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JA auditions 2012


Happymum
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Hello,

This is my first post on this forum. I did try to find some informations about auditions but didn't succeed so hope that you will be able to help. My D loves ballet more then anything in the world and she is a good dancer but she also is very shy. She finds it difficult to stay on her own in place she doesn't know with people she has never seen before. It is strange because she can perform beautifully at the front of the big audience etc. Anyway I would love to help her a bit and let her know what she may expect on the day. I've heard that teachers are vary nice and it is a nice experience for children but it would be great to know bit more - which exercises do they do? As a group or in pairs or individually? If your children did tell you something last year please let me know :-) And good luck to all little girls who will audition this year for the first time.

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Hello and welcome! If you look on the RBS website they have JA for a day and from what I can gather these really are an insight into what children can expect. My DD just smiled and set out to have a nice time, her audition was just a very basic ballet class, she thoroughly enjoyed herself. If you look further down the forums there are posts and threads talking about JA's. Good luck where is your DD auditioning?

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Thank you for your reply. We did JA for a day but that was to see how the class will look if they are invited to join. My D was brave enough to ask the teacher after the class if the audition looks similar but was told that no! Was told that they will do some high jumps and galops and that this will last for about an hour. But that's it. We will audition in Bristol.

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Yes I suppose thinking about it if they did tell people what to expect then it wouldnt be an audition. My dd found the teachers to be very nice and put them at ease so they could focus on their dancing. My dd said they were asked to do various things in lines and as a big group. They did stretches too.

Good luck and let us know how your dd gets on xx

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Maybe you are right Amber21. Maybe the whole point of these auditions is to see what potential is there. They may not want children to lern something and "perform" on the day. But still I just wanted my daughter to know if she will need to dance on her own or in group/lines etc. And how long do we need to wait for result? I read some posts and I feel for all children and mums (and dads I think as well) who are waiting at the moment - it must be really hard! So back to my question - if my dd's audition for JA is on 20th of May when we may expect a letter? And also - are there any other mums of 8 years old auditioning for the first time?

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Hi Happymum

 

You have to wait until the last round of auditions are over before any letters come out - last auditions this year are in London on the 8th June (pity those poor people auditioning in Newcastle right at the start of May!) When my daughter auditioned, we did not hear until the end of June. Your daughter will not be asked to do anything individually - all exercises/stretches done in lines either at the barre, in the centre or from the corner. There is nothing too challenging - they are looking for potential and love of dance. My advice is to keep it low key and treat it as a lovely day out (for my daughter a day off school was always a bonus!!) A cliche I know but all audtion experience is good experience. What year will your daughter be auditioning for?

 

Good luck!

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Thank you Angela, that's very helpful. My DD is only 8 and will be Y4 next school term. I've heard that they are not many places for Y4 but my DD is desperate! We are trying to keep her hopes low but she just loves dancing and planned her future already :-)

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They need that drive and determination Happymom as long as they are not too hard on themselves!! Yes year 4 places are very hard to come by but they are out there and if it's a no (as it was at year 4 for my dd) the audition experience is still very valueable. DD was much more at ease the second time she auditioned having been through it once!

Best wishes to her when she does audition and please let us know how she gets on.

 

Angela xx

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My DD was lucky enough to get a year 4 place and was also 8 at the time of audition, we had to wait until all auditions were finished too think it was about 4-6 weeks. We tended not to dwell on the letter arriving too much, first week after audition DD was on a total high from the whole experience and very excited then tended to calm down and didnt think too much about it after that until the letter came. Good for them to focus on their other dancing and hobbies/friends.

Ax

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hi happymum , my daughter is 8 too and it is her first audition . we will be at birmingham. she desperatley wants to be a JA too as her friend got a place last year and her other 3 friends are at elmhurst, but trying to keep it low key as don't want to get her hopes up just told her to try and treat it like a normal class and enjoy it :) good luck to your dd x

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Hi Grumpybearzuk! My DD did a be a JA for a day in Birmingham. Was you DD there as well? When is Birmingham audition? My DD also has JA friends and some in Elmhurst and it makes it even harder for her to accept that she may not get in. Told my DD to do her best but also just to enjoy it as a normal class. Good luck to your DD

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Hi we went to Birmingham for the JA for a day too but my dd wasn't well so kept coming up to me saying she had tummy ache ..didn't help that she had not eaten anything age says she wasn't nervous but I think she was!! So she didn't enjoy it as much as she should. She is auditioning on the 8th or 9th may and yes it is hard when they know children there as they just seem to expect they will get a place but have tried to explain to her the limited number of places available . Hope it goes well for your daughter and let me know how she goes on

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Hi Happymum

My two daughters (8 and 10) are auditioning for Rbs associates for the first time this year. We went to JA for a day in London and from what we were led to believe the audition would be quite similar to the class they did. My daughters are auditioning in Leeds on 2nd May. My eldest auditioned for Northern Ballet Associates and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was just fun classes really so I hope the RBS ones will be just as enjoyable. Good luck!

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My daughter is 8 and auditioning for elmhurst associates in Sunderland at the end of the month. I'm not too nervous about it as I'm really not expecting her to get in anyway, I just thought it was worth a shot! She's very bendy and strong so that will be a plus for her but I really don't think she's got the technique or dance quality they're after.

 

From what I know it's very simply steps like skips, gallops, jumps as has already been said. They'll be looking for elevation, stretched feet etc. I think they get the child to do a Demi plié and hold it so they can check the depth of it. Plus stretches and I should think they'll have them sit or lie in a frog position to look at turnout. I'm sure they don't do things one at a time, or not much anyway, perhaps a few jumps.

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Good luck to everyone for all the upcoming ja/associate auditions. I think it is important to just encourage all your dd/ds's to simply enjoy the class/experience. At 8 years old I'm sure they're not looking for wonderful technique ... more so an enjoyment of dance and potential. JAs is a good few years ago now for us, but when dd looks back at DVDs from when she was 8 years old, she always says how bad she was and wonders how she ever got in! So if your kids love ballet and to dance, just go for it. I remember dd really enjoyed the audition, which was conducted as a class, was made to feel very relaxed and they weren't asked to do anything technically difficult. I look back now and realize that JAs is only the beginning of a very long journey, and we still have a way to go!

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Moneypenny has summed it all up beautifully :)

 

And as Spanner said - if you don't get in this year, everyone is encouraged to try again (OK, so my sceptical head says they'd like the audition fee ;)) as there are few places available and all children change all the time. My son tried for RBD JAs for year 4 having only just started ballet classes (gosh, over 10 years ago now :blink: ) and received a lovely letter saying to continue with his local teacher and they'd like to see him again next year. (I don't care if it was a standard letter, we liked it at the time!), got on the waiting list list the following year but was offered a place before the summer hols started, and the rest is history, as they say.

 

Enjoy the experience which could turn out to be the start of a very winding, sometimes bumpy journey :)

 

Also - a tip for parents - talk to other parents - some might become life-long friends (but avoid the ones who think their child's the next Darcey Bussell if you can ;) )

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The JA Audition is a very simple class from what i can remember skips streatches and some high jumps it is best to treat the audition as a experience and let the children enjoy it. It takes quiet a while for the letters to arrive so my DD had almost forgot and it was a nice surprise when she got a yes .

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Thank you all for this information. I spoke to children ( and teachers ) who did try last year and they said: few exercises at the barre ( incl plié ) skips, gallops, jumps plus some extra high and slow jumps and stretching exercise - hamstring stretch sitting, frogs (some said on back some said on tummy) back stretch (cobra from yoga ish) and box split. One ballet teacher runs the class, couple of them seat at the table and another one walks around and take notes. Hope that it helps! But I agree that children just should enjoy it. Its good to have an idea what to expect but a lot of it it's just the talent and potential - they can not practise it.

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My dd is applying for the associate programmes with yorkshire ballet scholarship centre in york and slp college in leeds which are both at weekends. I am sending the applications off this week.

 

Unfortunately all the others are too far to tie in with other things- as we live right on the east coast - literally - the seafront for the north sea is 200 yards from our front door. Even northern ballet is too far due to the finish time of school and start time of the class.

 

As grumpybearzuk says - if you don't try you'll never know. It will be nice even for the experience.

 

I noticed somewhere someone talking about audition leotards - anyone buy anything specially for these?

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I don't think it needs to be new, if it is a good fit and hopefully a good colour for your daughter. I think it would be better to wear the old one than buy a new one with a bit of room to grow. I think most children wear dance school uniform. It used to say on the letter that a swimming costume would be ok. Maybe it still does. As long as she is comfortable and feels confident, (less chance of fiddling!)

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Normal dance school/grade leotards are fine and they usually stipulate waist belts and socks not tights. More important to make sure their ballet shoes are comfy and 'broken in' - wouldn't especially recommend going out and buying new ballet shoes for auditions unless you do it a good few weeks beforehand. :)

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Just reading back over this thread and thought I'd post something about the results letters. There are different types of letters that come out. Obviously the ones we all hope for, the straightforward yeses and the waiting list letters (and I do know of children who have got in off the waiting list.) There are 2 types of 'no' letters - the one Julie W mentions in her post - the one that states they would like to see you again the following year and the straightforward no, which says something like they would not discourage you from applying again (but reading between the lines they wouldn't particularly encourage you either!!)

 

We got the straightforward no one when my dd auditioned for year 4 and we found it very discouraging and disheartening. However, when dd auditioned again at year 5 (haivng literally just come out of plaster for a broken arm 2 days before) she got a place. I guess what I'm saying is if you get that discouraging no letter and you hear of people getting the other types don't be put off trying again (we nearly were!)

 

And by the way, the letters are all the same thickness (just a tear off reply strip at the bottom for places and waiting list)

 

Good luck to all dds and dss applying for associate schemes this year - they are fantastic!

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Thank you everyone for your advice and info :) I really haven't got a clue what I'm doing but am trying my best to find out!! Luckily I bought her some new ballet shoes a few months ago so they are fine . I like the colour of my dd schools leotard it's a lovely pink colour so will send her in that then :) thanks again x

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