A classical form of dance, Ballet has an aesthetic based on a purity of line and a certain quality and style of performance. The training develops elegant poise, grace of movement, strength, self- discipline, musicality, and of course, a wonderful performing art!
At BRAVO! The Centre for Dance, the Cecchetti Method of training is used. Through its international standards, ongoing upgrading of its affiliate teachers, exams (optional), and annual learning opportunities alongside other Ontario Cecchetti students at Cecchetti Day workshops, students progress in a proven programme.
Childrens Exams are offered to those who attend a minimum of twice per week. As grades increase, the number of hours training increases further. These students attend Cecchetti Day workshops at the National Ballet School studios in the winter before our spring exams.
Decisions regarding which students in training are being registered to try the exam are made in late January or early February. We encourage students to put in their best effort every day.
“Standards” Class Exams are taken as a group of six candidates at a time, with the teacher in the room along with the pianist and the examiner. Students train diligently just as they would for a grade stream exam; however there is a different weighting on technique which allows those still emerging technically to enjoy an exam success and get the benefit of examiner feedback specifically in response to their performance. There is an improvisational section to be danced to music not previously heard; and there is a music section relating to candidates’ ability to identify the time signature and move to the beats and bars of music they have not heard before. The solo dance is performed simultaneously with at least one other candidate or two in a standard class exam. Sometimes standards class exams serve as stepping stones in the preparation for eventual grade stream exams.
“Grade” exams are for strong students, secure in their technique and performance quality; ready to go on to the next level of training. Grades stream students are passionate and eager to practise at home . There are 6 grades in the Cecchetti Society of Canada childrens syllabi. These are followed by the vocational levels called Majors syllabi (Intermediate, Advanced 1, and Advanced 2)
Pointe work is often associated with the image of a beautiful lithe balerina who can balance, pirouette, and cover the stage with weightless flight. The fact is a dancer on pointe is extremely strong in her back and core muscles; and has developed, over time, the necessary strength and stretch in her foot muscles and insteps. In the interest of student health and safety, our students are carefully prepared in pre pointe training and will only be put on pointe when they are safely capable.
For some students, the investment of time for full training in the Cecchetti exam prep is not possible. For the pleasure of participating in classes and feeling the elegance of the art form while getting some exercise, a recreational option is possible. Recreational students at our school attend consistently in our school uniform, and are expected to practise at home so that by recital time they are well prepared and ready to shine!