Information specific to the selected class
Adult Ballet Discovering Repertoire Syllabus - Level 3
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.
Adult classes are available in the following techniques:
Ballet, Ballet Barre, Contemporary, Tap, Pilates, Bellydance & Flamenco
All adults are welcome to come and try or enrol in a class, no matter what experience you have previously had (or not). Evening classes may usually be attended on a week by week basis, but day-time classes usually require a term's commitment and associated fee.
All CoD ballet classes are devised particularly for adults are designed to be appropriate for mixed groups of anyone from aged 18 and above. All Colours of Dance teachers are experienced in working with mixed age groups, as well as mixed abilities. However, we know from experience that students, whatever their age, are most comfortable when the ability mix in a class is not too diverse, so that there is a good mix of comfort and challenge within the group, no matter what the age mix, background, reasons for coming and personal ambition for attending the class. We seek to give a good class with opportunity to lose yourself in great settings and lovely music, balanced with good feedback that will help you keep up your technique and improve each week. In this way, we have developed supportive, fun and respectful groups of dancers who enjoy their class, their friends and the environment. We are able to offer examinations for those adults who wish to participate. All classes are group settings where there is no requirement to dance solo unless you wish to!
We offer a mixed of non-syllabus and syllabus classes, which we have categorised in a series of levels to try to make it easy for you to find the right class, as follows:
Foundation Level -
An Introduction to Ballet - a 10 week course designed for those who are absolute beginners or who have been attending classes for less than 6 months, or who for another reason (a medical condition perhaps) may wish to take things nice and slowly. Non-syllabus, on Monday evenings.
Barre - a short weekly class, great as an introduction to ballet, as a warm up before Pilates, or for those returning to ballet after a long break or for those looking to have an extra focus on posture and placing and other technical fundamentals. Non-Syllabus
Level 1 -
Generally an hour-long general ballet class suitable for those with 6 months to 2 yearsâ€™ experience. Currently held on Monday evenings. Simple settings, lots of supportive feedback to help you improve and learn the vocabulary, a steady pace. A non-syllabus class following traditional pattern of barre, centre practice and allegro. Possibly Wednesday mornings when there is demand.
Level 2 -
Weekly classes varied during the week, comprising a mixture of non-syllabus and syllabus classes, weekday mornings and Monday evenings. Level 2 classes will last between an hour and an hour and a half, and are suitable for those who have taken ballet classes for approximately 2-5 years. You will have a good broad knowledge of vocabulary and are looking to improve your technique (as ever!) as well as challenge yourself whilst thoroughly enjoying the feeling. Non-syllabus classes will cover barre, centre, allegro and syllabus classes will be defined by the development of the syllabus and or exam timings. Student classes at this equivalent level to which adults are also welcome would include Grades 5-8. Monday & Friday mornings for 'Discovering Repertoire' syllabus adult classes, Wednesday mornings & evenings for non syllabus adult classes, Saturday afternoons for student classes at this level. Monday evenings when there is demand.
Level 3 -
Weekly or twice weekly classes suitable for those who have studied ballet for 5 years or more. Syllabus and non-syllabus classes following a traditional pattern as described at level 1 & 2, plus pointe work (and preparation for pointework, as necessary). These classes will have pace and lots of multi-level feedback from your teacher! Student classes at this equivalent level to which adults are also welcome would include Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate (Thursday and Saturdays). Non-syllabus class, Tuesday evenings.
Tap: These classes are loosely based around the ISTD method & framework by way of knowing what steps one should know at each level before progressing in a safe and suitable way. There are no set exercises or routines as classes are adapted by the teachers to suit the group.
Contemporary: A fun and interesting class based on various contemporary techniques such as Cunningham, Release & Limon. This is a time for anyone to come and explore new ways of moving and thinking. A great class for anyone who wants to be a part of something relaxed, fun and a bit of a challenge!
Pilates: Led by Sally Parker, a highly qualified and experienced Pilates teacher. These are group mat-work Pilates classes and designed to offer general strengthening, toning and centring no matter what your previous experience or goals. All our our teachers work individually within the group to adapt and respond to each person's needs or constraints. The Breast Cancer Rehabilitation class is specifically designed for those women who are recovering from surgery and are looking for a sympathetic exercise programme to help them in their recovery.All our teachers are available for private Pilates sessions and/or consultations.
Belly Dance: Bellydancing originates in the folk dances of the Middle East, which works with your body's natural range of movements and allows you to express your individuality. This beginner's course will introduce you to the fundamentals of bellydance technique and posture. The characteristic movements of bellydance are very natural and work with the body, making it a dance suitable for everyone regardless of age or fitness level.
Flamenco: A variety of Flamenco groups run classes from the Colours of Dance studios. Wednesday evening's monthly classes are led by a group of flamenco dance students who bring in a professional teacher from Spain, Felipe de Algeciras once a month for a workshop. Classes are challenging but a lot of fun and are all accompanied by live guitarists! Thursday evening classes are led by professional teacher & dancer Thurid Gspaan.
Classes are shown as either being 'free/general' which means non-syllabus or with a level (ie beginners or intermediate). For some classes, a syllabus is followed and it is possible to take exams at that level.
Injuries & pre-existing or new conditions:
Please keep your teacher informed of all injuries or pre-existing conditions. Ballet is an incredibly therapeutic form of exercise for many conditions and injuries, but adaptions may be needed and sensible. Your teacher will be able to advise, support and adapt most exercises within a class for you should you need it, but they can only do this if they know what they are dealing with! As we age, niggles arise and or biology and centre of balance can change, so we need to be body aware, and re-asses ourselves as dancers as we progress.
Commitment and Payment:
Non-syllabus classes are generally a choice for adults of pay weekly or termly commitment (which includes a discount), whereas syllabus classes are generally only payable termly (given the nature of the development & commitment from both teacher and pupils). Please see the class timetable for details of days, times and teachers, as well as payment options.
For further information about styles, please see the info pages relating to the styles, even if they are linked to the children's classes, as these will give you the information you need to know.
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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