Character class: Polish court and folk dance

An introduction to Polish court and folk dances.


  • 1 Class
  • Suitable for 11+

This character class guides students through elements of character dances derived from Polish court and folk dances.

Duration: 58 minutes

This lesson is also included in the Intensive course for 11+: Series 1 package.

What you will learn

  • An insight into Polish character steps
  • Explore the Polish style of character dance
  • The relationship between classical technique and character dance.

Your Tutors

Kate Swainston

Character Teacher

Kate is an ex professional dancer, now teacher and examiner for The Royal Academy of Dance.

She trained to teach at The Royal Academy of Dance, where she passed the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma with Distinction. She then went to the Royal Ballet School to study on an Intensive Character Dance Teaching Course.

Kate is a member of the ballet faculty at London Studio Centre. She is a First and Second Year tutor, as well as overseeing the Foundation Year Classical studies. She also taught the Saturday Associate Programme for many years.
In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge, to teach Character as a specialist subject to Years 7, 8, and 9.

She has also taught at the Royal Academy of Dance School, Central School of Ballet, DanceEast (a Centre for Advanced Training), Pineapple Dance Studios London, and various schools in the Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire area.

Kate continues to deliver Repertoire Workshops, Intensive Coaching Courses, and Summer Schools both here in the UK, and abroad. These include, The Royal Ballet School (White Lodge, and Upper School), The Royal Academy of Dance, London Studio Centre, The Art Centre Gibraltar, and several in Northern Ireland.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

This class is recommended for students aged 11+ and reflects the training given to students aged 11-13 studying at The Royal Ballet School. The class is not suitable for beginner students, students with limited experience or students under 11 years old.

For this class, we recommend that:

  • Students are studying a syllabus delivered by a recognised classical dance awarding body, or if attending full-time vocational training, the method of training provided at their school
  • Students have a good knowledge and understanding of ballet vocabulary.

What do I need to participate?

This class is designed so that it 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 ballet lesson. Soft ballet shoes should be worn, not pointe shoes
  • The student’s hair is suitably tied back
  • The student is fit and well in order to take part.

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