We offer classes for all ages, from pre-school Melody Bear classes through to Adult Tap and Ballet and for the over 55's, Silver Swans Ballet. Please look through the below headings for more details.
There are many benefits of properly taught formal dance training, many of the skills learnt are easily transferred to the outside world and will set students up for the future. They will learn among others, self-discipline, self-esteem, listening skills, expressiveness, patience, team work alongside the core strength and physical fitness benefits.
We aim to have two exam sessions a year, which gives our students the opportunity to progress through the grades while giving them something to aim for. Exams are not compulsory though.
A rough guide to the ages for each grade is as follows but is only a rough guide.
Melody Bear - 18 months to 4 yearsPre-Primary to Grade 1 - approx. 5 years to 8 years
Grade 2 to Grade 5 - approx. 8years to 12 years
Grade 6 to Advanced 2 - 11+ years
For the younger students we offer the Melody Movement / Melody Bear Syllabus. These are for both boys and girls aged 18 months to 4 years and have been specifically designed to enhance your child’s physical development, coordination, spatial awareness, sensory development, creativity and self-expression, working individually, with a partner, or as a group.
Melody Movement introduces children to dance and movement using the natural actions of the body such as running, walking, jumping, hopping, skipping and galloping. It is structured to aid children’s physical development, coordination, spatial awareness, sensory development, creativity and self-expression, working individually, with a partner, or as a group. Melody Movement also introduces children to other fundamental curriculum learning skills such as counting, colour and shape recognition, vocabulary and language skills. The strength of the system is that learning is achieved through imaginative movement which is enjoyable and fun.
All the Ballet classes follow the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) Syllabus. Ballet forms the foundation to many other dance styles and as such it is best if ballet training starts early to help development. Because it is so important ballet is usually studied alongside other dance styles, right though a student’s training and is essential for any student wishing to go on to professional performing arts courses.
Ballet helps develop musical understanding. Ballet practice improves flexibility, muscle strength and tone and has the advantage of working the entire body. In particular, it strengthens abdominals and improves posture and alignment. Ballet is excellent for developing general fitness and wellbeing.
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) offers an internationally recognised portfolio of examinations and assessments which is designed to motivate and encourage students of all ages and levels of ability, through a systematic measurement of progress and attainment. Examinations are organised and administered by the RAD Examinations Board. Students may move up from the Pre-Primary and Primary levels into Graded levels or Vocational Graded levels. Students may move from the Graded pathway to the Vocational Graded pathway at an appropriate time; or they may study both pathways simultaneously.
We offer examination programmes to suit all, whether students are new to ballet or already have dance experience. There are no upper age limits and both male and female students can enter. Older students may go on to take student teacher exams.
When many people think of ballet their first thought is of the grace and elegance of dancers on pointe.
When Senior students get to the right standard, they are invited to take part in the beginners point work class. This will be when the time is right for them individually. Their technical understanding would have reached the correct level and it is important that their core strength and feet are assessed to be ready. This is to make sure they are ready to train safely. It is important that when students are invited to join the Pointe class, they get the correct pointe shoes and they are fitted properly, so Miss Gail or Miss Emma will advise on where to go and what to ask for. Students will also progress into the advanced pointe work class as they get strong enough
All the Tap Dance classes follow the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) Syllabus and are all taught by the Principal Gail Marsden. Examinations may be entered under the ISTD. Beginners classes start at 4 years to adult.
This has evolved as an American dance form, popularised throughout the world, with debate about its origins coming from African dance, Irish dance and/or clog dancing. The dancer uses their feet to strike the floor, beating out different rhythms, with dancers wearing tap shoes which have small metal plates on the toe and heel to give the distinctive sound. Tap dance is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musicals.
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.
All the Modern Dance classes follow the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) Syllabus and are all taught by the Principal Gail Marsden. Examinations may be entered under the ISTD. Beginners classes start at 4 years to adult. The ISTD Modern Theatre dance syllabus encompasses flavours of musical theatre, jazz and contemparary dance styles.
Silver Swans® classes have been specifically designed for the over-55s, but whatever your age, if you are looking for a new way to keep fit and active our ballet classes will put a spring in your step. Whether you’ve never danced before or want to get back into the swing of it, our classes have something for everyone.
The RAD developed this programme based on research into dance practice for older learners – classes are only taught by Silver Swans Licensees.
Why not join our adult tap class and learn to tap in a friendly and fun atmosphere. Tap dancing has evolved as an American dance form, popularised throughout the world, with debate about its origins coming from African dance, Irish dance and/or clog dancing. The dancer uses their feet to strike the floor, beating out different rhythms, with dancers wearing tap shoes which have small metal plates on the toe and heel to give the distinctive sound. Tap dance is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musicals. We currently run both a beginners and an improvers class.
These classes are for you if you are wanting to learn ballet movements, which will improve your posture, suppleness and fitness in a friendly and fun atmosphere. If you are new to ballet you will be taught the various techniques and if you have previously studied ballet at any level you will find the benefits of refreshing and furthering your abilty.
Anyone can do this! anyone of any age or ability can take part and enjoy the fun. The classes are general ability classes suitable for beginners as well as those who have danced before and are loosely based on the RAD Grades 6,7 and 8. There is no set unifirm for these classes, please wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
Dance Arena Ballet and Stage School organises a major production every two years. This is performed in a professional theatre environment. The last show in June 2019 was performed at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax. The first half was the classical ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. Miss Gail and Miss Emma kept the choreography as similar as possible to the Royal Ballet version, cut down to 75 minutes. The second half saw Diversions being performed. This was a showcase of the other dance styles the students learn at the school.
There are other performace opportunities during the year as we get invited to perform at various charity events an local Gala's.