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NATD GRADES


Shirley315
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Hi

 

At my daughters dance school they take NATD exams and she has just taken grade 5 ballet. Can anyone help me in determining what ISTD or RAD grade that is equivalent to please, as we seem to be the only school that take these exams.

 

Thank you

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Not sure on how many grades there are after grade 6 and intermediate and I don't really want to ask the teacher as I'm not normally very tactful and don't want to rock the boat by making comparisons to other dance grades in case she thinks we want to leave., I have an idea that they are below ISTD grades, and I'm not sure whether or not these grades will look good on a dance resume CV.

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There are loads of clips on youtube of people doing various RAD and ISTD grades. I know it wouldn't be a very objective comparison, but if you took a look at a good cross section of clips it would at least give you an idea of what kind of steps are in the grades and how that compares to what your daughter has done?

Mind you, if there's one thing I've learned from reading posts on this forum it's that when it comes to applications for schools, courses etc it's performance at the audition that matters, not exam results, so maybe you don't need to be too concerned.

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I was told that NATD ballet was Russian based and also resembled elements of the old RAD grades syllabus. My DD did a couple of months of NATD alongside RAD ballet (about 5 years ago) and it did remind me a little of the (very!) old RAD syllabus that I did way back in the mists of time,ie the 1970s - although no polka with a partner as in the old RAD Primary! I think the NATD ballet grades included 'theory' questions ie the meaning of the French ballet terms.

 

As I understand it, the ISTD ballet grades go up to grade 6 whereas the RAD grades now go up to grade 8, so I could understand it if the RAD grades were a little behind the ISTD in that the grades work is spread over 8 rather than 6 levels. I don't know how many grades there are in NATD ballet but it certainly didn't appear to be a particularly easy syllabus.

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I have little experience of the NATD ballet syllabus though I know I did do it briefly when I was very young, but echoing what pups mum said I wouldn't worry about wether it looks good on her cv or how it will effect her in auditions, what's important is the quality of teaching wether its ISTD, RAD, NATD, BBO or a school that does completely non-syllabus classes, if your happy with the teacher and your DD's progression then don't worry :)

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Have a look at: http://www.natd.org.uk/exams/ballet.asp

 

 

'The National ballet syllabus is designed for the "once a week" child to aquire and develop the basic skills and technique of classical ballet.

There are Grades 1 to 6 preceded by Preliminary and Class Examination levels, which may be taken from the age of four years.

After mastering these initial grades, there are further professional and performance options available. Supplemental to these examinations are various junior and senior medal tests to encourage the sense of dance quality and performance.'

 

Hope that helps.

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Also just seen this from the same NATD site about 'Classical Ballet'.

 

 

'The Classical Ballet branch provides a syllabus following the Russian style of ballet training.

Examinations start at Class level (from 4 years of age) followed by Primary and Grade One to Five. In addition to the teaching and development of basic ballet technique the syllabus aims to encourage an appreciation of music, mime and national dance.

Vocational grades, Intermediate Foundation to Advanced Two, are available to further develop technical and performance skills. There is also a series of medal tests catering for all age groups.

Our examiners and committee are dedicated to supporting teachers and maintaining the quality of the Russian syllabus.

There is a Classical Ballet Refresher Day taking place on Sunday 7th October 2012,

click here for more details.'

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it did remind me a little of the (very!) old RAD syllabus that I did way back in the mists of time,ie the 1970s - although no polka with a partner as in the old RAD Primary!

 

I remember this too - dancing in pairs in the village hall, the music has also remained etched in my head. Also a dance we did with a basket of eggs - my mum painted beautiful flowers on mine in nailvarnish, I thought they were fantastic. Don't think I thought the same about my ballet class though as gave up soon after.

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Oh gosh yes I remember that too but am sure the polka in pairs was in grade 1 as we moved house just before I took this exam and my new school did the polka differently (with a 'sit') to my old school - very confusing for a 7 year old! Also have strong memories of a birdcage dance and my mother having to make a birdcage out of a lampshde frame!

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Goodness, I also remember the birdcage dance for Grade 1! Plus the Breton dance for Grade 2 and tarantella for Grade 3 and the gorgeous variation for Senior Grade - although bizarrely I have no idea what the Grade 4 dance was!

 

I was sure that the polka was Primary as I wore a white dress with a pink sash for that exam before graduating to those thick nylon Lycra-free leotards after that...?! Happy days!!

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Goodness, I also remember the birdcage dance for Grade 1! Plus the Breton dance for Grade 2 and tarantella for Grade 3 and the gorgeous variation for Senior Grade - although bizarrely I have no idea what the Grade 4 dance was!

 

I was sure that the polka was Primary as I wore a white dress with a pink sash for that exam before graduating to those thick nylon Lycra-free leotards after that...?! Happy days!!

 

We must be much the same age legseleven! It's all rushing back now. Grade 4 dance was Russian. Polka was definately grade 1 RAD as I did ISTD Primary but I remember a white dress with pink sash (mine was made from an old sheet!) and the leotards had tiny pleated skirts attached. Was bitterly disappointed when changed dance schools as had to change from a pink leotard to a blue one - mum tried to dye it and I ended up purple!

 

Many appologies for hijacking this thread. Perhaps we should start a new one for reminising but would it still come under doing dance?

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Showing my age niow but i did that Birdcage dance and remember the same thing made from a lampshade base and my mum spending hours covering it with pink satin ribbon. I had a pink leotard with a lovely pink hairband.!

 

This must have been grade 1/2 ish! I also had a white dress with a pink sash - nylon with spots and remember doing rock-a-bye baby with my Tiny Tears and a dance to Sing a Song of Sixpence complete with washing basket full of dolls clothes! And the party polka with a partner - this must have been primary.

 

Also i have a photo of me in a character skirt with a tamborine tied with ribbons - so a spanish tarentella maybe. I gave up ballet soon after!

 

Definately under reminising - I'm sure many of us have loads to reminise about!

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I did these grades too! I have a photo of me in the white spotted dress with a pink sash and then in the blue leotard with the pie crust frill. Also had the national skirt and tamborine combo and my mum painted eggs too. She was an Avon Lady at the time so had all the samples that she used.1970's Ballet!!!

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The birdcage dance!! Loved it! I think my Dad still has a black and white video of me performing it in our lounge!

 

I also loved the tarantella and can still the opening of it now. I also remember a very cute dance with an umbrella but I'm not sure whether this was a set grade dance?

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Polka was done in both primary and grade one. Grade onealso had pas marches!!

 

Birdcage polka was primary, teachers made up their own dances for grade one- I did one called Cherry Ripe which was a sad dance about a girl trying and failing to sell cherries! Really appealed to my dramatic sense!

 

Branch dance for grade 2 (think alternative was Breton) tarentella grade 3, russian grade 4 and variation in senior grade which was added in 1979.

 

These syllabi were kept until 1992 although some changes were made such as adding extra pirouette training exercises and simplfying some exercises.

 

Now we are on a whole new syllabus and I feel very old but also very blessed to have such a wealth of material to draw upon. I actually taught the Tarentella last week- the students loved bashing the tambourines!

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Was the Krakowiak the alternative to tarantella for Grade 3? I loved the tarantella (can still remember a lot of it, all of the Breton dance for Grade 2 and all of the variation for Senior Grade) and the tambourine bashing, despite an older friend having sliced her finger open during her Grade 3 exam on the tambourine discs.....;-)

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Have to join the party - I did all these dances too, they still live in my heart and I can remember little snippets of each one, loved them all!!!

 

RK

 

Should also add, prior to doing the RAD grades, I started off on NATD with the lower grades in Classical Ballet, American Tap, Modern Stage and Acrobatics - all very good and enjoyed it very much!

Edited by RhodaKuc
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Was the Krakowiak the alternative to tarantella for Grade 3? I loved the tarantella (can still remember a lot of it, all of the Breton dance for Grade 2 and all of the variation for Senior Grade) and the tambourine bashing, despite an older friend having sliced her finger open during her Grade 3 exam on the tambourine discs.....;-)

Yes it was! Thanks, its been bugging me that I couldn't remember!
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