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  1. The Level 3 Princess Florine variation - it ends in a kneel, but one of the development exercises " Posé to arabesque and kneel" consists of repeatedly kneeling and just popping up again into a degagé derrière like it's the easiest thing in the world!
  2. Another Vintage Extra Mature dancer here - currently soon to take Grade 7. I find elegant kneeling (worse still - getting up again) about the hardest thing to do in the syllabus, but as far as I know we just have to get on with it! You could ask your teacher to ask the RAD for advice, but from what I understand if marks depend on it you would lose those marks. That said, I passed Grade 6 which included a kneel in the adage and another in the character, neither of which were executed particularly gracefully and I found the fast drop to the knee in character particularly taxing. While getting up again I did a subtle push with my hands on my knee. I did wear a knee support on my weaker knee. Alas, in grade 7 there are several places where I will have to get up from the floor without any little "cheats". It seems that we just have to do the best we can with our physical shortcomings.
  3. Kudos to everyone who has managed to cope especially over prolonged periods. It's remarkable how we take mobility for granted and then how the most ordinary actions can suddenly become difficult. It makes you aware of how many people have to find get arounds for mobility problems all their lives. I'm managing my bra by putting it on back to front then twizzling it round. Hair brushing and washing are awkward but doable. For ballet doing a bun is impossible. I can manage a kind of messy twist hair style or my current favourite hairstyle which is "vintage ballet" - just tucked into a net with a wide hairband. I'm about to have a go at changing my duvet cover - I think that's going to involve basically crawling inside it! I've made a start on the exercises the physio has given me. I've definitely got somewhat better ability to raise my arm today but rotating behind my back (as required for bra fastening or Hungarian character port de bras) is the area where I have 0 movement.
  4. Yes, I gather that it's important to stop it from becoming tight and weak while it's painful and irritated. Glad to hear you are off the painkillers. I need to find the perfect sleeping position, though I'm rather constrained by the demands (and weight) of my very entitled cat!
  5. Well the physio was very positive. It seems to be the infraspinatus and some bursitis but she's hopeful as I gained measurable improvements in range of movement after manipulation and passive stretching. I could even do a nice 5th position! So I have to use the kind of strategies I have already been doing to avoid pain and irritation and I have some very gentle exercises to do to start with to maintain/increase mobility while avoiding irritation. This will be followed by further stretches and strengthening once it's all calmed down a bit. She wants to see me again next week. She's aware of my exam, the kind of movements I need to be able to do and the time frame and hopes it will be ok in time but we'll have to see how it goes and trying to rush things will just be counter-productive.
  6. Oh Lin, how rotten for you, just when your foot is getting better. Isn't it dreadful when you're an active oldie and then something happens and suddenly you can't do the things that are such a big part of our lives and of what is keeping us young? I managed my exam prep lesson today, just substituting 1st position for 5th and 3rd for 4th and at least I can work on everything else. I'm not taking any pain killers at all. If i remember not to make movements that I shouldn't then it doesn't hurt and if I do then it burns/aches for some minutes after the aaagh! moment but then quietens down again. I can manage 2nd position fine and even arabesque and I can lift and carry things and push them as long as they are no higher than a little over waist height. However my sleep is very disrupted as I just can't find a comfortable position and there's all kinds of odd things that are difficult (putting my hair up, getting my arm into a sleeve). I shall ask the physio tomorrow if I really should be seeing a doctor. And I'll need a doctor's certificate if I need to defer my exam : (
  7. Has anyone had experience of a rotator cuff injury? I'm suffering at the moment. I didn't do it dancing - I fell in a rather humiliating way on ice - and although my lower back is now better my arm is definitely not. I don't think it's a big tear but it's uncomfortable enough and I can't sleep comfortably, lift things off a high shelf or fasten my bra. Anyway, I have a physio appointment tomorrow but I wanted to hear from anyone with a dance-specific experience. I can just about manage balletic ports de bras if I'm very careful and keep my arms on the low side but Free Movement (arms straight above head) and character (that Hungarian pose with hand to nape) are both out of the question. I have my Grade 7 exam in 10 weeks and I'm hoping it will be better in time.
  8. Moderation is an integral part of all public examinations - I mean in education in general, not only in ballet. I'm sure that in order for RAD exams to be accredited by OFQUAL then they are obliged to have a system of moderation. Otherwise they couldn't guarantee fairness and consistency in marking.
  9. Teachers only rarely mention private lessons on their websites but in my experience most teachers will do them. They are by arrangement and often you have to approach them and ask if it's possible. It's tricky when the teachers use hired space as you have to coordinate when you are free/when they are free/when the space is free. I think you're right about the labour of love aspect - I think few teachers are going to get rich. Generally the very popular classes (little kids ballet and adult non-ballet exercise classes) subsidise the others. I know my teacher is earning just £10 an hour in her private lessons as half of what she charges pays for the room. Private lessons are great for really working with your particular needs. I know that for beginners that need is often to understand what on earth is going on! As others have said, everyone experiences that sense of being confused and left behind, not just when beginning but every time you move on to a new challenge. I would also recommend getting a bit of theoretical knowledge under your belt, either from videos or books, so that even when you can't do it you have a clearer idea of what it is you are trying to do!
  10. Alas,it takes about 6 weeks for the results to come through so weeks of uncertainty. The official results date for each exam session is on the RAD website. I came back to ballet three years ago after a 25 year break. I'm 66 and will be taking Grade 7 in March. I have taken Grade 6 and Inter in the last few years.
  11. Well the RAD has said to wear outdoor shoes as long as they make the right sound. I suppose the various manufacturers will respond eventually, once there's enough of a demand.
  12. I think the important thing is to look alive and not blank/total concentration/frightened rabbit. In the RAD summer intensive last year the teacher demonstrated a fondu exercise, beautifully but with an absolutely blank demeanour. And then he repeated it with attitude to show how it comes alive - he favoured a James Bond villainess vibe, but the important thing was to show who you are and to say something. Is Grade 5 the one with the Kitri dance? That needs a bit of sass - a red tutu feel!
  13. Hi Farli, Welcome to the forum. I'm one of the other mature adult students here who take exams. About your question - well, you get marks for expression and communication, and smiling is definitely part of that. I think the important thing is that it should be natural and sincere, a genuine expression of your feeling for and about that movement. So if you love dancing and it makes you smile, show it! I agree with what Ballet Chick says above - appropriate to the style/music/feel of the exercise. So personally I always smile in tendus and allegros but would tend to look more serious and thoughtful for ports de bras.
  14. I know that there are vegan ballet shoes around, but has anyone come across vegan character shoes? Specifically for a child doing RAD exams - so the usual shoes are canvas, not a problem, but have suede soles.
  15. I've managed to find the music section and this is what it says: Metronome marks in our scores were added retrospectively, by listening to the recordings of the syllabus music and using this online metronome to calculate an average tempo for each track. Tempos for the recording were decided during the creation and piloting of the syllabus, working with several dancers in different schools. The speeds are thus a result of the process, they weren’t imposed on the dancers from outside. With that in mind, our metronome markings shouldn’t be viewed as the only ‘correct’ tempo for an exercise, but as a rough guide when you first learn the music, or when you have not had enough rehearsal with a group of dancers to work out a good tempo between yourselves.
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