Coastal Dance Centre offers two programs of study for students: the Recreational and Pre-Professional Programs. Each program is designed to meet the instructional needs of students according to their level of development. This ensures that the teaching of technique and the building of stamina and discipline parallels the physical and emotional readiness of the child. Students are placed in the level most appropriate for their age and ability.
The Recreational Program includes dance classes for students who may choose to take class once or twice per week. Students can choose from a variety of dance classes such as Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tumble, Acro and may choose the number of classes they commit to per week.
Our classes for young students include the Creative Movement (for 18 months-2 years); Tiny Tots Ballet (for 2 -3 years); Baby Ballet (for 3-4 years); Ballet-Tap and Ballet-Tumble classes (for 3-6 years). To register for any of the classes, please contact our Front Office staff at 843.839.5678 or 843.651.2006 or email us at coastaldancecentre.com.
The Recreational Program is also intended for students who wish to take open ballet classes and would prefer a schedule that leaves room for other activities. This program offers students the same high-quality instruction as the Pre-Professional Program without the commitment to attend the complete schedule of classes of the Pre-Professional Track students.
Our Open Ballet classes include the Elementary Ballet, the Intermediate/Advanced Ballet and the Beginning Intermediate Adult Ballet classes. We also offer Adult Tap and Adult Fitness classes. To register for any of the classes, please contact our Front Office staff at 843.839.5678 or 843.651.2006 or email us at coastaldancecentre.com.
CDC students in the Recreational Program may still be eligible to participate in Coastal Dance Centre’s performing company (Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre) productions by auditioning for roles that may be opened up for non-company members. When auditioning, it must be noted that students in the Pre-Professional Program who are also CYBT company members will have priority over the Recreational Program students with regards to casting or roles due to the fact that the rehearsals require substantial commitment of time and energy.
Pre-Professional Program – this is for the more serious dancer, who wishes to pursue technical prowess and artistry. It requires the highest level of commitment. This program is by audition or by invitation only. Each level has a specific class attendance requirement, increasing in number as the levels progress.
Coastal Dance Centre follows the syllabi of the Royal Academy of Dance but we are not contractually bound to it. We will always reserve the right to operate our dance program in the best interest of our students.
What is the Royal Academy of Dance?
Established in 1920, to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training initially within the UK, the Academy helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students. *Today there are over 13,000 teaching members’ and 250,000 students spread across 79 countries, The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world. The Academy’s patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. RAD Membership supports the advancement of dance and includes professional dancers, students, teachers, benefactors and friends. The Academy maintains close links with all those involved in the industry, at every level; from the internationally recognized ‘Faculty of Education’ degree programs to those younger students participating in our summer schools. At whatever age or stage, anyone with an appreciation of classical ballet is able to participate in the work of the Academy.
Why do we do examinations?
We stress the importance of every student having an achievable goal. This is measured by an Examination for students studying the Graded or Vocational Graded syllabus. Only RAD certified teachers are authorized to teach the dance syllabus. Examinations offer a sense of accountability by all involved. The student is accountable to learn and the program faculty is accountable to teach. The international examiner is accountable to maintaining and grading to standard.
Examinations offer students a challenge to show their understanding of the work. They are open to all students studying the Graded and Vocational Graded Examination syllabi and are tests of knowledge in relation to the level in question.
Examinations in classical ballet are suitable for everyone from young children starting out in dance classes to students aspiring to become professional dancers. It is optional, no dancer is obligated to take an examination but it is always highly encouraged. There are no upwards age limits on any examinations and the syllabus has been designed for both male and female candidates at all levels.
Graded Examination Class:
It is recommended that the commitment for students studying for a Graded Examination Class should be a minimum of two classes a week with extra coaching in the period leading up to the Examination Class if necessary, particularly as the student progresses towards the higher levels.
Vocational Graded Examination Class:
Students studying for Vocational Graded examinations should expect to take a minimum of three classes a week at the lowest level increasing as student’s progress towards the higher levels. Please note that the speed of development of individual students may vary and extra time spent, particularly when growth spurts occur.
Tell me more about the Graded syllabus
The Graded syllabus consists of three different components; classical, free movement and character dance.
- Classical: The Classical work is the foundation and the most important part of the Graded Syllabi.
- Free Movement: The free movement section incorporates movements in common with other dance styles such as natural movement, contemporary based dance and Greek dance.
- Character Dance: Character dance is the theatrical presentation of national dance using original ethnic dance and music which has been freely adapted for the theatre. There are three styles – Hungarian, Russian and Polish – and these were selected because of their historic importance in the development of the traditional full-length classical ballets.
What are the entry requirements for Graded Examinations?
Candidates are eligible to take a Graded Examination as long as their age meets the minimum age requirement below. There are no upwards age limits on any Examinations.
|Examination Class||Minimum Age Requirements|
|Primary||6 years old +|
|Level 1||7 years old +|
|Level 2||8 years old +|
|Level 3||9 years old +|
|Levels 4 & 5||10 years old +|
|Levels 6 – 8||11 years old +|
Each candidate will receive a ‘result form which shows the marks achieved. These marks can be checked against the published assessment criteria in order to highlight the strengths of the candidate’s performance and the areas that need improvement. Successful candidates will receive a Certificate bearing their name and level of attainment, and a medal.
The Academy’s Grades 6, 7 and 8 Award provides eligibility for Affiliate Student Membership of the Royal Academy of Dance. These examinations can be taken in any sequence, and are available to male and female candidates. Graded Examination qualifications are accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by QCA, DELLS and CCEA respectively, and can be included in candidates’ Records of Achievement. Success in the Graded Examinations can provide the building blocks to the Vocational Graded Syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. All students however must take the advice of their teacher as to their levels of attainment and capabilities.
Tell me more about the Vocational syllabus
The Vocational Graded syllabus is the continuation of classical ballet from the Academy’s Graded Syllabus where Pointe work for females is introduced for the first time. This syllabus has been designed to give the necessary training to students wishing to study seriously with a possible view to following a career in dance or dance related subjects.
Students wishing to study for the Vocational Graded syllabus should have the type of body that can respond to demanding study. Students must also be able to concentrate for long periods of time and be able to accept and welcome constructive comments and correction.
What are the entry requirements for Graded Examinations?
Candidates are eligible to take a Vocational Graded Examination as long as their age meets the minimum age requirement. There are no upwards age limits on any Vocational Examinations. If candidates have achieved a distinction in Intermediate or any of the Advanced examinations, they may enter for the next examination one year younger than the minimum ages stated below:
|Examination Class||Minimum Age Requirements|
|Intermediate Foundation||11 years old +|
|Intermediate||12 years old +|
|Advanced Foundation||13 years old +|
|Advanced 1||14 years old +|
|Advanced 2||15 years old +|
|Solo Seal Award||Must hold Advanced 2 Distinction|
Each candidate will receive a ‘Result Form’ showing the marks achieved. The marks achieved can be correlated to the criteria indicating to the students, teachers and parents the strengths of the candidate’s performance and the areas that need improvement.
Successful candidates will receive a Certificate bearing their name and level of attainment. Successful completion of the Intermediate examination give eligibility to the Academy’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) and two degree programs offered by the Academy and validated by the University of Surrey. Vocational Graded Examinations qualifications are accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the QCA, DELLS and CCEA respectively and can be included in candidates Records of Achievement for Vocational Schools, Universities and Colleges of Higher Education and Employment. It also provides eligibility for affiliate student membership of the Royal Academy of Dance; click here for more information on membership.
Successful completion of the Advanced 2 (formerly Advanced) examination gives eligibility for candidates who have reached the age of 18 years or over to apply to become an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance and use the initials ARAD after their name.
What does the exam involve?
For all other Grade exams the students enter in groups of four (4) or less and the exam is conducted by the examiner (the teacher does not enter the examination room). Only the pianist, examiner and students are allowed in the studio during an exam.
Where does the examiner come from?
The Royal Academy of Dance has a Board of Examiners spread throughout the world. Based on his / her schedule at the time, an examiner is chosen to come from London, Australia, USA, Canada, Asia, South America, South Africa or Europe as part of her examining tour.
At which location do exams take place?
Coastal Dance Centre students take their examinations at the Market Common Studio.
What if I choose not to enter my child for exam?
If a student has been selected by us to take the exam and you wish to decline, you must notify our studio manager, Ms. Sandra Hucks, as soon as possible. NOTE: Coastal Dance Centre students who are company members of Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre are required to take the Royal Academy of Dance examinations.
Why does my child have to take extra classes before the exam?
As we build up to exams it is necessary from Primary level upward for the children to attend regular classes and extra mock exam practices in order for the student to reach his / her full potential. When entering for the exam, the students should feel confident in the knowledge of the work she has been studying as well as having the added strength to achieve her very best. This extra work helps to build stamina and confidence.
All RAD Ballet students are not considered for exams unless they have been attending regular classes twice a week, as the workload at this level is much more challenging. Each child’s readiness is assessed by the teacher based on the following:
• Sound knowledge of all his / her Grade syllabus material.
• Is able to execute all the work with good technique and style.
How are the students marked?
The marking system is as follows:
- Unclassified / Unsuccessful = 0-39%
- Pass = 40-54%
- Pass with merit = 55-74%
- Pass with distinction = 75-100%
How soon do we get the results?
After the exams the Examiner returns the paperwork to London for processing. The results are returned to us after approximately 6-8 weeks. Each candidate receives a result form, which will show the marks achieved in each section and the overall result they are also awarded a certificate stating the level passed.
What does my child need to wear to the exam?
The students wear the prescribed uniform that they regularly wear when attending the ballet class. Also before you child’s exam you will receive an individual notice of exam time and uniform reminder.
Are parents allowed to wait at the studio for their children?
We don’t mind parents waiting for children especially if it is for the younger ones since their exams only take a short while. We, however, prefer as few people waiting around as possible so as not to distract the next set of students entering for exams. If you choose to wait at the studio please remember that everyone must keep noise levels down.