The 4th of May we had our second year of Exams in Figueira Stage School. We work with the British institution PTD (proffessional teachers of dancing) who has certificated courses in dance and performing arts. All courses from Grade 1 now give OFQUAL Credits http://ofqual.gov.uk/ which counts towards normal school education and may help if you choose to persue an artisic career.
Why do exams? The courses are made of syllabus work suitable for childrens age and physical ability. It controls the progress so the children delvelop the right strenght and technique required. The right type of training is fundamental and essential to a dancer as "bad training" can lead to serious injuries of bones, muscles and ligaments later on in life. Example: Pointe Work only enters in the Intermediate foundation Grade. Why? Only at that age with the right training, between 12-15 years of age, childrens bodies and technique will be strong enough to support the demand to work on pointe.
Every year an examiner will evaluate your work to see how you are progressing and what you need to work on. Our youngest candidates this year were our 5 year olds who entered the ballet exam in "preliminary grade" ballet.
We had 42 of our students doing exams this time compared to 22 last year.
This year it was the president of PTD, Eleanor Cochrane who came to examine our students.
The overall feedback was that she thought we had some lovely talented students and everyone were very polite and well behaved! (referring to the little ones). Here is a picture of Eleanor and our youngest candidates preliminary ballet, ballet lower grade 1 and grade 1, all 5-7 years old!
here are some of our other candidates who entered exams this year:
Ines Brás, Ballet Grade 3
Barbara, Mariana e Alexandra: Ballet grade 4
Ana Luisa, Beatriz e Carlota: Ballet grade 2
Mariana, Inês N, Inês R, Rita, Maria C, Maria P: Hip-hop Grade 1
Inês, Sara, Matilde, Kikas, Ana Luisa, Juliana, Margarida, Irina e Carolina: Hip-hop Grade 2