Royal Academy of Dance (Preschool Curriculum – Ages 3.5 to 4.5 years old)*
Children's play facilitates cognitive, motor, and effective development. Through play, young children learn about their environment and come to understand the world around them. Children must be encouraged to copy, explore, create, discuss and watch movements. 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's discretion.
The preschool program provides a progressive program of study for the youngest students. Children will be allowed to imagine, explore and be creative through movement. They are encouraged to describe emotions and explore imaginative worlds formed by movement and music. Each fundamental movement will be examined and experienced in various contexts. For children to reach their potential as future dance and physical activity participants, solid foundations are laid.
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 cooperative and sociable
Royal Academy of Dance (Graded Examination Syllabus)
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 allowing the child to explore creative expression through movement. This class aims 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 capabilities and helps build rhythm and creativity. Classes meet one time per week. Under the teacher’s discretion, students will participate in the RAD assessment in March/April.
Primary (Ages 6-7 yrs old)
The 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 on the correct use of legs, feet and the torso's alignment helps prepare the young dancer for the formal structure of a ballet technique class. Classes meet one time per week. Under the teacher's discretion, students can participate in the RAD assessment or exam in March/April.
Grade 1 (Age 7 and up or with approval from AD)
Appropriate for the younger child with previous experience or a beginning student. This level is our dancers' foundation of classical ballet; 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; the Hungarian style is taught at this level. Two classes per week for students who are taking the RAD exam graded) and one class per week for students who are taking the assessment (non-graded)
Introduces the student to more advanced combinations of steps, body directions and movement. RAD syllabus includes Classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; the Hungarian style is taught at this level. Two classes per week for students who are taking the RAD exam (graded) and one class per week for students 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 includes 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 includes Classical ballet, Free Movement, and Character Dance; the Polish Court style is taught in these levels. Two classes per week are required.
Royal Academy of Dance (Vocational Examination Syllabus)
Intermediate Foundation (11 yrs old and up)**
All classes are 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 the 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 colour as their regular class level, i.e., Grade 5 colour).
Grade 7 & 8, Intermediate & Advanced**
An advanced class emphasising the refinement of technique, articulation and artistry. Instruction includes pointe. Three classes per week are required, and four classes per week are recommended.
This technique class provides physical challenges to improve stamina, develops the dancer's skills in allegro and pirouette combinations, and encourages the student's artistry with adagio work. Pointe class incorporates barre and centre work designed to strengthen the student for a 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.
* The Artistic Director may sometimes determine age acceptability for class to be younger than noted.
** Approval from AD is required