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RAD vs BBO


Loislane
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Hi,

I apologise in advance for my ignorance!

My dd has only been dancing since October last year and the school she is at locally follows BBO exams. She has already done pre-primary and primary in ballet, tap and modern and gained high distinctions and about to take Grade 1 ballet on Sunday.

She also starts as a JA with Royal Ballet in September in London.

From the little info I know, i think RBS follow RAD not BBO so does it matter that she is taking BBO exams?

Any help really would be very much appreciated. She has just turned 9 and goes into yr 5 at school in Sept.

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Hi loislane,

 

My dd does BBO and was a JA. Pictures is correct that the RBS use their own method. Her JA teacher was an RAD examiner and most of the kids were on RAD - there were a few things she didn't understand but were easily explained. You'll find the children differ in their previous experience in all sorts of ways but the teachers are prepared for this. Enjoy!

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Having done RAD and BBO (and Cecchetti too) I enjoyed the BBO syllabus far more than RAD. I think the BBO exercises are more musical than RAD. I especially found the RAD barre quite stilted. The longer BBO exercises meant that you had to think more. I liked Cecchetti too but the different arms were confusing and I can't remember them any more.

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Thank you so much everyone for your help. Dd dance teacher has suggested she auditions for BBO scholar when she is 10 as well as being a JA? Too much for one ten year old or ok? It's too much for me with all the running about! BBO is only one sunday a month as I understand it for London?

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Hi Loislane BBO scholars is one Sunday per month plus 1 scholars weekend and an optional Dance Days (the latter 2 are both at Elmhurst). Its not uncommon to combine BBO scheme with RBS associates.

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I wouldn't go for RAD for the lower grades as the new syllabus is really quite strange (anyone else agree?) and doesn't seem to be as focussed on classical technique as it used to be!

We moved to RAD at Grade 1 in 2012, doing the new syllabus. I do know what you mean – all the stuff in parallel looks quite odd to people used to more traditional/classical syllabi. But I imagine it's the RAD 'moving with the times' and maybe recognising the wider range of choreography dancers need to master these days?

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The RAD has always included 'stuff in parallel' - in the previous syllabus it came under the 'free movement' banner. I think it appears 'strange' unless you know some of the rationale behind including different movements at different stages, based on neuromuscular developments of strength, control and co-ordination in children that we know now. The old, old RAD work was just too challenging, and children were learning steps (especially jumps) too young to have the correct strength and technique to be able to perform them properly, so then the '90's syllabus tried to address this problem by removing the harder elements, but didn't really replace them with anything else but added free movement which was a nice addition to develop musicality. The latest, current syllabus feels to me like there are some great foundations to build strength for adage and power for jumps which the 90's work lacked, but by using parallel or natural turnout in the lower grades means that the fitness needed gets developed without the danger (physical and aesthetic) of using 'classical' turnout too young. I also agree with Cara in that the RAD is recognising the wider range of choreography needed these days!

 

No individual syllabus is better than the teacher that delivers it - there are some brilliant teachers of all the different syllabi, just as there are some pretty terrible ones!

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