About our program

About our Ballet Program

At Dance Central, we follow the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus — one of the most highly respected and accredited teaching and examination programs in the world. This syllabus provides structure for our students, and develops technical, musical and performance skills. We follow this ballet syllabus whether our students are dancing recreationally or pursuing a graded pathway.

Dance Central hosts classes from pre-primary right through to the vocational grades, and regularly works with the esteemed Sandra Griffin in preparation for RAD Exams and Class Awards.

Types of ballet classes

Types of ballet classes we offer

  1. Recreational: Perfect for students who love ballet but are not looking to pursue ballet grading or work towards a dance career. Students take 1 or 2 classes a week with no exam.
  2. Graded: Students who pursue a graded pathway sit for class awards or exams. Perfect for students who wish to take ballet more seriously and even pursue a career in dance.

What class should I take?

Each new student is placed according to their age and experience and is further assessed in class to ensure they are taking the right grade for them.

View our Grading table for summary of the grades we offer, prerequisite experience, and what you can expect throughout the year.


What to expect in your class

Here’s what to expect in a typical dance calendar year for our ballet students.

Pre-primary, primary, and Grade 1

These are the critical stages for laying the foundation of their ballet skills.

Our students don’t only work hard on their syllabus; they also work towards our annual End of Year Show. The Show is always such an exciting and unforgettable time for our young students as they learn what it means to be part of a big production and perform in a theatre.

Grades 2 to Vocational (Recreational)

At Dance Central, we understand that the Class Award’s and Examination’s aren’t for everyone. Ballet students who prefer not to sit for exams will be given the choice to attend one or two classes a week in their grade.

The ballet teacher will assess those students during class time the week before the scheduled exams and will advise them if they are ready to move up into the next grade.

Students also have the option to enrol in our additional Performance Class, outlined below.

Grades 2 to Vocational (Graded pathway)

Ballet classes from Grade 2 and above dedicate their entire class time to building technique, working on learning new skills, and focusing on syllabus work so students are prepared for the Class Award or Exam.

Students have the option to enrol into a ‘Performance Class’. Please see ‘Optional Additional Classes’ below for further details.

Participation in the Show comes with a small show levy fee, costume fee and associated costs such as tickets for family. Please visit our End of Year Show page for more details.

Ballet uniform

Ballet uniform

Dance Central sets strict specifications for their exams in everything — from technique, right down to the colour of the leotards.

For this reason, and to foster an atmosphere of community and discipline, we have put together a complete attire guide which outlines the suggested and required elements of students’ outfits and hair while taking Ballet.

Please reference this to ensure you purchase the correct attire for your Grade.

View our complete guide (PDF).

End of Term Reports

End-of-Term Reports

Students will each receive an end-of-term report. This allows for students to hear what their strengths and areas of improvement are. It also ensures each individual receives the guidance and encouragement from their teacher.

The term reports will be handed out at the following points of the year.

  • Term 1: Grade 1 and above
  • Term 2: Grade 1 and above
  • Term 4: Grades from pre-primary and above

Presentations, Class Awards, Exams

Ballet Presentations, Class Awards, and Exams

Presentations — Pre-primary, Primary, and Grade 1

At the end of the year, students in pre-primary, primary and Grade 1 will present their classwork to parents and the Ballet Division Coordinator at Dance Central.

This will normally be held on the Sunday of Week 8 in Term 4. It’s a great opportunity to show off all their hard work, receive a certificate, and be given some guidance on which Ballet class they should enrol into the following year.

A small fee will be added for this process.

Class Awards — Grades 2 to 6 (Graded pathway)

The Class Award is a confidence-building, supported form of the Examination.

The RAD allow up to eight students to enter at a time where they will present to an external Examiner fewer exercises from the syllabus compared to the Exam. This presentation is marked less formally and the students’ teacher is present to offer support and assistance when needed. Students will receive a mark and certificate and will move up to the next grade.

This is a fantastic option for those students who may have missed multiple classes, can’t attend the 2 offered ballet classes a week, or who suffer anxiety associated with Exams.

This class award comes with a commitment to a weekend workshop with Miss Sandra Griffin in Terms 1, 2 and 4 and attendance to the Intensive held during the first week of the Winter Holidays.

Please note that additional fees come along with participating in the Class Award, extra rehearsals and intensive.

Exams — Grades 2 to Vocational (Graded pathway)

In the exam, students present all their syllabus exercises and dances to an external examiner under test conditions. The RAD allow up to four students in at one time and the students’ teacher will not be present. Students receive a mark and certificate and will move up to the next grade.

Students who wish to enter an RAD exam will be required to attend two or more Ballet classes a week of their grade.

This also comes with a commitment to attend a weekend workshop with Miss Sandra Griffin in Terms 1, 2 and 4 and the July Intensive held during the first week of the Winter Holidays.

Please see our table outlining specifications for each grade.

Please note that additional fees come along with participating in the Exam, extra rehearsals and intensive.


How we decide if a student is ready for Class Award or Exam

The final decision is made by the student’s teacher and Miss Sandra Griffin. Those who have missed multiple classes, workshops or the intensives due to injury, illness and unavoidable absences may be given the Class Award option or asked to sit out that year.

We do this to avoid pressuring any student into an examination situation if they are not fully prepared and may not enjoy themselves or present their work to the best of their ability.

Optional Additional Classes

Optional Additional Classes

Performance Classes — Grades 2 and above

We love giving students opportunities to perform wherever we can. For students who’d love a chance to perform a ballet routine on stage, we offer a part-year Ballet Performance class held on Saturdays during Term 3 and up until the Show.

Students will be grouped with those of a similar age and grade and will work towards this ballet routine, separate from their graded ballet class.

Pointe Classes

Pointe is a goal that many young ballet dancers aspire to achieve, however it requires strong technique, superior ankle strength and mobility.

Once students have met the strength and technical requirements, their teacher will invite them to start the process to progress onto pointe and this can happen as early as 12 years of age.

Here are the prerequisites that we consider before allowing a student to go on pointe:

  • 12 years of age or older
  • Extensive Ballet experience (several years)
  • Attendance of two 1.5 hour Ballet classes per week
  • Attendance of a strength and conditioning class
    • This class will build the core, leg, foot, and ankle strength needed for Pointe, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Successful completion of a Pointe Assessment with a specialised dance physiotherapist.

Strength and Conditioning Classes 

A highly recommended class for dancers wishing to take their dancing further and want to be given the opportunity of starting pointe in the future.

It will ensure dancers are working safely and more efficiently, and strengthening the appropriate muscles needed in ballet and on pointe. It also creates better body awareness and that will help dancers manage and decrease the risk of future injuries.

This class is compulsory for all students who are taking pointe class.