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"proper" ballet mums - RAD uniform....or not

(37 Posts)
stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Feb-15 15:24:10

DD does ballet lessons as an after school activity (ballet teacher comes to school) which means, amongst other things, that they are pretty laid back about uniform for lessons because no-one is there to faff around with neat hair etc - they get changed by themselves which means DD's leotard is on back to front more often than not.

Anyway, they are going to do Grade 1 Class Award in the summer (they did the preliminary one last year sometime) and she needs new leotard etc for it.

How bad would it be to get this one from Dancing Daisy instead of this one which, even adding the belt on separately from Dancing Daisy, is twice the price?

Is it absolutely not the done thing and will she and I get castigated for the fact that it doesn't have £10 "worth" of RAD badge on the back?

Pagwatch Fri 27-Feb-15 15:36:02

DD doesn't have badges but she wears designated uniform for exams. Exactly the same as wearing club kit for swimming competitions or school kit for school matches, competition leotard for gym.

Can you not ask her teacher?

momb Fri 27-Feb-15 15:58:32

RAD don't specify a badge.
The specs for the exam don't specify the leotard colour, just pink, lilac or something else. The teacher may want them to the look the same.
Have a look at the RAD website for the level of detail specified, and then talk to the teacher about her interpretation of this as it may be that she has a cunning plan.
As for the leotards: both the photos you give are from the same manufacturer.
Both Katz (who make them ) and DDaisy offer a discount for schools/trade. If the teacher is going to do this every year it would be more cost effective to order together.

stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Feb-15 16:15:39

Note from teacher which came with the form to pay an arm and a leg for the exam says "freeds aimee style sleeveless leotard and matching elastic belt - this will have the logo of the RAD on the back and the belt will come with the leotard. Colour - Lavender"

..which is clearly the second (expensive) one.

but DD had a Dancing Daisy version of the lilac "Megan" one required for the preliminary class thingy and no-one raised any objections - hence my rebelling against paying twice as much for the same thing.

Sounds like it's an "it depends" and I will have to brave her teacher on the subject. I don't often see her teacher TBH as DH or I pick DD up and whisk her straight off for something else blush. Seems to me that if the RAD aren't bothered about badges then all that matters is that it's the same colour as everyone else's.

stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Feb-15 16:16:17

..oh and there's only about 6 of them who will do the exam, so I don't think we would get much of a group discount grin

Theas18 Fri 27-Feb-15 16:18:07

Ask around about 2nd hand uniform. Mind you the freed leotards go well on ebay too if you do buy new.

Pagwatch Fri 27-Feb-15 18:31:12

The belt always makes me laugh. A bit of elastic.

Yy to Theas point about selling on afterwards. You do get a lot of money for them.

taxi4ballet Fri 27-Feb-15 19:42:12

The belt is there so that the teacher (or examiner) can check correct placement - that the hips are level and the dancer isn't holding themselves lop-sided!

On the RAD website it states that the candidates are not marked on whether or not they are wearing the correct uniform (there are specific rules about the type of shoes allowed though, but that applies to older ones really).

However... many teachers do insist that all their students dress the same when they take the exam, and some like the Freed leotards, others are happy with a cheaper alternative.

Pagwatch Fri 27-Feb-15 19:45:23

Yes. It's still a faintly amusing description for a bit of elastic, was my point.

<tumble Weeds>

christinarossetti Fri 27-Feb-15 19:48:48

My dd does ballet with a teacher who has been teaching for well over 20 years (I have a friend in her late 20s who did ballet with her for over 10 years).

She's very 'old school' but no-one has a RAD badge on their uniform for class or exams.

The children pictured with their certificates having passed their exams are wearing exactly the same as they wear in the class ie no logo.

Fortunately, my dd has no interest in doing the exams, but if she was I wouldn't be buying a logoed uniform if this wasn't stipulated by the exam board.

I'd stick to my (lilac) guns if I were you.

Btw, how much do ballet/tap/modern exams cost?

GoogleyEyes Fri 27-Feb-15 19:49:03

At dd's ballet school they all have to have identical leotards, but it's really the shoes which are the tricky bit.

For some reason they have to be brand new and very tight for the exam, and we have to bring them in before sewing on the elastic to get the fit checked by the ballet teacher. Some people get sent back to the shop to get smaller ones!

So I would also check about ballet shoes...

stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Feb-15 20:08:43

It would be interesting to know if the exam fees are standard, actually - ours is £30 fee for the exam - ok, whatever, but £12.50 per child surcharge to pay for the hall and the accompanists is a complete rip off IMHO. They must get easily 100 DC through in a day - so £1250 for hire of a primary school hall and a day's work for an accompanist shock?

...and then they make parents take a stamped addressed envelope if the DC want the result which is a foregone conclusion for class tests at this level posted to them (not even the certificate - just the results slip!) - which of course they all "have" to have.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 27-Feb-15 21:27:43

I thought RAD listed their prices somewhere - am sure I saw them. then the school can add on reasonable other costs to it such as pianist fees or venue hire etc.

We do ISTD and are only on lower grades but they seem to start at £25ish and go up from there. our extra on top of the fee wasn't much, only a few pounds.

with regards to uniform, ours have to wear uniform in the classes as well so we get our money's worth out of the kit. definitely the teacher will want them to look the same or very similar. shoes do appear to have to be tight but that is so they can see toe point I assume. We are allowed a reasonable amount of room in them but not much or the examiner won't be able to see their feet properly. We are asked to get satin ones for exams or at least new shoes but I am not sure how many people do.

stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Feb-15 21:43:50

Nothing about new shoes, or satin ones - just that they have to be pink, have the elastic sewn on in the right place, and shouldn't have elastic drawstrings - I ignored that bit last time because DD's shoes did have elastic drawstring and there was no way I was buying new ones. The world did not appear to end.

I suppose since I have just bought DD new school shoes a whole size bigger, I probably ought to check her ballet shoes and character shoes at some point [sigh].

TeacupTravels Fri 27-Feb-15 21:47:20

Our dance school buys uniform through Dancing Daisy... its not RAD exams though.

taxi4ballet Fri 27-Feb-15 23:10:23

Pagwatch, I got it, I just thought I'd mention the reason for wearing the belt because it was years before I found out why they wore one...

alinacj Fri 27-Feb-15 23:56:08

I remember one of the mothers talking about a RAD exam where one of the children didn't have the logo leotard, "it was like they couldn't be bothered," she said shock

Our teacher is very strict but does not specify logos.

Most people seem to get new satin shoes for the exam. Nice and close fitting too.

Pagwatch Sat 28-Feb-15 07:32:54

My sense of humour is v crap.
I like to check

dancestomyowntune Sat 28-Feb-15 07:40:30

My dd dances at a very well established RAD school and can I tell you something? As long as a leotard is the right style and colour we don't specify what make it is. Some leotards just don't fit every student and differing makes will be slightly different fits. Our teacher would rather it fit properly than had a badge on it!

As for the cost of the accompaniment, this IS expensive and we pay £8.50 for grades and £18.50 for majors. The accompanists charge a LOT and as I work in the office I know that what we pay rarely covers what we pay out.

balletgirlmum Sat 28-Feb-15 19:47:25

The RAD logo is not compulsory. My F&F did have the official Freed one year but only because the copy one was out of stock in her size.

You do need the waist elastic though.

Dance Direct do very reasonable leotards.

balletgirlmum Sat 28-Feb-15 19:50:14

My daughter will only wear balket shoes that almost don't fit. She likes them to feel like a second skin!

But she dances full time now, at grade 1 age they had growing room. Close fitting shoes do look nicer and enhance the four more though.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 28-Feb-15 20:02:19

I just had a look actually as we must have paid about £6 on top of the flat rate for one exam (not ballet) and about £9 for the ballet. I vaguely remember someone saying the pianist charges £400 a day but I could have got that wrong.

stealthsquiggle Sun 01-Mar-15 00:20:09

If I don't get new ones, then I think DD's ballet shoes will definitely count as "close fitting" smile. TBH, they are so soft, and she only wears them for an hour or less a week, that unless she complains I won't be replacing them. I seem to remember her character shoes were a little big and have insoles in, so with luck I should get away with those as well - they are in good nick because they were a birthday present and I put the fear of God into her about what would happen to them if she dared to think about setting foot outside the dance room in them grin.

Ok, I admit, I have caved to the guilt. I found another stockist who had the RAD badged leotard at only marginally more than the Dancing Daisy one, so I have ordered it. There is a part of me that thinks that this will be the last exam she does (I get the impression that it gets more serious from here, and DD is not that keen - faced with a potential timing conflict she has already said that she would choose swimming over ballet) so she might as well have the right kit for once. It will be interesting to see if it does have a resell value - I get the impression that Lavender is only for the lowest grades (or maybe just for this ballet school?), and because she is so tall it will be an age 11-13 size (she is 8), so there may not be much of a market for it.

balletgirlmum Sun 01-Mar-15 00:37:35

Generally when they get to around Grade 3/4 onwards most schools change to a ruched front style (better style for developing girls) & often a more grown up colour like navy.

alinacj Sun 01-Mar-15 10:53:08

Has anybody found that lately the RAD logo leotards have declined in quality. I have old RAD leotards (one from 8+ years ago) from when my older DC did the early grades and the fabric is now a little thin but they're otherwise fine. Compared to current leotards, those a few months old the stitching comes undone, and they begin to bobble within weeks!

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