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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Guest BalletGirl158

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Most studios in this country do not do exams, BalletGirl. There are some RAD and Cecchetti studios, but most of the schools do not participate in the exam programs if they do not teach one of those two syllabi. Even the most well known professional schools which are connected to companies, and the academic full time academies do not do exams like the ones being discussed on the board. Most of the students discussing those exams are RAD and they are in England, Canada, and Australia.

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Guest dancergal

I've never taken an exam either... and that reminds me of a question I've always wanted to ask. It probably sounds dumb, but what do people really do in exams? :)

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Mr. Johnson will be able to explain this much more thoroughly when he returns, dancergal, as he has worked with the RAD syllabus. However, I will try to give you a bit of information for now.


The RAD and Cecchetti methods use a graded syllabus. A syllabus is a plan, or an outline of all the things that one is supposed to learn in each grade. In order to move from Grade I to Grade II, for instance, the student needs to show that she knows, understands, and can execute each of the moves specified in the syllabus for Grade I. She might just pass, or she might pass with honor or distinction, or whatever terms they use for each method. If she does not pass, then she will continue classes in Grade I, just like in school.


The teacher prepares the students for the exams by giving them set classes where all the material is the same each class and becomes memorized. Not all of the classes are syllabus classes though, and sometimes the students take other classes in addition to the syllabus classes. The exams are given by outside examiners who come to the studio, not by the regular teacher.


There are also some dances involved in the exams, like variations. Some of them are classical and some of them are character dances. I believe there are also some modern variations in the upper grades.


It's very complicated, and there are recreational tract grades and career track grades. I'm sure that there are some dancers here who can tell you more about this system, and Mr. Johnson will be able to add to this probably next week.

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