plirae

School strictly do not allow students from other schools.

14 posts in this topic

Hi,

I live in Singapore and it is quite tough to find a good dance school as most of them are commercial.

I am currently attending Dancepointe, which I have been with the same teacher since I started ballet.

However, as I grew older (now I am 15), I realised that I really want to pursue dance as a career, and this school doesn't seem to have enough training for me to improve. So I begun my search for a school which might be able to train me to my fullest potential.

 

I chanced upon a school called Cheng Ballet, and I attended their trial class for adult ballet elementary and found the teacher satisfactory.

However, I would also like to join their "Youth Ballet II" programme on top of the adult ballet elementary because I think that there would be more opportunities for me if I join their youth group. They told me that they could not accept me as they "strictly do not allow students from other academies so as to avoid conflicts".

 

Besides, my first school started a newly formed group called the "performing group". As a member of the group, I am able to take contemporary classes for free after my ballet on sunday.

 

One thing I am unsure of is do colleges or companies take certificates like RAD into consideration seriously? My first school offers RAD classes which I have been taking since young while Cheng Ballet have their own syllabus-beginner, advanced, intermediate. Which certificate is more widely recognised--CSTD or RAD?

 

I really want to be part of Cheng Ballet's youth ballet II program but I am hesitant to quit my first dance school too, what are your opinions?

 

Thank you so much for reading!

 

Also, here are the two websites you might want to check it out:

http://chengballet.org/

http://dancepointe.com.sg/

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What may be appropriate in Singapore may be different in a different culture and country. That being said, colleges and companies in the US do not hire dancers or accept dancers into their program based upon a particular program of study. How a dancer atually dances is the most important criteria for companies. For university programs, academic standing is important as well as how well someone dances.

 

It may be best for you to consider the biographies of the teaching staff however this is never a failproof method since it is often the case that many professional dancers with big resumes are not necessarily the better teachers. You must have a feeling about which school would be best for you long term? Since it is not possible that you take classes in both locations, you and your family must choose together.

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It is so very difficult to advise, given the long geographical distances involved, but I'll give it a try.

 

The new school seems stronger in ballet emphasis, so if you're looking for more classes, then I would go to that one. If you're aiming at a career in musical shows and non-ballet-based movement, stay with your first school, but it looks to me as though their emphasis is on the youngest students rather than preparing one for a life's work. I don't know how it is in Singapore, but while RAD is more widespread than CSTD or its based-in-England inspiration, ISTD, once you reach university level, each institution tends to have its own eclectic curriculum and syllabi, based on the experience of the faculty, and the diversity they need to attract students. (Makes for a lot of curriculum meetings for the faculty!) Companies really don't care where you got your training as long as you can DANCE, which they find out at audition.

 

It's a good thing that you can recognize commercial schools (also known as "recital machines") and differentiate them from schools offering vocationally tracking training. Were I in your situation, I would start making my post-secondary plans NOW, and seeing where I expect to be in three years, then take action to see that those plans come true.

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Thank you very much!

I sent them a mail asking them if I would be guaranteed a place in the Youth Ballet II program if I leave my previous dance school, they have yet to reply me, which I think is a bad sign. Should I go to the studio personally to ask them if I am elligible for the program?

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I would do that; even bring practice clothes in order to take a class as an audition, if they want one, and I rather suspect that they will.

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Alright, thank you for the advice. (:

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Cheng Ballet does offer quality classes and their adult classes have about 15 students per class.

(they said I was too old to join their youth class D:)

However, their service definitely is not as great as their classes, making me feel that they don't want me there.

Therefore, I went on to search for another dance school, and chanced upon Dance theatre arts.

Spoke to one of the teachers and they were really friendly, and their class size is only about 5 students per class.

What do you think of this school?

http://www.dancetheatrearts.net/

http://www.media-asiaconsult.com/index.php...=30&Itemid=

Edited by plirae

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Plirae, while we want very much to help, we can't tell much from websites except the design of the website itself. Photos and videos don't seem to load from the site, but that could be a software issue, or even that data had not been uploaded into those links! My advice to you would be not to leave the school you have now, which you note for quality, until you have positively identified as good or better a school with your own eyes. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." You seem to be pretty perceptive, so let your own good judgment be the guide.

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Thinking overnight, I realized that one thing was missing from this discussion - the elephant in the room, so to speak - and that is the Singapore Ballet Academy. That is one school that Europe and America both know from its fruit, as several of its dancers have had prominent careers, notably the Goh family. Have you tried there?

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Thank you Mr Johnson, you have been really helpful. (:

The SBA only offers classes by audition next year if I want to attend their RAD courses.

However, I am afraid that I will have less opportunity in SBA as there are many others better than me.

I will try out for the audition next year. (:

 

Just went for trial class in dance theatre arts, their syllabus is very very different from RAD. Pirouettes are done in grand plie, more flowly and longer combinations done on barre and centre compared to RAD. Teacher does not like the RAD system cause it's really slow, and she said "if younger students can do it, why limit them?" She was the only teacher I could approach telling her that I wanted to dance in college, she said I wasn't quite there yet, but if I come every lesson, she said I'll do fine. It's really tempting to hear that, because I don't believe in myself either, but I don't know if it will be true, only time will tell. I couldn't tell what method of teaching she was using, can anyone tell? (I have been doing RAD my whole life. xD)

 

Dancepointe, as stated from their website, aims to cultivate good teachers, but not dancers.

Cheng Ballet, although they offer pretty good lessons, only have lessons for me once a week. (unless I take extra classes)

The classes in Cheng Ballet are really fast, 1h per class, and oftentimes, I leave without breaking a sweat.

For dance theatre arts, lessons are sufficient (4 classes per week, 3h per class, teacher usually add more classes for free) It is 650 per term. In one week, tues will be body conditioning, ballet and pointe, the other days will be ballet + jazz or contemp. Lessons are interesting, though I can't really tell if her teaching is good. Based on students there, there's this 11 year old girl whose technique is very strong and she is doing a repertoire en pointe already. Another girl who is 17, who is rather strong in technique, but not competent in pointe to do variations. And the last girl's technique was rather weak. Results vary so I don't know whether the teacher's good based on students too. I have a rather bad turnout, when I commented that while do a developpe to the side to a student after class, the teacher told me that i do not have bad turnout but I need to relax my muscles more to be able to turnout more, and she goes on saying I should come for the technique class (tues) so that I can improve. I forgot to add that when they do their pirouettes, it's like a 'company-style' manner, instead of their hands in a curved third position, theirs is a straight third position. Is that the correct way?

 

Thank you!

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Plirae, the objective in finding a school is not whether the students are "better" than you are, it's whether the teaching is good. In fact, having more technically advanced students than you is a good thing; it provides you with models for improvement.

 

From what you describe, it sounds like those pirouettes have been borrowed from both Balanchine and Soviet dancers, where a sort of parallel evolution led to the kind of flat-hand karate-chop leading arm, and that's not a good thing.

 

It sounds like your teacher who encouraged you was teaching in the old-fashioned Legat curriculum, which was a standard for the Russian dancers who left shortly after the Russian Revolution (those who left before are reckoned as "Imperial".) The pirouettes from grand plié are a giveaway. I haven't done those in AGES!

 

I'd shoot for SBA, if I were you, at least for RAD. Their students trained that way that I've seen have been impressive. They do excellently well in teaching RAD. Remember, it's not the method, it's the teachers.

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Thank you Mr Johnson. (:

I will try my best to get into SBA. xD

Also, I am not sure bout this, but Cheng Ballet teaches a little differently too,

like when doing pirouttes, the weight in fourth position is equally distributed, while RAD encourages us to put more weight in front leg,

the position of leg in a retire in cheng ballet is to the side when doing pirouettes while in RAD its to the front.

 

I have heard that this method Cheng Ballet teaches is the old taiwan method?

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I was actually THERE (Taiwan), and I didn't find much ballet of any kind at all, but that was in 1973, and I was in Taichung, not Taipei. It could be Legat or other influence from the 1920s, or even earlier, like the late colonial era in China. The position with the point of the toe at the side of the knee, is sometimes called "position tire-bouchon" or "corkscrew". RAD gets influences from all over, and the weight to the front leg is one of the Balanchine revisions from the 1960s, when I was trained that way. I still teach it like that.

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Thank you Mr Johnson,

ballet history is very interesting. xD

I might want to take up a course like that someday. xD

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