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DancingKelpie

Rambert School audition...should I or shouldn't I?

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Hi there! I'm new here and joined with the purpose of asking this question :)

 

I'm a male dancer, just turned 18 and am on a dance course with my local college where I study contemporary and ballet with a mixture of Jazz and more commercial dance styles, and the odd urban/street things (an all rounded course really).

 

I was late getting into dance, at about 15 I joined my first Ballet class and that's where my passion lies...I can get into urban and street style dance if needed for college but I much rather doing contemporary or ballet specifically. I wanted to dance all my life, but financial issues and the fact that whilst growing up the closest dance school was a 45 minute drive away held me back (that plus my father being dead set against me being 'girly' and doing *shock!* ballet!) I kept my passion by watching dance movies, and dance tutorials on Youtube and such and joining in with performing arts workshops in school.

 

Now my lack of training having only been dancing for about 3 years or so now leads to the fact that I'm not exactly a perfect dancer and I have a lot of flaws in my technique that I try hard to batter out of me everyday. I do work hard in comparison to my the other students in college, as I put in extra time in the studio during lunch and break hours, as well as staying behind after hours. 

 

I've been auditioning for contemporary courses, and have successfully been accepted into a few now...however I wanted to keep my Ballet passion alive, and so took a chance and applied to Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary dance. I never thought I'd even get an audition...but I did and it's on January 27th which isn't too far off now...

 

It would be my absolute dream to get in, it's the type of school I've wished to be a part of since being a young kid and since finally taking control of my own life and joining dance classes, it's all I've hoped for. 

 

But I'm starting to have doubts...for a number of reasons. 

 

I'm not a Ballet body type, far from it. I'm short, I'm fat. Luckily I have long-ish legs which are strong, but the rest of my body is just...urgh. 

I just feel like it might be a waste of the school's time, my time, my money and my self confidence, to audition for somewhere that I may not even stand a chance in. I feel like I have nothing going for me, I don't have the 'look' of a dancer and my technique is in serious need of hard training to get to the level of some of these individuals that have danced all their life. 

 

At the same time though, would I regret not going? And dwell on it all my life?

 

So I come here with these questions off the top of my head:

 

- Do Rambert expect a certain higher level of ballet training in their boys and if so, how much?

- Do they look at body types and judge who they want according to that?

 

I just feel like there's no use in me auditioning somewhere where I may be laughed out the room...but perhaps it's just me overthinking and letting nerves get to me.

 

Thanks for reading! 

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Hello DancingKelpie and welcome to the forum. My advice would be to try and take the opportunity to audition for as many places as you are able to. Have you thought of auditioning for Urdang? I know that they take dancers who maybe haven`t had as many years of training as at other places. There are lots of Musical Theatre schools who may have the same policy. I understand what you mean about specialist ballet schools,and by all means,go for it. But don`t restrict your future opportunities of maybe becoming a professional dancer by simply auditioning for the specialist ballet schools.. As for your physique. I don`t think the requirements are as rigid as they are for females. Although your lack of height might be a problem for ALL forms of dance.But after all, if you don`t try you will never know. Good luck and keep posting. You are very welcome.

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DancingKelpie, I'm sorry that I don't have enough time right now to reply properly (I will try later) but I would say go for it. Rambert encourages different types of artists. Don't forget Laban on your audition search. Matthew Bourne was accepted having never done a dance class previously :) Good luck. 

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You should at least have a go and let them make their decision, don't anticipate it!! Rambert have a new ( and brilliant) principal and artistic director in Amanda Britton, think she starts in Seotember, however she certainly used to b involved in the auditions. Have you considered Northern School of Contemporary Dance? The ballet at contemporary dance schools is ballet for contemporary dance and of a very high standard, however is accessible for those with less experience. Contemporary dance schools also give more consideration to those with less experience but with potential. Give it a go, you have nothing to loose!!

 

GeTher

Aka Taximom

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Welcome to the forum and another voice saying go for it. If you have an audition you have a chance - if you don't then no chance. In their Q&A pages it advises that male dancers should have at least 1 year ballet or contemporary experience and preferably be familiar with intermediate level ballet vocabulary. Only you can judge if that is where you are at. I second the advice for Trinity Laban as also ballet & contemporary. You mention having offers for contemporary courses and I am curious as to where from - for if they are for similar level courses as that could also suggest that it is just you overthinking and your nerves getting the better of you. Depending on your finances you could also perhaps look at a school like The Hammond in Chester for their dance course. Ballet serves as the backbone to the course with contemporary, jazz, tap and street classes aswell. Although some of the boys have a strong ballet background and years of training, others - especially those starting at 18 have come from level 3 btec courses at further education colleges and have less dance experience. Hammond have a free taster day coming up in February, details on their website.

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Hello DancingKelpie and welcome to the Forum.

 

I'm only a dance watcher so can't offer any practical advice but as others have said - go for it!!

 

Please let us know how you get on!

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Definitely audition! Show them how you love to dance. Boys have a greater chance of being picked than girls, if they started dancing late. The advice to try northern school of contemporary dance is a good one as they often look for the non conventional. Laban also would be good to add to your list. Good luck.

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What's the worst thing that can happen DancingKelpie? If they say "no thank you" you are no worse off than you are now,(apart from the audition costs) and at least you will know you tried. As I understand it, Rambert don't offer auditions to everyone that applies, so if they thought you were totally unsuitable you wouldn't be going. I would say go, give it your best shot and see what happens. Rambert is difficult to get into it's true, but if you don't turn up you have a 0% chance of success. You say yourself that this is your absolute dream, so don't talk yourself out of trying! Go, enjoy the experience and I am sure you will get something out of it whatever the outcome. And you never know, you might be posting back here in a few weeks to say that your dream is coming true. Good luck!

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You should definitely go for the audition, if you don't try, you'll never know.

 

You won't be wasting anyone's time, it will be a great experience for you whatever the outcome, and the school will certainly not laugh you out of the room even if you're terrible, which I'm sure you're not as clearly you have passion and you also have some training so you've obviously got some technique too. It's easy to think that an audition panel is waiting for you to make a mistake and pick faults but in reality they WANT to like you!

 

I echo the suggestion to look into Laban and Northern School of Contemporary Dance too.

 

How much ballet are you doing currently? Maybe you could take some classes outside of college too, either syllabus or non-syllabus, that will increase your rate of progress.

 

What kind of courses have you been accepted for already? University courses?

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Thanks everyone, and to those who sent me PM's instead :)

 

Yes it's true, I'd really lose nothing in trying!

 

I'm not too sure if the courses I've been accepted into are to the level of Rambert, it's mostly BA hons in dance and contemporary dance courses affiliated with companies delivered through universities. I applied for five through UCAS and have so far auditioned and been accepted into all five.

 

Rambert seems to be of a much higher level. Thanks all for the suggestions of other places to try for! I shall certainly have a look into all of them :) the only thing really restricting me is finances...I come from a working class home and have a now single mum paying for everything. I also live on Anglesey in Wales, in an extremely isolated village...so getting a job to help my mum out is a daunting task for me, I've been trying since I was 14 to get one but transport, my schedule and such just doesn't agree with me getting one at the moment.

 

The Ballet class in college is a mixture of grades suited to help us within auditions be at adequate level as the majority on my course will move on into musical theatre or commercial dance. So Ballet is a foundation for the dancing, but not exactly seen as the most important which can be annoying, but as we range within levels of dancing it can be helpful at times! So I value those classes as much as they annoy me.

I get private classes in Grade 6 at a local school from a teacher who trained in London as well (though where I just can't remember right now...I have an odd feeling it was Central) we do Grade 6 as she believes it pushes her students a bit more than intermediate does most of the time (especially with barre work)

On top of this I take two adult ballet classes a week and a senior ballet class. Unfortunately college is the only place locally that does Contemporary classes and only as part of the course, not as extra classes.

 

I'm a bit worn out, and REALLY enjoyed my christmas break, but I still don't feel like it's enough sometimes and just want to dance everyday!! haha.

 

One thing I'm confident I have, regardless of whether I'm technically good or lacking in training from my youth...is passion for it. I have the drive and passion that just keeps me going constantly, and I know that's got to be worth something!

 

So yeah I think I'll go for it :) Thanks to you all for reassuring me that I should! 

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Go for it and I wish you lots of luck - you are clearly very passionate. Let us know how you get on.

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No need for me to post anything else because all the advice you've been given is spot on (of course :) ) Rambert and Laban are both supported by student finance as far as I know, which if you were to be accepted is a start. Once again, go for it, enjoy it and just do your best. If you don't try, you'll never know. Merde.

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Just go for it! Your biggest regret would always be not trying.

I went to Rambert and there was such a mixture in physiques and technique, especially in the boys. Some had done barely any dancing before but it was amazing the improvement in such a short space of time.

Rambert love individuals and I am sure you will be fine.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on x

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In terms of finances, Northern School of contemporary dance, rambert, Trinity Laben and London Contemporary Dance School are all financed through student finance just like Uni degree courses if you are accepted into their degree courses so you should be re-assured. Well done with your existing offers just potentially widen your choices further!

 

Heather

Aka Taximom

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oooh looks like I have plenty of places to look into then! :D I've heard of some of these places, but others I've heard nothing about till now! My personal tutor, as I said, focuses more on university courses and musical theatre courses when giving us suggestions as that's usually the norm within college, should have joined this site sooner!

 

In terms of my physique, I'm sure I'm just being silly worrying over it considering Rambert asked for pictures and height/weight details in the application form...so I'm sure if there truly was a problem they wouldn't have looked at the pics, and then still given me an audition. Shall see how it goes!

 

Thanks again to all!

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Not too much to add, but I know someone who had hardly danced, came with me to do a beginner commercial class, ended up doing a year almost fulltime (ballet, jazz, tap, commercial etc, just a local school not a College or anything although good classes) then auditioned for Bird's during that year & got a full 3 year scholarship. He was about 21 at the time, completed his degree at Bird's & works in the industry.

 

Not to get your hopes up too much, but it can happen (especially for guys) & he was absolutely accepted on his potential more than anything.

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Think positive and go for it. I bet you ballet teacher from London thinks your physique is good enough? If you are successful you will get your student loan for Rambert but in addition to this there is other financial support available based on income. If you get a place then there will be lots of help on the forum pointing you in the right direction. All the very best of luck, believe in yourself and give your best.

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Your passion screams from the page and I wish some of my students were as motivated as you.

 

Go for it.

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Welcome DK.

 

Nothing more to add but am another voice adding to the "go for it" chant ???? (as a mum of a professional male dancer rather than as a moderator on this occasion)

 

My son had a tendency to "over-think" things and I often have to remind him to just throw caution to the wind.

 

Loads of good advice from everyone here.

 

Good luck for the Rambert audition - look on it as a great class!

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Hi DanceKelpie

 

Although I appreciate it would be a long journey for you, if you can get time off college, School of Ballet Theatre UK (Hinckley, Leicestershire) are running a 'Men in Motion' workshop on Thursday 5th February with AD Chris Moore and MB New Adventures Principal Christopher Trenfield. Can't get a link to work but go onto btukschool.com, click on The School then on News and scroll down. Good luck with all your auditions.

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Hi Dancingkelpie, welcome to the forum. I agree with what others have said- go to the audition, do your best, and see what happens from there.

As Florence mentioned, the School of Ballet Theatre UK might be a good one to consider; the course was new for September 2014 so might not have as many applicants as the more well-known schools. Good luck!

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I agree with all who have encouraged you. Even if you had started ballet aged 3 and everyone was tipping you to be the next Nureyev there would be no certainties about your possible career - anything can happen (look at Polunin). So you shouldn't second guess your future. The only thing you can ever regret is not giving it a go. If they didn't think you have potential you wouldn't have been invited to an audition...

Good luck and have fun!

Edited by CeliB
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I wholeheartedly agree that you should go for it and audition.  In my experience as a dance mum of child that has been successful and unsuccessful at audition you can be assured of the following

1. No one will ever laugh at you

2. Every audition teaches you something and is therefore worthwhile

3. coping with the rejection of a "no" is a lesson that all dancers, irrespective of talent will learn 

4. Sometimes things just "go right" and you could be pleasantly surprised.

 

As others have said there are other great schools such as Laban and Northern Contemporary. My DD is on the CAT programme at Northern Contemporary and we see dancers of all shapes and sizes there.

 

Follow your passion and live your dream.  I wish you every success, and post and let us know how you get on!

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When my DS was audtioning back in 2011 for various post 16 ballet courses he had an audition at Rambert and when we were there the then current students were around and they were all shapes and sizes. So I wouldn't worry about your shape that you mentioned in an earlier post.

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