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Quality & inspiration

The ISTD conducts 250,000 assessments each year. We offer a wide spectrum of vocational, recreational and social dance exams to children, students, amateurs and professionals.

Our clearly defined structure allows learning to take place in the context of safe dance practice.

The examination structure of the ISTD is designed to cater equally for those who wish to progress to making dance their profession, either as a performer or dance teacher, and for those pursuing dance purely as a leisure activity.

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ISTD Examinations Structure


Aiming to build up progressively, ensuring that steps and skills learned at lower levels prepare for more complex movements as the candidate progresses.

Grade Examinations may be taken in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti and Imperial methods), Modern Theatre, Tap, National Dance, Classical Greek, Classical Indian Dance, Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Disco Freestyle and Classical Sequence. Grades 1-6 are accredited by Ofqual, but some Faculties have additional Grades prior to Grade 1, that is, Pre-Primary and Primary.

Class Examinations

Class Examinations may be taken in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti and Imperial methods), Classical Greek and Modern Theatre.

Medal Tests

These tests may be taken in Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Sequence, Disco Freestyle, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country & Western, Classical Greek and National. The levels progress from Under 6, Under 8, Social Dance Test, Pre-Bronze Dance Test, to Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Star and higher awards for Dancesport medals. Not all levels are applicable to all genres, please contact dance faculty for further details.

Other Types of Examinations

Some Faculties offer other types of qualifications other than those mentioned above so please refer to individual syllabi for full details.

Vocational Grades

The Vocational Grades are accredited by Ofqual and include Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2. These examinations form a cohesive bridge between grade work and professional examinations to provide the basis for either a career as a dancer, or further training as a dance teacher.

Teaching Qualifications and Professional Qualifications

Focused on delivering ISTD Associate, Licentiate or Fellowship teaching qualifications which give prospective dance teachers a solid grounding in the skills and knowledge needed to teach dance in a safe environment.

For more information about the ISTD's teaching qualifications and professional qualifications, please see our Courses and Training section.

Syllabus Outlines

Syllabus Outlines for most of the examinations mentioned above can be downloaded hereFurther technical detail in the form of Examination Specifications can be purchased from the ISTD Shop.

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Contact Us  

Imperial House
22-26 Paul Street
London EC2A 4QE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7377 1577

UK Examinations: ukdanceteachers@istd.org

International Examinations: Department Contacts








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