Ballet Grade 1

Recommended Age Range as of January:
7.5 - 9 years old

  • Minimum age for this class is 8 years old by June 30th.
  • Students with little or no dance experience may need to trial a few different levels to find the best class
  • Exceptions are at the discretion of the school/teacher and will depend on previous dance experience, exams passed, ability and age. Please contact the office for further information.

Uniform Requirements:

  • Girls
    • Marine "Bronwyn" style leotard
    • Ballet tights
    • Pink ballet socks (optional)
    • Pink leather ballet shoes with full sole and elastic
    • Low heel character shoe (teacher will advise)
    • Character skirt - new style available from PW Dance*
  • Boys
    • White short-sleeved leotard or well-fitted white T-shirt
    • Navy shorts or ankle length tights
    • White leather ballet shoes with full sole and elastic
    • Short white socks
    • Black lace-up character shoes

* As of 2017 we will be introducing a new style character skirt. When a new skirt is required, please purchase the new style available from PW Dance, not a second-hand one

Grade 1 ballet is our forth-year level ballet class. Students are taught the fundamental steps and linking steps of  classical, free-movement and national character ballet styles. Our school follows the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus from Grade 1 level. Exercises and combinations have a strong focus on technique, style and performance.

Students in Grade 1 ballet have the opportunity to enter a RAD Class Award Examination, NZAMD Medal Test and/or to perform in our annual End of Year Recital. Students wishing to sit the Grade 1 RAD class award/examination are required to attend at least two exam classes per week during term times.

PLEASE NOTE: At grade 1 level the RAD examination is very tough and we highly recommend that students enter the RAD Class Award as an alternative. However if teachers feel there are students who are up to exam standard technically, artistically and musically, is confident with the syllabus without copying others, displays durability to correction and the pressures of an exam then they will be considered for the full exam.

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.


Grade 1 ballet progresses on to Grade 2 ballet.