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Are two ballet lessons a week really necessary at Grade 1?

(46 Posts)
GoogleyEyes Tue 11-Nov-14 19:19:51

Dd1 did Pre-primary last Xmas and is about to do Primary. So after Xmas she will move in to Grade 1, and her ballet teacher says that requires two 45 min classes each week. Is this really the case? It seems a lot for a 6yo.

I know her teacher is v keen they do well (eg will only put then in for exams if she's pretty sure they will get a distinction) and I was wondering if she perhaps is too pushy? Or is this standard for a good ballet school?

Dd1 loves ballet and would go every day if she could, the issue is more that I don't want to end up with something every day after school - not least because it's not much fun for her little sister to have to sit on a corridor for 45 mins.

AmeliaPeabody Wed 12-Nov-14 00:59:31

I wouldn't say that Grade 1 requires two classes a week. Higher grades perhaps, yes. And it depends how quickly you want her to progress etc etc I would say it's a bit off, and pushy, not to put children in for exams unless they're sure they will get distinctions.

My children, younger and older, do more ballet lessons than that (plus private lessons, other dance and gym), so I personally don't think it is a lot, though I suspect in our case it probably is as we don't have a free day...

lecherslady Wed 12-Nov-14 01:40:37

I wouldn't have thought so.

My DD has only ever had one ballet lesson a week (half an hour) and she's done fine. She's just turned 11 and she's in grade 4. She does on average one grade per year, and has almost always got distinctions. Not a stealth boast, but this is typical of the girls at her current and old dance school. They're well taught and do well on one lesson a week, except in the run up to an exam when they will have two. The second lesson is specific exam practice though with just those preparing for the exam and only lasts about a month, six weeks max.

beganto Wed 12-Nov-14 03:25:23

My 11 year old has done only one lesson a week and is doing her grade 5 RAD exam at the end of this month. Roughly an exam every year. She's in a small class of three girls though so I think that accounts for the progression.

She doesn't take ballet very seriously or intend to pursue further dance training, as it's one of a few hobbies, so we wouldn't seek another class for her.

ColdCottage Wed 12-Nov-14 07:19:14

No. I did ballet from 3-18 and only 2 classes a week once I was in secondary school in the higher grades.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Nov-14 13:36:14

well our school don't. our ballet classes are an hour long.

but having seen some other threads on here ours are very slow at doing exams. DD is in Yr2 and is taking pre-primary in a few weeks, quite a few in her class are in Yr3 now which seems very old to be taking preprimary so perhaps we aren't a good example

I think they tend to do 2 classes a week from grade 2ish but I could be wrong.

LeapingOverTheWall Wed 12-Nov-14 13:45:33

we do one 30 minute class a week, up to grade 6 (although not every class does every grade, some skip). Some DC have private lessons on top of that (if they are planning on taking dance more seriously), but we've only once had extra exam lessons, and that was where there was a group dance, and some of the class were less focused on getting the steps right [being polite emoticon].

LIZS Wed 12-Nov-14 13:49:10

dd has only ever done 2 lessons in the run up to an exam, an extra 4 or 5 each grade. Are those class exams or grade ?

arewethereyetmum78 Wed 12-Nov-14 13:50:19

My dds are just about to sit their grade 1 exam and do one 1 hour class per week except for the 8 weeks before the exam when they do a 1 hr class and a 90minute class every week. They also do tap and that is 2 x 1 hour classes every week.

GoogleyEyes Wed 12-Nov-14 20:16:04

Thanks, all!

I know nothing about ballet at all, and it's useful to know what is standard and what isn't. I now need to decide if I'm prepared to pay for and take her to two classes a week... She really does love ballet, so she's excited about the chance to do more.

Dancergirl Wed 12-Nov-14 21:30:54

At our ballet school, they have to do 2 classes per week in the term they take the exam. Plus extra practices on Saturdays/half term etc. This is from Primary upwards.

taxi4ballet Thu 13-Nov-14 09:59:21

I think two classes a week is a good idea, mainly because it means the teacher will not have to concentrate solely on just the syllabus, but will have time to teach a sense of performance, and it would allow the children to actually dance properly rather than just learn what is required for the exam.

Seeline Thu 13-Nov-14 10:08:17

My DD is now working for Grade 3 and still only has one 45 minute lesson a week. They have one extra rehearsal prior to the exam in the actual exam room, and that is it. I think they go up to two lessons a week for Grade 5 or 6.

RabbitOfNegativeEuphoria Thu 13-Nov-14 14:07:55

At DD2's school, the kids taking an exam, whatever the grade, have an exam class at the weekend in addition to their normal class. This is because some kids don't take the exams - they aren't compulsory. The normal class focusses on the exercises, and then some fun stuff, and the exam class focuses on the two set dances, in the groups in which they will take the exam.

PandaNot Thu 13-Nov-14 14:49:48

It also depends on which exam board they are taking. RAD tend to take longer ime and they have a table somewhere on their website that shows how many hours you need to study for each grade. For grade 1 it recommends 60 hours of study I think which would be hard to do in half an hour per week. My dd is 6, grade 1, and has two fifty minute lessons per week. Lots of her classmates only do one though and tbh you can tell the difference that the extra lesson makes.

GoogleyEyes Thu 13-Nov-14 20:44:10

PandaNot ISTD, I think. Not RAD, anyway.

They do have four extra classes in the month before the exam - that's for Primary and Pre-Primary, I don't know what happens for the Grade 1 girls.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 13-Nov-14 23:09:01

yes RAD say 60hrs guided learning and 10hrs practice for grades 1, 2 and 3 which is a lot. lots of the schools we know do either 45min classes once a week or an hour long class which includes tap too so yes at half an hour a week it would take a long time to get the 60hrs. This is in their examinations information, rules and regulations document.

ISTD I don't think say an expected/suggested number of hours.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 13-Nov-14 23:45:51

However, ISTD exams are the same as RAD exams on national scale, so should be equivalent number of notional study hours...

I'm not a dancer but I play for lessons and exams. Most of our girls in that age range do one hour long lesson a week. However, it's not necessarily assumed that they'll be ready for grade 1 a year after taking primary. It's pretty normal for it to take 2 years to get from one grade exam to the next round here, if they only dance once a week. They used to have exams every year, but that's because we did RAD and ISTD, alternating.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 13-Nov-14 23:47:22

To the OP - it may be that the teacher is planning on your DD doing grade 1 this time next year? In which case, the two 45min classes seems reasonable.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 13-Nov-14 23:50:05

Leaping Over the Wall:

How on earth can you do grade 6 pointe work on one 30min lesson a week?!?!

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 13-Nov-14 23:53:48

No it's not necessary but a child will progress faster on two lessons.

It also means that the teacher can incorporate more free work into the class which us good to develop a child's ability to pick up unknown choreography (there are no free enchainements in RAD unlike ISTD) & gives them time to develop musicality, sense if performance & creativity as syllabus exercises can be stifling.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 13-Nov-14 23:55:30

There is no pointe in Grade 6 Julie

But Grade 6 on 30 mins a week, incredible!!!!!

Geraldthegiraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 00:02:26

The school my daughter will start at is only 30mins a week. They offer lots of other classes- modern tap etc but we do other hobbies so just want to do the ballet.

GoogleyEyes Fri 14-Nov-14 11:48:22

Julie I think the teacher may be aiming for at least some of them to take Grade 1 next Xmas, as there won't be any exams the following year. So that makes sense, thanks!

AmeliaPeabody Fri 14-Nov-14 12:46:59

Also amazed at grade 6 on only half an hour a week. I'm guessing it's a very small class in terms of numbers, or takes longer to be exam ready... Still very possible I suppose.

Back to the OP, am agreeing with whoever mentioned that you can see the difference the extra lessons and private lessons make.

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