What is the RAD All About?
The Royal Academy of Dance has a long rich history of teaching dance and is currently celebrating its 100th Year. It is the largest classical ballet organisation in the world with over 13,000 members in over 85 countries. It offers a Classical Ballet education incorporating Character dances (as seen in all the major ballets- think Swan Lake and the Mazurka, Polonaise, Czardas, Tarantella etc.). At each level there are several Contemporary and Lyrical styled exercises and dances to learn as well.
To our recreational classical ballet students at The Dance Centre Peregian Springs, and all over the world the RAD offers a steady and safe progression of exercises and dances in a structured and age appropriate syllabi danced to a wonderful and broad selection of music. The levels of syllabi take them from two years right through to adult classes. Dancing for the positive benefits of fun and happiness, physical health, mental well-being, the joy of learning the correct technique and to ‘move beautifully to beautiful music’ is at the heart of our and many good RAD based dance schools.
To our Vocational classical ballet students the RAD means access to some of the most prestigious Ballet competitions worldwide. A chance to work with leading directors, choreographers and esteemed teachers, to be seen by ballet directors from top companies looking for young graduate company members, elite ballet school directors looking to hand out scholarships and places and the chance to win considerable amounts of money towards their training.
For teachers it is a hard earned membership that provides the above frameworks, plus ongoing training and mentorship and a sense of being a part of an incredible heritage passing on knowledge from one generation of dancers to the next.
Here is a much shortened version of what the RAD states about its organisation:
‘The RAD Vision
Leading the world in dance education and training, the RAD is recognised internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning. As the professional membership body for dance teachers, it will inspire and empower dance teachers, students, members, and staff to make innovative, artistic and lasting contributions to dance and dance education throughout the world.
The RAD Mission:
The RAD exists to promote and enhance knowledge, understanding and practice of dance internationally by educating and training teachers and students and by providing examinations to reward achievement, so preserving and extending the rich, artistic and educational value of dance for future generations.
The RAD Values:
The RAD provides LEADERSHIP as an organisation and as individuals and values its people. At every level of the organisation teachers, students, members and staff are EMPOWERED to think creatively, recognising their ability to make significant contributions to the business. The RAD supports and promotes the concept of lifelong learning and continuing professional development for life.’
Royal Academy of Dance
Our year at TDCPS, as in thousands of dance schools across the globe, is planned around the RAD examinations/assessments. There is an amazingly sensitive selection catering for every type and age of dance student from the highly talented and motivated child or adult attending daily classes to the most nervous new-to-dance student attending a weekly class.
The various levels with minimum age limits are:
Dance to your own Tune (two levels)
Repertoire levels 2-4
‘Examinations’ in most levels are taken in sets of 2, 3 or 4 students who have learnt their syllabus over 1 to 2 years and present this in its entirety to the examiner - without their teacher being present. RAD examiners are very adept at making the exam candidates feel at ease and endeavour to provide a welcoming and stress free environment in the studio during the examination. I have observed over many years that almost every candidate coming out of the Examination Studio is glowing and smiling and saying they would love to do it all again. The RAD makes assessments a very happy experience which in turn helps young children view other assessments in life with great positivity. Marks are awarded from a Pass through Merit to a Distinction. Certificates, marking sheets and medals are awarded.
‘Class Awards’ at various levels up to Intermediate Foundation are taken in sets of up to 6 children. With the aid of their teacher the students go through a sample of the set exercises and the examiner marks them on their ability to present their exercises. Certificates are awarded for the assessment.
‘Solo Performance Awards’ are aimed at students who love to perform. This examination requires three solos (one classical, one Character Dance and one in ANY other dance genre). A simple addition to their dance uniform and even a small prop help the general feeling of being onstage for the examiner. Natural performers love this examination format.
‘Presentation Classes’ available for Grades 6-8 are taken with the teacher guiding them through their class and the examiner simply observing. A Certificate of participation is awarded.
‘Demonstration Classes’ are held for the 2 to 5 year old's where the teacher guides them through her own devised exercises in front of an examiner. If studio space allows their parents are allowed to watch too. Certificates are awarded at these entry levels.
The relatively new set of syllabi called Discovering Repertoire is according to the RAD...’a classical ballet performance programme, an innovative new concept in training and assessment from the RAD. Suitable for students from age 12 through to adult, the three levels cater for beginners, those with some prior ballet experience, as well as the more advanced dancer. Uniquely, the programme includes well-known classical repertoire, meaning students will learn and dance choreography that they have seen on stage, set to music that they know and love’.
Discovering Repertoire is very popular at TDCPS and is a wonderful way to introduce students to ballets such as Paquita, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia and gives them the unique chance to dance revered variations and roles. The assessments can be performed on or off pointe giving everyone the chance to dance at their own ability level.
For parents looking for a great dance education finding an experienced, well trained and dedicated RAD teacher is the key to what may become a life long passion for their child.