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RAD vocational grades girls' uniform


Legseleven
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Just a quick query - one of the girls at DD's studio 'hates' the regulation camisole/tank style leotard for the vocational grades and wants to wear a cap-sleeved leotard for Advanced Foundation. (There is no shortage of cash in the household and she has a huge wardrobe of expensive leotards, she just says she 'hates' plain camisole or tank style ones and doesn't see why one should be bought...)

 

I know that the RAD states that candidates are not examined on the uniform worn and that examiners cannot take attire into account, but surely if a sleeveless leotard is specified, then they can and should expect a sleeveless leotard to be worn?

 

I will be eagerly awaiting their vocational examiner teacher's input when she returns from her exam tour! but wondered whether any RAD teachers and/or examiners could comment?

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She wore a camisole leotard, with very bad grace! - it was very low at the back but at least had no diamante sparkly bits as she had wanted to wear for intermediate...;)  DD even offered to lend her her plain camisole leotard but was rebuffed because 'she just doesn't like the plain leotards'. And her parents said nothing.

 

This is a talented student who wants to dance professionally. We will all be waiting with bated breath for her to announce that she doesn't like the costume she is given and fully expect to be pandered to.

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At first I thought she might have some justification (dd didn't like her RAD leotard but that was because it was cut to flatter the more undeveloped child) she wanted to wear the style the older girls did.

 

But really! I would imagine exam leotards are plain precisely so there are no distractions & so the examiner can see the body clearly. The clue is I the title "uniform'. Does she get away with it at school.

 

She won't get very far training or working professiinally with that attitude.

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I'm so thankful that I'm not the one who has to deal with it! It's funny but also quite worrying because she really does think she can choose to wear the leotard she likes best, whether or not it fits the sleeveless (plain) leotard specification. If the examiner teacher was here at the moment she would say precisely what your DD's teacher would say, Anna C. I think the student has seized on the RAD's assurance that candidates are not judged on what they are wearing - but of course that was intended to assure students who perhaps couldn't afford to buy a specific colour or style of leotard if required that they wouldn't be marked down for it.

 

The examiner teacher's comment on her wish to wear a camisole decorated with diamante for intermediate was a polite yet very withering 'it really wouldn't be in good taste, my dear'. She's priceless!

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Although slightly off topic - it is interesting to see photos on other social media pages of some dance schools RAD exam days where they are clearly not wearing the (widely available) RAD uniforms. This tends to be for grades rather than vocationals but even so... what's the point of a uniform if it isn't adhered to?

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My DD has never worn the official RAD leotards for her vocational exams as they just don't fit her properly. But she wears another plain black camisole leotard that does fit, nothing "fancy". There are plenty of opportunities to wear colours and sparkles but an exam is serious business and the candidates should present themselves in a proper way. Marks may not actually be deducted due to what a candidate is dressed in, but I can't imagine that obviously flouting the uniform rules is going to get the examiner on side from the outset. As I understand it, that comment is intended to protect those candidates who cannot afford the correct uniform, especially those in the developing world, as after all, the RAD is an international organisation. I don't think it's meant to give carte blanche to students who could easily dress appropriately who just want to do their own thing! I can't see that attitude going down well.

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It speaks volumes of the student who wants to stand out, be different, be 'the star' and regardless of whether an examiner marks on correct uniform or not she is bringing an attitude into the exam room as her choice of leotard would be clearly for her own taste and not from lack of availability of uniform.  DD's teacher would not allow her to take the exam.  If she is taking the exam elsewhere she is representing the teacher and the school at the exam centre and the teacher expects her students to dress and behave as they would in their home studio when they take classes or exams elsewhere.

 

And yes if she hopes to dance professionally she is in for a shock.  You do not get a free choice of leotard at vocational school or during training, let alone a choice of what costume to wear on stage.

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Although slightly off topic - it is interesting to see photos on other social media pages of some dance schools RAD exam days where they are clearly not wearing the (widely available) RAD uniforms. This tends to be for grades rather than vocationals but even so... what's the point of a uniform if it isn't adhered to?

Grades are slightly different, I think - higher grades, in any case. At dd's school the uniform for Grades 6-8 is any plain leotard (camisole/sleeveless is the norm but IIRC some of the girls in the old RAD dvds are curvier and do wear cap sleeves) with a matching chiffon circular skirt. Dd went for lilac with matching approved RAD skirt, but some of her friends had pinkish red, black, blue or even an unusual green in one case. They looked neat and tidy and the skirts all matched the leotards. The examiner didn't have a problem with it and the girls looked pretty in a line for Grade 8 as the colours complimented each other.

 

When going to HQ for Vocational exams though, it was a choice of Freed regulation tank or camisole, or - because the sizes are a bit odd in the camisole particularly - a completely plain black sleeveless leo.

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Dd has always struggled with hairstyle - whether Ballroom or Latin or Ballet or Tap or Jazz, there seems to be a regulation 'hair style' & I just can't

 

I'm not being awkward, I really just can't!

 

Some teachers have responded well with "tidy, tied up and out the way" but some have been "my way for else!" so I just deliver then to the teacher with a passive aggressive I don't know how.... and they have split between "well I can't either"  so why did you ask me to or some lovely hairstyles or "well actually tidy, tied up and out the way will do"

 

I am such a failure at hair!

 

But I can (normally) buy an appropriate leotard!

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Grades are slightly different, I think - higher grades, in any case. At dd's school the uniform for Grades 6-8 is any plain leotard (camisole/sleeveless is the norm but IIRC some of the girls in the old RAD dvds are curvier and do wear cap sleeves) with a matching chiffon circular skirt. Dd went for lilac with matching approved RAD skirt, but some of her friends had pinkish red, black, blue or even an unusual green in one case. They looked neat and tidy and the skirts all matched the leotards. The examiner didn't have a problem with it and the girls looked pretty in a line for Grade 8 as the colours complimented each other.

 

When going to HQ for Vocational exams though, it was a choice of Freed regulation tank or camisole, or - because the sizes are a bit odd in the camisole particularly - a completely plain black sleeveless leo.

Grade 6-8 is different - the spec says 'any classical style of leotard' and candidates choice of colour. Personally I like that they can choose at this age, especially for grade 8. But some even push this to the limit with velvet etc

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Grade 6-8 is different - the spec says 'any classical style of leotard' and candidates choice of colour. Personally I like that they can choose at this age, especially for grade 8. But some even push this to the limit with velvet etc

Does make you wonder why some people struggle so much with uniform guidelines. You wouldn't get away with it with academic school uniform. Nor would they - quite rightly - get away with it at a good Associate scheme, so why do people not afford local schools and the RAD the same respect for grooming and correct uniform? Plenty of time to wear other leos and skirts at summer schools, rehearsals, youth ballet etc.

 

At our local school the Adv girls are allowed to wear whatever they like for Adv 1 and non-syllabus class, but there are only a few of them. They're still beautifully groomed though.

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I'm pleased to report that the examiner teacher at DD's studio has absolutely vetoed the idea that a cap-sleeved leotard can be worn for the student's Advanced Foundation exam. I only wish I had been there to see her face when this wonderful idea of ignoring the rules regarding uniform for exams was put to her ... ;)  

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I think it's a little naive to assume that only the 'developing world' has an issue with uniform costs. An examiner friend of mine has done sessions in London and Birmingham (in particular) where the dance schools have been based in deprived areas and none of the children have been wearing proper dancewear, or a mishmash of hand me down ballet shoes and leotards. 

 

I'm not quite as unfortunate as that, but I do have a large proportion of low income families, so we strongly back optional uniform guidelines. We have one uniform that fits as closely as possible to the guidelines for all exams, and they wear the same for ballet, tap and modern. Then for RAD exams we have a set of Pre/Primary skirts and character skirts that we loan out and the children wear the best fit possible. As far as we're concerned it's a win win, they're not in the RAD specified leotards, but they are all dressed the same, in appropriate dancewear and looking smart. In fact examiners have always commented on the good grooming during the polite, end of session 'chit chat'.

 

Now bear in mind that my examiner friend has known people take exams wearing their competition tutus (totally inappropriate), I think the shape of a leotard is a non issue. When I am examining (not RAD), I don't pay any attention to what the children are wearing. As long as they are neatly groomed and I can see what their bodies are doing, they could wear a plastic bin liner and it bears absolutely no relevance to the criteria that I am marking them by. It's the same when I'm adjudicating at festivals, as long as the costume matches the music and choreography, I don't judge it. I don't give extra marks just because someone has dipped their child in a bucket of rhinestones.

 

At the end of the day, I think it is for the teacher to define and enforce their own rules about uniform.

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I couldn't agree more, Ballet_Is_King and I realise that the cost of uniform can be a very real problem in every country. This student, however, tried to use the RAD's statement that exam candidates will not be assessed based on what they are wearing as an excuse to choose her own current favourite leotard instead of abiding by the rules - and there is most definitely no shortage of money readily available to her for her dance lessons, leotards, shoes etc. Plus a plain camisole or tank leotard is always the cheapest option if money is tight and there is no need to wear the officially approved Freed leotards which don't fit everybody well. As you say, a plain leotard can be worn for all classes and a set can be loaned out - and DD's studio also loans out the pre-primary skirts and character skirts and shoes.

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Good to know the teacher put their foot down Legseleven. At the end of the day, the teacher does have to make the call, and if like me, they prefer everyone wearing the same colour and style... them's the rules. I did enjoy one school I visited though, where the teacher only set the colour of the leotard and they all wore a different style of leotard and all had different hairstyles as well. They still looked uniform, because the colours all matched, but each child was allowed some individuality, which was lovely. But there again, it only worked because ALL of them were part of it and it was planned out who was wearing what.

 

Have to admit I'm a little sensitive on the issue as my parents weren't well off. I remember the day I got sent home from dancing in disgrace because my parents bought me a budget leotard instead of the Freed one with the RAD logo. My teacher was very old school and nothing but Freed was good enough!!!

Edited by Ballet_Is_King
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