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Elmhurst School of Dance--Birmingham, England

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It has been announced this week that Desmond Kelly will be taking over as AD of Elmhurst School of Dance from September 2008. He retires as Assistant Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in July. The current AD, Mary Goodhew, will become Headmistress at Legat, a ballet boarding school in south England.


This will, no doubt, further strengthen the ties between Elmhurst and BRB.

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Also very good news for Legat. With a shortage of places for vocational training for young dancers in the UK, it's great to hear of talent such as Miss Goodhew's moving to a school like Legat. From Principal of Ballet at White Lodge to AD of Elmhurst and now to Legat.


I think that many parents will be checking out what Legat has to offer. Certainly St Bede's School (of which Legat is a branch) is fortunate to have appointed Miss goodhew.

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  • 1 year later...

Good Evening,


My Daughter is due to audition for Elmhurst School of Dance in Birmingham next month. I was wondering if anyone could give any advice on what to expect at the audition.


Many Thanks


Rob :party:

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I think there was a recent thread on ballet.co.uk covering exactly this question. My DD auditioned at elmhurst a few years back and, though she chose to attend a different school in the end, we came away with very warm feelings about elmhurst as a school. The audition consists of two rounds - each has a ballet class and then there is a physical assessment and short/easy academic test after the second one.


Things may have changed this year since Elmhurst has a new director, Desmond Kelly from BRB. From what I've heard from parents with kids there they love him and the school has a nice relaxed, caring atmosphere - basically nothing to be scared of in the audition process here!

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It is the Pre-Vocational Programme - run on Saturdays for children who are not yet old enough for the full time school.

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Thankyou britdance! My Daughter is nearly 11 and will be auditioning for full time school. She has already auditioned for the English Youth Ballet for a Performance of Nutcracker and she was successful. That audition was similar to a normal Ballet lesson, so I was wondering whether the Vocational Schools follow a similar schedule.

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Elmhurst and White Lodge auditions are based almost entirely on ballet lessons. You may find slightly more variation of format at Tring and Hammond but it's really nothing to be scared of. Welcome to this scary/exciting world - there are lots of people here and on ballet.co.uk with kids who are going/have gone down the vocational school route and I have found lots of helpful advice from the online parent-network

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Originally, I also thought that the PVPs would not go straight to the final this year, but it appears that they will. In addition, last year, they were invited to attend a preliminary audition, more as a familiarisation exercise than anything else, but I do not know if this is to be repeated this year.


My dd auditioned last year and I concur with all the other comments above!


Good luck!

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I agree with all of the above - the school tries to make the auditions an enjoyable occasion even for those who do not get selected. One thing Elmhurst does which I have never encountered elsewhere is to invite the parents in for the last few minutes of the audition. The panel has already seen all the work and they just repeat some of the enchainments.

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