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I have my RAD grade 6 and 7 ballet exam on the 29 May. I started dancing again last September and although I have gotten most of my muscle tone and turnout back I am just wondering if I am too old now! I haven't been able to maintain a 90 degree developpe since, well, ever and my pirouettes (sp) are shocking!


My dance teacher says I am ready but I am bit worried that the examiner will hold my age and strength against me.


(I am not worried about the pirouettes because none of the girls in my class can do a decent turn!!)





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Guest beckster

Hey, I took Grade 6 after 2 years of ballet (having never done it before) at the age of 24 and I got a merit. I took the exam with 12-year-olds so there was no disguising my advanced years. I think the examiners only expect a 90 degree extension for intermediate - for the non-vocational exams they just want it to be correct and it doesn't matter if it's only at 45 or 60 or whatever. Mine certainly wasn't 90, I know that.


The main thing about these exams are that they are a test of your performance abilities. So while you should have reasonable technique and an understanding of what each step is trying to achieve, you will get lots of marks if you really look like you are enjoying yourself and if you look like you are dancing for the examiner. So (for example) at the start of the grade 7 grande allegro there is a moment where you gesture with each arm. That gesture is not about showing a perfect first position to demi seconde. It is there to say "look at me, I am dancing this for you."


Your teacher wouldn't put you in for this if you weren't ready. S/he has put people in for these exams before and she knows what the standard is. That's her job! When I took grade 6 I was terrified and convinced I wasn't good enough. I was genuinely shocked to get a merit as I was just expecting a pass. My technique marks were very poor but it's possible to make up for that with your expression and free-movement marks. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

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for grade 7, we weren't even allowed to have our developpes extremely high...i had a sort of problem with that sometimes :shrug: , because it is based on the romantic style in the early years of the romantic period, especially grade 7...and in that time, the legs weren't that high as you see them nowadays...


as beckster said, the grade 6 - 8 exams are more about performance. enjoy the exams and lots of luck on may 29th!!



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No, I can assure you they will not hold it against your age (I have had distinction in all higher grades -except gr 7 with an awful examiner, but I still passed it- well passed my 20th birthday!) :shrug:


They in fact don't look at your age in the grades, because that's the intended exams for any student (so why would they have them in the first place? :shrug: )


It may be a bit different for vocational exams, but if you attempt them, then you know what you need (good technique) to pass them, so it's also something you're aware of then.

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