With exam practice yesterday and more to come at the end of the week, it is a great time to touch on the how and why of exams. If your dancer is doing exams this year, or in the next few years have a read of the following.
There are hundreds of different ideas as to "best practice" for dance exams. But over 3 decades involved with dance exams I have collected my favourite ways that I would love all of our dance families to adopt. These are not the only ones, they are just the Radiance ones!
Set them up for a win
In a dance exam, the parents or older dancer is responsible for presenting themselves in their best light. It is important to set up our dancers for a win, before they even walk in the door. If the dancer is groomed impeccably, carries themselves with confidences and knows their work... they are already ahead before a single step has been danced.
As you know we are pretty relaxed with dance hair year round. We don't get hung up on the details, especially for our younger students. However at exam and concert time a different standard is required. For appearance sake, confidence of the child and to prevent distraction during exams the following is mandatory.
- Hair net (same colour as students hair)
- Coloured ribbon
- Donut bun
Make-up is not used for dance exams with the ATOD.
Again, stockings are not a compulsory item year round for students below Silver Medal - these are an optional extra. However, for the exam and concert performances stockings are a compulsory requirement.
- Ballet stockings theatrical pink with no ladders
- Jazz/Tap stockings toast colour full footed with no ladders
Shoes should be clean and neat.
- From Bronze Star Ballet and upward we require ballet shoe ribbons
- Jazz/tap girls tan shoes
- Jazz/tap boys black shoes
Pins and Numbers
Each student will require a number with 4 pins in each corner positioned from inside their uniform. We would prefer a parent/guardian to be responsible for this. From Test 3 and above, they will require the numbers front and back.
Although this is a fiddly process, it doesn't need to become a drama. Just allow yourself a few more minutes prep time and perhaps not too many coffees! Although this is not the only way to attach numbers, it is the most secure way that we have found. It ensures that a dancer doesn't have to panic about losing their number half way through a vigorous dance step.
Give yourself plenty of time for the lead into the exam. Again, setting our dancers up for an enjoyable experience is our ultimate goal. Although life is busy, if we allow them adequate time to get settled in and go through their work, they are more likely to enjoy their time in dance and get the most out of the experience that you have worked hard to provide for them. The teacher will be arriving 30 minutes prior to the exam to run through last minute reminders with any of the dancers that are ready.
I would love to invite you to trust me! Although some of the dance processes may seem fiddly, trivial or strange to you, I promise there is a rhyme and reason behind every single one of them.
Anyone who knows me, can vouch for the fact that my main goal is that your dancer is gaining value and joy from this experience. (I promise I am not trying to annoy busy parents with extra rules). Please trust the process, trust me, and help me to create amazing childhood memories for these precious dancers entrusted into our care.