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ISTD modern Advanced 1 (old)


dedicated mum
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My daughter took her ISTD Intermediate modern in the summer and got a merit having only started modern last year. We are in Portugal and the teacher hasn't be able to get to the courses for the new advanced modern 1.She has suggested instead of teaching the old Advanced 1 while waiting for the new Advanced 1 DVD etc to come out  to teach the Grade 6.My daughter is also doing Advanced 1 Ballet and I need some advice. I think it is going backwards as she for fun already goes to the Grade 5 modern class and I don't think this will be challenging for her.

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I've just asked my DD who did grade 6 last year and intermediate this, and she says that she would recommend doing the grade 6. It's a level 3 qualification, as is intermediate,and it's certainly not easy. Especially as your DD hasn't been doing modern for long, there will almost certainly be elements in the grade 6 syllabus which are new to her. Plus it will help her to consolidate her modern technique before she moves on to Advanced 1.

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I would agree with pups_mum. It's only an interim measure aswel, if she can think of it as a free work class and use it to perfect her technique she will be stronger for the advanced. I read yesterday that Margot Fonteyn used to do 2 to 3 beginners ballet lessons each week to ensure she could concentrate on technique.... Enough said.

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Thanks for the advice.If there is a teacher out there I would like to know your opinion.I set up my own dance school last year as there wasn't any dance schools in the area which taught ISTD ballet,tap ,modern and Jazz.I am not a teacher and therefore have to look for as much input as possible to ensure that we are on the right path .My daughter to follow her dream needs be challenged,she is a very strong willed individual and has strong opinions of her own.

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Grade 6 ISTD Modern is a challenging but lovely grade that should not be missed out. It is far more 'up to date' than Intermediate and if your daughter only started Modern a while ago Grade 6 would be very beneficial to her and stand her in good stead for the challenges of the new Adv 1 Modern. 

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Thanks for the advice.If there is a teacher out there I would like to know your opinion.I set up my own dance school last year as there wasn't any dance schools in the area which taught ISTD ballet,tap ,modern and Jazz.I am not a teacher and therefore have to look for as much input as possible to ensure that we are on the right path .My daughter to follow her dream needs be challenged,she is a very strong willed individual and has strong opinions of her own.

Wanting a challenge is good, but sometimes that challenge is to learn to pace oneself and focus on depth of learning - in this case, consolidating what she has learned already and strengthening her technique and understanding of the genre so that she has a firm foundation for the more advanced work.

Your daughter obviously has talent and application to have achieved a very creditable mark in Intermediate after such a short time, but its possible that her foundations may not be as strong as someone who has been studying this style for longer and has taken more time to get to this level. My own daughter entered the ISTD National syllabus at Intermediate level, having done very little before and took the Intermediate and Advanced 1 exams after a short time. She did very well, getting marks in the 90s for both exams, but if you asked her she would be honest and say that whilst she obviously knew the material for those grades well enough, it is not "ingrained" in the same way as her ballet and modern are. Which isn't surprising really, given that she has been learning ballet for nearly as long as she has been able to walk!

Obviously when one is older, it's possible to assimilate information more easily than when younger, and a good basis in one genre of dance, particularly if that is ballet, must make it easier to pick up others. That is of course why later starters don't all have to begin with Pre Primary! But I think there are risks in moving on too quickly. A tall tower needs firm foundations or it will wobble at some point.

Remember that if your daughter auditions for schools/colleges or indeed work in the industry, they will not be terribly interested in what exams she has passed, but will be looking for what she does in the audition. A strong basic technique and performance skills are much more important than exam marks in that context.

I would urge her not to view Grade 6 as a backward step, but to see it as an opportunity to strengthen and improve. In many schools students study the graded syllabi and vocational syllabi concurrently anyway, so it's not that unusual to be doing a mixture.

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I definitely agree that it would be a good idea for her to do grade 6 while waiting. I have sat grade 6, intermediate and the new advanced 1 modern and I would say the jump to the new advanced 1 modern from intermediate is very big. Working on grade 6 will give her time to improve her technique and make sure she is in good condition for starting advanced 1 when her teacher is ready. 

Hope this helped, if you have any questions about the new advanced 1 modern please just ask!

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Grade six would be a good direction to move in, dont view it as a backwards step.  Its better to improve core strength and technique than rushing ahead, The new Advanced 1 is a much more mature in approach than the previous one, your daughter will love it when she eventually gets there.  My daughter is 16 and has done modern since she was 4, she is an accomplished dancer and is being nicely challenged by Advanced 1, learning the steps isnt enough its the 'feel' which needs to come through.

 

As long as your daughter is dancing she is learning, dont get too fixed on grades.

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