Find out what RAD members have been doing during the lockdown.
The Swan Project
This film was made by RAD Examiner, Rachael McGowan and students from Rain & Lucky Dance Academy in Melbourne, Australia. Rachel said:
“In Melbourne we are now into our third term on zoom and have been getting very creative to keep our dancers engaged. Mid-August I approached the studio owner at Rain and Lucky Academy of Dance about creating our own version of Misty Copeland’s Swans for Relief. The whole school got involved including the drama, jazz and contemporary students to create their own take of Saint-Saens The Swan.
“Over 3 weeks we taught the students a suitable version, as well as creating their own interpretation and it has been such a success. The students loved learning all about this solo; in many it has rekindled their love of dance and some it has opened up a whole new side to their dancing we haven’t seen before. To support their learning we shared with them video clips of different interpretations from Maya Plisetskaya to a hip hop version, to looking at different depictions of swans throughout ballet history such as Matthew Bourne’s and Mats Ek’s take on Swan Lake.
“It was really important to me for the students to know that they aren’t alone in dancing from home, that even prima ballerinas around the world are zooming form home and they are part of a bigger community – Swans for Relief was the perfect inspiration for this.”
Below are photos of the first exams since lockdown that were able to be filmed in Scotland last week. These for were A1 and Intermediate students who had already travelled a 300 mile round trip to Glasgow to find their RAV March session cancelled the evening before their exams. Then they were rearranged to be filmed a few days later at their own Aberdeen dance studio but then the lockdown was announced. So, over 3 months later and with each mum acting as examiner and a sibling doing the filming, students from Danscentre Aberdeen were able to take their exams whilst remaining in their one family unit. One mum commented: “Dancing has made a substantive difference to their experience of lockdown- both for mental as well as physical health. There has continued to be a goal when life has felt otherwise on hold. True dedication from the students and determination from their teachers that their efforts have been seen. It has been hugely appreciated by parents too”
During this challenging time, we have been truly overwhelmed by the commitment from both our parents and students to maintain learning and connection. It’s been humbling and enlightening to realise the extent that dance has played in helping the students maintain a sense of control and purpose over what has been an extraordinary circumstance. The students adapted well to eLearning and their ability to adapt and demonstrate resilience have been invaluable to their overall well-being and progress: skills that will serve them well in the future. Many thanks to all involved for finding a way for them to finally take their RAD examinations – a relief for all!
I have never been so glad to see a set of exams finally put to bed!
Lucie Milton describes her daughter’s experience:
“Despite the lockdown and the ballet studio being closed physically, my daughter was still able to have her lessons with Imogen at Colours of Dance remotely via zoom ballet lessons. It was really important to keep her active and engaged and has provided an opportunity for her to connect with her ballet friends and continue with her ballet during these difficult times. As a mum, I loved having a window into the lessons and capturing some of these moments on my camera.”
See more of Lucie’s photos on Instagram.
On Saturday 20 June the Patricia Veale School of Dance, York hosted a very special Dads Dancing Day #dadsdancingday where dads were invited to join their children in their classes. The day was a huge success and so much lockdown fun!
Some images from the day
I am now working in an international school in Cambodia and would very much like to share my experience of teaching dance in quarantine and my dance project: The Housebound Odyssey, which, beyond any shadow of a doubt, threw a spark into the creative hayloft of some three hundred students.
Through persistence, and inventiveness many pupils produced amazing images and outstanding videos. During this period of home learning with so many opportunities to sit down, snack-out and do-nothing, tons of our students were getting creative with dance, video and photography. Proof, if proof were ever needed, that dance is a supreme educational tool, instils confidence and opens the doors to self-expression.
This article highlights some of the project’s gems, and the pictures are of me working at home.
RAD Teacher, Tara, is the Artistic Director at the Ontario School of Ballet.
“We’ve been working on this special project behind the scenes. Our virtual flash mob performance is dedicated to all the front line workers who have put themselves at risk to keep us safe these past months.”
Click below to watch.
During this very challenging time students at Artemocion Malta have demonstrated their true passion and love for ballet by practicing individually in their own time as well as following our online lessons provided by our ballet faculty.
Although online classes are proving to be quite challenging we have taken on this new adventure and with the kind cooperation and support from all parents at Artemocion, we are managing to deliver RAD online classes safely and successfully. This is a learning experience for all of us at Artemocion however we are all eager to be able to continue focusing on our love for the art of ballet. We would like to commend all our parents, students and ballet faculty for their kind cooperation and hard work in this difficult time.
I am an RAD graduate and practicing RAD teacher of over 10 years. I made this video of my students dancing during quarantine.
Hi, my name is Stephanie, I live in Staffordshire and I have been an RAD teacher for 30 years.
I trained at the West Street School of classical ballet in Covent Garden. I was awarded a scholarship by David Wall, the director at the time, to train at the Royal Academy of Dance, London. It was here I qualified to teach! I have always had a love of ballet and dance, in fact I wanted nothing else!
You can imagine my disappointment and horror when lockdown happened! No teaching; I just couldn’t bear it, so I decided I would run online lessons for any child, to adults, free of charge. I taught locally to begin with then I opened it out worldwide. I sponsored an advert, Stephanie’s Free Lockdown Ballet, and it reached many countries including South Africa, India, South America, Spain, Kenya, France and the UK. Dance has no boundaries! Language provided no barrier! Purely sharing love and the fun of dance! #sharinglockdown
I have a connection with Footprints Orphanage in Kenya, and I intend to teach the children dance online via Skype/Facebook/ Zoom, which I will continue to do for free! My aim is to teach them the RAD syllabus. Being able to teach and share my passion and love of dance to the world is such an amazing feeling! Since lockdown I’ve taught 59 Facebook Live classes and uploaded 44 technique videos to explain, in finer detail, a specific movement. Even my dog Scout has joined in! Anyone wishing to join my lockdown classes, please like and follow ‘Stephanie’s Free Lockdown Ballet’. Send a message and I will add you to the relevant age group.
Enjoy sharing lockdown with me!
Christina from Malta shares what she has been doing online with her students.
I have three platforms where I keep in touch with my students:
- Facebook information group – to keep parents updated. I have also created class groups for each group to speak directly to a whole class.
- I have created Google Classroom for each dance group – for any online material that I would like to share and receive ( such as videos / assignments).
- Online Zoom Classes for all students in all dance genres (from Nursery – Advanced).
As an extra incentive I have also created:
- a free online dance fitness class for all parents and students,
- a Danza C movie night – where each week we will see snippets from ballets and discuss them on Zoom,
- a video for Dance International Day, and
- a short video clip made up of photos that students have taken at home.
I am also planning a quiz night on Zoom, and a series of short pieces of choreography with students, to be filmed and posted online.
Watch our video on Facebook.
Jade is an RAD teacher who is based in Northern England, UK.
“I am posting videos on Vimeo with a passcode for each specific grade to ensure that students don’t try to do anything outside of their capabilities. We don’t want any injuries! I intend to keep adding a little more to these classes on a regular basis as the weeks go on and once they have the passcode they can practice as many times as they wish and at any time that is suitable for them. It is proving to be very successful and the students are enjoying seeing me doing their classes in my kitchen (especially when my little dog makes an entrance).”
Rhona McNab, a teacher from The Dance Bank in Fife, Scotland filmed her students taking exams. This was a very unique situation in that teachers were asked to act as examiners for filming purposes.
This is Rhona pictured on the examiner’s table at the end of two very hectic days. I think it’s good to still be able to laugh a little in these difficult times.
James is a recent BABE and LRAD graduate who has been teaching online and his beautiful dog has managed to steal the limelight!
Geraldine Grace Johns
Grace Ballet New York teaches 40 students in Manhattan, USA with students ranging from as young as 2 to 60 years old!
“Zoom has been a terrific success from Manhattan! We were lucky to have our very first exam session today before everything closed. We are the 1st and only registered RAD school in Manhattan and we had 13 students taking exams, from Pre-Primary to Grade 2. We are thriving and the zoom classes are a huge hit for my classes from 2 years. Stay safe and be well. We will get through this together and we have a strong community.”
Laura is an RAD teacher who is based in Bolton, Northern England, UK. These images covered us recapping Primary, Grade 1 and Grade 2 ahead of what was going to be Ballet Exams. We were also super brave and attempted some Character Training Exercises!
Elizabeth is a recent CBTS graduate who teaches in a range of schools in London, UK.
“These shots are from an adult improvers class, I have also done some nursery classes, pre-primary and primary. We’re trying to keep a positive vibe all around and providing the opportunity for kids and adults to continue their ballet classes in their own home!”
Camille is an RAD teacher and dancer for Wayne McGregor. She is creating live stream ballet classes for free/for a donation.
“Although this is a time of social distancing, this should not be a time of social disconnection. In fact, we should be connecting on an even deeper level in order to try to support each other through these uncertain times. I am doing live Instagram workouts and ballet barres to encourage group motivation and to help people feel energised. These classes will help your body to feel strong and activated and can boost your immune systems by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow. Please join in and let’s connect and stimulate each other!”
Gemma from Metro West Dance Academy in Massachusetts, USA:
“I learned quickly from studios all over the USA that I did not need to stop teaching and in fact my students would benefit from dancing and connecting with their dance teachers and friends even though we couldn’t be in the same studio. Zoom has been a game changer for my school. On Monday 23rd March, after 10 days of no dance classes, I launched virtual classes for all levels within my school (age 3-18 years). Our dance studio community value us highly and see our effort and are willing to support the studio through this time.”
Victoria is an RAD Registered Teacher and Principal at the Brighton & Hove Dance Academy. She is sharing photos of one 4-year-old student, engrossed by the school’s online Zoom dance classes.
RAD school in Canberra, Australia celebrating World Dance Day.
At Dance Arena Ballet and Stage School we have been holding 4 to 5 lessons a day of interactive online classes, Mondays to Saturdays, ranging from Pre Primary to Advanced 1.
My RAD teacher Emma Moss also joins and teaches so that we can observe all students and give them individual attention. The classes are well attended and it is lovely to have the contact with our students and for them to see their friends. We also find the hints and tips from Jennifer Denys’ media sessions very beneficial to our online training.