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JA Experience Day and general queries


balletmummy
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Hi all

 

I'd be really grateful if anyone has any answers/advice on the following-

 

My dd who is a young 8, will shortly be doing one of the JA taster experience days. How have others found it? She is really looking forward to it and it sounds a great idea.

 

With it being a 2 hour session, I am presuming they will have a couple of short breaks as it is quite a long session for the younger ones...

 

Do parents tend to take the photos for the JA application form, or do the teachers do it in order to get the correct positions?

 

With London and Birmingham offering both weekly JA classes as well as monthly, does a sort of hierachy develop within the Associates, where the weekly children are ultimately more successful in securing vocational school places, dancing with the companies etc,  as they will have had much more RBS style training? Are the weekly classes much more oversubscribed than the monthly ones?

 

Do the 8 year olds find the classes more of a struggle and are there fewer of them than, say, the 9 year olds who are stronger physically and more able to cope with the demands of the class?

 

How have other balletforum dc's found the style of teaching in terms of rigour? My dd is very quiet and sensitive and would not respond well to the "shouty" type of teacher, if you know what I mean.

 

How many children apply for JAs and how many are accepted?

 

Any advice or answers gratefully received before we possibly embark on this rollercoaster of a journey!

 

Many thanks in advance

Balletmummy

 

 

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Hi Balletmummy, when my dd auditioned there were 22 year 5 girls auditioning for year 6 intake and they took 2 !! Dd loved the audition and the classes !! To my knowledge there are no shouty teachers !! Dd's was firm yet patient ! I don't believe that one centre is any better or successful than another ! The associate classes are weekly ! Some centres offer slightly more over the year than others !! IMO it is worth having a go !! My dd loved it and made some lovely friends ! Have you considered, depending on where you are in the country, the Elmhurst associate program ? Dd did both Elmhurst and RBS associates ! Leads you onto the roller coaster gently !! Hope your dd enjoys her taster day and good luck xx

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We went to fortnightly classes at first ( not heard of monthly ones )

Then increased to weekly as DS got older ie age 9 1/2 -10

He loved all of it and the teachers are kind , but go over basic skills very slowly and thoroughly . However the classes are quite varied and interesting . Plenty of body conditioning .

If you go to the London center you may find more opportunity to be part of the RB productions in Covent garden , but other than that there is not much difference between centers , unless you are a boy !- there are boys only classes in year 6

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My DS went to JA experience day couple of weeks ago. He also just turned 8 ( and he has an older sister who is a JA). There was no break in his 2 hours class but children could have a sip of water if they needed it.

The teachers I know are very kind and polite towards children, no "shouting".

I'm not sure if the amount of JA classes per year

is very important. There was a year when a lot of Bristol girls were accepted to WL even though there are only 20 sessions a year.

I think that they accept up to 16 children in every centre ( anyway it's 16 in Bath). About 2/3 girls and 1/3 boys ish. If I remember well it was about 12 girls for one place when my DD auditioned. She was accepted at 8 and she didn't struggle, she loves it. But every child is different so after the JA experience day you'll be able to see how will your child coup with a 2 hour lesson.

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I have had pupils as JAs and accompanied them and others to JA experience days.  The teachers are always kind and encouraging.  The lessons are taken at a very slow pace, with lots of exercises sitting or lying on the floor to show the children which muscles they should be using.  The children are not learning lots of new complicated steps!

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I am pretty sure that I have seen posts on here previously where people have been pointed in the direction of the RBS annual report which gives details of numbers auditioned vs numbers offered places for all their courses. I assume it can be accessed via their website.

If I recall correctly, the ballpark figure for JAs is somewhere in the region of 10 auditionees per place, but if you get the report it breaks it down, both by gender and venue. Obviously there will be slight variation from year to year, but it will give a good idea of numbers.

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Hello balletmummy. Good advice from everyone. I just want to add (not in a negative way but a realistic way) that my 8 year old DD did struggle with the two hour classes and the travel involved. She found the classes too "serious" to begin with and was not very confident. We considered stopping. However my DD decided herself to continue and now really enjoys the classes. It is quite "serious" for 8 year olds (lots of exercises, no chatting, quick toilet breaks, missing out on social events at home at the weekends etc) and they need to really want to train. My DD would have been better starting in year 5 but that's hindsight for you. It's wonderful to be part of the Royal Ballet School but it is a huge commitment. Just thought I would share our experience. I will add that my little DD has improved immensely with the training :) Good luck.

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