Dance confusion - please help!

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Dodger'smum
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Dance confusion - please help!

Postby Dodger'smum » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:46 pm

Hi everyone,
Please may I dip into your wisdom yet again?

My son has performed in professionals shows since he was 11 thanks to open auditions in the Midlands, for which we are most grateful.
However, the world of performing is not one we really know and, as such, he has only come to official dance lessons in the last couple of years and is yet to have a single singing lesson. He's nearly 15 and now, heaven help us, thinking of doing a BTEC in Performing Arts even though he is an academic quite capable to achieving good A Level results - but that's another story...

In short, if he is to follow this route we want to equip him as best as we can but we're as limited in knowledge as we are cash! Does he need singing qualifications? Also, he has just gained Grade 3 in Tap and Theatre Craft. He has just started ballet, all IDTA because that's what's available to us. Now the teacher is telling us that in auditions he will have been expected to have grades in commercial jazz, and things like "lyrical", "contemporary" and "hip hop" as well as gymnastics!!!!

Is that all correct? If so, I think he needs to start choosing his A Level subjects! I'd be SO grateful for any insight at all. Happy New Year to you all x

Dodger'smum
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby Dodger'smum » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:50 pm

Sorry, I meant to post this in the Dance/Training section. Apologies x

mrs_lovett
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby mrs_lovett » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:16 pm

I'm not really sure about what grades he needs (if any) but I have students who have got into Bird, Central, Laban and the MTA and they have all done A levels with a smaller BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts( equivalent to 1 A level.) They didn't do the full BTEC worth 3 A levels and they got in no problem first time of applying to do degree courses (except the MTA). Just a bit of evidence that he could still do his A levels and keep a theatre career route in mind.

As far as auditions go it seems to be down to the talent they see on the day to be honest though the student who got into Bird was already grade 8 ballet at 14 and did pretty much every style going, so the dance orientated colleges may be a bit different!

lotsolaffs
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby lotsolaffs » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:01 am

Maybe take a look at local colleges that offer a BTEC level 3.
Ours needs 5 A - C grades including English and maths. They can also do 1 A level alongside IF they have passed maths and English. If not they they just do retakes. They also audition to gain entry. My DD will apply and audition but it is
our last resort should my DD not get into anywhere else,she has only been dancing 2 years and now does 6 hours a week of dance,she is 14 .
We plan to subsidise the course with Easter /Summer workshops at Laines, Tring etc.
The BTEC offered locally is the same qualification I believe as Brit ,Italia Conti and Tring but obviously without the massive benefits . Correct me anyone if I am wrong, not 100% sure.
The local college has a dedicated performing arts centre and students have gained entry to Bird,Urdang, Mountview and others.

2dancersmum
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby 2dancersmum » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:28 am

My DD is a professional dancer, graduated in 2015 with the level 6 Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance. She only did tap /theatre craft (both IDTA) until grade 2 but she did take IDTA jazz and just taken intermediate when she auditioned and was in RAD Adv 1 ballet. She had never taken any lyrical, hiphop, contemporary or gymnastics classes. Nor had she ever had any singing lessons. So based on our experience I am not sure that it is expected to be experienced in all the various styles.

Ultimately the audition for entry to a school is what counts. For both mt and dance courses I think most have a ballet section to their audition, a jazz/contemporary section, singing and acting sections.He needs to show solid technique for what he does know and potential for what he does not. If he is doing a btec in performing arts he will get further practice in these aspects.

You mention the Midlands. If you are close enough to Birmingham, you might look at Birmingham Ormiston Academy for 6th form. I believe you can take a levels alongside the btec. It is a specialist performing arts school (not fee paying). We know several ex students who have studied there, despite a 1.5 hour commute and gone on from there to do degrees in contemporary dance, degrees and diplomas in MT and dance at lots of 'top' colleges.

And Dancexchange offers drop in classes for teenagers and adults in a whole variety of styles which he could try out when it suits him, no need to sign up to a whole term, just pay as you go.

Dodger'smum
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby Dodger'smum » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:13 pm

I can't thank you enough for all your advice. There is certainly a lot to think about but others' experiences and views all help towards an informed decision. Again, happy 2017 to you and your DCs x

paulears
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby paulears » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:27 pm

It's an absolute advantage to be able to sing, but actual singing grades are not perhaps as important. Simply that being able to sing makes you more desirable at audition. We often just assume dancers can sing and to find a few who can't when looking for example, at understudy roles, can be a shock.

theMTAonline
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Re: Dance confusion - please help!

Postby theMTAonline » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:26 pm

Sorry I'm a bit late to this one - but we don't require any qualifications at all. We base our decision 100% on their ability on the audition day


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