Ballet - RAD or CSTD

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Ballet - RAD or CSTD

Postby hapydino » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:33 pm

On the lookout for a ballet school and was asked which syllabus I prefer..

Any idea what is the difference??

Appreciate any comments..

*Auntie* Me thought if go for RAD, exam fees etc later on will be in sterling pounds whereas CSTD would be in AUD??

hapydino
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Postby Augmum » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:05 pm

I think in Singapore, the RAD syllabus is more "popular"

from what i was told, the RAD style is more "softer" and also more "prettier" than the CSTD style.
RAD emphasis on ballet only, while CSTD is considered a "theatrical" syllabus (rather than a ballet syllabus)
because it includes jazz, tap, etc. at some levels

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Postby hapydino » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:08 pm

Hi Augmum

thanks!

i'm confused as different schools i have called gives me different opinions..

some say both almost the same, equally recognised.. and not much difference..

some say RAD more 'technical and academic' and strict while CSTD is character building and boosts creativity..

some say steps different YET can readily switch syllabus as and when?!?! i m not convinced!! :p

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Postby jtoh » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:06 pm

Let me try to help you.

The RAD syllabus is from England and has been around for a very long time. Most of the older generation in Singapore who did ballet in the 1960s/70s would have done RAD. The CSTD syllabus is from Australia and is relatively newer.

Both have similar basic elements of ballet. The key difference is the approach. RAD tends to be stricter and more demanding in terms of technique. It is very good for building a strong foundation. CSTD is more performance-based.

While RAD follows a syllabus quite strictly, CSTD is more open to interpretation by the teacher. So a good teacher is important, because she would be able to show style and performance elements to the students.

If your intention is to pursue ballet in the long term, then the RAD syllabus is better as it goes into vocational levels as well.

At the beginner level, there isn't that much difference between the two. The important thing is to find a good teacher who knows what she's doing and is able to let the little girls have fun. What I look for also is the opportunity for kids to perform, be it in a small recital or a larger concert.

Ask for a trial class and let your dd have a go and see if she enjoys the class. You should also be able to sit in and see if the teacher has a good rapport with the students.

And yes, you should be able to switch easily between the two syllabi. Do note that the grades aren't equivalent; ie Grade 2 RAD does not equal Grade 2 CSTD. As the RAD syllabus is more exacting, switching from CSTD to RAD may require more work.

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Postby Augmum » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:18 pm

hapydino wrote:Hi Augmum

thanks!

i'm confused as different schools i have called gives me different opinions..

some say both almost the same, equally recognised.. and not much difference..

some say RAD more 'technical and academic' and strict while CSTD is character building and boosts creativity..

some say steps different YET can readily switch syllabus as and when?!?! i m not convinced!! :p


according to my gal 's ballet teacher, it's not that easy to switch bwteen the 2 syllabus, the emphasis on the technique requirements are diff

yes, what jtoh had said, the 2 syllabus are not of the same equivalent too.

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Postby rains » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:56 am

I got my kid to learn ballet from 4 to 8 years old.

However, like piano, it's difficult to find a good teacher. I didn't know about the two syllabuses until I found a good teacher. And I then realised that my kid had been learning the CSTD syllabus, which is a less popular syllabus among the centres here.

I had tried to look for another centre with the same syllabus and had difficulty finding it. Eventually, I settled for a centre that taught RAD, but my kid would have to be 'demoted' by one grade.

The way I see it, RAD is a better and more structured syllabus than CSTD. At least I am able to tell what the teacher is teaching at each lesson and the child goes home to practise the same thing for a week before the next lesson starts. CSTD is a lot of play without focus I thought. I didn't understand what the teacher wanted to get the kids to learn.

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Postby hapydino » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:04 am

hi fellow mummies and daddies..

thank you for your contribution..

i have sort of decided i would go for RAD for my gal.. went to view Crestar (Hougang / Kovan) yday.. the lady doing registration say at this age there is no distinction between RAD/CSTD as the teachers are both trained in RAD and CSTD (i am a bit skeptical with this statement).. She said, now is basic, 1 yr later, proceed from BeBe Ballet to Classical Ballet and this is the time we parents voice out our preference and decide which teacher / syllabus we want our child to learn..

i feel, though now is Basic Ballet but the teacher if trained in CSTD would be teaching CSTD steps??

so in the evening I went to view Ballet & Music Company @ United Square as i was advised over the phone that they only have RAD syllabus..

any comments between Crestar and Ballet & Music Company?? what about DancePointe??

yes, i was advised by my gal friend tat the teacher plays a bigger part.. i agree 100% but at this stage, i dun tink i will be able to 'interview' the teacher nor sit in every lesson in every single lesson to ascertain which teacher is good..

so my bet will be to view the centre, the dance studios, access the syllabus, the leotards (lol, yes this mummy cares about the leotard and the pong pong skirt design) and try to get a better school and enroll.. only after lessons start can i assess my child's interest / likes / dislikes and indirectly ascertain the lesson's quality and teacher's professionalism??

thank you, welcome any comments.. :)

hapydino
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Postby jtoh » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:02 pm

hapydino wrote:hi fellow mummies and daddies..

thank you for your contribution..

i have sort of decided i would go for RAD for my gal.. went to view Crestar (Hougang / Kovan) yday.. the lady doing registration say at this age there is no distinction between RAD/CSTD as the teachers are both trained in RAD and CSTD (i am a bit skeptical with this statement).. She said, now is basic, 1 yr later, proceed from BeBe Ballet to Classical Ballet and this is the time we parents voice out our preference and decide which teacher / syllabus we want our child to learn..

i feel, though now is Basic Ballet but the teacher if trained in CSTD would be teaching CSTD steps??

so in the evening I went to view Ballet & Music Company @ United Square as i was advised over the phone that they only have RAD syllabus..

any comments between Crestar and Ballet & Music Company?? what about DancePointe??

yes, i was advised by my gal friend tat the teacher plays a bigger part.. i agree 100% but at this stage, i dun tink i will be able to 'interview' the teacher nor sit in every lesson in every single lesson to ascertain which teacher is good..

so my bet will be to view the centre, the dance studios, access the syllabus, the leotards (lol, yes this mummy cares about the leotard and the pong pong skirt design) and try to get a better school and enroll.. only after lessons start can i assess my child's interest / likes / dislikes and indirectly ascertain the lesson's quality and teacher's professionalism??

thank you, welcome any comments.. :)


At the Bebe class or really basic level, no real steps will be taught. It's more a movement class, getting the girls to be comfortable with coordination, skipping, being graceful etc. Basic footwork, plies possibly. But these are common to both CSTD and RAD. So it really doesn't matter whether the teacher is trained in RAD or CSTD.

Crestar runs a lot of ballet centres so this is one of those places I would say is only as good as the teacher conducting it. I'm not familiar with the other two schools.

Have you considered any other schools? Sometimes the ones at the CCs are very good because they're run by very experienced teachers. Also check out SBA.

jtoh
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Re: Ballet - RAD or CSTD

Postby neorenjie » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:11 am

As the owner of a dance school, maybe I can share some perspective that some parents may not see. For the record, our dance instructors are both RAD and CSTD qualified and we are running CSTD syllabus for our students. I will answer some of the most frequent questions from parents and then followed by my reasons for choosing CSTD over RAD.

I am sure many parents come across this problem and they receive different opinions from different schools. Here are some questions that have been asked frequently by parents.

Which syllabus is better?
Better in terms of what? Both are very established syllabus, you have to know what you want to compare.

Which syllabus is easier to get a job?
Some schools are offering CSTD while some are offering RAD. If you are keen to become a dance instructor as a career, you should get both. Start with either RAD or CSTD and subsequently cross over to the other syllabus when you are in advance level. Knowing more genres of dance, for example Jazz and Tap, will make you more employable as well.

I want my child to get into SOTA. Which syllabus should I choose?
SOTA recognizes both CSTD and RAD syllabus. Your child needs to be Grade 5 in either syllabus in order to qualify for the interview. In short, the syllabus makes no difference.

A better portfolio would help her. Take up more genres of dance, for example Jazz and Tap. Participate in more performances and competitions. You might want to choose a school that offers more genre of dance so that it is easier for you to bring her around. Most schools running CSTD ballet courses should have Jazz and Tap. Some schools offering RAD ballet may offer CSTD Jazz and Tap as well. You will have to do your own research.

I want a syllabus that can help my child in her school. For example, DSA.
Build up her portfolio. Look above.

I want my child to have performing opportunity. Which syllabus should I choose?
It depends on the school. Performing opportunities are not tied to the syllabus. A good dance school will organize concerts for students to gain performing experience. Find out how frequent the school organizes performances for its students and who are the students that can perform. Some schools allow everyone to perform while some only cater to a group of 'better' dancers.

I want my child to have competition opportunity. Which syllabus should I choose?
RAD organizes the Genée International Ballet Competition every year, it is open to RAD students around the world. The competition is hosted by different countries around the world, some countries that have hosted are England, USA, Belgium, Scotland, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and Australia.

CSTD organizes the CSTD Singapore Dance Competition and Asia Pacific Dance Competition (APDC) every year. The competitions are open to all CSTD students. The Singapore Dance Competition is held in Singapore every year. APDC is hosted by participating countries in the Asia Pacific region, some countries that have hosted are Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Philippines.

If you want your child to have more competition opportunities, CSTD may suit you better. Although the RAD competition being worldwide is more prestigious, CSTD competitions are more affordable as you do not have to travel across the globe to participate. Therefore, it is also the most contested dance competition by Singaporeans. If you like overseas competitions, you can also participate in APDC which should be relatively cheaper as it will be hosted by countries in the Asia Pacific region. Make sure to find out if the dance school that you are joining will provide your child with competition opportunities.

Why do some schools choose RAD and some choose CSTD?
For RAD, there could be many reasons. RAD has been around for a longer period while CSTD is a relatively new syllabus. A lot of the older dance instructors are RAD trained, they teach RAD simply because the teachers are not CSTD certified. There are also some that still hold the thought that RAD being around for a longer period means that it is more prestigious and therefore better. Another common reason is that RAD is stricter and more technical as compared to CSTD which emphasizes more on performing. Hence, they often say that if you want to learn proper ballet you have to learn RAD.

For CSTD, some schools choose it because it is more 'fun' and it gives the students a better and more complete dance experience. There are more genres such as Jazz and Tap and also more opportunities for competitions. Some schools take the 'best of both world' approach by running RAD Ballet and CSTD Jazz, but most school choose just one syllabus as it is not easy managing the schedule of 2 syllabus as the exams and coaching dates are different.

A lot of schools that choose CSTD sees the value that competition brings to the students and the school. Students have more events to look forward to in a calendar year and it will keep them excited throughout. Participating and winning competition is good for a student's portfolio and serves as a good motivation. Schools also want to participate in competitions because it helps to build their credentials when their students win competitions. CSTD competitions are more attractive to dance schools than RAD because they are more 'winnable' as they are smaller scale (local & regional) and have more categories (age, genre, solo/group) and hence more prizes to be won.

Since RAD is more technical and more prestigious, are RAD students better dancers?
Even though RAD may be more prestigious, the students may not necessarily be better dancers. How good they become depends on what kind of exposure they get from the school, how good the teachers are, and of course the child's learning attitude. RAD focuses on technique more while CSTD focuses on showmanship more, but that does not mean RAD do not bother about showmanship and CSTD does not care about techniques. In fact, a good dancer needs both. If you want your child to be a good dancer, then my advise would be to not make a decision simply by whether the school is offering RAD or CSTD.

How should I choose a dance school for my child?
If you feel lazy often or if you find it hard to commit to a school that is far away, just bring her to the dance school nearest to your home. But since you are reading this, I suppose you want more for your child. My advise would be to first understand what do you want to get out of this enrichment. If you are looking for better career prospects, both syllabus are the same and you should get both in the long term. If you want to look for something to help your child in DSA or to enter SOTA, look for a school that offers more activities to build up her portfolio. If you want fun, a school with more activities should be more fun.

How does your school plan its courses?
We offer CSTD from pre-grades to major grades and RAD major grades. This is so that our students can have a better learning experience from CSTD but still get both certificates if they are keen to pursue higher grades. We cross over at higher grades, reason being if they do not get to the higher grades then they are not going to use the certificates. If they do not use, then it does not matter whether it is CSTD or RAD.

We hire teachers that are both RAD and CSTD certified so that these teachers have the knowledge and experience of both syllabus to focus on both technique and showmanship to train our students to become better dancers. We keep our students excited about dance by planning activities throughout the year. Apart from the yearly examinations, performances and competitions, we build bonding with our students and parents by organizing gatherings, parties and overseas trips to keep the students interested. Some students quit not because they do not like dancing, they quit because they do not like the environment.

neorenjie
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Re:

Postby FantasyLandDreams » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:03 pm

hapydino wrote:hi fellow mummies and daddies..

thank you for your contribution..

i have sort of decided i would go for RAD for my gal.. went to view Crestar (Hougang / Kovan) yday.. the lady doing registration say at this age there is no distinction between RAD/CSTD as the teachers are both trained in RAD and CSTD (i am a bit skeptical with this statement).. She said, now is basic, 1 yr later, proceed from BeBe Ballet to Classical Ballet and this is the time we parents voice out our preference and decide which teacher / syllabus we want our child to learn..

i feel, though now is Basic Ballet but the teacher if trained in CSTD would be teaching CSTD steps??

so in the evening I went to view Ballet & Music Company @ United Square as i was advised over the phone that they only have RAD syllabus..

any comments between Crestar and Ballet & Music Company?? what about DancePointe??

yes, i was advised by my gal friend tat the teacher plays a bigger part.. i agree 100% but at this stage, i dun tink i will be able to 'interview' the teacher nor sit in every lesson in every single lesson to ascertain which teacher is good..

so my bet will be to view the centre, the dance studios, access the syllabus, the leotards (lol, yes this mummy cares about the leotard and the pong pong skirt design) and try to get a better school and enroll.. only after lessons start can i assess my child's interest / likes / dislikes and indirectly ascertain the lesson's quality and teacher's professionalism??

thank you, welcome any comments.. :)


Just to share my experience, if you are with Crestar and want to switch from CSTD to RAD, usually they will want to "demote" one grade. Also, it does not necessary mean Crestar teachers are better than cc teacher too, a lot really depends on teacher, although Crestar is about 50% more expensive than cc in terms of fees. But not all cc will have the annual concert thingy though ...this is perhaps the only minor difference from the way I see it....

FantasyLandDreams
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