Brandon School of Dance is proud to be able to offer a wide range of dance styles to it’s students each year. Please take a moment to read about the various classes that we have to offer to see what style suits you best.
Parent and Me
Parent and Me is our fun-filled 30-minute dance class, perfect for boys and girls aged 18 months to 2 ½-years. Here, our next generation of budding dancers will be introduced to and guided through a variety of basic ballet movements, with the help of an accompanying adult (parent, guardian, grandparent, aunt, uncle, nanny, or caregiver). Our magical props and carefully curated music playlists are sure to capture any little one’s imagination, while also fostering their love for song and dance. With a careful balance of learning and play, our themed classes provide toddlers with a safe environment to develop their social and motor skills, confidence, reflexes, and attention span, all while facilitating interactions with other children their age. These classes are also a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together and make new friends. Parent and Me is the perfect stepping stone to introduce young ones to our studio and it paves the way for them to dance independently in our Tots on Tippy Toes classes later on. Registration is monthly as space allows.
Our Tots-on-Tippy-Toes classes are the perfect introduction to independent dance and are best suited to boys and girls ages 3 and 4. Young dancers are taught to follow directions and execute a sequence of basic ballet movements appropriate for their age and development. These will incorporate larger motor skills such as galloping, skipping, and marching. Through storytelling and make-believe, we also focus on further developing your little one’s rhythm, musicality, and coordination. From under the sea, to woodland creatures and fairy tales, our themed classes encourage creativity, self-expression, and confidence. Behind all the fun, students are also carefully prepared for a smooth transition into our Pre-Primary ballet classes. Here, they will be introduced to the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet syllabus for the first time. Registration is monthly as space allows.
Pre-Primary RAD Ballet
Pre-Primary ballet is the first level in the RAD syllabus and is designed for students in kindergarten (age 5+). Ballet at this level is slightly more structured and formal compared to our Tots-on-Tippy-Toes classes. Students are introduced to basic ballet positions and emphasis is placed on imagination-based learning. Short stories and themed movement sequences are used to help students grasp choreography. Props such as butterfly wings, scarves, feathers, and certain percussion instruments are also used. These 45-minute classes are a great starting point for students to further develop their listening skills, demonstrate movements with control and coordination, as well as perform basic steps with appropriate expression and spatial awareness. Pre-Primary RAD ballet provides a nurturing environment for students to grow in their artistry and musical appreciation.
Storybook Ballet and Dance
Storybook Ballet and Dance is a combination class for 3 and 4 year olds. The class is designed for the capabilities, creativity and imagination of 3 and 4 year olds. It is the beginning of introducing a more structured class while incorporating Pre-Ballet, Creative Dance and Primary Tap. In class we use many of their favourite songs and moves and it is the introduction of early dance steps and skills including skipping, galloping, hopping on one foot and two, improving gross motor co-ordination. In the Tap portion of the class students experience the sounds and rhythms of tap and learn basic tap steps, shuffles, shuffle step, boogie woogies, gallops and more. This class runs all year and requires pink ballet slippers and beige tap shoes. It’s the perfect class for 3 and 4 year olds to experience dance in it’s various forms.
First Steps is Combination Class for 5 and 6 year olds. It gives students already eager to learn the opportunity to take not just one style of dance but 3. This class exposes students to Grade 1 Tap, Primary Ballet and Pre-Jazz. The class is divided into 3 modules with one dance style taught in each. Primary Ballet is the first gentle introduction to classical ballet. Tap is fun for both the feet and the mind and Pre-Jazz exposes them to more current music and styles and music that spans the the 20th Century. This is the perfect class to experience three classes in one, learning the basics of each.
Little Stars is a Combination Class for 7 – 9 year olds. Similar to First Steps, it includes Tap and Jazz and challenges the student in learning 2 styles of dance with Ballet now a separate class. Students learn more intricate steps and work on developing their technique and knowledge of dance. Continuing progression, muscle development and muscle memory, will strengthen their technique and skills. Students can move from Little Stars into separate classes in Tap and Jazz.
Primary RAD Ballet
Primary ballet is suitable for students in Grade 1 at school (age 6+). Building on the fundamental concepts taught in Pre-Primary, students are introduced to a new set of slightly more complex ballet steps and movement combinations. During our 45-minute classes, students are encouraged to execute floor patterns with a sound understanding of transference of weight and taught to move with increased coordination and control. Primary RAD ballet is essential for fostering the knowledge and technique necessary for graded RAD ballet levels. For the first time in their ballet journey, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a RAD class award. Here they can showcase their ballet technique and skills in front of an official external RAD examiner. The award is an informal assessment on the content of the Primary RAD ballet set syllabus and the class teacher will accompany the students for the duration of the session.
Graded RAD Examinations and Class Awards
From Grade 1 ballet onwards, students are able to take RAD examinations and awards. Participation in examinations is not compulsory and there is the option to rather do an award, where the class teacher is present during the assessment. The RAD class award is based on the same material as the RAD examination, but is assessed in a slightly more informal manner. Students will be required to perform both a set classical and character solo for the examination, while class awards only include a single solo. Taking RAD examinations and participating in awards are strongly encouraged, as they promote self-discipline and dedication in taking the time to practice the syllabus work outside of designated class time. Students who wish to participate in RAD examinations are required to attend two ballet classes per week.
RAD LEVEL 1
Grade 1 RAD Ballet
Grade 1 ballet is suitable for students in Grade 2 at school (age 7+). Prior to enrolling at this level, students are recommended to have trained in RAD Primary ballet or equivalent, for at least one year. Grade 1 marks the start of more formal technical ballet training, with a greater emphasis on learning basic ballet vocabulary. Our 60-minute classes introduce students to jump steps (e.g., sautés, petit jetés, and spring points) and character work for the first time. Students are also taught to execute controlled landings and demonstrate a basic level of expression, audience communication, and projection, all while building on the foundational work learned in Primary RAD ballet.
Grade 2 RAD Ballet
Grade 2 ballet is designed for students in Grade 3 at school (age 8+). It is recommended that students at this level should have completed at least one year of RAD Grade 1 ballet, or equivalent. Our 60-minute classes will introduce students to formal barre and centre work. Building on the vocabulary learned in Grade 1, students are also exposed to exercises that require an increased level of balance, transference of weight, and jump combinations (e.g., echappés sautés and soubresauts).
Grade 3 Ballet
Grade 3 ballet is suitable for students in Grade 4 at school (age 9+). Before enrolling at this level, students are required to have trained in Grade 2 RAD ballet or equivalent, for at least one year. During our hour-long classes, students will work towards demonstrating a sound knowledge of basic ballet vocabulary and will be exposed to new steps and terminology (e.g., battements glissés, battements fondus, and développés), at the barre. Centre work now includes ronds de jambe à terre and adage. Building on the syllabus work covered in RAD Grade 2, students are exposed to more complex and technical combinations in their jump and turn exercises. Students must be taking a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week to be eligible for competitions and festivals. (with the exception of the Brandon and Rolling River Festivals)
RAD LEVEL 2
Grade 4 Ballet
RAD Grade 4 ballet is suitable for students in Grade 5 at school (age 10+). Students who wish to enroll at this level are recommended to have completed at least one year of the Grade 3 RAD syllabus, or equivalent. The syllabus for Grade 4 is carefully designed to expand on the fundamental concepts introduced in Pre-Primary, Primary, and Grade 1 to 3 ballet. Our 60-minute classes at this level promote the demonstration of secure posture and correct weight placement during the execution of more complex ballet movements that require accurate alignment of the body, well-stretched legs, and articulated footwork. Focus is also placed on the correct use of the supporting leg and placement of the working leg, especially in pirouettes and adage. Students must be taking a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week to be eligible for competitions and festivals. (with the exception of the Brandon and Rolling River Festivals)
Grade 5 Ballet
Grade 5 RAD ballet is most appropriate for students in Grade 6 at school (age 11+). Students who wish to enroll at this level are recommended to have completed at least one year of the Grade 4 RAD syllabus, or equivalent. The knowledge and skills gained from our 90-minute lessons and completing Grade 5 RAD ballet prepares students for more advanced vocational grades. These include Discovering Repertoire, Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced RAD ballet. At this level, our students are introduced to a pre-pointe programme for the first time. A minimum of 3 years of ballet training is recommended for students to develop the necessary physical and emotional maturity, strength, and proprioception for dancing en pointe. Coupled with completing the pre-pointe programme, this will ensure that students are ready to safely transition to this new ballet technique and milestone. It is important to note that pointe work is not examinable in RAD Grade 5 and is only assessed from Intermediate Foundation level onwards. Students must be taking a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week to be eligible for competitions and festivals. (with the exception of the Brandon and Rolling River Festivals)
Progressing Ballet Techniques
Beginner, Junior and Senior Levels
Progressing Ballet Technique is a program especially designed for students to understand the importance of training muscle memory to achieve their personal best in classical ballet. When regularly practiced, this program has had outstanding success. The use of muscle memory greatly improves students understanding of core stability, weight placement and alignment. It can sometimes be difficult for students to feel which muscles initiate the correct alignment in ballet training. However, as the stability ball is continually mobile under the student’s body it gives the student a sense of posture and weight-placement, whilst feeling each correct muscle group. Each exercise has been developed with care and guidance. The programs have received positive feedback from students and teachers worldwide and are currently practiced in 40 countries.
The Brandon School of Dance prides itself in staying abreast of current training programs worldwide and we strive to help our students to achieve their personal best in ballet and dance training. This program will be incorporated into our dance program for the new 2023 – 2024 season.
Vocational Graded RAD Examinations
These RAD ballet levels and examinations are specifically recommended for those who wish to one day pursue a career in the performing arts and classical ballet, or who are interested in becoming a dance teacher. Vocational RAD graded exams allows for a more in-depth study of ballet and introduces pointe work in RAD examinations for female dancers. From this level onwards, character work is no longer part of the RAD examination syllabus.
VOCATIONAL RAD BALLET GRADES
Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate RAD Ballet
There are 2 levels in Intermediate RAD ballet: Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate. Intermediate Foundation is suitable for students aged 12 and up, who have passed their Grade 5 RAD ballet examination. Those who have completed Intermediate Foundation and are 14 years or older, may then enroll in Intermediate. These levels require students to have a strong technical foundation in ballet. For this reason, students who wish to enroll at this level need to have had at least 3 to 4 years of formal ballet training. These ballet levels are technically demanding and call for a high degree of physical fitness, and a secure sense of artistry, musicality, and critical thinking. A well-developed sense of theatre, interpretation of music, and dynamics of movement are paramount to excelling at these levels. Each level requires 12 to 18 months of dedicated study to complete and is a prerequisite to progress onto Advanced RAD ballet.
Advanced RAD Ballet
There are 3 levels of Advanced RAD ballet: Advanced Foundation (which is a transition from Intermediate), Advanced 1, and Advanced 2. Passing the Intermediate RAD ballet exam is a prerequisite to enrolling in Advanced Foundation. The Advanced ballet syllabi require female students to perform all exam solos en pointe. Each of these 3 levels takes 18 to 24 months of intense study to complete. Successful completion of the Advanced RAD examinations is often a prerequisite for enrolment at many college and university dance programs, or to be considered as a candidate for entry into vocational dance schools.
Our adult ballet classes are open to anyone looking to have fun while increasing their fitness levels, toning their muscles, or improving posture. Here, you can meet new people in an active environment that is sure to improve your endurance and strength. These hour-long classes are perfect for beginners, as well as those who have done ballet in the past and are wanting to reignite their passion for dance and music. We strongly believe that it is never too late to start or restart ballet training! Please note that there is no set dress code. We encourage you to wear whatever you are most comfortable in, whether this is full ballet attire, or simply a t-shirt and leggings. Should you not yet have your own pair of ballet shoes, you are welcome to dance in socks. We offer classes in the mornings and evenings, allowing you the opportunity to take time for yourself and make ballet part of your weekly schedule.
Senior Swans Ballet
These low-impact yet traditional ballet classes are specifically designed for adults in our community over the age of 55. Senior Swans is a great way to improve coordination, mobility, balance, posture, and energy levels. We welcome beginners as well as those who have danced previously. Class exercises will also include gentle stretching and creative movement. There is no set dress code and we encourage you to wear whatever you are most comfortable in. Should you not yet have your own pair of ballet shoes, you are welcome to dance in socks. Classes are offered two mornings a week and are sure to be a fun and rewarding way to meet new people who share your love for music, movement and dance.
Acro dance is a blend of dance and gymnastics focusing on strength, flexibility and tumbling. Through time and progressions, dancers will be able to achieve skills safely and be able to perform them on the floor in routines. Acro students should be taking a jazz class. Acro students may take exams from Level 1 onwards.
Jazz classes are for students 7 years of age and up. Jazz dance emphasizes individual style, expression and improvisation as noted in the many dancers today. Jazz technique develops flexibility and co-ordination of the total body. Explore different jazz styles, rhythms and techniques in this energetic, fun, quick tempo dance discipline.
Lyrical classes are for students 7 years of age and up. Lyrical is a specific style of jazz performed to slower lyrical music or a classic ballad. It is a jazz style with more interpretive and emotional elements; it also incorporates elements of ballet and modern. Students in Lyrical must be taking a minimum of one ballet class and one jazz class per week.
Flamenco classes are for students 7 years of age and up. Flamenco dance (baile) is a highly expressive, and passionate Spanish dance form involving hand clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate hand, arm and body movements. Students learn to express themselves with dramatic movements and skillful footwork as they come to understand the exciting rhythms and soulful songs of gypsy music. Flamenco offers a rich experience of discovery, challenge and development.
Bollywood is the mixture of dances running in Indian provinces and mainly shown in Indian movies. It contains many forms itself which need different body languages. Learning Bollywood is fun and relaxing for an individual.
Tap classes are for students 4 years of age and up. Tap dance is a great way for dancers to develop their musicality, sense of rhythm, and style. Classes are upbeat and energetic, and focus on building individual dancers’ fundamentals as well as group precision. In no time students will be amazed with how fast their feet can fly!
Modern dance is an abstract form of ballet based on Martha Graham. Horton and Limoncello techniques
Contemporary dance is an expressive style of dance developed during the 20th century and combines aspects of movements from several other genres such as jazz, modern, lyrical and classical ballet. Unlike other traditional dance forms, contemporary is not bound by much rigidity and rules. This is achieved by focusing on certain techniques, such as strong ballet-influenced leg movements, fall and recovery, floor work and further improvisational elements. Contemporary dance is usually performed barefoot to allow for more fluidity in movement and connection to the dance surface. One of the most important aspects of contemporary dance is the element of improvisation, which encourages self-expression, natural movement, fluidity and personal interpretation.
This class is suitable for students aged 10 and up who are training at Ballet Grade 3 level and higher. Highlighting the pioneering modern artists of the 20th century, students will be exposed artists such as Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, José Limón and Lester Horton. Students will be introduced to the basic principles and fundamentals of contemporary dance and improvisation. Ballet training is a prerequisite for Contemporary students.
Senior Contemporary is for students from Intermediate Ballet level and up. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals and principles of contemporary dance, drawing on influences from Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins and Robert Cohan. Focus is placed on fall and recovery, spirals, breath, contraction etc. and classes include floor work, standing work and moving across the floor. Improvisation forms part of the training, which teaches dancers to achieve creative freedom to perform choreography with their own interpretation. Ballet training is a prerequisite for Contemporary students.
Hip Hop classes are offered to ages 6 and up. The classes incorporate elements of modern Hip Hop, Dancehall, and Reggaeton. The focus of Hip Hop classes is to develop rhythm and strength in all movements as well as creative improvisation. It is also important to develop a strong group dynamic and create an environment of teamwork.
Adult Exercise Class
Exercise Class will be a combination of stretches at the barre, isolation exercises, STOTT Pilates® and yoga. It will be geared towards building core strength and improving flexibility. People interested in this class should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner Belly Dance Workout
This is a class for everyone! It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, young, old, rhythmic or have two left feet! Everyone can belly dance. Beginner belly dance will focus on teaching technique and drilling what we’ve learned. Each week there will be more moves added to your dance vocabulary and you will get a good workout while at the same time. All levels welcome.
Zumba® is Perfect For: Everybody and every body! Each Zumba® class is designed to bring people together to sweat it on.
How It Works: We take the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Check and check.
Benefits: A total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class.