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 Post subject: level problem...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 7:57 am 
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: ON,Canada
HI everyone!
I took my RAD grade 5 last year and passed with commended, where a younger group took their RAD grade 4 and passed with Merit. The difference is that my ballet teacher put the younger class in their major exam (intermediate foundation) and wants me to continue with grades. (iam 18, they are 13 and 14) I was a late starter, this is my 5th year, but Iwas put ahead of the younger students. Now I am frustrated because they are ahead of me. The class that I am in now just doesn't move fast, as the other girls are not up to my level. I just want to know if anyone has any advice on how to convince my teacher to let me take a major exam. I don't want ot waste my time on grades, especially considering my age, and am very sure that I could handle it. I am stronger on pointe than the other class, and am very frustrated. Has anyone had the same problem?how did you solve it? Any advice from anyone?
Thank-you

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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3602
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Perhaps your teacher feels your technique would benefit from doing the grades for a bit longer.

Why not ask the teacher if you could take the major class in addition to your grade class. This would show her how keen you are and would be a good indication to you of what type of work suits you best.


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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 13
Location: Mauritius
Hi dancerchic,
sorry this has nothing to do with your question but i was just wondering when you went on pointe, I am also a late starter (16yrs old in RADgr 3) and I am dying to know when i will start pointe work, thanx alot :)

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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1949
Location: New England
It is "pointeless" to compare your progress to that of others. Ballet is an incredibly individual endeavor; different people progress at different speeds and in different ways. Your teacher is best qualified to determine when you might begin studying en pointe. Be prepared for a non-answer, even from your teacher; usually, you cannot figure out when these things will happen until they happen.


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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: ON,Canada
ash- I started pointe in septemberof the same year I took grade 5, which was 2002, so I just completed my second year on pointe (and my first recital dance :) ) how are you finding starting late?
thanx for the advice everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 13
Location: Mauritius
Well I'm in love with ballet, but its a little frustrating when I look at websites saying that cetain dancers started late(at 9 yrs old!)and I feel a little discouraged. And knowing that girls my age are about to apply for dance companies and I havent even started pointe!
But I am REALLY crazy about dancing and cant imagine not doing it, so I just dream my dreams and try to be the best dancer that I can be.

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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 4:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: New England
Ash... there are dancers who started at your age and are now dancing for professional companies. It's probably a LOT less likely that you'll ever be hired by one of the top-paying ballet companies. In any case, success in a dance career is never guaranteed, no matter how early you start; and the odds diminish as you add confounding factors.

If you like to dance, then go ahead and dance; you will not regret even one minute spent in the studio. What happens will happen. But if you don't like what you're doing today --- if you're sacrificing today for a professional career that may or may not ever happen --- then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Either you'll never get there, or you will and you'll find you don't like it either.

<small>[ 10 June 2003, 06:51 AM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 200
Location: New York
dancerchic,
Is there any way you could ask to take the Intermediate Foundation class? Even if you're not going to be examined, the teacher may let you take the class for enrichment. Maybe if she sees that you are doing really well, she'll let you take the exam :D

<small>[ 10 June 2003, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: lampwick ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1280
Location: Scotland/France
I would suggest the same as Lampwick and Joanne. Go for the intermediate foundation class, and wait a bit to do the exam. Why focus on the vocational exams? You could still very much do grade 6, 7 and 8. They're not that easy to get you know! :o
They're also not to be dismissed for a 'children' exam'. In fact, it's the contrary. Adults are very welcome to sit these exams.

I was in the same case as you (although already at an advanced level) and I didn't hesitate one second when my teacher suggested the higher grades first. In all modesty, I was geared towards passing them with distinction, which I did, but I wouldn't have 'dived' first into the vocational exams without those first.
I think they're a very good idea to make you aware of the more 'flowery/flowy' movements in dance.

It was to make me used to sit a RAD exam, and since this, I don't regret to have passed them and build my confidence in the RAD system. I was then able to sit the vocational exams, and it has helped to see that I could get the higher grades first without too much trouble. Maybe interm foundation is a good idea as a goal for the future, but I would still focus on something a bit 'easier' like the higher grades. They encourage the dancers to express themselves individually in the exercises and dances, and at the same time, they value very much the maturity that you can already offer. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: level problem...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 11:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Excellent responses, all, and thank you!

I really like the RAD system and think it's really well designed and organized. That said, even as I studied the grades (and a few of the "majors" aka "vocational" levels) for myself as a teacher, I found the whole thing a little mysterious and that getting information was sometimes not easy, so thanks for this discussion.

Things have changed, for the better I think, and the RAD's new (new to me anyway!) web site is very helpful.

I'm glad Balletowoman suggested pursuing both tracks of RAD study. I agree that this is prudent and probably something I've have my own students do as well, particularly those with an eye on performing and/or teaching someday.

Best wishes for happy dancing and exam taking! ;)

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