ballet: world class, pre-professional training

AIMS OF THE BALLET PROGRAM – Level 1a through 3

* To provide students in the Ballet 1a (7+ years old) through to Level 3, with the opportunity to study the MSA Ballet curriculum, which is based on an amalgamation of the British (Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and the Italian (Cecchetti) methods and takes into consideration cognitive, physical and emotional development of students at this age. Students study the basics of a classical framework of vocabulary which develops as the levels increase. The focus of study in these early stages is classical ballet posture, correct weight placement, development of the use of “turn out” and learning to move through space in a harmonious manner.
* To provide Students with the opportunity to further develop their performance skills by participating in the annual MSA Spring Production.
* We hope to promote the study of Ballet as a leisure activity which will enhance other dance genre practice. It is also hoped that talented and dedicated students will consider their studies as a pathway to join the Junior Ballet Conservatory program which is designed to accommodate those wishing to pursue a career in dance.


• Using the MSA ballet curriculum our intermediate and advanced level students will broaden their classical knowledge by learning a combination of the British (RAD), Cecchetti (Italian), the Vagonova (Russian) and the American Ballet Theater (ABT) methods. Some faculty members are accredited in both the RAD and ABT methods.
• Students will be encouraged to further develop their performance skills through participation in the annual Spring Production and the option of participating in the annual production of The Nutcracker.
• We aim to provide a technical and artistic framework, which challenges students and measures the acquisition of technical, musical and performance skills in the Classical Ballet genre.
• Provide all students with an opportunity to experience dance accompanied by live and recorded music.
Students will be encouraged to further develop their performance skills through participation in the annual Spring Production and the option of participating in the annual production of The Nutcracker.
• Provide an opportunity for talented and dedicated students, who wish to take their studies more seriously, to audition for and participate in the Intermediate and Advanced Ballet Conservatory programs. Through this pathway it is anticipated that many members will join our Youth Ballet company and / or be qualified to apply to study dance in college.

Ballet Levels 4+ Students required to take 2 classes per week
• Each course of study at these levels may take 1 – 3 years to successfully complete.
• From level 4 upwards, students are required to take at least 2 Ballet classes per week (one Technique class and one Performance class.
• Both these classes will utilize an approach to Ballet involving kinetics and anatomical movement principals. In the technique class (e.g. 342T), the focus will be on the MSA ballet curriculum.
• The Performance (e.g. 341) class will further develop the principals of technical development of the MSA ballet curriculum and will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on stage in the Annual Spring Production in June each year.


The Ballet Conservatory Program – Royal Academy of Dance vocational examinations.

The Conservatory Program is designed for ballet student who possess the technical ability and work ethic to achieve a high level of study, execution and performance in classical ballet. Students in the Junior program take the Conservatory ballet classes in addition to their two weekly ballet classes – thereafter students from Intermediate through Advanced 2 have the opportunity to attend up to 6 Conservatory classes, specifically designed for each level, plus pointe work classes each week.

The aim of the Conservatory Ballet program is to provide a comprehensive education in classical ballet studies to prepare them for a potential career in dance. At least one of the potential 6 classes a week is based on the technical framework is based on the Vocational syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). Conservatory students are expected to participate in an annual RAD Examination session held in early spring. MSA students regularly achieve remarkable results in these examinations and MSA ranks in the top 20% of RAD schools worldwide.

Intermediate and Advanced level Conservatory students augment this training with additional open classes based on the Vagonova method. There are four levels in the program: Junior, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2. Participation in the Conservatory Program is by invitation only and minimum class requirements must be met.

About the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)

The Royal Academy of Dance is an internationally recognized organization that provides a certification program in classical ballet. With more then 15,000 members’ spread across 82 countries, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world (www. rad. Highly trained and certified registered teachers administer a curriculum in dance that is approved by the United Kingdom Department of Education, which follows UK national standards for arts education. The assessment process allows students and educators alike to know exactly what skills have been attained, and where further study is required. The Royal Academy of Dance employs a Board of Examiners: internationally renowned teachers who use the RAD syllabus in their own teaching. Lesley Shearer, the Director of the Ballet Program at MSA is a member of the RAD Board of Examiners and the Board of Tutors. A certificate is awarded to successful candidates, providing proof that they have attained an international standard in classical dance appropriate to their age. The certificate is a highly prized addendum to college applications as it demonstrates that the student has been diligently committed to working towards a high standard of achievement in the arts, in addition to their school activities.