Ballet class: weight placement, dynamics and musicality

A ballet class to develop correct weight placement, using pressure through the floor and bringing dynamics and musicality to movements.


  • 1 Class
  • Suitable for 16+

A typical ballet class for 1st Year ladies at The Royal Ballet School, students will be guided to understand and use correct weight placement and floor pressure in a series of exercises. The class will introduce dynamics and musicality and how students can incorporate these into each exercise.

This lesson is also included in the Intensive course for 16+: Series 1 package.

What you will learn

  • The importance of weight placement and transference of weight
  • How to use floor pressure
  • How to incorporate dynamics and musicality in each exercise.

Your Tutors

Nicola Tranah

Ballet Teacher

Nicola Tranah trained at The Royal Ballet School. In her final year at White Lodge, she was chosen for the Paris Opera Ballet School exchange where she studied with teachers Franchetti, Mayer and Claude Bessy. She joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1982, dancing in the ‘Young Stars’ Programme, and in 1984 she joined The Royal Ballet Company where she enjoyed a career spanning 19 years.

She danced a wide range of Principal roles including Gamzatti (La Bayadère), Princess Belle Epine (Prince of the Pagodas), Myrtha (Giselle), Lilac Fairy (The Sleeping Beauty), Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), Hostess (Les Biches), and Mistress (Manon), and creating roles in Macmillan’s Winter Dreams (Olga) and Prince of the Pagodas (Lead Cloud). She danced in works by David Bintley, Ashley Page, Wayne Eagling and Michael Corder and worked closely with renowned choreographers including Ashton, Robbins, Forsythe, Tetley, van Dantzig, Jacobson and Carlson.

Following retirement from The Royal Ballet in 2003, she guested with Sylvie Guillem, at K-Ballet, in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (the Queen), English National Opera’s Nixon in China and at Darcey Bussell’s farewell gala.

Nicola gained her ARAD PDTC teaching diploma in 2005. Since joining The Royal Ballet School Artistic faculty in 2008, she has taught extensively internationally including guesting at the Paris Opera Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre Studio Company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

These classes are recommended for students aged 16+ and reflect the training given to students aged 16-19 studying at The Royal Ballet School. The classes are not suitable for beginner students, students with limited experience or students under 15 years old.

For these classes, we recommend that:

  • Students are regularly training in a recognised classical ballet syllabus at a vocational level of Advanced 2 or above, or studying at an equivalent level in full-time vocational training
  • Students have an excellent and broad knowledge of ballet vocabulary and can follow the class using only verbal instruction if necessary
  • Students will have strong and secure basic technique with an understanding of correct placement
  • Barrework should be strong with clean execution and secure demi-pointe work
  • Adage will have strong, secure placement and extensions will be at 90 degrees or above
  • Pirouettes are secure and students will have the ability to execute multiple turns
  • Allegro, including batterie, should be executed with good understanding of secure take-off and landings
  • Students undertaking pointe work will be confident in advanced exercises.

What do I need to participate?

These classes are designed so that they can be executed in a smaller space than a ballet studio. We ask that students/parents ensure that:

  • The student meets the technical standards required for the class
  • Any apparatus used for a barre is stable and safe
  • The floor is not slippery, uneven or hazardous
  • The area used for dancing is cleared of any items which could hinder the student’s ability to fully extend their arms and legs. There should be enough space for reasonable movement. If a student cannot fully execute an exercise, they should either adapt appropriately or not participate
  • The student is able to clearly hear the teacher’s verbal instruction, see the teacher’s practical delivery and hear the music
  • The student is appropriately dressed to safely execute a dance class. Soft ballet shoes should be worn for ballet, not pointe shoes. Bare feet, socks or suitable shoes should be worn for contemporary and Pilates
  • The student’s hair is suitably tied back
  • The student is fit and well in order to take part.

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