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hellogoodbye

Nowhere Good :(

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Hello all,

 

I'm tearing my hair out trying to find the right dancing school for DD. She's a really keen dancer (age 8) and pretty good I think (I know I would say that!!) but we've tried several dance schools in the area and they all seem a bit... amateur. 

 

Does anybody else have this problem? I would like to take her to one in London where I assume there's more choice, but we already go to London for her musical theatre once a week and DH stands firm that one trip in is enough. 

 

The latest dance school we tried I got to sit in and watch the modern and tap class. It seemed just... fine. But the kids were quite chatty and ultimately I felt DD wouldn't get much done there. She's eager to dance and even on the first day she looked bored as we waited for the kids to stop talking every 10 minutes. Pretty much the same situation as the other dance schools we've tried. 

 

Am I being too picky/hopeful? I just want to find somewhere that take the kids a bit more seriously but there seems to be nowhere like that in town. Could anybody recommend anywhere in London that provides good training... maybe I can tempt DH if I show him something! 

Edited by hellogoodbye

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Morning hellogoodbye

 

May I stress that it is not the norm for children to chat during a lesson when a teacher is teaching. I am sure that you will find a good school. Word of mouth is usually the best advice. Find out where your daughters other friends are going. Audition for an associate class in addition as well as attending a local dance school, It is important for the local school to be a friendly place as well as a good disciplined school. Good luck.

 

 

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Which part of London are you thinking of / can you realistically get to? Are you looking for weekday or weekend classes?

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Morning, Hellogoodbye,

 

At 8 I think that one journey into London is probably enough - depending of course on where you live. If driving to a decent school takes no longer than hopping on a tube for a few stops, then that obviously opens up your choices.

 

If travelling into London takes a fair amount of time though, I think your DH is probably right. At age 8, I think it's important for children to have a wide range of interests, so local may be better in terms of having a balance between school, rest, social life and dance. If I remember rightly, at 8 my dd was dancing twice a week but also swimming and going to Brownies.

 

I agree that children chatting excessively between exercises is not desirable; even at 8 there should be discipline and focus on the teacher. You say that was the latest school you looked at; what happened at the previous schools? How many others have you looked at?

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Thanks for your responses.

 

Word of mouth would be great, but none of her local friends are interested in that sort of thing. The kids at her musical theatre school come from all over the country, so we can't go to their dance schools either. 

 

Her musical theatre school is great - they train them hard and all the kids are so focussed and hard-working. So it's hard to go from that to the dance schools in the area where none of the kids seem to be as interested as DD is. 

 

We've seen about 4 dance schools in the area. We'd be looking for Saturday or one/two weekday evenings. If it were London it would have to be West London and would have to be a Saturday for me to even stand a chance of persuading DH. DD could do dance with her musical theatre school on Saturday and desperately wants to, but it's Camden area and would monopolise our entire weekend for her to go there both days. It's a similar situation with the associate classes I've looked at.

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  • Anna Du Boisson has an Associate programme on Saturday mornings. West London School of Dance in Shepherds Bush, which would be worthwhile looking into.

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Thank you Frogsmum, I'll check it out.

 

We're Berkshire way - could possibly go to Bucks/Surrey area. We're looking for ballet, tap, modern, maybe street dance - she loves lyrical the most and does it all the time at home, though I don't know if there are classes for this at her age? She loves all the streghtening work they do at MT school as well, so maybe these kind of sessions.

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Sometimes you will find that one school will be the best choice for ballet, but they might not offer everything else you want,so you then have to go to another school for those classes. 

 

Your dd is really keen by the sound of it, but she is still only 8, and too many classes each week might tire her out too much. There's been lots of threads on the forum about training and one thing that is often mentioned is that the quality of the teaching is more important than the number of classes. :)

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How about JSTA? They're in Surrey... Julie Sianne Theatre Arts. I think Jane Coleman (?) is also Berkshire. Both excellent I understand.

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what about Heidi Rhodes School of dancing in Windsor.  Amazing place and there is no chatting in class!

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If Surrey is an option, Julie Sianne does give a very good all round training plus the students are v well cared for as young people. Excellent guest teachers as well.

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Sorry to post on your topic hellogoodbye, but I have the same question only ideally for North London (King's Cross is easy and surrounding) or Herts area. We've been having a similar issue with the dance classes in our area (cambs) they all seem so boring and amateur standard that it's literally not worth paying and it's a waste of time going :( so I personally don't think you are being too picky... Hope you find something suitable soon.

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Any recommendations for Gloucestershire/herefordshire region?

 

This is very much second-hand, but I'm told the Janet Marshall school in Cheltenham is good.

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This is very much second-hand, but I'm told the Janet Marshall school in Cheltenham is good.

Yes, Janet Marshall or Corainne Collins are the best in the Gloucestr / Cheltenham areas of Harlequin if you can get to Worcester

 

Heather

Aka Taximom

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Natalia Kremen Ballet School provides excellent training and the students are very well disciplined. A lot can be learnt in just one class and there are different classes throughout the week including ballet, character, stretching, plates. Hope this helps :)

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Sorry to drag this old thread up again but I have been looking more seriously into the Ballet Associate programmes you kindly recommended to me back when this thread was active.

 

Forgive me for my ignorance, but what is it about the associate schemes that justifies taking these on top of regular ballet classes, and the extra cost that comes with it? What is it that they do on these associate schemes that is so different? DD is 9 so I'm just wondering whether it's worth it for her now or whether it's something that has more value when she's a little older. 

 

ETA: May as well update on my original post... we are now pretty happy with the school we have found for DD (the modern/tap teacher of the chatty children was a cover teacher while the other was on maternity. The 'real' teacher is much better). DD is now moving onto Grade 3 so she's very pleased with that. Think we're finally happy to stay put! 

Edited by hellogoodbye
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Two of my children were RBS JAs. They had good local teachers but think the main difference was that they were in a class with other children of a similar standard and attitude to the classes. Also excellent teaching with an attention to detail (perfecting the basics) which just didn't happen locally.

 

And finally, they had fantastic opportunities to dance at the Royal Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, go to other special dance days and dance at the WL summer fair.

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I agree with Julie. ( nothing new there.)

 

As I teacher I am very happy to endorse these schemes.

 

They are particularly good for pupils taking their ballet seriously as they get to train with students of like mindedness and ability. And there is the scope and time on these schemes to focus on perfecting the basics.

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Yes I agree. Especially as she gets older my dd finds most of the kids at her local school are much more interested in styles of dance other than ballet. She finds at Associates there are more who share the ballet obsession.

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My DD is an all rounder but loved being a RBS JA and having one class that just focused on Ballet technique with a teacher who had been a professional ballet dancer, and through the JA scheme, we were exposed to all the opportunities for vocational training and she is now happily at a vocational dance school following her dance dreams!

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