Ballet (RAD syllabus)

What is Ballet?

Ballet is one of the most celebrated performance arts. It is a theatrical and highly technical dance form with strong emphasis on performance and physical proficiency.

It is often said that ballet is the foundation for most performance art forms and we strongly believe that the strength, poise, flexibility and discipline of ballet training can help students studying other dance forms.

There are different types of Ballet dance (including Classical, Romantic, Contemporary and Neoclassical) and 5 main schools of Ballet: Royal Academy of Dance (England), Vaganova (Russia), Cechetti (Italy), Balanchine (America), and Bournonville (Denmark).

The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s leading dance education and training organisations and at the Vanessa Golborn School of Dance we use the this syllabus to train students in classical ballet (although influences from Romantic, Neoclassical, Contemporary and Character dance can be found giving students specific training while maintaining a broad foundation of Ballet knowledge).


Movement classes start at the age of 2 ½. Classes for our younger students are designed to be fun and all inclusive encouraging input from the children. We are dedicated to creating fun classes where the “work” is hidden within the enjoyment. Children learn the foundations of co-ordination, technique, musicality and expression, as well as developing their confidence and self-awareness through movement and performance. At less than £5 per class your little ones are guaranteed a great time staying active that won't cost a fortune.


As children grow older the training and standard progresses with them. We inspire children’s imaginations with the use of stories, music and props, while teaching safe and correct dance technique and discipline which prepares them for further training as they get older and progress to more complex work. The aims throughout the grades are:

  • to learn and improve classical ballet technique
  • to improve co–ordination, balance, flexibility and strength
  • to promote self awareness of body including a sense of line and style
  • to develop musicality, creativity and performance skills
  • to gain confidence through performance

Our students work through the Royal Academy of Dance grade system from Primary through to Grade 8 and are offered the chance to take either full or presentation RAD exams depending on attendance and progress. Exams are not compulsory but many students gain a sense of achievement and confidence from taking exams, as well as improving their dancing by the hard work required to attain the high RAD standards.


Vocational exams are offered to students who show extraordinary talent and commitment to dance training. Students are invited to train in our Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced

classes as an extension to their graded training. These professional vocational exams are designed as a preparation for a career in dance or performing arts. The aims of vocational exams are:

  • to achieve excellence in classical ballet technique
  • to learn and progress through pointe work training
  • to achieve self-awareness of the body and excellence in line and style
  • to advance flexibility and strength beyond the level necessary for grades
  • to achieve excellence in musicality, creativity and performance skills
  • to increase knowledge of repertoire, dance vocabulary and the ability to pick up combinations through free work
  • to prepare students for full time vocational training and careers in dance and performing arts

Please note: Students will be assessed regularly in class and for safety reasons will only be allowed to get pointe shoes when they are individually ready and have shown dedication to improving technique, regardless of age or the rest of the class. Although younger students are sometimes invited to join our vocational classes, we will not allow any child under the age of 11 to be in pointe shoes as it can be detrimental to growth and development. Please respect our knowledge and expertise in knowing whether a student is ready for pointe.

Term fees start from just £55 (one x 30 minute class per week for 11 week term)