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Parents tell us why the Junior Conservatoire was the right move for their children

Lights… Camera… Action! At the start of the year, we released our What’s Your Next Move? campaign video, inspired by the inclusive and welcoming nature of #DanceTok. Students from the Junior Conservatoire took centre stage in the short film, showcasing the range of artforms on offer.

Yvonne Kennedy, Head of the Junior Conservatoire of Drama, Dance, Production and Film, shares what the video means for her: “At Juniors, we spend time learning about our artform, but we also spend time collaborating and learning from others.

“We celebrate young people and their growth in their artform who are taught by passionate educators who not only share the technical skills but also how art is made, and how artists collaborate to create special moments.

“That’s how I feel about this campaign video, it was a special moment for everyone involved to truly celebrate what it’s like to be a student in RCS’s Juniors DDPF department.”

It really is our students who made the video as special as it is, with their many different backgrounds, interests, and styles on show for all to see. But – they wouldn’t be able to join us without the support of their parents!

We asked parents of students involved in the campaign shoot to tell us more about why the Junior Conservatoire was the right next move for their children to make. From modern ballet to musical theatre, from primary to high school, from all over Scotland, they all agree that RCS is a brilliant place for their children to learn and grow.

Lucy is a soon-to-be 15-year-old from Cardonald, who represented Juniors Ballet. She has been attending weekly Modern Ballet classes at RCS for five years, and joined the RCS Young Ballet Company two years go.

Her parent chose the Junior Conservatoire for her as she had always wanted to do ballet, and while they were looking at applying elsewhere, someone told them about the courses available at RCS.

Lucy’s parent said: “She has benefitted immensely from being part of the Junior Conservatoire having grown in confidence and improved in her ballet immensely.”

Lucy is part of the Transitions programme, a fair access initiative that offers funding opportunities including tuition, coaching, masterclasses, personal development and more.

Her hope is to secure a place on a full-time Ballet programme after leaving school, and her parent added: “The knowledge and experience she has gathered from being in the Junior Conservatoire is helping her progress down that route as she looks to transition into a Conservatoire degree.”

Most importantly, did Lucy enjoy the day of the campaign shoot? Yes!

Her parent said: “She thoroughly enjoyed the experience and is very proud to have been asked to represent the Ballet section. She found it fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes to pull something like this together.”

Jada-Jo, 11, is a Primary 7 student from Kilmarnock who attends fully funded tuition training as part of the Pre-Junior Conservatoire of Dance at Dumfries House (supported by the Princes Trust), Young Ballet Company, and our Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) graded classes.

Esme, 10, is a Primary 5 student from Erskine who attends RAD, ISTD Modern Dance, contemporary dance, and Pre-Junior Conservatoire P5 classes. Both students’ parents chose RCS after hearing very good feedback from previous attendees, with Esme’s parent saying it was their “best decision ever” to enrol her in her classes.

Jada-Jo’s parent feels the opportunity to be taught by highly skilled teachers who genuinely want the children to succeed and encourage them to shine and to be their own unique selves is one of the main things she gets from attending Junior Conservatoire classes, along with the happy and positive environment where everyone is cheering each other on and lovely friendships made during her time at RCS.

Similarly, Esme always tells her parent that “Junior Conservatoire is such a friendly kind environment just like home, where she is learning and also having fun”, which has led to her confidence, creativity, and ability in dancing increasing greatly year-by-year. Esme’s parent said that It’s so important to know your child’s foundation is so strong and friendly”, which is something we strive to create always here at RCS.

On the campaign video, both students really enjoyed the collaborative aspect.

According to her parent, Jada-Jo “enjoyed spending time with hard-working like-minded people who are passionate about Dance and the continued growth of RCS.”

Esme adds: “The bigger dancers and teachers were all so kind.”

The Junior Conservatoire helps prepare for life as a full-time student at an arts institution.

Take 18-year-old April, from Polmont, who is currently studying a BA in Musical Theatre at Italia Conti. Her parent says: “The Junior Conservatoire worked with her not just on her technique but also prepared her for auditions, helping with song selections, monologues and mock auditions with West End professionals.

“It gave her increased confidence when it came to the tough job of auditioning for drama schools and she has made friends for life, not just with her peers but with her tutors, who keep in touch and continue to support her journey into the profession.”

Juniors is very much a family affair for April, as both of her parents attended RCS which “holds a very special place in [their] hearts”, and she also attended the Musical Theatre programme alongside 15-year-old sister Violet.

Her parent says: “We have seen such a change in Violet’s confidence in her abilities since attending RCS, and we especially like that the tutors seem to know the pupils well and can spend time with them one to one on improving technique as well as group work.”

Violet represents the Musical Theatre department in the campaign video. Her parent says: “Violet had a great fun day making the video and loved seeing all the different faculties doing their pieces.”

This is what the Junior Conservatoire DDPF school is all about – community and collaboration at the heart of students’ learning, while providing them excellent opportunities and nurturing their creative growth.

Parents, there’s only one question left to ask now: what’s your next move?


Find out more about life at the Junior Conservatoire.