Jane Moore - Academy Principal & Classical Teacher teaches according to the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Syllabus.

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) was founded in 1920 and is the largest examining body of classical ballet world-wide. Its syllabus is taught in over 83 countries, with an international network of examiners assessing well over 250,000 pupils, providing students with an annual goal to strive for and an indication of their progress.

RAD Ballet Syllabus

This 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.

  • Pre-Junior 3.5yrs - 4.5yrs / Junior (formerly Dance Play (4.5yrs - 5.5yrs) incorporates dance, stretching, exercise, music and mime, gradually introducing discipline with emphasis on fun. (No exams at these levels)
  • Pre-Primary (5.5yrs - 6.5yrs) a little more structured and technical. (No exams at this level)
  • Primary & Grades 1 -8 RAD Graded Examinations  Held in Victoria annually during Term 3 between July and September

RAD Major Vocational Classes

  • Intermediate Foundation
  • Intermediate 
  • Advanced Foundation
  •  Advanced 1&2 and
  • Solo Seal (Must hold Advanced 2 with Distinction) 

RAD Grades finish at level 8 and the Majors commence cross-training at Grades 5-6.  Most students studying for their Major levels will take 2 years before they take an exam and others only 1 to 1 ½ years.  It varies according to ability.  Grade exams run once a year, Majors twice. The marking is more stringent in these upper exams.

Vocational classes are an optional extra from Grade 5 upwards however students who attained a high level ‘Distinction’ in their Grade 4 exams may also be considered. Classes are technically advantageous although the exam is not compulsory.  Students are welcome to try the extra class at Grade 5 level and then decide.

These classes are usually taken by students who may be considering a career as a professional dancer or teacher. This work is quite different from the Grades, where the students study character and free movement.  In the Major levels, purely classical work is studied, with Pointe included for females.

Classical Ballet work is the foundation and the most important part of the Graded Syllabi and includes: 

Free Movement incorporates movements in common with other dance styles such as natural movement, contemporary based dance and Greek dance. It does not have to include codified dance vocabulary and is usually an improvisation based on the student’s interpretation of a piece of music

Character Dance is the theatrical presentation of National dance using original ethnic dance and music which has been freely adapted for the theatre. There are three styles - Hungarian, Russian and Polish - and these were selected because of their historic importance in the development of the traditional full-length classical ballets.

Neo-classical is a ballet style that uses traditional ballet vocabulary but is less rigid than the classical ballet. For example, dancers often dance at more extreme tempos and perform more technical feats.

Contemporary is a form of dance influenced by both classical ballet and modern dance. It takes its technique and use of Pointe work from classical ballet, although it permits a greater range of movement that may not adhere to the strict body lines set forth by schools of ballet technique. Many of its concepts come from the ideas and innovations of 20th century modern dance, including floor work and turn-in of the legs. 

En Pointe (Pointe) is a form of ballet presented on the tips of the toes, made possible by specialized Pointe shoes. There are different varieties of ballet en Pointe, but for the most part they focus on grace and specific technique. 

Dancers must have sufficient strength in the feet, ankle, leg, knee, and abdomen (core), as well as strong technical skills, before beginning Pointe work. This work can take anywhere from six months to more than three years.

Students usually must be at least twelve years of age before going en Pointe. This is because bones and growth plates in the feet are not yet fully hardened and developed prior to this age, and they can be injured very badly by Pointe work, even if the student is otherwise strong and skilful. Attempting to dance en Pointe before the feet and toes are fully grown can cause career-ending damage that will prevent dancing en Pointe for a lifetime.

Full-time & Part-time Classical Coaching is offered to selected students, providing excellent training for those wishing to take their dancing more seriously. 

Coaching class students must have the type of body that can respond to demanding study must be able to concentrate for long periods of time and be able to accept and welcome constructive comments and correction. RAD Vocational students are invited to participate in Coaching Classes at the discretion of the Ballet Principal. External students are accepted by audition only.

Classical Ballet Terms A-Z CLICK HERE


CALL Sharon Bray 0457 13 13 20
10 Wannan St Highett 3190 Melbourne
About   Classes   Teachers   General Info / Policies   Resources /Links
  Contact Us   Members
The Academy 2018 Timetable Jane Moore Term Dates & Holidays Studio Hire    
Mission Statement P/Full-time Classical Program Classical Coaching Parent Viewing Dance-wear Stockists    
Principal Profile VET VCE Certificate II in Dance Natalie Bray Fees Links    
Dance Studio Ballet Lisa-Maree Callaghan Enrollment RAD VIC Info / Workshops    
  Jazz  Sarah King Dancewear / Uniform Competitions  
  Tap Suzanne Martin School Policies Competition Results  
  Musical Theatre  Beth Lane      
  Hip Hop Brodie Lucas    
    Kalman Warhaft        
  Competition Training Andrea Wigg        
    Lisa Woolley VCE VET Dance        
Subscribe to our mailing list