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RAD competitions tomorrow


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Well DD did the London region class which was for those who'd passed grade 3,4 or 5 with distinction. There were about 30 in the class, aged between 10-14, DD is 10. The teacher was lovely and DD really loved doing it. The students had to do a variety of 'routines' (that might be the wrong word!), port de bras,etc, all together then in rows. They all did really well. The class was 1 hr 15 and then the judges (2) went out to decide on the finalists. The other RAD reps did a raffle while they were deciding and we won a teaset! After about 10 mins they came out and chose about 8 girls. The final was about 2 hours later, but DD didn't get through, so I don't know what happened then!

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I hope you and your dd enjoyed the day (and well done for winning the raffle!).

 

The RAD seem to be doing more of this type of event lately, until recently I didn't know anything about them at all, sounds like a good thing to be involved in, especially for children who don't go to dance schools that enter their students for a lot of festivals etc..

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DD's teacher told us about the day at RAD and I looked on the website and couldn't find any info at all! DD had never done a competition before to I'm glad it was such a positive experience for her. I'd definitely recommend it to other dancers.

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Your RAD ballet teacher should have the details - I think they choose if they want to enter students or not but I think it has to be done through the teacher. 

 

My dd did the Margaret Brockaway RAD awards day in Birmingham this time last year.  Unfortunately she wasn't eligible to enter last sunday's comp as her teacher wanted to enter her in the interfoundation/foundation vocational  class and she hadn't received her exam results.  She got them tonight as is very pleased with her result.

 

DD's very good friend from dancing won a scholarship on sunday!  She is a fab little dancer! 

 

There is another one this weekend in Brentwood - Catherine Blellock scholarship day for which dd's teacher has entered some students but unfortunately dd has her National Youth Ballet call back audition on Sunday so can't do that one either!.  Apparently the RAD ran alot of these award days in the past and are now trying to resurect them!

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It was a lovely day! What a super teacher - ex BRB Principal Sandra Madgwick. Quite challenging enchainements but suited my dd down to the ground. The Adjudicator was slightly fearsome - probably no bad thing - and I thought her decision not to award a commendation for Allegro was rather harsh - but as experiences go it was a very good day.

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Yes, I know what you mean about the allegro, we were only there for the final advanced section, and it was quite difficult for the older girls to open up and travel in the grand allegro. Since they did it 4 at a time, it might have cramped their style a bit - I could see a few of them running out of space and having to rein themselves in!

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Sorry i thought the class was rather a dissapointment, the adjudicator sat at her desk a lot of the time so couldnt possibly see the smaller girls at the back of the class, in my dd class there were much older girls who looked at least 14-15 & also tinier girls from 10 upwards. It seemed crazy to then bring on the smaller grade 2 & 3 girls at the end of the grade 4/5 & the adjudicator then presented the awards, how can she judge a small 7/8 yr old against a much older experienced 12 yr old for example? The adjudicator did seem quite harsh with her comments such as the girls didnt have a sense of performance?? I spotted many girls smiling & performing! Rad need to re think this for next year, & maybe make the competition more like istd ballet awards, where there is more set exercises from the grades, and the awards are for each grade. The exercises for grade 4/5 were more like intermediate level! Would have been nice to a have a small character section also?

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It is interesting that you mention the performance aspect, as she spoke about that at the end of the senior section too. The RAD has always been very hot on technique, but it seems that there is now much more of a focus on artistry and a sense of performance too. Something which comes instinctively to some people, but for others has to be a learned thing and might only come with maturity...

 

Perhaps they didn't include exercises from the grades as so much of the syllabus has changed recently...? 

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Sorry i thought the class was rather a dissapointment, the adjudicator sat at her desk a lot of the time so couldnt possibly see the smaller girls at the back of the class, in my dd class there were much older girls who looked at least 14-15 & also tinier girls from 10 upwards. It seemed crazy to then bring on the smaller grade 2 & 3 girls at the end of the grade 4/5 & the adjudicator then presented the awards, how can she judge a small 7/8 yr old against a much older experienced 12 yr old for example? The adjudicator did seem quite harsh with her comments such as the girls didnt have a sense of performance?? I spotted many girls smiling & performing! Rad need to re think this for next year, & maybe make the competition more like istd ballet awards, where there is more set exercises from the grades, and the awards are for each grade. The exercises for grade 4/5 were more like intermediate level! Would have been nice to a have a small character section also?

 

In the car on the way home my dd said she would have liked there to have been awards for each of the two groups in her section, and then an overall winner.  

 

The adjudicator must have had a very difficult job, it can't be easy comparing students with such a wide range of ages and grades.

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Definitely. With so many dancers in the two senior classes there should really - IMHO - have been commendations for both classes, and even one winner from each. Still, it's a new format so perhaps there will be some changes next year.

 

In terms of what my dd needed to get out of the day though, it was excellent. :-)

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In the car on the way home my dd said she would have liked there to have been awards for each of the two groups in her section, and then an overall winner.  

 

The adjudicator must have had a very difficult job, it can't be easy comparing students with such a wide range of ages and grades.

and

 

 

Definitely. With so many dancers in the two senior classes there should really - IMHO - have been commendations for both classes, and even one winner from each. Still, it's a new format so perhaps there will be some changes next year.

 

In terms of what my dd needed to get out of the day though, it was excellent. :-)

 

I agree totally. It was a huge group to pick and choose. And I think someone should have got the allegro.

 

DD did a couple of ISTD awards a few years ago and I think I preferred the "informality"  of the free work of yesterday over the set work. It did give the girls a chance to do something different and interpret the exercises individually. Also, remembering the exercises was a challenge in itself, (I forget after the first French term that comes up!)

I'm not a great advocate of competitions, but dd had a fabulous time yesterday. First competition she has done in years (left a "festival school", the stress was too much!) Sandra Madgwick was a super teacher, gave the girls some really interesting exercises and I thought encouraging and helpful! So maybe I should change my mind about competitions?

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I thought the work in the advanced section was very searching and thorough, but it was just as well there were only 12 of them in the section, the studio was a bit of a tight squeeze, I don't know how the other groups managed!

 

We definitely came away with plenty of food for thought, and it was a very good, and eye-opening experience.

 

It was lovely to meet some fellow Balletco-ers again too :)

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There were around 28 in the first senior class, which was a lot. Fortunately my dd was well placed on the middle barre, which if nothing else meant that her teachers and I could see her. :-) The lines were rotated well and the Adjudicator stood a few times to get a better view.

 

I too thought her comments about performance were harsh, there were several older girls in the class who performed very well.

 

Still - at the end of the day it is just one person's opinion. :-)

 

I definitely agree that there are aspects of the competition which need re-thinking next year. One of these is making those in the first class wait until the end of the second class for the presentations, because for us it meant a 7 hour day for one class!

 

But my dd went purely for the experience of having to perform in a strange environment (she doesn't do Festivals) so she got a lot out of the day. She enjoyed Sandra's class very much indeed.

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Just been looking at the facebook page spannerandpony.  Lots of lovely pictures, faces I recognise and winners and runners up in all sections from our dance school! - such well deserved recognition for the teachers and the kids. 

 

My dd missed it sadly as was at National Youth Ballet Finals.  However funnily enough i've had an email this eve from dd's teacher inviting her to do the MIDLANDS RAD AWARDS day in June.  I think this is to appease her and although it is a trek I think we will do it.  However Classes 3 and 4 are combined so from Grade 6 - Advanced 2 with one winner although 3 class awards for the seperate classes, musicality, port de bras and allegro.  Massive age range and ability but a wonderful opportunity  - it kind of looks like the Margaret Brockway Awards Day last year!    

 

Again it seems your teacher has to put you forward.  Our teacher is putting forward quite a few!

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