FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some of the common questions that we get asked regarding the Academy. If you don’t find the answers you are looking for regarding a specific course here, the information may be on the individual course pages.
How long is the Full Time Program?
As a guide, students will continue their ballet training through to 18-19 years before auditioning for professional companies. TPA offers a program to enable students to continue training right through to Pre Professional level and company audition stage. For many students this is ideal, providing the opportunity for them to receive elite training in Australia. Some students are on a path to progress from TPA to selective International Schools and we assist in helping to facilitate these opportunities to train overseas at the age when deemed suitable for the student, family and teacher.
Therefore the length of time that a student will remain in the TPA program will vary from student to student, depending on what level the student commenced in the program, their prior training and rate of progress. A student may remain in the TPA full-time program anywhere from two years to six years.
What is the ideal age for Full Time training?
There is no clear guide to the age at which a student commences Full Time training. At TPA we assess students on their physical and emotional maturity and readiness for full time training, plus additional factors such as family support, focus, dedication, and commitment.
Students commencing their first year of Full Time training at TPA will vary anywhere from 12 years to 15 years. Older students are also considered if they have prior full time training elsewhere and will be allocated to their appropriate Full Time level depending on their training, technique and ability to adapt to and benefit from our program.
How do students continue their academic school work?
All Full Time students are able to continue their academic schooling through a variety of distance education providers. At TPA our full time students are supported in their academic studies and provided time in the program for onsite academic tutoring through our providers: The Student Tutor Network. Students have onsite structured tutoring sessions three times a week, providing the opportunities for face to face support, assistance and help with their academic studies. Further private one on one tutoring is also available to all students throughout the week.
Do we offer a boarding house or onsite accommodation?
TPA does not have a 'boarding house', however we have an extensive network of homestay options serving our interstate and overseas students. We have built up this reliable and safe network of homestay families who understand well the needs of a Full Time ballet student and understand the program demands and commitments. Students that require accommodation are provided with an up to date list of homestay options to suit their needs, usually close to the studio or with easy access to public transport.
How many hours a day is the Full Time program?
The Full Time students' program generally runs from 8.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday and one or two classes on a Saturday. The day time program is comprehensive, covering all the students' needs during the day. Full Time students are not required or expected to stay back and attend any after hours/part time classes unless they wish to, or have been advised to do so before an exam. Full Time students are welcome to join in to any part time classes at no extra charge.
Do you conduct annual audition tours?
The Academy has a long history of facilitating overseas audition tours for its students. The time of year that the tour takes place depends on factors including students' readiness to audition and the timing of overseas competitions and events. Sometimes individual audition tours may be facilitated and organised for students when a more tailored itinerary is recommended. Students are guided and advised regularly throughout the full time program on audition opportunities and career advice.
Are students selected in at all levels of the Full Time Program?
Yes, students may be selected to join any level of the Full Time program, depending on their prior training and current technical level.
What is the best way to audition for the Full Time Program?
It is always best to audition in person. We do understand however, that not all students are able to attend out Open Audition Day and in this instance, we can review DVD footage / video links to see if a private audition is offered at some other time through the year.
What makes TPA unique to other Full Time programs?
Directing the full time program is Lucinda Dunn, our country's longest serving Principal Ballerina with The Australian Ballet, who brings to the role more than 20 years of professional experience. Ms Dunn is hands-on in the the studio every day, imparting her knowledge and experience to the TPA full time students.
The TPA program has a very large faculty of highly experience teachers who all contribute to the success of the students.
TPA has a rich 45+ year history and strong legacy created by Tanya Pearson OAM. Its reputation as a leading ballet academy extends throughout the world.
TPA full time program is carefully modelled on international standards of today, in a caring supportive and nurturing environment.
TPA believes in opportunities for its' students, providing valuable performing experience and exposure to important opportunities that will benefit and help facilite careers.
Is private coaching available?
All teachers on TPA faculty are available for private coaching. Private lessons are not compulsory however students may benefit from private coaching in preparation for competitions or exams. Students may request private lessons at any time throughout the year and we help advise what teachers are most suited for the students need. Private lessons costs are in addition to the Full Time fees.
At what age is the earliest that my child can start ballet training at TPA?
At TPA we welcome students to start ballet classes in our Tiny Tots program from approximately 3 years of age, sometimes a little younger depending on maturity and readiness. Young students must be fully toilet trained and able to concentrate with a 45 minute structured ballet class.
What is the minimum number of ballet classes my child has to commence each week?
The minimum number of classes students must attend each week varies depending on the RAD syllabus level they are in. At TPA students are required to attend the following minimum classes:
- Tiny Tots & Pre-Primary - 1 RAD Class per week
- Primary, Grade 1 & Grade 2 - 2 RAD classes per week. Students in Grade 2 can also select contemporary dance as an option.
- Grade 3 - 2 RAD classes + PBT minimum. Students at this level can also enrol for contemporary and jazz classes as optional.
- Grade 4 & 5 - 2 RAD classes + PBT + Open Ballet class. Students at this level can also enrol into contemporary, jazz, and character classes.
- Int. F & Intermediate - 2 RAD classes + PBT + Open Ballet class. Students at this level can also enrol into contemporary, jazz, and character classes.
- Adv.F, Adv 1 & Adv 2 - 3 RAD classes + PBT + Open Ballet. Students at this level can also enrol into contemporary, jazz, and character classes.
Does a student have to do contemporary, jazz, PBT and the other dance styles?
All our students from Grade 3 and above must attend their compulsory syllabus classes and PBT and Open Classes per week. Jazz, Contemporary and Character classes are optional however highly recommended for TPA students as they all enhance a ballet student’s technique, versatility, musicality and dynamics.
Can every student enter Eisteddfods and competitions?
Not every student will be ready or suited to eisteddfods and competitions. Students are invited to enter eisteddfods and competition based on their technical and emotional readiness and if it is deemed appropriate and suited to a students progress and development.
TPA holds annual auditions for its Eisteddfod groups - these take place around November for the following years groups.
How does a student become a part of the Eisteddfod Groups?
We hold an audition at the end of every year to assess students for the following years eisteddfod groups. Students will be invited to be a part of these groups after the audition. Notification of auditions will be sent to all students.
Are private lessons available and are they compulsory?
Private lessons are not compulsory or expected, however some students may be requested to have private coaching in preparation for exams.
Students entering competitions and eisteddfods are required to have a number of private lessons to learn and be properly prepared for competitions and events.
All TPA teachers on faculty are available for private coaching and students will be advised and guided as to which teacher is best suited for the private lesson requirements. Private lessons costs are in addition to the regular Part Time fees.
Does every student sit for their examinations each year?
Yes, every student is expected to sit for their RAD examination unless advised otherwise. RAD examinations are held annually at the TPA students and students will be well prepared for examinations and offered mock examinations and exam workshops.
What performance opportunities are available?
TPA stages an annual concert which features every student of the Academy from Tiny Tots through to its most senior Pre Professional students. This Concert is a wonderful forum for bring-ing all students together and the opportunity to present to parents and friends of the Academy.
Students also have the opportunity to audition for Sydney City Ballet productions.
Students have the opportunity to audition for the Eisteddfod groups which perform at at least three of the major Sydney Eisteddfods.
Sometimes students are invited to perform at other events that the TPA is engaged with throughout the year.
What is the average class size at TPA?
The average class size for vocational RAD classes at TPA is 10 students.
The average class size for grade level RAD classes at TPA is 13 students.
Open classes or PBT may be larger when two streams are combined.
Are students assessed every year and do they need to re-audition to pass to the next level?
Yes every student at TPA is monitored in terms of progress throughout the year. Every student is informally assessed at the end of each year to review suitability to progress to the next level and/or remain within the TPA program.
Students from Grades 3 upwards are more formally assessed on a number of criteria in order to progress safely to the next level. This is not a formal examination process however students are reviewed and assessed by their teachers, The Principal of the Part Time Academy and the Artis-tic Director being conscious of the child’s self esteem and well-being.
If it is felt at any stage that a student is not suited to remain in the TPA program, a discreet and personal meeting will be called with the parents to discuss and address.
Can Part-Time students perform with The Sydney City Ballet?
Yes, the Sydney City Ballet holds auditions at the TPA studios for its annual seasons. The repertoire of the SCB will determine what roles may be available for students and these are open to all students to audition for.
Casting for SCB productions is done so at the discretion of the SCB Artistic Director and/or choreographer.
Why is it necessary to audition for the Part Time Academy?
The Tanya Pearson Academy program is geared to the talented and the dedicated student who strives for achieving their personal best. Students are attracted to Tanya Pearson Academy because of the level and standard of training we provide, having exposure to our highly experienced faculty who are passionately focused on assisting every child reach their goals. Our program aims to inspire, challenge, motivate and move at a pace so that every child can progress and excel at maximum rate. We are committed to the many students and families that travel great distances in order to attend TPA and we are committed to delivering the best teaching and training possible. In return we expect all students to be as equally committed to giving 100% in every class.
What is involved in the Part Time Audition process?
Auditions may be held individually or as a group of students being assessed at the same time. During the auditions, students are given exercises suited to their age and level. Our teachers take many factors into consideration when assessing students for the TPA part time academy such as technique, prior training, coordination, musicality, turnout, feet, aptitude, artistry and potential.
Our teachers are very conscious of a students age and vulnerability and we endeavour to make the audition process a positive experience, whatever the outcome. It is important for students and parents to understand that students are selected for our specific program and pace and this is not necessarily indicative of a students potential for ballet or their future opportunities.
Auditions usually take place in Term 4 for the following year intake and in Term 1. Students may apply to audition throughout the year however due to our examination dates intake may be restricted at times during year. Audition results are usually issued within the week following the audition.
Will feedback be provided following the audition?
It is not possible for every student auditioning to receive individual feedback. Sometimes, a student may be encouraged to continue their training and work on elements and encouraged to re-audition in future.
Our class sizes and places at TPA are limited and therefore a student may be placed on a waiting list for a future opening.
Can a student re-audition if unsuccessful the first time?
Yes most certainly. A student may re-audition again if unsuccessful the first time.
Are part time students formally assessed throughout the year?
All students are assessed on a regular basis throughout the year by the Principal of our Part Time Academy and teachers. If for any reason a student is not progressing as expected or we have concerns over the students suitability for our program, this will be discussed privately and confidentially with the parents.
All students are expected to sit for their Royal Academy of Dance examinations which are held annually at the TPA Academy. At times (usually for reasons of safety) a student may be discouraged from sitting for an examination, or may require more time study for an examination at the level deemed acceptable.
Formal assessments only apply to the TPA transition program students.
Can students compete in Eisteddfods?
Auditions are held annually for the TPA Eisteddfod Groups. Students are selected for the groups based on their technical standard and suitability to the choreographic demands of the work. Factors such as ages and heights are also considered when selecting for the Eisteddfod groups.
Students must be invited to participate as Soloists in any Eisteddfod. Generally only students from Grades 4 and above are considered for Eisteddfod solos, with exceptions made from time to time.
TPA does not consider itself an “eisteddfod school” and therefore does not prioritise its resources and time to coaching eisteddfod solos. The focus of TPA and all our teachers will remain on laying the foundations for pure and sound ballet technique which takes time, patience and years of practice and perfecting.
We encourage all our students gain the enriching performance experience through our annual concerts and SCB opportunities.
Can Part Time students perform with The Sydney City Ballet Company?
TPA students will be given priority to audition for the SCB seasons. The SCB repertoire will determine how many roles many be available for younger part time students of the Academy.
SCB, whilst being closely affiliated with the Tanya Pearson Academy, operates as a professional Company and as such casting decisions are made by the Artistic Director or Choreographer purely based on suitability to the role.
The SCB regularly stages a full season of The Nutcracker which provides many opportunities for TPA part time students to participate and perform alongside SCB Company members and professional Guest Artists.
Are all students involved in the Concert?
Yes, all students are involved in the annual TPA Concert.
Do I have to attend all the RAD syllabus classes?
It is necessary for students to attend all syllabus classes at their level in order to cover the full syllabus and work on their technique and the “how” rather than the “what”.
Please feel free to contact us to facilitate a personal discussion with you directly.
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