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Progression for adult dancers

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Adult dancers in black leotards with pink tutus
Photo by Kevin Taylor

In this article, you'll discover:

Empowering Your Dance Journey: Soaring Higher with Dragonfly Dance

In the world of dance, passion knows no age limits. Yet, for many adult dancers, the path to progression can sometimes feel like an elusive waltz. The echoes of frustration often resound as they yearn to be taken seriously and find their wings to soar. At Dragonfly Dance, we believe that every dancer's journey is unique, and whether you're here to chase your dreams at your own pace or take a leap of faith towards faster progression, we're here to guide you with unwavering support. Welcome to a dance studio that's not just about learning the steps but embracing the rhythm of your own growth. A studio committed to progression for adult dancers if that is what they aspire to.

The Dragonfly Dance way: how to approach progression for adult dancers

At Dragonfly Dance, the path to higher levels is paved with dedication and encouragement. We understand that each dancer brings a different goal and energy to the studio. Some want to build solid technique, some want to push themselves to do more complex steps and combinations, some want to work on their artistry and performance, and others just enjoy coming to class and don’t feel the need to push for progression. Our policy is rooted in inclusivity, ensuring that every dancer is heard and valued.

We believe that being in the right level is essential for optimising the dance experience. It ensures that dancers can thrive, grow, and collaborate effectively with others in the class. We recognise that progression for adult dancers is a journey unique to each individual, and communication is at the heart of our policy. We encourage dancers to reach out to us through email if they are considering moving to a different level. This initiates a meaningful dialogue between the dancer and their teacher. This approach allows us to collectively determine whether the dancer is ready to progress and, if not, develop a plan to help them achieve their goals.

Our commitment to fostering an environment where every dancer feels supported extends to ensuring that they are in the level that aligns with their skillset, aspirations, and growth trajectory. Through open communication and personalised guidance, we strive to create a dance community where each member can flourish and contribute to the collective rhythm of our studio.

Five dancer in black leotards and white shawl skirts, facing away.
Photo by Kevin Taylor

Class progression: unveiling the syllabus symphony

What is progression for classes

Our dance classes are structured to follow a syllabus for that dance style that is designed to help you build a solid foundation and a structured journey forwards. It has been designed specifically for adults, and considers how adults learn, physical, cognitive and psychological development through adulthood, and the types of movements and music might be more enjoyable for various ages.

Progression isn't just about ticking off a checklist of moves on the syllabus. It is about developing your ability to perform those movements, to master the foundational movements before progressing to more challenging ones. Progression is about technique, artistry, musicality, repertoire of steps, and your ability to pick up and remember longer and more complicated combinations.

Process of progression

We evaluate each class's collective growth and skills to determine when it's time to elevate the level. This isn't just about moving to the next level; it's about embracing the new challenges and possibilities each stage offers.

There are three stages we consider for a class and a dancer - mastery, variety and progression.

  • Mastery refers to being able to do a movement or use a technique well. Once a movement is mastered, the dancer can perform that movement with expression and finesse.

  • Variety refers to being able to perform the movement or technique in various combinations, rhythms, and qualities of movement.

  • Progression is introducing new, more advanced movements

Each term, our teachers review what progress has been made against our syllabus, and set a clear focus for what will be covered in the subsequent term. Once the class has covered all the moves for that level, and can perform them with good technique, and in various combinations, the class is ready to progress.

Levels and sub-levels

Our syllabus has six levels, and four sub-levels within each level, but we just use the main level when describing the class, as it is not possible to have different classes at each sub-level, and sometimes a class may be straddling two sub-levels. It also means that sometimes two classes that are the same level may actually be quite different, with one at the early stages, and the other almost ready to progress.

A flowchart showing hierarchy of levels in the Dragonfly Dance Syllabus
Dragonfly Dance Levels

Individual progressing: forging ahead

For dancers who feel the fire burning fiercely within, our studio provides the option of accelerated progression for adult dancers. We understand that some dancers are ready to spread their wings earlier than others. If you're craving more, our teachers can work with you to create a personalised plan that aligns with your goals. We're here to help you leap forward, embracing the challenges and victories that come with it.

How to progress sooner

Send an email to to advise that you are interested in progressing to the next level, or preparing to progress to the next level. This will kick start a conversation between you, your current teacher, and the teacher of the class you wish to progress into.

If you are not quite ready to progress, your teacher will give you ideas for what steps you can take to make the progress you want.

These might include:

  • private classes

  • recommended home practice

  • taking both the current and higher level class for a period of time so you can be stretched, but don’t miss any important foundations for the higher level

  • an official assessment with a Dragonfly Dance qualified assessor (this is entirely optional) which will also give you feedback on your strengths, and where you need to focus your development. You will also receive an official certificate on your progress. If you are interested in an official assessment, you can email us at

Ascending to new heights: the pre-pointe and pointe journey

Dancer balance in arabesque en pointe

The journey to pre-pointe and pointe is a monumental leap for any dancer. It's not just about technique; it's a testament to your dedication, strength, and technique. Our experienced teachers guide you through this transition, ensuring you're physically prepared to take this step. We work on strengthening your muscles, perfecting your form, and educating you about the nuances of pointe work. It's a journey that demands patience and perseverance, and we're here to be your companions as you embark on this adventure.

Steps to being your pointe journey

If you are new to pointe:

Step 1: Send an email to to express interest

Step 2: Your current ballet teacher will then be able to have a conversation with you, and advise you if you are ready for pre-pointe, or if you still have some work to do. They will also advise you if it is suitable for you to start wearing demi-pointe shoes in your regular class.

Step 3: You will commence pre-pointe class.

Step 4: When you are ready to progress to pointe, discuss with your pre-pointe teacher or email They will conduct a ‘readiness for pointe’ assessment, and advise you whether you are ready, or what additional work you may need to do.

Step 5: Once your teacher advises you that you’re ready for pointe, book a point shoe fitting, and get your first pair of pointe shoes.

Dancer in a black leotard and tights with blue legwarmers in a lunge and pointe shoes

If you have done pointe before

If you have done pointe before, you will be able to get back en pointe much quicker. However, if you have had a break from pointe, you may need to build up the strength and control before you get back into pointe shoes.

In this scenario, email to advise that you wish to take pointe. Your teacher and you can then discuss it and your teacher can give you an indication if you are ready, and conduct a readiness for pointe assessment.

If you have not had a break from pointe, or it has only been a short time, you may be able to simply join the pointe class without an assessment. However, please do speak to your teacher first.


At Dragonfly Dance, we're more than just a studio; we're a community that celebrates the journey of every dancer. Whether you're here to dance for the pure joy it brings or aspire to reach remarkable heights, we honor your dedication and ambition. So, let your passion take flight, and remember, no matter where you are in your dance journey, you have a family of fellow dancers and teachers ready to guide you, cheer for you, and applaud your progress. Welcome to Dragonfly Dance, where your dreams and steps intertwine in a harmonious dance of growth and transformation.


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