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Character or Pointe?


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Why does Ballet Split?

Why Character in Grade 6, 7 and 8 and Pointe in InterFoundation, Inter and Advanced 1 etc?

My DD hopes to do both but with her long school hours I am worried this will be too much ballet I am worried she will be too tired and that this will damage her progression, confidence and stamina.


Any help, she is doing RAD in the UK?

1 Inter Foundation, 2x Grade 5 and 1 Jazz a week.

She is hoping to take up 2 more classical classes in addition to these.

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That's just the way that the RAD curriculum is built. Recreational track gets character, vocational track gets pointe. It wouldn't surprise me if it had been designed that way in order to encourage students to take both tracks and thus increase their classload, and build stamina. In a more ideal world, the vocational tracks would also get a separate character class, but that's just me talking.

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Thanks Mr Johnson, it certainly makes sense for dancers to pursue both tracks and therefore be taking more classes.

When I took RAD children's exam curriculum 30 years ago grades 5-8 did not exist. Once in pre-elementary our teacher introduced a separate character/demi-character class and we all adored doing it.

I will definitely encourage my dd to take both tracks.

R :D

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Amy does RAD ballet in the UK - she does Grade 6; Inter Foundation; Pointe and now using some missed classes catch-ups doing Inter as well (instead of sitting in the cafe in between classes for 1hr 15mins!!).


To be in Inter Foundation at our school you need to do minimum of another 2hrs ballet so if you were only doing Grade 5 you would do Grade 5 & 6 but as soon as you start on pointe you can drop the 2nd grade class and that still keeps your class level up.


As your daughter does Inter & 2 x Grade 5 if she takes up pointe could you not ask if she can drop her 2nd grade 5 class? - from what I understand it's quite commonly done.




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Your daughters are so lucky that character is offered where they are! My 11year old dd took character at her home SI this summer and LOVED it! The teacher did a fabulous job not only teaching character, but giving the history to it. Didn't it used to be offered more? It seems to me to be so important that a dancer have this training...or maybe I'm all wet. I'd much rather see character offered than jazz. This instructor, a well known character teacher, said there are only a couple dozen character teachers left in the US...could this be true??

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People who teach exclusively character, as a part of a larger ballet school curriculum, that's probably correct. But most character teachers also teach ballet technique.

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We don;t have a separate Character class or anything - it's just part of the RAD syllabus that they study so when they get to Grade 1 they need a character skirt & shoes - each different grade is different style I think - Amy mentioned something about having Spaning Grade 5 hands the other week when she was meant to be doing Russian or Hungarian or something!!


All looks the same to me though!!!!



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Hi. Sorry to interrupt as I'm a teacher (although I have got a dancing daughter under 13 too!). Just thought you might like to know the countries RAD character comes from. Grades 1 & 2 are Hungarian (flat hands on waist), Grades 3 & 4 are Russian (fists on waist) and Grade 5 is Polish (fists slightly lower, on the top of the hip). Then Grade 6 goes back to Hungarian (not sure about 7 & 8 as I haven't taught them yet).


I definitely think it's good to do vocational grades and higher grades alongside each other if the student is up to it, they're completely different styles and give different things. Vocational grades are very technical and although the higher grades obviously involve technique too they're more 'stylised' and really nice to do. Obviously the main theory is that vocational grades are for those considering a career in dance and higher grades are for those who aren't.

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Hi, no the RAD doesn't do Greek as such but it is incorporated into the free movement section of RAD ballet classes! I think the ISTD does Greek dance as a separate subject.


(ISTD is Imperial Society for Teachers of Dancing - like the RAD but they do styles other than ballet)

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Wonder where Amy got her Spanish hands then!!


I'm not too sure about the Greek tho - Amy has a Greek dance for her competitions (there is a Greek section) and it is all on the ###### of your feet stuff and strong arms, no turnout apparently! She ended up with really really sore feet at the last competition - got her dance a week before comp and was working really hard on it and ended up with bad pains on the top of her feet!




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Ouch! The RAD free movement doesn't do stuff on the ###### of your feet, it's more about the shapes and not using turnout. I've never actually seen proper Greek dance being done though.

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It's certainly interesting - gallops and stuff where you cann't put your heel down - you can at certain times of the dance put them down but any sort of movement must be pretty much up on demi - if arms out then straight out palms facing forward I think.


It even has it's own bow at the end!!




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Scottish and Irish dance is done on the ###### of the feet too aren't they? I wonder if people get sore feet doing that? I imagine it must result in shorter calf muscles if you do a lot of it which doesn't compliment ballet too well! :)

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