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Ballet exams alone


balletmum20
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My 8 year old daughter is doing her grade 1 istd ballet exam on her own in a week, she is not bothered at all, ( well not at the moment) the reason why she is doing it alone, is that no one else in the class was ready, and instead of holding my dd back till they were ready wanted her to do it alone, Do you think there are any advantages disadvantages of doing it alone? And what's the advantage of doing the exam with others?

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I am impressed at your DD's dance school putting her in for her exam alone rather than holding her back. I hear so often of children who are bored and frustrated because they have to wait for the rest of their class to be ready to take an exam; while I do understand that it may not always be possible to hold an exam sessions for a small number of pupils, I remember another teacher's students coming to take their exams with us or of course it is not necessary to take every children's grade exam and children who would have been ready to take an exam but cannot for whatever reason could simply move up to the next grade. Obviously this is not the case for all of the vocational exams.

 

Doing her exam alone will mean that she can concentrate fully and wont be put off by another child possibly doing the wrong thing or going the wrong way etc. Or trying to talk to her, as happened to my DD in her first exam aged 6 - she was so indignant as they had had it drilled into them that they must NOT talk! On the other hand there is nowhere to hide as a sole exam candidate so she will need to be very sure of the required work - which I am sure she is. If there are marks for spatial awareness then she will need to be certain of where she should start and finish each exercise and the direction amd 'pattern' of steps within each one.

 

Break a leg and merde to her! I am sure she will enjoy the exam and that the examiner will be especially kind to an 8 year old taking her exam alone!

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I would say a big advantage of doing it with others is that if you make a small mistake, the examiner will hopefully be looking at someone else! I guess this can work the other way though. Doing it on your own means undivided attention for when you do something really well :) I would be more worried about her moving up on her own after the exam. Don't know if this happens in her school, but in mine, If a group of people move up, the teacher will slow down the new exercises for them. I have had one experience where as I was the only one who moved up, the teacher forgot I didn't know the new exercises and so just expected me to copy and pick them up, which made me feel lost for a bit as she moved too fast for me to pick it up. When the group finally moved up, she broke everything down and I actually understood. Good luck to your daughter!

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Hi,

 

My DD did her RAD Primary exam on her own and she was sooo tiny, in a studio she had never even seen miles away from where we live.( We had terrible floods and our exam session was cancelled)the studio was floating! and she was also only one ready.So we joined someone else's.

 

She was fine, enjoyed it in fact. If given the option she would take every exam on her own, she is always number 1, pink lady, for every exam, so does everything at the front/first anyway. She does not like anyone copying her.  She is working out the numbers for the next exam to see if she can go on her own! they have to go in divisions of 4 for RAD.

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My DD has done several exams on her own. The first was unexpected as she and her best friend were meant to be doing grade 5 together but friend was ill. DD only found out about an hour before the exam that she would be on her own. She wasn't quite 10, so it was quite a big upset for her and apparently she did start crying when she went in. The examiner must have been sympathetic though because she actually got the highest mark of anyone doing an exam in our school at that session. Sometimes the examiners do seem a bit scary, but they are human and I think they understand how anxious little ones can feel on these occasions. I am sure your DD will be fine.

 

Since then DD has done grades 6,7 and 8 on her own too, either because there was an odd number of entrants or because she was the only one doing it. She says she actually prefers being on her own now, as there are no distractions and she feels like she is giving a performance for the examiner

In fact she is currently worrying about doing her advanced foundation with other people! She will be doing it at RAD HQ, which is where she did intermediate, but on that occasion she did the exam with several friends. This time she is the only one from her school who will be there so i assume she will just be put in wherever there is a space? She would prefer to do it on her own than with girls she has never met before but I guess that isn't really time or cost effective for the RAD. Does anyone know what they do with lone candidates?

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I would be surprised if your DD does her advanced foundation on her own, Pups_mum. As you say, RAD HQ is likely to slot her in wherever there is a space to make up a group of 4. My DD did her intermediate foundation in a group of 3 with two girls she didn't know and then her intermediate with two girls she knew and a fourth girl they didn't know.

 

By the time they have moved on to the vocational exams I am sure they are mature enough to dance alone, in pairs, in groups and with friends or with people they have never met without it 'throwing' them at all, although of course it is only human to have preferences one way or the other! ;-)

 

Wishing your DD all the best for her advanced foundation exam!

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My dd was also a lone candidate for advanced 1 and just slotted in with others she didn't know, just like an audition really. At higher levels it should make no difference if they know who they are with or not as they should be independent dancers. When going in with others my dd was always first as she was always the smallest and felt this showed she knew the syllabus as she couldn't copy even if she wanted to.

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Back in the mists of time, many many years ago when I was learning ballet my exams were solos.  I was really surprised when DD took her first exam and they were in groups.  She has also had the one exam on her own and like others here, she preferred being on her own.

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Good luck to your DD for her exam.  My DD has taken the odd exam on her own and for the vocational grades has always been in a 4 where all 4 did not know each other.  One thing I would prepare your DD for is the fact that the examiner may talk to her more than normal.  This is in part I am sure to encourage them if they are nervous but also to allow a little breathing space as obviously with more candidates they have a chance to catch their breath when another pair are dancing or doing an exercise individually.  That certainly happened for my DDs first exam on her own at a young age.

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