Royal Academy of Dance launches its new Grades 4 and 5 syllabi: Toward the Future
On 3 January 2013, at the Mermaid Conference and Events Centre in London, the Royal Academy of Dance launched its new Grades 4 and 5 syllabi. This concluded a 5 year review of the Academy’s syllabi, which began with Pre Primary in Dance and concluded with Advanced 1 & 2.
Guest speaker Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, quoted the Dance Proms strapline, ‘Behind every great dancer is an inspirational dance teacher’ to highlight how important the work of a dance teacher is; speaking very honestly, he added : ‘I am grateful to the RAD for making me realise that teaching wasn’t for me’, causing much amusement in the packed auditorium.
Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of the RAD, set the scene by outlining the two year development process which involved trialling the work with 30 teachers around the world and running pilot examinations which also enabled students’ feedback to be incorporated.
Jonathan Still, the Academy’s Music Development Manager who has overseen the choice of music for each new syllabus over the last five years, gave his heartfelt thanks to his collaborators Andrew Holdsworth, Fares Marek Basmadji, Gavin Sutherland and the Orchestra of English National Ballet.
Paula Hunt, member of the creative panel for the new work and Chair of the RAD’s Board of Examiners, explained to the delegates that the syllabus content had been created to develop secure technique including core stability, weight placement, turn out and line, while continuing to nurture students’ awareness of the artistry, musicality and dynamics.
The new work was demonstrated on stage by 14 students from the Susan Robinson School of Ballet, Elmhurst School of Dance and Danscentre. Following the demonstrations, Lesley Collier, Répétiteur of The Royal Ballet coached Yasmine Naghdi, First Artist at The Royal Ballet in the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.
Following the huge success of Progressions, the virtual global launch of Advanced Foundation, 1 & 2 syllabi in September 2013, the RAD offered its members around the world the opportunity to have access to the event via a live blog feed which provided commentary and included selected video clips of set exercises and dances from the new syllabi. The feed from the live blog is available to view on the RAD website at ad.org.uk/towardthefuture The Royal Academy of Dance thanks IDS, International Dance Supplies, for sponsoring the drinks reception, and Harlequin Floors for providing the floor.