RAD Ballet Exams are not compulsory and, in fact, your child can progress right the way through to Intermediate (in their teens) without ever doing an exam.
But I strongly suggest you consider a ballet exam for your child, and here’s why:
GIVE THEM A GOAL
Most kids (and adults!!!) need a clear goal to work towards. We’re naturally not good at just working hard for the sake of it.
Think about saving money. Thinking about saving money each week for a rainy day or just because is often futile….but dangle something shiny at the end (a holiday or a present) and you’ll have your money saved in no time.
Kids need something in the near future to work towards. A reason why each week they should try their best and a reason to practice.
Exams aren’t easy. You can fail (though with the preparation we do its very unlikely). They can be an emotional demanding situation that puts pressure on your child.
But this isn’t a bad thing.
Think about building resilience in your child. How many opportunities do we actually give our kids to flex their resilience muscles and have them grow. Unfortunately in today’s world not many.
In an exam, your child goes into the room with a small group of peers and presents their work to someone they have never met. Their confidence and ability to perform under pressure are put to test in a safe environment.
GET THEM USED TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
When we prepare for exams your child’s teacher will be constantly helping them improve by giving them constructive criticism. Getting your child able to receive constructive criticism will be one of the greatest gifts ballet will give them.
Think about being an adult and in how many situations we are critiqued. How many adults do you know that can really handle that? I know your kids can and I know that’s because they have practiced receiving criticism and because they know it’s for their own improvement.
Criticism, in ballet class anyway, is always given when there is more ability and more aptitude. The kids in our studio know that if they are being critiqued it is because they have more in the tank….and that is only a good thing.
GET AN OBJECTIVE POINT OF VIEW
This is a no brainer for me.
We love your kids! We watch them & try to be as objective as possible but at the end of the day we know then too well. An exam is an opportunity to have your child assessed by a completely objective outsider. And then you’ll have a clear unbiased view.
To summarise, I actually believe the exam itself doesn’t matter and the mark certainly doesn’t matter but the process, the journey does.
In the process of preparation your child learns to:
- Work hard towards a goal
- Improve their technique bit by bit
- Perform under pressure
- Remember long sequences of steps
- Receive constructive criticism
Imagine the kind of super human your child will be with these skills!