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Summer schools for vocational students


Jazzpaws
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DD is just settling back into Central after the Christmas holiday. I think most of them have noticed the difference after the 3 week break ! 

Do most vocational students do a summer school - or if not do they just work out over the summer to keep their fitness and flexibility up to a certain level ? I hadn't really considered this - I did think summer schools were more for pre vocational students . Must say, the thought of an expensive summer school is a bit worrying on top of everything else !

Any advice please  :wacko:

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My dd is vocational and has done York (Yorkshire Ballet Summer School) for the last few years and absolutely loves it, very high standard. She will be applying again this year, she's in 6.1. They also have scholarship auditions in York and London and I think you can also apply for a bursary. Applications have just opened for York.

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Again,don`t quote me on this,but I gather that most do Summer Schools,not simply because they love to dance whenever they can of course,but that ANY extra classes,lessons etc. that will give them an advantage over others is taken,such is the competition.

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I think it depends a bit on age- I know one of DSs friends told me that once they get to around 16 they can't really go more than a week with no class before things start to deteriorate.... the concern would be for the more senior students that loss of flexibility/stamina etc would mean risking an injury if they go back after a long break and throw themselves straight back in at the same level.

 

I know DS has always done SIs although he has a very long summer holiday (14 weeks) so he still has ended up with around 5 weeks with no class. During this time he does stretch almost every day but not much else. He says the first week back is tough and after that he seems fine. So perhaps the 'one week off max' is a bit pessimistic!

 

I have also heard differing opinions about SIs- some teachers think they offer the opportunity to experience other styles of dance and other teaching methods (and for students this may mean sometimes with a view to trying to gain a place at a different school). But others have said that they can be detrimental due to a different teacher sometimes working against the students current training, large classes meaning not enough proper correction and subsequent LOSS of technique and injury risk. Again I think this is partly an age/stage issue.

 

We have always taken advice from DS's AD or teacher as to which SIs to apply for on the basis that they are the most expert in DSs age/stage and can suggest the ones that might be most beneficial. Then we take a secondary view depening on how expensive they are and what his scholarship offers are!

 

So lots to think about. But start with the teacher I would say....

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DD is a vocational student in Canada and attended YBSS two summers ago. She loved that it was full of students from RBS, Central, Elmhurst etc. Classes are large and are akin to company classes therefore maybe better suited to voc students.

In our experience, the older non-vocational students hardly ever get in. It's a pity really as they are the ones who would benefit from it the most, as they generally don't have access to that level of training all year-round, as the full-timers do. Oh well...

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Taxi, while I understand wanting that opportunity for all students, the reason I mentioned it may be better suited to voc students (older students) is the type of instruction. It is set-up more like company class.... large numbers and very minimal one-on-one instruction. I recall hearing complaints in the past on this issue. There can be up to 40 students in the ballet class and that's not a good fit for everyone.

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Would recommend OPES summer school. I went last year and was in the senior class which was to a very high standard (vocational students plus elmhurst and other school graduates who are now with professional companies) the teaching was first class and the whole course had such a friendly atmosphere! I learnt so much and can't wait to go back for two(or three) weeks this year:)

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Taxi, while I understand wanting that opportunity for all students, the reason I mentioned it may be better suited to voc students (older students) is the type of instruction. It is set-up more like company class.... large numbers and very minimal one-on-one instruction. I recall hearing complaints in the past on this issue. There can be up to 40 students in the ballet class and that's not a good fit for everyone.

People might be better off trying to take classes at somewhere like Pineapple then,who hold daily classes,if not much instruction is given.

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Can I just add that I hope people don't feel they have to do a summer school every year. My son only did 2 in his 8 years of vocational training (plus one Wells weekend in London) and he's now dancing professionally so I don't think it held him back. Two reasons - they mostly clashed with the only time we could get away as a family (nothing extravagant, just camping!) and there's no way we could afford it on top of the school fees which were ceiling us enough. We couldn't afford to spend yet more on one of our three children.

 

I would've loved to give him the chance to do more, but family (and recovery from niggling injuries) came first and he kept fit with lots of walking, swimming, cycling and a bit of stretching.

 

What I'm saying is, great, go for it if you can but don't feel bad if you can't ????

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A lot of DDs friends did not do summer schools once in vocational training ay 16+.  A few did YBSS at the end of 6.1 and Ballet Cymru offer an 18 years plus course which my DD attended last summer.  That attracts students from Central, Ballet West, London Studio Centre and Elmhurst as well as graduates and professional dancers but it is students at the end of their second year - 6.2 or older.

A lot of students we know have taken the opportunity to do a contemporary summer school, however - to still be dancing but add something to their ballet.  These summer schools tend to be aimed at slightly older students and are cheaper.  Northern Contemporary for example offer a number of courses including one specifically for those aged 16-18 in vocational training and I think it was around £100 for the week.

I would echo Julie's comment about not worrying about it too much though.  Keeping in shape through swimming, stretching, cycling and the odd ballet/dance class or pilates is fine and enjoying time spent at home with family and friends helps recharge the batteries ready for the next year.  Summer schools are expensive so be guided by the teacher, your DD and your finances for whether it is worth it this year and at all times I would bear in mind that year 3 you have all the extra expenses of auditioning for companies.

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To counter my earlier comment re not having a long break over the summer I should also add that DSs friend who got a place at the Dutch National junior company aged 16 never did a single summer school. Knowing her I imagine she was pretty committed to stretching regularly (she stretched once or twice a day for at least an hour a time when she stayed with us) but I don't think she did anything else...

DS did get a variable amount out of summer schools- he did some at his vocational school which were good (more of the same) but didn't really add anything new, one at RBS covent garden which he would have happily (with hindsight) not bothered with, and one at Ellison which he loved and found very valuable. So if you are strapped financially I'm not sure it's worth selling your grandmother for- the gain may not outweigh the cost. Even if you find one lots of people recommend, experiences of summer school are often a very personal thing- for example I haven't heard of anyone else NOT liking RBS, but my DS didn't....

 

edited for spelling!

Edited by CeliB
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Natalia Kremen Ballet School's Summer Intensive 2015 offers  two programmes, one - for 11-14  years old students and one for 15 - 19. Classes will include:

 

Classical Ballet Training, Character Dance, Pointe work, Repertoire, Ballet History, Modern Contemporary and Pilates-Stretching.

Both courses will be held at Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick in the London Borough of Hounslow.

 

The application deadline for the Summer Intensive is 1st February 2015.

Edited by Tykva
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What I would add is summer schools do tend to be at the beginning of the summer holidays so potentially still have 5 or 6 weeks without dance. There is a course called Back to the Barre that runs in Guildford area I believe, I've no experience of this but know it is at end of summer break.

Summer schools vary so much both in quality of teaching and class size. Some my dd feels were a rip off, just a money making scheme. Others she has really enjoyed and has felt were beneficial. We have to ask permission for summer schools from AD and it is always granted but with the message that the holidays are for resting and rejuvenating.

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Hi Jazzpaws

I would suggest looking at open or drop in classes , of course this would depend on where you live and your nearest city .

Some of these classes are taken by professionals who usually work in colleges, although my dd is on an MT course her ballet teacher is Royal trained and has worked at Elmhurst in the past .

At our nearest studio of this type , an hrs train ride away , they offer a variety of classes every day including vocational grades , Pilates etc .

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Thank you all for the helpful suggestions and comments- they're really helpful in speeding up the planning and research !

How about a few private lessons later on in the summer holidays to keep them in tune ?

Other than RAD in London can anyone suggest a teacher that might do this for a boy of 13 in the South East ?

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I found a surprising number of drop in classes in our area over the summer last year- ballet and contemporary for adults also the hot yoga/ hot barre are good for keeping up flexibility and fitness so we're thinking dd not doing a summer school this year but picking up ad hoc things instead. I guess this option will really depend on where you live !

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There were no summer schools when I was training :(  :(  :( and I cried every time the summer holiday came round at the thought of no ballet for nearly two months.  I used to practise every day and took classes whenever I could, but it was a loooong holiday!  One of the best summer schools for really advanced pre-professional vocational students is the Prague International Master Classes.  It is truly amazing and worth every penny. In my opinion it's worthwhile saving up for and going that last summer before the final year at Vocational school. 

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The lady Emma Northmore who runs it also teaches at Pineapple and last year my DD did those classes also, she was fantastic and cant recommend her highly enough. As the previous comments say sometimes they do need the rest, and we shouldnt be spending every penny on summer schools. Also after a first year of boarding she doesnt really want to go and board anywhere else, so this is ideal for us. 


 


 


MY DD did this last year and really enjoyed it.  I have just seen that the cost is £150 junior and £170 seniors.


West end professionals daily giving workshops in Cats, Mary Poppins and the SNow White ballet by the principal of Vienna Festival.  


Think I have got info right. Here is the flyer


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Thank you all for the helpful suggestions and comments- they're really helpful in speeding up the planning and research !

How about a few private lessons later on in the summer holidays to keep them in tune ?

Other than RAD in London can anyone suggest a teacher that might do this for a boy of 13 in the South East ?

I think lots of non vocational classes stop in August if that's what you are thinking about by later in the summer holidays. But I would certainly get in touch with Judy Breen ( does classes in Brighton and Hassocks if that's close enough for you. She will sometimes do extra classes for advanced students in the holidays if she has enough interest so it's worth talking to her (and if not she may be able to suggest alternatives). She is an exceptional teacher and particularly good with boys....

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Dd did Elmhurst last year & loved it. She wants to go again this year.

 

It is quite short, only 3 days but she felt she got a lot out of it. It was also good as it was one of the few summer schools at the end of the holidays rather than the beginning.

 

When you say Yorkshire, do you mean Yorkshire Assembly or Yorkshire Ballet as they are different.

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Thanks picturesinthefirelight I didn't realise that there were two in yorkshire, I have been looking at the yorkshire ballet.

 

We couldn't do elmhurst last year but thought it would be good to try this year and like you said it's at the end of the hols.

 

Do you have any thoughts of any others has to be residential and mainly ballet :)

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Don't get me wrong Yorkshire Ballet is according to friends whose children have gone there is an excellent bummer school but it is large classes & personal corrections arnt generally forthcoming.

 

Lots if vocational children attend it just wasn't right for my Dds circumstances at the time.

 

She will be attending OPES this year. Friends give excellent feedback & ds has already had classes with the wonderful Olivia Pickford. Another Year 8 girl is also going from your dds school.

 

Last year because OPES was full dd went to Moorland. She really enjoyed it. There were quite a few older children from her school there (yr 9) & a lot of attendees who were at or about to start Moorland full time.

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