Why should I take examinations?
Ballet exams are valuable for serious ballet students because they promote the development of strong technique, artistry, and quality of movement.
The examining process gives each student a goal to work towards and allows them to achieve it. It takes discipline to study theory and work hard in class to reach the technical requirements for each grade level. Achieving goals heightens self-esteem by allowing the dancer to graduate to the next level upon successful completion of the previous grade. The benefits of using a method which builds from one level to the next is important in developing a well-trained dancer.
How can I prepare?
Good classroom attendance is key to excellent ballet technique. Most dancers preparing for ballet exams take a minimum of two ballet classes per week. The number of weekly classes will increase as the dancer progresses through the levels.
What should I expect in the examination?
Your ballet exam will be led by one or two examiners from the Cecchetti Council of America’s Board of Examiners. Examiners understand that candidates may be nervous and do their best to make them feel as comfortable as possible during the exam.
Most exams start in the center floor with a short introduction between examiners and the candidates. The examiners will first ask the theory questions before the candidates demonstrate the barre work, center work, adages, and enchaînements exercises.
What theory questions will be asked?
All theory and translations for each grade are contained in the CCA graded syllabus books. Special attention is given to the new theory presented in the beginning of each graded syllabus book. Due to the fact that the Cecchetti method builds from one level to the next, the examiners may ask candidates theory questions from the previous grade. It is always a good idea to refresh your knowledge of terminology from previous grades. Nervousness is reduced when candidates are well prepared.
What is the dress code?
Female candidates should wear a solid black leotard with pink tights and ballet slippers. Hair should be worn in a bun; if the hair is too short, it needs to be securely fastened off the face and neck.
Male candidates should wear a fitted white t-shirt, dance belt, black tights and ballet slippers. Younger boys may wear fitted black shorts. Hair must be away from the face.
What should I bring into the exam?
Most exams only require… YOU!
However, if you use an inhaler, it may be brought into the exam to assure your comfort and safety. Water bottles should not be brought into the examination unless there is a special circumstance or medical condition; permission should be given before entering the examination room. Grade IV students should give the CD for the choreographed dance to the person playing the music at the beginning of the exam. Starting at the Elementary level, pointe shoes should be brought into the examination room.
How long is the exam?
The exam times vary depending upon the grade level. The student level exams range from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The professional level exams run from 1.5 hours to 3 hours. These exam times may run shorter or longer depending upon how many candidates are in each exam session.
How long before we know if we passed?
The CCA realizes the excitement and anticipation of receiving exam results in a timely fashion. Results and certificates will be mailed to the sponsoring teacher within one week of the exam.
Preparing and studying for ballet exams create calm and confident candidates. We have provided a helpful link that will allow you to make flashcards and play online games using the information in your Graded syllabus books. Please go to www.quizlet.com Ask your parents permission before registering for this website. Have fun learning and sharing your knowledge of the Cecchetti method with all your dancing friends!
The CCA will provide additional study links in the future. Check back often for other helpful study tips.