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eunheejun

Help on free enchainment

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eunheejun

I am preparing for the RAD intermediate exam. This is my fourth semester as an adult student and I have no previous training. In the entire exam, I find the free enchainment the most difficult due to some steps I haven't quite internalized yet, and of course the mental blocks. I guess I am ok up to about the third step and then I can't think of the next step and everything falls apart from there. Among those of you who have taken RAD exams as an adult student like me, what are some of the tricks that worked for you? Making a quick song with the given steps and signing it in your head, visualizing the steps....any input would be helpful! Thank you.

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Mel Johnson

OK, the fact that you can't name the steps where your feet develop minds of their own tells me something. Get your teacher to repeat the combination for you after class, then as quickly as you can, perhaps while your teacher is still showing you and talking, write down the steps so that you can review them after. Ask any needed questions then.

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Dance_Scholar_London

Can you take some free class in addition to your syllabus classes?

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eunheejun

I take two classes/week for adults which I use as supplement classes to my syllabus class which I take one/week with teens. I just chose to take the exam to do things "more properly" or "up to standard" I guess.

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Hamorah

If it's any comfort to you the free enchainement is problematic for everyone. I work on it quite a lot in my set exam classes because of that. The real problem is that students are used to a teacher demonstrating the exercises and tend to just pick enchainements up visually. Even in "free" classes that's generally how it works - the teacher demonstrates. In the "free enchainement" the examiner doesn't demonstrate, just tells you the name of the steps and you have to do them. So first of all you need to learn the vocabulary required for the Intermediate exam. Perhaps the teacher would photocopy the relevant page in her syllabus book which gives you the vocabulary. If the examiner were to ask you for a glissade derriere, assemble over, pas de bouree under with the front foot, pas de chat, sissone de cote over, sissone under, soubresaut - would you know what she was talking about it? That's the first trick to help you succeed - learn the names of the exercises and know what they mean.

 

In the exam the examiner will do her best to make sure that you understand what she wants. After she has taught you the enchainement, she will give you time to work on it quietly and then she will give you a chance to do it with the music. In all I think she gives you the chance to do the enchainement two or three times before she actually marks you on it. And when all is said and down it's only marked as part of the allegro section, so even if you totally muss it up, it's not a big deal.

 

Well done for taking your studies seriously and wanting to do the exam as part of it - I am sure it will give you a big push forward and you've done very well to get to the level of Intermediate in such a short time! Good luck and don't worry! The exam marking is 60% for technique and 40% for musicality and performance and you only need 40% to pass! :yes:

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Dance_Scholar_London

Is there actually a large difference for free enchainements for boys or girls (at Intermediate level)?

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eunheejun

Thank you for your informative reply, Hamorah.

 

For our free enchainment practice, the teacher does not demonstrate steps at all. So the situation is just like a real exam. I wish somebody held up a series of flash cards to help me see which steps are coming next :yes: The fact is, there are some really automatic sequence of steps like (glissade derriere+assemble over/assemble battu over) or (pas de chat+pas de bouree) which I guess have become almost like one step to me. So when those sequences are given as part of the enchainment, there is more memory capacity available for me. But given the short time of training, there are a lot of other steps which I can execute with effort, but not ballistically, and the problem happens then. For my dissertation, I work a lot with automaticity theory and today I was analyzing my free enchainment problem based on this theory--conclusion; I need to automatize a lot more steps so that I can get my mind off the movement and use it to think of the combination and expression. But of course, any advice from experience would be greatly appreciated!

 

Eun Hee

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stitchfan

I'm not taking my intermediate exam now (or anywhere in the near future I think!), but I had the same problem as you I did the free enchainment section in the intermediate class! I can remember what I am supposed to do...up until about the 4th or 5th step...and then it all falls apart. Our teacher also doesn't demonstrate the steps but will sometimes call them out to help us when it gets a bit out of hand!

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Hamorah

Apart from the assemble battu, another step to remember is the jete ordinaire en avant. As it's not used in the syllabus, they love to give that one! By the way beware of internalising sequences - if they give you something slightly different, then it's ten to one, you'll want to do the usual combination! But as I said don't worry, because I think that many times, we teachers give you more complicated enchainements than the examiners! :innocent:

 

Dance Scholar - there isn't much difference between the vocabulary (just in pirouettes and mainly grand allegro because the boys don't have a dance) of the boys Intermediate and the girls, which is why they have one syllabus book rather two, so there probably won't be much difference in the free enchainement either.

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Dance_Scholar_London

Yup, I was wondering if an examiner would throw in some grand allegro for the boy's intermediate free enchainement... or is it mainly petit allegro?

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Hamorah

Not for Intermediate - it would only be allegro, because they took out all the medium allegro exercises from the syllabus - assembles, sissones etc. I haven't got my book at home, so I can't be accurate. They only get two free enchainements in the Advanced 1 and 2 syllabi, as far as I remember, one in allegro and one in grand allegro.

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eunheejun

Today I tried the "singing in my head" approach when we did free enchainement practice in class-and it worked! I was able to follow through the steps a little better than yesterday and I think I can remember all the steps even now. The relatively new steps are definitely still obstacles, but with time, I hope I will get used to them.

 

Eun Hee

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eunheejun

Follow-up: I nailed today's free enchainement (a new one)!

 

Today I tried the "singing in my head" approach when we did free enchainement practice in class-and it worked! I was able to follow through the steps a little better than yesterday and I think I can remember all the steps even now. The relatively new steps are definitely still obstacles, but with time, I hope I will get used to them.

 

Eun Hee

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skippy

When i did my inter exam the free enchainment was the one part i was dreading as i am useless at remembering..... the examiner went through it about four times then gave us time to mark it and then with the music..... there were four of us in the exam and none of us actually got it into our heads..oops :rolleyes: I did what my teacher has told me to do..... if you go wrong or dont remember it DONT STOP just carry on what you think you should be doing..... I did just this and :rolleyes: managed to get away with it..... probably not the best advice but it works for the worst case scenario :)

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eunheejun

Thank you for sharing your experience, skippy. I think I strated noticing certain patterns which seem to keep appearing in many past exams (like jete ordinaire derierre-coupe or coupe fouette raccourcis saute-assemble), so some sequences are not completely unpredictable, I guess. Anyway, oh I so envy you having passed the intermediate exam. It's so much harder to do the exam as an adult beginner, but I am determined! :o

 

Happy dancing!

 

Eun Hee

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