Classes By Age

Quick Links: Preschool Dance / Ballet / Jazz, Lyrical & Contemporary / Hip Hop, Tap, Dance Acro, Musical Theatre

We offer classes for all ages, from preschoolers taking their first steps in dance, to advanced students.  See also Tuition Fees, and Uniform.

Handy Wellington Dance Class/Level Guide 2020This is a one-page guide to help you decide which type of dance classes, age and level work for your child.

Preschool Dance

Age Class
2 1/2 to 4 years

Little Dance:  A lively introduction to ballet and dance basics, for children aged from 2 ½ years, based on the Time For Dancing curriculum, with changing themes, props and fun music.  Parents are welcome to observe this class each week (and join in if necessary!)  

3 to 4 years

Little Ballet:  An introduction to the graceful world of ballet.  Students learn early ballet skills and steps, and have fun expressing themselves through creative movement.  We follow the beautiful Angelina Ballerina Academy® curriculum and provide a nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment for our budding dancers.  Parents do not sit inside the studio but can see through viewing windows. Students at this level take part in an annual informal presentation class with parents as an audience, plus an end-of-year theatre show every second year. 

4 years +

Ballet Preps A special class for 4 year olds.  It includes both introductory ballet steps and imaginative story-based free movement.  Students at this level take part in an annual informal presentation class with parents as an audience, plus an end-of-year theatre show every second year.

 

4 years + Jazz Preps:  Also designed for 4-5 year olds.  This class will introduce fun basics of jazz, to modern music.  This is a perfect companion class to Ballet Preps, or if your child loves pop music and high-energy moves. Students at this level take part in an annual informal presentation class with parents as an audience, plus an end-of-year theatre show every second year.
   

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Ballet

Learning ballet at our studio promotes good posture, poise and strength.  We work on developing a confident, happy and energetic dancers, learning skills and stamina that can be used in any area of life.

We teach a syllabus devised by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).  This work is carefully graded to suit children to develop ballet skills slowly & carefully while encouraging enthusiasm and freedom of dance.

Our age levels are designed to fit with NZ school year age groups.  We use a June 1st cutoff as a general rule, but this can be discussed.

Beginners & Juniors (from 4-8 years):  

Ballet Preps Ballet Pre-Primary Ballet Primary Ballet Grade 1

4-5 yrs

(turning 4 by June 1st)

5-6 yrs

(turning 5 by June 1st)

6-7 yrs

(turning 6 by June 1st, or completed Ballet Pre-Primary)

7-8 yrs

(turning 7 by June 1st, or completed Ballet Primary).  1 or 2 classes per week

Ballet Grade 1 students wishing to sit an optional RAD Exam are required to take two classes per week.  Ballet Grade 1 students wishing to sit an optional RAD Class Award are recommended to take two classes per week.

Ballet Grades 2-5 (8-12 years):

Ballet grade students focus on classical ballet strengthening and dance exercises and develop their strength, posture and presentation.

Ballet Grades 2-5 students wishing to sit a RAD exam must attend two classes per week.  

All students work towards an end-of-year performance.

Ballet Grade 2 Ballet Grade 3 Ballet Grade 4 Ballet Grade 5

8-9 yrs

(turning 8 by June 1st, or completed Grade 1)

9-10 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

10-11 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

11-12 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

Character Dance (Ballet Grades 1-5):

Character dance is taught as a skill within the graded examinations syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. Character dance is a part of classical ballet. It is the stylised representation of a traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries.  Popular character dance adaptations for ballet also include the national dances of Hungary, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain: csárdás, mazurka, tarantella, flamenco, etc.

What to wear for Character? All ballet dancers Grades 1-5 require character gear for their classes. Students wear heeled black canvas character shoes and a black circular skirt, adorned with purple ribbons, over their leotard.  Studio character skirts can be bought from Dancers Dance (see uniform page).

Ballet Extension Programme (Ballet Grades 1-5):

Extended ballet training, in addition to syllabus classes, is available for students with the desire to achieve excellence in ballet.  Acceptance is by invitation for students in RAD Grade 2 – 5.

Ballet Extension will provide focused students the opportunity to extend their ability with other students of a similar standard in ballet. It is ideal for students wishing to develop their skills and strive for excellence.

Students accepted into extension classes will be offered the chance to prepare and enter for RAD Solo Performance Awards, where students present three contrasting solo dances.  Competition dances may also be prepared from selected groups of ballet extension students.

Places will be reviewed yearly based on attendance, focus and progression.

We also run a weekend workshop extension programme for talented dancers in Pre-Primary, Primary & Grade 1 during the year.

Pointe Preparation

This class is for students in Ballet Grade 5 (WDA 5) offers the students the opportunity to prepare and strengthen their feet and bodies for pointe work. The exercises are based on Pilates, rehabilitation and dance specific training.  The dancers gain an understanding of the mechanics of movement needed to do pointe work correctly.

Intermediate & Advanced Ballet:

Progressing through Intermediate and Advanced levels of ballet provides invaluable self-discipline and skills to use in any area of life.

In 2020, we will have three vocational programmes, at the Royal Academy of Dance Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced Foundation / Advanced 1 levels. We are introducing a Wellington Dance (WDA) level system to make it easier to see how other genres correspond to your ballet level:  Intermediate Foundation (WDA 6), Intermediate (WDA 7), Advanced Foundation (WDA 8), Advanced 1 (WDA 9).

Levels

Intermediate Foundation (WDA 6) – 3x ballet classes per week

2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x either:  Repertoire 2, RAD Grade 6 or Ballet Open & Pointe 6/7 (Int Fdn/Intermediate)

Ballet electives:

Progressing Ballet Technique Senior

Intermediate (WDA 7)

2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x RAD Repertoire 2

Ballet electives:

Ballet Open & Pointe 6/7 (Int Fdn/Intermediate)

Progressing Ballet Technique Senior

Ballet Grade 6

Advanced Foundation (WDA 8)

2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x RAD Repertoire 3 class

Ballet electives:

Ballet Open & Pointe 8/9 (Advanced)

Progressing Ballet Technique Senior

Ballet Grade 7 or 8

Enrolment in any ballet elective class is reserved for ballet students of Wellington Dance, except in special circumstances at the discretion of the Studio Director.

Our ballet teaching team is headed by Ballet Director Alison Pond who is an RAD examiner and tutor.

“Progressing Ballet Technique” Classes:

Progressing Ballet Technique was devised by the highly regarded Royal Academy of Dance teacher and examiner Marie Mahon-Walton, who developed this programme after realising the great benefit her exercises were having on the speed and progression of her students’ strength and technique.

The programme specifically aims to help the students correctly activate the muscles they require in their ballet steps, and it also develops their muscle memory. Doing these exercises enables the students to focus on which muscles they should be using for different movements, a skill that can be easily transferred into their normal syllabus work.

Junior is for students in Ballet Grades 4 & 5 (WDA 4/5)

Senior is for Vocational ballet students (WDA 6/7/8/9)

Many exercises centre around using an exercise ball which encourages students to work on core stability and makes sure both sides of the body are working equally hard. If they are not, the ball gives an instant feedback by moving about, highlighting the imbalance in the movement.

Classes are taught by dance physiotherapist Sophie Ryan who completed her PBT certification in Australia in 2017.

Open Ballet & Pointe:

We offer a non-syllabus traditional classical ballet class, called ‘Open’ ballet, which includes pointe work.  This is highly recommended for enrolled WDA vocational ballet students.  Two levels:  

Ballet Open & Pointe 6/7 (Int Fdn/Intermediate)
Ballet Open & Pointe 8/9 (Advanced)

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Jazz, Contemporary & Lyrical

Jazz

Jazz dancing is entertaining to watch, fun and active to participate in. Jazz features a combination of unique moves, intricate footwork, leaps and quick turns.  Students work towards an optional jazz medal test or exam and an end-of-year performance.

Our age levels are designed to fit with NZ school year age groups.  We use a May 1st cutoff as a general rule, but this can be discussed.

Jazz Beginners & Pre-Grades (from 4-8 years):  

Jazz Preps Jazz Pre-Primary Jazz Primary Jazz 1

4-5 yrs

(turning 4 by June 1st)

5-6 yrs

(turning 5 by June 1st)

6-7 yrs

(turning 6 by June 1st, or completed Jazz Pre-Primary)

7-8 yrs

(turning 7 by June 1st, or completed Jazz Pre-Primary).  Will work towards NZAMD Rosette 3

Jazz Grades 2-5:

Jazz features a combination of unique moves, intricate footwork, leaps and quick turns. Jazz enhances a dancer’s balance and balance. Students work towards a jazz exam and/or medal test and an end-of-year performance.

Classes follow NZAMD syllabi and work towards a medal test or exam.

Jazz Grades 2 & 3:  1 class per week, with additional classes and exam practices required.
Jazz Grades 4 & 5:  Jazz students in Grade 4 & 5 are strongly recommended to also an extra complementary class such as Ballet, Lyrical or Contemporary.   

Jazz Grade 2 Jazz Grade 3 Jazz Grade 4 Jazz Grade 5

8-9 yrs

(turning 8 by June 1st, or completed G1)

9-10 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

10-11 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

11-12 yrs

Completed previous grade or by teacher recommendation

Jazz Extension Classes:  

Extended jazz training, in addition to syllabus classes, is available for students with the desire to achieve excellence in jazz and commercial dance.  Acceptance is by invitation/audition only for students in NZAMD Grades 2+.

Group or duo competition dances will be prepared from selected groups of jazz extension students, but will rehearse separately.  In 2020, the focus in jazz extension will be on extending to the next level, adding new skills such as turn and leaps, conditioning and polishing near exam time.

Places will be reviewed yearly based on attendance, focus and progression.

Senior Jazz:

Progressing through major levels of jazz provides invaluable self-discipline and skills to use in any area of life.

In 2020, we will have three senior jazz programmes, at the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance Pre-Elementary, Elementary, Intermediate & Advanced 1 levels. We are introducing a Wellington Dance (WDA) level system to make it easier to see how other genres correspond to your ballet level:  Pre-Elementary (WDA 6), Elementary (WDA 7), Intermediate (WDA 8), and Advanced 1 (WDA 9)Levels

Levels

Pre-Elementary (WDA 6)

1x Pre-Elementary Jazz class

1x either Lyrical, Contemporary or Ballet class

Elementary (WDA 7)

1x Elementary Jazz

1x either Lyrical, Contemporary or Ballet class

Intermediate (WDA 8)

1x Intermediate Jazz

1x either Jazz Open (Intermediate/Advanced) includes Lyrical, Contemporary or Ballet class

 

Advanced 1 (WDA 9)

1x Advanced 1 Jazz

1x either Jazz Open/Lyrical (Intermediate/Advanced), Contemporary, Hip Hop or Ballet class

Open Jazz:

We offer a non-syllabus jazz/commercial dance class, called ‘Open’ jazz.  This is for enrolled WDA Intermediate / Advanced students, and invited tertiary-level (post-studio) dancers.  This will include a range of styles including jazz, lyrical and improvisation.

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Lyrical

Lyrical dance is easiest described as a combination of jazz and ballet.  It is faster than ballet, but not as fast as jazz. Lyrical dance combines the technique of ballet with the freedom and airier aspects of jazz, contemporary and modern dance. Most lyrical dance pieces are performed to music with lyrics and the lyrics of the song are what the choreography of the dance is based on.

Lyrical 3/B (9&10 yrs) Lyrical 4/5 Lyrical 6/7 Lyrical C (11 & 12 yrs)
Lyrical D (13 & 14 yrs)
Students must be taking Grade 3 ballet or jazz. Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 4 /5 (Ballet or Jazz Grade 4/5) Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 6 /7 (Ballet Int Fdn / Int or Jazz Grade Pre-El) Open to ages 11-12 approx, no other class prerequisite.
Open to ages 13-14 approx, no other class prerequisite.

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Contemporary

Contemporary classes are offered to students from 9 years +.  Contemporary offers the dancer emotional freedom and expression through abstract movement. 

Interesting in starting contemporary?

We welcome beginners of all ages. Please contact us (office@wellingtondance.co.nz) and we will place you in the best class for you.

Levels are:

Intro (WDA 3) 9+ yrs (WDA Grade 3). Intro to Contemporary dance
Prep (WDA 4)
10+ yrs (WDA Grade 4). Contemporary dance foundation class
Level 1
WDA 5 (Ballet or Jazz Grade 5) level or by teacher placement.
Level 2
WDA 6 (Jazz Pre-El or Ballet IF)level or by teacher placement.
Level 3
WDA 7 (Jazz Elem or Ballet Int) or by teacher placement
Level 5
WDA 8 (Jazz Int or Ballet Adv F) or by teacher placement.
Level 6 WDA 9 (Ballet of Jazz Adv 1) or by teacher placement.

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Hip Hop, Tap, Dance Acro, Musical Theatre

Hip Hop

Hip hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street and urban dance. Classes will encourage students to step outside of the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements. Hip hop dance requires students to have the strength, stamina and timing to successfully perform moves.  Class includes warm-up and conditioning to help prepare students for more intense movements.

Hip Hop classes work towards an optional medal test and end-of-year performance.  Levels are age-based:

Hip Hop A (7 & 8yrs)
Hip Hop B (9 & 10yrs)
Hip Hop C (11 & 12yrs)
Hip Hop D (13 & 14yrs)
Hip Hop E (15+ or by ability)

 

Tap

Tap classes are designed to develop rhythm, style and sound. Students will learn a variety of tap styles from Broadway to Rhythm tap. Exercises focus on building flexibility of the knee and ankles, coordination, and speed of movement. The class emphasis is on developing proper tap technique, producing clear tap sounds, and having fun!

Tap classes work towards an optional medal test and end-of-year performance.  Levels are age-based:

Tap B (9 & 10yrs)
Tap C (11 & 12yrs)
Tap D (13+ or by ability)

 

Dance Acro

Acro dance is a style of dance that combines  dance technique with precision acrobatic elements. It is defined by its athletic character, its unique choreography, which seamlessly blends dance and acrobatics, and its use of acrobatics in a dance context. This class will followed the Acrobatique syllabus including skills as handstands, chin stands, elbow stands, cartwheels, back bends, walkovers, balance tricks, matching each student’s individual level of experience. And it’s fun, too!

Acro classes work towards an optional medal test and end-of-year performance.  Levels are age-based:

Dance Acro B (9 & 10yrs)
Dance Acro C (11 & 12yrs)
Dance Acro D (13+ or by ability)

 

Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre class will focus on learning stage dance moves while exploring the various dance and singing styles used in Broadway shows. Class curriculum is based on Broadway style jazz movement and singing.  Emphasis will also be placed on learning performance skills such as connecting with the audience and telling a story through dance and facial expressions.

Musical Theatre classes work towards an optional medal test and end-of-year performance.  Levels are age-based:

Musical Theatre C & D (10 – 13yrs)
Musical Theatre E (14+ yrs or by ability)

 

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online