Children start Ballet with us at the age of 3 years and can be selected to start taking exams/assessments from Pre-Primary level around 5-6 years. A student does not have to be the next Prima Ballerina to gain all the benefits that ballet has to offer. It is also an essential subject for maintaining core elements and a good foundation to all other dance subjects and is crucial in developing all round skills. Students who learn ballet have proved to have generally attained higher standards in Tap, Jazz, Modern and other forms of dance. Here at Hertsmere Academy we study the Royal Academy of Dance examination work but also teach ISTD Imperial during Free Classes. From Grade 1, students taking exams receive Government recognised qualifications and UCAS points... Please view our Examination page for more information.
Preparation Stage – Foundation Stage - Pre-Primary
For these levels the Royal Academy of Dance have conducted scientific researched with top leading universities in their field to understand what the achievements are both physically & mentally for a child of these ages. So work has been specifically designed to improve creativity, musicality / rhythm, co-ordination and balance in a fun and creative way. It nurtures and inspires students to learn simple Ballet skills and movements, gain spatial awareness through make believe, song and mime. At this age, a class is structured to be UNISEX and is an excellent introduction to dance.
Primary and Standard/Assessment Examinations
We now start to teach set syllabus work but still retaining a certain amount of free movement to ensure a good balance of skills. These classes are an essential foundation for development in creativity, musicality, performance/acting skills, strength & flexibility. A basic vocabulary of the ballet terminology is now required enabling pupils to progress into the grades with ease. Assessments can be taken at any level for a student who may need more time to accomplish skills or only attends one class per week.
Grades 1 - 5
Grades are structured and technically demanding. Regular absences at this level lead to students not attaining the standards required to pass examinations. Character work will be introduced at Grade 1 with Grade 5 being the level to attain if a student wishes to be assessed for Pointe work. By following a sound curriculum the students will methodically progress and be guided through the demanding classical discipline. Pupils are aiming to develop strength, flexibility, correct body alignment and grace. A commitment of two ballet classes per week will be needed on the lead up to exams.
Grades 6 - 8 & Vocational Grades for Professional Levels
A Commitment of at least two classes is necessary. Some students find Classical Ballet at this level too demanding, so it is advised for students to study other dance styles to help. This level is essential for the entry preparation for full time training and
audition techniques will be taught using a mixture of Imperial ballet & RAD freework to help develop knowledge, musical appreciation and the freedom of interpretation.
(Vocational Grade are Professional Levels made up of Intermediate and Advanced to name a few and are for those looking at full time training).
'I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hertsmere Academy and have fond memories of the fun and enjoyable classes, as well as the exciting show productions. Chahna Morgan taught me Ballet for 12 years and I couldn’t have wished for a more dedicated, enthusiastic and professional teacher.
She was always challenging us to be our absolute best and this was reflected in the excellent exam results achieved by her classes. My love for Ballet comes from the amazing teaching provided by Chahna, and her supportive nature ensures all students are encouraged to never give up.
My Ballet lessons also taught me invaluable life skills such as perseverance, resilience and patience, which I have taken forward with me during my time away at university. I feel extremely lucky to have been part of such an incredible school and to have been taught by Chahna, who is an incredibly talented dancer and teacher. I will forever remember my time at Hertsmere Academy with fondness and a smile'. - Aimee Kent
'My daughter fell in love with ballet at the age of 3 from the first class she attended at Hertsmere Performing Arts. For the following 6 years she did ballet, tap and musical theatre and thrived under the close attention she received from her teachers. She took part in a some great shows and took exams both in ballet and tap. She loved coming to the classes and got a great foundation from an early age in ballet. She only left the ballet school due to a move abroad where she is continuing with ballet. I would highly recommend Hertsmere Academy' - Suzanne Yantin