Tiny Ballerina

DASA offers Tiny Ballerina from ages 3 years and upwards. Tiny Ballerina is specifically choreographed for toddlers who are not yet old enough to be entered for Tiny Tots 1 examination. This fun-filled program will however be enjoyed by all Pre-Grade levels.

It consists of 4 adapted classical ballet stories: Swan Lake, Coppélia, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. The music of these ballets were used, but creative movements and characters have been added.

A teachers manual, DVD and CD is available for teachers. Student packages are purchased annually for each student. Student packages include: A full colour illustrated manual for students, stickers, assessment report and medal.

It is suggested that 1 story is done every quarter and an assessment at the end of the year. The teacher may however use her own discretion on how the 4 stories are used. These stories serve as a suggested outline to meet the criteria needed for the assessment. The assessment report is completed by the teacher herself, thus no examiner is needed for the assessment. Assessments can be done in normal class time or with the parents watching – as the teacher prefers.

The Dance Academy of South Africa offers Pre-Grade, Grade and Major Syllabi, as well as Medal dances, for ages 4 years and upwards.

The syllabi, both Pre-Grade and Grade, are carefully designed to build on one another and to prepare the student for Major work.

Pre-Grade Syllabi

Tiny Tots 1 & 2

These fun and imaginative syllabi were especially compiled to meet the needs of the 4 to 6 year old. Students are entered for exams in a group of eight candidates, with their teacher present. If successful, they receive a group report, a certificate and a medal each.


Students are entered in a group of a maximum of six candidates, with their teacher present. Each successful candidate receives a medal and a certificate with grading. A group report is given.


Consists of a core syllabus and examination set work. Teachers have the option of choreographing a demi-character dance to the set music or to their own choice of music. Students are entered for exams in groups of three. A percentage mark is given on a detailed report and a certificate and medal is issued if successful.

Grade Syllabi

Grade 1 – 6

A core syllabus and examination set work are given for each level. Teachers have the option of choreographing the dance to the set music or their own choice of music. Students are entered for exams in groups of three or in the case of even numbers, an odd group of two. A percentage mark is given on a detailed report and a certificate is issued if successful.

A Test Examination is offered where a student/s may be entered with the teacher present in the room. This will be examined without the Dance – to allow the teacher and student to work on the technique needed in the grade without the pressure of learning and remembering a dance. The teacher may dance in front of the candidates, but may not “teach” them or do any technical corrections. The words “Grade 1 – Test” will be typed on both the certificate and report and the student will receive Successful/Unsuccessful.

From 2013 all grades now also receive a brooch if successful!

Major Syllabi

These challenging syllabi were compiled and choreographed by our Artistic Director, Ms Lorna Haupt. They each consist of a core syllabus, which reflects all the steps to be mastered at that level and the set work that is seen in the examination. The set work is specifically designed to elicit dance quality and musicality, and include a variety of different styles. All levels of Major examinations are compulsory. However, if a candidate has a Major examination certificate from another recognised association, she may be entered for the next DASA Major level.

Intermediate Foundation

This first Major examination is compulsory for students attempting Major exams. Candidates will be examined in a Major exam session at the official studio in each area only. There is no pointe work in the examination set work.

Intermediate, Advanced 1, Advanced 2 and Advanced Performance

Candidates will be examined in a major session at the official studio in each area only. Pointe work is included in both the core and set syllabi. To accommodate Major candidates who do not feel confident, or should not be executing the Pointe work section on full pointe, they may present it on demi-point. Teachers must make sure that the entry form clearly states ‘with the point section on demi-point’, the highest attainable mark being a Merit. Advanced 1 candidates entering the examination as a teacher [this is the ONLY Major exam that may be taken as a teacher] and executing the Pointe work section on demi-pointe will be given the option of either an oral exam, or a short question paper to complete, on Pointe work per se.

Medal Dances

DASA offers an exciting set of medal dances, including Ballet, Modern and National dances, which provide an opportunity for students to perform and experience different dance types.

All dances are danced solo, in pairs or in three’s when there are an uneven number of candidates. Successful candidates are graded from A++ to D and receive a medal mounted on a ribbon (different colours and medals for each dance) and a report.

The dances should preferably be entered in the same session as Grade examinations, but if necessary can be entered as a separate session. Teachers can choose to have the Medal dances examined either in their studio or as a performance on stage with an audience.

Demi-character and Classical dances

These are graded in difficulty as follows:

Petit Performer 1 – 2, Junior 1 – 3, Preparatory 1 – 3 and Senior 1 – 3

These 11 dances are set to classical music. The dances for younger candidates are demi-character and encourage the use of props and expressive mime. The dances for older candidates are intended to develop musicality and dance quality. Petit Performer 1 and 2 are designed for Tiny Tots students, so the teacher may accompany the students into the exam room.

Major 1 – 3 are danced on pointe and are the teacher’s own choice of music and choreography.

National Dances

These inspiring dances were choreographed by Ms Marie Sadie and are graded from approximately Primary to Advanced level. The nine dances and their colour medals are: French (orange), German (green), Swedish (yellow), Dutch (red), Tyrolean (cream), Russian (blue), Portuguese (purple), Tarantella (pink) and Hungarian (turquoise). Each tells a brief story and uses authentic national music and steps.

Modern Dances

Choreographed with a classically trained dancer in mind, these are graded as follows:

Junior 1 – 3, Preparatory 1 – 3, Senior 1 – 3 and Major 1-3

These dances, created by Ms Carin Yorke-Hart, are set to appropriate music and use a variety of styles. The new Senior Bronze 1-3 medal dances have been choreographed by Ms Nicolette Brooks.