Gerenal questions, exam questions, show questions
Q: I am an 11 / 14 / 16 year old beginner, and want to start ballet, modern or tap dancing. Can I start in the same class as my friend who has been attending since she was 4 years old?
A: No. You cannot join straight into a high grade from a beginners. The lower grades are the foundations and the building blocks of your dance technique. Without these foundations the correct techniques will never be achieved, and you will be unable to learn or progress. You will need to start at grade 1 or 2 level with younger students and work your way up to through the grades. You cannot catch up on 10 years worth of dance training in a matter of weeks or months. It will take hard work, dedication, practice and commitment and you must be willing to start with younger students at a beginners level.
Q: How long is the waiting list?
A: There is no set time on the waiting list, as it all depends on children leaving the class, or children being able to move up into a higher level which then creates spaces below. When a space becomes available in a class, a number of things will then be considered.
Are they a new student, and how long the childs name has been down on the list.
Are they a member of another dance school or group, which may create a conflict of interest when it comes to show and exam times
Has the child been a member of the school previously, left, and now wants to return
For current students at the school, wishing to take additional classes:
Their behaviour and attitude in other classes
Will they benefit from taking additional classes and will they work well with the other children in the class
After taking all of these things into consideration I will then decide on who will be offered the space in the class.
Q: What is the criteria to join the Seniors and Juniors show group?
A: There are a number of different criteria, and now that the school is growing and standards are soaring, the criteria for the show squads will be even tighter
Ballet! Ballet is the foundation to all dance technique and children who have been studying ballet from a young age will have developed their technique, control, alignment
Modern! Modern is another style of dance which is focused on technique, posture, alignment, control, strength, musicality. A combination of modern and ballet will give students the best chance of achieving the high standard required to be invited into the seniors and juniors classes.
Attendance. You must have a good level of attendance to be considered. Students who regularly miss classes are unable to catch up on the work they miss.
The ability to pick up choregraphy quickly. As time is limited during class I will often teach big chunks of choreogrphy in a short space of time, so students need to have the ability to learn quickly and retain information from one class to the next.
Flexibility and strength. Although we stretch in class, once a week is often not enough to achieve the level of flexibility required for splits, high kicks, leaps etc used within the dances. Stretching can be practiced at home
After taking all of these things into consideration I will then decide who will be offered the space in the show squads.
Q: Do I have to do the exams
A: No the exams are entirely optional. Although you do have to be at the exam standard to be able to move up into the next level.
From grade 6 onwards you can clain UCAS points to go towards you university applications. If you have previously chosen not to take the exams but have been ready to move up, Grade 6 cannot be your first exam. You will need to have taken at least one exam previously so that you are used to the exam environment and exam etiquette.
Q: How long does it take between each exam
A: In ballet we will normally spend around 2 years on each grade up until grade 2. Spending a longer amount of time on the lower grades ensures that children have achieved the correct technique required for the next levels and builds stronger, more technical dancers. Then from grade 3 onwards, as children have developped strong understanding and technique levels they move ahead a lot quicker and will take their exams every 1 years - 18 months. Of course this does occasionally vary with children sometimes being moved ahead earlier or staying behind a little longer depending on individual ability.
Q: Do I have to be ready for the exam to move up into the next class?
A: Yes. If you haven't yet acheived what is required for grade 2 level, then you will be unable to achieve what is required in grade 3.
Q: Do I have to take part in the show
A: No. The show is optional, but please let us know as soon as possible if you don't wish to take part so that you are not included in the choreography.
Q: Do I have to take part in both days of the show or can I just do the 1 day?
A: Pre Primary ballet and mini pop stars classes take part on 1 day each. All other classes take part in both days. If you are Grade 1 level or above and are unable to perform on both days then you will be unable to take part in the show. Our choreogrphy and patterns are complex and children work throughout the year on the show dances. If you only take part on one day then it will leave holes and gaps in the dances, which is unfair on the remainder of the class who have worked so hard over the year to perfect their routines.