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My 13 year old DD is reaching the point where we need to make some serious decisions about her future. Last night we sat through a presentation at her school that discussed the student class options for next year. In Bermuda we run a British based GCSE system. Now DD is RAD grade 6 with foundation. She also does a Jazz class. The GCSE program is a 2 year program and we (my wife and I) are wondering whether it's now time to move her into a full time dance school (US or Canada for convenience, but we aren't against the UK either).


To be clear, my DD knows that dance is what she wants to do. She is a very serious dancer and has aspirations beyond the blue of our small island.


Is 15 too late for her to go? Is 13 (14 in October) too soon?


Suggestions please. :unsure::sweating::sweating:

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If she would be entering what would be 9th grade in the USA for her academic studies then I don't think it is too soon and age 15 could be too late. I think it would be easier to get into a high school for the performing arts at 9th grade as opposed to later. Also, easier to get into a serious dance school when you are younger.

Some dance schools have their auditions during the spring, so now would be the time to start researching and preparing for that.

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Sparxx, what is your dancer's dance class schedule like? In the US, 13 is the modal age (that is, most are this age) for 8th grade.

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She does the following which according to her school owner is the RAD standard fior her level:


Tuesdays: Grade 6

Wednesdays: Intermediate Ballet, Body conditioning, Jazz (Grade 4)

Thursdays: Intermediate Ballet

Saturdays: Grade 6, Pointe, and a private lesson


Her schedule this year does not seem as busy as it was last year from 5 days to 4 (her private class was on Mondays by itself), but her teachers advised that this is the normal stage before she advances further.

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If you are interested in Canadian schools, then time is of the essence as the auditions are in their final phase at this point in the year.


All the best - such a difficult decision, as there isn't anything very close to home for you!









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Sparxx, what is your dancer's dance class schedule like? In the US, 13 is the modal age (that is, most are this age) for 8th grade.


Sparxx, Mel is refering to academic grade. High School in the US starts at nineth grade (freshman). Most freshman are 14. There are some who have summer or fall birthdays that start their freshman year when they're 13. The "fall babies" usually get a waiver to start first grade early after the birthday cutoff date. So if your DD had started first grade in the US Public School system she could have started at 5 or 6. depending if you wanted her to be a bit younger than her classmates or older. There's a lot of discussion in the US about what is best but really it depends on the child and the family. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. Your daughter could do either because of being born in October. So she could start US high school residency program this coming year at 13 or next at 14.


In terms or ballet there is a thread here on graduating (academics) early. Graduating Early http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?...topic=38216&hl=


There are many different pre-professional programs list on BT4D read up in the Pre=profession Residential program forum http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showforum=147

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That classload is a little light for someone contemplating a vocational track in ballet. She could use at least another technique class on one of her "open days". It would be best if this were RAD vocational track, if that's what she is pursuing.


And yes, I was referring to US grade 8 academic, year 9 British, fourth form (old school).

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She says her private lesson allows her opportunities to work on specifics, and "tidies up" things that she is doing in her regular Grade 6 and Intermediate ballet classes. I am going to have a sit down with her teacher, but sometimes I feel like they are looking out for the best interests of the school and not for the student.


The other factors in this is her RAD education. If she does go away, that would impede her progress in RAD, as more than likely she wouldn't go to an RAD affiliate. So much to consider... so little time. How do we know what is the right thing to do????

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We've said this before in different connections: It isn't the method that makes the dancer. If anything it's the other way 'round. What everyone is looking for is a dancer of good technique, free from mannerisms, and of the necessary strength to execute artistic perfomances on a professional level. RAD can provide all that, and more, but it's not the ONLY method which can do that. It's the teacher, not the method, that makes the dancer. And, if you're lucky, a whole faculty that does that!

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