The Society of Russian Ballet syllabus is comprised of five introductory levels for young children (Levels Primary to Four), four levels for more experienced students (Levels Five to Eight) and five major levels for the serious student dancer (Levels Pre-Elementary to Pre-Professional). Pointe work is included in the female syllabus from Pre-Elementary onwards. Specific work for male students is included throughout the syllabus.
Levels Primary through Four are comprised of a series of set exercises. This format changes quickly in the following years of training. From Level Five onward teachers are required to choreograph all exercises and combinations from the list of technical elements and their requirements for each syllabus level. Teachers are responsible for providing and selecting the appropriate music for their examination material. These unique features, among examining societies, ensure that teachers are not only creatively involved in their students’ growth, but their own development as well. In all levels teachers are given numerous options and choices in the presentation of syllabus elements.
We believe that all students should have a positive examination experience, giving them enthusiasm to continue their dance studies and a sense of accomplishment.
However the “the Vaganova Back” is the first thing that struck the eye in the Vaganova trained dancers. She brought her pupils into a state of pure stability (equilibre) but, while they were very firmly placed on the ground, the strength of their backs enabled them to take off at any moment and soar into the air, continuing to move and maneuver their bodies during the flight. – Anatole Chujoy from The Dance Encyclopedia, Simon & Schuster, 1967.