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 Post subject: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2001 6:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: uk
Hi again,<P><BR>As a beginner I really have no idea how ballet is 'graded'. I have tried looking on the internet (again becuase class has finished). I'm not sure if anyone will be able to answer my question though because I am in the UK not the US. <P>I know I am doing the Cehchetti (I think thats spelled wrongly) style and I have begun at grade one-five with all the young kids. So does anyone know how the grading works or have an internet site with a sort of 'prospectus' on it?

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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2001 7:02 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Although I studied the Cecchetti syllabus for three years, I am by not a Cecchetti teacher, so I cannot answer your question.<P>However, there are a number of sites online that you could look at - I found them on Google:<P><A HREF="http://www.google.com/search?q=Cecchetti&btnG=Google+Search" TARGET=_blank><B>Cecchetti Council</B></A><P>If you scroll down the page you will see there are a number of pages to look at.<P>Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2001 7:36 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
I was wondering- since I am taught cecchetti at school, and we have no official exams like the ones in the UK, what affect does that have on how people judge the level of training compared to someone who does have to take exams? In the UK, do they ask the dancers what level exam they have passed? Was that ever the case in America?


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2001 8:48 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bebounce - again I am not a Cecchetti teacher, however, there are certainly Cecchetti exams in the US. I remember working on those exams. My teacher, Eula Hoff, was a senior examiner and very much an important figure on the Cecchetti Council in this area. <P>I assume they are the pretty much the same as in the UK. As I remember it (and this was back in the early 1970's), the Cecchetti Council tried to keep the standards pretty uniform regardless of country.<P>Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I will be able to answer you.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2001 11:06 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Hi,<P>Bagpussmiaow I am assuming you are studying the ISTD Cechetti syllabus? I am a IDTA teacher in the UK and the names of the graded marks are the same - Pass, Pass Plus, Commended, Highly Commended, Honours. Obviously different teaching societies will have slightly different criteria for giving these marks but really to get Honours you require solid technique, good musicality and presentation and show potential for the future.<P>Here are a few sites you may wish to look at:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.rad.org.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.rad.org.uk</A> <A HREF="http://www.idta.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.idta.co.uk</A> <A HREF="http://www.istd.org.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.istd.org.uk</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited July 22, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 3:01 am 
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Hi Joanne,<P>Thanks for your help, yes that is the same syllabus I'm doing at the moment. I was mostly wondering about the different stages at which you go from beginner to professional i.e. in school you have GCSE's then A-levels, then Degree. <BR>Does the whole Cecchetti syllabus go from grades one to say, twenty, with grade twenty being top professional standard? The reason I would like to know is so that I can have something to aim for (and also practise for -I've decided not to take any of my exams until I've practised enough to get honours or highly commended!).<P>Speaking of which, this may sound daft, but has anyone tried hypnotherapy to get over shyness? I know that this is quite bizzare but I tend to get shy in class and I know I dont do as well as I should do because I'm nervous. Being nervous also stops me learning the steps as quickly as I should because I had a sort of private lesson after one of my classes and did everything easily. Has anyone ever tried it?<P>Thanks (this turned out to be a long post!!)<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 6:55 am 
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I have never tried nor heard of anyone trying hypnotherapy for shyness....but that doesn't mean it might not work.<P>What I have seen work, however, is a shy student who learns to block out what others in class are thinking and wondering if "everyone is looking at me"....and just concentrating on the steps and the music. <P>I used the "wrap myself in music" technique when I was on stage...at least at the beginning when I first started performing. After a few years that shyness on stage went away - and I was just excited. <P>It is true, that your mental outlook can surely affect how you learn and how you respond. I always told my students the other people in class are just too busy worrying about themselves to bother to be watching you. Yes, we do see others in class - but mostly we are too busy (those of us who are serious) learning the stuff ourselves to worry how everyone else is doing.<P>Have you spoken to your teacher about this?<P>I am sure Joanne will be back to answer your other questions about the syllabus.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 7:27 am 
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Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Annie, I have a student now who has problems which sound similar to those you describe. She is very shy, and gets nervous in class. She then "hits the wall," and can't remember even a simple combination. Her brain just shuts down.<P>In an effort to help her, I have talked with her and she has been able to analyze some of the components. Certainly there is the fear of what other students might think, as Basheva has mentioned. She also is concerned about my reaction (as her teacher) to any possible mistakes. She knows I am not the kind of teacher to cast judgment on a person for mistakes in class, and that I see mistakes as steps taken on the road to success. She admits to being a perfectionist. She wants it to be right, now. And then there is the music. It is one thing to get the steps in your own time, but the music is demanding her to produce in its time.<P>When I give a combination, she is not only trying to learn the combination. She is figuring out technical details at the same time she is trying to learn the sequence. And if she comes upon something that is different or new, alarms go off in her head that she may not be able to do it perfectly. Everyone else is trying to work through the material. For them it is an exciting challenge. For her, it is overwhelming.<P>Gradually she is overcoming this. Understanding what is going on in her head has helped. Talking things through has helped. Trying to focus on the process instead of the "what if's" (what if they laugh at me? what if the teacher is angry? what if I don't do it exactly right and I die of embarrassment right in the middle of class?) has helped. Usually, even when she is challenged by a few counts, there are many more counts that she is really capable of doing, and realizing that has made it easier. If the music is faster than she can handle, she stands in the back and works at her own tempo until she feels confident enough to give it a try at full speed. <P>So, between changing her focus and coming up with coping strategies, she is making progress.<P>I don't know much about hypnotherapy in such cases, but perhaps if you start by talking with your teacher, you'll be able to come up with a plan together to help you work through your shyness and nervousness in class.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 8:54 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
You have had some great advice about shyness. Now for the exam parts.<P>Please remember I am talking from my perspective as an IDTA teacher but the other societies follow similar systems.<BR>Most societies start with Pre-Primary or Preparatory Grade and then through Primary to Grade 6. With the IDTA we have Classical award 1&2 which is equivalent to Grade 7 & 8. Then we move onto Intermediate Performers which is the new name for Elementary and after that you can study for teachers qualifications taking Graduate diplomas and then your Associate. <P>After that you can do more performance Awards Advanced 1 & 2 and also more adavnced teaching qualifications, Membership or Licentiate and Fellowship. After all this you can train to become an examiner. Phew!!!<P>The other societies may have different names for Grades and they approach their teacher training differently, although the societies are trying to get all their grades to be called the same so that they can apply for government funding and hopefully offer GCSE's in dance - like ballet and not just contemporary which is offered at the moment.<P>Those web addresses should give info specific for those organisations, but if you have any more questions just ask away.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 8:54 am 
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Reading the excellent advice that Nancy has offerred has reminded me of a student (an adult) that I had with similar problems. In her case, we talked about it quietly a number of times.<P>One of the things she was in the habit of doing is mentally failing herself before she even started - before she even SAW the combination. She admitted to me one day, after I asked her about it, that even before she saw the combination that I was about to set, she was already telling herself "I bet it's something I can't do". So, of course, she didn't start from zero like everyone else - she started from a minus.<P>She had already "failed" in her mind, before she even started. It was helpful for her to realize this and acknowledge it. Sometimes, just as I was about to start setting a combination, I would look at her and with a smile ask "What number are you starting from?" and she would smile back and say "I am going to start with a plus". No one in the class knew what we were talking about, it was our "secret". It helped.


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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:44 am 
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Nancy and Basheva you just described me 100% in your above posts. Absolutely to a tee. Especially the part about the simplest combinations and it all goes out of my head. Yes! and it is all imagined fears/low confidence.<BR>Another thing that makes it more difficult in my case is that the whole class have high expectations of me (and I'm already a perfectionist). I hold myself very straight and I am very thin and long limbed, when I first went into the class they thought I was professional based only on my appearence - no way!!! so that made me even more 'arghh i have to be even more brilliant', something which a beginner simply cannot be in the beginning!<P>This is why I think that the hypnotherapy may help.

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 Post subject: Re: Grading and exams
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 11:49 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Trying to dance to the level of our own wishes and expectations is difficult enough without the addition of dancing to the expectations of others. Most of us in this sphere of endeavor (dance) are to some extent perfectionistic - and detail oriented. Or, we wouldn't be doing what we are doing.<P>The trick is to learn to work with what are usually considered to be assets ie - detail oriented, highly motivated, determined, persistent - but not allowing those assets to overwhelm us or what we hope to attain.<P>I can't see that hypnotherapy would do any harm - and it might do some good. However, keep in mind you need to have a plan B - in case it is not as successful as you wish. And plan B can only come from you, and your determination not to allow assets to become liabilities. <P>Easy to type and say, difficult - but POSSIBLE - to do. There are many, many dancers who are shy. If you read many of the biographies you will find this to be the case. These are people who need to have a persona, music, costume as a shield between them and the world. That's fine. Whatever works.


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