airchild Posted March 21, 2008 Report Share Posted March 21, 2008 Hi guys, Let me just first say how much I appreciate participating on this forum and reading all your valuable comments! I have learned so much from you all. My question today is: what is the value of an adult ballet student taking the RAD Exams? By "adult", I mean anyone beyond the teens - as most adult ballet classes I have attended admit teenagers, too. In Hong Kong, where I live, the RAD syllabus is taught in almost all ballet schools (due to the city's tie to the UK as a past British colony). Among the adult classes, some emphasize the RAD syllabus. At first it seemed to me that it is a good way for people to have something to work towards. However, after having attempted an RAD class (Grade 6), I realized that it was not for me. The pressure to achieve was so big that I didn't enjoy the process anymore. The syllabus, when rehearsed class after class, became very repetitive and even robotic. And there was so much stuff to cram into one class that I had no time to digest anything! Perhaps it was also the teacher's style that irked me. She kept on pushing for more, more and more as soon as she saw any progress on my part. But I simply collapsed emotionally during the third lesson with her, because she showed her "anger" when I couldn't do the steps right and threatened for me to leave the classroom if I didn't do the steps right the next round. For God's sake, I went for only three lessons and had already learned all the barre and dances in the center (sans the Character Dance part) - and believe me, it was a lot for an adult beginner who had only studied ballet for nine months! I studied very hard on my own and watched the syllabus video every day. In the end I felt that the teacher was being selfish, as she wanted to "use" her students to build up her reputation as a good teacher by making them achieve high grades in the exam. She actually admitted that. But I told her I would be happy just to pass. In fact, I didn't intend to take the exam but she sort of manipulated me into it, as another student of hers backed out from the exam due to an injury (well, no wonder, given the teacher's intense training method and the "hard floor"). Eventually I backed out from the exam and got injured, too. Anyway, this episode made me realize that a lot of teachers/schools are actually using the RAD exam as a tool to make students stick with their schools for as long as possible. Once you have signed up for an exam, you are required to attend a certain number of classes per week and stick to the schedule until the exam. So I think that is a good way to guarantee income! I might be cynical but I really believe that's the way it is here in this city where money is the No. 1 concern of the majority of people. I wonder how RAD classes are conducted elsewhere in the world... and how come the exam system has become so wide-spread? In America, do you have any specific system similar to the RAD syllabus? Quote Link to comment
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