Dance class descriptions
Use the links below to navigate to the appropriate dance class information. Dress code information can be found here.
Royal Academy of Dance
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the world’s most influential dance education and training organizations. RAD promotes knowledge, understanding, and practice of dance internationally and seeks to accomplish this through promoting dance, educating and training students and teachers, and providing examinations to set standards and reward achievement.
RAD aims to be recognized internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning, as a leader in continuing professional development in dance, and as the preferred professional membership body for teachers of dance, supporting and promoting them at every step of their career, encouraging their innovative contributions to dance and education throughout the world.
The RAD has a long history of improving dance teaching and education standards. It was founded in 1920 as the Association of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain to ensure high standards of dance teaching within the UK. In 1936, it was granted a Royal Charter and changed its name to the Royal Academy of Dancing. In 2000, it became the Royal Academy of Dance. The RAD’s Patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Today, the RAD has a presence in 79 countries, with 36 offices and approximately 13,000 members worldwide. RAD supports its membership base of professional dancers, students, teachers, benefactors, and friends through the knowledge, support, and technical expertise of the highly qualified staff and the social interaction of like-minded enthusiasts at conferences, workshops, courses, and summer schools.
The RAD offers an internationally recognized 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 organized and administered by the RAD Examinations Board. Every year, approximately 230,000 candidates enter for RAD Examinations, Presentations and Demonstration Classes, and Class Awards.
The Panel of Examiners consists of approximately 200 examiners resident throughout the world. They all undergo rigorous training before being appointed and their work is monitored to ensure parity and reliability of assessment across the panel and over time.
In 1997, the Benesh Institute, the international center for Benesh Movement Notation, was incorporated within the RAD. The RAD’s link with the Benesh Institute has enabled technical material, including examination content, to be documented in notated form as well as in words, thus maximizing accessibility and accuracy.
In 1999, RAD created the Faculty of Education, dedicated to meeting the needs of the current and future dance teachers by providing dance teacher education programs and qualifications. Every year, qualified teachers graduate from one of the many programs offered and gain employment in one or more of the many contexts in which dance teaching takes place: private and public sector education, theatre, community or leisure industries.
In order to recognize and reward the achievement of students and their teachers in a public context, the RAD holds a number of national and international competitions, which are open to candidates gaining certain minimum marks for specific levels of examination. The flagship competition is the world renowned Genée Early Ballet International Ballet Competition. Many young dancers who are successful in RAD examinations and competitions become professional dancers, holding prestigious positions in the dance world.
VISION: Leading the world in dance education and training, the Royal Academy of Dance will be recognized internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning. As the professional membership body for dance teachers, it will inspire and empower dance teachers and students, members, and staff to make innovative, artistic, and lasting contributions to dance and dance education throughout the world.
MISSION: To promote and enhance knowledge, understanding, and practice of dance internationally by educating and training teachers and students and by providing examinations to reward achievement, so preserving the rich, artistic, and educational value of dance for future generations.
Tiny Tot – age 3 by fall of attending academic calendar
Introduces students to their first year of dance training. Coordination, rhythm, body awareness, and class discipline are emphasized through guided, creative, age-appropriate activities. Students are introduced to elementary ballet terminology, positions, and movements.
Beginning Ballet – age 4 by fall of attending academic calendar
Full of age appropriate movement, songs, games and exercises. Classes consist of activities designed to increase children’s awareness, understanding, and control of their bodies in space and time. Exercises develop basic dance skills such as coordination, balance, spatial awareness and ability to cooperate and dance with others. Classes include practice in all loco motor steps and creative, expressive dancing to music.
Pre-Primary – age 5 by fall of attending academic calendar
Consists of the Pre-Primary set of dance exercises designed by the Royal Academy of Dance—which prepare children for beginning ballet—and the creative exploration of the four elements of dance: body, space, time, and effort. Children develop coordination, balance, control, and awareness of space, rhythm, and effort qualities. They also develop their abilities to learn movement combinations and cooperate and dance well with others. Classes include practice in all loco motor steps, expressive dancing to music, and the preparation of creative dances for a performance for parents during the last class of each semester.
Primary – age 6 by fall of attending academic calendar
The beginning of classical ballet technique is introduced in this class which includes the study of proper placement, partner and group work, and musicality.
Grades 1-5 – at least age 7 by fall of attending academic calendar
A progression of ballet technique and performance qualities based upon the Royal Academy of Dance Grades Syllabus.
Pre-Pointe, Intermediate 1 & 2, Advanced Foundations, Advanced 1 & 2:
A more in-depth look and study of ballet technique, these classes may also include the study of Pointe work. Pre-Pointe is an optional class for female dancers in Grade 5.
Jazz, pilates, and adult ballet
*All students interested in Jazz 1-3 (age 7-18) should attend an open class for placement in August in the Ponderosa building (#92) in Studio A before registering with the Academy office.
Introduces and develops jazz dance skills and vocabulary for dancers who are new to the jazz dance form.
Develops jazz dance skills for dancers with some or little jazz dance experience. Jazz 2 accommodates students who are new to the medium as well as those looking to improve existing skills with a focus on specific jazz movement styles, including street jazz.
Jazz 3 builds on existing jazz dance skills for dancers with prior experience in jazz. Offers a challenge for those looking to refine their jazz dance style and technique. Broadens the jazz dance genre to include musical theatre, lyrical, and street jazz styles.
Hip hop introduces and develops hip hop dance skills and vocabulary to beginners and students with some experience.
Modern and choreography
Modern dance skills are developed for beginners and students with some experience. Students as a class choreograph a dance they perform at the Spring Performance with the modern dance skills they learn through the semester.
Adults will enjoy learning jazz dance while also improving strength and flexibility. This class is for students who are new to dance, or those who have danced before and want to begin again. Basic technique will be covered and time spent stretching and improving strength, while also practicing various forms of jazz dance such as lyrical and street jazz/hip hop.
Pilates – age 14+
Based on the transformational work of Joseph Pilates, this technique strengthens the core muscles of the torso to improve ability and to prevent injury in every kind of physical activity. Floor work develops better, more graceful posture as well as mind-body focus. Class includes gentle stretching and relaxation for a calming yet refreshing experience. Wear comfortable exercise or yoga-style clothing and bring a squishy yoga mat. Shoes are not required.
Adults will enjoy learning ballet while developing confidence, mental concentration, physical coordination, and grace. This class is for students who are new to ballet, students who want to dance but never had the opportunity, and those who have danced before and want to begin again.
Dance Around the World – age 5-9
Each week of Dance Around the World focuses on a different part of the world. Each week-long class is perfect for first-time dancers or continuing students and explore various dances performed around the world including traditional folk dances. Students get to do daily crafts that correspond with the various countries and put together a mini ballet based on a folktale from the country of the week to share with family and friends on the final day of class! Past featured countries have included: Polynesian Islands, Scandinavia, Africa, Mexico and Spain. Dates can be found on the registration form.
Science Festival – entering RAD Grade 1+
Classes are held during the last three weeks in August on Monday-Thursday for the collaborative performance in September of the Festival of Science. Dancers should plan to enroll in fall. The final performance will occur as part of the opening ceremony for the fall Flagstaff Festival of Science.
Classes are available in various levels divided by age and/or RAD grade completed including open adult ballet classes. Classes are sold on a weekly basis and may be added at any time. Classes will not be prorated within each week.
Dance Workshops – completed RAD Grade 3+
Week-long workshops will expose dancers at various levels in their training to a variety of instruction including ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, and Pilates. Intermediate workshops include one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. Advanced workshops include 2.5 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon
Ballet Intensives- completed RAD Grade 6+
Week-long ballet intensives include classes in combination with other dancers throughout the morning and afternoon of each day including ballet, pointe, repertoire, and variations each day with a final in-studio performance on the last day of each intensive open to parents, family, and friends.
Class make-up information
Making up absences
It is mandatory for all students to attend all classes. However, in the event of illness, injury, religious holiday, or required school activity, classes may be made up during the semester of absence.
Classes may be made up by attending another section of the same class level or a class on level above or below the currently enrolled class level. Students are not required to notify the teacher ahead of time. A full schedule of class section meeting dates and times can be found using the dance class schedule.