Jump to content

Ballet school student Assessments

DD Driver

Recommended Posts

I am looking for suggestions on how to get a full and frank Assessment from a full time/vocational ballet school.

-  What are some specific questions that I can ask?

- How do I get their honest opinion of my DD"s ability?


We are all familiar with 1/2 yearly reports and parent/teacher interviews at academic schools.   This all still happened for my non-dancing children despite the lock-downs. These subjects lend themselves to many objective measures.  Nevertheless, teachers comment on students' perceived potential and teachers do assess artistic works/performance in subjects such as Art, Music and Dance.  


I am spending a bomb on my DD's ballet!  I want to know where she is at and what she can do to improve. I sense that many ballet schools find the rigour of Assessment to be outside their experience.  I also understand that they need many paying students not just stars, at private studios.  I get the 'subjective' line and I understand that a top student at a ballet studio can be passed over by upper schools and Companies.  I just want frank and honest feedback from our ballet school's perspective.  I am happy to hear it rather than have it written down.  I need to ask the teachers the right questions and frame it so that they respond!


On the up-side: Once a year we get a RAD exam result that does attempt to assess a range of standardised elements.  My DD also participates in some competitions and this provides a cross section of adjudicator reports. 


Edited by DD Driver
add comment
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mention a full time/ vocational ballet school... don’t you already receive written reports and appraisal feedback? We receive a written report after a term and then another after appraisals have taken place, plus a parents’ evening appointment at another point in the year. They give feedback on her ability in the different aspects of dance (similar to the things marked in a ballet exam), response to corrections, artistry, attitude in lessons, plus ‘next steps’ to work on in the immediate future to develop their work.


This level of feedback is extremely valuable, and absolutely what I would expect when we are talking about full time ballet school. Dance has at least equal status with all the academic subjects, more really, as it’s the reason DD is at that school and boarding 120 miles away from home! A regular school wouldn’t dream of missing maths off a school report (for example).

Edited by SissonneDoublee
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks SissonneDoublee. The ballet school my DD attends is aligned but separate from her academic provider.


They would usually have 2 dance assessment days each year.  In these the class performs set exercises and solo variations over a number of hours.  Parents can attend. A guest adjudicator is there alongside the faculty and each student wears a number.  They receive a report based on that day plus general comments from their class teachers. 


That is good but the information could be improved upon.  Anyway, the problem this year is that the Assessment Day could not take place.  The students did Zoom lessons for 3 months. They have returned back to the studio but this is fairly recent.  


A report (written/verbal) would be very helpful now.  This is a new situation for the school.  Zoom classes make things harder but not impossible.  This seems like the moment to influence the kind of information provided and to ask questions in away that elicits frank answers! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The written reports and parents evening assessments from my child’s vocational school far outstrips that of my other child’s academic school (the later being simply a list of subjects with numbers 1-9 relating to current overall level below, on target or exceeding target & a behaviour grade.  My child received his last report in February but did not receive anything following lockdown.  There is an annual parent’s evening but there are not enough appointments to go around. (You have to book 5 minute slots). 

The vocational school provides a report for each dance subject following assessments again with numbers but split into categories, plus a written comment from the teacher detailing areas to work on etc. Parent’s evening follows this and I have found that teachers are Frank & comprehensive. A second, briefer report is sent at the end of the school year however that did not happen this year due to lockdown. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...