Introducing Royal Academy of Dance

With the changing of the vanguard and onset of a new era at KSOD Miss Jenny has decided to take the studio in a new direction. While maintaining the values and methodology of the Laurel Martyn Dance System we will be introducing the Royal Academy of Dance syllabi as our examination syllabus. There are several reasons for this, and Miss Jenny has asked me to elaborate on them and give you a brief introduction to the RAD.

Why the change to RAD?

  • The LMDS system is not well known and there are only a few studios that have embraced the system. 
  • There are limited and irregular opportunities for staff professional development in the LMDS community. 
  • The RAD offers teacher’s professional development through numerous and varied enrichment courses. 
  • The RAD offers students’ opportunities for personal and technical development.
  • As an examination body, the RAD, delivers consistent standardized assessments that are recognized throughout the world. 
  • Students relocating within Australia or internationally will easily be able to find a studio offering the same system thus ensuring consistent training.

The Royal Academy of Dance has developed an examination syllabus to train ballet that encompasses the latest research in anatomy and child development to deliver a program that is fun, stimulating and challenging for students of all ages. The main difference between LMDS and RAD is that LMDS is a training system that offers examinations whereas RAD is an examination syllabus. The RAD does not prescribe the training regime thus allowing each studio to teach the content in the manner best suited to the needs of their students.

This means that the LMS methodology can (and will) be used to develop the RAD syllabus enabling the students to receive the best of both systems. At present, I am working on creating a syllabus with progressions toward the appropriate examination class for each level. This will be taught to the KSOD staff so that there is consistency in content delivery at each exam level.

What are the RAD Levels?

Another important difference between the two organizations is that RAD places emphasis on performance from the earliest levels. Therefore, content is, where possible, performed as a small dance combination rather than just skill sets. The skill set is learned and then set in a combination so that students feel they are dancing rather than performing exercises.

The examination syllabi offered are:

  • Pre-school levels: “Dance to Your Own Tune” 
  • Primary Levels: Pre-Primary (Prep) and Primary (years 1 to 2)
  • Graded Exams: Grades 1 to 5 
  • Higher Grades: Grades 6 to 8 – are based on the Romantic period (these are usually done as an alternative to Vocational Exams) 
  • Vocational Exams: Intermediate Foundation to Solo Seal 2 
  • Discovering Repertoire: Classes work through a series of combinations culminating in the performance of variations from the great 19th century ballets

Professional Scene

RAD exams are more expensive to enter than LMDS; however, this is to reflect the level of continued professional development required to maintain international standards and we feel the positive benefits for both students and teachers negate the increased costs.

The RAD is an international organization that is renowned for the delivery of dance education for children, adolescents, and adults. It is also recognized as being at the forefront of teacher training. The Academy offers University courses and a diverse range of Professional Development courses for teachers to maintain best practices. Teachers are required to fulfill a prescribed number of Professional Development hours each year to maintain their registration. The Academy also provides opportunities for students to attend holiday workshops, awards days, official Academy performances and offers several scholarship awards each year.

The Panel of Examiners is extensive with over 185 Examiners who have undergone a rigorous selection process and training program. The Panel also undertake subsequent standardization activities every year to deliver a consistent level of service. The Academy has strict policies and procedures which include, but are not limited to, mechanisms to avoid conflicts of interest and protocols to assist students who have had an interrupted learning year or have faced tragedy/adversity within the year.