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Amount of dancing/grade


balletmum20
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I'm sure every 9year old will be different. My DD (just turned 10) wants to go to a vocational school and loves ballet. She has classes on Mon, Wed, Thu and Fri plus RBS JA every other Sat and modern on Sat. She Is planing to do her RAD grade 4 exam in April (but also does classes from grade 2 to intermediate foundation). All together she does 9 RAD ballet classes, 1 modern, 2 Pilates sessions and JA.

I think that this is a lot - she'd like to do more (but I said no!).

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It would depend what syllabus you are referring to? I don't think syllabus work has to be the focus but typically students who are considering doing the RAD exams tend to move away from grade 5 and into the more advanced syllabus around 10 or 11. Primary RAD tends to be taken around 6 years. This is not set in stone and it all depends on the dancer, the classes available and whether a vocational training is being considered. It is very common for long limbed dancers to progress at a slower pace than some with a more muscular physique as it can take longer to strengthen. This can be frustrating for the dancer but will be worth it in the end so it really needs to be at a pace that is safe and meets the needs of the dancer's physique.

 

Additional stretching and strengthening exercises can help at home to further enhance technique. More intensive summer schools are also useful as it gives additional input and an experience of more vocational like training.

 

Hope this is of help but grades are not the be all and end all and some schools operate without doing syllabus exams.

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My daughter turned 10 a couple of weeks ago, she does:

Grade 3 ballet (1 hour), taking exam in March

Unset ballet x2 (50 mins each)

Grade 2 tap

Unset tap

Grade 1 modern

Ballet conditioning

Street dance

Musical theatre

 

Plus a weekly Elmhurst associate ballet class and a monthly Midas associate class.

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Nobody panic reading these ;-)

 

Lots of children get into vocational school only having done, say, 2 ballet classes a week and might be on RAD grade 3 or 4 when they audition at 10+.

 

At our local school most 9 year olds would be doing just one or two ballet classes a week (with perhaps one of those being JAs if they'd got in) and maybe one tap and one modern class.

 

But, yes, it's very difficult to say what the average 9 year old is - remember that many on this forum are probably doing more than other 9 year olds at dance schools round the country.

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Out of choice , though would have danced every spare hour if we could afford it!

There are no rules , but for information if it helps

 

From age 8 -10years - per week DS did

1 ballet class grade 2, then 3, then inter foundation (cos grade 4 clashed with orchestra )

1 tap class, grade 1,then 2

1 modern class grade2, then 3 then 4

Plus one JA Saturday class at first fortnightly , then weekly for the last 2 years

(Plus on Saturday pm and Sundays the festivals and competitions and exam coaching that entail extra coaching sessions !)

That was more than enough !

Now at vocational school

It's not just about quantity though - quality , talent and potential is what vocational schools are looking for .

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I think it depends on whether the 9 year old has dreams to dance professionally or is just happy to dance as a hobby. My nine year DD (almost 10) old says she wants to dance professionally and she does two ballet classes, JAs on a Saturday, and a modern and tap class. Quality is definitely better than quantity and I'm not hugely bothered about grades (she is doing Grade 3 work). My son only did two ballet classes at 10/11 before going to vocational school (and only sat one exam). Think boys get away with that more than girls though. Hope that is of some use.

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When my daughter was in Year 6 ja's she was grade 5 and inter foundation and did an exam every year getting high 80's. She moved schools and slowed right down with her exams but then got marks in the high 90's. Her friend who made WL from her JA class was the lowest in grades at only grade 2 and they were asking if her teacher could fast track her up the grades! She had the musicality and potential however so at that age grades were irrelevant. My DD is now behind some of her friends from other schools in her vocational grades as her teacher likes them to wait and get very high distinctions. She knows however, that many of them just passed or got merits so the exam itself is not always an indicator of ability which is why vocational schools are more interested in solid basic technique, musicality and performance as the rest can easily be taught in the future!

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I doubt there is an average 9 year old.  At DDs school children had 1 45 min ballet class a week until grade 2 or 3 plus 1 modern class.  From grade 4 they would add 2 x inter foundation classes a week.  Ages of the children in each grade varies considerably as children take exams when they are ready and not class by class.  Some would perhaps do associate classes on top of this.  Quality of the lessons and the technique of the child are ultimately far more important than quantity and grade, at least in my opinion.  If there are 2 children the same age but in different grades at different schools, it certainly does not follow that the child in the higher grade is the better dancer or has more potential.  Summer schools and workshops where your DC mix with other children from a variety of backgrounds can often be a better indicator of if your DC is where they should be in their training at their age.

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I have to say that we will be sending a DVD for the Tring dance course and their requirements for year 7 are much more difficult than any of the other schools for DVDs.If 10 year olds are only doing 1 or 2 ballet classes a week it would be almost impossible to do what they have asked for.

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And at the other end of the scale.......at age 9 my DS did......... absolutely no ballet at all :)

 

Started age 10 at 30 min a week. Didn't increase this until 11 and 6mo - to about 2 hrs a week. Year he turned 12 he prob did about 4 hours a week. Only ever did ballet- no other dance forms. Got scholarship to vocational school after his first summer school, just before he turned 14.

 

I think age 9 for most boys doing whatever amount they are enjoying and whatever suits the family (available time/finances/other children/other activities) is all you can aim for....

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I'm in total shock to the amount of dancing some children do, are these children not tired, school all day and then lots of dancing, mmmm think I might need to increase my dds dancing, she is wanting to go to vocational school when she is 11, looks like she won't even have a chance getting in with doing the little dancing she does x

 

Thanks everyone for the information

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As I said earlier, please don't think your dd needs to do as much as some have mentioned - I'll say it again - we know plenty of girls who did a couple of ballet classes a week before getting into WL or Elmhurst. Auditioning for an associate programme is probably a good idea but not essential either.

 

"Talent (or more accurately, potential) will out"

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It sounds like this is a guide in order that they get a sense pre audition. If your daughter has good turnout and feet then pointe work and batterie should not be that important as they will see the potential.

 

Something which is well put together, shows musicality, dance quality and her physical attributes along with good grooming seems all that would be needed. Assuming this is for selection in terms of auditions so I would not worry too much.

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I'm in total shock to the amount of dancing some children do, are these children not tired, school all day and then lots of dancing, mmmm think I might need to increase my dds dancing, she is wanting to go to vocational school when she is 11, looks like she won't even have a chance getting in with doing the little dancing she does x

 

Thanks everyone for the information

Tired? No my daughter never gets tired unfortunately! She only dances 2 evenings a week though, the rest is done at the weekend. She gets homework every night from school but does it in the homework club before I collect her to take her to her classes. On the days she doesn't dance we try to do something else physical as she's extremely active and isn't good at doing nothing or sitting still! So we go swimming or she plays out with her friends (though that's coming to an end with dark nights!). We've also just put her name on the waiting list for climbing lessons!

 

I don't think she's going to audition for vocational school next year anyway as my husband is very much against it :( so I guess we're aiming for 16 or 18 if it's still what she wants to do then.

 

I do agree with others that quality is more important than quantity. My dd does a lot because it suits us for her to do it, it's good quality tuition too fortunately!

 

At 11 potential is certainly the main factor. If a child has reached a high standard then it can help to allow them to demonstrate their potential, but it's certainly also possible to show potential without having done all that much.

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My daughter is just nine and she only does ballet. She is taking her RAD Grade 3 in November. She does

Monday One hour

Tuesday. One hour Grade 3

Wednesday. One hour Grade 3 and one hour and 15 mins gymnastics.

Thursday. One hour Grade 3 One hour 15 mins intermediate foundation

Saturday One hour Grade 3. Two hours 15 mins RBS JA.

She is desperate to audition for white lodge so she just wants to dance every minute of the day. I hope she is not doing too much. :-/

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I would echo JulieW's excellent advice - for year 7 places, a good school will be looking for two main things - physique and POTENTIAL. I am sure that teaching is taken back to basics in many ways in year 7. If a child has the time and desire (and the parents have the money!) to do umpteen classes a week, then fine, each to their own. But I wouldn't want anyone to panic and start looking around for ten more classes on the basis that it will mean the difference between a year 7 place or no place.

 

If a child has a suitable physique for classical training, POTENTIAL, musicality, a love of dance, and a good basic technique then a good school will see that.

 

I would add that when dd auditioned for Tring year 7 (several years ago) the audition was not technically difficult and there was no expectation that the girls would have started pointe. Two ballet classes a week would have been fine in terms of vocab required.

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I would reiterate that the vast majority of dance schools in the UK would only be in a position to offer 1 or 2 ballet classes per week. At dds old school it was 1 class per week up to Grade 2 with two classes from Grade 3 onwards. Inter foundation is only offered from Grade 5 (age 12-13) onwards.

 

They really are looking for potential at this stage. If anything my own dd would say she wished shed found a school where she could have worked on flexibility more (stretch class was only offered in the last 12 months she was there and only for the seniors (age 12-13 onwards).

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