Our students are instructed though the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) method, which consists of a graded syllabus and examination schedule. Older and more advanced students may take additional classes, where they have the opportunity to explore the American Ballet Theater, Cecchetti (Italian) and Vagonava (Russian) techniques. Students are encouraged to develop a thorough understanding of basic ballet fundamentals and the vocabulary necessary for genuine mastery of classical dance. An approach to movement involving kinetics and anatomical principles is utilized in the instruction of advanced ballet classes. Advanced students require more than one ballet class per week. The ballet faculty provides individualized instruction to each student in order to produce quality technique, strength, and flexibility. Ballet students will gain the benefits of poise, grace, proper posture, and self-assurance, along with a solid foundation for all forms of dance. Our students have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most influential ballet faculty.
MFAC students are given the opportunity to participate in an annual RAD Examination session.
About the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)
The Royal Academy of Dance is an internationally recognized organization that provides a certification program in classical ballet. With over 15,500 members’ spread across 82 countries, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world (www. rad. org.uk). Highly trained and certified registered teachers administer a curriculum in dance that is approved by the UK Department of Education, which follows UK national standards for arts education. The assessment process allows students and educators alike to know exactly what skills have been attained, and where further study is required. . The Royal Academy of Dance employs a Board of Examiners: internationally renowned teachers who who themselves use the RAD syllabus in their own teaching. Ms. Lesley Shearer, the Director of the Ballet Program at MFAC is on the Board of Examiners. A certificate is awarded to successful candidates, and provides proof that candidates have attained an international standard in classical dance appropriate to their age. The certificate is a highly prized addendum to a student’s college application as it demonstrates that students have been diligently committed to working towards a high standard of achievement in the arts, in addition to their school activities. An RAD certificate provides a foundation for future teacher certification if students should desire to become teachers of dance. As there are few teacher certification programs specifically designed for teachers in private studios available in the United States, this is a valuable credential for potential dance teachers. MFAC students have the opportunity to study the RAD method of classical ballet training and have the opportunity to participate in an annual RAD Examination session held in early Spring.
Why our students participate in RAD Exams and Presentation Class Awards
The MFAC Ballet Program gives students the opportunity to embark on the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) professional training curriculum in ballet. When students participate in the RAD examinations or presentation classes, they have proof that they have attained an internationally recognized high standard in ballet. This sometimes has far-reaching benefits for the future, including advantages for college admission as well as the pursuit of teaching credentials. The MFAC ballet faculty currently has 5 of its members who are fully accredited and registered RAD Teachers: a process which involves a minimum of 2 years study. The assessment process involves an RAD Examiner visiting our studio in April to conduct the Examinations and Presentation Class
Awards. Results of these assessments are then be sent by her to London where they are monitored and issued officially. Mark sheets and certificates are then issued and these are presented at an Award Ceremony in the late summer.
Who is eligible to participate in an RAD Exam or Presentation Class Award?
Any student who achieves a high technical standard and meets the minimum enrollment criteria is eligible to enter an RAD Presentation Class Award or an Exam. Primary students are entered for a Presentation Class Award and students from Grade 1 up are entered for Exams. The Director of the Ballet Program in consultation with ballet faculty will determine whether a student is entered for assessment.
Is Participation in an RAD Exam and Presentation Class Award Mandatory?
No. Although we encourage our students to participate in these assessments, participation in an exam or presentation class is not mandatory, even if a student wishes to enroll in an RAD Exam class for learning opportunities.
What are the additional fees?
Exam and Presentation Class Awards entrance fees vary year on year. Currently the Presentation Class Award fee is $100 and the Examination fee is $140.00 per student.
Are there any additional requirements for students entering Presentation Class Award or Exams?
In order to prepare students to demonstrate to their highest potential, the ballet faculty at MFAC offers “Mock Exams” for students entering the Exam and practice sessions for students entering Presentation Class Awards. These additional requirements will be announced as we approach the assessment date.
What are the differences between and RAD Exam and a Presentation Class?
Students who enter Examinations should be able to execute the work confidently and securely, demonstrating a firm grasp of the technique required with good musical timing, response and expression. Students enter the room in groups of up to 4 at a time without the teacher being present. They must therefore be able to perform all the exercises and dances without prompting. Marks are award for each section and a mark out of 100 is awarded.
40 – 54 marks constitutes a Pass Grade
55 – 74 constitutes a Merit Grade
75 – 100 constitutes a Distinction Grade.
In the past, students of MFAC have been very successful in the Examinations with approximately 70% earning the Distinction classification.
Primary Presentation Class Award
This is a simpler and less demanding form of assessment and one ideally suited to students who are entering the RAD syllabus assessment scheme for the first time. The Primary student should be able to demonstrate the work with sufficient technique and confidence to be considered a “Pass”. The teacher will enter the examination room with up to 8 students at a time and will conduct the class. This form of assessment gives the students a chance to show the progress they have made during the year in a slightly less formal way. Having a Presentation Class Award to work towards is an ideal way of ensuring the students work with an end goal in sight which generally results in more focused learning and higher standards overall. A Certificate will be issued from Royal Academy Headquarters in London.