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Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and Examinations

For children five years and above, we offer the internationally recognised Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus.

Working towards examinations gives pupils something to strive for as well as a sense of achievement.


About the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a leading International dance examination board specialising in Classical Ballet. This Academy was established in London, England in 1920 and received its Royal Charter in 1936. HM Queen Elizabeth II is currently the Royal patron of the RAD and Dame Antoinette Sibley has served as President since 1991.

The RAD was initially formed with the objective to improve the standard of Classical Ballet training in the UK and a method of ballet technique was devised for the Academy by a group of eminent European dancers. This method has become one of the most widely used in the world and has led to the RAD becoming a leading dance education and training organisation, with over 13,000 members, operating in 79 countries Worldwide. The examination syllabus is taught to more than a quarter of a million students worldwide.


Graded Examination Syllabus

The Graded Examination Syllabus consists of 10 grades, each incorporating classical ballet, free movement and character dance. The syllabus is devised to progress in difficulty from one grade to the next and a student studying the grades in sequence would be expected to develop a greater degree of dance technique at each level.


Classical Ballet is one of the most widespread dance forms in the world. Originating in the Italian royal courts of the Renaissance period, over hundreds of years it has been developed into a highly technical dance form. Ballet is the foundation of the RAD's work and is the most important part of the Graded Syllabi.


Free Movement is the term applied to movement from dance styles such as natural movement, contemporary and Classical Greek dance. Free movement does not have to include codified dance vocabulary and is usually an improvisation based on the students interpretation of a piece of music or stimulus.


Character Dance is an integral part of classical ballet repertoire. It is the stylised representation of a traditional folk dance, normally from a European country and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theatre. The RAD syllabus uses character dances based on Hungarian, Russian and Polish folk dance.


Students who have studied a complete grade from the syllabus will normally take an examination organised by their dance teacher and held at the teachers studio or RAD Headquarters. In the examination, the students perform the relevant grade work for an RAD examiner, who assesses the artistic and technical execution of the grade.


As a syllabus devised specifically with children in mind, examinations are not compulsory. The entry level of a new student is decided by the dance teacher based upon the child’s age, natural ability for dance or previous examination passes with another dance school or examination board.


bluebird Performances

Performance opportunities are a priority at blue birds ballet school. For the pre-school programme, children will perform a small display at the end of each term. For the older children, they will have opportunity to take to the stage in an annual recital.

Copyright © 2015 Emma McMahon, All Rights Reserved.

phone:07515 522792  email bluebirdsballetschool@gmail.com

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3 ballerinas with melody



About the School

blue birds ballet school caters for children from the age of 18 months and above. The school offers classes for children of all levels of dance. For children aged 18 months and above, blue birds provides classes with a fun yet structured introduction to the joys of dance. For toddlers and pre-schoolers, we offer the magical world of Melody Bear™ where the joys of dancing and singing come together in a new adventure every week. For children five years and above we offer the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and examinations.


Little Bear Feet™  and Melody Bear™ classes

As a parent or carer, you will be able to join in the classes with your children in the babies’ class, known

as Little Bear Feet™. You will be able to see your child progress and watch as they dance their way into

the Melody Bear™ Programme. The Melody Bear™ Programme has a strong emphasis on theatrical

performance. Our priority is always for the children to enjoy and look forward to their classes and see them as an outlet for self-expression through movement and dance. The classes also provide a disciplined backdrop to participate in a group environment with other children. Conducted to a mixture of classical and children’s music, the classes help stimulate imagination, develop rhythm and encourage musicality. Exercises and storytelling help the students learn the appropriate steps for their age in a fun, organised and creative atmosphere. The sessions encourage, balance and coordination while improving your child’s self-confidence.

Melody Train