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Australian Ballet School

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Clutterbug - oh I see! 

Russian body type is a great thing to have.  


Edited by balletfan
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  • Redbookish


  • Miss Persistent


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  • l i l y


On 9/20/2019 at 7:39 AM, balletfan said:

Much fuss is made of them, they get to catch up with their friends and teachers and maintain their training.  The summer break is very long.  Our students are advised to keep up a level of constant fitness/training on their breaks in order to avoid injury when they return from holiday (based on a lot of research on gymnasts). 

I feel this is the most difficult bit of it! They miss out on catching up with their friends and feeling part of being 'back home' :( We have one little gem who comes and sits and watches all her classmates so she can catch up with them, but doesn't actually participate.  Such a shame for them. 

I agree it is very difficult to keep fit over the break. Our Summer break is only 6-8 weeks so luckily not as long as some of the Northern Hemisphere breaks. I do feel it is important to rest so have no problem with a few weeks off in that context, but agree it can be difficult to sustain a high level of technique and fitness on your own at that age! I can see why ABS has this rule though.

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I agree, Miss Persistent, that we are lucky that our summer break is relatively short in Australia (6 weeks for most) compared to some on the other side of the world!  Maybe this is one reason why overseas vocational schools do not have the same types of prohibitions (around ways to access holiday training) that the ABS has put in place.

Just by the by....Our dance physio warns students to keep up their conditioning as the longer the break, the longer the required ramp up towards a full workload (to avoid injury).  Most schools do not start the first term with a slow ramp-up over a number of weeks. That means the student needs to  be ready when they turn up.  This message has been on the increase in recent years and we were given a chart ( no.of weeks of reduced workload v. weeks of required ramp up to full  load) from the Australian Institute of Sport.  The implication being to still train at home, at the studio and through (approved) summer schools.  

Meanwhile this is the time of year again when ABS offers full time places after auditions at their Finals week.   I know of 2 who have turned down the offer.  Makes me think that it may be better not to go to Finals unless or until you are sure you want it.  Very much a personal choice of course and fully within their rights!!!  It would just hurt my head to be in that position.  Audition experience is great but can be gained elsewhere.  

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On 9/25/2019 at 7:57 AM, balletfan said:

Makes me think that it may be better not to go to Finals unless or until you are sure you want it.  Very much a personal choice of course and fully within their rights!!!  It would just hurt my head to be in that position.  Audition experience is great but can be gained elsewhere.  

An extremely hard position to be in, and not a decision that is made lightly. Once an offer is made, there are many factors to consider before accepting. Sometimes a family, while being extremely grateful for the offer/opportunity, might need to face the guy-wrenching reality that the timing is simply not right. Perhaps the ‘no’ is intended as a ‘not yet’. It is my understanding that the ABS will offer places to those who they feel are suitable and ready to train full time in their school, and they do not have a ‘quota’ to fill as such. I am confident that the one or two students who needed to respectfully decline their offers this time, did not prevent others being offered a place. 

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Orange Blossom,

Yes, when one student declines a spot that allows the school to make an offer to someone else.  I'm sure someone who says'no for now' may turn up at a later date.  There is a quota in the sense that there are only so many places that can be offered in a level.  Also, only so many beds for those who want to board with the school.  During the year some students will decide to leave or be assessed out.  That's when others who did not get an offer might get a happy phone call.   

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3 hours ago, balletfan said:

That's when others who did not get an offer might get a happy phone call.   

That would be wonderful for them 😊 I am sure such a phone call would bring much joy! Yes, places at their beautiful boarding house are limited- there are only a certain number of beds so when they are full, they are full. Of course, some students need to board and some make other arrangements. Students who have been offered a full time place in the school/boarding house after finals week are understandably well within their rights to accept or decline. In due process, if a student needs to decline their place, and if the school then decides that they would like to make an offer to an another talented young dancer, then that is wonderful! 

Edited by Orange Blossom
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  • 2 weeks later...

My DS age 11 has been accepted into the ITP (level 2) for 2020. I would love to hear about others experiences of this program and their suggestions for getting the most out of this opportunity. 

The experiences of other boys in the program would be especially useful. 

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My experience of the program is as a teacher, not a parent so I have a slightly different take but we have had both boys and girls on the ITP program and at the school. 

The ITP program is certainly not a guarenteed lead in to the Australian Ballet School (ABS). In the past 5-6 years, yes we have had students on ITP that did make it into ABS, however we have had more students who were on ITP and didn't make it, or surprisingly - student NOT on ITP that DID make it in to ABS (go figure). 

If you are able to afford to go over for the programs it is a good experience for the kids and they get to see the standard of other dancers, however I don't feel there is a enormous technical benefit that can be found nowhere else as the periods are very short.  For example, some of my students have trained at other holiday courses and had similar training and progression as on ITP, so it's more the costs/drain on the family that I would consider. However some people make a holiday out of it and have a lovely time so it's a bit each to their own.  If there are few boys at your school your DS may appreciate learning with other male dancers, however if he already has male peers and teachers this is not such an a big deal.  There is also a 'Boys Week' at ABS in January that ITP's are invited to. 

But mostly - It can be devastating if the student does not understand that this is not an immediate track into ABS as students are regularly assessed out of ITP or can be asked to repeat a year (same goes for ABS).  It is the same world wide with any of the big programs/school, not just an ABS thing, but that would be my main advice.  Enjoy it while you can - but prepare your child that it could end before they want it to.  That way if it doesn't you will have a happy camper!

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I think you on the money there, Miss Persistent!

Similarly,  full time training at ABS is not a guarantee of a contract at TAB.  Given this situation it is important for students to ensure that they are well prepared to  audition elsewhere as soon as they graduate.  Some students seem to be a bit behind the eight ball on this as they have not been to auditions or competed during their training.  The ABS approach really suits some students but naturally not all.  

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Thanks Miss Persistent and balletfan, that's good advice. At this stage DS  is not thinking so far ahead (he is only 11) but it will be important that he realises that there are no guarantees about continuing in the program. We will attend boys week and also try to go to Melbourne a few more times if we can. DS is the oldest boy at his school so it is a good opportunity for him to meet other male dancers etc.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi there, I am a nearly 15 year old girl going to audition for the Australian ballet school's full time programme this year. I was wondering anyone from experience, what are they looking for in the audition? What are they expecting students who get accepted to look like and their abilities be?.So that I can work on these expectations, as this a dream for me to get in and have a career in dance! thank you!!!

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Hi there, I was just wandering if you placed a spot in. the Australian Ballet School full time programme do you have to audition the next and following years as well or once you're in, you're in?

Edited by Redbookish
Edited to correct text speak. Please use standard grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalisation. This is an international message board, with many members whose first language is not English.
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The ABS (when a member of my family was there) had exams/assessments at the end of each year, and it was possible to be "assessed out" or asked to repeat a year. It may well have changed. 

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Lily. 

If you use the search function on the messageboard, you'll find that there are several threads on the Australian Ballet School. You might also look at the Associate's opportunities for students based away from Melbourne. 

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Thanks Redbookish! I have been reading the past comments and tips for the auditions, most have been saying that they are looking for a very slender body. My upper body is slender but my lower body however is more muscular, its not fat, it's just my legs and calf muscles in particular are not very muscular but still different to other dancers! Do you think this will be a problem for them and cross me off? My height is also 5'1, what do you think?

thank you!!!!

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