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  1. The last exam I took as a teenager was Intermediate in 1969, but I continued in adult classes for many years after that. Then I had a 25 year break and came back to ballet four years ago, aged nearly 64. It's been hard work, but a source of great pleasure, although I have had to come to terms with the fact that I will never regain the standard I had in the old days. However I know I have come a long way over the course of these four years and I know my teacher is very proud of my achievements. I took RAD Intermediate two years ago alongside a group of teenagers and have since taken Grade 6 a
  2. Back to class yesterday with my first Grade 7 lesson in 6 months. Oh, it was such a joyous experience to be able to move freely again in a big studio space. We got through the barre, port de bras and pirouettes and my teacher thinks I should be ready for the exam again before Christmas. Apparently my fees are held over till March and if I don't take the exam before then I will lose the money. However, it looks like there will be no problem in being ready well before that. I was surprised by how much I had retained, not just remembering the exercises but dancing with style and up t
  3. Definitely the first petit allegro exercise(s) with sauté in 2nd and échappé to 2nd being the worst! Is it partly because there's usually quite a lot of counts of bouncing up and down on the spot? I find that assemblé, jeté, sissonne, all the dancey across the floor exercises and all the grand allegro are fine.
  4. And especially if you wear a long-sleeved leotard that you need to wriggle back into when it's already all damp from sweat.... and in a hurry because your next class is about to begin and there's a queue building up outside the loo... Also needing to go to the loo immediately before class (or even halfway through) isn't just an issue for the littlies. It's very much a mature ladies' issue too!
  5. It appears that exercise with a facemask is a far greater exertion than without. The heart rate is raised, breathing may be affected and may lead to breathlessness or dizziness. It is suggested that it's equivalent to exercising at altitude. So if people do exercise while wearing a facemask they will need to choose a suitable mask - there are some specialist sports masks around and Bloch has one for dance (I bought one from Just Ballet) - and change it when it gets wet. They'll need to to work less intensively than usual, take more rests and watch out for feelings of faintness. See https://b
  6. Well I have just made some plans for how to proceed with my teacher. She is beginning face-to-face teaching again on September 7th, with exam students only for the first three weeks of term as the rescheduled exam session will take place (as a video exam) on September 26th and 27th. However I am deferring my exam until we feel that I'm ready again - probably November. Since I'm the only student in my grade we can be flexible, and she wants me to be able to show my work at its best. I will start working on Grade 8 in parallel with revising Grade 7, aiming to take the Grade 8 exam in our norma
  7. I'm in a similar situation as to taking an exam under less than ideal circumstances, but it doesn't affect any important plans as it does for you . My Grade 7 exam was cancelled in March just 10 days before I was due to take it. It is being rescheduled for September. However I have gone from exam ready to a loss of fitness, strength and technique. I have, however, had a chance to fully recover from an injury. We may be able to get back into classes in a couple of weeks time when gyms are allowed to open, but this is complicated by the fact that my lesson happens in a village hall,
  8. My daughter is a yoga teacher and works for one of the chains that run a lot of Local Authority leisure centres, and they have been having meetings, discussions and training for ages about the safety procedures for re-opening. I know they are hoping to be reopening quite soon, maybe mid-July. However it's not necessarily going smoothly - it seems that the teachers disagree with some of the procedures proposed by the management and there are issues around eg cleaning between classes.
  9. Just had a text from my teacher to say that RAD are looking to reschedule our cancelled exams in September and so she is hoping to do catch up lessons in July and August. I feel I have a lot of catching up to do! Lately I'd started feeling very despondent and not really in the mood for online classes but this has given a real boost to my mood.
  10. I once saw one of the Whinlatter ospreys at eye level, a remarkable sight. Yesterday a mother pheasant attacked a young hedgehog in the garden. Her brood of chicks had spread out and the little hog was between her and half of the group and she decided it was a danger to them. Luckily little Fuzzypeg (and all the chicks) were fine.
  11. You are lucky. I haven't got out on the fells since early February (since the weather was dreadful for most of February). I don't have a car, and don't feel justified in taking the bus even though it would only be for a few miles, so even though I'm within spitting distance of the fells I can't quite reach them without making it a long day's walk once getting there and back home are factored in. I did walk as far as Low Lorton the other day - I could say that I set foot just on the edge of a fell. I haven't heard a cuckoo at all where I live. I would usually hear them in the woods
  12. The line of a 19th century-early 20th century grand jeté is an arc, a graceful curve, soaring into the the air and down again. The later 20th century split grand jeté is a straight 180 degrees so it is more linear, more sharp, energetic, like an arrow. I don't see any aesthetic logic at all in an over split jeté at all: it just looks difficult without looking beautiful.
  13. RAD website now has children's conditioning exercises at 3 different age/grade appropriate levels taught by Jane Tucker. Actually I'm going to do the Grade 5+ set of exercises - it looks very thorough and well explained.
  14. Yes, I'd say Discovering Repertoire Level 2. The barre is very basic and steady, doesn't assume a lot of prior knowledge but also feels "grown up" ie you won't be made to feel inadequate by following a film of a 10 year old!
  15. The syllabus for Grade 6, 7 and 8 for girls wasn't changed when the lower grades and vocationals were updated a few years ago - it's still the original version and the DVDs contain the film from the old videos. They originally didn't have a boys' version of those grades, which is why the boys' work was filmed more recently.
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