Ballet students are introduced to a variety of syllabus exercises in the first years of their training.

Last year the RAD introduced a new syllabus for the junior children. It is extremely good for developing imagination and musicality. The exercises are not traditional ballet exercises but will instill a love for movement and dance.

The BBO work offers these traditional technical exercises as well as imaginative exercises and partner work.

We feel that by introducing exercises from both syllabi we will be able to keep the students interested and stimulated as well as providing a solid technical base for the students to develop from.

From Grade One onwards we teach the RAD syllabus.

The NZAMD exams are also offered at times when we feel a class may need a bridging year between grades or extension work.

To sit exams, students from Grade 1 need to attend 2 lessons per week. Major Students need to attend 3 – 4 lessons per week.

Ballet Progressions

  • Syllabus Taught: Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)
  • New Zealand Association of Modern Dance (NZAMD)


Hair and Grooming:

·         Hair must be always be secured tightly and loose hair clipped off the face and away from the eyes to ensure that the dancer can concentrate fully in her class and not be distracted by hair falling around her face. Short fringes are acceptable.

·         Hair is to worn in a tidy Bun to all lessons. Please see guidelines below if you are not sure how to do a bun.

·         Those who are rushing from school or from another activity and genuinely do not have time to put their hair in a bun may wear their hair in a tidy and secure ponytail.

·         A high standard of personal grooming is an essential part of part of a dancer’s etiquette. This must be developed right from the word go.

·         It has been proven time and time again that children dance better and learn faster when they feel they are well presented and have no unnecessary distraction and feel they look like a dancer.


Guidelines to a Successful Bun and Ponytail

Materials Needed

·         Hairspray and/or gel

·         Bun pins

·         Tight Hair Elastic – this needs to be strong enough to go around the hair that last time.

·         Fine Tooth Comb and brush

·         Hair net – ideally the same colour as hair


Brush the hair to get rid of knots. Gather the hair and pull it back into a tight ponytail. Use a fine tooth comb to smooth bumps before fastening the ponytail tightly with hair elastic. Form the pony tail by brushing the hair up from the jaw line to the top part of the back of the head. This will form a high bun. The placement of the ponytail determines the placement of the bun. If the ponytail is not tight enough there will be nothing to secure the clips into and it will be baggy. Once in a tight ponytail re comb the hair to ensure hair is smooth.

Twist the ponytail. Coil the twisted ponytail into a tight circle. NOTE: If hair is long/thick it may be easier to split the pony tail into two sections, coil one clockwise and one anticlockwise around the base of the ponytail.

Use bun pins all around the coil(s) to secure it to the rest of the hair. Slide each pin into the outer part of the coil perpendicular to the bun, then hook the pin into the hair and slide inwards towards the base of the bun.

Wrap a fine hair net around the bun. Keep twisting and wrapping so that the hair net tightly secures the bun. Add a few more pins if necessary.

With long thick hair, you may end up with a bun that will protrude too much. A flatter bun is preferable. To flatten, remove all pins; the hair net will hold the bun. Then spread and flatten the bun and re-pin all around the bun. If using a donut or any other bun aids please make sure to secure this to the head also – and try and flatten it to the head.


Junior Grades



RAD Grades

*Grade 6, 7 and 8 RAD can be taken in succession after Grade 5, as well as or instead of the vocational levels, when our timetable allows.

RAD Vocational Levels



Students who do not wish to attend more than two lessons a week at vocational level have the opportunity to sit these exams instead of the RAD exams (when our timetable allows).

Some students choose to sit these as well as the RAD vocational exams.

  • Grade 5 (taken after Grade 5 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Pre Elementary (taken after Intermediate Foundation RAD) - no classes 2019
  • Elementary (taken after Intermediate RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Intermediate  (taken after Advanced Foundation RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Advanced (taken after Advanced 1 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Solo Seal – Taken if a high standard is achieved in Advanced NZAMD

The following levels are taught as a bridging year when a class of students are not ready to move to the next RAD level.

  • Grade 2 (taken after Grade 2 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Grade 3 – (taken after Grade 3 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Grade 4 – (taken after Grade 4 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Grade 5 – (taken after Grade 5 RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Elementary – (taken after Intermediate RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Intermediate – (taken after Advanced Foundation RAD) – no classes 2019
  • Advanced – (taken after Advanced 1 RAD) – no classes 2019