Graded Levels Courses for Children and Young People

These courses have been developed in response to requests from Laban Guild teachers running classes for children who progress through them by age and achievement. This may be within the educational sector or the private sector and rewards progress with a certificate which may not be available from other sources.

Their aim is threefold:
• to encourage a love of and participation in dance, which will last for life
• to provide the teacher with a syllabus closely related to the requirements of the National Curriculum, featuring learning, performing and evaluating
• to provide young dancers with certificates which recognise their acquisition of skills and developing confidence in their own creativity.

The Laban Guild encourages fostering the development of the individual through helping each to find his or her own means of expression through dance. The development of skills and the satisfaction of their recognition will enhance increasing confidence, but should never be applied in such a way as to result in sterile conformity.

It is essential that the targets set are within the capabilities of the class, so that although the achievements are real and quantifiable, no undue element of competition or sense of failure is introduced to damage the confidence or hinder the enjoyment of any individual within the class. Continuous assessment and encouragement are preferable to set exams. An end of term performance may be a good way of allowing the children to demonstrate their increasing skills in a positive rather than competitive way.

We hope that with planning, sensitive teaching and encouragement, it will be possible to use these courses as a basis of teaching mixed ability groups and rewarding achievement. For a small fee, on completing the course, each child will receive an attractive certificate and information pack with encouragement to move on to the next level.

It is not necessary to move through each level in turn. Children can join the course at any level commensurate with their skill and experience. It is up to the teacher to provide the pace and context for the movement material suitable for the age range and ability of the class. Suggested age levels simply illustrate how the courses may spread over progressive classes.

The courses are:
Preparatory   – recommended for children of pre-school age.
Beginners     – suitable for 5 to 7 year olds
Intermediate – suitable for 8 to 11 year olds
Advanced      – suitable for 12 to 15 year olds

Whilst a basic understanding of Laban Analysis will be an undoubted advantage in delivering the requirements for the certificates, the content and guidelines are intended to be helpful to anyone teaching dance to these age groups.

Full information on content, guidelines and requirements are available for each level from: coursesofficer@labanguild.org.uk