29 October 2020
More schools around the world have had a chance to participate in our remote exams. Exams are something special for students, something they work hard for, and often for multiple years. The sense of completion and satisfaction they get from completing an exam is amazing.
With our exams being held remotely due to COVID-19, there have been opportunities for some students to take exams that may not have been able to before. Read about two dancers inspirational stories below.
A young 12-year-old rural northern Californian dancer found that the March-May lockdown gave her a new opportunity to connect with teachers in distant locations.
This young dancer, injured just before the outbreak of COVID, took the opportunity to rehab slowly with private classes via Zoom with her teacher using the Imperial Ballet Intermediate Foundation syllabus as a base. Very few students in the USA have had exposure to, or experience with, dance examinations - this ability to work towards a distinct goal, and an event with an actual date, sustained her motivation and aspirations.
This young dancer pushed through injuries, isolation and often poor internet connection; but was also further challenged by the California fires, and the additional stress of threatened evacuation and terrible air quality, making studying dance challenging. With her remote examination scheduled for the end of November, her mother managed to hire the only studio space reasonably nearby for a couple of extra practices in a larger space.
Fire and weather permitting, her teacher will fly in for the examination weekend to conduct the actual examination. We wish this student well for all her dedication to learning dance in such challenging circumstance.
Offering Security in a time of turbulence
A young 10-year-old Canadian dancer overcame terrible family tragedy to remain connected with her dance teacher and continue her studies.
The young dancer’s grandmother who lived with the family was diagnosed with stomach cancer; and sadly passes away in July. The young dancer's mother was then diagnosed with breast cancer in August and is undergoing through chemotherapy. Needless to say, there were very few trips outside the home for this young girl, having both a compromised grandmother and now mother.
Seeking a positive goal post, her mother arranged for some private dance instruction via Zoom with an old teacher who had moved away. The weekly Grade 5 examination class became an anchor of certainty amid a turbulent sea of change. Dancing in a safe environment has been essential for this young dancer. A local dance studio kindly gave access on a couple of Sunday mornings when no-one else was in their building, and a local teacher trained by the Zoom teacher will be conducting the mock exam and remote examination. This young Canadian is already looking forward to starting pointe and the Intermediate Foundation online next year.
The power of digital learning
Neither of these two opportunities would have been possible before March. The world has changed forever, and these changes have presented new opportunities. The Society has acted swiftly to create remote examinations that will still feel, and be judged, equal to a physical examination. The exceptional care and consideration of the staff of the International Examinations Department is to be commended.
The mental health lifeline of remote learning and examinations gives students and teachers alike continuity and stability in at this unprecedented time. They provide an achievable goal with a definite deadline – vital in these changing times.