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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.

Our teaching qualifications are structured to give the new teacher the best possible foundation from which to work, with a particular emphasis on safe dance practice and the needs of the growing child.

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ISTD Examinations Structure


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 the work covered in the Grades and the work of the professional examinations.

Teaching Qualifications and Professional Qualifications

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

Syllabus Outlines

Syllabus Outlines for all the examinations mentioned above are available free of charge from the Examinations Departments and most can be downloaded hereFurther technical detail in the form of Examination Specifications can be purchased from the ISTD Shop.

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