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YBDY 2014 - Young British Dancer of the Year


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The semi finals took place this afternoon.  Here is the list of those who got through to the final (all RBS):

 

Phoebe Fenwick

Isabella Knights

Ella Vickerman

Connie Vowles

Kiely Groenewegen

Charlotte Tonkinson

Grace Horne

Harris Bell

Nicholas Landon

Jerome Barnes

Harry Wright

Joseph Sissons

Ricardo Castellanos

Joseph Aumeer

Scott McKenzie

Eric Woolhouse

 

Freed encouragement gifts were presented to:

Amelia Palmiero RBS

Lucinda Strachan ENBS

Aiden O'Brien RBS

Hanno Opperman ENBS

 

Class teacher for the preliminary rounds and the semi-finals: Maina Gielgud

Jury for the semi-finals: Deanne Bergsma, Stephen Jefferies, Sarah Wildor 

 

The finalists are to receive coaching from Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares. 

Congratulations and good luck to them all!

 

Edited for accuracy

Edited by Bluebird
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Lucky students to get wonderful coaching for next week :-)

 

And very fortunate students to have had Maina Gielgud working with them in their Class Exercises over the last two days. She appeared to me to have set some sequences which not only challenged them but also had the variety to enable them to demonstrate the range of their abilities.

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Would also like to understand some of the judging decisions. I am told that they take age and experience into account. I hope that's true otherwise it seems inexplicable that an amazing sixth form boy at RBS who has been selected for finals for the last two years, didn't even make it to semis this year and he is on amazing form.

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Sorry to go back to previous question, but is Kiely actually British then? I'm just trying to work out how she qualified (not meaning to single her out, but it's a reasonable question)

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I spoke to her after watching US classes and she said she was from Aus and also a very Aussie accent, plus tutoo2much's link suggests she has been training in Aus until now as she is at US on a Prix scholarship. But as I say maybe she has british parents so managed to enter that way,who knows, they won't have broken rules for her so she must have had some loop hole.

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I read on a RBS student's blog that the competition is open to British dancers and dancers who have been resident in the UK for three years. If that is accurate then a British dancer living and training abroad would qualify. It must be difficult for overseas dancers to qualify as most don't spend more than three years in the UK schools. Can dancers enter even if they are already in companies or is it a competition for students? 

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. Can dancers enter even if they are already in companies or is it a competition for students? 

 

Quote from the ROH website: (The YBDY is) "open to private and vocational students aged 15-17 who are British or have been trained in Britain for the last 3 years"

Edited by Bluebird
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There is normally one ad in the DT mag in Dec. I entered a student this year and have done in previous years. The application form came in January direct from an email from the Royal Ballet School and we had about two weeks to get it in. We do work on various solos throughout the year, though time is limited in a private dance school setting, but until the form arrives we don't know which solos are on the list to choose from, so I do feel the vocational schools have a slightly unfair advantage in this area. I believe the students are expected to have achieved a certain standard to be selected, all students I have entered have been close to taking RAD Adv 2 and have gained Dist. in Adv 1 but I am aware another school entered a girl who has only done Intermediate and she was not selected on this occasion. My student this year did it purely for experience, she has chosen to do her a levels before going to vocational training so is 17 and unfortunately was put in with 17 year olds which was a shame as I hoped she would be in a lower group due to less experience than a second year US student as the form implied. She is very classical and has finals and offers at various places and she loved her class on Saturday but I felt for her that she wasn't put where she belonged and may have done very well. The form said student must be between 15-17 on the competition date ie 1st March, and must have trained in the UK for 3 years, hence my confusion with the Australian entrant. It is for non professionals.

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The Australian student may hold a British passport as well as an Australian one if her parents are/were British and emigrated to Australia; alternatively, she may have been born in Britain and emigrated as a child. I can't see how an overseas student who is studying at an upper school but has not studied at a lower school can be eligible as they will not have completed three years' training in the UK.

Edited by aileen
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Kiely has a British passport. Of more interest was the ex-White Lodge Japanese student who is now at ENBS who has only been training in this country since Sep 2011 so does not meet the 3 year criteria. However she didn't get to semis so it has not become an issue.

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Thank you balletqs that is very informative.  Be good if RBS or ROH or whoever owns the YBDY could set up some web information to dymystify the competition a bit.

 

In fairness,every year to date Gailene Stock has introduced the competition on both the semi-final and the finals day. She has talked a bit about entry criteria and about the factors taken into account by the judges, including the age of the participants.

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In fairness,every year to date Gailene Stock has introduced the competition on both the semi-final and the finals day. She has talked a bit about entry criteria and about the factors taken into account by the judges, including the age of the participants.

I suppose they must take this into account - it's the only explanation for why a year 10 boy can make it to finals over a 6.2 boy (both RBS) - despite all the performance skill in the world, one is 3 years ahead of the other in terms of technical accomplishment.

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Ribbons, please remember that the entrants and/or their parents may be reading this forum. I have no doubt that the all the finalists fully deserve their place, on merit AND because the judges liked what they saw.

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Well I suppose a dancer who is only 10 must be eligible to take part and therefore may reach the finals!!

 

When I was at the YBSS summer school last year I was watching a class and the there was a young lad who can only have been about 11 who it was hard to take your eyes off!! He just had something. I know he was either at White Lodge or Elmhurst but can't remember which.

Now of course there would be some steps he would not be able to do as an 11-12 year old that a 16 year old could do. But for that quality of Dance he definitely had it.

This is aimed at Young dancers so perhaps some years younger ones can win it even if they are not near the end of their training yet as such.

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I don't think I have ever suggested that anyone doesn't deserve their place. Just trying to understand what basis the competition is judged on. Some competitions look for a certain standard irrespective of age and there is a common acceptance that the younger ones are in it for experience and the older ones who are more accomplished technically tend to provide the winner. Either that or there are different prizes for different age groups. Clearly this competition tries to combine both but I am not sure that it is realistic to have one assessment across an age group that is 3 years apart and spans 4 school years.

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it's the only explanation for why a year 10 boy can make it to finals over a 6.2 boy (both RBS) - despite all the performance skill in the world, one is 3 years ahead of the other in terms of technical accomplishment.

 

Oh no it's not!  There is the possibility that the year 10 boy is a better dancer, has a more lyrical quality, has a better stage presence, [ad nauseam] than the older boy.  It has happened before...

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I would hope they are assessed on their capability on the day rather than their age. I think it's a very shortsighted view to believe older is better - perhaps in a lot of cases that's true but it's a competition which takes a dancer outside their comfort zone, they are not in a studio environment - nerves alone could play a huge part.

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