Last week, we explored how to prepare in the lead up to your ballet exam. Read more about it here. This week we will take a look at what you should do the night before and/or day of your exam in order to be as prepared as possible to do well.
Know the exam schedule:
Make sure you confirm with your teacher what day and what time your ballet exam is taking place. No one likes to be late, especially for an examination. Planning what time you should leave your house to give you adequate time to warm up and get focused is a good idea to minimise stress the day of your exam.
Pack your bag the night before:
You don't want to show up at the studio on the day of your exam, only to discover that you are missing a ballet shoe. Pack your bag the night before and then double check its contents before you leave your house for your exam to ensure that you have everything you need. Below is a list of things you should bring with you for your exam:
- Clean ballet shoes
- Pointe shoes and all the accessories if required (toe pads, tape etc.)
- Extra tights - just in case of a run or hole
- Extra hair pins, hair nets, hairspray or gel
- Deodorant - working extra hard plus nerves makes for some sweaty dancers!
- High energy snacks ie. dried fruit, granola bar etc.
- Water bottle
Eat a good breakfast/lunch/dinner:
Whether your exam is in morning, afternoon or evening, it's important to eat a good meal before your exam so that you have adequate energy to get through the class. You always want to make sure you are adequately hydrated, sipping water throughout the day.
Come dressed appropriately:
It's important to come to your exam looking presentable and performance ready. Long hair should be done neatly in a high bun - with lots of hairspray and pins to make sure it does not fall out. Short hair should be held back away from the face. Make sure you wear clean tights and your uniform leotard/bodysuit. Wear warm, comfy clothes over your uniform so that you can stay warm while waiting for your turn to begin your exam. Refrain from wearing any jewellery and keep nails free from any coloured polish.
Dancers will have the opportunity to warm up for their exam in an adjacent studio before their exam. Please do not show up to your exam 5 minutes before. We suggest coming half an hour before your exam time to make sure you are ready and warm to start class. Small amounts of cardio (ie jumping jacks, jogging on the spot) along with some dynamic stretching will help get your body ready to dance, as well as get you into the right mental space to do your best. You can also use the time to go over any exercises that you may have been struggling to remember.
The moment you walk into the studio for your exam, you are performing. It's important that you behave professionally for the duration of the exam. This can mean standing respectfully during moments of rest (no sitting or leaning on the barres), being polite, and finishing each exercise to its entirety. If you happen to make a mistake, continue on without lingering and making a face. The examiner wants to see how you deal with it - do you get upset or do you keep trying to do your best? Mistakes happen to everyone, even professionals. Remember your examiner and your teacher do not expect you to be perfect. Everyone wants you to do your best and have fun!
We wish all of you the best of luck for your exam. You can do it!