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  1. 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, not a specialist dance studio, and I have no idea if it will be accepting normal bookings. My teacher is planning on teaching through the normal summer holiday if she can. However, my choices are to take the exam in September, when I'm sure to get a lower mark, but I can then move on, or to ask to reschedule to a later date, when I may get bored and demotivated. I love the Grade 7 material so much, and it seems a great pity not to have the opportunity to show it at my best but I am also very excited at the prospect of working on Grade 8 and really don't want to put that off. I don't know if it would be worth postponing Grade 7, working on Grade 8 and taking both exams at the same time. In your situation I think I would not worry too much about your upcoming exam but do the best you can and keep progressing. Your upcoming exam isn't Intermediate is it? That's the one that is going to be essential to your future plans. I know it's frustrating to feel that you don't have the chance to achieve the best you know you are capable of, but it may be better for your long term plans to focus on your continuing development.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 around Loweswater and in Borrowdale.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. I'm doing Grade 7 too (one week away from exam when cancelled, alas!)) I can't tell you exactly what the differences are, as my book and DVD only contain the girls' exercises. However, as you know, Grade 7 is based on the romantic style so the girls' exercises are "fancier" than the boys', which are much less ornamented especially as regards ports de bras and head (they don't do any of that "pat the dog" romantic line or cutesy head tilt). The music, I believe, is different in some cases but I think the barre is much the same (though they don't do the pas de cheval/ ballotté-ish thing in the barre adage). However, I'd say, go ahead and use it for practice - better than nothing and at least you'll be used to the music and general timings. I'm doing the barre regularly at home, and some of the more static bits of the port de bras, pirouettes and adage - basically missing out all the running around and doing what I can squeeze into the kitchen. And doing a lot of mental rehearsal or visualisation, which is supposed to be really effective. I just hate dropping from peak performance to goodness-knows-what state we'll all be in by the time we get back into the swing of things. Just wanted to add that there are various videos on youtube including some snippets from the official RAD ancient video, and of course our very own Ballet Gremlin.
  11. Just gone through my dance bag, removing half-squashed energy bars, putting miscellaneous warm-ups in the wash and tidying everything else away for now. Just been dealing with emails from ENB and The Ballet Retreat dealing with repayments and credits for cancelled events. It's a very sad time 😢
  12. I have lessons at two different dance schools. One has closed from today, the other will close from Thursday. We will probably do the filmed exams, but details aren't available yet.
  13. I was supposed to be taking Grade 7 next Friday. My teacher has just asked me what I think about the option of filming it. If the exam is rescheduled (which presumably wouldn't be for some months), that would mean having to get up to fitness and exam quality again after a gap in working as presumably schools will be closing soon. Though I only have a private lesson and I don't know if private lessons would be allowed to continue even if classes stop. I think I might prefer to crack on with working for Grade 8 and then take 7 and 8 together once life reverts to normal.
  14. Yes, I'm doing it. I've been to lots before (I think this is my 8th). I'm sure you will love it. They always used to be held at Rambert but they have had difficulty making bookings there recently so have switched to Sadler's Wells. The studio is not as spacious as at Rambert or at Northern where they hold their Leeds retreats. But the lunches are pretty good!
  15. Oh Gremlin, how rotten for you! That sounds awful. Sending you best wishes for your recovery. I worry about delays because I want to achieve my goals while I am able. I fear that old-age decline might happen at a faster rate than technical improvement. So far so good - improvement is winning out - but I don't know how long that will continue and if I'll eventually reach a physical limit. This is why being injured is such a shock and a frustration - it brings home just how easy it is to go from "very fit and active" to having to accept limitations. I want to carry on being a grand jeté granny!
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