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Adult Beginner - Exams????


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Hi Im James.


I have always been very interested in learning ballet but was always too embarrased to tell anyone when i was younger.


Now 27 :-( I have started having three private ballet lessons a week and absolutely LOVE IT!

I would like to work towards a vocational qualification but want to know if others think im being realistic?


My current teacher is french trained and is therefore unfamiliar ith RAD vocational syllabus etc. I was hoping to find a teacher that would be willing to help me work towards this level.


I spoke to the RAD in London (I live in central London) but they were happy to offer private lessons but felt they couldnt really offer examinations for my age. Is this the case everywhere!


I am probably more flexible and fitter, hard working than ever before. I really want to do and am determined to find someone that will help me achieve my goal, any suggestions or am I just being unrealistic ????????????





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Welcome James to Ballet Talk for Dancers. I hope you will find much good conversation and answers to any questions you might have. I deleted the duplicates of this same post on 2 other threads as there is really no reason to have the same question posted just in several different places. I'm sure the adult dancers here will welcome you and embrace you.

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Hello, James, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :D


While it is certainly arduous to aim for a vocational track when over 25, it's certainly not impossible. While RAD might not want to track you that way, there is certainly nothing that I know of to keep you from taking up some other method of training. ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) Cecchetti or Imperial Syllabus might work well for you, as might schools in the BBO (British Ballet Organisation) and certainly there are many independent schools which are capable of producing high-functioning dancers. There are many ways to skin a cat.


I think that you're most likely to get the most productive answers on this forum, so I'll simply delete the duplicate on Men's Forum, as we discourage most cross-posts.

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I guess some here will not agree with me, but. If you are taking classes now and "absolutely love it" why do you need the exams.


Personally, and really, this is subjective and with all respect for the RAD school. i would always send my children to a RAD school prior to any!!!, With your age, RAD is not for you.


Go the path you are going. RAD school and "methodology" are made for young unexperienced human beings. For adults, I do not believe it fits.



And again. I started with RAD, I would always prefer RAD for my children to start. But for an adult who want to dance ballet. Nothing could be more de-motivating.


Subjective opinion, I would not mind anyone here feeling completely different about this.





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Thanks for your replies.


I would still like to work towards an examination route of some sort. I work harder when I have a goal to achieve.


In additon my mum runs a perfimring arts school and I have always wanted to get involved but never felt brave enough to tell anyone!


Its silly really, I could have had excellent training! :-( Of course one thinks different when they are younger.


I am now living away from home but sometime in the future would like to return and have a role within the school. This is why I feel I must also achieve a qualification of sort.


Really am determined!!! I have much spare time for my job and want to fill it with lessons, really enjoy!



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I agree, Ingve. Going the exam route would not be my choice for adult beginners, or adults at all.


James, if you are aiming to dance professionally, then the exams will not mean anything. Dancers are auditioned and selected for what they can show the auditioner right there, right then. They are not interested in whether you took exams or not.


Edit - We were posting at the same time. If you are looking for certification in order to teach in an arts school, that might be different. I don't know how those things work in England.

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I agree, Ingve. Going the exam route would not be my choice for adult beginners, or adults at all.


James, if you are aiming to dance professionally, then the exams will not mean anything. Dancers are auditioned and selected for what they can show the auditioner right there, right then. They are not interested in whether you took exams or not.


Thanks Victoria for reply. Dont think I could make it professionally, age is agaisnt me. But I would like to teach in the future.


Woudlnt this require some form of qualification?





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The qualifications thing in Britain is complex, and I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but there are more people here who could help you.


However, the one thing that sticks out for me is... are all of your classes private? I'd strongly urge you to take some regular classes as well! Dance is a group/social activity, in many many ways!



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Absolutely right on, Ami! I think the rest of us were so concerned with the exam thing that we did not even focus on the fact that James seems to be doing only private classes. :D

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Thanks Ami,


Yes all my lessons at present are private.

As I am still learning I wanted to get some confidence before being aroung others, which will almost be be female. I hope to start group class soon!!!


With my work commitments private lessons have been working well for me as I can pick and choose the days and times. It is expensive though.


Thanks for message!




This ballettalk really is amazing, its great that people are helping with advice, thanks folks!


Can anyone suggest good adult ballet lessons around London?



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this is true.



You have to take part of classes that is not private!


I have never had a private lesson in my life, and I am sure, almost all who had the luck to become professional dancers, never had a private lesson in their life.


Another thing:


you are talking about teaching!!!!!????


To teach ballet you need much more than knowledge about how to do a tendu! Ballet is so much more than technique. (not that the technique is not imperative) But ballet is a form of expression. With ballet you can express your feelings, you can let people participate in your feelings. And to teach this, you have to place yourself in the place where you are "naked" in the group, and putting all your efforts into improving your understanding of the ballet technique as well as dancing in genereal.



yours sincerely


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I do see you point, I will make an effort to attend some group classes ASAP. I am going to work hard at this, you wouldnt believe how passionate I am to dance. Too old or not Im going to give it my best!


Thanks everyone so all the comments, I have found this site to be very useful for lots of questions i had!



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James, when replying, you don't have to hit the " "reply" button.


Just scroll a tiny bit down, and hit the "Add Reply" one, and you will have your own reply blank to fill in.


Now as to Teaching Qualifications in Britain, I'm not as au fait as should be on the topic, but it seems to me that Durham University offers either a BPhil or BA(Hons) in The Teaching of Classical Ballet. It further seems to me, though, that a candidate for that study would already have a considerable expertise in ballet already in place. Of course, there are many good teachers about who haven't a certificate of any sort. It's the consumer's job to find out which are the good ones!

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Thats great thanks.


Ive just spoken to a teacher and am attending a class tomorrow at the Urdang and a class on thursday at pinepple.




Thanks for your help, Im sure Ill be back to ask more questions!

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