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Performing Arts School post 16


afab
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Hi, I hope someone more knowledgeable than us can help us here.

 

Our DD (14) wants to become a performing artist or more precisely wants to be a musical artist but as she puts it a dancer-singer rather than a singer-actor.

 

She's been offered different places in vocational schools for next year and she has a dilemma because she has limited her choice to 2 very good schools. I should add that she's a very good dancer who can go from one style to the other very easily and that she has a strong vo!ce but has never had a lesson in her life... and she's sure she doesn't want to become a ballet dancer even though she really enjoys ballet classes!

 

One school is ballet orientated and offers around 13 hours of ballet a week, with 1 jazz class. Tap and singing lessons she'd take elsewhere.

 

The other one is offering 5 ballet classes a week plus 2 jazz lessons, 2 contemporary lessons, tap, street jazz, singing, theatre and Musical theatre.

 

Her (ballet) teachers all push her to stay in the ballet route as she's young and tell her she could diverse her style later on... The non ballet-orientated school sounds very good but she's afraid of not developing her ballet enough... and I am at loss to help her!

 

She wants to apply for schools like Laines or Northern Ballet School in Manchester at 16 or 17. Does anybody know which route would be the best for her given what she wants to do and based on your own experience?

 

Any help would be wonderful... Thank you...

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Congratulations to your dd having offers for two schools.I cannot advise on which you should choose, but I understand that Northern Ballet School select entirely on ballet audition, even though many of their students go on to speciailise in jazz and musical theatre. That's not to say that her ballet wouldn't be strong enough if she went to the less ballet focused school. It depends of course on the quality and standard of teaching.

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I also don't feel like I can offer much help but my first impression having read this is that the second school is actually offering quite a lot of ballet - my gut instinct, based solely on the info you've give us, is telling me to go for that one.

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I wouldn't really know which is the best for your DD but I believe ballet in the Laines audition is usually of a high standard and is certainly the longest part of the audition. For Laines you have a ballet class, a shorter jazz class, a solo in modern or jazz, a song and then a drama workshop. I think that it pretty much the format for places like Bird, Performers College etc aswell.

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My advise would be to visit the schools if they do open days, Laines does a taster day which was very useful to my dd. For me I think that the all round dance standard at Laines is outstanding as is the singing. In my opinion no other school was as good as Laines, but that is just my view. Its alwasy useful to find where the graduates go to get emplyment after they leave the school, that will give you an indication on how sucessful the students are.

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How easy would it be for her to take classes elsewhere if she took up the place at the first school, both in logistical terms and would the school be happy?

If she wasnts to be a dancer/singer then I would think some singing lessons are a must, whether she gets them "in house" or not. My daughter also sings and has always had a good voice but since she started taking lessons the change has been significant. As well as improving her singing she's also learning about the "science" of singing, how to look after her voice etc which if your DD is going to sing and dance professionally is just as important as looking after her body.

It strikes me that the singing might be the missing piece of the jigsaw at school 1, but come as part of the package at school 2. If I were you I would want to be very sure that singing lessons can be fitted in somehow if you opt for school 1.

Good luck with the decision.

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As she's more interested in a singing/dancing career than classical ballet, then the second school sounds as if it offers a good package. I agree about attending open days, but also look at the standard and quality of teaching as well as which classes are offered.

 

Singing lessons are a must in my opinion, if she wants to attend somewhere like Laine, as good singing lessons teach proper technique (which may help prevent or at least lessen the chance of throat problems).

 

What are the graduate employment rates and stats on further training like at the two schools?

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Thank you all very much for your answers. They were very helpful! Following your gut feeling stroke a chord... School number 2 seems to be the right choice for her subject to their level of ballet being good enough!

 

Cheers!

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