CriticalDance Forum

Adult student: Failed exam
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Author:  LadyMoonlight [ Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Adult student: Failed exam

As a 34 year old who began ballet at the age of 29 I think I have done fairly well. I have taken three grade exams (4, 5 and 6 in Checchetti) and did well in each of them and dance well en pointe.

But last summer I sat my Intermediate Foundation exam and made such a hash of it I failed. I wasn't confident about the work, and was not strong - My port de bras was messy, my allegro wasn't good and I got a really low mark for both, although the marks I got for pointe, pirouettes and adage were all reasonably good.

My teacher says I should keep going, just concentrate on building up my strength and take the exam again next year or the year after. But there are no other students taking it next summer, which means I may have to wait until the summer after that. I will be 35 then! I feel it will be too late for me to achieve my dream of being a ballet teacher - I would need to take the Intermediate exam after that and then start teacher training - so I would be in y late 30's before I even qualified.

I don't want to give up but I feel thatI'm just too old and that at my age its too late to improve.

Author:  Alex R [ Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I don't think that it's too late to improve, and it sounds like from what you've said that the only reason you failed was not down to ability but the fact that you didn't rehearse enough, which is a mistake we ALL make from time to time!

I say keep at it! If it's your dream then you shouldn't let one failed exam set you back.

Author:  Dancer246 [ Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:37 pm ]
Post subject: you said, you weren't confident about the work and you were not strong. In my opinion, a lack of confidence with what you're dancing will always have a knock on effect to your performance!!
From what you've said..I don't think it's the fact that you can't do the work!!

If you work hard and practice over and over again these exercises, you will be as confident with this as you were with your grades 4, 5 & 6 !!

I totally sympathise with you, I've been in the same position!!
No-one likes to do badly in exams especially when you are so passionate about what you're doing and when you've acheived such good marks in your other examinations but, I find, once the disappointment has passed you will have a huge determination to get over this small obstacle, so turn a negative into a positive and make it a new goal, everyone needs something to aim for or life would be boring :)

It doesn't matter about your age in my what if you're in your late 30's before you're qualified?
Think of the experience & knowledge you will be able to pass on to your students about exams, techniques, tips etc!!

Anyway, just my opinion...hoped it helped a little
Sorry it was so long :D :D

Author:  Guest [ Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks everyone, its so nice to hear such encouraging years.

I don't feel 34, or indeed look it! I don't feel out of place in the class with younger girls (and even some older than me occasionally!). I think that there is a gap between the work for Grades and the work for Majors and I just wasn't ready for it. I wasn't taking as many classes as I should have been last year, plus I moved away from the area for a short time (two months) and when I got back I found that it was hard to catch up on what I'd missed the work was the same but the people I'd been studying it with had become so much better in such a short space of time and I was left behind!

I need to build up strength - one of my problems is that my allegro is not good. My beats are sloppy and my jumps are not high or very strong. I sometimes "lose" my turnout as I jump. My port de bras needs improving as well. Does anyone know of any good ways to improve strength for beats and jumps? I have resolved to practice everyday by doing entrechats quatres! i don't know if that will help but I am so determined to get better! I also need to improve my diet - more healthy energy food, less junk, because although I am not fat by any stretch of the imagination I have a slight "jiggle" about my hips and thighs which doesn't look good for a dancer!

Author:  spangles [ Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi guest.
FIRSTLY never ever give up the dream. I am 40 and just about to qualify as a dance teacher (classical ballet). As they say, and it works for all areas of dance - if it is to be, then its up to me, to make my dreams a reality. GO FOR IT!

Never, ever and I can't stress it enough, let an exam result be the be all to end all. Instead look at the comments as they are what really count. Work on the area's and use the comments as a learning tool. after all that is really what it is all about. learning and growing. and that never ever stops.

I know it is hard to take a negative result but honestly, take a big breath and think well SO WHAT! Lets go back to the studio and start again. Practice is the key and as they say, if you don't first succeed, try, try try again. Good luck and best wishes. I wish you all and every success and happiness for a wonderful future as a Dance Teacher. I know you can do it.

Before I go - and most important advise I can possible give to anyone - HAVE FAITH IN ONESELF.

Author:  Joanne [ Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Guest you've hit the nail on the head - there is a huge difference between Grade and professional exams so don't beat yourself up about it. I know a number of people who have failed the intermediate exam first time but have gone on to pass.

Spangles is right - take the comments on board they are the important part.

If it is any consolation I found the performance exams much harder than the teaching exams so it doesn't mean that you won't do well when it comes to the teaching part.

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