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what ballet class/grade would a 6.5 yo go into do you think?

(23 Posts)
spiderpig8 Mon 01-Aug-11 22:23:54

My DD1 who is 9.5 recently started ballet and was put into a grade 3 class.I was a bit worried about her starting 'late' but the teacher said she would catch up in only a few monthsNow her little sister 6.5 wants to do it.i don't really understand what all teh grades are called, but I don't want to bother starting her until they will be learning proper steps .

LIZS Tue 02-Aug-11 10:26:42

Pre-Primary probably but may depend on board and whether they are class exams or individual.

Belo Tue 02-Aug-11 10:33:21

I would say pre-primary or primary. Dd1 did her pre-primary in yr1, skipped primary and then did grade in yr3. Dd2 is preparing for primary in yr2.

Mine have learnt the proper sets for all grades they've studied for.

spiderpig8 Tue 02-Aug-11 11:25:31

so does it go pre-primary,primary , 1,2 ,3 etc?

Belo Tue 02-Aug-11 12:09:50

Yes - for both RAD and ISTD. (just noticed my typo in previous post - meant so say that dd1 did grade 1 in yr3)

spiderpig8 Tue 02-Aug-11 20:24:55

Ok well I've spoken to the ballet teacher who says she will join a grade 1 class in september .I am a bit hmm about this because she has not done any dance at all except a small amount for floor routnes in gymnastics.The teacher says she should do grade 1 rather than primary because she does competitive gymnastics.I can't really see what this has to do with it?
I don't want it to be too difficult and put her off.Do you think I should insist on her starting with primary? She is 7 in January

Oakmaiden Tue 02-Aug-11 20:32:32

My daughter went into grade one at the beginning of her Yr 2 at school - she was 6 (nearly 7) but had danced before but moved area before taking her Primary and ended up not doing the exam. She was the youngest in her class at that point though. Her dance teacher expects children to take about 18 months in each grade.

So I think your daughter is probably a touch young to be in the Grade 1 class, but suspect the teacher's logic is that she is too old really to start Primary (and then spend 1 1/2 years before taking the exam) and since she is a competitive gymnast she will likely be a quick learner and will certainly already be supple and have good control, and so will pick it up relatively easily. You might find that she just spends a little longer than normal in G1 until the others her age have caught up - or possibly not...

I certainly wouldn't insist she starts Primary - it wouldn't be long before all the children her age left that class and moved up anyway.

TheRedQueen Tue 02-Aug-11 20:44:06

My instinct would be to say Primary, but see if you can watch a couple of classes or get hold of the RAD Pre-primary/Primary DVD to see if it helps you decide.

My DD, who turns 6 at the end of September, is scheduled to do the RAD Pre-Primary examination (as part of a class) next June. I had wondered if she might manage Primary as she has now been doing ballet for three years (although with a different teacher, who follows the Waganova method) but, having seen the RAD Pre-primary/Primary video, I think Pre-Primary is about right for her as some of the leaps for Primary require a degree of coordination which I think she will only have in a year or so's time.

Scholes34 Wed 03-Aug-11 13:20:34

DD did pre-primary just after her fifth birthday. If your DD is in a Grade 1 class, I'm sure the school won't put her in for any exams until she's ready and the school knows she'll do well.

At our ballet school, half the class is due to do an exam, then moves up to the next grade. If your DC hasn't done the exam, they then become the more experienced in the class when they're joined by the students who've done the previous grade exam in the last batch. It works well, because half the class always has a pretty good idea about what they're doing, so the others can copy.

Ballet isn't all about knowing the steps and routines, but about your child's sense of rhythmn, fitness, patience, an ability to interpret the music into dance and, most importantly, discipline and the ability to listen and follow instructions.

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 03-Aug-11 19:46:21

I would say primary. The minimum age to take the Grade 1 exam is aged 7 and that is the absolute minimum.

Dd is 9 almost 10 and hs only just gone into a Grade 3 class.

She started ballet at 6 and went straight into Grade 1 but she had done a little bit of ballet before at an afterschool club, plus quite a bit of jazz.

All the 6 year old at dd's school are in pre-primary. her teachet says it is bet not to rush them through the grades so they develop the maturity/musicalty/performance quality rather than just learning the syllabus excercises.

spiderpig8 Wed 03-Aug-11 20:39:05

I do think this school seems to rush them on a bit too much maybe . My elder daughter (9.5) has only been going for a term so I don't know all the ins and outs, but it does seem that a cohort seems to stay together and all move up at the same time.The rest of the class seem much bigger than DD1.There are only 8 of them in the class and I think most are Y6 going into Y7.In september despite only having done a term of ballet ever , she will move up to grade 4 with them.On the other hand they are a really lovely group of girls and she has made friends with them, and I guess the social side is equally important for keeping them happy and motivated.
elphabadefiesgravity did your DD cope with grade 1 ok at 6?

MrsShrekTheThird Wed 03-Aug-11 20:40:53

imho it would be primary, in my school at least. Does depend which syllabus they use, some are more tricky.

spiderpig8 Wed 03-Aug-11 20:43:15

They use RAD
Do you know what? I am quite fancying having a go myself.But i think at 40 that might be a bit sad.

MrsShrekTheThird Wed 03-Aug-11 20:43:57

now I've actually read the thread blush grade 1 would be fine assuming that she will work on it for the year... but it might be better to see whether she can do any catch-up classes if the others in the group have been doing it since they were two years old wink

MrsvWoolf Wed 03-Aug-11 20:50:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 03-Aug-11 20:55:25

She coped but she stayed in the class longer than the rest. Just 4 of them stayed in Grade 1 after the others moved up and she took the exam when she was 7 and a half. One of the reasons she joined a grade 1 class was the primary class clashed with her drama.

She took her Grade 2 exam at Easter and got distinction., she was 9 and a half. She is now in Grade 3 and will be 10 in October. There are a couple of 11/12 year old beginners in her class. The rest are children who will be going into year 5/6 in september.

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 03-Aug-11 20:56:48

In Grade 1 they do character which is another set of shoes and an expensive skirt!

DeWe Thu 04-Aug-11 23:21:38

I'm another that says primary, but then I'm surprised at the grade 3 class. Dd1 is nearly 11, in a lovely group aged nearly 10 to 11.5 (roughly) and they're happily in Grade 2. I'd expect them to do their grade 2 next summer. There is one child who would be in their age bracket at the younger end who is in grade 4 but she's exceptional.
I was told by a fairly reliable source that gym teachers love them to do ballet as it helps their balance and poise, but ballet teacher aren't keen on their ballerinas doing gym. I think it develops the wrong muscles or something.

Scholes34 Sat 06-Aug-11 00:04:26

Re the price of ballet kit, I used to baulk at the cost. Now I find myself forking out for four dance classes a week and the kit that goes with it and don't think twice about it. How, exactly, did that happen?

I've just done some market research today and was asked how often I went out. Not very often, was the reply. Perhaps these two issues are related in some way!

RandomMess Sat 06-Aug-11 00:19:28

I would have said grade I, primary is a bit babyish IMHO, dd did her grade I at 7.5 and has skipped 2 and gone into grade 3 (due to timings and the fact she loves ballet) and still isn't 8. In fact my near 6 year old will start grade I in Sept having not done an exam yet and skipped a term. She can't wait to do character as she is bored of the "baby" stuff.

madwomanintheattic Sat 06-Aug-11 00:32:51

lol scholes grin i have three kids in a total of 8 dance classes, requiring 6 pairs of shoes etc etc. and don't even begin to talk to me about costumes. <sigh> fortunately only two of the three compete, so it's only six lots of comp fees etc. they all need a different blooming costume for each class for the show though. we've been pondering about buying a bigger house, but don't seem to be able to afford it... blush

UniS Sat 06-Aug-11 00:35:29

primary or maybe grade 1. less pretending to be things in grade one, more co-ordination expected.

spiderpig8 Sat 06-Aug-11 18:26:53

DD1 has been given character shoes, leotard and skirt by other girls in her group who have outgrown them.So have only had to buy ballet shoes so far.

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