Learning dance with the British Ballet Organisation

(16 Posts)
FrumpyintheFrost Sat 19-Mar-11 21:45:30

My DD has been learning ballet, tap & modern with a BBO school for the past 6 years (she is 10).

I am very happy with what and how she is learning, but I notice that on the ballet threads everyone rates RAD & ITSD, but BBO is never mentioned.

Please can someone explain the differences to me?

Just to re-iterate, she is very happy and I am not looking to change, I'm just curious as to why I've never seen BBO anywhere!

elphabadefiesgravity Sat 19-Mar-11 21:51:12

It depends where you live. BBO is not as widespread as some of the other exam boards although where I live there are a lot of BBO schools.

Dd used to learn with BBO teacher and indeed I employ a BBO trained teacher, both are excellent teachers. However I moved her to an RAD school as she really likes character (RAD is the only ballet exam board that includes character) and the BBO school was too far away from where we lived. The other BBO schools in the area did not fit with other things we wanted in terms of clashes with her drama and how they organised their shows etc.

puffylovett Sat 19-Mar-11 22:18:48

Isn't bbo based more on Russian techniques? I have a vague memory of a girl I trained with being bbo trained and having wonderful upper body expression and movement... This is going back 15 years though, so I may be talking rubbish!

PaperView Sat 19-Mar-11 22:26:36

They all have different syllabuses (?). ISTD and RAD are similar, Cechetti (sp?) uses different terms for arm positions. I think that if your DD is likely to pursue ballet then she would be better moving to ISTD/RAD for grades. I think it makes it easier for teaching qualification purposes.

I say i think because my dance knowledge is rather rusty!

DayVLately Sat 19-Mar-11 22:30:57

<slight hijack>

dd has been going to a local dance school but they don't do any exams (that I'm aware of). DD is only 7 but seems to score highly on the end of term reports. Should I consider moving her to one which follows a syllabus? I can remember doing RAD exams for years. Does it matter do you think?

elphabadefiesgravity Sat 19-Mar-11 22:37:41

BBO do excellent teacher training programmes that are accredited.

DayV - it depends on what you want. Some children don't suit exams and some schools that follow a syllabus have the exams optional.

I would say that anyone serious about dance needs to study ballet. I run a musical theatre based school and if a students shows a real aptitude for dance we say go to ballet; modern and tap are really useful too. We get a lot of dance school children though who find that they need the drama side of things too.

DayVLately Sat 19-Mar-11 22:47:12

hmm - I'll have a think - she does do ballet, modern and tap and seem to enjoy it - and in the last show I watched she did seem to good rhythm and placement. I want her to enjoy it but don't don't want to 'waste' time when she could be taking exams - I'm sure I was doing grade 1 when I was about 7.

I'll ask her teacher whether they do optional exams. I know she's only young but I can remember doing grade 5 when I must have been about 10. She was talking today about wanting to do pointe work so perhaps I should look into it all a bit more.

DayVLately Sat 19-Mar-11 22:49:17

have good rhythm

elphabadefiesgravity Sat 19-Mar-11 22:51:23

RAD set a minimum age of 7 to do Grade 1, in reality most are a bit older. Ds is 9 and doing Grade 2 on Tuesday.

Exams are not the be all and end off. As long as she is having fun and learning good technique. In fact exams can be a pain in the backside at times!!!!

It is sometimes nice to have something to work towards but ALl syllabus work can get a little boring and they don;t always learn pther skills such as picking up differnet styles/ways of doing things.

But to digress, dh works in a leading musicsal theatre dance college and the students come from a varity of backgrounds. What matters is their standard of dance at audition, not what Grades they have.

FrumpyintheFrost Sun 20-Mar-11 16:56:13

Thank you for the responses, especially elphabadefiesgravity your reswponse was very reassuring. My dd took her grade 2 at Feb half term, I hope your DD does well in the exam.

DayV - at dds dance school all the children have the opportunity to take either the full exam, or a shorter performance exam. Usually they move up a grade every 3-4 terms depnding on whether or not they have a show.

CDETadmin Wed 23-Mar-11 11:55:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

manicinsomniac Sun 27-Mar-11 17:52:09

BBO is very valid and as good as all the others.

Mrkipps Mon 03-Mar-14 13:32:17

Hi,
My daughter is 16, she is bbo trained and taking grade 6 ballet at the end of the month along with a tap exam. She also does jazz and modern. A number of students from her school have joined white lodge.
The main thing is to trust the teacher. Some boards put children on points from grade 4 regardless of development, which can cause no end of problems.
Bbo is far more disciplined and offers an excellent training. If she likes the bbo teacher stay with her, they can take her all the way. My daughter wants to qualify as a teacher and as we are at an examiner school her teacher can train her all the way.
If you want to see a good bbo example, try Wayne Sleep.
The main thing is do you trust this teacher no to cause injury or damage by forcing your daughter, and if she likes the class stay put.
I cannot praise the bbo enough. Just wish they would put more exam info on their website

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 03-Mar-14 13:42:04

Can I just clarify a point in the post above.

No exam board puts children en pointe at any fixed grade such as Grade 4

There is no pointe work involved in graded exams only in the optional vocational or 'majors' exams

Each individual teacher will have their own criteria as to when they put girls en pointe. Some will suggest it when a child gets to around Grade 4-5 or past a certain age but its not set by the exam board

The RAD for example has a minimum age of 11 to take intermediate foundation (the first grade that involves a very small amount of pointe.

Sparklymommy Tue 04-Mar-14 09:10:53

My dd1 is 11. She has studied at the same dance school since she was 2 and has taken exams in RAD, ISTD, & IDTA syllabi.

Our dance school emphasis that it is the teaching, not the examining board, that makes good dancers. Also as someone upthread said, what exams they have taken is not really taken into accout when moving on to dance colleges.

I have not really come across BBO, although I am aware that several of the local schools follow BBO for tap (we do ISTD tap). From what I have seen they seem to enjoy it and the children seem to be competent tappers!

Dd1 is currently studying grade 6 RAD and Interfoundation. She went on pointe in January (pointe shoes for her 11th birthday). She also takes Intermediate lessons, but cannot take the Interfoundation examination until autumn due to where her Birthday falls and the RAD rules.

I am confident that her teachers know what they are doing and she dances as much (or in some cases more than) children at vocational schools so she is strong and safe, and had been doing Interfoundation for over a year before being allowed the coveted Pointe shoes!

Mags62 Thu 27-Mar-14 10:49:38

My daughter dance school
Is bbo affiliated and we are more than happy with it . The BBO are a well recognised organisation and have patrons including Dame Beryl Grey and Wayne Sleep. My daughter is studying grade 7 ballet and has been on pointe since 12.
Many ex students have gone on to have successful dance careers and recently one pupil has been accepted to White Lodge .

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