In the succinct foundation of the junior curriculum, dancers have prepared their body for efficient movement
GRADE 4: 10 to 13 years
More detailed of posture, building upon well aligned and strengthened ‘core’ to now include more detailed placement of shoulder and jaw line. Leg strengthening in earnest now that body can maintain its alignment. Jumps (allegro) become more complex. Flexibility & body conditioning step up. Expressive component: ‘Lost & Found’ or authentic portrayal of emotion encouraged.
GRADE 4 Foundation [selected exercises]
Suits:- adults re-entering dance after a long break; worship dance groups; dancers starting in their teens.
GRADE 5: GRADE 6: 11 to 15 years. Also for adults & teens of all ages who can manage this work.
Building on all the above plus now that legs have strengthened somewhat, and body is well aligned, pointe work is commenced—just several basic exercises to gain knowledge of correct placement on pointe. Pointe work should never be commenced until this is achieved. Pointework is also not recommended if there is an issue with feet. Therefore point work can be done on demi point. If in doubt it is recommended that feet are checked with a podiatrist. Often small spongy ‘toe separators’ are used between the 1st and 2nd toe. ‘Unseen’ exercises are introduced. More complex development of adage, balance and arabesque line. Grand allegro and male allegro is introduced (exhilarating leaps). Instruction on how to walk, run & waltz as a dancer.
Expressive section: In elegant Port de Bras in classical ballet tradition, expressing life issues, drawing divine strength for the challenges & ‘storms of life’.
PRE INTERMEDIATE: INTERMMEDIATE [The teaching benchmark for dancers]
Some physical limitations can be experienced at these levels which can exclude a dancer from executing certain movements in this demanding work. So this is the time for a dancer to start to differentiate their strengths, motivation and their ‘calling’. Therefore Intermediate can be done as either a:
Male allegro added; opportunity to choreograph an interpretation.
One viewing ever present media, teens often start to compare and dislike their body. The expressive section counters self-negating thoughts, based on Psalm 139 - How beautiful and wonderfully we have been made - our form and gifts and talents yet to unfold. Loved & individually planned by God.
ADVANCED 1 & 2: Suitable for Tertiary dance training & Performance
Virtuoso steps which require sound technical foundations to successfully perform & greatly reduce likelihood of injuries. If physical limitations have shown up in Intermediate, Advanced examinations are not recommended.
Expressive section: Students choreographic interpretation of a section of a prophetic allegory about choice of life pathways; a comparison of the outcomes of each.