Ballet - RAD presentation class? DD in tears - advice please(10 Posts)
DD is seven and has been doing ballet at her request since she was 4. She is now in grade 1 and clearly really enjoys it.
This morning her ballet teacher took me to one side and said that she didn't think DD was ready for the grade 1 exam and should instead do a presentation class before moving up with the rest of the group to grade 2. She made it clear it was either that or wait another 6 months and be held back in grade 1.
DD does not want to be held back - understandable. However she doesn't want to do the presentation class either. She feels she's being singled out and that her teacher "thinks she is rubbish at ballet and she should give up". We've had an hour of tears over it
Having looked at the presentation classes its clear that they are at a much lower standard than the exams. Is DD destined to be singled out in this way for as long as she carries on with ballet?
Her teacher said was because of a lack of confidence and finding the jumping difficult. I've no idea if these things will resolve themself.
Right now she is saying if she can't do the exam with the rest of her friends she does not want to carry on.
Really confused. I'd never ahd any indication before this morning that there was any kind of problem with DD's ballet
your poor dd.
The graded exams are done by an external examiner and are stressful (for the parent waiting outside the dance studio as well as the child). As far as I'm aware, you can progress through the grades without having taken an exam. With the presentation classes, the dance teacher is in the studio taking class as normal so if your dd is under confident, that actually may be the better option for her.
She could move to grade 2 with her group and be presented in 6 months time for the grade 1 exam I presume?
It's really hard, but she shouldn't be so down on herself. Dancers develop at different paces and even the vocational schools don't place 100% importance on a dancers exam achievements. After all, they are just a snapshot of how the candidate danced on the day.
Maybe speak to the teacher again and explain your dd's distress and see what advice she has to give.
My dd's ballet school have the primary class take the presentation class to break them in gently as performing in small groups (4 per exam) in front of a stranger is daunting.
Whatever the outcome is, I hope your dd continues to dance and to enjoy it.
I think you need to check with the teacher whether this is "she will fail the exam" or "she won't get a good mark". Some teachers like them to get distinctions and merits, and won't want them to "only" get a pass because it ruins their statistics.
Also see how many others have been asked too. It may be that the teacher wants to speed them through (big waiting list or something) and several are being asked to do this. I'd also ask the teacher how often she's suggesting children to do this. If it's just your child, and unusual, I think you need to sort out what the problem is.
Problem with moving to grade 2 and doing grade 1 later, is that they will be doing different dances in grade 2. They need to know what they're doing for grades, they get no hint from the examiner what they have to do.
Is it that the others are doing 2 classes a week, and she's doing 1, or something? Or could there be another reason (eg. underconfident)
Problem with moving up with the others is if she's behind now, will she catch up? And will she be asked to do the presentation each time? Another question to ask the teacher.
Could you afford a few one to one lessons? With dd1, one of the children had missed a few lessons, and it came to a few weeks before and the teacher felt that she was clearly the weakest and didn't know some of what she was doing. So she gave her a few one to one lessons before their main class (at no extra expense, but I don't think you can ask for that) and she got a reasonably high merit in the end, round the middle of the class.
Just wanted to say thank you.
DP took dd to ballet this morning and spoke with her teacher who said that she thought DD's confidence and ability would improve with time but that nothing would batter it more than taking and failing the exam or being held back with the others. She thinks she probably will be able to take the grade 2 and has said she thinks it will be fine for her to carry on with ballet though probably best she does not decide to do it as a career!!
DD still upset but seems a bit happier now
Oh I know how you feel. My dd1 was put in for the grade 1 exam with friends she'd been doing ballet with for years. A few weeks later we got a phone call to say she wasn't ready and to postpone until next term and that she wasn't the only one. It turned out that was a lie. She was the only one held back and all her friends carried on to grade 2. Her confidence took a massive battering.
It also turned out that the next term the syllabus changed and no-one was taking an exam for a while. After 2 more terms she gave up, having spent 2 years in the grade 1 class. She realised she would never catch up with her friends.
So my advice would be to do whatever's necessary to stay with her current group! My dd1 was not great at ballet, but she enjoyed it.
Shlike that's so sad for your dd. Reading your post makes me feel really grateful to DD's ballet teacher for identifying a way round what you describe. Your dd must have been so upset.
The presentation class certainly sounds far preferable to her giving up completely. Thank you for putting it all into prespective for me
Go for the " presentation class" and moving up with her mates.
Have a long look. Do the exams really matter? Is it going to be her life or a hobby that she enjoys?
Move her up without taking the exam . Kids do this all the time. Maybe she won't be a long term ballerina but it is as much the benefits of posture and coordination which make it worthwhile.
If she is lacking confidence buy the DVD. It is grade 1,2,3 and has all the set dances. She can then go through the tricky bits again and again at home. If you can help there is also the written syallabus which goes into more detail showing the timing ect. With rad there is set music so it is worth getting this and listening to it in the car, during breakfast while doing homework. To sart it will help with the 'yes I know this it is the tendu piece'
Really to get a good grade you need to be dancing twice a week at least
Have you looked at the RAD website? I think there is an explanation on there of the difference between exams and presentations.
A Presentation still takes place in front of the examiner, and they are useful especially for children who aren't as confident, late starters, or who are not quite ready to take the full exam.
You know your dd best, though, what sort of mark does the teacher think she might get if she we allowed to take the exam? If she took it and received a mark much lower than her friends, would that make her want to give up anyway? Or is it the actual taking of the exam she wants to do, and she's not worried about the result? Would getting a poor mark knock her confidence even more?
By the way, at that age my dd was hopeless at jumps, stuck in Grade 1 for two years, and took it when she was eight. That was 6 years ago, and it hasn't exactly held her back, as you can see from my name!
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