Understanding R.A.D Ballet Exams

Below is the ballet exam readiness criteria put together to use as a guide when assessing students for ballet exams. If a student is competent in all of these areas then they would be considered ready to sit for a ballet exam.

Students are constantly developing and being assessed. Students who have sat for an exam in one grade do not automatically qualify for exams in the future. Just as a student can be offered to sit for an exam at any stage even if they have not previously completed exams in the past.

It is the decision of the R.A.D qualified ballet teacher to determine whether they wish to enter a student for an R.A.D ballet exam. If a student is being considered for a ballet exam, which is all done on an individual basis, the teacher will approach the parent and discuss this with the parent/s directly.

Each year we will individually assess the students who have not completed a ballet exam and recommend to parents which grade we think would best suit each student. The purpose being to ensure the child is being challenged whilst still feeling positive and capable and developing a strong self esteem.

We also offer internal examination classes where all students who are not sitting the external exams will be taken through the examination process and graded and given feedback by professional R.A.D qualified teachers and will receive a certificate of appreciate for their grade before moving up a grade. This allows students who are wanting to do ballet just for technique and enjoyment the chance to push themselves and work towards something as well.

If parents wish for their child to move up to a new grade each year then this will be acceptable as long as there is a clear understanding that their child will not be considered for an exam. Please feel free to discuss your child’s progress with me at any time as well as ask any questions you have regarding your child.

Classical ballet is sometimes misunderstood and students and parents can get caught up in exams and what other students are doing rather than what is best for their own child.

Whilst exams can be beneficial for students especially those wishing to pursue a career in classical ballet, it can also be unnecessary and even detrimental to enter students for exams when they are not ready.

Ballet is an extremely beneficial activity and students who learn and study the art of ballet will gain many positive advantages both physically and mentally and hopefully even love it! Students will acquire these benefits whether they complete ballet exams or not.

Exam Readiness Criteria

Age/ Maturity - Students need to meet the RAD age requirements. Students need to demonstrate maturity to cope with the work load and expectations associated with exam preparation.

Posture - Correct and Secure classical posture and body awareness

Technique - Sound overall classical technique

Knowledge - Correct demonstration of syllabus work and an understanding of what the outcome is they are trying to achieve. Recognises and understands the terminology of the grade they are learning.

Focus - Demonstrates discipline and self control and has the ability to follow directions.

Musicality - Can dance rhythmically and in time to the music.

Performance Quality - Moves with co-ordination and shows classical style and demonstrates a sound performance quality.

Exam Requirements

• Attend a minimum of 2 x 1hr grade classes per week for the entire year.

• Attend a 4-5 day exam seminar in Sydney during the end of term 3 school holidays, as well as one final exam rehearsal in Sydney just prior to the exams.

• Where necessary some students may be asked to have some extra classes either private or small group lessons to ensure they are fully prepared for their exam.