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IDTA or RAD for Ballet?

(17 Posts)
pinksparklygiraffe Sun 07-May-17 13:13:00

Can anyone tell me what the differences are in these two? DD7 is looking at joining a ballet class - we've trialled 2 - one is IDTA and one is a RAD school. The IDTA class seemed to be quite basic with the class doing primary level work whereas the RAD school she would go straight into their grade 1 group. Is IDTA grade 1 taken later?

Is RAD better long term? It seemed more structured?

I have no experience with these things so any advice welcome smile

AlexanderHamilton Sun 07-May-17 13:23:40

Mine & dd's personal preference is RAD (or maybe ISTD) but if you are in the situation where your local RAD school doesn't offer very good teaching or the right number/type of classes & the IDTA school does then it's the teacher that matters not the exam board.

In RAD you have to be a minimum of age 7 to take Grade 1.

AlexanderHamilton Sun 07-May-17 13:25:28

My gut feeling is that it's easier to become a qualified teacher with IDTA than it is with RAD or ISTD but there are good, bad & excellent teachers with both boards.

taxi4ballet Sun 07-May-17 16:11:44

Which class did she enjoy the most, and which teacher the nicest? Were there are a lot of children in the class? If there are only a few, you get more individual attention which is a plus, but on the other hand the school will probably not hold exam sessions all that often, which can sometimes cause boredom if they are in the same grade for ages.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 08-May-17 19:39:53

different boards grades don't map exactly. going by other children we know I would say that IDTA and RAD grades are generally taken at around the same ages. ISTD appear to be taken a bit later as they have fewer grades than RAD(although I think IDTA has less still) but they have an awful lot more excerises to do in the lower grades so obviously it takes a bit longer but it does depend on the school. It might be one of the two has recently taken exams, one is soon to do so. The teacher counts a lot more.

Is one better than the other? I have a personal opinion but wouldn't dare share it on here and it is purely based on watching classes of both but again that could be down to teachers having different expectations of standards so might be unfair. At the age of 7 it is more important she is happy.

IfNotDuffers Mon 08-May-17 19:45:11

I'd look for a supportive, kind teacher and a ballet school that matches with what you want. Are you looking for rigorous teaching, possible auditions for Associate schemes etc? Or just for fun, maybe a school show every few years? Or getting in to festivals, lots of shows etc?

The schools around here are quite different - from 'purely for fun' to 'not entered for an exam unless you'll get at least a merit' and I think there's a place for each. I didn't know what sort we had joined, though, just went for the closest!

Minimusiciansmama Tue 09-May-17 06:38:20

RAD ballet is quite different to IDTA. It's very precise and exact in how things should be done. My daughters old school was IDTA up to grade 4 when those who wanted to take ballet seriously also did RAD because the technique is so important. My daughter has just changed to a purely RAD school and absolutely loves the RAD style, it suits her personality very well. Their exams also include character dance which IDTA doesn't. In terms of "long term prospect" there is a general preference for RAD and possibly ISTD over IDTA, but that doesn't mean you can't succeed in ballet with only IDTA ballet.
The biggest thing is the teacher.
Are they teaching in a calm, patient, nurturing way? Do they kindly demand good technique of their students? Sometimes worth looking at their seniors achievements too, whether they get into CATs and JAs can be a sign of if they're preparing students well for furthering their ballet careers.
We learnt the hard way about the effect that the wrong teacher and a bad environment in the school can have!

lottieandmia Wed 10-May-17 10:19:11

Most schools who take ballet really seriously teach RAD in my experience.

orabel Wed 10-May-17 11:15:57

I'm guessing she hasn't done ballet before? I think the primary exercises and steps at primary level IDTA are similar to the exercises at RAD Grade 1, if you look at the syllabus (I don't think they're online).

The RAD is the favoured syllabus of many, with some thinking IDTA standards are lower. Without getting too much into debate about that I would say that the most important thing is the quality of the teaching, rather than the syllabus, this you will have to research. An IDTA school I know of locally has some very successful ballet students, and lots of Royal Ballet JAs/MAs and vocational students.

orabel Wed 10-May-17 11:20:10

My child did both RAD and IDTA concurrently at two schools grin So I'm advocating neither.

Other differences. RAD does the character (national) dances, which is quite nice (with the character skirts and shoes), they also use props for some of the exercises/dances. I find it more performance based since the syllabus changed. IDTA has the unseen enchainements and creative improvisation from an earlier age.

orabel Wed 10-May-17 11:24:24

My daughter changed from RAD to ISTD as, unfortunately, we couldn't find a good enough RAD school in this area. She's continuing with IDTA also.

elfonshelf Mon 15-May-17 21:37:00

My DD has always done ISTD Cecchetti, if we had to chose between RAD and IDTA, then I would go with RAD. There's also ISTD Imperial which is very well regarded, and Vaganova (harder to find in the UK). If you ever want to move schools, you have a lot more choice of others doing the same syllabus if you do RAD... lots of experience finding a new Cecchetti school and RAD would have been a gazillion times easier. Good teaching and a teacher that your child is happy with is vital.

Otherwise it comes down to what you are looking for - a fun class for a few years; serious ballet with a view to Associates, pre-vocational etc; a recreational class with chance for performance, festivals and so on.

pinksparklyrollerskate Tue 16-May-17 08:05:09

Thank you everyone. We have joined the RAD school - it seems really good so far smile

orabel Tue 16-May-17 10:37:59

Good choice, OP. Glad it's going well.

Agree Elf, if choosing between RAD and IDTA for ballet I'd opt for RAD (though obviously taking into consideration the teaching, school and reputation and successes). My child does Cecchetti too! My elder child does the Imperial syllabus grin

Minimusiciansmama Tue 16-May-17 11:03:15

We are really pleased with our new RAD school. I hope it works out for your little one xxx

Sasel4 Wed 06-Sep-17 07:44:43

I can't believe you said that teachers who teach RAD take their teaching seriously
All qualified teachers take their teaching seriously.
RAD, ISTD and IDTA are all equal
If you have an exciting expressive teacher each association is good.
You can have good and bad teachers in all society's
RAD is still classed as a society you join if your in the upper class bracket.

taxi4ballet Wed 06-Sep-17 13:59:36

RAD is still classed as a society you join if your in the upper class bracket

Er... what?

You can't just 'join' the RAD anyway. My dd is an ARAD, it is a professional qualification which she worked extremely hard for (and for what it's worth, we are about as far from being upper class as it is possible to get).

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