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First Steps For children aged 3-4 run by Colours of Dance - Miss Claire at Cambridge Dance Studios Studio 1 on Wed at 4:00 PM
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.
Dance for Pre-Schoolers
First Steps: A first dance class for girls & boys aged 3-4. We explore varied music, rhythms & basic dance steps, using props, imagination and stories. It's a lovely way for children who are able to separate from their parents to take their own first dance steps...
Next Steps: The next step on the ladder for girls & boys aged 4-5. We develop our exploration of varied music, rhythms & dance steps, using props, imagination and stories. By the time they are 5 they will have a basic vocabulary of steps and directions which they can demonstrate consistently and which they can take with them into any dance situation. It's a great class for a little person who loves to dance through life and it's a great foundation for getting ready to choose a particular style as they start school whether it be ballet, street dance, tap or modern.
Tiny Tots Tap
We generally recommend Tiny Tots Tap as being suitable from age 5, but sometimes a younger child will be suitable. This class is designed for our youngest tap dancers, giving them chance to explore footwork, rhythm and movement in a really fun way, whilst building them up to be ready to start the tap syllabus grades.
Pre-Primary in Dance
This class leads on directly from Next Steps and is a pre-ballet class in nature. Children spend about 12 months at this level, and may participate in a Class Award in front of an external examiner before moving up to Primary.
Streetdance - Beginners
This very first class is recommended for children aged 4-6 who have not danced before, or who have not done streetdance. Using basic dance vocabulary children will be introduced to several streetdance styles during the year, and when they are ready, may participate in Medal Tests.
Classes in ballet encompassing all non-syllabus based classes from Child to Adult. Includes Boys Ballet, Ballet Barre, Pointe classes & most adult ballet classes. We often advise that attendance at non-syllabus classes is an excellent addition to regular syllabus classes, as it works the brain a little harder in memorising new combinations of movements, it tests the technique, and offers the challenge of a range of steps that are beyond the syllabus. Often these classes have participants across a range of ages and grades, so it also offers a wider-community dimension or a sense of 'company' that is less present in syllabus classes.
Pre-Ballet for children age 3-5, the First Steps (age 3-4) and Next Steps (age 4-5) classes form an ideal foundation for ballet and other styles of dance. Children attend these classes independently and learn basic steps and how to handle themselves in a dance-class environment. First Steps and Next Steps are not examined, although the teacher monitors progress against a set of criteria set by the Principal to ensure their development.
Boys Ballet: A Ballet class exclusively for boys aged 7-11 taught by the Principal. This is a non-syllabus class introducing ballet posture, style and steps specific to boys to develop their strength, coordination and confidence. Students may attend this class as an addition to their regular dance class or as their weekly dance class. The choice of music, environment, atmosphere in the studio and language is all designed to enthuse and inspire male dancers.
Adult Ballet - Foundation Level, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3: We offer adults who are either: new to ballet; who might be returning to ballet; who would simply like to work with another teacher, the opportunity to come to a class that suits their level and lifestyle. Ballet is fantastic for increasing flexibility and mobility, improving posture, muscle strength and allows you to get away from the pressures of real life and dance it out while the music plays! We will help determine which class is appropriate for your skill and timetable.
Ballet Barre: For people who are short on time but still want to work on posture and general strength. It is a great class for those new to Ballet or for students with a limited range of physical movement or the more mature student who wants to maintain a level of physical fitness without having to face pirouettes or jumps.
Introduction to Ballet: Especially designed for adults who have never done ballet before, this is a complete introductory course run over 10 weeks taking you from plie to pirouette. You will be introduced to new and correct vocabulary, basic classical posture & placement and learn the skills necessary to continue in a general class setting. For those less confident this class could be repeated or be attended in addition to a beginners/general class.
Days of Dance and Workshops
We often offer single days of dance and workshops that are held at weekends or in school holidays, led by visiting teachers or our own faculty. These are usually non-syllabus classes and are workshop-style, focused not only on the technique, but with a greater emphasis on performance, musicality and 'having a go'.
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