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Ballet - General
Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you are! en>fr fr>en
By dance4ballet Comments: 1180, member since Mon Dec 03, 2007
On Tue Mar 25, 2008 02:39 AM

Hi! Most of you won't know, but I'm from Australia. DDN is a really great website, because it gives me a lot of insight into dance in other countries. I thought you'd like to hear about dance in Australia. Then you can tell me what happens in your country!

Dance is pretty common in Australia. Many little girls do it when they are little, but not so many little boys.

We all like to jump in a kangaroos pouch and hop around and do the nut bush!

Nah, just kidding!!!

Every single dance school I know follows a syllabus. The major syllabuses over here are RAD, BBO, BAL, ISTD and Ceccetti. And every school I know has a dress code - there is no free choice. Also, most schools use leather, not canvas, ballet slippers. Of course, this is just where I live.

The styles of dance in Australia range from Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Highland, Irish, Hip Hop, Character, and many ballroom styles. There is no disco, however.

Some dance schools compete in dance competitions (called esteidfords.) In these estiedfords, you can get the placings 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honourable Mention. The judges award as many or as few honourable mentions as they see fit. They do not have to give out any placings, and people can miss out on 1st, 2nd, 3rd or HM all together (i.e. first place many not even be awarded to anyone.)

You can start the competitions in First Appearence. You can go in this if you have not competed a solo in the particular style you are doing before (i.e. you have done a tap solo, but not a ballet, so you can do a first appearance ballet.) After first appearance, you are in Novice. You remain here until you win 1st in novice, then you move up into Open.

Where I live, there are not many opportunities for dancers. There is the Youth Ballet Company, and you can go to summer school for your syllabus. There is also the Youth Jazz Company, and the Australian Drill Dance Team. But not many pre proffesional schools.

The major ballet school in Australia is the Australian Ballet School. If you want to go here, you do level 1, 2, 3 and 4 part time (after school and on weekends.) And levels 5, 6 and 7 full time. However, there is no accommodation through the school available yet, so you have to find your own accomodation.

As for dancing at school, a new thing introduced is that in year 11 and 12 (the final years at school) you can do dance as a subject that counts towards your future. Lot's of schools have taken this up. There arn't many schools with cheerleading, or dance teams, though.

However, at school there are 2 major inter - school story dance competitions. These are nation wide. They are called Wakakiri and Rock Esteidford. Schools from across the state, and then across the country, compete in this. It's a lot of fun.

One of the best things to happen in dance in Australia, I think, is the introduction of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. It is in it's first year now. It is a great show, and creates a lot of awareness about dance in Australia. Many people didn't know just how great it could be!

There are also not too many dance companies in Australia. The major one is, of course, the Australian Ballet. There is also the Sydney Dance Company, the Queensland Ballet, and the Western Australian Ballet.

Dance education is Australia is pretty well monitored. There are not really any "dolly dinkle" dance schools. Most, if not all, of them are run by accredited teachers.

That's all I can think of right now, but I might add more later!

So, what similarities and differences do you have in dance?

13 Replies to Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you are!

re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By sugerplumfairy Comments: 1163, member since Fri Nov 09, 2007
On Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:35 PM
Okay, so I live in the US. I've basicly only attended "ballet schools" so I don't know a lot about competition, recital, so please don't think I'm wrong. This is just the way we have it at my schools.

Lots of little girls do ballet, you know when there like 4, yeah not so many boys. When you get older though you start to work your self up to a preproffesional level, which is when you start to train for a job. This usually starts around 7 or 8. You work your way up to 6 or 7 days in a week. First year you do one, second you do two, so on and so on.

By the time you are around 13 you should be going at least 5 days a week.

We have summer intensives that we audition for. Major companies hold auditions for dancers to go train with them for the summer. I think this a good idea because it give dancers chances to see the world, find out what its like to be with those companies, really make big improvements, and make lots of new friends.

We do have ballet competitions, one of the notable ones is the YAGP.

We have dress codes but it depends on the school about how strict they are.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Dance_Star5member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 687, member since Sun Jan 21, 2007
On Tue Mar 25, 2008 01:22 PM
I live in England, and it seems basically the same as Australia. We call estiefords festivals, and there is no honourable mention, at least not at the ones I go to. We also go straight to the novice section, I've never heard of a first appearance section before! Of course these are only at the festivals I've been to, so other people may have competed in ones that are run differently.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By dance4ballet Comments: 1180, member since Mon Dec 03, 2007
On Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:35 PM
Also in Australia, the favourite dance brands are Bloch. Energetiks, Sansha and maybe Capezio.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Firebirdmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1965, member since Mon Feb 14, 2005
On Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:50 PM
I'll just contribute a little more to the US:

This may even be a regional difference (i.e. different for different parts of the country), but at least where I live, graded exams/syllabi are very uncommon. I do not know of any schools that follow the RAD, Cecchetti, ISTD, etc. syllabi and have exams. Generally, schools may or may not have a specific "style" (Balanchine, Vaganova, etc.), but teachers come up with their own syllabi in terms of what steps are taught in what level. There are in general no schools that do exams, graded syllabi, etc. I have never heard of this idea until I came to DDN.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By balletbabe4eva Comments: 1169, member since Fri May 11, 2007
On Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:27 AM
well I live in a different country called new zealand some people on ddn havent even heard of it lol but it has a big dance culture quite similar to Australiers we too have our own so you think you can dance show it actually was first made here

id say the most popular dance styles probably go in this order hiphop, contemprary jazz, ballet, ballroom theres also tap and musical but they arnt as common

we have alot of ballet competitions !
hardly any jazz competitions lol and a lots of hip hop we have a cooool dance festival called fringe in wellington that every one loves !

And every single school follows a syllabus for ballet rad or istd
for jazz american jazz affilaition or newzealand jazz (boooring) lol and some schools do a ballet jazz mixed syllabus special for people wanting to do contemporary

we have no disco dancing lol never heard of it and none of these big american jazz competitions where 8 year olds to triple pirrouettes and where bikinis ! lol that would be a shock to us
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Danseusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2375, member since Wed Sep 08, 2004
On Wed Mar 26, 2008 01:08 AM
Edited by Danseuse (105729) on 2008-03-26 01:10:58
Hmm well I'm from Hong Kong. Being a former British colony, ballet is quite popular here, but mainly as a artistic pursuit for people of younger ages. As you go higher up in the grades, the recreational dancers tend to phase out and focus on their academics, as Hong Kong schoolwork can be extremely demanding. There are also several academies where I live that are especially focused on training pre-pro dancers and send them to big name schools like the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, and a small number go to Australia, the US and European countries as well. Cechetti is not well known at all, but the main syllabus followed is RAD.

There is one formal pre-pro academy here called the Academy of Performing Arts, which has a couple of departments: Music, Drama and Dance, but mostly are programmes for senior students e.g. 16+. I think that the Dance department has really made improvements over the last few years, drawing a lot of talent especially from mainland China where people get very competitive and thus are very good technique-wise. There's also a programme for highschool kids called Gifted Young Dancers, which a few of my friends attend.

There's also the Hong Kong Ballet, whose AD is John Meehan (former AD of ABT II)and he's really improved the standard and repertoire of the company, which makes me really proud as a dancer and audience member.

There's also other dance forms like jazz and hip hop that are really getting popular now. What has always lacked an audience is contemporary dance.

There was once the Hong Kong dance festival, where different dance institutions worldwide from the US to Australia got to showcase their students in a week-long festival, and Open classes were held. Unfortunately, that lasted only a year. I wish it would happen again because it really helped to raise the profile of dance in Hong Kong!

All in all, the Hong Kong dance scene is really underrated. There's a lot of hidden talent here, and it's cool cus Hong Kong has 7 million people, but it's easy to constantly run into people you know from the dance community because there are a couple of studios where everyone goes. So it's cool in that way.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Angelos Comments: 402, member since Tue Apr 08, 2003
On Wed Mar 26, 2008 02:07 AM
balletbabe4eva wrote:


id say the most popular dance styles probably go in this order hiphop, contemprary jazz, ballet, ballroom theres also tap and musical but they arnt as common

That actually depends on what area you live in. Down here in Christchurch i would rate it Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap Contemporary. Down south in places live invercargal Highland is most popular. But it also depends a lot on age aswell. Because most universites only do modern/contemporary dance as degrees thats more popular when you get older.

balletbabe4eva wrote:


we have alot of ballet competitions !
hardly any jazz competitions lol and a lots of hip hop we have a cooool dance festival called fringe in wellington that every one loves !

Once again depends on where you are, in the south island there are equally as many jazz, tap and ballet comeptitions. Generally they are all held at the same competition actually.

balletbabe4eva wrote:


And every single school follows a syllabus for ballet rad or istd
for jazz american jazz affilaition or newzealand jazz (boooring) lol and some schools do a ballet jazz mixed syllabus special for people wanting to do contemporary

You forgot BBO for ballet which is becoming increasingly popular
As for Jazz and Hip hop there is also the Jazz Addict and Broken Beats dance syllabus which are becoming increasingly popular also.
We also do have a few ballet schools offering cechiette(sp?) and i know of a couple offering Vangova syllabus.
A number of the best schools have exams in one syllabus but will teach various styles in there technique classes so that the dances are well rounded in styles.

balletbabe4eva wrote:


we have no disco dancing

Ummm thats not true I know of 3 dance schools in Christchurch that teach Disco, and i know of 4 others in the south island that teach it. It's small but it's still existent
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Cadbury_Eatermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7526, member since Sat Jan 04, 2003
On Wed Mar 26, 2008 04:49 AM
Umm... it's different for me and I live in Australia. Where I am you go in novice when you first do your solo in that section. You stay in novice until you receive a place (1st, 2nd, 3rd) Then you go into open.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By RosePremium member Comments: 9079, member since Sat Dec 30, 2006
On Wed Mar 26, 2008 05:19 AM
This is a contribution from the Netherlands.

We have a lot of amateurschools here, they used to be all ballet based, but that is changing now. Jazz and hiphop are becoming more popular and pushing the balletclasses away.
Ballet is mostly done by the little ones. Teenagers do like ballet too, but it is not good for your 'image' (because in general ballet is considered as boring) and that is a reason to move to a hiphopclass.

We call hiphop streetdance. Some say there is a difference, but that must be very small.

Although we have balletacademies where you can study to become a professional danceteacher, you don't need the diploma to teach or run a studio.
That sometimes sucks: you studied 4 year to be good in your job (teaching quality ballet, modern and jazzclasses), and 'everybody' moves to a unqualified teenager because she offers 'dance for kids', 'streetdance' and 'clipdance', all ages together in a huge gym.

We have official danceacademies to become a danceteacher or a dancer. There are even possibilities to study for choreographer.

Only the Dutch National Ballet has the classics (Swan Lake etc) on their repertoire. Most other compagnies offer modern dance. The bigger modern compagnies are balletbased, the smaller ones less or not.

An other working opportunity is in musicals. You can be trained as a musical(dance)teacher or dancer. There are plenty of musicals to audition for.

We have no competitions like in the USA. We don't have lyrical or disco as dancestyles. We have showdance, that might be close to that. Tap is here, but hard to find. There are maybe 5 ballet intensives, but I only know 2. And not for weeks, just a couple of days. Video audition is ???? This country is so small, you can always go there.


Before someone starts to add this story: ofcourse I'm talking in general. Ofcourse there are exceptions. I'm sure there is a jazzcompagnie somewhere. And I do know about privat vocational schools. And yes, Flamenco is done at several balletstudios. There is a lot happening!
But this is only the Dutch situation in short.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By angeldancer92 Comments: 342, member since Sat Nov 25, 2006
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 02:23 AM
Hi five balletbabe! and you two angelos, im asuming you are a kwi lol

contempory has been increasingly more popular than jazz in christchurch of late, espcially due to pacnz last year.

also, New Zealands major competitions are Young Preformer of the Year (pacnz) and New Zealand Ballet Nationals, and Spratz Junior Nationals. (by the way whos doing nz nationals)

Also our ballet company Royal New Zealand Ballet have alot more contempory ballet than other companies.

another thing which is quite interestng, im surprised there are no maori girls that seriously focus on ballet, i believe thier skin would look so lovely on stage.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By Acrothiel Comments: 4568, member since Sun Jan 12, 2003
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 06:24 AM
I will tell y about Switzerland (note: Switzerland, not Sweden...for all who does not know where this is: In the heart of Europe, a small country with big mountains, cheese and chocolate...and oh, watches!)

Many little girls take ballet here, hardly any boys. Usually they dance a couple of years and then they stop. Many others stop dancing when they reach puberty. Most who don't stop will continue dancing as an adult.

Usually the schools do not strictly follow a syllabus. RAD might be the one that is really marked as a syllabus but not very common.

Not many dancers in Switzerland go pro because of the mentality Swiss people have ("first you have to learn a REAL job before you become an artist"). By then, it is too late because people are too old. Here you also have a strict division between pro schools and recreational schools. Recreational schools can be very good (although we also have Dolly Dinkles here) but they don't have as much training as you need to become a pro. Also at uni it is not possible to follow a professional career. They offer only recreational ballet.
However we have some good professional schools here: The TAZ in Zürich recently became a partner school of YAGP.

Surprisingly the companies we have here, espcially the Zürcher Ballett is a very good company and one of Europes best Companies. Many dancers from all over the world try to enter the company (about 3000 every season for one or two contracts they offer).

Switzerland is also the country the famouse Prix de Lausanne takes place. We got some great Choreographers here, like Maurice Béjart (who passed some months ago), Heinz Spoerli and Martin Schläpfer.
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By angeldancer92 Comments: 342, member since Sat Nov 25, 2006
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 02:07 PM
Also Angelos, I dont know about the rest of New Zealand but there are only two schools offereing cecchetti in christchurch
re: Dance in different countries - I'll tell you about Australia, you tell me about dance where you en>fr fr>en
By bunheadmom Comments: 54, member since Fri Apr 06, 2007
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 05:21 PM
A little bit from Canada - where there is everything from Dolly Dinkle to The National Ballet School. I have spoken with dance moms from across the country (literally) and there is much diversity. Our town has 2 studios - one focuses on competitions, the other on exams. Most but not all follow RAD, Cechetti or Vaganova for ballet and CDTA for tap and jazz. We have the Royal Winnepeg and the National Ballet schools with full-time residential programs and affliated to companies as well as Quinte and a few other professional programs starting as early as 10 years old. There are also many universities offering degrees in dance education. I am not familiar with the comp scene myself but it is very popular - and expensive from what I hear.

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