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Teachers Corner

Your questions answered

The Modern Theatre committee is frequently asked for clarification for a range of technical details of the various Modern syllabi. Our most useful channel of enquiry is the official ISTD Modern Theatre Faculty Facebook page, facebook.com/groups/ISTDModernTheatre, and we encourage you to use this provision to obtain official clarification. This can be accessed by teachers on a global level, therefore if you are not yet part if this group, just answer a few simple questions to be accepted, in order to gain regular responses to your questions from our designated senior examiners and committee members.

The analysis below is an answer to a teacher’s question posted on the official Facebook page in May 2019. We have included it here for your information.


This is a preparatory approach that enables us to underpin the purpose of this fundamental step of Modern Theatre vocabulary.

The main goal in Grade 2, when the students attempt the first stage of learning a split run/leap, is to have extended (straight) legs. To achieve this goal, we are not looking for an attempt to show a wide range of movement (split), but instead to acquire a strong push off the back leg and fully stretched legs and feet.

The exercise shows four split runs in a row, making this a challenge to achieve. They are an extension of the springs that come before them, where on the first four counts we are hoping for a gradual build-up of power and elevation to enable this extension (stretch) of the legs on counts 5–8. These split runs are therefore more like an accented spring with two straight legs although with a swish action.

The child will need more power in an upwards direction to enable them to do four split runs in a row than they would if there was a step preceding it. The split run movement at this level is only aiming for about 90 degrees of a split, as opposed to 180 degrees due to the emphasis on the straightening of the legs.

As we develop through to the higher levels, split runs remain focused on the intention of fully extended legs, however they will include a wider split line. There is always some elevation to enable this, however the elevation is not the main focus, as this tends to de-emphasise the extension of the legs.

At these higher levels, children could also practise leaping with more elevation, however this is not required for candidate examinations.


The use of a music operator is now ‘optional’ giving teachers the flexibility to operate their music system in the Primary Class test if they so wish, rather than using a separate music operator.