top of page

Choosing The Correct Ballet Grade

At HSD children learn in ability appropriate classes and can take IDTA graded ballet exams when they are ready. The exams are divided into recreational level standards, (Class exams) OFQUAL recognised Grades and pre-vocational professional level exams. After successfully passing an exam the candidate will receive a report form and a certificate. Ballet exams are optional but recommended yet some students may choose not to take them but can still move up with their peers.

Take a look at our ballet grade guide below. If you are still unsure feel free to use the support form at the bottom of the page.


Pre School Ballet

Age Range - 2-5yrs

A 30min ballet class dedicated to pre school students offering an introduction to the world of ballet. Classes involve traditional ballet exercises, stories and mime and exploration through creative movement. Classes are supportive, fun and informative to give children a wonderful start in classical ballet training.

Pre Primary / Primary Ballet

Pre Primary - Age Range 4-6yrs
Primary - Age Range 5-7yrs

These syllabi develop students’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles.  Set to engaging music, the gentle exercises teach the beginnings of the ballet technique in a creative and fun environment.

Children enjoy interactive learning and we find that they respond with great enthusiasm to anything that is visually, aurally and tactilely attractive.

The classes prepare students for a successful transition to ballet and other dance genres at higher levels.

• Articulate parts of the body
• demonstrate awareness of positions of the body
• perform with an awareness of space
• demonstrate control
• demonstrate co-ordination
• demonstrate elevation
• demonstrate use of appropriate movement dynamics
• respond to the elements of music
• perform expressively
• perform a sequence of simple steps to depict a story
• confidently recall the settings.


Grade 1-3 Ballet

Guidance for Grade Ages
Grade 1 Age Range 7-8yrs
Grade 2 Age Range 9-11yrs
Grade 3 Age Range 10-13yrs
Ability/Experience can determine a student's grade.

The Graded syllabi provide a broad practical dance education developing the technical, musical and performance skills of the student. Through the use of musically inspired exercises and dances, the students will learn joy in movement, creative interpretation and a sense of dance and performance quality.

The ballet classes incorporate Classical Ballet and Free Movement:
• Classical Ballet is the core of the syllabus, the foundation and the most important part of the syllabus; classes start to get more technical and full ballet phrasing is used.

• Free Movement incorporates movements in common with dance genres such as Natural Movement, Contemporary and Classical Greek; where the children are allowed to express themselves more freely through travelling steps and relaxation exercises.

The aims of the Graded Examination syllabus are to:
• promote the study of ballet and related dance disciplines as a leisure and/or vocational activity;
• To increase the students ability to demonstrate practical knowledge of the dance disciplines of ballet and character;
• promote and encourage enjoyment of movement as a form of physical exercise;
• provide all candidates, particularly children and young people, with an opportunity of experiencing dance accompanied by live and recorded music;
• increase self-confidence in the student through the learning, memorising and performing of prescribed sequences of movement, studies and dances;
• develop an awareness and understanding of working with others;
• aid the development of a general appreciation of music through dancing to various musical styles and rhythmic patterns.

Please note: The above ages are used as a guideline only.


Grade 4 - Intermediate Ballet

Grade 4 Upwards - 11+
Class Grading Based On Experience/Ability

These graded syllabi ballet classes continue from the previous grades (1, 2 & 3), with the enhanced learning of a broad practical dance education further developing the technical, musical and performance skills of the student.
The classes continue to incorporate Classical Ballet and Free Movement at progressively more advanced levels.
The aims of the dance classes remain the same of the previous grades with the expected learning outcome to be of a more mature and technical nature.
Students learn in preparation for examinations, however this is not compulsory and other arrangements can be made.

bottom of page