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Cara in NZ

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  1. Cara in NZ

    Footage on DVD/BluRay/Other?

    I don't know how it works but the person who paid for it can only download the files once (link is valid for 2 months). I could share the link by email but other people could only watch it once and couldn't download it. The dances are in individual mp4 files. I would think they would be way too big to put on social media? Each minute is 100MB and I certainly can't send them to anyone!
  2. Cara in NZ

    Footage on DVD/BluRay/Other?

    Recently I've found that when I order a video recording of DD's dances at competitions, they send a link to a download. I much prefer this as none of our computers have DVD drives any more.
  3. Cara in NZ

    Assessments / reports

    The hardest thing about ballet is the number of things you need to make it to a career. EG my DD has beautiful lines, but doesn't have the feet and stresses too much to 'sparkle' much. I say to her that she might have 8 out of the 10 things needed, and as she doesn't want a career she should just keep making her beautiful lines, which people tell me they love to watch. But assessments and exams only give so much credit for lines! (I also tell her that outside ballet, nobody actually cares about bendy feet!)
  4. Cara in NZ

    Cecchetti grades as compared to RAD / ISTD

    Paula Hunt, who taught at our dance school until she left for the RAD in London, led the development of the new RAD syllabus. One of her colleagues was telling me that she wanted to get away from the notion of 'little RAD robots' and get more expression into the syllabus. DD's current teacher trained in both Cecchetti and RAD in Sth Africa (Cecchetti is rarely taught in NZ). She regularly uses Cecchetti exercises in open classes, including my adult class last night. What I really liked was the exercise called 'Centre Practice' where you literally stand in fifth just 'dancing with your arms'. RAD Centre Practice usually involves pirouettes, and even the exercise the RAD calls 'Port de Bras' always has the feet moving as well. I really like the space to just focus on movement of the arms!
  5. Cara in NZ

    Jazz Pants nightmare

    Agreed – DD doesn't do jazz but likes tracksuit pants to wear to and from ballet class and they were all enormously wide on her until I found some through an Australian dance website (Energetiks). Even though your DD may still be 'a child', the child sizes seem to get wider as they get into the teens, reflecting the way people usually grow I suppose. DD isn't tall (5ft 3) but was wearing Adult XS from age 12 as her legs got longer but her torso stayed slender. Sometimes have to adjust leo straps or trouser length, and I'm still trying to work out why the manufacturers think all teens get wider but then sizing narrows down again for slender adults!
  6. Cara in NZ

    Being muslim at ballet

    Another thing I thought of is that although you have identified ballet as a style you'd like to learn, it might be worth investigating other dance styles that aren't so strict about what you wear and being able to see 'lines'. It might be easier to accommodate your norms for modesty in a less formal dance environment where there aren't so many rules. Just an idea, as you explore your options! If your heart is really set on ballet, then adult classes are your best option in terms of relaxed dress codes.
  7. Cara in NZ

    Bunions - advice needed!

    I know some of the girls at DD's school see a physio to correct bunions. Seems to involve strengthening the toes/metatarsals somehow (as well as toe spacers etc). I'm not sure of the details, and am sure you'd need to specifically see a dance physio, but it's got to be worth trying before surgery?
  8. Cara in NZ

    RAD Intermediate Exam

    OK I've thought about it some more. Here's my theory... 1. They start out in soft shoes, getting the hang of articulation. Before split soles were 'invented', they still had to work against the full sole. Some schools restrict or ban split-soles. 2. As they get a bit older (age 7-11), they need to understand 'high demi-pointe' in their soft shoes because that is the closest they can get to the required foot position en pointe, ie strengthening their ankles and feet and learning to 'pull up'. (Ideally they have 'pre-pointe' or pointe preparation work in Grade 4/5 to help with this process.) 3. They get to Intermediate Foundation and start basic pointework. But they don't get soft blocks that year because then they will want to try to go en pointe in them, which is a terrible idea as they don't have any support. And they have enough to deal with as the reality hits of how hard pointe is! 3. After doing IF pointework, they have an idea of how much harder it is to work through the foot to get it to look half as nice as in their soft flats... they have also developed some strength from pointework and as they have pointe shoes, they won't be tempted to try pointe in soft blocks. 4. In Intermediate they get soft blocks to make them work on articulating through the foot doing similar exercises to what they are used to doing in soft shoes. This prepares them for stronger feet and harder pointework in the advanced vocational levels (RAD). Does that make sense?
  9. Cara in NZ

    RAD Intermediate Exam

    Yes, for Inter Foundation they have the option of ballet flats with ribbons, but for Intermediate the RAD specs say 'soft pointe shoes', ie demis. In our experience, the girls HATED demis, and would leave them in their dance bags to see if they could get away with wearing their lovely soft split-soles that hug their feet. And yes, the whole reason for demis is to make them work through the block and strengthen their feet. But our DDs said they were just as uncomfortable as pointe shoes but DIDN'T EVEN LOOK NICE 🤣. The RAD website has all the info, but you have to download the Specifications doc to see the uniform details: https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/achieve/exams/what-we-do/rules-regulations-and-specifications I've added a screenshot to save you downloading
  10. Yup, my DH is 5ft 11 with size 8.5 feet. DD is 5ft 3 with size 3 feet that haven't grown since she was 12 (now 15)!
  11. Cara in NZ

    Prix de Lausanne 2019

    I feel better now about the 12-yr-old from out of town who beat DD and the rest of her age-group in the junior variations at a competition 2.5 years ago. She is the sole NZ representative – and is now what I call 'Balanchine tall'!
  12. A former professional dancer who now coaches students in Sydney stays with us when he's running workshops in NZ. He says that for women, they just have to have a 'matching pair' in the corps, ie another tall/short dancer to balance them out on stage. And that the height of the male principals often affects what they are looking for in female height ranges. He's average height, and partnered Sylvie Guillem back in the 1990s but found her just too tall when en pointe, and the centre of gravity made lifts difficult so he said no when she asked him to partner her again! (What a decision to have to make!)
  13. It's an interesting question. Here in NZ the shorter dancers seem to head for Asian (as in Oriental) companies. But another thing we've noticed is that foot size affects height en pointe. My DD is 5 ft 3 and the same height as many of her peers when standing 'flat'. But en pointe, her tiny feet mean she is suddenly shorter than them (and their legs look longer, unfairly!).
  14. Cara in NZ

    Ballet in Canada

    Teenage dancers from Australia and NZ go to the School of Alberta Ballet, which has accommodation – does this not count?
  15. Cara in NZ

    Ballet in Canada

    Hi Peter, I'm in New Zealand and only replying because nobody else has! I don't know about Canada but generally speaking I would say that neo-classical is a 'branch' of classical ballet that dancers only tend to start as they get into their teens. The foundation training for all ballet dancers is classical ballet technique for the first 5 years at least, and then other things are added in. Neo-classical takes classical technique and 'breaks the rules' (safely), ie adding in more contemporary/edgy moves. It can be done on pointe or in flat shoes, but requires you to have solid classical training first. I don't think a training school for kids/teenagers would focus solely on neo-classical. There are companies with schools such as Rambert in London or New York City Ballet that have a lot of neo-classical repertoire but it is all based on classical technique, so to train only in neo-classical would seem a very odd idea. The emphasis these days is on versatility so even very classical dancers tend to train in contemporary and other genres as well as cross-training. But neo-classical is just a variant of ballet, not really a 'school' of its own. Hopefully someone will correct me if I've got this wrong.
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