Detailed Information for Parents

Baby Ballet student on stage, July 2017

Baby Ballet student on stage, July 2017

School Policies & Class Etiquette

• Pupils coming from other dance schools may need private lessons to determine what grade/s they should be in.
•  Pupils are accepted on condition they do not attend another dancing school once enrolled. 
•  Pupils should not take outside dancing exams, competitions or workshops without prior consultation. 
•  Please speak to Miss Jayne before undertaking outside performances, auditions or professional engagements. 
•  Permission should be sought for newspaper articles concerning JMDS pupils' dance/performances. 
•  Parents are invited to watch classes on the first and last lessons of term, when families should watch in silence so pupils can concentrate. (NB Most dancing schools don't permit spectators during classes.) 
• Please make sure children arrive in plenty of time, ready to dance. Pupils waiting for their class should wait outside the teaching room.  



• All notices and newsletters are emailed. Please email if Miss Jayne doesn't already have your address. Please check your messages regularly and inform Miss Jayne of any address changes.
• Newsletters are issued each term.
• The best source of information is this website, which is updated regularly. 

JMDS Teachers

• All teachers have their own teaching style. Occasionally we may need to use stand-in teachers. Pupils and parents alike should treat all teachers politely and with respect.  
•  Teachers have discretion over whether and when a child will take exams and progress to the next class.  
•  Under traditional class etiquette, teachers are addressed by all pupils as "Miss" and then their first name, eg. Miss Jayne, Miss Vanessa, etc.

Contacting Miss Jayne

• Parents can call or email me ( if they wish to discuss any matter.
• My office hours are from 9.30-4pm, Monday-Friday. I will respond to voice messages as promptly as possible.  
• My mobile should only be used in emergencies.

•  The Head Girl or Boy of the school is a senior all-rounder who is able to give teachers support and help whenever needed.  
•  The Head Girl / Boy, always chosen by Miss Jayne, will be a student teacher and a representative for other pupils.  
•  The Head Girl / Boy's parents should be fully supportive of the school and of their daughter or son's position. 

Student Teachers

• Some pupils may take on the role of ‘student teacher’ under the direction of Miss Jayne.

JMDS Choreography Competition

• Takes place annually in mid November.
• Any of our pupils can enter by choreographing a composition for themselves or for another child / group at the school. Sections are the same as for the British Arts Awards.
• Medals are awarded to each child in a duet or solo. Students in group items may purchase medals. A trophy to the highest scoring composition choreographed for someone else / a group.
• Items can be entered for The British Arts Awards.

Presentation Day & Shows

• Full-length ballets and musicals may be staged in the summer every other year. Shows entail many hours’ preparation and full-day rehearsals ahead of show dates. Full commitment is expected on these days from all pupils. All rehearsals must be attended otherwise pupils will not be able to perform. This ensures a professional, slick production.
• Presentation Day is held annually in late June/early July. This entails a first half of invited performances, followed by a second half Grande Finale when every single pupil appears on stage in uniform. For many, it’s the highlight of the year. Over 80 cups and trophies are then awarded for the children's work during the year. It is compulsory that every pupil from Baby to Advanced is present. Even the youngest can (and do) win awards!

Group Dances

• Group dances for shows and competitions are choreographed based on the full class of students. Once choreography has started, a commitment by all pupils is required and expected.
• Inclusion in group items for the British Arts Awards is by invitation only. The selection process depends on: suitability to the chosen genre, age (entrants may not collectively exceed a certain age limit), height (students are often grouped together for uniformity), and willingness to commit long-term to the full rehearsal schedule.



• We follow the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) syllabi for ballet & tap, and British Arts Association syllabi for drama, musical theatre and modern medal tests. 
• Uniform is required for ISTD exams, as well as pink satin ballet shoes with ribbons.
• Exam success generally dictates whether children progress into the next class.
• Pupils will only be entered for an exam at Miss Jayne's and teachers' discretion.



• Year Badges are available to buy.
• A list of students who are due their next year badge will be emailed in January, April and September.  
• Badges are worn on the right-hand side of the uniform.
• Examination badges are awarded after grade exams and medal tests. Badges to be worn on the left-hand side of school uniform.
• Colour of embroidery on exam badges indicates level achieved:
• Distinction/Honours = red, Highly Commended/Merit = mauve, Pass/Commended = green, Pass Plus = blue

Uniform & Wardrobe


• Wardrobe is available to all JMDS pupils. Pupils may hire costumes or accessories for all JMDS shows, choreography competitions, British Arts Awards and British Arts tap and modern exams. We have an extensive range of dance-wear and many character costumes in varying sizes.
• Prices range from £2 for accessories to £8 for a whole outfit.
• If you require a costume please contact Melanie Ward on 01442 212131 (weekdays before 9pm) or email to arrange for a convenient time to view and fit costumes.
• Please allow plenty of time if you require a costume, as Melanie is unlikely to be able to help if requests are left until the last minute.
• Costumes are required for all shows. Detailed info will be given at the time.
• The full JMDS uniform is available from Melanie and from Dancers' Boutique in Amersham.

Fees Payment Terms


• Please read the terms of payment below to avoid late payment surcharge and non-notification charges.
• All fees are due on the first lesson of term or during the first two weeks if given to a teacher or posted.
• An extra charge of 10% of total fees is payable on fees which are not in the office by the third Monday of term.
• It is your responsibility to ensure payment reaches Miss Jayne in time, otherwise the 10% will be added. You accept the responsibility for this extra charge by your child attending classes at JMDS. No exceptions can be made on the surcharge.
• Please ensure that any cash is put in an envelope with your child’s name on it and if the cheque is in a name different to that of the pupil please write their name on the back of the cheque.
• If your child does several classes please only write one cheque for all of them. Cheques to J Wilson please.
• Please note that I require one month’s notice in writing if a child no longer wants the class place. You have agreed to this when signing your child’s registration form. These are kept on file as proof of your agreement. You will be subject to half a term’s fees should this notice not be given.
• Notice must not be given verbally to teachers – it must be in writing to Miss Jayne please.

French Ballet Terms (Pronunciation in brackets)

Grade 3

FRAPPE (frappay) - to strike
DEVELOPPE (develop-ay) - to unfold
COUPE (coopay) - to cut
SISSONNE (sis-on-ay) - a jump from 2 feet to 1 foot (described as a scissor jump)
PAS DE BOURREE (pah d'boray) - a travelling step
ORDINAIRE (ordinair) - ordinary

Grade 4

BATTEMENTS (battmon) - to beat
SUR LE COU DE PIED (ser l'coo d'pee-ay) - on/around the ankle
BATTEMENTS FONDUS (battmon fondoo) - to melt
EPAULEMENT (ay-paul-mon) - with the use of the shoulders
TEMPS LIE (tom lee-ay) - to link
BALLONE (ballonay) - to bounce
CHANGEE (shonjay) - to change (feet)
CONTRETEMPS (contra-tom) - against the time
BATTU (battoo) - beaten
FERME (fair-may) - closed



DEVANT (d'von) - in front
DERRIERE (derry-air) - behind
DE COTE (d'cotay) - to the side
EN AVANT (on av-on) - forwards
EN ARRIERE (on arry-air) - backwards
EN FACE (on fass) - facing the front
CROISE (cwoz-ay) - crossed
OUVERT (oovair) - open
ADAGE (add-ahj) - slow, sustained movement
ALLEGRO (al-leg-gro) - lively, jumping movement
BRAS (brah) - arms
DEMI (demmy) - half
DESSOUS (UNDER) (d'soo) - front to back
DESSUS (OVER) (d'su) - back to front
PETIT (petty) - small
GRAND (grond) - big
A TERRE (a tair) - on the ground
EN L'AIR (on lair) - in the air

Grade 5

FOUETTE (fwettay) - to whip
A DEUX BRAS (a de brah) -  with 2 arms
PASSE (passay) - to pass
EN DIAGONALE (on dee-ag-on-ahl) - on the diagonal
EN TOURNANT (on tour-non) - turning
GRAND (grond) - big
ENTRECHAT (ontra-sha') - to weave
QUATRE (cat) - four

Grade 1

PLIE (plee-ay) - a bend of two knees
BATTMENTS TENDUS (battmon tondoo) - to point or to stretch
EN CROIX (on cwah) - in the shape of a cross
GRANDS BATTMENTS (grond battmon) - big and beaten
RETIRE (r'teer-ray) - to withdraw or draw up
PORTS DE BRAS (por d'brah) - carriage of the arms
CHASSEE (shassay) - to slide
DEGAGE (d'gah-jay) - to disengage
POSE (posay) - to step
SAUTE (so-tay) - to jump
PETITS JETES (petty jettay) - little springs
TEMPSLEVE (tom lev-ay) - to hop
CHANGEMENT (shonj-mon) - jump changing feet

Grade 6

EN CLOCHE (on closh) - like a bell
EN ROND (on rond) - round
RACCOURCI (rack-or-see) - shortened
TROIS (twa') - three
ENTRECHAT (ontra-sha') - to weave
PIQUE (peekay) - picked up
COURUS (core-roo) - running

Recognise, clap and know the time signatures of:

Grade 2


TOMBER (tombay) - to fall
A DOS (a doh) - with the use of the back
ECARTE (ay-cartay) - separated / thrown open
EMBOITE (em-bwah-tay) - to dovetail
BRISE (breezay) - to break

RONDS DE JAMBE (ron d'jomb) - round of the leg
A TERRE (a tair) - on the ground
EN DEHORS (on de-or) - outwards
EN DEDANS (on de-don) - inwards
ASSEMBLE (assomblay) - to assemble
SOUTENU (soo-ten-oo) - to sustain
RELEVE (rell-ev-ay) - to pull up or snatch
CROISE (cwozzay) - crossed
OUVERT (oovair) - open
EN FACE (on fass) - facing the front
EN L'AIR (on lair) - in the air
DEMI-DETOURNE (demmy d'tornay) - half a turn
JETE (jettay) - to throw
GLISSADE (gleess-ahd) - to glide
PAS DE CHAT (pa d'sha') - step of a cat
ECHAPPE (ay-shap-ay) - to escape

Recognise & clap:
SEMIBREVES (4 beats) MINIMS (2 beats) CROTCHETS (1 beat) QUAVERS (½ beat)

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