It has been nice in these past few weeks that I have had other teachers looking at the kids as well as myself. Sometimes I feel that I have a bit of tunnel vision and am bias about our students; where they are at and what they are capable of. After last night’s full run through and hearing the concerns of a few of the other teachers who have all been through the program, I felt an update was essential!
We are one month out from Tap Exams and here are my recommendations:
Primary 1, Primary 2 and Tap 1 are all on track. Please keep practicing the work and all of the questions(worth 20% of the mark) from now until the
Tap 2: Much improvement here from the students I saw on Sunday. Apply the corrections you have been given in class and be sure that your work is done full out and not “marked”. Smiling, sharp arms and energy are essential!
Tap 3: Well done! I am very happy with the progress on the time steps with the girls I saw on Sunday. Now we need to work on the rhythms of the
barre shuffles, separating our sounds, stronf arms and performance.
Tap 4: Tap 4 is the TURNING GRADE. There are still a few students struggling with the work and will need to put some extra time in. I will contact you separately if this is the case. The exam dance needs some practice and the work needs more energy as a whole. “Dance” the work!
Tap 5: Tap 5 is by far the most difficult grade and is where the “MEAT” of the sounds are mastered before moving into the higher grades. As we spoke about at Parent Viewing, everyone masters these at a different rate. Some students will be ready and do a nice exam this season and some still do not have the strength to do the “meat”…pick ups and wings. It is in
their best interest to wait until next season to do the exam. I have confidence that they will get there. As to what this means with the class and class make up next season…there
will be a tap 5 and a tap 6 class and everyone will be placed according to what they have mastered. What I try to do is put this class on either side of one of there other “together classes”. In the past, I have even sometimes combined tap 5 and 6 for large group dances. I haven’t picked music or ideas for next season.
I will contact the students that I am concerned with after doing a full run through last night.
Tap 6: A few of these students are going into this exam as special requests as they are underage. Let’s show her that we all deserve to be doing this exam. Our pick up and wing exercises are weaker than the rest for sure, and the students admit that they haven’t spent practice time on the work. PLEASE put in the time. 100 private lessons will not do it. Practice will! Tap is muscle memory. Go for it!
Tap 8: The turns across the floor are weak(which is memory…something I can’t help with), triple wings need lots of practice and could be off the barre, nerve taps are improving but could use work. In my opinion, what will give Tap 8’s confidence at this point is practice. This is the TEACHERS GRADE
Practice time, performing and dancing the grade is essential.