Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Congratulations RAD dancers!


This year was another very successful exam season for the RAD program, with wonderful achievements at all levels, but I wanted to take a moment and give some recognition to some very dedicated dancers in our Vimy Program. I have been so honoured to work with all of them and share in this amazing accomplishment. Although, the road was not easy and there were many challenges to face, you all have stayed the course. We have a wonderful Royal Academy of Dance program, with wonderfully supportive teachers. It is because of them that we are seeing students achieve such success.

I am very excited about the future! The Royal Academy of Dance program here at Vimy has seen 4 dancers accomplish the Advanced 2 level exam this year, with one more completing next week.  We have had 3 dancers achieve Distinction, Jillian Engen, Joshua Hidson, and Madison Dewart, which makes them eligible for some amazing opportunities. Achieving a mark of Distinction at this level is no easy feat. Many will come close, many will pass, but few will reach this level.

Firstly, they are eligible to apply to compete in the Genée International Ballet Competition (https://www.rad.org.uk/achieve/the-genee/genee-2017). This is a very prestigious competition only open to students who have achieved Distinction in Advanced 2 or passed the Solo Seal Award. They must be 19 years of age or younger to compete. This is a first for Edmonton School of Ballet and the Vimy Dance Program and I for one, could not be more proud of these students. Their hard work, perseverance and dedication to studying RAD has been rewarded. This year, Genée is taking place in Lisbon, Portugal from September 7-16, 2017 so these dancers will be Challenged with training and preparation as well as attending their chosen summer intensives. We will be working feverishly to have the pieces set before they go away and then returning to intensive training when they are back.

Although Josh will not be entering this competition, I wanted him to know how proud I am of his work. I wish you all the best in your next adventure!

The second opportunity that is open to these young dancers is the Solo Seal Award. This is the final exam with the Royal Academy of Dance. It is a performance exam, which takes place in a theatre in front of a judging panel and an audience of peers, parents, and dance supporters. The dancers are required to perform three pieces that they will be evaluated on. Dancers are graded on each of their dances and each must receive a passing grade in order to be awarded the Solo Seal. It is a challenging, but very rewarding experience. With the number of Advanced 2 entries in Edmonton this year, there may be a higher opportunity that this performance exam will take place in our own city. Typically, dancers travel to either Vancouver or Toronto to participate. I am excited that there are so many dancers at this level! It is a new frontier for Edmonton and one that we should be very proud of.

I am very excited about the future of Edmonton and the future of the RAD development in this city! It has come a long way and we are seeing such wonderful training coming out of our schools. Thank you to the students, parents, the staff and all supporters for enduring the challenges and staying the course. Together we have made this possible!

Erin Madsen
& The RAD Department

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