ADV's syllabus is Australian-owned which means all funds remain in Australia.

The program fosters and nurtures children's development as whole persons, not merely a dancing body. The syllabus covers a wide range of dance subjects including not only technique but also anatomy, nutrition, history, performance skills, creative dance, mime and improvisation, music appreciation and industry knowledge. Students become articulate and skilled pre-professionals.

The Syllabus from Beginner levels to Major Four include:

  • A comprehensive approach to dance education
  • Safe Dance
  • Technical Skills and Knowledge
  • Solo Performance
  • Creative Choreography
  • Musical Knowledge
  • Dance History
  • Basic Body Science
  • Dance Terms & Vocabulary
  • Understanding of body alignment and stage directions and terminology
  • Attitude component including cooperative learning processes
  • Communication sessions on career options in dance

ADV syllabus worksheets are a compulsory part of the syllabus and assessment process.  Worksheets start from Preparatory level and are used in conjunction with the Attitude and Ability marks.
All students must complete worksheets at each level required - these should be marked by the teacher and checked by the assessor. 


The ADV classical ballet syllabus gives the student a balanced, comprehensive and progressive training in this beautiful art form. The syllabus includes creative and flowing exercises at the barre. In the centre there are choreographed port de bras and allegros which challenge and inspire. Each level within the Classical syllabus is progressive so that the student gains strength and understanding of musicality and dance quality. The ADV syllabus technical work is enriched by additional body science and classical ballet history worksheets.

Creator Penny Lancaster worked with a number of dance teachers and assessors to create the classical syllabus. Most notably Glenda Lloyd, Bella Swartzberg, Peta Davidson and Dilys Yap. In more recent times Mandy Dodd and Nathaniel Lamond have improved and added extensive exercises to the syllabus.

The music was chosen by Penny Lancaster and June Haythorn (a dance school pianist for many years) from composers from the 19 century and is beautiful to listen to and inspiring to dance. Performance, computer sequencing and typesetting of  music scores was developed by Derek Williams, B. Mus, Dip.Tchg, FTCL, L.Mus.TCL. 


Being a dance style that originates from the popular culture of the day, jazz is forever changing. While it is good to accommodate the latest trends there is much more to jazz dance. Having a syllabus to work from ensures that teachers do more than teach what they feel like on the day. In this way students are assured teaching that will help them develop progressively in jazz dance skills and technique.

The ADV jazz syllabus has at its base a strong technical component for the serious dancer. It also allows teacher flexibility in teaching the latest trends through student and teacher choreographed creative exercises and dance performances. The curricula includes the history of jazz dance with the opportunity for students to experience music from various eras as well as dancing to the latest musical styles.  The ADV syllabus technical work is enriched by additional body science and jazz history worksheets.

The syllabus was originally developed by Petrina Cutt working in conjunction with a number of other jazz teachers - in particular Lisa Peresan and Kate Nicholson.  Major improvements and additions to all the jazz syllabus has been created by Monika Urquhart, Simona Wood, Rory Williamson and Jessica Crichton.  The ADV jazz syllabus is one of the most comprehensive available and ensures a full learning experience for students.


Originally developed by Lorna Nichols - former member of The Australian Ballet - the ADV tap syllabus gives students a solid grounding in technique taking the young student right through to professional level.

A special programme for the Adult and Teenage Beginner is also available giving students the opportunity to progress at their own pace. The programme features thirteen levels progressively introducing new techniques to develop and challenge the dancer. Using creative choreography in a variety of styles, time signatures and speeds, allows the student to develop rhythm and musicality while increasing their technical ability.

Lorna Nichols, herself an experienced tap dancer, has created the course with commitment and passion evident in the comprehensive and thorough programme. A challenging and rewarding course for dancers. Lorna has been assisted by her daughter Lauren Nichols and also Monika Urquhart.  The ADV syllabus technical work is enriched by additional body science and tap history worksheets.


The ADV contemporary syllabus has been developed to give a basic solid foundation in an ever- evolving dance movement style.The syllabus draws from the roots of contemporary dance echoing it's heritage from modern dance and also affirming the essential basis of balletic technique. Creative expression plays a large role in contemporary dance therefore some freedom with musical accompaniment and style is encouraged in the syllabus.

As there is no single established movement style or technique in contemporary, the syllabus is designed to start with a basic and solid grounding in technique and structure for which a student can gain body awareness and knowledge of a fast moving and ever-changing movement form.

Underpinned  with dance education in body science, nutrition, physiology, kinesiology, anatomy, terminology, music, history and choreography the syllabus allows the student to really gain a great knowledge of the craft.

ADVs Contemporary syllabus has been designed by industry professionals (Jessica Conneely and Sophie McKie) using their years of experience to educate the next generation of contemporary dancers.