Jump to content

Technical standard required for entry to vocational schools at 11.


aileen
 Share

Recommended Posts

I dont think they only take people with the right physical requirements.

From September there was a 10 year old girl who started ballet for the first time in my dds class.She has the perfect body,feet ,turnout ect.But she just cant do ballet at all.She loves it and tries her best.Its SO not just about physical requirements,It must be a mix of a few things, .It would be better to look at tallent first then what their body is like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And don't forget, different schools look for different things. Some schools like to see "performance skills", even at 10. Others consider that performance can be developed later, and look for musicality. They all look at physique, but even these requirements can differ from school to school. It's a minefield! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I think they don't necessarily expect a certain standard, as (particularly at RBS) they often start at the beginning again, with their own methods.

 

Perhaps what they might be looking for (aside from a trainable physique) is naturally good co-ordination, spatial awareness, and an inborn sense of rhythm, but, as other posters have said, we wish we knew!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont think they only take people with the right physical requirements.

From September there was a 10 year old girl who started ballet for the first time in my dds class.She has the perfect body,feet ,turnout ect.But she just cant do ballet at all.She loves it and tries her best.Its SO not just about physical requirements,It must be a mix of a few things, .It would be better to look at tallent first then what their body is like.

I think it's truer to say that they don't take people who have only got the right physical requirements. As you say, physique alone, without the other factors is no good but there is no getting away from the fact that the right physique is crucial.I suppose some of the other qualities can be taught and nurtured, and indeed some physical things can be worked on too. But others can't and if your body is just not put together in the "right" way there is often nothing you can do about it. It's a tough concept, but one that many children, my own included, have to come to terms with.

Edited to add, Not that i'm suggesting that you can't be a good dancer without the desired physical characteristics, but realistically, you're massively unlikely to make it as a professional ballet dancer without it.

Edited by Pups_mum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say that at my DD's vocational school (she is in year 7) they do seem to be all shapes and sizes from quite small to quite tall etc.....all must have shown something at audition to get a place, they definately do not fit the one look for all theory!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aileen as a guide students of mine who have been accepted into vocational schools have been working at Grade 4 and Inter Foundation ballet (ISTD) one student took her Inter foundation exam in the June before starting vocational school and all were associates (RBS, Elmhurst & Hammond). A RBS JA teacher told me they do expect them to be at a certain level when auditioning at 11!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flowerdew, I think that many children with ability are working at that level in year 6 (although some will not be if their school takes a more leisurely approach to exams). However, far fewer will be attending associate classes. If your child is not attending an associate class by the beginning of year 6 is that an indication that s/he is unlikely to be accepted for vocational school? Is acceptance into an associate programme an endorsement of the child's possible suitability for vocational training in the eyes of the schools to which the child applies (in a way it is a kind of pre-sift)? Or are the associate classes important because the child is benefitting from more expert teaching from teachers who are connected with the vocational ballet world (I hope that I'm not offending anyone here)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would just like to share my experience on here (some of you will have heard this story 6 years ago). My daughter started ballet at a very early age, however it was a recreational class purely for fun, until somebody (can't remember who but something to do with ballet) saw her doing Irish dancing when she was about 8 and advised me that she should be doing ballet as she just had that physique (I never did question what they meant by that, always wish I had). I told my daughter this and she said well I will carry on with it then, she was only doing 30 mins of ballet a week at the time, and her teacher had heard about JA's and thought she ought to audition, we didn't expect much but she was given a place as a JA at age 10 with very little ballet technique. After being a JA (fortnightly) for 6 months and having only had about 7 classes she then had to audition for MA's. Her JA teacher advised me that she may not be accepted into MA's due to not being technically advanced enough. She had at that time taken grade 2 IDTA ballet!

So therefore we were shocked to receive an invitation to a final audition for WL even though we had not ticked that box on the app form. She decided to audition for the experience and again we were totally shocked to be offered a place at the school. She managed to retain her place at WL for the full 5 years and is now in her 1st year at Upper school.

Thats just our story but just goes to show, you don't have to be too technically advanced, just to be able to show that you have the potential to get there.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if the schools take a flexible approach to the level you are at depending on how long you've been dancing. That is to say, they might generally expect someone to be at Grade 4/IF level, but if you were a late starter they would take this into consideration, especially if potential was outstanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure they do. Look at all the Outreach programmes into Primary schools, or areas where ballet may be an unlikely interest. They must pick up children with the right physique and potential who have little experience of ballet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion it is all down to potential in the early years. The only proviso being that you probably need a little experience to be able to demonstrate this potential. I know people who have gained places at vocational schools on very low grades.

 

Something else has just occurred to me and that is that I wonder if there are some children that will be successful wherever they train because they are so naturally talented? The fact that many of these end up being trained at WL is perhaps only because they have first bite at the cherry and take in the most talented before anyone else gets a chance.

 

On another point, I also agree that children in these schools do not always fit a mould. I have watched many vocational students in class from a number of our schools and they really are not all the same. looking at it simply, a school may have a checklist of 10 points, be they physical, technical, whatever, that a child has to satisfy on audition. I suspect that every child accepted will have reached a minimum standard on each point but they will not all score the same. Some will be stronger on point A, others on point C etc etc, leading to a mix of physiques and levels in each intake that are all acceptable. Obviously, given the competition, there will be many that satisfy a good many of the requirements that can't be accommodated but it must always be remembered that, for whatever reason, the school will offer places to those that best fit the bill.

 

Edited by Jellybeans
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know a few children who have been offered places at vocational school for Year 7 over the years. All were boys, all were doing one class a week, plus a JA class, none had done any form of dancing before they were eight or had taken any formal exams. I can make no comment of their ability technique-wise, etc, because I don't know enough about that, but as an observer, what these children had was a physicality, a quality of movement and a joy in movement and a "sureness" about them, a certain self-composure that made them stand out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.

If your child is not attending an associate class by the beginning of year 6 is that an indication that s/he is unlikely to be accepted for vocational school? Is acceptance into an associate programme an endorsement of the child's possible suitability for vocational training in the eyes of the schools to which the child applies (in a way it is a kind of pre-sift)? Or are the associate classes important because the child is benefitting from more expert teaching from teachers who are connected with the vocational ballet world (I hope that I'm not offending anyone here)?

No I'm sure that it isn't the case that if a child is not attending an associate class s/he is unlikely to be accepted for vocational school. I think that acceptance into an associate programme is an endorsement of a child's possible suitability for vocational training. I think associate schemes are an excellent opportunity for talented children to have guidance from teachers trained in the methods of teaching used in a particular school and to gain experience of the school for example RB JA's are offered workshops at the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst associates can be invited to take part in BRB productions.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The application forms for vocational schools make it very clear they are open for all to apply, if there were a preset requirement for experience they would specify. To be honest even if they did this lots of people outside of this specification would apply anyway - how many of us know parents who have let their children audition for pantos etc knowing they are a couple of centimeters over/under the height reqirement, just in case!

 

Associate classes are great for additional training but are by no means a golden ticket into these schools. For example my daughter came from a class of 40 PVP's at Elmhurst only 5 of them were offered places for Year 7.

 

There is often no obvious reason behind the selections these schools make - there seems to be a lot of unrest this year with the audition process, if you have specific questions it is much better to refer them directly to the schools in question.

 

If you dont audition you will never know what may of happened, even if your child does get acceted there are no guarantees of what is to come - its just a stepping stone, if you dont get a positive response first time around as many on here can testify it doesnt mean you will never be successful.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spoke to one dance school yesterday & she said they are not looking for them to have passed a certain grade. They are not looking for the children to be doing a certain number of hours per week or being a junior associate as they can teach from scratch.They are looking for potential and suitability. Hope this helps. I'm sure they are all different though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was worried about this when my lad was auditioning as he had only done Grade 2...didn't prove to be a disadvantage for him. I asked at the time and was told that it was potential they were interested in and a high exam level did not mean the canddate had a better chance. So I wouldn't worry. My daughter is just at the start of grade 5. All being well, her grade 4 exam will be the last for 3 years when she will do Inter!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...