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Royal Ballet Junior Associate Audition questions


Bou
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Hi, newbiw here (been stalking/reading for a while tho). 

 

DD was given a application form last night by her ballet principle to apply for audition for the RBJAs... :o

Just been trying to find out info about whats involved / how long the process is / how many audition etc etc.  :wacko:

any info greatfully received :)

 

 

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Hello Bou.Welcome to the Forum. All you have to do is type in RBS Junior Associates at the top right of this page where it says Search,and there is a wealth of information from parents who have been there,done that and worn the T-Shirt.!!

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Hello and welcome

It is a lovely programme to be involved with and I'm happy to answer any questions. Can I suggest you do a search using key words as there is already a wealth of information on the forum. The audition is in the form of a class ( about an hour and a half as I recall) and is a fairly simple class with some basic exercises and stretches. It is nothing to be intimidated by, they are lovely and it is a special day out for the children, just try to relax and enjoy! They do audition quite a nber of children for not that many places but it is done sympathetically. Have you checked out the JA tab on the RBS website? Happy to try and answer any specific questions, good luck

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Hi Bou and welcome!  And congratulations on succeeding with the first step of the process (being recommended by your dance teacher).  It's only one audition for JAs - there will be a list of dates on the RBS website.  You can choose the audition centre nearest to where you live.  The classes are generally on a Saturday every week or fortnight.  As I recall we auditioned in March and heard by July.  If accepted, you join in September. 

Auditioning is exciting but there are lots of girls in particular who all want to be a JA.  What you have to remember (as I keep telling MYSELF) is that the Royal Ballet in particular has a very specific body type in mind for what they want.  My son dances at his local school with the most lovely little dancer you can watch - she floats and springs and has true X factor.  However, she is not very tall for her age, and more muscle than slim, and was not picked to be a JA.   It's about what you look like more than how you can dance, in many ways.......

But the audition process is FUN and your daughter may be EXACTLY what they are looking for - so go for it!

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thanks for the replies - it seems very daunting.  i would like to just let her enjoy the class and not mention 'results' in any way... if thats possible ;)

 

*goes off to keyword search as suggested now i know what to type in :D *

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Welcome to the forum Bou. I'm sure you'll find lots of helpful advice here. For what it's worth, my top tip is to try not to overthink things and to treat the audition as a fun experience in its own right. I think that for girls, there are something like 10 applicants for every one JA place, and of course they are all children whose own teachers have identified them as having potential. That means that sadly the large majority of applicants will be disappointed, even though their dance "careers" may have been very successful so far. I would advise some gentle expectation management beforehand, and try not to let it become too much of a "big thing", if you know what I mean.

You will get simple, clear instructions on what to do on the day, and if our experiences are anything to go by, its all very well organised. The staff are friendly, and every child I know who has auditioned has enjoyed the experience, so its something to look forward to, not to worry about. There is nothing you need to do to prepare as such, and I think it helps to understand that pretty much everything they are looking for is outside of your control. They are looking for potential, and a fair bit of that (though obviously not all) is related to physique. There is much debate about precisely what they are looking for, and I don't think anyone can define it exactly, though I am sure they know it when they see it! Either way, its probably not worth stressing over too much as its something we cannot change.

It's a tricky issue in a way, and when we received the "no" letters I did worry about how to explain things to my DD. I didn't want to focus too much on physique issues as I was worried about her interpreting that as meaning "you aren't thin enough" but equally I wanted to her to understand that not getting chosen didn't mean that she was a bad dancer, or that it was as a result of her not trying hard enough or something. I also think its really important to explain that not being selected for JAs doesn't rule out many other things. I know many lovely dancers who have not been JAs but have been selected for other schemes, done well in exams and so on, and, most important of all, continued to enjoy their dancing.

Sorry if that all sounds a bit negative, and of course I'm not suggesting that your DD definitely isn't going to get a place, but for many enthusiastic children the JA "no" letter is their first big disappointment and I think its worth giving some thought to how you might manage that.

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Thanks for your reply Pups_mum... i've been thinking a lot about the way to deal with the 'no' letter... tbh, thats what i'm expecting her to get but i guess her teacher must see something in her to bother putting her in, in the first place...

i'm hoping to be able to make out its just a class a bit like a competition (which she does quite a few of) and that there is no real outcome from going.  that way if she gets a no, then she doesnt even need to know :huh: not sure if we'll get away with doing that... guess lots of people talk about the outcome when there?

 

 

saw one of the other girls getting the same looking envelope at class last night and she wins EVERYTHING so if anyone is likely to get placed, it will be her :D

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I'm not sure you are going the best way about it if you allow me Bou... Let me explain. On the day of the audition definitely, but even before simply by talking with the other girl who got the enveloppe, you daughter will understand that there are chosen and non chosen ones... There is a little speech given to them before they audition in which they are told not to worry, that not everyone can be picked but it doesn't mean they won't be picked later on, etc... My memory is a bit fuzzy but others will know better what they are told I'm sure... All that to say that kids know it is a competition of sorts.  No point in hiding it from her. You can downplay the outcome if you prefer but she will know there is one.

 

Good luck to her!

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Your DD's classmate may win everything but as Suzyszoo said, the RBS (and I'm sure other vocational schools and their associate programmes) do look for a particular body type as well as musicality and potential, so she may not be successful at JA auditions. Sometimes children who have done very little dancing are successful rather than those who 'win everything' or get very high exam marks. The RBS know what they are looking for and your DD has just as much of a chance of being what they are looking for as any other child - just treat the audition as a lovely day out when she can show the panel that she loves to dance and if she's successful that will be a bonus.

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Maybe I'm being picky but I really think that they should have spoken to you (alone!) rather than handed an envelope over. What about if you didn't have enough money, or time to attend lessons or just didn't think it was right for your daughter? There would be no getting an envelope past my daughter without her knowing the contents! My daughter says she wants to audition but it's such a big commitment in terms of time, money etc, I wonder if it is worth it? Of course it is unlikely that she would get in but there's no way you could say no if they were succesful is there?

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thank you both, thats made me feel MUCH better... i admit to feeling there wasnt much point even trying when i saw the other girl get the envelope (they all call her Princess for a reason - dont get me wrong, she is an amazing dancer but she knows it too if you know what i mean)

Even if we were 'allowed to talk about it' there is no way we would talk with her as she will already have decided she will get in...  thats why i came on here as there's no one i can talk to about whats involved and what to expect so REALLY appreciate you all taking the time out to answer my questions and ease my concerns ^_^

 

so plan then - forget all about it til the week before (fat chance LOL) then go for day out where she has a competition but the outcome doesnt matter, and a lovely lunch somewhere :)

 

btw, i assume they go in alone? ie we cant watch?

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Maybe I'm being picky but I really think that they should have spoken to you (alone!) rather than handed an envelope over. What about if you didn't have enough money, or time to attend lessons or just didn't think it was right for your daughter? There would be no getting an envelope past my daughter without her knowing the contents! My daughter says she wants to audition but it's such a big commitment in terms of time, money etc, I wonder if it is worth it? Of course it is unlikely that she would get in but there's no way you could say no if they were succesful is there?

her teacher had mentioned she would like to consider her when she was old enuf (she's not 8 til august) but that was the begining of last year and i hadnt heard a peep since so assumed either she has decided against it or she still wasnt old enough...

the crazy thing was, she came out walking with one of the other mums clasping the envelope... but she'd been good enough to look inside.  guess she assumed it was just a letter from the teacher to me.

 

I'm more than happy to support her thru it IF she was to get a place, and i guess her teacher knows this as she puts her in for a few competitions and i've always gone along with it, but i think we will really TRY to look at it as an 'experience' and nothing more

 

which area are you looking at?

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Just be aware that I have read that it is the more mature 8 year olds, who are thought to be capable of coping with intensive classes, who will be accepted. That's not to say that there is no chance for your DD and I understand that quite often children who get a 'no' at their first RBS JA audition are successful the following year.

 

By the way, we also have a 'princess' at DD's dance school, there are a few of them about... ;-) Losing to a younger fellow dance school student in a festival led to her bursting into tears on the stage. Not an edifying sight in a 13 year old but perhaps an understandable reaction (although I would have been horrified if DD had done it) as she was so accustomed to winning. At some point we all have to lose and I suspect it's better to know that from an early age. (Her parents are both caricature ballet mothers who fail to see that she can ever be anything other than the big star so it was no surprise that her reaction to losing - and to a younger student at that - was so OTT and inappropriate.)

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Legseleven - your post made me laugh out loud :D - this totally describes Princess btw, even her mum calls her this so i'm not being derogatory, i just have a different interpretation of the meaning :rolleyes:

I've never seen her lose anything yet but imagine it would be the same reaction

 

DD currently does 2hr classes twice a week after school and has always been very old for her age - doent mix very well with her age group as she 'just doesnt get them and why they have to be so silly' (her words not mine - i've never grown up ;)

but i dont think the stamina would be an issue for her.  i just get stunned everytime she acheives anything, certainly have no expectations of her, so long as she's happy and having fun i'm happy :)

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You see, there's a lot of princesses about...;-) Your DD sounds like mine in terms of gravitating towards older children and maturity. It certainly sounds as though she would be more than ready to do JA classes anyway! I just thought it was better to mention it as it has previously been a factor in terms of 8 year olds perhaps not getting a place - to add to all of the other factors, most of which are unknown - but if your DD doesn't try, she will never know. And she may well be exactly what the RBS are looking for!

 

By the way, have you considered other associate schemes eg Elmhurst or Tring? Hammond may be too far for you to travel - although I think their classes are ?monthly, so may be possible?

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dont know about any other classes - this is all new to me - up til the envelope arrived with DD at the end of class, we've been happily trundling along to weekly normal ballet / modern classes with the occasional comp to attend with a ballet solo...

 

any info on anything greatly recieved ;)

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Bou, I would just be honest with her. It sounds like she is a smart little girl who will understand the situation. What I basically told my DD is that it's a lovely opportunity for those who get selected, but that it is very, very popular and that a lot more girls want to do it than there are places available, therefore to be realistic about the chances of getting in. I also said that it is not a test of how good a dancer you are, but they are looking for the children that they believe are the most likely to benefit from this particular type of training and that that does include looking for particular things in how your body is built. I do think that its helpful for them to understand the sheer scale of the numbers applying and that it's not the end of the world if they don't get selected.

Certainly don't make any assumptions though - your DDs teacher wouldn't have suggested it if she didn't think that she had potential, and previous success at festivals etc is definitely no predictor of who is selected for JAs, so don't let the other girl put her off.

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There are lots of Princesses at many different schools. I can think of two at my dd's main school. They were in every competition and a lot of mothers and DDS were jealous. However I also saw the pressure on the mothers of the Princesses. Every weekend was given up to competitions and dance auditions. If their dd did not win - I was told by one Princess that anything less was not acceptable to the school, with a hint of tears and exhaustion in her voice - they were made to feel worthless. The other Princess's mother became seriously ill and her father refused to continue the grind of late evenings and weekend competitions as he was both tired out and worried about his wife. The girl could not get herself to lessons by herself as public transport was poor and eventually she vanished from the school. The very last show she was in took place without the normal half a dozen routines from this child and I was told by a teacher that she was no loss and the family deserved no further consideration! :o

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Just a word of caution about referring to the girl known as "Princess" - this is an open forum and her mother or anyone else from your dance school might be reading.

 

Good luck with the audition. You'll find lots of advice here and you'll learn as you go along. :-)

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Just a word of caution about referring to the girl known as "Princess" - this is an open forum and her mother or anyone else from your dance school might be reading.

 

Good luck with the audition. You'll find lots of advice here and you'll learn as you go along. :-)

yeah thanks - it did cross my mind but i'm not too worried as like was mentioned before there are a lot about and a lot of dance schools in the area and nothing has been said that i wouldnt say in the open if needed :)

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Hi, newbiw here (been stalking/reading for a while tho). 

 

DD was given a application form last night by her ballet principle to apply for audition for the RBJAs... :o

Just been trying to find out info about whats involved / how long the process is / how many audition etc etc.  :wacko:

any info greatfully received :)

Hi Bou, I to am new to the forum.  My DD has been a JA and is in her 3rd year.  I would thoroughly recommend your dd auditions.  They do a short class audition, which you cant watch but the children seem to enjoy.  She was luckily placed on  the waiting list and within a month offered another centre (which we accepted)

Her ballet has come on in leaps and bounds, they do an awful lot of body conditioning and are expected to do exercises at home each eve also.  They are invited each year to the Royal Opera House to watch a pre general rehearsal.  They usually get  a workshop once a year too. Class vary in size, one is for Y4/5 and then a class for Y6.  The experiences my DD have been thoroughly outstanding.  You can also apply for funding if needed too and isn't frowned upon. 

I know of 'princesses' who also auditioned and got no's year after year, it is based on potential, body proportions, not exam results and other succesess.  Good Luck x

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