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ISTD Dance Exams are a great way to track progression and keep improving.


Login to check our events page for details on upcoming exam dates.


Why do we take

ISTD exams are an exciting experience, that allow our Dancers to demonstrate and celebrate their dancing achievements!

A.L.A.D are proud to be associated with the Imperial Society for the Teachers of Dancing. Following their syllabus in each genre of DFR. The syllabus not only gives the classes structure and ensures the children’s technique develops at a safe and appropriate pace for their age, but it also allows us to enter children for examinations.

Exams give our Dancers a goal and something to work towards which helps maintain focus and the feeling of progressing, which we find is important when they are working so hard in class on a weekly basis. 

We have always found participating in exams to be an extremely positive and enjoyable experience, so much so that often Dancers come out of the exam asking if they can do it again! Developing a child’s perseverance and work ethic only leads to build strong individuals and we love watching as our Dancers cheer on their classmates to succeed and do their best!   


Whilst we encourage pupils to take up the opportunity, please note, exams are not compulsory at A.L.A.D.

When will my child be

The decision to enter a child for an exam happens through discussion with the Principal, Miss Amy-Leigh, and the teacher of the class. Although the children enter in small groups, they have to be ready to enter the examination room to perform exercises individually with confidence. Younger dancers will have a marker present to copy if required. It can be overwhelming if a child is under-prepared so it is not a decision we take lightly.

As we’re sure you can appreciate, it requires a lot of time and work to get each child to a point of being ready to take an exam. We are given guidelines to follow by the ISTD which recommends a minimum of how long children should be training for before being entered.  This is a large reason why we stress the importance of regular attendance and why we often schedule extra coaching lessons leading up the exam.

At A.L.A.D we are always working towards the next set of exams, observing classes to assess and determine when pupils will be ready. Although we may suggest your child will be taking their exam the next term, if even a few classes are missed this may result in the exam being postponed till the next time or extra private coaching may be taken. Therefore when we inform you that your child is ready for an exam we will ask that you consider all potential conflicts that may result in missing classes; family events; school fairs; holidays; best friend’s birthday etc.


The examinations are normally held on a Sunday. We hold exams once a year with our next exam being held on Sunday 19th November 2023 at Linton Village College. More information will be available in September 2023.

When are exams held?

What do I need to



We plan our exam sessions up to 6 months in advance. Candidates are selected and parents are informed with a letter. We have an agreement form that needs to be completed so that you are aware of the requirements leading up to an exam in order for your child to be fully prepared. From this first point we will ensure candidates have access to pre recorded exam videos to support practice. The videos will be released once all routines have been taught in sessions. 



There will be a cost to take the exam for each child. Firstly, we require a £5.00 booking fee to confirm your place which will be included on your Childs letter along with the exam dance video fee of £2.00. Then there is an Exam Fee. These are made up of the exam entry fee set by the ISTD plus expenses to cover venue hire, staff, administration and other related sundries.


Other costs to consider are additional coaching (if required) and uniform.



Once they have completed their exam, they will receive a graded mark sheet and they  certificate a few weeks later which specifies what grade they have achieved (detailed down below). 

Grade, Marks & Comments

Honours 80 – 100 Reflects a high to extremely high standard of achievement

Commended 60 – 79 Reflects a good to very good standard of achievement overall

Pass 40 – 59 Reflects a satisfactory to fairly good standard of achievement overall

Examiners at the ISTD go through regular and rigorous training to try and make sure their marking is as consistent as possible. However, as with any performing art, personal preference comes into play which can mean that marks do not always come out the same from one examiner to the next. This does not take the value out of participating but is important to understand beforehand.

We have always found participating in exams to be an extremely positive experience. Developing a child’s perseverance and work ethic only leads to build strong individuals and we love the feeling of support we get from each class as they cheer on their classmates to succeed and do the best they can.

"Thanks so much to you and your team for all of your time and effort organising the exams. It ran like clockwork."

Parent of pupil 


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