Discover épaulement

A focus class exploring the use of upper body opposition or épaulement to maintain good posture, correct weight placement and alignment.


  • 1 Class
  • Suitable for 16+

Students aged 16+ will discover how opposition in the upper body can help maintain good posture and correct weight placement. The class will explore the use of épaulement and how it can contribute to the correct alignment of the body, as well as help in moving across the floor.

What you will learn

  • How to achieve good posture and correct weight placement
  • How to implement a correct floor plan with travelling exercises
  • Greater awareness of general alignment.

Your Tutors

Ricardo Cervera

Ballet Teacher

Ricardo was born in Malaga. After attending a summer school at the Royal Ballet he was invited to join the Upper School and entered the Company on graduation in 1993.

He was promoted to First Artist in 1996, Soloist in 1999 and First Soloist in 2002. His repertory with The Royal Ballet included Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Lescaut (Manon), Bratfisch (Mayerling), Hans-Peter/Nutcracker (The Nutcracker), Arthur Troyte Griffith (Enigma Variations), Colas and Alain (La Fille mal gardée), Jester (Cinderella), Hilarion and pas de six (Giselle), Antigonus (The Winter’s Tale) and Monkey (‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café).

He was appointed Assistant Ballet Master in 2014, Ballet Master in 2016, and retired as a dancer in 2015. Ricardo trained as a répétiteur on the Frederick Ashton Foundation’s mentoring scheme.

He has been invited to teach ballet and take masterclasses in numerous countries including Japan and Spain. He has also taught in renowned Summer Schools such as Yorkshire Ballet and The Royal Ballet School.

Ricardo joined The Royal Ballet School as Ballet Teacher in 2019.

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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