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IDTA syllabus, going from Grade 2 to intermediate ballet? pointe class query?

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My DD did some NATD ballet alongside her RAD work when she was about 4-7. It definitely wasn't done with tap in the same lesson and in fact I thought it was very similar to the RAD ballet I did at about the same age, with students learning the meaning of ballet terms and being questioned about them in their exams. It had a much more formal feel to it than RAD at that time (before the new syllabi were introduced).

 

However I do know that DD's school friend did ballet and tap and possibly a bit of what she called modern (about 10-15 minutes of each I think) in the same class between the ages of 2-7 or so. That was at an IDTA school. She stopped attending at about 8 in favour of swimming competitively so I don't know when or at what age the classes would have been separated.

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We live in Warwickshire, and theres a few local dance companies that do this. however, since we left i have been researching for other companies that sound like they actually know what they are doing, and they have seperate classes for both ballet and tap- i am thinking this is the way forward! Thanks all again for the help

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Are you wanting to stick with IDTA? I ask because the RAD team for the West Midlands is very good and would probably be able to advise you of good schools and teachers local to you. The RAD also offer associates and various workshops in Birmingham, which might be accessible for you. Contact either through the RAD website or if you are on facebook the RAD Midlands and East of England page has direct contact details for the lady for your region. The RAD website also has a search for a teacher facility.

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No, just wanted a reputable syllabus to follow. Have found two companies that are RAD, The facebook page is great, my youngest will love the Gruffalo Workshop. Really appreciate you letting me know about that page, thanks so much 2dancersmum

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Just in terms of the 'big jump' – My DD was moved up from RAD Grade 3 to Inter Found last year, but only because she was among the oldest in Grade 3 and was 'coasting'. She had to increase her classes from two to four per week (plus a weekly private), and her private lesson teacher undertook to 'fill in the gaps' from Gr 4 & 5 in her privates – which she did by incorporating steps from those grades into her competition dances. She also had to do strengthening exercises over the summer break so she could start pointe with the others (She was 11.5 by then). It was  a shock to her how much harder she had to work, but has done her the world of good. She had had 'slow and steady' training from age 5 though.

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I think your dd made quite an unusual jump Cara - but as you say it was actally very carefully planned so it was safe.

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At my DD's old school (RAD for ballet, ISTD for everything else) the baby class do a "bit of everything" in their lessons, which seems fair enough to me. At that age,variety is good,attention spans short and not many parents are going to want to take a 3 year old for multiple lessons in different genres are they? But once they get into doing grades is anything, the classes are separated. In fact the teachers are different too. Teaching a mixed class at intermediate seems very odd to me. There's no earthly reason why everyone would even want to do both,never mind be at the same level in both simultaneously. This school seems very strangely organised and I think you are doing exactly the right thing in looking at different options. Good luck!

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I think your dd made quite an unusual jump Cara - but as you say it was actally very carefully planned so it was safe.

 

Yes, sarah – I was trying to illustrate that even skipping two grades (rather than three) required a lot of extra work for it to be done safely. We didn't have Grade 5 that year due to studios combining, so she couldn't just move up from Grade 3 to Grade 5 – which would have been better really. (Or EVEN BETTER would have been for them to notice earlier and move her up after Grade 1 or 2 when it was much less of a leap!)

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I don't think a jump from grade 3 to IF is thT unusual.

 

Dd went from grade 3 (due to teacher/other circumstances her & her peers had been in the grade for 2 years) to IF when she started vocational school. Local dance schools often start IF with students alongside grade 4 onwards & it sits on the QCF as the same level (albeit different demands)

 

But the jump to Intermediate is huge.

 

Grade 3 is a Level 1 qualification, Grades 4, 5 & IF are all Level 2 but Intermediate is Level 3 along with Grades 6-8.

 

I really think thE OP is best out of this school.

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I think you've done the right thing. As an adult I haven't gone through the syllabus (much more common with adults due to class availability!) and it is a lot harder to execute the work correctly, even if you can 'do' the steps. A lot of time and thought has gone into planning the progression in a syllabus and it does train you to instinctively use head, eye line, balance etc, things that you need to be automatic at intermediate level because the work is much more complex.

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I also think that what a lot of parents, dance students and indeed dance teachers seem to forget is that vocational grades were never meant to be and should not become a natural progression for all students.

 

Vocational grades are designed to "develop the technique, music and performance skills of the older ballet student to an advanced level, preparing them for a dance or dance-related career."  They were never meant for children for whom dance will only ever be a hobby. That's not to say that they still can't learn to dance to a high level (which is why RAD grades like music & drama grades go all the way up to Grade 8).  The facility, commitment and time needed to develop the required technique, strength etc is considerable and takes time.

 

But our society as a whole seems obsessed with grades and ucas points and being at a certain level by a certain age.  I suspect that many of these recreational dancers thrust into vocational grades would actually benefit more from a good, well taught non syllabus class in many cases.

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To expand further.  I know the OP is about IDTA but in RAD the Intermediate ballet exam requires approx. 150 hours of directed learning (class time) plus a further 125 hours additional learning (practice etc)

 

Assuming an academic teaching year of 40 weeks that is three and three quarter hours per week of class to do the exam in one year or over one and three quarter hours per week to do the exam in two years.

 

That's one heck of a commitment and I bet a lot of the schools pushing these students through are not providing anything like this number of classes!

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When people are talking about RAD Intermediate, do they mean the old Elementary? The old grades went, Grade 4,Senior Grade,  Pre-Elementary, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, Solo Seal.

Edited by Lisa O`Brien

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RAD Grades go as follows

 

GRADED EXAMS

 

Grades 1-3  (Level 1)

Grades 4-5 (Level 2 same sort of level as GCSE)

Grades 6-8 (Level 3 same sort of Level as A Level)

 

VOCATIONAL GRADES

 

Intermediate Foundation (Level 2 but more in depth)optional grade

Intermediate (Level 3 but more in depth)

Advanced Foundation (Level 3 but more in depth) - optional grade

Advanced 1 (Level 4 equivalent to HNC or first year of a degree)

Advanced 2 (Level 4 as above)

Solo Seal (Level 5 equivalent to HND or 2nd year of a degree)

 

The levels refer to the National Qualifications & Credit Framework that all accredited exams from GCSE's to A Levels to degrees to music & dance exams to Btecs are placed on.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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When people are talking about RAD Intermediate, do they mean the old Elementary? The old grades went, Grade 4,Senior Grade,  Pre-Elementary, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, Solo Seal.

Yes,

Old Elementary became Inter,

Old Inter became Adv 1,

and old Advanced became Adv 2.

They also added Grades 6-8 at the same time.

(I think)

Edited by taxi4ballet
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Reading this has made me realise how incredibly lucky we are with DD's dance school.

 

They do all the RAD grades including Vocational plus all the ISTD Modern and Tap plus LAMDA. Not all the students do the vocational grades, they are carefully selected and the students know it is an honour to be asked to take them. It is a big commitment- 2 x 1 hour vocational classes a week plus 2 x grade classes. They are still expected to take grades along side working towards their vocational grades.

 

DD is taking her Intermediate this term, this is her 7th term of lessons. She took her Grade 7 last term and is taking her Grade 8 either next term or in the summer.

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How essential is it for our dc's to do the vocational grades if they want to go on for a career in in dance?

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It's not essential at all as long as they are being taught to an equivalent level in non syllabus classes.

 

Indeed a couple of the major vocational schools do not offer grades but purely use their own syllabus.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Not essential but the vocational grades can be useful, especially if a student would like to go on to teach. IIRC, you need to have RAD Intermediate as a minimum for most of the RAD's teacher training courses.

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I think it has been mentioned before that idta have a 2 tier teaching qualification and to teach lower grades you don't need intermediate? I may be wrong, I've never done idta myself. The grade 6-8 recreational training is particular to the rad. There are lots of recreational dancers who do very well at intermediate level, even us oldies!! Although I agree that you do have to have some facility/ talent for dance and commitment

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Dd did IDTA grades up to 6 (last ones to do it), then Classical ballet award and doing Intermediate before Xmas. So the jump sounds odd to me. She's been doing pointe work longer than Intermediate syllabus.

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In order to attain the lowest teaching qualification within IDTA the requirement is to A - Provide evidence of an understanding of safe teaching practice, risk assessment and health and safety within the dance studio/ classroom - portfolio/ written evidence etc. Assessed by examiner/ head office. B - study the syllabus for Prep to Grade 2 and be examined on knowledge of development of students and the technique required as well as an understanding of music and suitable alternative exercises and build ups etc at this level. Face to face examination by an IDTA examiner - Pre-Associate 1, not yet a qualification to teach. C - As for B above for Grades 3 to 5 with Face to face examination by an IDTA examiner - Pre-Associate 2, not yet a qualification to teach. D - Undertake study of Anatomy and Physiology and successfully pass the IDTA Anatomy and Physiology Diploma examination, not yet qualified to teach. E - Study the Intermediate syllabus, if under 21years the candidate will be required to take the examination, if older you may just study the syllabus, though most will take the exam where possible. The candidate is expected to understand the build up of physical development, technique and content of the syllabus being able to count and discuss faults and corrections etc. in examination with a senior IDTA examiner. The candidate will be required to provide alternative music and create alternative exercises of an appropriate level. The candidate will also be required to teach a free class in front of the examiner, the content of which is decided/ given during the exam to the candidate. At this point, assuming all is achieved to a satisfactory level the candidate may be awarded the Level 4 Diploma (New name for the qualification replacing the previous "Associate") The candidate will only then be admitted to membership of the IDTA and be able to teach as such.

Teachers may progress by studying the higher vocational grades to attain Licentiate and then Fellowship.

I hope this clarifies things.

RK

Edited by RhodaKuc
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The school my dd is at does graded exams up to grade 8 but doesn't offer vocational grades. I suppose I am wondering if that could be a problem further down the line if she doesn't have any vocational grades. She is 11 & currently working on Grade 6

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If she wants to enter vocational education at, say 16, she would need to be doing vocational exam level training but could be in a free not syllabus class. Certainly vocational grades in BBO do pointe work and G6-8 don't. Maybe discuss with your teacher?

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My dd has gone from being in grade 1 last summer to just about to take her grade 3 in a few weeks and then grade 4 next term alongside doing inter foundation (she's not on pointe yet). It seems like a huge leap but she is 11 and has gone from doing 1 x 45 min grade 1 ballet class last summer to (when we moved schools earlier this year) 1 x 45 min g3, 1 x 45 min g4, 3 x 1hr inter foundation and up until this term 1hr freework ballet (because of a conflict on the timetable she's had to drop that class but is doing an extra g4 instead) and has had regular 1hr private lessons so she has put in a lot of hours to catch up, so I find it insane that this new teacher is expecting girls to not only be on pointe but ready to do their exam so soon! and it is a huge jump from a grade 2 class to intermediate (DD is doing RAD but I expect it's similar in level of difficulty), glad to hear you are getting her out of there!

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