Flair Performing Arts Awards
Back in 2002 when Flair first began we took the traditional examination route for our students. Annual exams were the bookend of our year and our annual show took place at Christmas to enable us to focus on the exams from January through to July.
Over the next 15 years, whilst faithfully following the usual exam based route, we became ever more frustrated with it’s limitations and very much wanted to stretch our students further. The notion that exams hold a dancer back is seemingly counter intuitive, and whilst they have their place and they are restrictive.
A one-dance medal test in Street for example lasts just 90 seconds, but the amount of time spent having to repeat that minute and a half over and over to get it to near perfection so that they can be awarded their medal requires a huge compromise in what we can offer in our lesson and ultimately leads many to quit through boredom.
For our older students, the mechanical execution required to correctly perform the steps in a graded exam means we spend months ironing out their creativity and removing their personality from their steps so that they can achieve the best grade possible. When we get to our shows, or even further down the line if they pursue a professional career, we spend endless hours trying to shoehorn that personality back in! Colleges have started to look for students who can interpret steps creatively & not just rely on their certificated level and admissions tutors tell us that the piece of paper the hold doesn’t count as much as what they see in the studio on audition day.
Around 5 years ago we freed ourselves from examination constraints and turned our focus to what really goes into making a well rounded dancer, a happy student and a fun classroom. We moved our show to the summer making it the pinnacle of our years work and a highlight for the children to work towards and ultimately remember forever, and we started to use the International Dance Rewards in order to build confidence and keep student on course all year long, not just during exam term. We play music that engages and inspires children, we use props and creatively explore a deeper range of techniques than we were ever able to before.
As we came into the 2019/20 year we again looked at how to continue the great work we have begun by freshening our approach. We were asked by one parent what we can offer in the way of exams for those who are more ambitious and want to be brought on. This question has ultimately led us to create our own bespoke in house system which fits Flair like a glove and is what we passionately believe is the best approach for todays students.
Through the course of the academic year your child will be continually assessed, not just once for 5 mins in front of a stranger, but weekly by the teachers who know what they are capable of and how far they can take their abilities.
Just like the IDR system of end of term rewards you will see a certificate come home at Christmas, Easter and at the end of the Year and just like the IDTA exams you will have a body of work at the end of the year which is equatable to a recognised graded level.
We have poured over all of the differing IDTA syllabi for each style (Grades as well as Medals) and broken them down into distinct three stages; Foundation (the beginnings of the technique), Development (as the technique builds) and Performance (executing what has been learned to performance standard) and this forms the basis of what we teach in our studios, whilst allowing us to hold on to our creativity, enjoy music that inspires our dancers and continue to build the performance technique.