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Syllabus differences


annaliesey
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Thanks, I did use the search bar but it mostly pointed me in the direction of threads that had the word "syllabus" in (and there are a lot of them) rather than discussions on the different types of syllabus.

 

Yes Pictures I did mean BTDA :) and I knew there was another similar set of letters BATD (How confusing!)

 

I've also come across BBO too (British Ballet Organisation)

 

My daughter is doing RAD but some friends that she has made recently are following different syllabus or even doing two different syllabus (RAD + other) and this is how I've started to be aware of differences.

 

I'm curious about whether some have more of a theatrical bias than classical or whether people have changed from one syllabus to another for whatever reasons, or whether they are guided by teachers, or how anyone makes a decision on the syllabus to follow.  I wondered if anyone had followed a particular syllabus and then later wished they had followed a different one instead.

 

I'll readily admit that when my daughter started ballet I had zero awareness of syllabus types and purely picked a dance class that had a nice teacher and was convenient and have stuck with this completely ignorant of syllabus thoughts.

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I would go with the teacher rather than the syllabus, along with the successes of their students (getting into ballet schools etc).

 

RAD and ISTD are considered to be the most prestigious though. I probably wouldn't go with one that wasn't validated by the council for dance education and training but most are now.

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DD does RAD and IDTA. In the past I was told RAD was more technical, IDTA looked at performance as well, however both have changed syllabus & i think there is less of a difference now. A previous teacher once commented that she had to teach the steps in a technically correct way for RAD - in my opinion a good dance teacher will teach the steps correctly whatever syllabus! A good teacher will always be more important than syllabus for us.

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The 'RAD is technical, IDTA is performance' suggestion rings true for me. DD does RAD, as did I - as did my friend whose dance school follows the IDTA syllabi with RAD ballet also on offer. Her able ballet dancers are encouraged to take the RAD vocational graded classes and exams (even now when both exam boards have changed their syllabi), as she says she feels these are more of a challenge in terms of technique, musicality, dance quality and performance. Obviously that is her opinion and may not correlate to someone else's but from watching festival competitors from various dance schools, those who are RAD trained do often present differently.

 

The old criticisms levelled at the RAD that it sacrificed performance or dance quality in favour of precise technical ability will always be trotted out by those who don't do RAD, although of course it is not and has never been the syllabus but the dancer and teacher who create a great performer - and precision and technique will always be needed. Although the new RAD vocational grades could not demand more in terms of performance and 'danciness', they are still fearsomely technical and difficult (in fact I would say more difficult than the previous syllabi) - as they should be.

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Thanks for comments everyone. I have heard RAD described as "less performancey" too but I don't really understand that comment. Her dance teacher is strongly in favour of RAD and my daughter is enjoying it well enough so no reason to change but I was curious to hear of differences :)

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It has always been those not following RAD or ISTD/Cecchetti ballet syllabi who have made the 'RAD doesn't insist on performance' comments to us. Perhaps the RAD insistence on technical precision, which is required by every dancer who wants to progress, is envied to the extent that an easy jibe is that this technical precision means that performance must be sacrificed. However, a sound technique and precision must underpin every performance and as I said above, it has never been the syllabus followed that means one dancer is a better performer than another - it is a question of personality, maturity, passion, teaching and practice.

 

I defy anyone who actually knows what they are talking about to watch RAD syllabus classes and continue to bleat that performance quality is not expected - and my friend whose talented ballet dancers are encouraged to follow the RAD syllabi (as I stated in my previous post) fully agrees.

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Thank you so much for that.  My mind is clearer now and the fact that I have told recently by a BATD teacher that, while I completed all by BBO grades I would have to start BATD at grade 2.  What a piece of absolute nonsense.  I totally agree that RAD surpasses all others.  I am not sure where BBO stands, however, BBO has recently revised their syllabus but once again I'm not sure how that sits with RAD.

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In the area where I live a lot of. schools follow BBO. Possibly a knock on effect. One or two if the bigger dance schools used BBO, their students went in to become teachers who then set up their own BBO schools.

 

I know several excellent students & teachers who are BBO trained.

 

Us choosing RAD for dd was more to do with the teacher, location of dance school & times of classes than anything else.

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Thank you for your post.  I have thought of going back to ballet for a while.  I completed my BBO grades and as there are no BBO schools in my area, I thought that I might go along to an RAD Intermediate class with my dd, however, I just wanted to find out the experiences of others regarding different syllabi.

 

I was very surprised when a BATD dance school indicated that it did not matter that both my dd and had BBO grades from another area, that I would have to start at grade 2 or 3 at a push my dd would also have to start almost at the beginning too.

 

My dd is keen to pursue a career in ballet - either performing or teaching and she and I will now look for RAD classes in our area. 

 

So, after all that, thanks to everyone for their help.

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IDTA and RAD  have worked together on new syllabus's for ballet.  ITDA recognises many forms of dance including, ballet, tap, modern jazz, ballroom, whereas RAD is limited to ballet.

 

DD has done both RAD and IDTA ballet and in regard to the comments regarding technique, both syllabi (?) require a high level of technique. 

 

Cannot comment about ISTD or BTDA - sorry but hope the rest helps.

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My dd studied both BATD and RAD and we felt they were comparable in terms of grade levels. One marked difference seems to be that there is more pointe work in BATD intermediate yet although Advanced is done exclusively in pointe shoes, there seems to be less actual pointe work and not too much new content. I can't really comment on IDTA as she only attended a school that followed that syllabus for a very short while and that was a few years ago, however it seemed then that IDTA grades had less content than BATD.

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