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Hi, 

 

I used to train in ballet when I was younger for about 10 years then I quit. I have recently took up adult lessons but I'm toying with the idea of finishing off my grades. 

 

Is this a possibility? I'm looking for guidance/advice on if anyone has done this.

 

Thanks, 

 

Nat 

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Welcome to the forum, NatL.  I'm moving your post to Doing Dance, which is where most of the discussion of dance classes takes place, and I'm sure someone will be able to help you. 

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1 minute ago, alison said:

Welcome to the forum, NatL.  I'm moving your post to Doing Dance, which is where most of the discussion of dance classes takes place, and I'm sure someone will be able to help you. 

Thank you sorry all new to this xx 

 

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I restarted aged 40.... had taken my last RAD exam aged 16/17; the then Elementary....never had the chance to do the next one up - Intermediate. 

So, finally after 9 years & loving being back at ballet & getting back to a pretty good level IMHO, I plucked up courage to look at doing my Intermediate exam! (Apparently the old Elementary is equivalent to new Inter but it was really about the ‘name’ & not sure that a) I’d have managed the Pointe work required for RAD Advanced 1 or b) found a suitable class....)

It became a bit of a ‘do before I’m 50’ bucket list thing!

i detailed on forum how difficult it was to actually find a class....my regular school sadly (& infuriatingly...& wrongly IMO....ageism should be a no no) would not let me do it with the over 16 year old teens....grrrrr. ( I do not see at all tgetvit could be a safe guarding thing...plus I had an enhanced DBS & Chaperone license!) 

But quite by chance I came across a teacher who had an adult (in 30’s) ready to take her Inter exam but ideally wanting another adult to take it with!! Fate! 20 miles away took sone time management & not nearly enough classes but 3 months later we took our Inter exam at RAD HQ! More importantly we are best ‘ballet buddies’ now too! 

So yes, it is possible if you are determined & don’t let anyone say you can’t!

On another note...I wish I didn’t have the ingrained hang ups vocational school taught me to have....like put up & shut up! So glad that people are speaking up now against the narrow attitudes & often demeaning behaviour dance students for too long 

have suffered from! 

Go for it!

Enjoy it!

And share your journey here!

 

Edited by Peanut68
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It is absolutely  Possible to do Grades  and  Vocational exams  as an Adult.
Peanut's experience sounds common , my own experience is as someone who starting taking class at  age 39  is that you  do need to put a little bit of  work and research into finding a teacher / school that has experience of putting adults in for exams. 

Peanut I agree that  it is a wrongly  held  belief that  you can't  mix   age groups in classes in in part  due to mis-representation over what  Scouting /Guiding /Cadets had to do about age  groups and seperation in the light of the stuff about  abuse of position of trust. 

Having decided at just turned 43 that yes I want a target to aim for  so I'm now working on  doing RAD intermediate  in Private lessons as  well as contining with my  established  pattern of freework classes 

 

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Great advice about researching.... I felt a huge problem of School loyalty (a common theme when we discuss our dancing children!) 

I almost felt I had to sneak around to do my exam & only confessed to it In ‘regular’ school months after the event! This based on my attending one very mixed (ages 17-80+) adult ballet class & occasional ‘open to all above grade 4’ class there! And the ‘rival’ school was over 20 miles away so not exactly same catchment area! No bells & whistles but I think most of us adults taking exams are doing it for our own personal satisfaction & sense of achievement! But a little hoorah & a chance to join a class to continue on would’ve been nice....My standard has now slipped so far back as have no class at Inter or above I can attend that’s close enough at a time I can manage with job/children/travel.....
Lockdown didn’t help despite the plethora of amazing online opportunities I’m afraid the scorn of my children if they saw me going off to dance was too much for my fragile ego!

i should practise what I preach more....🤔

 

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3 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Great advice about researching.... I felt a huge problem of School loyalty (a common theme when we discuss our dancing children!) 

I almost felt I had to sneak around to do my exam & only confessed to it In ‘regular’ school months after the event! This based on my attending one very mixed (ages 17-80+) adult ballet class & occasional ‘open to all above grade 4’ class there! And the ‘rival’ school was over 20 miles away so not exactly same catchment area! No bells & whistles but I think most of us adults taking exams are doing it for our own personal satisfaction & sense of achievement! But a little hoorah & a chance to join a class to continue on would’ve been nice....My standard has now slipped so far back as have no class at Inter or above I can attend that’s close enough at a time I can manage with job/children/travel.....
Lockdown didn’t help despite the plethora of amazing online opportunities I’m afraid the scorn of my children if they saw me going off to dance was too much for my fragile ego!

i should practise what I preach more....🤔

 


All three of my regular teachers know that I have other regular teachers...  Also they know that I get different things from all of them 

I'm also lucky that I can get classes at a suitable level  that fit with my  diary / timetable /rota...  As an adult  you can still be 'Loyal' to your school(s) if there is more than one , a lot of the stuff with younger dancers  should be about  consistency...  however adults shoudl be able to cope with the differences  in emphasis  and  if classes are  free work   small differences are less of an issue...   I am reminded of a comment DPK made at  a The Ballet Retreat   retreat  "there are many ways that are  acceptable between different  schools of thought, what is correct is what the choreographer /  Ballet Master  says is correct "
 

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I did my RAD grade 6 exam last year at age 45 so it is totally possible. I am very lucky that my teacher and the principal of the school have been incredibly supportive and encouraging especially as I am currently the only adult they have! There used to be an adult class but numbers dropped too low for it to continue so they allowed me to join classes with their older girls (17-18). They then went off to university so I am now in an intermediate foundation class with young teens. I did my exam alone but while waiting to go in, I was chatting to some of the mums of children from other grades and they were very positive, saying they thought I was brave and they wished they had the confidence to do it too. I also have an enhanced DBS and my chaperone license which my teacher is aware of. There isn't currently a grade 7 class but some of the girls are working towards their grade 6 exam so I'm hoping to join them once they move up to grade 7. I'd echo what others have said, I think it is just a case of researching schools as there are some supportive ones out there for adults.

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The last exam I took as a teenager was Intermediate in 1969, but I continued in adult classes for many years after that. Then I had a 25 year break and came back to ballet four years ago, aged nearly 64. It's been hard work, but a source of great pleasure, although I have had to come to terms with the fact that I will never regain the standard I had in the old days. However I know I have come a long way over the course of these four years and I know my teacher is very proud of my achievements.  I  took RAD Intermediate two years ago alongside a group of teenagers and have since taken Grade 6 and am about to take Grade 7, both of these in private lessons (nobody else at the school I go to is currently working at this level). I have been welcomed and supported throughout by my teacher, other students and students' parents.

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Hi all,

 

So I spoke to my ballet teacher and she was more than happy to discuss preparing me for an exam she was so encouraging and expressed how passionately she was about adults taking their exam's.

 

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement I'm so glad I have taken this first step to achieving (hopefully) my grades. 

 

Nat :)

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6 hours ago, NatL said:

Hi all,

 

So I spoke to my ballet teacher and she was more than happy to discuss preparing me for an exam she was so encouraging and expressed how passionately she was about adults taking their exam's.

 

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement I'm so glad I have taken this first step to achieving (hopefully) my grades. 

 

Nat :)

chookas  my Dear  ... which exam do you  fancy doing ?

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18 minutes ago, NJH said:

chookas  my Dear  ... which exam do you  fancy doing ?

Thank you.

 

Well my teacher suggested we speak to the class as some of the others may want to do exams too.

 

So depending on how that goes well will then work out what is best for us.

 

I am so happy since I've expressed what I want to achieve and with a good support network around me seems like I can achieve it all. 

Edited by NatL
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3 hours ago, NatL said:

Thank you.

 

Well my teacher suggested we speak to the class as some of the others may want to do exams too.

 

So depending on how that goes well will then work out what is best for us.

 

I am so happy since I've expressed what I want to achieve and with a good support network around me seems like I can achieve it all. 

sounds sensible 

It seems a lot of those who  are returning to ballet  tend to want to pick up where they left off  and those of us  who  come to  Ballet as adults tend to be of a certain mind set and shoot  fairly high fairly  quickly   (I forget how long  @sophie_rebecca had been dancing before she took Inter Foundation but I have a feeling it was 18months - 2 years)   and my decision to pursue Exams  after dancing for nearly  4 years   is a bit of a 'go big or go home' decision to Start working on RAD Intermediate, equally i know of people who  started as adults who have started with G2 or 3 and worked  their way through...   

then of course there's  Discovering Repetoire if your teacher is an RAD teacher

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17 hours ago, NatL said:

Thank you.

 

Well my teacher suggested we speak to the class as some of the others may want to do exams too.

 

So depending on how that goes well will then work out what is best for us.

 

I am so happy since I've expressed what I want to achieve and with a good support network around me seems like I can achieve it all. 

I know the (not my usual) school which I did my Inter exam through also had a while adult ballet class of I’d say around 12 (including one male dancer) who took RAD Grade 3 (I think) together. Big age range, some returners to dance, some complete beginners (one even pregnant I think?!)  but all oh so joyous! 

Edited by Peanut68
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12 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

I know the (not my usual) school which I did my Inter exam through also had a while adult ballet class of I’d say around 12 (including one male dancer) who took RAD Grade 3 (I think) together. Big age range, some returners to dance, some complete beginners (one even pregnant I think?!)  but all oh so joyous! 

if people want a 'quick'   solution  something like Gr 3 /4/5  or Discoverign repetoire  level 2  shouldn;t be too  far beyond the  reach of a typical 'not London General'   adult  class  ...   

( London class descriptions vs  outside London  class descriptions are a whole  different thread ) 

 

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