We follow the Royal Academy of Dance syllabi for our ballet lessons. This syllabus is split between Graded and Vocational Graded Examinations.


Pre-School- (Ages 2 ½ -4)

The Pre-School Dance Curriculum develops basic movement skills, musical awareness, expression and creativity. Themed classes incorporating props encourage class participation, focus and confidence that prepare students for entry to the Pre-Primary in Dance syllabus.

The Graded Syllabus

(Pre-Primary in Dance, Primary in Dance and Grades 1 – 8) provides a broad practical dance education and develops technical, musical and performance skills. The syllabus incorporates ballet, free movement and character.


The Vocational Graded Examinations

Pointe Work Classes - (Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2) provides an in-depth study of ballet and prepare students for a career in dance. The syllabus develops technique, music and performance skills and introduces pointe work for female candidates.

There are strict age guidelines set by the Academy to ensure safe dance practice. Candidates must have reached the following minimum age by:

  • 1 January (for exam sessions taking place between January and August); or

  • 1 September (for exam sessions taking place between September and December), in the year the exam takes place:

Pre-Primary in Dance - min age 5

Primary in Dance - min age 6

Grades 1-5 - min age 7

Grades 6-8 - min age 11

Intermediate Foundation - min age 11

Intermediate - min age 12

Advanced Foundation - min age 13

Advanced - min age 14


Advanced 2 - min age 15

Solo Seal Award - min age 15

The Academy also recommends that candidates study each grade for a minimum of 70 hours before being put forward for an examination.


For more information please see the Academy’s website



Pre-Primary and Primary

Pre-Primary in Dance and Primary in Dance are the introductory levels of the RAD’s Graded Examination Syllabus.

Pre-Primary in Dance and Primary in Dance develop the students’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles.This strong foundation prepares students for a successful transition to ballet and other dance genres at higher levels.

These levels are appropriate for students between the ages of five and eight years.

The Graded Examinations in Dance Syllabus consists of three dance disciplines:

  • Ballet - the foundation and the most important part of the syllabus

  • Free Movement - it has been influenced by and incorporates movements in common with other dance styles such as Natural Movement, Contemporary and Classical Greek Dance.

  • Character - the theatrical presentation of national dance using original ethnic dance and music which has been freely adapted for the theatre. The three styles — Hungarian, Russian and Polish — were selected because of their historic importance in the development of the nineteenth century full-length classical ballets.

Grade 1-3 (Level 1)

The Grades 1 to 3 syllabi is designed to encourage the development of an appropriate and sound technique. Through studying the syllabi and taking the examination candidates will develop secure technique through

  • Core stability

  • Weight placement

  • Turnout and line

The candidate's awareness of artistry and dynamics is also recognised and rewarded through the examination.

Grade 4-5 (Level 2)

The Grades 4 to 5 syllabi is designed to hone, improve and develop the skills and technique learnt in the previous grades. There is a higher emphasis on artistry, dynamics and performance for these examinations.

Grade 6-8 (Level 3)

The Grades 6 to 8 syllabi is designed to demonstrate strong technique, knowledge, musicality, and artistry.

Following on from Grades 4-5, the knowledge and skills gained through successful completion of these qualifications provide a basis for progression to further personal development, lifelong learning and further and higher education opportunities. Grades 6-8 are accepted as benchmarks of achievement by vocational schools, universities and other HE institutions.