Jump to content

Prague Masterclass and the value of networking


CeliB
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I know some people have given very positive feedback about Prague but we have a bit of a dilemma.

 

DS has been accepted to the 2 SIs in America he auditioned for (Ellison which is very vaganova and also has quite a boy focus, and also San Fransisco) both with 100% scholarship offers, so all we have to pay is his flights. Ellison was highly recommended by his school AD and has a 4 week course and a 2 week PDD intensive. Mr Ellison has said DS can have full scholarship to both parts.

 

DS really wanted to go to the Dutch National (this is photos application only, like RBS, and no scholarships as far as I can see) followed by Prague. This is in part because he wants to work in Europe not USA and feels that at 16 he needs to start getting to know (and getting known by) the European crowd..... The cost of doing both is eye watering....

 

He will probably consider doing a 3rd '6th form' year as he will graduate from vocational school 2 weeks after his 17th birthday and is thinking of applying to the Vaganov Inst and others for a final year, so if this is the case he could do Prague next year as he won't yet have started looking for a contract. But we can't be totally sure about this- it depends on his readiness/finances and so on...

 

 

So our question is: do those who have done the Prague Masterclass feel it has given them any insight and connection with the European ballet companies due to being taught by and amongst the dancers from Europe, or is it all quite formal and probably makes no difference when auditioning to companies whether the odd dancer has met you at Prague? I am inclined to feel the latter (after all its not the company directors who come there) but DH feels perhaps it is worth it for the networking. 

 

I feel that Prague is a big additional expense and if he's only going to network that can wait a year-he is better off with 6 weeks intensive training and Mr Ellison comes highly recommended.

 

Any insight into Prague would be helpful- and maybe also any insight into the value of networking and being seen as you approach the end of training....

 

Many thanks all

:)

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have to ask my daughter more. Last year the director of Scottish ballet took master classes and was fantastic. There is a question and answer with each of the teacher in the evenings. My daughter found this very informative. She also commented that each teacher was humble and so normal, she thought Vadim was really lovely. She is going again this year as she loved last year so much. She is also applying for royal summer school as both school dates don't clash this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CeliB am not really that qualified to answer your question from the inside so to speak as I suppose you would need to find out if any dancers from Summer schools think they have had an advantage later down the line when going for an audition to get into a company.

 

However looking from a very purely practical sort of point of view if he has been offered scholarships to these two American schools then maybe a good idea to take advantage of this for this year......who knows when will be offered again!

 

I think you said he is just 15? Maybe on another thread? So still youngish and even if next year he were to do Prague and other European summer schools say at 16 there is still time to get noticed and do networking etc.

I know young people can often be very impatient but I can see why a bit in your sons case as if he wants to join the Netherlands Company I believe they do have a Youth Company but am not sure at what age you can audition for this.....it could be as young as 15 but then he has another year to do anyway at his vocational school I think so I don't think he'll gain that much advantage from going to Prague this year necessarily.......especially if its all going tobe very expensive!! Unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees though!!

 

He is doing exceptionally well to be earning all these scholarships......and I know of course he is extremely talented.....all things being equal I wouldn't envisage him having a problem getting noticed if he were to delay the Europe thing for another year.

 

Teenagers do suddenly get bees in their bonnets though and it's a major job persuading them sometimes once they're set on a course of action which we may think is not in their interests!! A friend of mine is having to use all her resources to persuade her son also 15 not to leave school and give up all his GCSE 's when he reaches 16!! He's very bright and is predicted to do well and already has his Maths etc so she is just hoping its last minute nerves before exams and he doesn't carry out his threat!! :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, not qualified from the point of view of having been there, done that etc but in your position I think we would be doing the SIs as recommended by his school and taking advantage of the training on offer with the scholarship. I cannot imagine delaying by a year for Prague or Dutch National will make much difference, especially given both his age and the fact that you say he wants to do a final year's training in Europe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no experience or knowledge at all here...but from an outsiders point of view being able to add the 2 S.I.'s to his CV would look great for the future - but if he forgoes them this year he might not get offered again whereas he could get those under his belt this year and Praque next year?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd attended Prague last year. She found it an amazing experience. The teachers were excellent and yes, from Europe. I wouldn't say there were real networking opportunities if you mean the chance of being offered jobs etc. I think a lot of the teachers were in companies rather than from schools. 

 

They each gave a talk in the evening, but it was more of a lecture, then Q&A than meet and greet affair.

 

Also, if he is going alone, be aware, there wasn't any formal supervision. There was a delightful young girl from Japan there, who was terribly vulnerable. We took her to a few places and tried to look after her, but we were very concerned that her parents didn't realise she would be on her own. My dh made sure she got back to the hostel safely, but she really could have been in some danger because she was so naive. The Czech language is really hard to speak and understand!

 

So - definitely a great experience, but your ds could certainly wait a year or more. There were many older students and 1st year company dancers there.

 

Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me if you would like any further info.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Pastel, that's really helpful. I think we are leaning towards 6 weeks at ellison and leaving Prague til he's a bit older. I suspect DS has got a bit more Europe focussed as his girlfriend has just been offered a contract with Dutch National (she's only 16 but has graduated early as it's always been clear she's exceptional) so we have to balance his sudden desire to rush to europe with whats best for his training right now! always a bit of a juggling act...

Thanks everyone for the advice.

:)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The requirements for entry to Prague are age 16 and working on or above Advanced 2 level or first year professional.  I am sure they would waive the age for someone exceptional, but it really is geared towards the older dancer. It's a fantastic course and well worth doing, but I too would recommend waiting a year before doing it.  Congratulations on his getting all these scholarships!   Amazing!

  • 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...