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.

Class & Level Guide 2019 This is a handy one-page guide to help you decide which type of dance classes, age and level you need! 

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 (2019).  

3 to 5 years Little Stars:  A musical warm up begins a fun class of jazz dance.  We will build up strength and skills for dancing and have fun doing basic gym like forward and backward rolls on our tumbling floor mat.  We will also practise movement skills like hopping, skipping, balancing and jumping, and combine everything into fun dance routines! 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 (2019).
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 (2019).

 

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 (2019).

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 for girls & boys by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).  This work is carefully graded to suit the very young child 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 May 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 May 1st)

5-6 yrs

(turning 5 by May 1st)

6-7 yrs

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

7-8 yrs

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

Ballet Grade 1 students wishing to sit an optional RAD Class Award or Exam 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 May 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/audition only for students in RAD Grade 2 – 4.

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 dance 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 6-week extension programme for talented dancers in Pre-Primary, Primary & Grade 1 during the year.

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 2019, 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), and Advanced Foundation (WDA 8).

Levels

Intermediate Foundation (WDA 6)

1x RAD Grade 6

1x or 2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x RAD Repertoire 2 (optional, only if taking 1x Grade 6 and 2x RAD syllabus)

Ballet electives:

Pre-Pointe

Progressing Ballet Technique Junior

Intermediate (WDA 7)

2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x RAD Repertoire 2

1x RAD Grade 6 (optional)

Ballet electives:

Pointe Conditioning

Progressing Ballet Technique Senior

Open Ballet (Intermediate / Advanced)

Advanced Foundation (WDA 8)

2x RAD syllabus classes per week

1x RAD Repertoire (Level 3) class

1x RAD Grade 7 (optional)

Ballet electives:

Pointe Conditioning

Progressing Ballet Technique Senior

Open Ballet (Intermediate / Advanced)

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.

Pre-Pointe & Pointe Classes:

Our pre-pointe and pointe classes are taught by Miss Genevieve who is a qualified pilates instructor as well as a ballet teacher (Cecchetti qualified and currently completing the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies)

Pre-Pointe is for students in Ballet Grades 4, 5 & 6 (WDA 4/5/6)

This class 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.

Pointe is for Intermediate & Advanced ballet students (WDA 7/8)

This class has pointe specific conditioning exercises focussing on the anatomy and demand on the body for successful pointe work as well as extending and understanding the dancers’ pointe work vocabulary for current and future pointe work.  Steps not yet required in syllabus work, but which are often needed in variations and open classes, are introduced in breakdown format. This has very successfully helped students to understand each step and build the confidence and the strength required to execute these steps correctly.

“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 & 6 (WDA 4/5/6)

Senior is for Intermediate & Advanced ballet students (WDA 7/8)

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:

We offer a non-syllabus traditional classical ballet class, called ‘Open’ ballet.  This is for enrolled WDA Intermediate & Advanced ballet students, and invited tertiary-level (post-studio) dancers.  

Adult Ballet:

We offer an Adult Ballet class.  This is adults who have danced in earlier years and would like to return to the barre!  The class will mix ‘open’ ballet exercises with elements of the Royal Academy of Dance ‘Discovering Repertoire’ programme.  Core conditioning and strengthening are also incorporated.

CLICK HERE for timetable

CLICK HERE to enrol online

Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical & Stretch, Leap & Spin

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 May 1st)

5-6 yrs

(turning 5 by May 1st)

6-7 yrs

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

7-8 yrs

(turning 7 by May 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 May 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

Jazz Extension Teams:  

Performance teams learn dances for competition and public performance.  These are invitation-only extension groups.

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 there will also be a focus on open work, extending to the next level, conditioning and polishing near exam time.

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

“Major Grades” Jazz:

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

In 2019, we will have three major grades programmes, at the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance Pre-Elementary, Elementary and Intermediate 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), and Intermediate (WDA 8).

Levels

Pre-Elementary (WDA 6)

1x Pre-Elementary Jazz

Jazz electives:

Lyrical SLS (Grade 5 / Pre-El)

Contemporary Level 2 (WDA 6)

Elementary (WDA 7)

1x Elementary Jazz

Jazz electives:

Lyrical SLS (Elementary / Intermediate)

Contemporary Level 2 (WDA 6)

Jazz Open (Elementary/Intermediate)

Intermediate (WDA 8)

1x Intermediate Jazz

Jazz electives:

Lyrical SLS (Elementary / Intermediate)

Contemporary Level 2 (WDA 6)

Jazz Open (Elementary/Intermediate)

Open Jazz:

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

Lyrical Stretch-Leap-Spin:

In 2019, we are combining some Lyrical & Stretch-Leap-Spin classes to make these more accessible to our ballet and jazz students as an extra class.  They will combine Lyrical open work (combinations and routines) with elements of the SLS curriculum. Students will be able to enter an optional senior medal test comprising one Lyrical routine and one SLS routine.

Recreational Jazz:

We also offer recreational jazz for older beginners.  These work towards an optional medal test and end-of-year theatre performance.  Levels are age-based.

  B C  
  Ages 10-12 approx Ages 12-14 approx  

Lyrical & Stretch-Leap-Spin

In 2019, we are combining some Lyrical & Stretch-Leap-Spin classes to make these more accessible to our ballet and jazz students as an extra class.

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.

Stretch-Leap-Spin:  

Designed to develop flexibility (stretch), introduce the student to big jumps and leaps (leap), and improve turning technique (spin) through a fun and energised syllabus which teachers are finding to be an excellent addition to their class content.  

Lyrical

(Grade 3 / 4)

Lyrical + SLS

(Grade 5 / Pre-El)

Lyrical C

(12-14 yrs)

Lyrical + SL

(Elem/Int)

Students must be taking Grade 3 or 4 ballet or jazz. Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 5 /6 (Jazz Grade 5 or Pre-El or Ballet Grade 5 or IF). Open to ages 12-14 approx, no other class prerequisite. Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 7 /8 (Jazz Elem or Int, or Ballet Int/Adv or IF).

Contemporary

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

Intro Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 5

9+ yrs

Intro to Contemporary dance

Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 5 (Ballet or Jazz Grade 5) or by teacher recommendation Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 6 (Jazz Pre-El or Ballet IF) or by teacher recommendation Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 7 (Jazz Elem or Ballet Int) or by teacher recommendation Students must be taking ballet or jazz WDA 8 (Jazz Int or Ballet Adv F) or by teacher recommendation
Contemporary Intro (Beginners 9+):

This class is suitable for those interested in trying Contemporary dance for the first time, and exploring some of the movements and patterns.  We recommend this class for students 9-10 years old.

Hip Hop, Tap, Dance Acro, Musical Theatre

Hip Hop

Hip hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, breaking, popping, and locking. 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 and stamina to successfully perform moves. Therefore class includes upper and lower body conditioning as well as a rigorous warm-up to help prepare students for more intense movements.

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

A B C D
Ages 8-10 approx Ages 10-12 approx Ages 12-14 approx Ages 14+ approx

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 theatre performance.  Levels are age-based.

  B C  
  Ages 10-12 approx Ages 12-14 approx  

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 theatre performance.  Levels are age-based.

  B C D
  Ages 10-12 approx Ages 12-14 approx Ages 14+ approx

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 theatre performance.  Levels are age-based.

  B C D
  Ages 10-12 approx Ages 12-14 approx Ages 14+ approx