Pupils at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy work towards formal dance exams with the ISTD. Our classes follow their graded and vocational syllabi, which provide an excellent training route from beginner to an advanced, professional level.
For more information on the Imperial Society of Dancing, please visit their website at www.istd.org.
Ballet is the foundation for all other technical theatrical dance styles. It provides the strength, flexibility and extension required for many other genres. Because ballet has been constantly evolving for over 400 years, it has arrived at a very solid method of developing human movement potential for the stage.
Not only does ballet help create a dancer or performer who is centered, balanced, lengthened and physically graceful, it also imparts skills like attention to detail, mastery, form, harmony, precision, discipline, patience, social grace and awareness of the group – all skills that help young people succeed in the adult world.
As it is such an important foundation for dance training it is probably best to introduce ballet early on in a dancer’s training, to establish these skills in his/her dance and life.
Ballet classes at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy are offered from the age of 3 and up.
Age 3 - 5 Ballet Curriculum
This dance curriculum aims to capture and nurture young children’s instinctive joy of movement and freedom of expression. It is designed to enable children to participate in dance activities that are developmentally appropriate, helping to facilitate the learning of dance skills at a later age. The goals of this curriculum are:
To enhance children's movement abilities and physical fitness
To aid children in becoming physically and spatially aware
To stimulate children's listening skills
To encourage children to move expressively
To build children's confidence and self-esteem
To encourage children to become co-operative and social
'...a classical dance form characterised by grace and precision of movement and by elaborate formal gestures, steps and poses..."
Also at this level, where appropriate, some basic technical ballet steps are also learned and the use of mime helps to inspire the children - 'witches' and 'night time in the zoo' for example. Props such as pom poms, ribbons, wands, flags and scarves can be used to help develop co-ordination and natural movement.
Tap Dance makes a distinctive contribution to the education of all students, through using movement, which is one of the fundamental modes of human expression. It offers a range of learning opportunities and enables participants to enjoy physical expression as well as develop intellectual sensibilities. As they work together in Tap Dance, pupils learn about co-operation and develop an understanding of the shaping of movement into artistic forms of expression.
The Graded Examinations in Tap Dance allow those participating solely for recreational purposes to produce quality work in a safe dance context and for those who may wish to pursue a professional dance or teaching career to progress onto the Vocational exams.
Tap classes at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy are offered from the age of 4 and up.
Age 4 - 5 Curriculum
Children are taught the basic taps, beats, digs, shuffles, and stamps. A sense of rhythm and timing is developed. Co-ordination, posture and use of line are encouraged alongside improvisation skills - all with a heavy emphasis on fun. Children have a great time exploring sounds and movements.
Age 5+ Curriculum
Children from 5 can prepare for ISTD pre-primary and primary tap exams. In the exams candidates will be assessed on their ability to show:
Technical accuracy with correct placement to the best of their physical facility
Appropriate use of limbs showing an understanding of the purpose or significance of each movement or sequence of movements
A sense of line and well co-ordinated movements
An assured performance showing the different qualities of movement required by each section of the examination structure
Musicality and rhythmic awareness
Age 7+ Curriculum
Once children have attained basic preliminary skills they progress onto the graded examination syllabi. There are six practical examination grades, numbered 1 to 6, ordered with increased difficulty. The objectives of the graded syllabi are:
Teach correct posture
Build a secure Tap technique
Develop an awareness of tone
Promote the understanding of dance terminology
Gain a good sense of line through body, arms and head
Understanding of rhythms and its development
Appreciation of varying musical styles and their interpretation
Develop an awareness of the use of space
Awareness of audience and sense of performance
Encourage a sense of self-expression
Encourage creative use of rhythm and movement
Promote self confidence in the performance of a solo.
Modern Theatre dance is a rhythmic dance style which originated in America before travelling to the rest of the world. It is often seen on the stages of musical productions and is known for its theatrical qualities.
The style uses travelling steps, high kicks, leaps and turns which all need strength and flexibility. This is a highly energetic dance style.
Modern classes at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy are offered from the age of 3 and up.
Age 3 - 5 Modern Curriculum
Primary modern is based on the concepts of play, but develops musicality, posture, strength, co-ordination and natural movements. Candidates are assessed on their ability to show:
Technical accuracy with correct placement to the best of their physical facility.
A sense of line and well coordinated movements.
An assured performance showing the different qualities of movement required by each section of the examination structure.
Musicality and rhythmic awareness.
Age 6+ Modern Curriculum - Graded Examinations
The aim of Graded Examinations is to provide an assessment scheme for dance, which gives the basis for the measurement of the individual candidate's progress and development, whether the candidate is pursuing dance as a leisure activity or as preparation for a professional career as a dance teacher or performer. There are six practical examination grades, numbered from 1 to 6, in order to indicate the increasing order of difficulty (6 represents the highest level of attainment).
The objectives of the Modern Theatre Dance graded examination syllabus are set out below:
Teach correct posture
Develop the range of movement within the students’ natural capabilities
Build a sound technique
Promote the understanding and use of dance terminology
Gain a good sense of self-expression
Encourage creative movement
Promote self-confidence in the performance of a solo
Jazz Dance is the ideal way to develop well-rounded and virtuoso dance skills and is an important element in the training process. Lively, energetic, and creatively diverse.
Jazz combines styles and techniques from a variety of popular dance forms. From isolations to contractions, big leaps and quick turns, it is dynamic and lyrical as seen in films, musicals and TV.
Jazz classes at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy are offered from the age of 6 and up.
Street Jazz is a fusion of commercial jazz, hip-hop and Street. It is slightly less technical than modern and jazz, with the emphasis on fun.
It is an ideal class for late starters or those not wishing to work towards formal dance exams.
Street Jazz classes at ElliTe Studios Junior Dance Academy are offered from the age of 7 and up.
Acro is a style of dance that combines classical 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.
Musical Theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical - humour, pathos, love, anger - are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole.