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Rad intermediate foundation as an adult?


Nadi
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Hi there,

 

I' ve been following this forum for a while and finally decided to join:-)

 

First let me introduce myself, my name is Nadia, I currently live in London and been doing ballet for something around 3 years- so not really long.

 

However, i am getting more and more frustrated as I feel no matter how many classes I do I am missing many step as I never studied any syllabus.

 

Now my question, would any of you have any recommendation to rad inter foundation- where to take (i know rad headquaters do it but i always seem to end up on the waiting list:-(), how many classes per week if I wanted to pass the exam towards the end of the coming school year or any sort of advice from fellow adults who are taking syllabus based classes.

 

Thank you and have a nice day.

N.

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Hi nadia,

How come IF in particular? How often have you been dancing? I think you really need to find a teacher who will be able to assess where you are technique/ knowledge wise and advise about the most suitable grade. Have you contacted any schools to see what they could offer? Could you join in one of the regular syllabus classes, if you are thinking of IF the students probably would not be that young. Perhaps if you widened your search to include other syllabi like bbo/istd/adta you may find more classes available?

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I don't know how many syllabus classes there are in London (or elsewhere) for adults. I occasionally see adults on Twitter mentioning doing graded exams so they must exist. Good adult non-grade classes should take you through all the steps building up from simple exercises to complex enchainements (I think that that's what a series of steps is called). I wonder whether you have taken classes at a number of different schools/studios and whether none of them truly catered for the complete beginner and that is why you don't have a firm foundation. I'm hoping that some teachers will post on here. They may say that you need to go back to basics for a while. Depending on finances, you could look at organising some private lessons to help you to fill in any gaps and work on any areas of weakness.

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Just my personal opinion, I think if you want to study syllabus just because you want to do more steps, I'm not sure syllabus would be the best route. In my experience, most syllabus classes just focus on the exercise settings. There is no free work, even though there is a free work section in allegro. You wouldn't know whether a school gives any free work in their syllabus classes unless you joined the class. If you would like to learn more steps, I would suggest it would be better to do more classes.

 

It's quite hard to say whether you should be doing intermediate foundation because it's hard to judge someone's level not knowing someone and how they dance, etc. I am not a teacher but I think most teachers would say something similar. I made the mistake in the past of thinking I only needed to learn the intermediate syllabus in order to pass it, but in reality it was a lot more complicated. Things like pointe work and getting rid of bad habits took a lot of time and effort. For intermediate foundation you would need to do pointe work, and your teacher would need to tell you when she/he thinks you are ready (if you haven't been doing pointe work).

 

I hope this is helpful.

Edited by Dancer Sugar Plum
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Thank you very much for the quick replies and all your suggestions- i really appreciate it.

 

@ Moomin: i thought IF might be the right fit for me as i did grade5 for some time (didnt take the exam though) and to be honest character dance wasnt really my cup of tea - luckily theres no character d. in the vocational exams...

@aileen: before coming to london i had a great teacher who was giving lots of individual corrections to all of her students, and i havent found anyone like that in london yet - unfortunately she wasnt really into jumps- so they are for sure my weak point...

@ Dancer Sugar Plum: if i understood your reply correctly, you took IF as an adult? How long did you work on it before taking the exam if i may ask?

 

Again, thank you very much for finding time to reply to my post!

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Hi Nadia,

 

I started ballet as an adult so I did Intermediate as an adult. It was the old syllabus, not the current one. It took me several years from when I started the syllabus to when I actually took the exam. When I started working on Intermediate I was nowhere near the standard needed to do the exam. Catching up with pointe work, finding the right pointe shoes and soft blocks were just some of the things that made the process a lot longer.

 

I have also met with some very discouraging teachers, who happen to be RAD teachers. One teacher was very discouraging in general. Another teacher got the class to gather round me and took my leg to seconde en l'air and told the other girls that I was an example of someone with no turnout and I would look wrong en pointe. Just to confuse things, I have had other teachers later on say I am flat turned out! I don't know how it's physically possible to have no turn out and be flat turned out at the same time! However, I have to admit it's a wonderful feeling to prove to some RAD teachers that they were wrong about you...

 

I don't know how typical my experience is of doing syllabus as an adult. Looking at the RAD facebook page and comments from adults doing syllabus work, it looks like there are a lot of adults doing syllabus work and aiming to do the exams. But from doing syllabus work I have learnt that just being a RAD teacher does not make someone a good teacher, or the school a good school.

 

You mentioned in your last post that you had a teacher who 'wasn't really into jumps'. Is this the reason why you feel you have not been learning enough steps? If you haven't done a lot of allegro for this reason, it might be more useful trying different classes to find a teacher who suits you. The added complication of doing exams is convincing your teacher to put you in, and that depends on the level of your technique, the level of your pointe work, as well as the teacher's attitude towards adults doing RAD vocational exams. If you have not done pointe work yet, getting to the stage to do pointe work, finding the right shoes for you and getting your pointe work to the right level will all add to the time needed to be ready for the exam.

 

I hope this is helpful.

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When I started dancing there was an upper age limit of 14 on intermediate foundation as it was intended for younger students. I went straight from grade 5 to intermediate but passed that within 3 years of starting ballet (aged 17) so it's certainly doable! I was taking about 4 classes a week at that time though. I then went on and took advanced 1 at 29 and achieved a merit.

 

Do you find with non syllabus classes you're given lots of different steps but not often enough to properly master them? The ideal scenario would be to take both syllabus and free classes.

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I was going to say just that Aurora to do both if possible.

 

I'm not sure if it's the names of the steps or the initial learning of correct execution that you are feeling you have missed Nadi or a bit of both.

Probably a syllabus class would be best for getting to grips with this as in most open classes steps are not always that well explained just put together for people to dance. If you have done grade 5 you could always find a grade6 or 7 class depending on whether you are really ready for pointe work or not as these grades are not with pointe work whereas Intermediate is. There is not a huge difference otherwise between a grade 7 and Intermediate class.

You said you were hoping to do this within a year ......by this time next year......and my feeling on that is......of course however not having seen you dance ......is that if you want to get a good pass this may take 18 months to two years. If you just want to get a pass and are not that bothered by the level of pass then you might be able to do in a year but it would require a minimum of 4 classes a week I would say with at least two of these being syllabus ones.

There is somewhere in South London off Wandsworth Road I think which may be a good place to study Intermediate and Advanced exams etc and when I remember the name I'll post it here!!

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Thank you again for all your replies and sharing your experience with syllabus classes.

 

As most of you suggested, I contacted a dance teacher who in fact teaches adult classes and he would be interested in running adult syllabus classes if there is demand. However, he suggests that at least 2-3 classes per week would be needed as he wants to prepare his students properly.

So if anyone here is interested in that, let me know and maybe we can form a group?

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