So you are approaching those final days before your child's ballet examination and asking yourself if your child has done enough or what should they, or you be doing to get everything right on the big day.
First of all remember that your child's teacher would not have entered your child for an examination if they didn't think they were ready, and as long as they have attended classes regularly, you need to trust their expert judgement.
Secondly, your child has probably done an Examination Workshop where the protocol for exams has been discussed. Go over these protocols with your child to further familiarise them with the procedures for entering the Examination Studio. What is their exam number, how do they greet the examiner and take their place at the barre? Taking your child through these steps that are not dance related, but essential to the exam will help ease many anxieties.
If you have a DVD of their exam syllabus, sit and watch this together and play the music, if you have it, so that they can dance the steps for themselves. If they do seem unsure of anything, make a note to ask their teacher at the next class.
Make sure you pack their dance bag for the examination well before you need it:
Hair brush, comb, bobby pins and hair pins, new hairnets, hair spray, gel, and any hair accessories needed should be checked in advance.
Clean or new tights/ballet socks (plus a spare pair), clean ballet shoes (which will also need the ribbons or elastics checked), clean leotard, clean, ironed ballet skirt (if needed).
Character skirt (ironed) and shoes for RAD Grade exams.
Warm up track suit, if needed, and water bottle.
An early night before the exam is always a good idea, especially if they can have a long relaxing bath beforehand.
Find out the exact time you need to arrive and make sure that you have a really nice treat planned for afterwards as a prize for all their hard work and effort.
Now is the time to start going through your dances, or any exercise you might do, on your own several
times every day - both in your head, as well as dancing them full out.
If you have a DVD, watch this and compare yourself to the dancer on the film. What could you do better? How could you present the exercise in a more beautiful way?
Start to visualise yourself enjoying your exam, showing the examiner your favourite exercises and dances, and being proud of how much you have progressed.
If there are any exercises you are having difficulty with, then write them down and ask your teacher for help in your next class. Attending those final classes are vital, so remind whoever takes you to class that you need to arrive a little early so you can warm up and start practising.
On Exam Day, check your ballet bag long before you leave home and do arrive on time. Remember that your teacher will be there on the day to assist you before the examination, but you will need to warm up and stay calm and positive. Being a little nervous is very normal, but don't get giggly and silly with your friends as this will take away your concentration.
Finally, remember that taking a ballet examination is a wonderful experience and the examiner is there to enjoy watching you dance. It is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience. You are a very special dancer and should be proud of the work you have done to get so far!