Students who display talent and commitment in their weekly classes may be invited to join our Associate Scheme. Only students who attend classes in all three disciplines of Ballet, Modern and Tap may be considered eligible for invitation, as the ability to adapt to all dance styles is a must. Natural talent is a requirement, however an excellent work ethic and determination to progress is essential as the Associate classes are intentionally difficult and stretch dancers beyond their grade work to improve their technique, performance and strength. A conscientious attitude in syllabus classes and the commitment of parents to support their child’s vocation are important factors when considering students. Associates take additional classes on Saturdays at the D@rt Centre in Hedge End; these include extra Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Limbering and Pilates to ensure that a high standard of dance is achieved. SJ Academy of Dance is a member of the All England Dance Association, and Associates may be offered the opportunity to compete in dance festivals; performing solos, duets, trios and groups in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Character, Song & Dance, Lyrical and Contemporary. Marks are awarded by an independent adjudicator and performers achieving the highest marks are invited to compete in the Regional Finals. From there, the winning performers qualify to compete in the National Finals, which are held every other year. Associates who compete in these festivals attend further individual lessons and must commit to rehearsals.