Modern Theory


Theory For The Graded Modern Examinations

Theoretical questions will be marked in the section entitled ‘Responses and Knowledge of Syllabus’. The candidate may be asked one or two questions in any one examination. The answers do not have to be an exact repetition of those written but should convey the same meaning.


1. Each candidate to show an example of the following arm lines.
• Opposition
• Parallel
• Co-ordinated
(There are several of each at differing heights)
2. On the side stretch do the hips move
A. No, the hips are still
3. When lying on the floor on your back what must you be careful of?
A. Press the spine into the floor so that there is no space between the floor and your back.
4. In the preparation for turns, what must you be sure to use?
A. The head and eye line.


Questions may be asked from grade on which are relevant to this grade.
1. On the forward body stretch what must we be careful to do?
A. We must not push our hips backwards.
2. On the back bend what must we be careful to do?
A. We must not push our hips forward.
3. On the controlled thigh exercises which part of our body do we use to stand up?
A. Our thighs, not our backs.
4. When contracting in the preparatory exercise for contraction where is the head held?
A. Chin tucked down towards the chest.
5. When kicking forwards is the supporting leg bent or straight?
A. It is straight.
6. When leaping is the back leg bent or straight?
A. It is straight.


Questions may be asked from grade on which are relevant to this grade.
1. What is an isolation?
A. When we use only one part of the body
2. In the general conditioning exercise at the barre what position do we place the feet on the lunge and foot pushes?
A. The feet are straight to maximise the stretch.
3. When lifting the head and shoulder blades in the abdominal and contraction exercise where do we hold the head?
A. Chin tucked into the chest so that we don’t strain the neck.
4. What does contraction mean?
A. To shorten.
5. Is the leg turned out in 2nd in the side extension and side kick exercises?
A. Yes, to maximise the movement in the hip socket.


Questions may be asked from grade on which are relevant to this grade.
1. Define the word rhythm.
A. The regular occurrence of an accented beat or beats in a bar of music.
2. Why do we use a variety of arm lines when dancing?
A. To develop style and presentation and to aid balance.
3. Describe the position of the body as you bend the knees in the body roll exercise.
A. The back is held upright with the knees parallel over the toes.
4. In the exercise for turns, where do we place the chasses?
A. Sideways to keep us travelling in a straight line to the corner.
5. An awareness of all stages directions should be shown. Questions may be asked on all alignments. (Up stage, Down stage, Stage Right, Stage Left etc.)


Questions may be asked from grade on which are relevant to this grade.
1. Why do we start class with a warm-up?
A. Warm-up increases circulation to carry more oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, helping to prevent injury.
2. Define syncopation.
A. Displacing the natural accent.
3. What do we mean by lyrical arm lines?
A. Soft and flowing with a balletic quality.
4. Describe and demonstrate the position of the body in a forward body stretch.
A. The body bends from the hips showing a flat back (like a table top) with the weight over the legs avoiding pushing the hips back.
5. In the abdominal exercise when stretching sideways in straddle position what must we take care to do?
A. Keep both hips on the floor to maintain turn out.
6. On the inward and outward round kicks what must we be careful to do?
A. Ensure the working leg is turned out in 2nd position.




TIME – time explains the amount of beats in a bar. The top number in how many beats to count and the bottom number explains the type of beats they are eg. whether to count the beats as quarter notes, eighth notes, or sixteenth notes. Examples are 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 6/8.


TEMPO – tempo is the speed of the music. The time and rhythm remain the same but when changing the tempo the speed simply increases or decreases.


RHYTHM – this is the pattern that an arrangement of all stressed and unstressed beats create. There are recognised rhythms is dance music that can be used as examples such as – ragtime, blues, tango, waltz etc.


ACCENT – the accent is the most highlighted part of the music/dance. It is emphasised by sound, of larger movements and therefor stands out for the other beats/movements.


SYNCOPATION – this is when a beat is stressed or accented that is irregular. Therefor accenting an unexpected beat makes is more interesting and unpredictable as a piece of music/dance.

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