How long between dance exams?

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daisy1
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How long between dance exams?

Post by daisy1 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:38 pm

I know this is a 'how long is a piece of string' question, but I'm feeling a little dejected on DDs behalf. :( She has been dancing since the age of 7/8 (I can't quite remember)- she is now 10, 11 in the summer, and she is in ISTD Grade 3 modern, ISTD Grade 3 tap and RAD Grade 3 ballet classes. She did her Grade 2 modern and Grade 1 tap 2 summers ago, getting high distinctions, and did her grade 2 tap last summer missing out on a distinction by 5 points, despite having missed half the lessons that year due to being in a WE show.

She was told she wasn't ready for her Grade 3 modern last year due to missing lots of the lessons (though it didn't seem to matter with tap - and it's the same teacher), and was told she would do it this spring. Just been told today they are not entering anyone until the summer now. ](*,) So it will be 2 years since her last exam. She has known all the dances and exercises since last summer. I don't know anything about technique, so couldn't say whether she was ready then, but I worry she will be bored. I'm a music teacher, and if I spent 2 years doing the same Grade pieces and exercises with a pupil I'd hear about it! Would be interested in what other dance mums think!

islandofsodor
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by islandofsodor » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:29 pm

Dd is 11 (in year 6) has been dancing since 5/6 a d is pretty similar.

She is in RAD ballet Grade 3 ISTD GRADE 3 modern and grade 2 tap

They tend to take exams every 18 months- 2 years at her dance school.
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daisy1
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by daisy1 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:43 pm

Good to know, thanks IOS. Not sure how it all works, and guess I can't compare with music exams fairly.

2dancersmum
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by 2dancersmum » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:57 pm

That would not be unusual for my DDs dance school either. Girls are usually one grade behind ballet in modern at their school in fact. It is usally 1-2 years between exams and sometimes timing can be down to other factors aswell - number of children ready, syllabus changes etc. For RAD for example. grades 1-3 have already changed to the new syllabus and grades 4-5 change next year and teachers need to judge who will be taking exams in which syllabus etc. In terms of technique DD's teacher used to compare dance progession to building a wall. You can take the grades more quickly but then you are only learning the exact steps to pass an exam and you might do well but like if you build a wall too quickly there are likely to be cracks, holes etc rather than being totally solid.

Robin64
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by Robin64 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:52 pm

18 months to 2 years is fairly common but usually more so as the grades get more difficult eg vocational ballet grades. I think 2 years is too long for the earlier grades and I think I would be getting a bit fed up with that too. But it can depend on whether they do a show which takes up a term or in your DDs case she has missed lessons. In the end I moved DD to a different school because it was taking way too long for tap and modern because they always waited until everyone was ready. DD moved and went straight up to G5 tap and is doing intermediate modern (moved when she was 13 and has taken about 14 months to learn the grade work). She is happier because the lessons are now more suited to her ability and more of a challenge. Her new school is stricter and make them work harder but DD prefers that.

It's not an easy decision but if your DD is considering dance in the future she would want to be at Inter/advanced levels to apply to college so you could work out how long that would take and might depend on whether her school do Inter foundation ballet before intermediate which would be about 2 years each. If you like the school and the teacher and think that the lessons are good then I wouldn't worry too much and look for other opportunities such as summer schools, county youth dance companies tap attack etc to keep the challenge/fun levels up. Exams definitely are not the be all and end all and some people do audition without having done them but working at around inter/advanced level would be preferable.

suzysue
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by suzysue » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:28 am

I reckon my dd does an exam roughly once a year. Her dance school do exams each term so there's plenty of opportunity for them to enter the exams when they're ready. She did G4 ballet and G3 theatre craft in December and we have just has the dates for her G3 tap exam in March (she's 10 but it's IDTA syllabus). The main concern for me would be if she was getting bored. What about her friends, are they moving at the same rate?. Dd would hate to be too separated from her friends.

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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by suzysue » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:34 am

IDTA syllabus for lower grades has changed too. Dd was entered for her exam quite early to do the older syllabus before the change but some of the lower grades have moved around due to the syllabus change, so this may be a factor for your dd.

triple threat
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by triple threat » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:11 am

Really, that is very bad. I assume that you pay for these dance classes, and, if they are not teaching your DD anything it seems a bit of a rip off. I may be over reacting because I don't know the teacher though. :? I would be very bored too.
Anyway, I do dance lessons ( grade 5 ) and there should usually be exams roughly every year.
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poohstix
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by poohstix » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:25 pm

That does seem a long time but I guess theres a lot of factors to consider, like how many shows your school does, is there enough in the class also ready to take the exam and how big the school is. We roughly take a grade exam once a year, but haven't had a modern exam for about 18 months because they took there bronze jazz award and had rehearsals for annual show and performance at Her Majestys theatre & Royal Albert Hall, so this has cut into grade exam practise time.
My Ds is 10 and DD 12 (yr 6 & 7) and both in grade 4 modern, tap & dd grade 5 ballet, they had to wait a while to do their grade 3 tap exam as others in the class werent ready for it but in the end she pushed them all on and didnt enter the couple that werent quite there. If it isn't a big school they might not do exams every term which means longer periods between exams. If she's with her peers and seems happy i'd probably leave it if not i'd start looking elsewhere.

lollypop
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by lollypop » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:40 am

Hi all. Slightly different q but are there jazz exams? The classes we do are excellent, but no exams. And if no exams, how do you assess progress? Thanks.

forgetmeknot
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by forgetmeknot » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:08 pm

x
Last edited by forgetmeknot on Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Gatesheadangel
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by Gatesheadangel » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:23 pm

Suzysue is right that idta has had significant changes recently. In DD's case the teachers won't put them in unless they will get good marks, but they spend a long time doing teacher's programme of dance at the grade level and then it is a sudden burst to learn all the dances etc for the exam. Usually 3-4 weeks but i do remember them starting from scratch on a tuesday and taking the exam on the saturday. For us it really works, Dd doesn't feel she is just dancing for exams and i have great confidence in the teachers. That said, she isn't training to be an Adult dancer, the children who are do an intense programme and do exams faster. It is that tricky balance of finding what works for you and your child, if she has WE experience she's probably a brilliant dancer and may enjoy stretching her wings. What a dilemma!

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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by Annaliesey » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:56 pm

I think 2 years (age 8 to 10) approx for rad grade 3 might be about right but rather than look at terms and timescales it can be usefully to look at hours. I think on the rad website it recommends something like 60 hours per grade so did you daughter do one or two classes a week?

The ISTD seems a bit more relaxed for their recommended hours for modern but I still find these documents useful to get an idea of the syllabus and hours.

To the person who asked about jazz exams the ISTD do a bronze, silver and gold award

2dancersmum
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by 2dancersmum » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:42 am

IDTA have a jazz syllabus and follow standard grades from pre-primary to grade 5, then intermediate, advanced

gab
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Re: How long between dance exams?

Post by gab » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:18 pm

Our studio does RAD and students take one grade per year.
Prior to Grade 3 is 1 lesson per week, Grade 3 and 4 are 2 lessons per week, and I think it moves to 3 lessons per week from Grade 5? (not certain, as we're not yet there). I know my son already finds it slow, and would go crazy if thing moved any more slowly. Perhaps though in studios where students attend fewer classes per week it makes sense?

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