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The Academy

About the School

The Academy consists of Lower, Middle and Upper school.

The Lower School is comprised of an introductory class for three year olds, Preparatory ballet for four year olds and Primary Grade ballet for 5 year olds. The Preparatory and Primary grades each lead to an examination in the summer term. These three foundation years provide an introduction to the more technical work undertaken in the middle school. The teachers take great care to encourage and support young dancers as they become more confident and balletic.

Through these initial grades the basic building blocks of musicality, technique and ballet terminology are established.

The Middle School consists Grades 1 to 5. Pupils follow the syllabus for each grade in preparation for an examination at the end of the summer term. Children may take medal examinations in addition to grade examinations. Each medal comprises a ballet dance and a character dance and these help to develop performance skills as well as increasing the balletic quality of the work. 

The Upper School classes consist of Classical Awards I and Classical Award II, which are more technically demanding and balletic and provide a bridge to the Intermediate and Advanced performance examinations. These latter levels are equivalent to the first two years of a professional dance school.

Students receive certificates, plaques or medals and an examiners report following each examination.

About the Teachers and Standards

The Academy is led by Margaret Thomson and Lorraine Hancox who are both professionally trained and highly qualified IDTA teachers. 

The Academy examination results have been consistently excellent and we are well known for creating a caring and supportive atmosphere in which children are able to feel confident as they learn. 

 An Academy student dancing in the Royal Ballet Performance 
of The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2009

Suitably talented children are entered for auditions with the Birmingham Royal Ballet Associate programme and the National Youth Ballet and these students are offered additional support and private classes to aid their development. BRB Associates may be invited to take part in Royal Ballet performances.

Students who demonstrate high levels of technical competence can also be nominated by examiners to attend the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards in Ballet.