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Information on RAD

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Hi, for those of you who got any knowledge about RAD. I've got a question.


I notice that the grade syllabus books from pre-priamry to grade 5 is for male and femal and grade 6 to 8 is female only. Does this mean that the girls have 3 grades more then the boys ?



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  • Fred


  • Rio


  • Kate B


  • Xena


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I think it's because traditionally if any boys got to Grade 5 they would almost automatically go onto the pre-professional majors syllabus (there being so few boys that take ballet class for that long without dropping out for whatever reason.)


Grades 6-8 are for recreational dancers or to supplement the major exams, i.e. in other words girls that do not expect to become professional dancers. Grade 6 and 7 have quite sylphide-like choreography, totally put together for girls IMO.

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However, I would like to see more places offer the character classes to supplement the vocational track to give both young men and women the necessary training in that useful genre. That and dedicated men's work equivalent to pointe for women.

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I'd expect that eventually (soon?) demand for non-professional but serious training for young people and adult beginners (male and female) will be such that the RAD see fit to meet it.


After all, isn't ballet for recreation only a recent phenomenon, especially where adults are concerned? Grades 6-8 for girls are still quite a new thing.

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Guest beckster

I am certain that more adults take ballet for recreation than they used to. Especially in the UK. I hope the RAD will reflect this in the future by perhaps creating some exams for adults, similar to the higher grades for girls but with choreography which is a) suited to both males and females, :D allows a solid grounding in the basics of technique without having to spend three years pretending to be a bunny rabbit and c) takes into account the physical limitations faced by those who start ballet at a later age.

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Wdo you meen by option b ? Do you refer to all the hops that are in the RAD sylibus ? I've got a book whicj covers grade 1 to 5 and notice each grade got some kind of a hop in it. Is that why you made the statemant about the rabit becuase in RAD you bounce alot ?


Open to everyone :


Do you think the other styles are better then RAD and how do they compare to RAD ?

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Guest beckster

Oh, no, I just meant the "creative dance/movement to music" aspect of the earliest grades. Bunny rabbits or flowers growing, whatever. Unnecessary for adults - we can start learning saute's without pretending to have long ears and a fluffy tail ;)


I agree that RAD do just LOVE pose temps leve (sp?) though! They are in just about every exercise in grade 6. I used to complain that they had just stuck them in the end of every combination to trick you into thinking it was more dancey!

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i'll just add in my 2 cents' worth and state that i agree with everything that has been said so far. as an adult beginner wanting to take exams, i'm sad to say that i have yet to find a suitable class for taking RAD exams. Part of the reason should be due to the fact that my level is probably around that of grade 5 or 6, and the teachers are unwilling to put me in a class comprising of mostly 11-13 years old girls.


i would like to become a dance teacher in the future, hopefully in ballet, and an RAD qualification is very important to me. however, the environment is just not suitable for an adult beginner. :D


i wish that there are places to learn character out of graded ballet classes though. i find character dances beautiful, and i really wish i could learn.:P

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I received the following letter fro, RAD in connection with age and exams :


" Hi Freddie


There are only minimum age requirements - 6 years or over for Primary - 7 years and over for Grades 1 to 5 - 11 years and over for grades 6- 8. Therefore as long as you are physically able to do the exam it does not matter how old the candidate is.


Hope this answers your question




Lorraine "

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Guest beckster

Sapphirenite, I took my RAD classes with people ranging from 12 upwards. I took the grade 6 exam with three teenagers much younger than me. Once I got used to it, I didn't even notice the age difference most of the time. Maybe you could suggest to the teacher that you had a few "trial" lessons with the teens - and use them to prove to her that you are dedicated and won't cause any disruption to the class.

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I must add that, the two years I spent doing RAD Elementary (I think it's called 'Intermediate Foundation' or something like that now) brought my technique and confidence on light years ahead of where I was after just doing grade 6 (and failing by 2%!)


For adult beginners it is important to be challenged, and perhaps starting on grade 5 and then doing the majors and grades 6-8 (for 'danciness') at the same time would work for lots of people who take their recreational dancing seriously.


Edit: Oops! Posted this at the same time as beckster... I was lucky doing the Ele - I was a student and so could go to classes whenever. I also went to a dance school where the students were 16-18, so I didn't feel too old or out of plce. It's diffferent now, working full time, so what we really need are similar classes that are on at good times of day and fit our 'level of competence' and offer the challenge and teaching we deserve.

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Hi Fred


In response to your question Do you think the other styles are better then RAD and how do they compare to RAD ?


yes I do think the other styles are better than RAD to be perfectly honest. Having done NATD, American (mixture of stlyes I guess) and now Cecchetti/ISTD (I can never spell that properly!) I feel that I can discuss the issues a bit more.

I did 15 years of NATD and then just over 2 years of RAD, yet every single teacher I have met has had a go at me for how RAD I dance, it drives me nuts.

I found that RAD is OKish but it isn't a method per se, unlike Cecchetti (Mr Robin will agree with me here ;) . It doesn't teach you how to actually dance for performance, and I mean really dance to music. dancing in the US opened my eyes and i thought they were already open after doing NATD and RAD, but my god no.

To be honest, although I loved RAD, (or rather the people I were dancing with made it great to do), it didn't give me what I found with ballet in the US. RAD is too set almost, if that makes sense. i cannot find quite the right words to explain. Don't get me wrong I would go to an RAD class, but if I had a choice of a non-syllabus based class and a syllabus class, I would go with the non-syllabus class. But as I would dearly love to continue and finish off my exams in NATD and RAD , I guess I have to go with it, but I would go back into it a bit wiser and with more understanding of what you really can do with ballet and not what someone has set in a series of grades.

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beckster i think the worse part is actually the kids staring like you're some kind of alien creature cum zoo animal.


i also have a feeling that the teachers are just unwilling to take adult students because they find it too tedious to train an older person to their "standard", as the kids in the higher grades would have followed the teacher for a few years and know her requirements better. by placing an adult in a grade 5 class, for example, the teacher would have to spend time training her to the "level" of the rest of the class.


i'll be talking to 2 teachers this sat. hopefully one of them would be able to place me in a class (this is already the 5th/6th teacher that i'm begging):D

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When I was looking for a teacher who taght adults, most of them wanted people with experience, they do not want to teach from scratch, the teachers who do take beginners is mostly open classes with no exams in mind. I found only one teacher who took beginners and prepeare them for exams if they where interested in it. Her in South Afrfrica teaxher giving adults classes are very scarce.

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Hi Xena if you do not mind I do not have alot of knowledge of ballet and how the classes work If you do not mind can you maybe explain a bit how classes with out a sylibus (sp) works.



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