Member News

August 22, 2019
Minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting

The minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting has been posted to the downloads page of the website and may be opened with the latest general documents password. If you do not know the password please contact Deanna Stewart.



August 9, 2019
Document & Syllabus Updates


All changes and updates are effective as of August 9, 2019.

What’s New:

  • All forms on the website are now fillable PDFs
  • Comment Sheets for exams without writers are now fillable PDFs
  • Comment Sheets for all female exams are now fillable PDFs
  • Comment Sheets for male exams up to Level 8 are now fillable PDFs
  • Comment Sheets for male exams in Levels Pre-Elementary through Pre-Professional are available upon request. Requests must be submitted no less than seven days prior to your exam session.


Revisions to Dancer Exam Procedure & Mark Rationale directive:

  • Instructions for using the new fillable PDF Comment Sheets
  • New requirements for dancer organization and placement in lines and groups for all exams. (Effective for all exams as of August 2019.)


Syllabus Revisions: 

  • Primary
    • Walk on Demi Pointe en Diagonale – revised notes for males
    • Improvisation – revised notes re improvisation description & music
    • Curtsey & Bow – revised notes re inclusion of walks
  • Level One
    • Improvisation – revised notes re improvisation description & music
  • Level Two
    • Travelling Allegro – additional instructions
  • Level Three
    • Centre Adage – revised instructions on counts 5-6 for stretching up from plié in 2nd
    • Glissade Derrière – revised instructions for count 1
  • Level Five
    • Assemblé Soutenu en Tournant – optional 3/4 or full turn
  • Level Seven
    • New optional barre movement – Relevé 1/2 Turn on One Foot (Demi-contretemps style)
    • Pas de Basque Glissé en Avant – additional instructions
  • Level Eight
    • Battement Fondu Tombé – additional instructions
  • Pre-Elementary
    • Barre Adage – Demi Fouetté – clarified instructions
    • Sissonne Simple Passé Sauté – Step name revised, additional height instructions
  • Elementary
    • Rond de Jambe Par Terre – additional arm instruction
    • Battement Frappé – Relevé Half Turn on One Foot – revised to demi pirouette style
    • Male Tour En L’Air in Retiré Derrière – finish to 4th deleted
  • Intermediate
    • Pointe Warm-Up – exercise deleted
    • Pointe Pas de Bourrée en Avant & en Arrière name revised to Pas de Bourrée Ballotté

March 27, 2017
In Remembrance – Ann Vanderheyden


To All Members of The Society of Russian Ballet,

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of one of our founding members and past Chairman, Ann Vanderheyden. Ann passed away peacefully at North York General Hospital on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Ann was instrumental in forming the Canadian branch of the Society of Russian Style Ballet Schools which was brought over from England in 1973 by our founder Marijan Bayer. Marijan Bayer gathered together Ann Vanderheyden and a small group of enthusiastic ballet teachers; Dorothy Carter and Victoria Carter from London, Ontario, Joanne Ashe from Toronto and Nesta Toumina from Ottawa. Together they launched the Vaganova method of ballet teaching in Canada and created the all Canadian Society in 1975. The name was changed to the Society of Russian Style Ballet in the 1980s and again to the current title, the Society of Russian Ballet in the 1990s.

Ann was a passionate and dedicated ballet teacher. She inspired students through her nurturing and kindness at a variety of ballet schools in the Toronto area.

Ann was also a great supporter of the National Ballet of Canada where she worked on the volunteer committee as a financial advisor. It was there she was introduced to Marijan Bayer, then a principal dancer with the company. An immediate lifelong friendship was born. After Mr. Bayer retired from the stage, he opened a studio in north Toronto and hired Ann to work with him.

Ann Vanderheyden’s early training in England included musical theatre, plays, operetta and the early days of the ballet company Saddler and Wells. This experience gave her teaching a fresh approach and liveliness. Ann helped many young dancers begin their professional careers by offering sound technical training and a friendly environment.

As Mr. Bayer’s school grew, he started one of Ontario’s first touring ballet companies, City Ballet. Ann Vanderheyden took on the role of Ballet Mistress for the new company. Her unbounded energy was infectious among the dancers and respected by all who knew her.

As her own family grew, Ann was teaching less but remained an avid supporter of the Society of Russian Ballet.  The executive appointed Ann as an examiner in the early part of the 1990s. Her role with the Society further developed when she became the Secretary/ Treasurer.  Ann held the position of Chairman of the Society of Russian Ballet from 1998 until her retirement in 2009.

On a personal note, Ann was a part of my extended ballet family. She was my “ballet mom”. She not only inspired me as a small girl in ballet class but allowed me to be myself. She built my self-confidence and independence as a dancer. Ann taught me that ballet was a part of my life, not all of my life. She was a strong, happy woman who I always strived to emulate. I will always think of Ann with admiration, respect and love.

Ann, thank you for your contribution to the ballet and your undying spirit. We will all miss you.

Fondly remembered,

Jane Pound


For details of the funeral arrangements, please visit


To enter students for dancer examinations teachers must first obtain certification from the Society of Russian Ballet. The Society offers five levels of Teacher’s examination and certification. For further information about teacher certification please see the Membership page of the website.