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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RAD Grade 6


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I was in the dance store buying character shoes and I asked to have a peep at the Grade 6 syllabus book. Wow, the exercises are so long plus I have never done character so I have no idea what a pas marche, holubetz? etc is. It looks harder than Inter-Foundation.


The lady was really suspicious, "You're sure you're in Grade 6? How come you don't have character shoes already?" How to explain my situation? That I'm an adult starter and never did the lower grades...so complex. I'm not really in Grade 6 anyway. Would like to downgrade when they start Grade 6 but the present babies in Grade 3 won't start Grade 4 until April next year. Not sure what will happen since my teacher has no Grade 4/5. Grade 6 will be really tough for me to keep up with because I don't have the lower grades to build on.


I hate dance stores because I'm an overweight adult. I always get funny looks and the "what grade is your daughter in" remarks. It's for me, thank you very much. Grrrr...luckily I don't have to deal with ordering pointe shoes...now THAT would raise eyebrows...

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As a fellow overweight adult, I can totally sympathise!


I do Cecchetti rather than RAD for similar reasons to the ones you mention (except in my case it was the free movement which scared me rigid) - isn't there an "Exercise for back flexibility" or something like that?

(I have about the most inflexible back in the world!)


I read all your posts on the other thread and feel for you completely!


At least if you do Grade 6, you can learn it from scratch rather than "play catchup" which is where I am at right now, going into an Intermediate class where 3 people are about to do an exam and everyone already knows all the combinations.


The other thing about Grade 6 is that you do not have to be as good technically, so even though the combinations are more complicated, you don't have to do them as well.


(In Cecchetti, we have the "Standards", which are like RAD 6-8, in that they are more about performance than technique, alongside the Grades.)


The combinations in the Standards are also more complicated and "dancey". Personally, like you, I prefer learning shorter exercises so I can concentrate on the "how" rather than the "what", and then learn the more dancey stuff later, once I am secure in my technique. (If that day ever comes!)


Anyway, good luck with Grade 6, I'm sure it won't be as bad as you think.



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I once sent RAD an email suggesting that they release updated videos of their exam syllabi on vcd or dvd. No response. Maybe if other adults would send them emails too? That would be so useful for adults who can't squeeze in so many classes per week.


I haven't seen a vcr player for years and anyway the current videos are outdated.It seems ridiculous to buy a vcr just to watch RAD videos.


Oh Jane, I don't think free movement is that difficult. My general impression is that you just run and hop around with a large silk scarf and twirl it over your head or something.


I'm sure Cecchetti must be lots much fun but all the studios here do RAD. For that reason I want to be familiar with the RAD system.


Hope I don't end up in Grade 3 and have to pretend to be a fairy princess. LOL Also the girls in my class wear brightly coloured tank leos, I shudder to think how I would look in one. The Grade 3 tots wear a pastel colour...that would look awful on fat adults. I really admire people who can wear colours like that but they are invariably young and very thin.Plus, you can see the sweat...I stick to black.

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I did Grade 6 as an adult in a class of kids and I'd like to reassure you that it's not that difficult. Some of it is actually fun, particularly the pirouettes.


If you have a teacher worth her salt she'll explain everything to you. Presumably no-one in your class knows character dance yet? Free movement is easy (although I must admit it does seem a bit silly prancing about with a length of silk).


Long combinations are good - you feel more like a proper dancer learning dances rather than just little snippets of steps. Break them down and learn them phrase by phrase. You will get used to it.


I found it helpful to get the book and the CD and to practice in my spare time.


I'm sure it will be fine. Onwards and upwards! :giveup:

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Kate, the kids came from Grade 5 and they have done Polish stuff before. All this would be totally new to me and I'm not sure if I can catch up with them. One of the few tall girls would be stuck partnering me. I hope the unlucky one wouldn't curse her luck. I'm one of the tallest because the second oldest girl is about 13. Guess what, I'm just over five feet so you can imagine their size.


If I'm in Grade 3, no one will be big enough to dance with me at all...in fact, I would be worried about tripping and squashing them.


H/w I'm glad to hear that you managed fine. I always feel inspired whenever someone on this board passes an exam.:giveup:

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:giveup: I didn't actually pass - I got 49%! It was my first ballet exam and I wasn't confident enough and didn't quite care enough either. After Grade 6 I went on to do Elementary (I don't know what this grade is called anymore) and got on with that much better because it was so technical and I love technique much more than character and free movement (which showed in my Grade 6 exam report.)


Passing exams isn't the be-all and end-all. I know I'm not very good at dancing and I'm never going to be skinny. I just love going to class and doing the moves.


Having said that doing syllabus classes is an excellent way of learning technique, gaining strength and confidence.


I wondered - are you limited to RAD classes with kids, or are there adult classes you could try? You might find that doing some classes with other adult learners like yourself (alongside the RAD classes) might help you gain some confidence.

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I think Elementary is today's Intermediate.


Adult classes well, I've been really disappointed by them. My first class was an adult one and attendance was so bad one day I was the only one who turned up! Plus the adults wore all kinds of grotesque exercise gear including zebra-striped leos, plastic pants, dance in socks etc. Can the teacher see anything at all? Arghhh... Mind you, I'm more than 2X pounds overweight so if I have the guts to appear in leos and tights, I don't see why they can't....In the end, the class got cancelled (not enough takers) and I switched studios.


I would grind my teeth when the teacher let us do things the sloppy way because we are only "doing it for fun." I know of a studio (name withheld to protect the guilty) who let pointe-obsessed adult beginners go en pointe way too early...and myriad other horrors.


Like all beginners, I dream of being en pointe but putting dancers en pointe too early in order to retain them is unethical...I left one of my previous studios because I had doubts about the quality of instruction. It isn't right to suggest to someone 2x pounds overweight who has been dancing for 3 months that she can go en pointe! I had an injury last year so I take such things really, really seriously.


I've taken trial adult classes at a lot of studios so I can compare. In general, there is no discipline and the teachers tend to have a dismissive attitude. Once, you're past the beginner stage, they don't have proper classes for you and no pointe even for advanced dancers. I prefer to be with adults but not under such conditions....for this I put up with being the oldest in class.


There's a private studio that actually has something of a proper program for adults but fees are expensive and it takes me more than an hour to travel there.


I can only afford one class per week now but once I can afford it, I shall ask my teacher if there are any more classes I can join.A serious RAD class for adults simply doesn't exist....and serious classes for adults who want more than exercise are rare...Teachers who will coach adults for exams?...very rare...Imagine having an adult who has never done RAD appearing in your Grade 5 or whatever class of children. She doesn't know the basic vocabulary well, is less turned-out and flexible than usual, is slower than her classmates and has trouble remembering combinations. Would you have the patience to coach her?


The trick is getting the first teacher who would say yes. Not an easy task...I think I have called most of the studios in my country at one point or another and getting insulted over the phone.


Sorry for the long diatribe, I'm just worked up over the bad dance training for adults here. Yes, I would if there is a good class. If there are none, I will take with kids if the teacher allows me.

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i think the salesperson at the dance store is really rude to ask such questions. i would have thought that they are used to adult students by now, especially since there are so many adult classes around. sakura, i assume you were at okh?


with regards to adult classes, have you tried the singapore dance theatre adult classes? they aren't cheap but i think the teachers are rather good. or if you don't mind a hard taskmaster, anthony at dance arts is a very thorough teacher.


anyway, if you have any queries, feel free to pm me. i've gone through most of the problems you're facing now, so i'll be glad to help in any way i can. we adult hippos have to stick together! :wub:

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I would grind my teeth when the teacher let us do things the sloppy way because we are only "doing it for fun."


Aargh!!! My pet hate!


I have just escaped from a class exactly like that (not even adults, but with teenagers the teacher mostly regarded as "no-hopers" so she didn't even bother to teach them any technique).


I wonder how much better some of those kids could have been if they had been corrected properly all along? I mean, she didn't even bother to mention basic faults like rolling over in plies!


She would rush through a perfunctory barre, doing each exercise on one side only, and then do 20 mins of pointe at the end of a 1-hour class (these kids only do 2 hours ballet a week).


So don't think it's just in Singapore these things happen, it is the same here.


I really think you should give Grade 6 a try at least, and then after a few classes if you find it is too hard you can ask if you can try a Grade 3 class (but that will seem REALLY easy after Inter Foundation!) She may not let you though because of the height difference, if you have to do partner work.


In Cecchetti we don't do Character, but we've tried it a couple of times in the "fun class at end of term" scenario & I really enjoyed it.



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In the vocational grades (RAD Inter) you will not have to deal with character dances, however, I think that the technical part is much more difficult than in the graded classes. Apart from the 'dance' in RAD Interm, all the exercises are really short, but VERY precise. The graded exams seems to have much longer exercises, but if the class just started, it might be easier to pick up. :-) Maybe you should talk to your teacher about your concerns? She has accepted you to your class, thus I am sure she will support you to learn the syllabus. Good luck!

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I have had simular problems, it took me over a year just to find adult classes, most people burst out laughing at the mention of it :yes:

luckily for me I found an incredible teacher, who was wonderful from the start. I felt good immediately when they asked me how old I was (cringe!) and I replied 23 - the response I got was ''oh you're still a baby!''


I felt comfortable straight away and felt like I was taken seriously, my teacher has been so supportive and inspirational :lol:


I also have the same predicament with the level of classes I take, as the only true adult beginner, I either go in with the younger ones (who are all working on different syllabus) or in with the intermediate and advanced students?

Although I love all the classes I guess I learn alot from the different levels but find it hard to progress and my memory isnt great, remembering different exercises for the different levels and I cant even rely on the music to remind me as they all use different music too :)

I would love to work on the same exercises and complete them to perfection - ok as close as they might ever be!!!

You should definately give grade six a try - think positive :wink:

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I can sympathise because recently while I was visiting England, I tried to get some classes. It was the school holidays and the first I went to was mixed ages and abilities. The youngest was about seven and the oldest thirteen. It was SO humiliating, and everything went so fast. We're talking grand plies at light speed. I was so grumpy when it was over! The other place had adult classes, but the barre lasted 15 minutes tops, there was no really thoughtful correction (terrible posture all over the place) and again, everything was done at such speed. I'm sure dancing fast is suitable for some people, but not for me, and looking around the class, no-one was coping. It was weird because the teacher had a good reputation in that area. I guess she didn't take the adults seriously.


I would like to invite you all to Australia to come to my wonderful, wonderful teacher. Our studio is adults only, and it's all free work, which is very good for your memory. Nothing undignified ever happens. (Unless you count my grand allegro). I feel teachers who don't take adults seriously are a bit weird, because I'm so used to my teacher, who takes us very seriously. The difference is huge. If I had only tried those classes in England, I would never have bothered being an adult learner and would probably think you all were crazy! I'm dreading ever moving back to England.


We have rude girls in the ballet shop though!

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  • 5 years later...

Hi guys, so happy to read all these posts!


I'm wondering, Sakura, where is the studio in Singapore that you take grade 6 classes with kids? That's an inspiration - because I would love to do RAD syllabus as an adult.


I took ballet when I was younger and in australia when I was 18 but you know after leaving it for years and years, I want to come back and find myself starting all over again. And as you know, there doesnt seem to be any studios in Singapore doing RAD syllabus for adults.

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HI Ariellabelle,


My teacher Ms Veron Shen takes adults in for RAD syllabuses. She has several adults in her different classes and she is very patient, willingly to work and give you corrections. There is a girl who is around 22 who is taking G5 right now, not exactly an adult dancer but just alittle bit late. I am 19 right now and I take RAD Intermediate together with G7.

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Ariellabelle. Glad you've already found some useful information.


You might note, however, that the post you're replying to is almost 6 years old. You might get better information -- more up to date -- if you start a new thread, asking for ideas and suggestions for what you're looking for in classes.

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