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Teaching: RAD new Curriculum


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I am considering becoming an RAD teacher and I was wondering to what extent one feels it is necessary to pursue other dance forms as well as solid ballet training in light of the fact that more and more dancers are required to be versatile and capable in more "contemporary" dance forms?


My reason for asking this is that I have been looking at the new RAD Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate syllabi and I've been wondering if my lack of modern dancing training will hinder my ability to teach the more contemporary dance studies. I did modern dancing as a child but I have not done it since I was 12 and I have forgotten most of what I learnt prior to that (which was probably not very much considering I was so young).


I am currently an adult student catching up my ballet technique before embarking on the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies course and I was wondering if it would be a good idea to look into some modern dancing classes? I know that ballet is the most important but would a little bit of modern training help my ballet teaching in terms of the more contemporary dance studies?

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Swantobe, the RAD syllabus is still classically based and I wouldn't worry that you need to take other classes to be able to teach the "contemporary" solos. They are still very classical, but just in parallel at times and with a few body bends, no more difficult really than the "free movement" sections in the children's Grade exams syllabus. Having said that, I do think they are a bit "gimmicky" and suspect I will end up favouring the "classical" solos.


However, if you want to take modern or contemporary classes for the fun of exploring other techniques then do so. You may gain all sorts of insights. Good luck with the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies.

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Thank you Doubleturn. I'm glad to hear that my lack of modern dancing training will probably not affect my students too badly. I just know that one of the "older" teachers at my studio (i.e. has been teaching RAD for 20 + years) struggled a little with one of the less classical studies as it was rather "new" for her.


Would modern dancing training help with the free movement, do you think?

And in terms of character, I know the RAD is mostly focused on Polish, Hungarian (I think) but would Spanish/Flamenco training be a good idea for me just to get some kind of character "flair"? I know that dancers in our local ballet company have found Spanish dancing training to be helpful in terms of the Spanish dances in some classical ballets.


I have access to both modern dancing training and Spanish/Flamenco training (in fact we have a professional Flamenco company based at our studio and including some of our teachers) at my studio so finding classes is not necessarily a problem. I also know that the 2nd year CBTS students have just done a module on "continuing education" or something like that which required them to explore a difference genre of dance somewhat. However, the CBTS course is changing as of next year so I'm not sure if that will still be part of it.

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I must agree with Swantobe about the IF and I variations - at my training course they were specifically described as "Neo Classical" as opposed to contemporary. There is a still a classical base and the students are still expected to demonstrate a classical technique throughout, and the usual CCCLSD marking criteria still apply. Contemporary training would not hurt you as a teacher, but I would not say it is essential. I don't think I've taken a contemporary class since I was 15 and I had no trouble picking them up


As for the character work, again Spanish surely would not hinder you a teacher - but bring a Spanish flair into the Graded character work could be detrimental to the students marks if you overdid it. The posturing and emphasis in the work is marked as per the syle of the grade, so they are looking for certain things and a certain style.


The 2nd year CBTS component is actually more onlong the lines of the new Continuing Proffesional Development that the RAD are bringing in, so I guess exploring other dance styles could count, but it is not essential - it is more an emphasis on continuing to up-skill as a teacher on a regular basis and keeping abreast of market factors, changes in education etc. The CBTS is a good course - I would encourage you to do it!

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