Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre is a firm favourite here at CPA. A triple-threat class which offers excellent technical dance training through the BBO Syllabus with the option of exams, which have a vocal element included for those confident singers) as well as work on drama skills and vocal coaching. We also put a full musical on every other year so students can put their skills to the test in a full performance setting.

The BBO Musical Theatre Syllabus is fun, accessible, and engaging and prepares students for progression into Vocational Training in Musical Theatre and ultimately provides the groundwork for a potential career in the West End. Inspired by a range of musical productions from stage and screen, this all-encompassing genre draws on a huge range of characterisation and narrative to create versatile dancers with strong movement technique and expressive performance skills.

The movement vocabulary used in bbodance syllabi draws on current performance demands and supports students to refine footwork, clarity of line in the body, musical responsiveness, and artistic flair, performance demands and supports students to refine footwork, clarity of line in the body, musical responsiveness, and artistic flair.

Original creators and reviewers include Garry Clarke, Clare Palethorpe, Cris Penfold, Emma Woods, and Tom Linecar-Boulton.

How quickly will my child progress through musical theatre?

We cannot stress enough that every child is different and will be working from different starting points such as prior experience. The amount of classes they attend per week is also a factor. We don’t require students to attend Musical Theatre more than once a week UNLESS they are due to take an exam, in which case, they are expected to attend an additional class called the “exam class” once per week for a term to a term-and-a-half in the build up to their exam. In their classes they will be put in an approximate age category which is laid out below. This is a guide only and some students may sit above or below these levels.

Within this class we could be working on a skill set across two grade variants to allow for work on the areas that are well established and those that require a little more work on the fundamentals. Should a child show a considerably higher or lower level than that of their peers, then a discussion may be had to place them differently, though it is highly unlikely we’d move them down as most of the time we can adapt their individual training in class. When it then comes to entering exams, the exam class they are expected to attend will be specifically for their level and exam. So for example, in a pre-senior class, they are usually working on grade 4 & 5 skills. When it comes to the exam some children in that group may take grade 4 and others may take grade 5. If your child is keen to progress more quickly, then of course, the more times they attend per week then this usually correlates with quicker progression through the levels, but isn’t guaranteed.  The BBO exams are mainly dance based, with the option of singing in the final piece. They are, however, looking for convincing portrayal and story-telling through their facial expressions so acting becomes a natural part of performance. We also work on drama skills, games and activities, as well as singing exercises throughout. We are looking at offering drama as a stand-alone class in due course where exams can then be taken in that discipline too.

What are the requirements for my child to attend Musical Theatre?

Musical Theatre is classed as a “core subject” here at CPA so students are not required to attend other lessons to take part in this class. It is however beneficial to attend at least one other dance style to ensure students are versatile performers with experience across various genres. The only requirement is that you bring your smile to every class 😁