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Frequently Asked Questions

Can boys come to your dance classes too?

YES!!!! We’d love to have more boys at the school. Doing dance develops strength, balance and co-ordination, listening skills, teamwork and resilience. All good qualities for any child!

 

What should my child wear?

We have a preferred uniform. All pupils will require a leotard. The colour and style will depend on your child’s level (known as a ‘grade’). Some grades wear wrap style skirts and grade 1-8 ballet also need Character skirt and shoes (more on ‘Character’ below!) Ballet shoes and socks/tights can match your child’s skin colour and black tap shoes are preferred. Further details are on our website or ask at the studios.

 

How should my child have their hair?

We prefer our dancers to take pride in their appearance, including their hair. Ballet dancers always wear their hair up off their neck so we ask that any long hair gets put into a bun or plaits crossed over the head. We sell packs of hair bands, nets, pins and grips at the studio and can help show you how to do a quick bun in no time at all!

 

I’m an adult dancer – do I need to wear the uniform too?

No. Adults can wear anything they are comfortable in!

 

Where can I buy the uniform?

We have most items of uniform for sale at the studios now. You are also free to purchase uniform yourself. We have an arrangement with the dance shop ‘Simply Dance’ in Warwick where we get 10% off as a school.

 

Can we wear second hand uniform?

Yes! We have boxes at the studio where you can buy second hand shoes, or you can swap your childs shoes that are too small for a larger size from the same box. We sometimes have a second-hand clothing drive and we have a Facebook group where sometimes parents offer second hand items.

 

Can we watch our childs lessons?

Parents/Carers are invited to watch lessons in the last week of term. We call this ‘watching week’.

 

How do we pay for classes?

When you enrol, we will ask you to set up a direct debit to pay for your trial and any subsequent fees. We send invoices at the start of each term. The price per term will depend on the number of weeks in the term. Invoices can be paid termly or can be split into monthly instalments by prior arrangement. (This monthly cost will also vary depending on the length of the term). Fees will be collected using your direct debit. You will have plenty of warning and can cancel the direct debit at any time.

 

How are the grades (or levels) structured?

-       We start the youngest children off in our Pre-School classes. When children start school age 4 they move to Pre-Primary. They can take exams from Pre-Primary upwards however exams are never compulsory. The grade structure is as follows:

-       Pre-Primary

-       Primary

-       Grades 1 – 8

Once a child reaches grade 3 they will be given the opportunity to develop their ballet by attending an extra pre-vocational or a vocational class. Vocational training is for dancers who want to take their dancing a bit more seriously and want to build up strength to take examinations at intermediate and advanced levels (including pointe work).

 

What is ‘Character’ dance?

- From grade 1 ballet upwards, students learn some dances based on traditional National dances from other countries. This is because the big classical ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppélia have theatrical versions of dance from many different countries such as Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czechia and more.

 

What is the difference between RAD and ISTD?

The Royal Academy of Dance and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing are both organisations that train dance teachers, and provide a range of exams and awards for dancers from age 5. We follow the RAD system of training and exams for ballet, and the ISTD system for modern and tap.

 

Do you do exams?

We offer exams and class awards, as well as in-house rosettes and medals. Exams are never compulsory however some parents like the opportunity for their child to experience the chance to show an examiner what they have learned. We believe that preparing for, and taking a dance award/exam in front of a visitor prepares children for future exams/interviews and gives them a sense of achievement and pride.

 

What is the difference between an exam and a class award?

The RAD offer class awards in ballet as well as exams. Class awards are like an exam but are led by the teacher, in front of an examiner. The children are not marked out of 100, therefore they won’t be given a ‘grade’ such as pass/merit/distinction. They will still be awarded a certificate and a badge and be given some brief feedback about their performance. Exams are only offered to children who attend two or more ballet classes per week, because they require lots more work. Children enter the exam studio without their teacher and must remember all of their work, and perform it confidently and with ease. They are assessed by an examiner, marked out of 100 and if they get over 40 they will pass. Over 55 is a pass with merit, and over 75 is a pass with distinction (for ballet – it’s 80 for modern and tap!).

 

How often will pupils take an exam? Or at what (roughly) ages?

-       The first award/exam in front of a visiting examiner can be taken at 5 years old. However, it is up to the teacher to decide whether the children are ready for the exam, and we only hold exams at certain times of the year.

-       Assuming a child is 6-7 when they move from Primary into grade 1, they will most likely move to grade 2 at age 8-9 and then move to grade 3 by 10-11. This progression will be quicker if the child attends more than one ballet class per week.

 

Do pupils have to do the exam to move grades?

No. But children only move up to the next grade when their teacher says that they are ready. They can do a class award if they don’t want to do a graded exam.

 

What are the costs for an exam?There is an entry fee which is set by the examination bodies. Their fees are published online. We add a small amount onto this to cover the costs associated with running an exam day.

 

How should I do my childs hair for an exam?

There is a section on our website with a couple of very helpful videos showing our main exam hairstyles. However there are always people on hand at exam days to help you with this.

 

What are Dance Festivals?

Festivals are competitions where dancers from different dance schools perform solos, duets, trios and group dances in lots of different dance styles on a stage in front of an audience and an adjudicator. They are given a mark out of 100 for their performance and can win medals for 1st-4th place. Trophies are awarded at the end of the festival for dancers who win with very high marks.

 

Who gets to do festivals?

Any student who shows commitment and works well in classes can be invited to do festivals. If they want to perform solos, they will need weekly private lessons.

 

What are the commitments involved with festivals?

Attendance at weekly sessions where the dances are choreographed and rehearsed. If solos are done, you will also need to attend a weekly private lesson. Then you will need to attend the competition day itself. These are either in Coventry or Rugby.

 

How can we help foster and encourage a love of dance at home?

-       Exposing your child to anything and everything to do with dance and music will help. Books, videos, games, toys, television programmes etc are all great especially if you show an interest too. Of course, nothing beats a trip to the theatre for the full experience!

-       Dancing with your child (in any way) is a wonderful way to enjoy dance together.

-       Ask your child what they did in their dance class, what bit they liked the most and what they found hard and then spend some time doing both their favourite and hardest things with them.

-       If your child is preparing for an exam, try to get a copy of the music and/or video (we have a special website where you can access these) and encourage them to practice at home.

 

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07561 728175

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