All classes, even our Preschool Ballet Program have a strong dance foundation focus. This includes correct posture, placement, discipline, coordination, strength, flexibility and musicality. Classes are based on the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) syllabi and complemented with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabi. This philosophy uses the strengths of both methods to provide a complete dance training program.

Preschool Ballet Programs

These classes will introduce placement, posture, form, rhythm and co-ordination of simple dance steps. A variety of music and movement styles derived from ballet and pantomime will be used to build self-esteem, self-confidence and body awareness. Throughout the year the classes progress towards a more specific structured program which introduces rhythm patterns, free movement and expression and dance step combinations.

Graded Ballet Programs

The ballet grades begin with Preparatory and move through to Grade5. Classes are based on teaching technique and strength through the RAD and IDTA syllabi. Aswell a firm understanding of rhythm patterns, free movement and expression is taught. These classes in combination with stretch classes will prepare students wishing to enter formal examinations in the future.

Vocational Ballet Programs

Vocational ballet grades begin with Intermediate Foundation and progress through Intermediate to Advanced 1 and 2. Students considering a vocational program and examination must attend at least two classes a week. The Vocational Graded Syllabusis designed primarily for older children or young adults who are considering a career in professional dance, as a performer, teacher or in another capacity. The vocational syllabus is technically demanding and comprises only of Classical Ballet and Pointe Work. Students choosing to study this series of awards are required to be competent in the fundamentals of ballet technique and movement vocabulary.

Selwyn Dance Company Classes

In 2015 we have introduced a Junior Ballet Company and a Senior Ballet Company. These classes are aimed for students wishing to extend on their dance training. The classes will be based on the RAD syllabus and includes open and performance work. Students wishing to take these classes need to be taking 2 classes per week of graded syllabus. Company classes in other disciplines will be added to the timetable as demand requires.

Junior Company Grade 2 – Grade 4, Senior Company Grade 5 – Advanced

Stretch and Conditioning Programs

Stretch is extremely important to a young dancer’s physical development. Working on agility, balance, as well as strength, Stretch Class enhances improvement. (As the more agile and body aware students are, new steps will come easier to them.). Correct positioning when stretching is vital to increase a student’s flexibility. This will be taught and counteracted with strengthening exercises, as it is a must to be equally as strong as you are flexible.

As our dancers enter the Vocational grades the importance of muscle conditioning becomes paramount. Classes incorporate appropriate core conditioning, cardiovascular, and foot strengthening exercises to enable dancers to safely progress to advanced work and en pointe.

National Character Dance

A strong focus of the Graded Ballet programs is the inclusion of National Character Dance. It is found in many of the classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia. From Grade 1 basic character steps are taught and built throughout the grades. This style of dance is dynamic and fun filled, learning traditional steps, disciplines and cultures from European countries such as Russia, Hungary and Poland. It compliments Classical Ballet for its fast pirouettes, high, controlled extensions and excellent use of the upper body.

Contemporary Ballet

“The NZAMD contemporary syllabus teaches students to understand the concepts of contemporary movement such as weight, flow, momentum, and the use of gravity, they continue to enjoy a sense of dance while focusing on freedom of movement and spatial awareness.”
Contemporary is aimed at students of about 9+ years of age.

Jazz Ballet Program

With its origins in American music developed from ragtime and blues, Jazz is one of the most popular and energetic forms of dance. Jazz, which is characterized by its syncopated rhythms and improvisation, offers the dance student a challenging and demanding training. Classes are structured to begin to prepare the physical strength and flexibility required to demonstrate emotion through interpretation of any musical genre, one minute you may be dancing to the rhythm of a drum, the next to a funky jazz style. Examinations are offered in the International Dance Teachers Association Syllabus (IDTA) and the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance (NZAMD).

Hip Hop

New for 2013 the NZAMD Hip Hop syllabus offers an energetic and versatile program which extends the dancer and offers the dancer an exciting progression of graded work from 9—10 years. The syllabus encompasses 6 exciting levels and offers a Solo Performance Diploma for the advanced student. Younger children from 5 to 9 years are introduced to the Hip Hop style through the Pre Grade Hip Hop program.

Theatrecraft Dance

New to the school in 2013 the Theatrecraft Dance syllabus prepares the budding student for the rigors of dance for Musical Theatre. Shows like Grease, My Fair Lady, Bombay Dreams, The Lion King, all diverse styles but all embraced by the Theatrecraft title. A dance form for theatrical performance, preparing the body physically through exercise and stimulating artistic ability through dance movement, improvisation and interpretation of music. The use of hand props, make up and much more - it provides all the 'must have' qualities for today's amateur and professional dancer.

Musical Theatre

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