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Grade One Ballet exam

(13 Posts)
Everhopeful Wed 30-Sep-09 11:28:22

My dd has recently started working towards this. Sneaking the odd peek through the window, I can't work out what they're doing and she's not that communicative about anything like that. What I'd like is some details on what's in the exam, so I can make the question a bit more targetted (like "how did you get on with your plies?) or something like that, so I can be sure when she's ready rather than just waiting for the school to say.

I'm never too convinced they move them along at all! I know it needs to be fun, but I'm worried she'll start to lose interest if it doesn't get a bit more structured soon. On the other hand, I never did ballet myself, so what do I know?

Can anyone tell me what's in the exam?

LIZS Wed 30-Sep-09 11:32:31

dd did hers in the summer. 3rd position mainly iirc with jumps and shifting weight, arm exercises, running in into a tableau, a mime and a fan dance.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 30-Sep-09 11:37:36

You never did ballet and you have no idea of what is in the grade one syllabus, but you think you might be a better judge of when your DD is ready than the ballet school.
Are you sure you don't want to rethink that? grin
As for what is in the exam - is she doing RAD or ISTD? The syllabus is slightly different AFAIK - my children do ISTD.
But honestly, ballet is about precision - the examiners don't give away marks easily and your teacher will want her class to do well (and presumably you want your DD to do well). Leave it up to her.

Everhopeful Wed 30-Sep-09 11:38:57

Um....what's iirc? Thanks for the rest - doesn't sound too taxing, though I read somewhere that Margot Fonteyn managed to fail it the first time!

Everhopeful Wed 30-Sep-09 11:42:04

They spent last term on a show instead - I hadn't realised it was either/or though I daresay I should. Anyway, I would be happy to leave it to them to make the decision, simply I'd like some feedback from time to time. I'm conscious that a fair few of the parents seem to able to afford it as a sort of educational babysitting service, but I ain't one of them. I know the general principle seems to be that the whole class has to be ready, which I think is a bit unfair: there are several besides my kid that are way ahead of the others.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 30-Sep-09 11:43:00

How old is she?

LIZS Wed 30-Sep-09 11:43:43

"if I recall correctly"

Everhopeful Wed 30-Sep-09 11:47:54

Ta, LIZS! She's 7, milady.

Sparks Wed 30-Sep-09 11:56:46

My dd's ballet school do 'watch week' each term, when the parents are invited to come and watch the class and the teacher explains a bit about what the children are doing. That is the main 'feedback' we get - apart from the exam results of course grin

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 30-Sep-09 13:18:42

We have a watch week as well, other than that parents are strictly forbidden to watch classes as their behaviour is very distracting for the children.
Nothing worse than trying to teach a class while hearing a grown woman hissing instructions to their DD behind your back.
Right foot in front, Amanda. Back straight dear and pull your tummy in. Don't forget to smile - mother applies fingers to corners of mouth and pulls them into a rictus grin.
And of course little Amanda's mother will corner the teacher after every class to discuss her amazing progress and suggest moving her to the next class up/auditioning her for the Royal Ballet School/putting her in for the panto.
Trust me, Everhopeful, you don't want to go down that road grin

Everhopeful Thu 01-Oct-09 00:22:56

I quite agree Lady! No, I do very well understand why they keep us out of the room and agree with it. The only trouble with watch week (and we do have that) is that I think you need a bit of understanding to know what you're looking at at this age. I have no idea whether it's good, bad or indifferent, all I can see is skipping around with some of them in time with the music and some not. At least with what LIZS gave me, I have a clue what I'm looking for and can discuss with DD how she thinks she's doing with it. Last we spoke about it (well, at least every Saturday) she wants to go to RBS when she's 12 and I figure they have to be looking for something pretty magic - but it could be that the kids motor along fast after Grade 1. One my grandmas was a ballerina, so the whole family takes a slightly unhealthy interest (carefully disguised, they aren't that horrible!) in how she's doing, but none of us knows really. She certainly looks the part more than most and I would say is one of the better ones in practice, so I figure she's got to get through Grade 1, surely....

Everhopeful Thu 01-Oct-09 00:26:35

Forgot to add that watch week is simply that - there's no explanations at all. That's why I'm here, folks! If I ask questions at school, they just think I'm one of the pushy parents, but I really do just need info. If she's destined to be a keen amateur and nothing more, so be it. I'll simply draw her attention to the other things she might find interesting, since I'm mainly keen that she should try lots of things for long enough that she knows if they're for her.

islandofsodor Sun 04-Oct-09 21:56:33

IF it is RAD, then they have to be at least 7 years old before they are allowed to take the exam. Does she do character?

My dd is almost 8 and will take Grade 1 next month. She has been in the class for 12 months. They too spent last term working on a show which they do every two years.

The teacher will decide when your dd is ready. At Grade 1 what they do seems like nothing, really simple in some ways but it is getting that technical precision which leads on to the higher grades.

Oddly enough I have never watched her class despite having taught performing arts myself (not dance though).

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