Preschool Curriculum – Ages 3.5 to 4.5 years old*
Children play has a central role in facilitating cognitive, motor and effective development. Through play, young children learn about their environment and come to understand the world around them. It is essential that children are encouraged to copy, explore, create, discuss and watch movement. Young childhood is NOT a time for limiting movement experiences.
Pre-Ballet - Begins at age 3.5-4.5
* Classes at RAB follow the academic school year, students will graduate to their next level respectively in June. Any advancement to the next level during the school year is solely at the instructor discretion.
The pre-school program provides a progressive program of study for the youngest students. Children will be given the opportunity to imagine, explore and be creative through movement. They are encouraged to describe emotions and explore creative worlds formed by movement and music. Each fundamental movement will be explored and experienced in a wide variety of contexts. Solid foundations are laid for children to reach their potential as future participants in dance and physical activity.
The goals of the Pre-School Program are:
• To enhance children’s movement and abilities and physical fitness
• To aid in becoming physically and spatially aware
• To stimulate listening skills
• To encourage expressive movement
• To build confidence and self-esteem
• To encourage children to be co-operative and sociable
Royal Academy of Dance (England) Classes
Pre-Primary (Age 5-6.5 yrs old)
Age appropriate instruction that includes lots of fun! Students will use natural movement that is both physiologically and mentally appropriate for this age group. This instruction will lay the foundation for classical ballet and begin training the student’s ear to listen to different styles of music. Emphasis will be placed on giving the child a chance to explore creative expression through movement. The objective of this class is to provide a rudimentary foundation for basic ballet. Children learn to concentrate and practice listening skills needed to follow directions. This class develops awareness of the child’s body and its capabilities and helps to build rhythm and creativity. Classes meet one time per week. Under teacher’s discretion students will participate in the RAD assessment in March/April.
Primary (Ages 6-7 yrs old)
Primary class is appropriate for beginners or students that have taken the Pre-Primary class. This class introduces the child to the vocabulary of classical ballet. Students will use natural movement that is both physiologically and mentally appropriate for the age group. This class includes more extensive work with rhythms, balance, and physical coordination. Emphasis for correct use of legs, feet and alignment of the torso helps to prepare the young dancer for the formal structure of a ballet technique class. Classes meet one time per week. Under teacher's discretion students will have the option to either participate in the RAD assessment or exam in March/April.
Grade 1 (Age 7 and up or by A.D approval)
Appropriate for the younger child with previous experience or a beginning student. This level is the foundation of classical ballet for our dancers; it emphasizes body alignment and basic ballet positions. Students will learn to coordinate simple movements to produce a combination of steps and respond sensitively to music. RAD syllabus includes: Classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; Hungarian style is taught in this level. Two classes per week for students who are taking the RAD exam graded) and one class per week for student who are taking the assessment (non-graded)
Introduces the student to more advanced combinations of steps, body directions and movement. RAD syllabus include: Classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; Hungarian style is taught in this level. Two classes per week for students who are taking the RAD exam (graded) and one class per week for student who are taking the assessment (non-graded)
Grade 3 & 4**
Further expands the repertoire of steps with the introduction of épaulment. Introduces exercises to prepare the student for pointe. Includes character dancing and free movement (Greek classical). RAD syllabus include: classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; Russian style is taught in these levels. Two classes per week are required at this level.
Grade 5 & 6**
A continued study of ballet with emphasis on technical development, musicality and natural (artistic) expression. RAD syllabus include: Classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; Polish Court style is taught in these levels. Two classes per week required.
Intermediate Foundation (11 yrs old and up)**
All class geared towards the vocational RAD exams. The technical demands of this class require the student to be studying a minimum of three times per week and be at Grade 5 level. Includes the introduction of pointe work for students of appropriate age and ability. For the younger student, preparation for pointe will be accomplished with a concentrated study of demi-pointe. Instructor approval must be obtained for entry into this class. (Class uniform will be the same color as their regular class level, i.e., Grade 5 color).
Grade 7 & 8, Intermediate & Advanced**
An advanced class with emphasis on refinement of technique, articulation and artistry. Instruction includes pointe. Three classes per week required, four classes per week recommended.
This technique class provides the physical challenges to improve stamina, develops the dancers skills in allegro and pirouette combinations, and encourages the artistry of the student with adagio work. Pointe class incorporates barre and center work designed to strengthen the student for more serious study of classical ballet. Continuing development of ballet technique with emphasis on more advanced ballet combinations, port de bras, musicality, and artistry.
This class follows the R.A.D. Major Syllabus.
* Age acceptability for class may, in some cases, be determined by the Artistic Director to be younger than noted.
** Placement in this class by instructor approval