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Question about dance syllabus


Ksbp
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Hi Everyone,

 

I am new to here and really need some advice for my 14 year old daughter. She is currently studying the AAD syllabus and is looking to change dance schools. She is currently in year 10 at school and wants to study dance at college when she leaves school so wants to go somewhere that will give her some great training especially in ballet. I have got her a place at a dance school from January studying RAD grade 6 but after doing some research I'm not sure if this will challenge her enough. There is a dance school nearby that teaches BBO also many teach NATD and ISTD.

 

Can anyone offer any advice please.

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Hello Katesueb, welcome to the forum. :-)

 

I don't know the AAD syllabus so can't compare that with RAD. The RAD Higher Grades (6-8) are lovely to study, and concentrate especially on artistry and musicality. The best strategy for being "challenged" all-round in RAD - i.e. technically too - is to study the RAD Vocational exams in parallel with the higher grades; for example studying RAD Intermediate alongside Grade 6. I don't know whether this is an option for your dd? Does the school offering G6 also teach the Vocational syllabus?

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I agree with spanner.  I am not familiar with the AAD syllabus or BBO and NATD so cannot compare but if she is aiming to study dance at college she would need to be doing the vocational grades and not just standard grades.  This applies for both RAD and ISTD.   I don't know the grading systems for the others.  Vocational grades start at interfoundation and then go intermediate, advanced foundation, advanced 1 & 2 (for RAD).  Inter and advanced foundation are optional grades so you could start your DD in at intermediate.  You have to pass intermediate to be able to take adv 1 and pass adv 1 to take adv 2.  Hope something here helps

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There are a lot of BBO schools in my area.

 

Most are well respected, a friend if mine teaches BBO & she is an excellent teacher. Like the RAD @ ISTD schools they have a mixture of recreational & serious students some of whom go onto vocational school. There are graded & vocational exams.

 

I've never heard of AAD, it appears to be an American tap syllabus? NATD HAS a mixed reputation. I'm sure there are some excellent natd teachers but it had a reputation of being easier.

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My DD has a few friends who attend AAD schools, and whilst I am aware that one must be careful about judging an entire syllabus/organisation on the basis of a very small sample, my impression is that the ballet syllabus is less technically demanding than the RAD work which my daughter has studied.

Of course the quality of the teaching is always going to be key, whatever syllabus (or none) is studied, so I would say that you need to focus on finding a teacher who has a good track record and with whom your DD feels comfortable, rather than being too focussed on the exam board. If she is wanting to go on to study dance full time, then I would think it is important to find a school that teaches the vocational graded exams, and where there are other students who aspire to dance at beyond the "once or twice a week" level. If the teacher has a track record of having other pupils who have successfully applied for the type of course that interests your DD then that would probably be a good sign too.

If students from other schools wish to join my DD's teacher she generally likes to make her own assessment before deciding what grade she feels that they should be working towards. I think it would be reasonable to ask for a couple of trial lessons or some other kind of assessment before signing up for the whole term. Has the potential new teacher seen your DD dance yet?

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Thank you everyone,

 

I suppose she just needs to go along and see what she thinks. She has gotten quite far in her AAD exams but as my thread has demonstrated not many people have heard of it. It does cover ballet, tap, modern and acrobatics and she studies all of them. The first month is free at the school she has a place at so we have nothing to lose. Her GCSE dance teacher recommended she do RAD. I don't know how much it would affect any college applications next year if she continues with AAD or if they will offer places solely on auditions.

 

It's so hard trying to do what is right for her :( 

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I don't think that the vocational schools/colleges favour any one particular exam syllabus over another, they see everyone at the audition and make their decision from that. A teacher at dd's associate school said they don't look at pieces of paper in the audition, they look at the dancer!!

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It probably also depends what your dd's eventual aim is. Is she aiming for a career in classical ballet, either dancing or teaching? Or jazz, musical theatre or commercial dance? Ballet training is an important basis for all courses but the actual syllabus and level being studied is less important for all-round dance courses. If your dd is aiming to teach ballet, then she would usually need a minimum of Intermediate in one of the syllabus Vocational exams.

 

In general though, as taxi says, it's how the students dance at audition which is the main deciding factor.

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