Ballet Grades

Here you will find information on your ballet grade, and a list of your exercises. This is intended to be a prompt for practice – if there is something your child doesn’t understand or remember once the Grade has been taught, please write down the name of the exercise and give it to your teacher.

Ballet Grade examinations will be interspersed with Medal Test exams, designed to give children performance skills – In a Medal Test the Grade steps are examined in the form of dances.

If you are unfamiliar or need an extra boost, learn correct ballet techniques here: http://www.ballettechnique.net/

Preparatory Ballet Grade:

Preparatory is designed to develop the strong technical foundation upon which future grades will be built. Children will learn accurate placing of positions, good posture, how to jump safely, and to have the joy of movement.

1. Knee Bends. Standing in 1st position. Bend the knees, pushing knees back to make a diamond shape, while retaining posture. 3 bends, point to 2nd and lower heel. 3 bends, point and close in 1st.
2. Rises. 1st position (pos). Press up onto toes making sure your knees are straight, and ankles do not roll over. 3 rises, then pause to rest. Repeat.
3. Point and Close. 1st pos. Stretch R foot out to front in 4th position, making sure your toes are pointed hard and heel pushed around to the front. Close in 1st. Repeat L.
4. Arms. Butterfly arms. R arm, then L, then both together making waves.
5. 3 points and close. 1st pos. 3 little bounces with foot in 4th pos. at the front and close with a knee bend.
6. Springing in 1st position. Jumps in 1st, bending knees each time you land. 4 springs, then stretch knees and bend knees.
7. Skips. Skipping around the room.
8. Walking. 8 walks with toes pointed, Run, and then jump in 1st.

Gestures To be shown in a story setting
Yes Nod head with expression
No Shake head with expression
Me Point or indicate to self
You Point finger outwards
Please Clasp hands & open forward and out
Happiness Clap hands with little jumps
Listening Cup hand to R ear
Looking One hand shading eyes

Dance: Children will show a dance depicting a poem.
Curtsey or Bow

Primary Ballet Grade

Primary introduces combinations of steps requiring added co-ordination, free expressive movement, and further development of turn out and musicality.

1. Knee bends in 1st and 2nd positions. 3 in each
2. Point and Close. Point R in front and close, then in 2nd and close. Repeat on L.
3. Point, lift, point and close. Point R in front and lift. Point R in front and close in 1st. Repeat L.
4. Two points and close with knee bend.
5. Step close step, and point in front. Repeated continuously.
6. Arm exercise.
7. Springs in 1st position.
8. step close step to side and hop with a bent working leg – point feet really hard!
9. Spring points facing the front and turning.
10. Gallops forward and sideways.
11. Skipping forward.

MUSIC: Copy a rhythm clapped by examiner.
FREE EXPRESSIVE MOVEMENT: to music depicting any character.

DANCE: A ballet or demi-character dance.
Curtsey or Bow.

Grade One Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Three positions of the feet. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
2. Demi Plie and rise in 1st and 2nd positions. Facing Barre. Start in 1st position. 2 knee bends, press onto toes and lower. Point to 2nd pos and repeat.
3. Battement tendus derriere. Face barre. 3rd pos R ft at back. Point out to the back and close three times, change feet.
4. Preparatory exercise for Grande Battements. The same pattern as previous exercise, but lifting foot from the floor.
Centre
5. Arm exercise
6. Degage to 2nd. Start 3rd pos. Point back foot out to the side and close it in front.
7. Petit Jetes derriere.
8. Step and hop. Shown to the side with leg bent at the front. Also shown stepping foward with leg raised and straight out to the front.
9. Polka sideways
10. Compound step. Start with R pointed to front in 4th position. 2 skips backwards and 2 spring points.
11. Sautes and Echappes. 4 springs in 1st, spring to 2nd and close twice.
Unseen work: children will be expected to combine all steps in unexpected ways – they will be given the series of steps, given a few moments to practice joining them together, and then perform the enchainment (chain of steps) for the examiner.

Free Expressive movement
Dance
Curtsey or Bow. Required theory on Theory Page

Grade Two Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Five positions by Degage. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (open & crossed) 5th.
2. Plie and Rise in 2nd. Face barre. Start in 2nd.
3. Battement tendus en croix. start 3rd. Point and close front, side, back, and side.
4. Preparatory Exercise for Grande Battements. (a) 2 devant and two 2nd. (b) 2 derriere and two 2nd.
5. Low retire from 1st. Facing barre. 2 R, 2 L. Toe lifts to base of calf.
Centre
6. Arm Exercise. Introducing 4th and 5th arm positions
7. Degage. To front and close (arms 1st), to side and close (arms to 2nd and close.
8. Chasse en avant and a la seconde en face. Interpretation – slide forward and to side while facing front!
9. Glissades devant and derriere in 2 counts
10. Coupes over and under
11. Polka step, forwards and sideways
12. Pose and three temps leves. Step and place foot at front with knee raised and bent. Three hops.
13. Sautes in 1st and changements in 3rd.
Unseen Allegro: Examiner will give combinations of allegro incorporating work from previous grades.
Free Expressive Movement depicting ‘The Weather’
Dance – choice of set variations A or B
Curtsey or Bow Required Grade theory on Theory Page

Grade Three Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Plies and Rise in 1st and 2nd position
2. Grands battements in 2 counts. (a) 2 devant and two 2nd pos. (b) 2 derriere and two 2nd position.
3. Ronds de james aterre en dehors in 4 counts. Prepare to 2nd. 3 complete circles, close and turn to other side. Repeat.
4. Full retire. Facing barre. 2 each foot.
5. Preparatory exercise for pirouette.
Centre:
6. Arms exercise. Introducing 4th crossed.
7. Chasse en avant & on arriere in all directions – shown forward and backward. Start facing the corner.
8. Attitude ordinaire a terre in all directions. Start facing corner. Point back foot to derriere while arms go to 1st. Change arms to 4th. close and change to next direction.
9. First Arabesque a terre. start facing the side.
10. Glissades. 2 glissades devant, changement and pause, Repeat. then 2 glissades derriere, changment and pause. Repeat.
11. Jetes and assembles devant and derriere. 2 jetes ordinaire derriere, assemble derriere, and changement. Shown devant separately.
12. Pas de chat. 3 pas de chat and changement.
13. Echappe sautes and Soubresauts. 2 echappes, 2 soubresauts, 1 changement.
Unseen Allegro: Examiner will give combinations of allegro incorporating work from previous grades.
Free Expressive Movement: depicting Contrasts.
Dance. Choice of set variations A or B
Curtsey or Bow. Set theory is on Theory Page

Grade Four Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Plies in 3rd and 2nd.
2. Ronds de jame a terre. Shown en dedans (inwards)
3. Preparatory exercise of battement frappes sur le cou-de-pied. Start pointing to 2nd. 4 slow frappes aterre, 6 quick frappes aterre
4. Preparatory exercise for pirouette. With releves.
5. Developpe. Developpe devant and close, turn to face barre. developpe to 2nd and derriere.
6. Echappe Releves. To 4th and 2nd
Centre:
7. Ports de Bras.
8. Coupes over and under. Coupe over, under, over, and petit developpe each side, 2 classical walks, and transfer weight through demi plie to start again.
9. Attitude en l’air in all directions. Commence croise. With degage.
10. First arabesque en l’air. Commence facing side.
11. Assembles over and under. 3 assembles over and soubresaut. Repeat. 3 assembles under and soubresaut, Repeat.
12. Balances de cote. 6 balances, chasse to arabesque.
13. Pas de basque glisse, en avant, en face.
14. Pas de bourees, devant and derriere. Pas de bouree devant with front foot. PDB derriere with back foot, PDB derriere with front foot, 2 changements. Can also be in reverse, and with 1 count each.
15. Echappes sautes. Echappe saute to 4th, then 2nd changing feet, releve 5th, holding, then lower.
Unseen Allegro: Examiner will give combinations of allegro incorporating work from previous grades.
Free expressive movement. depicting The Elements
Dance: Choice of set variations A or B. Males show C.
Curtsey or Bow. Required theory is on Theory Page

Grade Five Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Plies in 5th and 4th crossed positions
2. Ronds de jambes a terre – en dehors and en dedans in 2 counts
3. Petits battements sur le cou-de-pieds.
4. Battements frappes in 2nd. Prepare to 2nd and to ankle. 4 battement frappes aterre, 4 en lair.
5. Demi and full assemble soutenue. Two half assemble soutenue on straight legs, one full on fondu. Repeat in reverse.
6. Developpe. devant, 2nd, derriere. Assemble soutenue and turn to change sides.
7. Releves from 2 feet. devant, derriere, passe derriere, releve 5th. Reverse.
Centre:
8. Port de bras. Chasse passe, circular port de bras, transfer through demi plie, to attitude with ful port de bras.
9. Chasse passes en avant and en arriere in all directions.
10. Attitude in opposition en lair. Same arm up as supporting leg.
11. Set adage. start croise. Chasse en arriere L, with reverse port de bras. Demi plie and transfer weight to attitude. Raise enlair in attitude and extend to 2nd arabesque. Fondu. Pas de bouree under.
12. Pirouette en dehors without turn. Be sure you snatch foot under the body with a strong releve.
13. Glissades over and under. set exercise.Over, under, derriere, jete. Repeat all. Also taken in reverse.
14. Pas de bourees over and under. set exercise.
15. Sissones ouverte en avant. set exercise.
16. Pas de basque glisse en avant. set exercise.
17. Pas de basque saute en avant. set exercise.
18. Balances en avant and en arriere. set exercise.
19. Petit batterie. Echappe battus ferme without change of feet 3 times, changement.
Unseen Allegro: Examiner will give combinations of allegro incorporating work from previous grades.
Free expressive movment, depicting Directions, Dimensions and Dynamics.
Dance: Choice of Variation A or B. Males to show C.
Reverence. Required Theory is on the Theory Page

Grade Six Ballet

Barre Work:
1. Plies in 5th position. With port de bras forward.
2. Battement tendus and glisses.
3. Ronds de jambe en l’air en dehors and en dedans.
4. Demi grands ronds de jambe en l’air.
5. Grands battements en cloche
6. Enchainement of demi pointe work.
Centre:
7. Ports de bras
8. Centre Practice. demi plie, rise, battement tendus to 2nd closing on demi plie, 2 battement glisses.
9. Third arabesque and attitude a deux bras.
10. Set Adage. Developpe devant ouverte, lower, change arms overhead to 4th, pose forward to 1st arabesque en fondu, pas de bouree under ending with chasse to 1st arab. aterre.
11. Pirouette en de hors.
12. Preparation for pirouette en dedans. en face.
13. Jete en avant, en arriere, and de cote.
14. Demi Contretemps
15. Sissones fermes and sissonnes ouverts changes en avant
16. Ballonnes compose en avant. set exercise.
17. Turning step.
18. Enchainment of petite batterie.
Unseen Allegro: Examiner will give combinations of allegro incorporating work from previous grades.
Free expressive movement: depicting Moods and Motivation
Dance. Choice of Variation A or B. Males C.
Reverence. Required theory on Theory Page