Ballet Schools

(22 Posts)
gemmasky Fri 08-Jan-16 08:17:00

My daughter is in year five and is going to be ten in March. At the moment I am considering whether full time ballet school would be right for my daughter. If any has any advice on this or has been through a similar experience can you help me.

TeenAndTween Fri 08-Jan-16 09:55:06

There is a poster KatyMac around whose daughter is now at college studying dance. You could try PMing her.

TeenAndTween Fri 08-Jan-16 09:58:51

That said, her DD isn't doing ballet, and iirc went to a mainstream school.

I would be worried about the standard of academics at school should ballet not work out due to lack of talent/injury. I would also worry about stress of growing bodies, eating issues etc.

otoh for a dedicated keen and talented girl I can see why you would consider it.

(both my DDs have coordination problems, so my knowledge in this area is approx. zero)

KingscoteStaff Fri 08-Jan-16 21:37:28

Is she an RAD Associate this year?

balletgirlmum Fri 08-Jan-16 21:42:20

Hi, my daughter is at vocational school. It's been quite a roller coaster ride.

There is a forum called Doing Dance on balletcoforum.com with loads of info on schools, auditions, associate schemes, funding & alternate options if full time school doesn't work out.

Most importantly what does your dd want to do? What classes is she doing at the moment & have you spoken to her current ballet teacher?

LIZS Fri 08-Jan-16 21:42:42

Iirc there are a few on MN with dc at vocational schools. Would her current dance teacher be able to suggest any options. Full time at 11 is a big commitment and can compromise academics.

Katymac Fri 08-Jan-16 21:47:08

It would probably have been great for DD but she didn't dance until yr 9

She attended a CAT which are very well respected

bojorojo Fri 08-Jan-16 22:41:36

Arts Educational School at Tring does ballet and academics. Many do not make it in ballet but A levels help move on to something else. It is boarding an expensive though so check out bursaries/scholarships. The ballet is hard work (every morning when we looked) and the children have to be physically up to it. A child not only has to to have a highish standard in ballet to get in, they have to have a perfect body too! Not for the faint hearted!

balletgirlmum Fri 08-Jan-16 22:50:31

All four Music & Dance Scheme schools provide a full academic education in Lower School (years 7-11) these are Royal Ballet, Elmhurst, Tring Park & Hammond. All have access to neans tested funding (RBS & Elmhurst have a much higher proportion of funded places).

A Levels are offered to a greater or lesser extent by St least 3 of the schools but at all of them you have to re-audition anyway.

There are also several other private ballet schools that offer academics & vocational education alongside each other. Young Dancers Academy & Moorland School are the two that spring to mind.

gemmasky Sat 09-Jan-16 11:31:13

My daughter has been a royal ballet school junior associate since the start of year four. At the moment she is doing ballet five days a week with swimming on the other two. In April my daughter is doing her grade five exam and in March she is going to audition for English youth ballet's sleeping beauty. I am going to speak to the teacher at ballet later.

dodobookends Sat 09-Jan-16 11:39:21

Agree with balletgirlmum, if you go on to the 'Doing Dance' section of balletcoforum.com there are loads of people on there with experience of dc's in full-time dance training.

There are also a couple of threads pinned at the top and one is called 'Questions about lower school auditions'. Hopefully you will find plenty of information on there.

gemmasky Sat 09-Jan-16 12:05:05

Have looked on the doing dance forum and it is very helpful. Have just got back from taking my daughter to her ballet class that is from 11:40 until half past one. I quickly spoke to teacher and she recommended looking at Tring, Hammond, Royal, Elmhurst and Young Dancers Academy.

dodobookends Sat 09-Jan-16 12:36:03

The first four have places funded by MDS (Music and Dance Scheme), YDA is wholly private although they might have scholarships or bursaries available - could be worth asking them.

Perhaps you might need to look carefully into the issue of funded places, as the MDS scheme is on a sliding scale according to family income. Also, your dd needs to be prepared to be offered a place without funding, and she (and you) may have to cope with having to turn a place down due to family financial circumstances.

Competition for places is incredibly high and there are very few of them, so it is worth making sure that your dd would be able to cope emotionally should things not work out as you hope.

balletgirlmum Sat 09-Jan-16 13:38:13

I would advise droppng down so that she is only doing dance/swimming 6 days per week not 7. Dancers are athletes & you need one day to rest so your body can recuperate & you lessen your likelihood of injury.

If she is a JA then at some point you will probably be given Royal audition forms. Tring, Hammond & Elmhurst all run summer schools & Hammond also do a full taster day in June for Year 5s. Attending may give you a feel for the schools.

dodobookends Sat 09-Jan-16 14:06:48

There is also an Easter school at Tring she might enjoy, and it will give her a taste of what boarding is like.

If she is swimming a lot, she might need to ease off on that, as it develops the shoulders in a different way to what is required for classical dance.

NewLife4Me Sat 09-Jan-16 14:12:30

Hello OP, my dd is music so can't help with the ballet.
However, I am familiar with the MDS and the application form, the types of financial info they ask for.
I'd be happy to pass these on to you, if you pm me. It's always good to see the detail, we didn't have chance to see it first and were completely in the dark.

gemmasky Sat 09-Jan-16 15:54:27

Okay, will look at the Hammond taster day. My daughter has also applied to the Royal Ballet Summer School. Actually we we thinking of dropping the swimming to one one hour lesson a week.

Katymac Sat 09-Jan-16 20:14:29

I would echo having one or ideally two (at your DDs age) rest days

Over training is something I am starting to understand more & more about how serious it can be particularly for younger children

DD has suffered significantly because of my ignorance

gemmasky Sun 10-Jan-16 12:33:56

After the February half term we have decided to only do one swimming lesson a week so she can have a rest day. However she is also going to start modern lessons that she will dotwicea week but he's will be after or before some of her ballet lessons. Also if she gets into English youth ballet which she is auditioning for in March, just before her birthday, it will mean even more dance.

balletgirlmum Sun 10-Jan-16 13:04:40

That will be fine Gemma.

Tip for EYB auditions though - don't wear purple.

claraschu Sun 10-Jan-16 13:26:40

My friend's son was at the equivalent school in Holland, and the children were assessed and some of them were thrown out of the school each year (often for tiny issues with their bodies, feet, etc). It was done in a fairly brutal way, (though I understand that kids who are never going to be able to get jobs as ballet dancers should be told as soon as possible). A class which started out with about 20 kids aged 11 only ended up with 4 by the time they were 18. The others had been told to leave...

I would look into how rejection is handled at any school you are considering, and also check that kids who are not really good enough are not misled (I know someone who I think had this happen to her at Tring).

balletboymum Wed 05-Oct-16 13:03:41

My son has just started his first term at The Royal Ballet School. He loves it, its hard as a mum tho, you really miss them and you can't prepare yourself for how you will feel until it happens. having said that, he really wants to be a ballet dancer and its where he wants to be so all is good smile. He was a JA and we did lots of courses at Hammond and Tring and he attended the Royal Ballet School summer school in year 5 & 6. I think the courses helped him familiarise himself with the school and also it gives the teachers a chance to see your child's talent before audition day. We auditioned at all 4 schools inc Elmhurst but Royal was were he wanted to go.

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