Q: Do you require all of your ballet teachers to have a set syllabus? Why or why not?
A: For many years we did not have a set syllabus in our ballet program, which meant dancers were advanced by teacher recommendation. It was very subjective and, in turn, there was often class-placement drama and disagreement. Since then, we have established two ballet-track options, one that is more recreational and based on age, and the other that is intensive and based on level. In our intensive track, a set syllabus is taught, and exams are given with assessment from an outside panel of teachers. We have found that our dancers are most successful with this approach, and it has established consistency in our ballet program, which positively affects all other genres at our studio.
There are various options for ballet syllabi out there that you might look into, including these respected programs: Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), ABT’s National Training Curriculum, Cecchetti Council of America and Vaganova.