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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Not sure about the information I'm getting.


ebany

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I'm quite surprised at my dd's RAD grade 5 exam results (63-Merit) this year. Every year she seems to get exactly the same grade, however this year she has had 1/2 hour private each week as well as 2x1hour grade classes, 2x1.5 hour inter foundation plus pre-pointe and performance group classes each week. The school has been putting a lot of energy into the seniors, and she has ended up being the only child in her grade getting private lessons. The Principal told me that she could not offer solos to dd as no other child in her grade had the opportunity, but we have been working on the assumption that she will start soon. Her teachers tell me that she is doing well in classes, and that she has great feet and excellent facility, but needs to be stronger (protein shakes have been suggested).

 

All in all, I guess I just thought that over the last year and a half with increased hours and private lessons, she would be getting distinctions as other girls in the class (but not her exam group) did. Her goal is to pursue dance as a career or a teacher, and I wonder if she is not going to be able to get there or if it is too soon to tell. I have trouble with knowing what this score means when nobody knows what goes on in the exam room. She came out of her exam happy and excited, so she felt good about how she went, and I've told her I'm very proud of her - she doesn't know that I'm surprised and a bit disappointed, because I'm not disappointed with her, just with my own expectations.

 

Very interested in what other parents or experienced teachers have to say, it's a bit hard to say some of this in school - suggestions how to approach teachers about it most welcome.

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didn't she get a rapportcard with marks for every part of the exam?In my DD's studio they get marks for about 10 different parts,technique,musicality,performance etc, so you can see if there's anything they need to work on especially.

Sometimes it can help to compare the results of different studio's.In my DD's class (grade 4) they all scored over 80% while in one of the other studio's the highest score was 73%.The exam was taken with the same examinator.So I think you can have an idea of the quality of the teaching that way,I don't think they're all better dancers in the one studio.

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Sometimes it can help to compare the results of different studio's.In my DD's class (grade 4) they all scored over 80% while in one of the other studio's the highest score was 73%.The exam was taken with the same examinator.So I think you can have an idea of the quality of the teaching that way,I don't think they're all better dancers in the one studio.

 

Of course you also have to consider the age of the children when comparing and most teachers don't list the childrens' ages. Most of our students get merits with just a few distinctions which in my opinion is the way it should be really. We rarely have a student just get a pass though. Compared with other schools I think we enter our students for exams a little younger than average and I do list students' ages on my website so that people can see that.

 

Ebany try not to read too much into the exam result. It is a good guide but the teachers are giving you really positive feedback you should listen more to them. Perhaps your daughter got nervous in the exam or just doesn't perform as well for a stranger. She may have just had a bad day or perhaps been tired. I agree that you should have a look at the marking sheet which shows you where the marks were allocated. See if any numbers are significantly lower than others and it should give you an idea of the reasoning for the result. If they are all about the same though you can probably just put it down to not quite doing her best on the day.

 

Remember that the exams do get harder as you go up the grades and Grade 5 is a tough exam. How old is your daughter by the way? and are the girls that got the distinctions the same age?

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If you say you enter your students a little younger than average,can I ask what age they take grade 4?In my DD's studio they're 11-12 yo in grade 4.Her teachers also usualy makes them work for 2 years on grade 5 because it is a tough exam.Most of the students do so in combination with intermediate foundation or intermediate.

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If you say you enter your students a little younger than average,can I ask what age they take grade 4?In my DD's studio they're 11-12 yo in grade 4.Her teachers also usualy makes them work for 2 years on grade 5 because it is a tough exam.Most of the students do so in combination with intermediate foundation or intermediate.

 

In grade 4 I currently have:

4 aged 9

2 aged 10

2 aged 11

1 age 12 (she only started last year though)

 

Two of the 9 year olds and both of the 11 year olds are just about ready to take their exam. The 9 year olds have only just turned 9 (well one in April, one in July) but they are ahead of what I would normally expect and always get distinctions!

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correction: my DD is in grade 5 now of course,she already took the grade 4 exam :3dnod:

so they're 11-12yo in grade 5.But there is indeed still an agedifference.My DD is 12 but she only started at age 10,when she started combining rg with ballet.

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My dd did the Primary RAD exam this year with the new syllabus and did well. The new report format provides so much more information, I was pleasantly surprised.

 

For instance there are 10 marks for 'Performance' and this is broken into 5 marks for expression and 5 marks for recall. Similiarly in the section titled ' Legs & Feet; Arms & Head', there are 5 marks for articulation and 5 marks for alignment. It is a much a better format and really can point to where the weakenesses are. I am assuming that once all the new syllabi are rolled out then the old less detailed report will be replaced by the new format so as parents we will have much better information on how our child really went.

 

Probably doesn't help you much now ebany but something to look forward to in the future :3dnod:

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Thanks everybody - I do feel better. A friend also told me yesterday that their dancing can falter a bit when they're having or just had a growth spurt and dd has been shooting up like a weed! I'll just enjoy the positive feedback and worry less about the results for one day of the year!

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