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What should I know about dd possibly transferring to a RAD school?


Guest airlie

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Guest airlie

My 13yo dd has had Vaganova training. We are moving to a different city and I've found two schools that will be near us that have good reputations. One is a RAD school and the person I spoke to on the phone stressed to me that their teachers are RAD-certified and that the students take the RAD exams. So it seems to be a big deal to them. For placement, she suggested that my dd try a grade 4+ class but then she mentioned that most of the students in that class typically train for 8 hrs/week. This really shocked me since I looked at the official RAD web-site and dancers as young as 7 can take the grade 4 exam. I thought my dd's training as a 12yo (3 classes a week for a total of 4 hours) was plenty but I guess not. :)

 

So what I am really wondering is if a dancer with Vaganova training will have to start at a class that seems to be at a lower level than she's been in, to learn what should have been learned in the early RAD levels. Will she have to take all RAD exams starting at grade 1?

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Let's just say that your daughter's previous training was Vaganova-influenced. The actual Vaganova curriculum for a thirteen-year-old typical student would have had her in technique class every day long before this.

 

While it may be possible for a student as young as seven to take a grade 4 exam, I'd say those candidates are on the thin edge of the bell curve distribution. Usually 4s run about 9-10 years of age. Four is a good diagnostic level for students coming in from other methods to start. And no, you don't have to take all the exams back to the beginning.

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OOh, Mr. Johnson, I notice my child is just under the age when I may properly respond, but do you think I might I offer an ancient perspective? When I was just about that age 11 and 12, (this is 1968, mind you) I used to go from ABT school where the training was Russian-based, to Banff in the summers, where the training was strictly RAD. I found it difficult only in that the RAD kids were used to having to be able to do a complete barre in the center as a test of independence from it, perhaps, and were expected to 'get' combinations verbally without demonstration. I found the first physically exacting, and the second mentally so, but all in all, ballet (classical) is ballet, and the smaller differences of technique and terminology were fairly easy to adjust to. I do agree with Mel, though, that a 12 year old these days is usually doing more than your dd's three classes a week; most 12 year old kids I know (and my dd happens to be 12, too) do at least 4-5 technique classes a week, and many do 4-5 technique plus 2 pointe (extra 1/2hr-1hr each IF they are on pointe yet), and maybe even an "extra" like Pilates, Jazz, Modern, Floor Barre, whatever. But she should have fun with the RAD teachers; in my experience, they are great: they are usually very capable verbally (i.e. can explain, often briskly and energetically, what they expect of a student, which isn't always the case with teachers who haven't been trained as RAD instructors are, to teach).

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Hey, maybe I ran into you there. I took at ABT in '68! But those teachers were pre-Vaganova, with the exception of Pereyaslavec. She'd been teaching there for a long time, and then became the "fad teacher" in the late sixties.

 

Airlie, the barre done in the center isn't an examination point. It's a teaching tool which should be used sparingly. Cecchetti used to do it, too, occasionally.

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