Spirit or Stagebox ?

A place to talk about full time schools and post 16 training.

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willywonka
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Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by willywonka » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:23 pm

Which is the better training? Looking for 9 year old. In London. Very strong singer and actor, not a strong dancer. Passionate about musical theatre.

ACookie
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by ACookie » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:16 pm

You'll find plenty of fans of both. They offer something very similar. However Spirit is a weekly class in London whereas the London Stagebox teams only meet in school holidays for week long workshops. So it depends which model works better for you?
Stagebox have also had their auditions for next year already but I think Sirit are still open? That way also help?!

willywonka
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by willywonka » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:52 pm

Thanks, are they both easy to get onto?

Pandora II
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:04 pm

My DD has been with Spirit since she was 8, she’s now 10, and loves it.

They have two groups for the petites - the elites who train on Sundays and development on Saturdays. The difference seems to be based on dance experience and ability.

My DD has been dancing since she was 4, and does ballet, tap, street dance and modern, but it’s by far her weakest of the three. Singing is her main thing. The choreography for elites is tough and they need to be able to pick things up fast - some of the dancers are incredible.

Both groups make videos etc so it’s not as if being in the Saturday group gets less or anything, but it’s not good for their confidence to be in a group where they stuggle. Kids do move up every now and then as well.

We train 3 hours a week for 40 weeks a year and you are expected to attend every session unless you have professional commitments.

I have a preference for Spirit over Stagebox as I wanted weekly training, I also like the fact that the staff aren’t running agencies or casting so no potential conflicts of interest.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:05 pm

willywonka wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:52 pm
Thanks, are they both easy to get onto?
When we auditioned, they saw nearly 200 and took 9

willywonka
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by willywonka » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:50 am

Many thanks! Pandora, was that for stagebox or spirit?

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:00 pm

willywonka wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:50 am
Many thanks! Pandora, was that for stagebox or spirit?
That was for Spirit.

Just to add, they don’t run like Stagecoach or other non-audition entry PA schools where everyone gets a turn regardless of ability.

Every term they do a new piece for a video and they all have to audition for the solos and main parts. My DD is never going to make the front line for dancers, but she she generally gets one of the singing solos. It’s the way it is in the industry so they may as well get used to it early.

The staff are extremely supportive of the kids working professionally and never an issue if they miss classes for big auditions or professional jobs, but Spirit takes precedence over other PA commitments or school stuff.

The girls are all extremely supportive of each other and celebrate and commiserate in equally measure. At this age they are often auditioning for the same things so it’s lovely that there is no hyper competitive atmosphere or anything like that amongst either children or parents.
Last edited by Pandora II on Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lyndahill
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by lyndahill » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:04 pm

Spirit seem to have more performing opportunities, such as West End Live, Move It,etc. Stagebox has got bigger and bigger over the years but equally good training. My DD has experience of both but is with neither now as she is at full time Performing Arts College, so feel free to Private Message if you want to.x

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Bbzoom » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:18 pm

Wondering about the auditioning for solo lines etc. How do people feel about paying the same (considerable) cost for training if their child never gets one of the lines or isn’t even considered. I have noticed this particularly with Stagebox - often only a few children are featured and some children are not seen clearly in the videos at all. I get that it mirrors real life, but surely those children aren’t getting the same benefit if it’s never their turn?

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by islandofsodor » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:55 pm

Becasue you are paying for training, not performance, the performance is just a nice add on.

My dd goes to full time vocational college. Her fees cover her training, the dance classes, the vocal technique lessons, the acting classes. It doesn't cover the fact that some ghet solos/main parts in the end of year shows and some don't.
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:11 pm

Bbzoom wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:18 pm
Wondering about the auditioning for solo lines etc. How do people feel about paying the same (considerable) cost for training if their child never gets one of the lines or isn’t even considered. I have noticed this particularly with Stagebox - often only a few children are featured and some children are not seen clearly in the videos at all. I get that it mirrors real life, but surely those children aren’t getting the same benefit if it’s never their turn?
Everybody gets the chance to try out and there are generally enough solos that most of those who really want one will get something. Some of the girls are primarily dancers and would rather not sing as well, some of the strong singers would rather hide at the back for the dance.

What I am paying for is the training and that is the same for all of them. There is plenty of ensemble singing and they all dance so there’s no different treatment if you are a soloist or not. Cost wise, Spirit is much cheaper than the non-selective training school we were with before.

The videos are a nice record of their training but in no way are they the reason we joined Spirit - although they also give me a nice get-out when DD starts wanting YouTube channels and social media. I don’t really want her putting anything online at all so this is a good compromise!

RoseTowers4
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by RoseTowers4 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:10 pm

islandofsodor wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:55 pm
Becasue you are paying for training, not performance, the performance is just a nice add on.

My dd goes to full time vocational college. Her fees cover her training, the dance classes, the vocal technique lessons, the acting classes. It doesn't cover the fact that some ghet solos/main parts in the end of year shows and some don't.
I don't have any kids at performing arts schools so asking out of curiosity.
Would you really be happy if your dd had no opportunity to showcase her skills? Surely after putting in all that hard work over the year? Wouldn't part of her training be to perform in front of an audience with all the pressure and joy it can bring?

The same goes for Spirit and Dancebox. They're particularly known for their videos. If a child attends a performing arts school, works hard and wants to perform, shouldn't they have that opportunity?

Or do these schools only showcase their best talent?

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Bbzoom » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:35 pm

I am genuinely interested in people’s thoughts because it’s not a small amount of money to be spending. I agree about the training being equal, but i’m not sure that the performance aspect doesn’t matter.

RoseTowers4 - this is sort of what I meant. Everyone there has been good enough to get into Spirit / Stagebox at the audition, but they only seem to showcase their most successful students. And we all know that the difference between success and no success professionally can often be down to luck. In the real world, yes it might be the same students being successful each time because that’s the nature of auditions, but everyone pays the same for training and don’t seem to get the same performance opportunities?

I love watching both of their videos and there are faces I recognise each time, but I do wonder who those other children are and why we don’t see more of them.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by islandofsodor » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:45 am

They get to perform, but not necessarily solos or featured in dances. For example some dancers in a contemporary piece may be featured all the way through with solo bits then some may only come on for group choreo in the last minute or so. Some may be picked for a special tap or ballet number. Some will be ensemble in the musical but others will have lead parts.

In Year 11 we worked out my daughter had less stage time than one of the playoffs. In her first year of her diploma she had much more with a couple of minor featured roles and singing.
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Hilltop
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Hilltop » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:20 am

This is an interesting conversation for me at the moment as my DD is currently away with BYMT and she has a very small role in the show and says she has done nothing for the last two days. I’m a little annoyed because we’ve paid £1750 for her to take part and she’s doesn’t seem to be learning as much from it as she did from last year’s one, where the roles were more evenly spread around. Sorry to jump in and change the topic a bit bit does anyone have any thoughts on this? I understand in a professional production this would be the case, but isn’t BYMT meant to also be a training programme?

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