Final Exams at Laban
Alta Millar, December 20, 2018
Now with my exciting term at Trinity Laban sadly coming to a close, I’m able to reflect on the differences between this conservatoire environment and Marlboro College. There are plenty of differences—too many to list. But the one that stands out the most for me is how the final exams are conducted here at Laban.
For most of my finals, I did not write any massive essays or reflective pieces on my work, which was strange coming from Marlboro College. Instead, I danced for outside evaluators who assessed my technical proficiency and calculated how I’ve progressed in my classes. These exams were also recorded for them too look back on for grading. For me, this was unusually stressful and…not exactly my cup of tea. I don’t always enjoy being recorded on a camera and having notes be made on my dancing. I know this is something I’ll need to get over, but for now it makes the whole process of dancing feel very formal.
I had three exams where my classes were recorded and assessed, and for each one I endured spikes of adrenaline and, at the risk of too much information, excessive sweating. With all of this being said, it was great practice for me and I’m glad I have this experience under my belt. The exams went well, and I feel very proud of my personal technical developments over this term. No matter what the evaluators may note, I know that I worked hard and approached the assessments with a relaxed—if a bit sweaty—yet determined attitude.
On top of these evaluated classes, I also had plenty of presentations for my Performance Design class and Choreography. For these exams, I had to defend my research and share with my professors what I’ve learned. I was comfortable doing these kinds of assessments because I have plenty of experience with public speaking and presentations via Town Meeting, Board of Trustee meetings, and simple class discussions.
After surviving finals week and enjoying the absurd stress of it all, I can now reflect on what I know I’d like to work more on. I know that I want to become more comfortable with being recorded dancing and to pick up movement phrases quicker. These are all skills that are demanded of you at auditions, so it’s essential that my nerves and mental anxiety don’t get the best of me.
It’s differences like these final exams that made me want to study abroad at Trinity Laban. I knew I wanted to see how I’d function in a strict and rather formal conservatoire educational model. There were of course some parts of Laban that I won’t take back with me, but those are surely outweighed by the amount that I will keep.
With my time at Laban wrapping up, I feel beyond grateful for having had this opportunity and am thrilled to see how my new wealth of knowledge feeds throughout my studies back home.