All classes at Bury St. Edmunds Ballet School focus on the wonderful benefits that dance has to offer. They focus on an appreciation of moving to music, encourage students to express themselves through dance and celebrate on using movement to promote emotional wellbeing and physical health. All classes are safe and nurturing environments to help students develop their identity and make secure friendships.
At the Bury St. Edmunds Ballet School, all of our ballet teachers hold RAD Registered Teacher Status.
Scroll down or click on a class to find out all about the different classes the school has to offer.
These classes introduce the youngest members of our school to the basic structure and etiquette of a ballet class.
The focus is on developing coordination with gross and fine motor skills which will benefit all aspects of their lives.
We use stories and creative imagery to engage and inspire the children as they begin their ballet journey.
Pre-Primary & Primary Ballet
Our Pre-Primary and Primary classes introduce the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus and prepare students in the fundamentals of classical ballet.
The classes loosely follow the RAD and ISTD syllabus. We extend this by introducing important ballet vocabulary beyond what these syllabus offers.
We invite students to take internal assessments at this level which are designed to prepare students for the formal RAD examination process. More information can be found about this on our Opportunities page.
Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Syllabus Ballet
The RAD syllabus develops classical ballet technique and knowledge of ballet vocabulary.
Grades include character dances inspired by Eastern European national dance in both folk and court styles. The syllabi also explores neoclassical and contemporary styles to broaden the dancer's skills and experience.
Syllabus classes start from Grade 1. We currently teach syllabus from Grade 1 to Grade 6 and Intermediate.
We offer the opportunity to enter exams and class awards to all of our students, more information about these can be found on our Opportunities page.
More information about the Royal Academy of Dance can be found here.
We identify and nurture talent in students who we feel may have potential to undertake vocational dance training in the future.
Our ballet enrichment classes are non-syllabus and focus on technique and artistry, whilst expanding student's ballet vocabulary.
Classes are by invitation only. Pupils are selected because teachers feel they demonstrate the physical, technical and artistic ability to benefit from attending these classes. They will also have displayed appropriate behaviour and a positive attitude to their dance education.
In order to attend these classes, students must be doing at least one syllabus class a week and it is strongly recommended that they are taking a class in a different dance discipline (not necessarily with Bury St. Edmunds Ballet School) to be eligible for this class. Classes are open to children over the age of 7 and in Grade 1 Ballet.
Pointe work involves dancing on the tips of the toes in shoes specifically designed for this purpose. It requires great core strength, excellent weight placement and posture, alongside exceptionally strong feet, ankles and legs.
Teachers take pointe work preparation extremely seriously to ensure that students are ready to safely undertake this exciting milestone in their ballet training. It is at their discretion when pupils go en pointe. This will be different for every student.
At an absolute minimum, pupils must be dancing 3 hours a week and be a minimum of 11 years old. However, the majority of dancers are older than this when they go en pointe. Please note that It should not be assumed that they will go en pointe if they have met this baseline requirement.
Bury St. Edmunds Ballet School is proud to have a loyal and enthusiastic cohort of adult ballet students who love to challenge themselves in both syllabus and non-syllabus ballet classes every week.
Our classes are relaxed and sociable occasions, but also technically challenging to build muscle strength, increase cardiovascular fitness and improve balance.
The combination of music and movement improves cognitive abilities and is found to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers in older people.
There are options for adult students to participate as much or as little as they like. With some students choosing to take exams and perform in shows, whilst others love coming once per week and choose not to do anything else!
The classes regularly meet for social events such as theatre trips and Christmas dinners.
We offer Contemporary Dance classes as both a complementary and alternative genre to ballet. Contemporary Dance incorporates elements of Ballet, Lyrical Jazz and Modern Dance. These classes are non-syllabus.
Similar to ballet, it emphasises fundamental skills such as balance, poise and graceful movement. It moves away from the rigorous physicalities such as turn-out and focuses more on a relaxation of the spine rather than a permanently upright posture.
The learning takes its stimulus from the Martha Graham style which focuses on the use of contraction, release, fall and recovery and the Merce Cunningham technique which promotes natural movement through rhythm and articulation.
More recently, there has been a focus on release technique, which is fluid and explores movement initiated by the head and the spine.
Acrobatics classes are a brilliant complementary genre to Ballet and Contemporary Dance training. It is also a great alternative to gymnastics for those less interested in dance.
Classes focus on building strength and flexibility which is integral to being a well-rounded dancer. Dancers develop skills and tricks that add an exciting dimension to choreographies. All acrobatic skills are developed safely, which feels satisfying and stimulating for young dancers to achieve.
Acrobatic classes follow the Acrotrix syllabus, who provide excellent supplementary material for keen dancers which can be found here.