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Ballet Talk for Dancers


J Renee

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Hello everyone! I'm new to the group, but after dancing for 19 years and taking a 7 year sabbatical, I am going to start ballet again next week! I was trained in Vaganova, but I will be taking RAD classes... If anyone has any experience with differences between the two (especially leveling for classes) I would really appreciate any advice and help!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, J Renee. I hope you find lots of useful information, and camaraderie here on your "beginneragain" journey.


As far as different styles go, you'll probably find that the RAD method uses different terms for the same steps on occasion, and there may be different emphases, but classical ballet is classical ballet, really. The RAD syllabus is a syllabus to cover training from beginner through to training as preparation for a career in ballet, and also for serious recreational dancers. There are set exercises, but then as far as I understand it, each training discipline has set exercises. I've done class in RAD and Cecchetti styles, an while some things are a little different, if you have a ballet vocabulary, you have a ballet vocabulary.


I can't really advise about levels, because I don't know your own level. But if you got to an advanced dancer stage in classes before your sabbatical, then you might look at the RAD syllabus for the Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced 1 levels in RAD. You can find a general outline of the syllabi on the UK RAD website. You could also search YouTube for demonstration films of those levels, although you'll find that the dancers are of varying quality, as I don't think there are "official" videos a la the ones of classes in the St Petersburg Vaganova school.


But really, as an adult dance student, the level isn't as important as the opportunities for learning, and for enjoying dancing!

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Hi J welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers and welcome back to ballet!


RAD and Vaganova are different syllabus of ballet training. I have taught and danced both styles (not true Vaganova - but what most people would say is "Vaganova based" technique). Whilst they have their different terminology and different styles they are both great ways to learn ballet. You will find the RAD and Vaganova terminology a little different, but essentially the steps are mostly the same. The use of head and ports de bras is a little different between both also, the RAD style has a more conservative feeling to ports de bras generally but a strong emphasis on the use of co-ordination and head and eyeline.


As for levels, it is almost impossible to say as in my experience Vaganova based schools tend to set their own levels depending on what the school needs. If you have danced for 19 years you would probably be capable of the technique in the RAD Advanced Syllabus (Advanced 1 &2). There is nothing stopping you from taking classes at those levels, but as it is a graded examination system you would need to sit the Intermediate exam first before you could take an Advanced exam. Taking some Intermediate classes would possibly not be a bad idea after a 7 year break - your body might appreciate it!!


Best of luck!


Redbookish - we were posting at the same time! Nice to see we agree :)

Edited by Miss Persistent
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