Examination & Festival Dance Classes


Students age 7 years and older are given the opportunity to participate in competitions and/or festival throughout the dance season. The decision as to whether or not a student will participate is made by the student, parents and teacher. Students who are not ready to commit to competitions and/or festivals can remain in the Primary/Beginner program and/or participate in sessional classes, offered in both the winter and spring.

Generally, the number of festivals attending by each level of dancer are as follows:

  • Novice Dancers - 2 festivals/competitions*

  • Junior Dancers - 3 festivals/competitions*

  • Intermediate-Advanced Dancers - 4 festivals/competitions, including a festival/competition that requires travel*

*The number of festivals attended may be increased for accelerated classes. For instance, an accelerated Novice class may attend all 4 festivals/competitions. The readiness of the class is assessed in September and parents are notified immediately. 

The festivals we attend are friendly environments where students are guaranteed a medal (as marks are awarded in comparison to a standard rather than other dancers). Competitions differ slightly in that standings are also awarded. Students are able to share their talents by performing on stage and are inspired by many styles/techniques of dance and other talented youth. 

Requirements for Festival Classes

Photography by Artistic Creations

Students SOLELY registered in a Hip Hop class that is attending festivals/competitions are expected to attend:

Students registered in a(n) Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater or Tap class (with or without a Hip Hop class) that is attending festivals/competitions are expected to meet ONE OF THE FOLLOWING requirements:

  • participate in Dance Conditioning (45 minute class, once a week)

  • participate in 3 or more hours of Ballet Technique per week

  • participate in an Acrobatic Arts class

If students are registered in Acrobatic Arts, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater or Tap AND Hip Hop, they are not required to participate in Hip Hop Training.

Competitive Program

We believe that students should have the ability to participate in committed, competitive dance training irrespective of whether they train in one discipline or ten. As such, we do not offer competitive vs. non-competitive training. Instead we assess our students regularly and place them in classes that both challenge them and allow them to experience success. This means that students who are taking their training more seriously and/or are registered in more disciplines, move through their grades/levels more quickly and are grouped in accelerated classes together.  Competitive training generally means committing to a certain number of hours per week, committing to participating in multiple disciplines and is generally more expensive to participate in. Accelerated training means that student placement is an ongoing, dynamic process which allows dancers to take few or many disciplines and to determine their level of commitment for each. Our programming is unique in this way. Our teachers work tirelessly to ensure that students are well placed, challenged and always growing. 

Adult Classes

Find out more about our adult classes here

Dance Conditioning Classes

Every student who is registered in a Competition/Festival Class is required to take at least one 45 minute Dance Conditioning Class per week.  Students, realizing the benefits of this class, are welcome to attend multiple classes per week. Ward School of Dance has partnered with Core Movement for a yes another season to bring our students a unique conditioning program that only our studio offers in the greater Edmonton region. Professional dance companies for years now have had Pilates be a staple in their conditioning regimes. Dance Conditioning is a Pilates-based class dedicated to increasing the flexibility, strength and control necessary in all disciplines of dance.

Benefits of Pilates include:

  • Core Strength

  • Feedback and Support

  • Improve Posture and Alignment

  • Awareness

  • Muscular Balance

  • Strengthen Abdominals & Lower Back

  • Movement Efficiency

  • Reduce Stress

  • Improve Muscle Tone

  • Enhanced Physical Performance

  • Improved Daily Activitis

Dance Conditioning Classes are Offered:

  • Monday 7:15-8:00

  • Tuesdays 6:00-6:45

  • Thursday 6:00-6:45

  • Saturday 11:45 am-12:30 pm (equipment class located at Core Movement)

Hip hop Technique

This class is meant to develop style, endurance and confidence. Students will train in a variety of styles, learning the groove of each form of hip hop and practicing their hallmark skills/moves. These styles include but are not limited to:

  • Popping

  • Locking

  • House

  • Whacking

  • Animation

  • Dance Hall

  • Tutting

Students will also perform cardio workouts to increase stamina and core strength training exercises to increase power and stability.