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What are Graded Class Levels?

Graded class levels are helpful for students of all ages

At Studio Dansu we have been in the process of rolling out some new class levels which lay the groundwork for a very exciting venture. We plan on offering class exams for our dance technique classes which will evaluate our dancers against a set national/international standard, allowing dancers and our instructors to see where we stand globally.

This process is designed to motivate our students with defined and achievable goals.

As of this year, we will be offering exams in our Ballet and Acrobatic Classes.

(There will be more information about the exam process in the future)

With this, we are renaming our classes with Graded Levels, Level 1a, Level 1b, etc. Advancement between class levels is based on correct placement, skill mastery, and instructor recommendation-not by age-which means classes may have a variety of age ranges. Students can spend an average of two years at each level before mastering the skills to advance. They will receive evaluations and skills tests 2-3 times per year so that the students, and parents, know what needs to be improved to pass to the next level.

It may seem difficult or impossible to assess dance or to assign a given level to dance development. The arts are subjective after all, and each dancer interprets each dance style differently. Ultimately, however, graded dance levels are not only possible, but they’re essential for dancers at all levels.

The main reason for graded levels is for the dancers safety.Dancers will master each level before proceeding to the next, as new movements build upon each other, our dancers are building their technique. Dancers who don’t master essential skills in one level before moving to the next may not only struggle to keep up and lose confidence, they also face a greater risk of injury. This is why dancers advance as they develop strength and demonstrate correct technique to show physical and mental mastery of each dance level.

As with any discipline, students will progress at their own individual rates. Some skills may come more easily to an individual dancer than others, depending upon their physical development. Every student is different and will achieve various levels at different times.

What is the best way for your student to advance in their classes?

Show up. Good attendance is often the number one factor in achieving higher scores, and improvement in their technique. It’s also important to trust your instructors. Our instructors are trained to evaluate and understand each student's physical development. If adjustments need to be made, instructors will advise the parents of a different placement.

The most important thing for students (and parents) to do is to remember that all things come with time and to always enjoy the journey to success along the way.

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