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What next after GSCE'S


lyndsaye
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My Daughter who is certainly in Year 11 is unsure what to do for the best after finishing her GSCE's next year.

 

She is mainly a Dancer has been Dancing since the Age of 3  and attends Dance lessons twice a week and is currently on Level 6 Ballet , Tap & Modern but by the beginning of 2014 will be on the Interfoundation grades. She also studies Jazz , Hip Hop , Pointe , Contemporary etc….

 

She has also been attending an Amateur Theatre Society once a week since the age of 10 , which involves singing , acting and dance working towards 2 annual Musical Theatre productions  so far she has been one of the main dancers in Joseph ,Children of Eden, The Wedding Singer , Guys & Dolls Carousel  & CATS the musical.

 

She is currently studying for her GSCE’S and has already passed her English Literature and obtained a Grade B , and she is on track to obtained A’s and B’s  in English Language ,Maths , Biology , Chemistry , Physics ,Spanish , Drama , PE and Geography .

 

Her aim is to perform in West End shows , be a Dancer on a Cruise Ship etc….  and eventually teach Dance , she has the ability to continue on to study Alevels but ideally wants to do a Dance/Performing Course

 

Should she do some Alevels or which courses , colleges should be apply for ?

 

We cant really afford for private Dance School and we are in the Northwest of England

 

Any advise appreciated  

 

Thanks in advance x

 

 

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Have a look at the professional dancer's course at Preston College although I think they require intermediate level - she's not far off that though and actually she could do A levels first and try to reach that level within the next couple of years.

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What about auditioning for Northern ballet I Manchester, they have two strands to their course ballet or jazz. A lot of Northern ballet graduates get jobs on cruise liners and some into musicals. The school offers Da Da awards.

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Personally, I think if she can continue with enough quality dance training, she could do A'Levels and then try for a full time dance course at 18. I think if she desperately wanted to become a classical ballet dancer in a company then auditioning for Year 12/6.1 would be the way to go, but for commercial, Jazz or Contemporary it's fine to try at 18.

 

In terms of which colleges, have you looked at the Jazz course at Northern Ballet School? http://www.northernballetschool.co.uk/en/jazz_theatre_dance_focus.php

 

Oops Tulip - great minds! :-)

 

The dance course at Tring Park School would be worth looking at too for 6th form, they have a good range of A'Levels.

 

Edited to add: have you looked at Kate Simmonds Dance? http://www.ksd-online.co.uk/

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The Hammond in Chester is DADA funded and you can do 2 A levels alongside the dance/musical theatre course.  I, too have heard good things about Preston.  DD knows of several people who went to The Manchester College on the 16+ courses, prior to starting musical theatre at 18.  Liverpool Theatre School (I think that's the name) do a 3 year DADA funded musical theatre course but do know much about it.  However, as Spanner says doing A levels first and applying for full time dance/musical theatre courses at 18 is fine - as long as classical ballet is not her intended course and provided also that your DD has access to good local dance training for the next few years.

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It depends on whether your DD would prefer to stay at home until 18 or would be happy to live away. It then depends on where you live and the transport options available. It appears your DD is going to aim for a MT type of dance course as she obviously enjoys drama and dance so it wouldn't really be necessary to go away to study at 16 unless she desperately wants to go to a particular college and try for funding (eg at Hammond if you live near there)

 

Recently my eldest DD started an extended diploma course (equivalent to 3 A levels) at a specialist post 16 art college because she is aiming for an art degree and career. Our experience is that it is far superior training to staying at her grammar and taking A level art, textiles etc . The range and expertise is far greater and it is proving perfect for her. There is also an option to take an A level too. DD2 is a dancer and like your DD is keen on a variety of genres and enjoys drama and singing. We had been thinking she would stay at her grammar and take A levels but now are wavering towards a performance based extended diploma instead. My advice would be to look round at your options. If you live near Preston then I would certainly look at Preston College Dance faculty and speak to them. Your DD can continue with her dance exams there and get up to inter/advanced level as well as teaching qualifications (I think) and performance opportunities. Plus they will have the contacts and experience to prepare your DD for auditions for post 18 courses. Oh, and doing the ballet/ modern/tap exams at college might mean you would no longer need to pay for lessons at her local dance school so you might save money too. I browsed their website as my mum lives in Preston although we don't live close so I'm no expert on it but thought it seemed good. There would be lots of options in Manchester too as others have said.

 

Look round a few places and go to some open days then go with what you feel will be best. A levels do have the safety value but many colleges really value vocational qualifications especially if you are aiming for further vocational training rather than an academic degree. Check quality and how successful the students are at gaining places at post 18 colleges. Good luck.

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My DD is great at textiles and is predicted A* at GCSE - she would like to study this at A'level too, with the idea that if she doesn't make it into a dance company post 19 - 21 yrs of age she can apply for fashion or design college. There are actually BA degrees you can do in Performance Costume Design and that kind of thing.

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A levels would probably to be the way to go if you wanted to do dance and textiles because diploma courses are in art & design OR performance (well, that is the case at our college) The benefit if you want to do an art degree is you save a year and don't need to take a foundation year after A levels which many popular art colleges would expect. Costume design would be a very exciting job if you love textiles.

 

Pupils doing A levels (inc A level dance) at DD2s school have secured places on dance/performance degrees but I am wavering because the dance teacher there isn't as good as the old one and my dancing DD has dyslexia so worries about exams although she is a bright girl and at a grammar school.

 

btw my eldest DD did art and textiles GCSE last year. If you are doing both then the work does take up LOTS of time and textiles took up more than art. Never leave anything to the last minute. However you do get them done before the bulk of other GCSEs start.

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