From Grade 1 to Grade 5 – in a year

This time last year, my daughter was working towards her Grade 2 ballet exam. So, technically, she was still actually Grade 1.

She aced her Grade 2 and went on to ace her Grade 3 later in the year – getting a well-deserved distinction in both exams.

I was so proud of her, but I was left wondering, what now?

Because at my daughter’s small ballet school, they do exams as a class. They don’t have big enough classes to keep kids moving onwards and upwards and doing exams when they are ready to do them. My daughter might be ready to do an exam every six or nine months, but the majority of her class definitely aren’t.

I felt the likelihood was that she would be working towards her Grade 4 for two years, to allow for the weaker members of the class to get ready for their exam. That’s a long time for a talented girl to be stuck in one place.

But it turns out I wasn’t the only one having those ideas. To her enormous credit, my daughter’s lovely ballet teacher had been having exactly the same thoughts. She recognises my daughter’s talent and wants to nurture it.

So she offered her the opportunity to do two Grade 5 ballet classes, simultaneously with her Grade 4. She will be doing all the training and strength work getting ready to go en pointe (although she won’t be allowed to do it until she is about 12 or 13) and will be working at a high level. She will be challenged by ballet for the first time and will be able to make even better progress – hopefully with a view to auditioning for the Royal Ballet again one day.

I’d always thought of the old Grade 4 class (now the Grade 5 class) as the ‘year 8 class’. That’s two years older and an awful lot bigger than my daughter. But it turns out that it’s not the year 8 class. While some of those girls are in year 8, the class actually includes girls right up to year 11 – a whole five years older than my daughter. It’s a big class and I’m just glad my daughter has had the experience of mixing with teenage girls with the panto. I’m also glad that one other girl of her age has made the leap to Grade 5 so she isn’t alone.

I’m so proud of my daughter. Through sheer talent, hard work and determination, she’s gone from Grade 1 to Grade 5 in just a year.

Panto, Daughter, Ballet, 365

Author: Sarah Mummy

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27 Comments

  1. It’s lovely that she’s getting the chance to pursue her dreams while staying at her current ballet school. I’m sure she’ll take it all in her stride.

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    • Thanks very much, I’m sure she will! It’s the first time she has been challenged and hasn’t been the top of the class, which I think will be good for her.

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  2. This is just amazing Sarah, she’s done so well. My little girl has just started ballet, I do hope she gets as much enjoyment from it as your daughter does, although it sounds like it is rare for anyone to be this accomplished at it! You must be so proud.
    Nat.x

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    • Thanks very much. I am very proud of her! I hope your daughter continues to enjoy her ballet for many years to come. x

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  3. She really has done so well. I think that once they reach the first grade, the next come quicker in succession – that is what I have been told by Grace’s piano teacher! You must be so proud and have every right to be too.

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    • Thanks very much! I think that’s definitely the case with music, but I’m not sure if it is with dancing generally. It’s great that my daughter’s teacher is moving her on to get her to the right level for her, rather than staying at the same pace as the other girls of her age.

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  4. It just shows her commitment and she’ll do so well at it, I’m sure and it sounds like she’ll enjoy the challenge of it all. Best of luck to her this year with it. Xx

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    • Thanks very much. She’s loving the challenge! It’s strange for her to be in a position where she does actually find it a bit harder, but she’s taking it all in her stride! x

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  5. Sarah,

    Until I read your posting, I wasn’t sure whether girls of your daughter’s age were already dancing en pointe. Now that I’ve briefly looked into the subject, I’m beginning to understand why so much training and preparation is necessary before they can attempt it. Being a ballerina is very demanding!

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    • It certainly is! It requires a lot of strength. I remember seeing a blogger’s daughter on Instagram a while ago who had pointe shoes at 10, but that really isn’t the norm – girls of that age just don’t have the strength. The year 8 girls in my daughter’s class have their shoes, but they haven’t started using them yet! So I guess it’ll be a couple of years before my daughter gets hers.

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    • Thanks very much! I really hope she will keep doing it until she’s 18 – and hopefully beyond too! x

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  6. That’s amazing and it’s wonderful that she has a teacher that is nurturing her talent. She’s destined for greater things with a natural ability like that. I wish her the very best of luck x

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    • Thanks very much! I really hope so! 🙂 x

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  7. Well done your daughter and it’s jks great that you have a teacher who has recognised talent and opportunity and is prepared to do something about it, rather than take an easy option and do nothing.
    Your daughter must be excited about the challenges facing her, too. You guys are
    such a sporty family!

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    • Thanks very much! It’s such a tiny ballet school that there is actually very little scope for moving kids on, so I’m very grateful that my daughter’s teacher has done this for her.

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  8. That is so amazing, well done to her. Such a great achievement, I can see why you are so proud.

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    • Thanks very much! I’m really proud! 🙂

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  9. That’s amazing – she’s done so well!

    It sounds like she’s going to go far x

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    • Thanks very much. I really hope she does go far!

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  10. Well done to her, you must be so proud. So glad that her teachers recognised her talent too

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    • Thanks very much! I’m really proud of her 🙂 She will probably still have a long wait for her exams, because of the other class members, but at least she is pushing ahead and will be in a much better position when she auditions for the Royal Ballet again next year.

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  11. That really is amazing, such progression in such a short space of time. I’m so glad her teacher is pushing her forward, it would be terrible for such a natural talent to go to waste if just left. I can’t wait to see where her ballet journey takes her #SSAmazingAchievements

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    • Thanks very much! I suspect she’ll slow down a bit now as even though she’s doing the two grades simultaneously, she will still have to wait for her class to actually take the exams. It should help her when she auditions for the Royal Ballet again next year 🙂

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  12. Such amazing progression! It’s wonderful that your daughter’s teacher has recognised that her talent needs to be challenged, I hope your daughter achieves her dream, it would be wonderful. Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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    • Thanks very much! It is lovely that her teacher has recognised what she can do 🙂

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  13. Wow, what an amazing job she’s doing! You’re right to be very proud of her 🙂

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