Ballet classes at Colours of Dance are varied and cater for almost everyone from age 2 to Adult, according to demand. Our core method is the method and syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance, of which our Principal is both a Registered Teacher and Trustee. All our graded ballet classes offer the RAD syllabi, and whilst examinations are not mandatory for development and progression, we do think they offer a valuable target and benchmark. From G6, they also come with UCAS points attached! All future dance teachers require a minimum standard of RAD Intermediate to be able to progress into teacher training.
We also offer Non-Syllabus classes, and the theme and methodology of each these will depend on the teacher. We are proud to work with several non-RAD teachers who have been trained in the wonderful Vaganova method (originally from Russia and prevalent throughout Europe and the USA), which offers an alternative focus and different settings, thus enriching the experience of our dancers here - whatever their age and aspirations. All our non syllabus classes are designed to offer really good quality teaching and dancing experience that stands on its own, but is also really useful as a support and addition to syllabus classes, so that a wider vocabulary may be explored and techniques may be applied differently.
RAD Graded classes start with Pre-Primary, which is examined through a Class Award, then then these progress from Primary and then into Grades 1 to 8. From Grade 1, the graded ballet classes include Character Dance, which is based on folk dance from various countries around the world, and relates directly into the classical ballets of the 18th and 19th centuries - think party and ballroom scenes from Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty etc. Children will be required to learn character technique and dances, and to have special character shoes, (and for the girls, skirts) in addition to their ballet shoes.
At around Grade 4, some students who have the commitment, are invited to join the RAD Vocational Graded track in addition to continuing with their Grades. The Vocational Graded exams are designed for potential Vocational dancers, or those who would like to study Pointework and have a purely classical setting. The marking system is somewhat different and there is no character dance content. The Vocational work offers a wonderful challenge as much to those who are committed to a career in dance, as to those who are committed to ballet as their primary hobby.
Appropriate entry into graded classes is partly based on age and partly on experience, so if you are in doubt, please ask. For entry to G1, the minimum age is age 6, as the minimum exam entry is age 7.
A Note on the RAD Pre-Grades
RAD Pre-Grades classes follow the RAD syllabus of Pre-Primary and Primary. Children prepare particularly for entry into classical ballet but also other dance genres by starting with these two preparatory levels, which are focused on developing strong posture, good musicality & basic dance movements.
Ballet classes are based around a series of exercises & dances, specifically designed to increase strength, posture, technique, musicality and performance. All classes are taught using imagination and a variety of musical styles, to encourage, energise and motivate every student irrespective of ability. The opportunity to participate in Examinations & Class Awards are offered to all students when they are considered ready, but are not mandatory for successful progression.
Entry ages for each class are approximately as follows, but will vary according to experience and aptitude and are decided by the Principal:
Pre-Primary in Dance - 4 and a half to 5 years old
Primary in Dance - 5 and a half to 6 years old
We are proud to say that Colours of Dance students have an extremely high pass rate in Medal Tests and Exams.
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