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doormouse

Syllabus classes

7 posts in this topic

I'm sure this has been discussed on the parents forums for their children, but I've not found a recent adult thread on it.

I've now been dancing about 5 years, progressing steadily up through the open classes my school offers.  I adore my school and my teacher, and wouldn't give up any of my classes for anything.

In the last year, an RAD intermediate foundation class started.  I've watched several of my classmates improve through taking it, and have drawn the conclusion that a syllabus class would probably be good for my technique - if I could stand doing the same exercises week after week!  Our RAD class runs at the same time as one of my current classes, which I don't want to miss, so I'm looking around to see if I can take a syllabus class on another day, potentially elsewhere. ( My teacher is totally fine with this - it's because I don't want to miss her class that I don't want to switch to our RAD class!)

So - my questions to the "panel" are these:

First - what would you look for in an adult syllabus class?  And second, I'd be really interested to hear if others have experience of both syllabus and open classes, and what you got out of them...

:)

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I have taken both. The positive in a syllabus class is that you do perfect technique because you aren't spending a lot of time thinking about what comes next. The negative, apart from boredom, is that you might loss the ability to pick up combinations quickly because you ARE only doing the same exercises over and over. If you could combine syllabus with a couple of open classes a week, that would help keep your brain sharp.

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An RAD "Syllabus class" as such at Intermediate Foundation level should still contain some unset work for 2 reasons - 1) unset work is examinable in the allegro section and 2) when taught well a teacher should not be opening the syllabus book, teaching the exercise as set and then continuing to practice it for 12 months (or however long). Yes, nearer exam it's "drill, drill, drill" but in the long lead up the teacher should be breaking down the elements and steps of each exercise in smaller parts, hopefully using other music that is appropriate to the steps being learned, and only when the concepts have been mastered should the whole exercise be put together.  Don't forget the set syllabus work is a "showcase" of your technique, not a training methodology - that part is the teachers responsibility.

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I'm going to see a school and class tomorrow.  They are doing Intermediate, and possibly moving on to Advanced Foundation next year, so I'm not sure.  Looking at the videos, I know the steps, but also know I don't do them to the required standard!  I would feel more comfortable in an intermediate class, but I suppose that is the point of my doing this - I don't really have an interest in taking the exam (I've spent my entire adult life sitting exams!)I just want to spend time focusing on my technique.  The principle was lovely on the phone, so I'm looking forward to discussing it with her, and seeing if it's going to be the right class for me or not.

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Sounds like a good plan, let us know how you go!

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It was interesting!

It was the last class before they both broke up for the summer, and before a few of them took their exam, so I wasn't expecting to do very much.  I'd done a bit of swotting on the Intermediate syllabus exercises to help me pick up what I could, which was definitely helpful!

The principal (who teaches this class) was very complimentary - after the first exercise (plies) she said "Doormouse, we'll be keeping you! Lovely legs and feet...." which was incredibly flattering!  Most importantly, from my point of view, she thought I was "good" and had a good grounding, which meant I had not disgraced my teacher who has taught me more or less from scratch! (She, incidentally, is familiar with the principal, and thinks it will therefore be a good class, and a good challenge!)

I think, given the choice, intermediate would be the most appropriate level, and they are planning to start some advanced foundation work in September.  That said, this didn't seem to worry the teacher in terms of my keeping up etc.  I'm really not fussed about the exam (and couldn't sit it anyway without inter.found or intermediate) and its really the repetition and different focus which I'm hoping to try.  To be honest, looking at the variations and the pointe work for advanced foundation, there is stuff I may never be able to do - my feet and ankles just aren't built that way!  But I'm thinking that even learning the exercises in flats is potentially useful, and whatever I do eventually learn en pointe will be a bonus.

Still, I have a couple of months to figure it out, but I think I'll be giving it a go for a term or so :)  My 'main' classes and teacher will still be my favourite and my first ballet love, but this might be a way to do more and do better in them.....

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On 15/07/2017 at 9:39 AM, doormouse said:

 I'm really not fussed about the exam (and couldn't sit it anyway without inter.found or intermediate) and its really the repetition and different focus which I'm hoping to try. 

Just as a clarification, it is only Intermediate you need as Intermediate Foundation is not a per-requisite :) Just incase you change your mind....

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