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CLASSES & DATES

WHAT WE TEACH

Dance Gems is committed to teaching dance to all ages and abilities and to caring for the welfare of its students.  Students can come for fun, recreational dance or if very serious about becoming a professional – we have classes to cater for a huge range of abilities and preferences.

Please discuss your personal requirements when you speak to the Director.

Pre-School:

Music & Movement

Class length is 30 minutes.

Suitable for children 3.5 to 5 years.

Music and movement classes are particularly useful in developing physically assured children and are a great way to expend some of their boundless energy and assist in socialising with other young people in a fun and productive manner.

Numbers, shapes and colours are incorporated in dance and music ideas and creative exploration of movement is taught to help the children's balance, coordination, reflexes and to develop their strength and confidence.

These classes take place without a family carer, although careers are welcome to stay if the child needs reassurance.

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School Age:

Pre-Primary

The class lasts 30 minutes.  

Suitable for 5 year olds +

These classes establish greater development in physical movement, range and control.  A more disciplined classroom etiquette is introduced, guiding students to follow individual direction with increased focus, to assist their understanding of dance, how their body works and how they can gain muscular control and strength.

Classes are fun and creative, following a prescribed, progressive program that is set by an external dance Awarding Organisation, which may lead to an examination if desired and at the discretion of the Director.

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School Age:

Primary

The class lasts 45 minutes.  

Suitable for 6 year olds +

Building on the previous level, young dancers learn more complex steps with transference of weight, balance, alignment and height of jump.  Confidence in travelling movements is also encouraged.

This course may, if the student and their carer wishes, lead to an external examination.  This will be at the discretion of the Director.  It is not a requirement for the previous examination to have been taken.

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Graded Dance Programme:

For students who wish to undertake dance examinations that are nationally recognized and regulated.  Trained staff determine the most suitable class level for your child to take to start his/her dance training at Dance Gems.  Students with experience from other schools may also join, but if they are currently students of another dance teacher, parents must first seek that school’s permission for their child to participate in Dance Gems classes.  Classes are available for students who do not wish to take exams.  Students are placed in classes in accordance with their capability. We recommend that if a student wishes to take an examination, at least two classes are taken in the week. More lessons are recommended at higher grade levels.

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A rough age/level guide is:

  • 5 year olds +Pre-Primary

  • 6 year olds + Primary

  • 7 year olds +Grade I

  • 8 year olds +Grade II

  • 9 year olds +Grade III

  • 10 year olds +Grade IV

  • 11 year olds +Grade V

  • 12 year olds +Grade VI

  • 13 year olds +Intermediate Foundation /Senior Certificate/adults’ classes

  • 14 year olds +Grade VII

  • 15 year olds +Grade VIII

  • 14 year olds +Intermediate

  • 15 year olds +Advanced I

  • 16 year olds +Advanced II

  • 17 year olds +Professional Vocational Programme

At this stage, if students do not show the physical aptitude for professional dance, alternative progressive, recreational senior classes are offered. 

Gifted & Talented Students

Pre-Vocational, Vocational Programme and Dance Theatre Programme

This programme is for students who have the desire, commitment and capability to become vocational and professional dancers. Competitions, examinations and auditions are taken at  appropriate times as part of training. Repertoire and pointe work/male work is given to those who are considered of a suitable standard and assistance is given with pointe shoe selection.

​The following examination classes become part of Dance Gems’ Gifted and Talented Programmes as the level of technique required for these examinations is challenging.  The Director has high expectations of students who are working at this level in her School. Several classes should be taken in the week covering both syllabus and non-syllabus work.


Former students from the Director’s gifted/talented programmes have gained places at the Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School, Paris Opera Ballet School, London Studio Centre, Laine Theatre Arts and also National Ballet School, in Canada and other Ivy League schools.  RAD and ISTD examination syllabi may be followed if deemed appropriate, but Dance Gems can also teach the stylistic requirements of other vocational programmes.  Pointe work for female students and Upper Body development for male students are also taught along with bespoke exercise programmes for physical strength, flexibility and repertoire requirements.

For students that are available to attend classes during school hours we offer a bespoke training programme at a pre-vocational level.  Acceptance into the special programme is by audition and the agreement of the academic school.

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Exercise Classes:

Stretch Conditioning, Progressive Ballet Technique and Exercise Programmes

Dance Gems offers a range of exercise programmes to enable people of all ages and degrees of fitness to breathe well, keep active, gain strength and increase and preserve flexibility and mobility.

  • Floor barres and gentle exercises for more active students/adults including able-bodied seniors or those recovering from injury to help gain strength and stretch and stay well.

  • Progressive Ballet Technique and  Pilates classes are offered for suitable students

  • Personal trainer is available for those who wish to undertake outdoor or more intensive physical activity regimes.

  • Home visits are available after an initial assessment and discussion about a suitable working area and discussion on car parking/transport needs.

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Adult Ballet & Silver Swans Classes:

Adult classes are offered to people over the aged of 18 years and a range of abilities are catered for – those with no prior training and for those with previous dance knowledge. Please discuss a suitable class for your needs.

Silver Swans classes are for those aged 55+ years and combine exercises to assist with balance, stretching and strengthening the ageing body being mindful of each individual's personal challenges. We use the ballet barre', therabands, chairs and tennis balls plus Pilates techniques to assist with some specially designed exercises that can also be practised at home.

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Short Courses & Masterclasses:

Holiday Courses, Short Courses, Pop-Ups, Master-Classes and Assessment Classes/Audition Preparation

A variety of courses and classes are offered subject to demand.  Dates of courses are advertised on the website.

 

There will be both Easter and Summer Dance Courses

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Dates

TERM DATES

Autumn 2023

Monday 4th September – Saturday 10th December

(Please note there will be no classes on 2nd December due to a fair in Wimbledon) 

Half Term: 

Monday 16th – Friday 27th October inclusive

Spring 2024

Monday 8th January – Sunday 24th March (10 weeks)

Half Term:

Monday 12th – Sunday 18th February

Summer 2024

Monday 15th April – Sunday 14th July

Half Term:

Monday 27th May – Sunday 2nd June

Exams
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EXAMINATION INFORMATION

Graded and Vocational ballet examinations through ISTD and RAD are available for all students who wish to take them. They are by no means compulsory, and students can still progress through our classes without having to take the examinations, at the discretion of the teacher.

The dance teacher must decide several months in advance which students should be entered in each examination category, and we typically decide based on the following criteria:

  • Students should attend at least two classes per week and have good attendance at classes.

  • Demonstrate the required level of technical ability and muscular strength for the exam.

  • Complete knowledge of the syllabus and theory.

  • Show an understanding of what is required and be able to dance with confidence, focus and musicality.

  • Be able to know all the required vocabulary and be able to complete successfully unseen work, (non-syllabus work) at the required level for the examination.

 

By ensuring our students are only entered when they are ready for an examination, we have achieved excellent results, with all students achieving at least a merit grade.

Some students may wish to follow a vocational route after taking their Grade 5 exams and the Director will discuss the various options with the student and their parents/carers if this is appropriate.

All higher level Grade and Vocational exams passes are recognised and gather points for UCAS applications.

The following links provide further information about the examinations available through the ISTD and RAD:

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For information about AQA GCSE/A’ Level Dance, LAMDA and Trinity Arts Award Examinations please speak directly to the Director.

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