Let's talk about ballet exams for adults!

Jul 13, 2023

When I launched my 12 Week Adult Ballet Course last year, it gave me the chance to work with students from all around the world!

A few of my online students actually enrolled in my course to develop greater confidence heading into their ballet exams...

I'm happy to report they felt stronger, more technical and SO ready for their ballet exams under my coaching - yay!

Inspired by my online students participating in ballet exams at their studios, I decided to offer a Royal Academy of Dance ballet exam class at Balanced Ballerinas HQ this year. 

We'd never offered this before and so far it's been running for 15 weeks with a beautiful and intimate group of regular attending students. 

It's been so interesting watching my students (who have begged for years for the opportunity to participate in ballet exams!) learn what it actually takes to work towards an exam.

I thought it would be fun to put together a little pros and cons list for this weeks newsletter!

Cons of preparing for a ballet exam: 

  • Requires absolute commitment to at least one exam and one open class every week, which is not possible for most adults
  • Repetition of exercises can become mundane or boring if you're not in the right mindset
  • Usually once you reach higher grades, students are expected to participate in pointe work which may not be suitable for an adult student who isn't interested in this additional layer of training
  • You can't opt out of certain exercises due to injury or dislike (if you're sitting a formal exam)
  • Participating in ballet exams can be an expensive endeavour 

Pros of preparing for a ballet exam: 

  • Helps students maintain focus and motivation throughout the term to attend class!
  • Provides the opportunity for students to fill gaps in their knowledge and fine tune the basics!
  • Focussing on the same exercises every weeks allows students to improve their technique at a faster rate! 
  • More opportunity to ask questions and refine technique in a more intimate class setting!
  • Immense satisfaction and accomplishment when you complete your exam and receive your official certificate!

I've been SO proud of my students who have been regularly attending our exam class and I've actually noticed a positive difference in how they approach technique in their open classes.

Let's elaborate on the pros of sitting a ballet exam as an adult...

Goal Setting: Ballet exams are a great way for adult ballet students to set clear goals and have something to work towards. The goal of passing an exam can be very motivating and inspiring for many students.

Structured Feedback: Sitting exams enables adult students to receive structured feedback from trained professionals about their technique and performance. This can be a valuable experience for personal growth and improvement.

Personal Achievement: Successfully passing a ballet exam can be a great personal achievement and boost confidence for the student. This achievement can provide students with a sense of accomplishment and pride in their hard work.

Assessment of Skill Level: Ballet exams can also allow adult students to assess their skill level and get an objective understanding of their progress. This can help them set personal goals for future development.

And let's elaborate on the cons of sitting a ballet exam as an adult...

Focus on Perfection: Ballet exams can put too much pressure on adult students to be perfect and execute movements with extreme precision. The focus on perfection can be stressful and can take away from the joy of dancing.

Time-consuming: Preparing for a ballet exam can be time-consuming and demanding. It can take away from other aspects of dance and exercise that students enjoy and need to maintain balance in their lives.

Expensive: Ballet exam fees, costumes, coaching, and travel expenses can add up quickly and be expensive. This can be a barrier for some adult students who may not have extra funds to allocate for dance.

Competitive Environment: Exams can create a competitive environment, which can be intimidating for some adult students. It can take away from the collaborative and supportive community normally present in a ballet class.

Overall, ballet exams can be a positive experience for adult ballet students who are motivated, committed and who don't get wrapped up in the pressure and stress of the experience. It is important for students to consider carefully whether sat exams is the most appropriate choice for them given their goals and personal preferences!

Grit & Grace, 

Georgia x


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