Exams – Best Wishes to Everyone ParticipatingJune 16, 2017
This week I want to focus my blog on Exams. We have many students completing their final week of class and personal preparations for their dance exams next weekend.
How are they going? Are they ready for their exam? Will they be okay on the day?
These questions and many more why fly around in both your conscious and subconscious mind over the next week. As parents we hope that our children will perform well in their exams but more importantly, we hope that they are mentally able to cope with the exam environment. As students we hope that all the hard work has paid off and that we won’t forget everything when we walk into the room.
Exams are a wonderful experience that will assist you greatly through life. Discipline, self respect, focusing on technique and coping in a heightened state of anxiety, just to name a few. Parents and students experience the anxiety but don’t forget that dancing exams assist dancers in their journey towards greatness. They do not determine who you are but certainly help build strength in character. Remember this is one way to improve as a dancer and the examiner is one person. Focus on being confident and trying your best.
Today is about the final preparations. By now our students should be at the fine tuning stage of the exam syllabus. It’s time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. You should be able to perform all exercises and the routine proficiently and theory should be known. Listen to your teacher and follow their advice. Remember technique, musicality and performance quality are what the examiner is looking for.
Don’t forget that your appearance says a lot about you. An integral part of exams is grooming and etiquette. Your hair should be perfectly tied back. Your uniform and shoes should be immaculate. Makeup, jewelry, nail polish and tattoos are to be removed. Your behaviour in the room is part of your overall mark so be respectful and on your best behaviour. Listen carefully, don’t chat, fidget or slump. Don’t forget to thank the examiner at the end. Examiners take on this role to assist students in the development as dancers. They wish and hope for great success for all students participating. This is your chance to shine and showcase your ability.
The night before your exam relax, have a bath and go to bed early. Meditate or watch a favourite movie. Don’t get too focused on that last minute preparation as it will only increase your anxiety. Make your last thought before sleep happy and relaxed.
On the exam day eat light, healthy meals and keep hydrated. Arrive 30 minutes before your exam and start warming up. Your body won’t perform well if your muscles aren’t warm and relaxed. Take the time to breathe through each limbering exercise.
When you enter the room breathe deeply. Allow your mind to focus and calm. Listen carefully to every instruction. Remember that each exercise is only a part of the exam so don’t become flustered if you make a mistake. Breathe and calm your mind. Stay focused on doing your best throughout the exam. The routine is your chance to really shine. Show your personality and perform! Treat the opportunity as though you’re on the stage. The examiner wants to be “wowed”!
Parents: Don’t panic because if you do, your child will. Breathe and don’t fuss. Any sign of nervousness from you will rub off onto your child. Show them how proud you are of their achievement and the hard work that has gotten them here. If humour is your thing, lighten the mood with some laughs. Relax, breathe and enjoy the ride.
Best wishes to you all. We are so proud of you all for taking on the challenge of exams. They make you work harder but they also make you stronger and more accomplished dancers. Have fun and shine!