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Dancer daughter 11 years old


Guest ana c

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Hello, I have a daughter who is 11 yrs. old and loves ballet. She was asked to take the pe-elementary exam RAD forum. She is a beautiful dancer and has great musicality, drive and potential. However she is growing very fast, (5 ft.5in now) will be 12 in May, and she does have issues with maintaining turnout. She has always had a problem with turnout but is working hard and has greatly improved. I was informed that she may fail the exam due to this issue. Should I reconsider having her take the exam if her teacher is predicting failure? Do the examiners not look at other issues when testing dancers or if turnout is not adequate, is that an automatic criteria for failure inspite of everything else? One of her instructors suggested that I consider giving her Ipecac the am of the exam if she cannot make the corrections before the exam so she won't be devastated. This suggestion is absurd and out of the question for me. Please help!

ana c

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Hello, ana, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :flowers:

 

Good grief! Next time that instructor starts prescribing, go get a police officer! That's not just bad advice, it's actually illegal!

 

Your daughter's main instructor has a say in whether she takes an examination or not. An examination cannot proceed without an instructor signing off that the student is ready for the exam. It is hypocrisy for a teacher to recommend a student to an examiner, then tell the student and/or parents that she may fail. The student is either recommended or she is not. It is the instructor's job to get a candidate to examinable status.

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Thank-you. My husband and I were upset about it. Do you think that my daughter should take the exam when her teacher said she may fail. The exam is 3/8-10. What impact does it have other than emotional? :

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Welcome ana c! :blushing:

 

I'm sorry but I have to address this. It is totally irresponsible for a dance instuctor (or anyone) to advise that a child take medication to make them ill (or throw up) for any reason. :D

 

 

 

I would get out of that "school" as fast as possible. Anyone who would suggest such a thing does not seem to have your childs best interest at heart. I'm sorry that you are in such a situation. Hang in there! :D

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Guest costumier

I would agree, find a better teacher fast!

 

Also, if you can find a physiotherapist who specialises in working with dancers they may be able to help her with turnout. One of my DDs had turnout issues (she is marginal physically for professional dancing but has a lot of redeeming features, sounds a bit like your DD). We found a great physio at a sports medicine centre who works with the tertiary dance students and professional dancers in our city. She gave DD a whole lot of strengthening exercises, mainly for the hip flexors, so now she can make the most of what she does have. Combined with working really hard on turnout exercises and stretches from her ballet teacher, and lots of ronds de jambe a terre, it's made a huge difference in just a few months. She now looks better than some of the students who have perfect natural turnout but aren't so strong.

 

Good luck!

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I agree advising you make her sick is very inappropriate. Was she joking?? If so it was a very bad joke!

Intermediate Foundation is not a mandatory exam and you can move on to Intermediate without it. 11 is REALLY young to take intermediate foundation also. It is the minimum age and many students are 12 and 13.

Also PT and Pilates can really improve the turnout. I have had dancers pass IF without 180 turnouts. If everything else is very well in place and the dancers is very competant in all areas.

I think when it comes down to it, the teacher has to let you know if she thinks the child needs another year on the work. It is then up to the teacher and the students to decide if they should "go for it" or not. I have had dancers go in who wanted to try it even when I was hesitant if they would pass or not. If they decided to go for it, we do everything we can (including privates to help them pass) Luckily I have always been successful. :D

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Guest costumier

Yes I hadn't thought about it, but I don't think ANYONE in my daughter's studio has done IntFound at 11. My DD will be 13 when she takes the exam. Better in my opinion to be really well prepared with a solid technique, and feeling confident, than to rush through earlier than usual. Also if their technique is more solid they don't take as long to prepare for the exam which means they can have more variety and interest in their programme. Doing RAD exercises every day all year may be worthy but it's not exactly inspiring! DD's teacher likes to mix it up with a bit of French, Italian and Russian styles so the kids get used to picking up steps quickly and engaging their brains. Then they prepare solidly for the exam for only a few months because they basically know the work already, they just have to perfect all the stylistic details.

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Guest pink tights

Has anyone other than the instructor who recommended making your dd sick told you she has issues with turnout? I'm just wondering if you should trust this persons advice or opinions on anything! Might I suggest taking your dd to another school for a "test drive"--a different teacher may have a different opinion and you might find a school that is a better fit for her. She may not have poor turnout; it could just be that her teacher is nut. Best of luck to you and your dd.

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Knock knock, not a parent!

Mods, delete if necessary.

 

I just don't understand why your daughter's teacher would encourage her to take the exam if she believes she won't pass. Her instructors obviously saw her talent and potential- if they hadn't, why would they ask her to learn the syllabus in the first place? I say congratulations to your daughter for going for the exam at 11, it is true that most people who take the intermediate foundation are at least 12 or 13. I took the exam a couple days before my 13th birthday.

If the grading scale has not changed in the last few years, I believe that it is possible for your daughter to pass the exam if she gets reasonable technical marks and high marks in presentation and the classical dance. If I remember correctly, the lowest possible score for a pass is 40 out of 100, which does not seem too difficult to achieve.

I have limited turnout myself, but if your daughter keeps practicing using the maximum turnout possible for her body, I'm sure it will be evident to the examiner that she is working the turnout muscles to their full potential. I worked on improving my turnout and also playing up my better attributes, and I got a Distinction with 94 out of 100! My point is that your daughter shouldn't give up hope, and certainly her teacher should not be telling you to sabotage her exam! I've never heard of a suggestion like this, but it is certainly ridiculous. I think that it is quite far-fetched to suggest that her turnout, if that is her only weakness, would be enough to keep her from passing. There are so many factors that an examiner considers when watching a dancer. I'm sure the examiner will notice her musicality, and most importantly, her love for dance. The classical dance is a great opportunity for her to display those qualities.

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Can anyone explain what this RAD thing is.. I'm reading all the posts, but it doesnt make sense to me.. can anyone help me out on this?

 

What is a pe-elementary exam RAD forum

 

Thanks

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It appears to me that "forum" may be a misspelling for "form" used in the sense of "grade", as "4th form" means approximately grade 8 or 9 in American educational usage. "Form" in this sense is not a standard RAD usage. Pre-elementary was the old name for the present Intermediate Foundation vocational track class and examination. Minimum age to take this exam is 11.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest ana c

I followed up with headmistress but ignored the nutty suggestion of the other. I don't know what the teacher was thinking when they suggested this, it is scary. Anyway, my husband and I approached this opportunity as a learning one for our daughter. This is not a major exam as far as I know and I tried to take all the pressure off by not putting any value in hard comments that were made and discussed the value of keeping her esteem up inspite of all. It is a very competetive world and this is only the beginning. This reinforcement(?) may have been utilized to get my daughter to put forth all effort(?). Anyway, she took her exam felt good and we are awaiting results.

Is there an easier route to follow? what schools in the NY tristate area can be recommended does anyone know?

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Ipecac. I find it offensive on several layers. I can't imagine encouraging the misuse or abuse of a medication for a ballet exam. Nothing like promoting deception. When did the instructor get a license to practice medicine? It's a terrible message for an eleven year old. What worries me is there may be parents would follow the recommendations.

 

I'm glad you're considering a different school.

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Is there an easier route to follow? what schools in the NY tristate area can be recommended does anyone know?

 

ana c - I know that there are good ballet schools in the tristate area that people can recommend to you. I live on the other side of the country, so I'm no help! But I wanted to bump your post up so that people who can help will have a chance to see this part of your post. :)

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