot from DD's experience. I listened too much to what I (and she ) wanted to hear rather than what was staring me in the face. People really do mean well and are trying to be encouraging but sometimes it is better to be realistic. I would never have stopped her dancing, as I think the benefits are huge and I dont see a classical  career as the only succesful outcome. But I would have definitely encouraged her to be more diverse both in her dancing and thinking, at a younger age.

I am doing things a bit different with SS as a result, and we've had the hard conversations rather sooner. Ask me in about 5 years if I think I've done any better!!

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Thank you. My son went through some dark times when reality hit home. So hard for him but like all our children we are there for them. It taught me so much and prepared me and my girls for the dancers life. To support them through good and bad offering guidance but not forcing/pushing them and eventually they find their niche and way in life. With us by there side to be there when needed. No matter how young or how old they are. 

 

Ps. A jockies life is comparable to ballet dancer. But many just don’t see it. Constantly exposing the body to injury, fighting the weight game and facing constant rejection. Besides all that they are both filled with love and passion for their sport.

One wears  ‘sparkle’ and the other wears ‘silks’ but they are fundamentally both highly trained athletes. 

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Agree @Pups_mum. Kids are told 'work hard and you can achieve anything'. Had some very difficult conversations with my DD when she was younger about how this isn't always the case :( As dance parents we have to hope we encourage them into a realistic path while enabling them to retain their love of ballet.

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8 hours ago, sarahw said:

Agree @Pups_mum. Kids are told 'work hard and you can achieve anything'. Had some very difficult conversations with my DD when she was younger about how this isn't always the case :( As dance parents we have to hope we encourage them into a realistic path while enabling them to retain their love of ballet.

Oh yes. To be ‘empowered’ and to breakdown any barriers. As if life will be 100% a battle. And that ‘no one can stop you’ is totally unrealistic. Makes my blood boil. Yes strive to work hard and do your best but realise that in life there will be a No. Sorry you can’t. So making children and not learning how to cope with reality.   Well done sarahw for having that conversation. Couldn’t have been easy.   

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17 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

Im not saying give up. But be realistic. Your physique may mean that some things are out of reach but a different path may be equally fulfilling.

 

This is such good excellent wonderful advice. My cliché is that we all get where we need to go, but maybe not by the route we thought we'd take.

 

A ballet friend of mine in the USA trained at the Kirov (USA) and then SAB (nearest equivalent in the UK is probably RBS) - both top schools. But as a male dancer he was just too short for mainstream companies. He now owns and runs a serious pre-professional training ballet school in his home county which has just received a real accolade from his city. 

 

Edited to add: I often have to have the same sorts of conversations with final year undergrads, who think they "have" to achieve a First Class honours degree. I ask them why - they answer because they've tried so hard, and put in such an effort, and they believe they are good enough. These are really difficult conversations to have - I blame the X Factor et al.

 

Sorry for going a bit off-topic.

 

And heaps and heaps of good luck, strength, and growth to you, Arucaria!

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