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RAD new Advanced Foundation/Advanced 1


Legseleven
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Please may i 'pick the brains' of any RAD teachers and students on a query?

 

DD has been taking classes in both Advanced Foundation and Advanced 1, although her main focus has been on Adv Foundation. She has commented that she finds some of the Adv 1 exercises easier, which puzzles me as I have been told that there is quite a gulf between the two exams. In particular she thinks the Adv 1 allegro enchainements are easier than those in Adv Foundation and 'don't tie her legs in knots' quite so much ;)

 

Is there any explanation for this? I have to say that I have often thought that the allegro number 2 exercises in Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate and Adv Foundation seem designed for (possibly choreographed by?) shorter dancers with correspondingly shorter legs - but the Adv 1 allegro enchainements don't seem to have that same feel - or is it just us? I also think the Adv 1 pirouette enchainements and pointe work look less difficult than the Adv Foundation work, but realise that this may very easily be a misconception. Happy to be told that it's just DD's and my opinion and that all of the Adv 1 work is harder than that in Adv Foundation (as fully expected)!

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My dd finds the "old" Adv 1 syllabus much easier than the new Adv Foundation, if that's any help? Is your dd studying the new syllabi for both, or old Adv 1? (Not sure that makes sense; apologies - past my bedtime!)

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Yes, she is studying the new syllabi for both Adv Foundation and Adv 1, I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. She and I would very much agree that the old/current Adv 1 is easier - for her at least (ballet is all so subjective and I don't want anyone who has done the old/current Adv 1 to be offended and think I am decrying its value, which I most certainly am not) than the new Adv Foundation and new Adv 1.

Edited by Legseleven
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i would agree that the new advanced1 and 2 are trickier (again not degrading dc's who took the old grades), its just there seems to be alot of harder steps on pointe and all the centre exercises are long with difficult placements, and in my teachers words 'they've just put everything in there!'- i haven't seen much of foundation but im assuming its difficult also, Legseleven it probably just depends on what your daughter enjoys more, if she likes a challenge and longer more dancy exercises then maybe thats why she finds adv1 easier! -i think the fact that they used a dancer from the royal ballet on the advanced 2 dvd says a lot though...

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We aren't even thinking about the new Adv 2 yet, littleballerina, DD is only 13 ;) I have been told by several teachers and dancers that the new Adv 2 is utterly fiendish, but then it should be as it's the pinnacle of RAD vocational exams.

 

Adv Foundation is indeed difficult (some gorgeous music, especially the ports de bras) and in particular DD thinks the allegro and pirouette enchainements are more difficult - for her - than the new Adv 1 ones. She did also mention the pointe work being easier but that may be because she has actually done more of the new Adv 1 pointe work than the new Adv Foundation pointe work. Perhaps you're right that she just enjoys the additional challenge of Adv 1 more?

 

I suppose at least, if she continues to feel that Adv 1 is a better syllabus for her, she can skip the Adv Foundation exam and just go straight to Adv 1 - when she is old enough of course. I was just curious as to whether anyone else felt or could see that the new Adv 1 work will be - or feel - easier for some dancers, whether that is a physical issue or otherwise, than the new Adv Foundation work.

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DD and a few others have passed Adv 1 but still do the classes for extra ballet training. They are learning the new syllabus from scratch alongside the other girls .It is very different and they find it challenging, but then new things often are. I must say they absolutely love the syllabus with it's lovely artistry and music. She takes the Adv 2 in the summer- not sure what will happen about RAD work when she starts at Central .

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My DD struggles with certain parts of the Adv Found syllabus as she has very long legs so it's interesting you comment on that.  There is one part (excuse me for not knowing the name) where you kind of fondu and slide the leg back and then transfer all your weight by pushing up and back onto that leg and she find it so hard because she has such a long way to get up there!!  Glad to hear the Adv 1 might be kinder to her!

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Oh thank goodness Bailarin, I wondered whether it was just that DD finds the allegro no 2 exercises in the new syllabi for intermediate foundation, intermediate and adv foundation plain difficult rather than her very long legs being possibly a cause for it! If your DD also feels that having very long legs make some parts of the syllabus more difficult, that 'validates' DD's view.

 

One of DD's teachers also agrees that certain exercises are easier for dancers who have shorter legs (and presumably the reverse is also true?). In fact, I seem to remember that when I did RAD grade 3 (way back in the mists of time) there was, I think, a choice of exercises and a certain pas de chat exercise was recommended only for the shorter girls?

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DD has really long legs - 35" inside leg ! She has stopped growing now - 5'9" and I think most of the time when she struggled with her legs was when she had a growth spurt  and her muscles had to catch up with her bones - that is probably a very bad way of putting it , but she never grew in a smooth curve, more like a jagged one x

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We aren't even thinking about the new Adv 2 yet, littleballerina, DD is only 13 ;) I have been told by several teachers and dancers that the new Adv 2 is utterly fiendish, but then it should be as it's the pinnacle of RAD vocational exams.

 

Adv Foundation is indeed difficult (some gorgeous music, especially the ports de bras) and in particular DD thinks the allegro and pirouette enchainements are more difficult - for her - than the new Adv 1 ones. She did also mention the pointe work being easier but that may be because she has actually done more of the new Adv 1 pointe work than the new Adv Foundation pointe work. Perhaps you're right that she just enjoys the additional challenge of Adv 1 more?

 

I suppose at least, if she continues to feel that Adv 1 is a better syllabus for her, she can skip the Adv Foundation exam and just go straight to Adv 1 - when she is old enough of course. I was just curious as to whether anyone else felt or could see that the new Adv 1 work will be - or feel - easier for some dancers, whether that is a physical issue or otherwise, than the new Adv Foundation work.

wow! your dd must be amazing to be finding advanced 1 easy at 13! especially the pointe work so i applaud her - in regards to leg size i have quite short legs and even i find some excercises hard in terms of placement and timing so cant imagine what it would be like if i were 5ft6!1

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DD recently sat the new Advanced Foundation exam as part of a pilot for the new syllabus. She absolutely loved the syllabus and although she said it was very challenging the whole class seemed to really enjoy it and received good results. I don't think she has begun work on the new Advanced 1 syllabus yet as the focus is now on preparing for the end of year show but once she does I will ask her how she finds it in comparison to the Adv foundation work.

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Sorry littleballerina, I didn't make myself clear, my apologies. DD isn't finding Adv 1 or Adv Foundation easy and certainly isn't 'amazing' ;) - it's just that she feels that some parts of the Adv 1 syllabus are easier for her than the corresponding parts of the Adv Foundation syllabus. I'm sure others will disagree and that as a whole the Adv 1 work is, as expected, harder than the Adv Foundation work. It was just a query as to why she should find some of the Adv 1 work easier for her than the Adv Foundation and whether it could be a physical issue.

 

I'm not surprised that your DD loved the new Adv Foundation work, yetanotherdancemum - it is lovely. Well done to her and her classmates for their good results!

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I'm glad someone has brought up the idea that some (in this case intermediate) allegro enchainements are tricky for taller people!!

 

I assumed that it was because many students at intermediate level are probably talented 10-12 year olds on whom the enchainements were devised!! And not for rather large adults.

 

Ive heard that the new syllabus is very dancey and with lovely music so hopefully before long will be doing some of the grade 6 in my Saturday class.

 

It is strange that on occasions one feels that an exercise from a higher grade is easier than in a lower grade. Perhaps it depends a bit on how much affinity one has with it!!

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When the new I/F and Inter came out I remember dd's teacher saying she was better in the Inter class than I/F, so it does happen.

 

Some dc's might find certain things easier than others - my dd likes adage for instance but isn't so keen on pirouettes, and is now starting Adv 2. She says some things are relatively ok and others next to impossible!

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Thanks legs eleven. I had my first ballet class in 3 weeks today! Shocking but life has just got in the way.

Apparently there is now talk of myself and my friend not doing Adv 1 in dec but new Adv F next year! Personally I think the old Adv 1 is my only chance at this level - age and time are against me (as are long legs!) just need to make sure class attendance is more frequent!

Luckily my pirouettes and adagio was fairly solid today in spite if time off - just need to master fouettes!!

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Because it's so long ago now since I did pointe work......are Fouettes .....once you get going that is ....easier to do on pointe than on demi?

 

I definitely think chainees are! I can remember them but I don't think I did many Fouettes in the classes I took.

 

In Adv One (new or old) when you do Fouettes are they part of an enchainement or do you have to do a sort of mini black swan solo and just see how many you can pull off........for the exam I mean.

Edited by LinMM
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When you do any turn - including fouettés on pointe there is less friction then there is when doing them on half toe  - so it is easier to go around.  At the same time, because it  is easier to go around, you have to use less energy - you need to control the speed.

 

Fouettés, like any turn are purely mechanical.  You get the mechanics right - and it works.  The important thing is to go around in one piece, not a piece at a time.  The opening arm and leg open at the same time and come in at the same time.

 

It is crucial that your back muscles stay engaged.  As soon as you lose the stability in the spine - the turn is mush.  That means that as you plié in the preparation, your knees bend but your back stays pulled up and together.  We tend to relax in plié.  Plié is not time to relax - but to prepare.

 

As you prepare, see your opening arm and leg in front of you - one above the other, then they come in together, and when you spot front again you should see them (arm and leg) once more open in front.  Say to yourself:  arm and leg - out (in front) - in (to the side).  Make it very rhythmical - arm/leg - out/in.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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Hmm fouettes on pointe Linn, I can only dream :)

The sequence is just 7 on Demi but I'm on about 4 then it all collapses.

I think what Anjuli says will help a lot. We're practicing at the barre, front, side, releve, then front, side, turn and that has helped. It is so mechanical that I thought I'd be ok as I'm quite a stiff dancer :D

 

I'll definitely try thinking of engaging back muscles, usually I'm focussing on trying to find my stomach muscles, but I tend to fall out of the turns from the top half, not the legs.

 

I guess this shows class once a month isn't enough!! Foutte practice in the kitchen tomorrow!

Edited by Sheila Beelam
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Hmm fouettes on pointe Linn, I can only dream :)

The sequence is just 7 on Demi but I'm on about 4 then it all collapses.

I think what Anjuli says will help a lot. We're practicing at the barre, front, side, releve, then front, side, turn and that has helped. It is so mechanical that I thought I'd be ok as I'm quite a stiff dancer :D

 

I'll definitely try thinking of engaging back muscles, usually I'm focussing on trying to find my stomach muscles, but I tend to fall out of the turns from the top half, not the legs.

 

I guess this shows class once a month isn't enough!! Foutte practice in the kitchen tomorrow!

 

You can learn a great deal about what is happening by where you are falling to when you fall out of a turn.  If the fall is to the back, then you are not sufficiently over your toes forward.  If you are falling to the side to which you are turning - then you are probably opening the turning shoulder rather than just opening the arm.  If you can't control the landing, you have too much speed.

 

Since you need both stomach and back muscles engaged, try to think to lifting through the torso and glueing those too muscle groups together in the center of you.  There must never be a sinking in the rib cage - which tends to happen most in the preparation.

 

As Prima Ballerina Sonia Arova once told me plié is not a time to rest.   Usually when we have trouble with something we need to  re-examine the preparation.

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I've been following this topic with interest. My DD has completed exams in Inter Fnd and Intermediate in the new syllabus but will be doing the Adv Found exam in July in the old syllabus. She will then start Adv 1, new syllabus. I was worried about going from new to old to new again but it sounds like we may have dodged a bullet! Watching the DVD for Adv Fnd gave us all a fright. Soooo hard. Fortunately she has time on her side as she's only 13, so if Adv 1 proves a challenge, she can do it over two years.

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Wishing your DD the very best of luck for her Adv Foundation exam in July, fiona4802! DD's teachers did consider her taking the old/current Adv Foundation this year because they felt that the new work was harder, but decided that they wanted to make 'a clean break' so haven't entered any Advanced candidates this year - and everyone is loving the new work, challenging though it is.

 

I would be interested to hear whether your DD thinks the new Adv 1 DVD is as frightening as the new Adv Foundation, whether in certain exercises or across the board. DD now tells me that she actually prefers the new Adv 1 work as a whole to the new Adv Foundation ;)

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Thanks Legseleven. The general consensus at the studio (and reading the facial expressions of the students as they watched the DVD) seems to be that the Adv Fnd study is jaw-droppingly difficult but the Adv 1 looks easier in comparison. I do wonder if the RAD are going to notice a significant drop in the number of students taking the vocational exams. My DD (13) is not a full-time student and does not plan on a career in classical dance (although she loves choreography and teaching). If she was planning a career, she would already have to be in full-time classical coaching and doing her schooling by distance education. As a recreational student who still attends school and takes only six hours per week of dance classes, she still wants to do her best and obtain great exam results, but realistically cannot compete against those in full-time. We had always planned that she would go all the way through to Adv 2 but that may not happen now. My DD has everything in place physically and sound classical technique, but it will be a challenge to do the new syllabus justice in the time she has. Of course I realise that the Vocational grades are designed for those who DO intend on a career, but that's not very many and if only those students were to do exams, they will see a big drop in numbers.

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Of course I realise that the Vocational grades are designed for those who DO intend on a career, but that's not very many and if only those students were to do exams, they will see a big drop in numbers.

 

I thought a lot (or almost all) the vocational schools in the UK had decided to stop doing the RAD exams when the new syllabi came out. So it looks like the RAD will definitely be seeing a big drop in numbers. It seems odd that a syllabus/syllabi called 'vocational' won't be done by actual vocational students.

 

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There are many vocational students not in full time training.

 

At the schools I teach at the serious students who are doing the vocational grades are referred to as vocational.

We have a very good success rate!

 

But I agree, with most full time schools no longer entering for the RAD exams, there will be a big drop in numbers.

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