The McDonald College's Classical Ballet programme is at the forefront of Classical Ballet training in Australia, providing excellence in tuition from 4 years of age to a pre-professional level. With a holistic approach towards each student's development, a thorough and complete training program is offered through a variety of open class work, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examination syllabus work, various well being and conditioning classes whilst completing formal school education in a nurturing and creative environment.
Objectives of the Classical Ballet Programme
With a training programme designed to introduce the necessary fundamental skills for a pre-professional career in dance, we aim to guide the unique qualities & strengths of each dancer along a high performance pathway and position them to secure placement in finishing schools both locally and overseas. Each student has a choice of the number of hours that they wish to commit to their ballet training with an education programme designed to suit the individual.
Classical Ballet Programme for the Primary School
Primary students study 4 ½ hours of Classical Ballet training per week, which includes a Contemporary Performance class. Classes during the College day are based on the RAD Syllabus but also allow for creativity through their open nature. Further ballet classes are available after College hours for further training in all genres of dance, performance and eisteddfod work through The McDonald College's excellent After Hours Programme.
Classical Ballet Programme for the Secondary School
Our Year 7 and 8 students are introduced to our Classical Ballet programme offering 10 hours of intensive training per week which includes open class work, pointe, boys coaching, contemporary and production/performance classes for the end of year performance at the Sydney Opera House. Further ballet classes are offered outside of normal College hours that include other genres of dance, performance and eisteddfod work via our After Hours Programme.
Year 9 and 10 students are given greater opportunity to further their ballet training with elective ballet subjects offered in lieu of some academic elective studies. These classes include Pilates, yoga and body conditioning, well-being & self-esteem workshops, specialised coaching for boys, pointe and variations, pas de deux, ballet knowledge, stagecraft, contemporary and production/performance classes including participation in the our own youth ballet company, Premier State Ballet and the end of year Sydney Opera House performance. Further ballet classes are offered outside of normal College hours that include other genres of dance, performance and eisteddfod work via our After Hours Programme.
Our Year 11 and 12 students have two programmes of Classical Ballet to choose from depending on their focus for the future. The first option is to complete a full Higher School Certificate (HSC) with 10 hours of Classical Ballet training per week. The second option is the Extended Ballet Pathway where students complete a partial HSC by studying English, Dance and 1 other subject with more time spent on their Classical Ballet training and additional classes including Pilates, yoga and body conditioning, well-being & self-esteem workshops, specialized coaching for boys, pointe and variations, pas de deux, ballet knowledge, stagecraft, contemporary and production classes including participation in the youth ballet company, the Premier State Ballet and the end of year Sydney Opera House performance.
HSC Dance is also offered as a 2-unit subject that includes performance, composition and dance appreciation. Regular performance excursions are offered throughout the year to companies such as Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra. Students selecting the second option could complete their HSC with an extra year of academic studies (Year 13).
Further ballet classes are offered outside of normal College hours that include other genres of dance, performance and eisteddfod work via our After Hours Programme.
Our holistic approach to the training of each student results in a well-trained and healthy dancer with true appreciation for this beautiful art form. Each student's journey is individual and we aim to support, guide and assist him or her as they prepare to further their training for a career in the theatre or elsewhere. The benefits of The McDonald College's Classical Ballet training will give them the edge for the rest of their lives giving them deportment, sound knowledge of body awareness with safe dance practices, musicality, discipline, punctuality, presentation and confidence.
Many of our graduates from the Classical Ballet Stream are now enjoying further study in various international finishing schools such as the Royal Ballet School, the Australian Ballet School and the English Ballet School to name just a few. Successful professional careers are being developed with the Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Béjart Ballet Lausanne.
In addition to a high intensity Classical Ballet programme, The McDonald College Performing Arts School provides various performance opportunities for our students that include An Evening of Classical Ballet held annually at the Sydney Opera House, our youth ballet company Premier State Ballet that produces a full-length ballet each year culminating in 3 performances at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre, High Performance Week at the Parade Theatre NIDA, After Hours eisteddfod groups in Ballet, Contemporary and Lyrical styles, International competitions such as and not limited to the Alana Haines Awards in New Zealand, College assemblies, Open Days and formal functions, local community organisations and groups, and extra opportunities with the Australian Ballet Sydney season when required.