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Ballet Talk for Dancers

UK Surrey Schools: Adult Ballet Syllabus/Exam


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Thank  you everyone, your responses are once again much appreciated!

I was wondering if I might ask some advice about a summer school programme. Since I am having a slight panic attack at the thought of two months without classes, I found the following: https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/event/adult-summer-course-2019-london/. I plan to make a week out of it and go sight-seeing in London during the day and attending the classes in the evening.  

I need to choose one of the following: 

  • Improvers A: Suitable for those with little previous experience in dance, this level teaches the basics of ballet technique with an emphasis on enjoyment. This course would also be suitable for those who may be returning to ballet after a long break.
  • Improvers B: Suitable for those with some previous experience in dance who already have a grasp of ballet technique and wish to improve their skills. This course would also be suitable for those who may be returning to ballet after a short break.

Pardon me but ''little previous experience'' and ''some previous experience'' makes no difference to me. By the time the summer school takes place I would have had 12 x 90 minute beginners lessons. I want to go and learn something that builds on the little I have learnt so far, but not necessarily start from the very very beginning. Could  you tell me what I need to sign up for?

Has anyone here had some experience with the RAD summer courses?

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If I were you I would sign up for the Improvers A course.  There is nothing wrong with revisiting the basics and in the world of ballet, you are stil very, very new at it. 

I’m attending an adult summer intensive and I’ve put myself into the beginning level even though I’m on my 3rd year of classes currently going 3-4x a week. I appreciate a slower pace sometimes to work on alignment and technique rather than just thinking of what the combination is!

sorry my advice has nothing to do with RAD specifically. You can always ask them directly? 

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Thank you for the recommendation, I am booking a space for the Improvers A course. 

I think I am slowly starting to catch on. It's a choice you make based on what you want to achieve from attending the course. In my case no choice, I am going there to learn stuff I don't know, which is everything! :D 

I might leave them some feedback about ''little previous experience'' vs ''some previous experience''. They should add a footnote saying ''if you don't understand the difference between the two, choose Improvers A''.


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From all you've said here, definitely the Improvers A course.

I'm comparatively advanced - in knowledge if not always in execution of steps & technique! but I attend a lot of Beginners classes with specific teachers because we all need to keep working on the basics!

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  • 2 months later...



I decided to post an  update about my journey as an adult beginner. It is now three months later and I have completed two terms of class once a week, as well as the RAD summer school. I had a fantastic time doing both! 

The summer school was not what I expected. Classes were taught by Joel Morris, who made for a very entertaining experience! The level was a few notches below the classes I attend in Reigate. I was hoping to get a better grip on turns for example, but we barely touched on pose turns, never mind pirouettes. The focus was most definitely on enjoyment instead of technique and new movements. I enjoyed the way he taught the class, centre work and a lot of movement was given preference to repeating a single movement in one spot. I found it easier to follow his combinations and instructions than my regular weekly class. It was a job well done as I did leave having enjoyed the summer school, even though I would have liked to learn better technique and build on what I learnt in my weekly classes. It's quite different to bring adult beginners from various schools together. Some thought the class was too demanding, others thought it was too easy. 

It goes to show that there is no golden standard or set levels when it comes to adult beginners ballet. It is definitely worth while shopping around for classes that suit your particular needs. I have decided to attend a different drop in class once a month from those suggested by Redbookish in this thread. Now that I've seen that classes and students have different objectives, I'm interested in finding a teacher or class in line with what I would like from the ballet experience. This is not clear yet either, which makes for an exciting adventure in itself. 

I wish I could dance more than once a week. Since I'm not in London and the availability of adult classes is limited where I live, I am thinking of setting up a space in my home where I can do some barre exercises and practice turns. Whether this is a good idea remains to be seen, as I don't want to practice doing movements wrong. On the other hand, some plies and releves on my own won't hurt every now and again.  

Our regular teacher will be presenting a summer workshop once a week during August. It will include a ballet class, a repertoire section and a pilates based body conditioning session. The workshop is on intermediate level but we were all invited to join. I will not be able to keep up, but will join a few sessions for the barre work and body conditioning. I'm convinced I can still learn from the experience, but my objective will be different to those attending as intermediate students. 

I hope everyone is doing well and I look forward on sharing my journey!



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