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The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) exams are offered to students in ballet, tap and modern, from Primary level to Intermediate.

To be eligible for entry, a student must have demonstrated a high level of attendance and dedication in class, and their teacher must be confident that they are capable of passing the exam.

Essex Dance Theatre exam week is always the summer term half term holiday. If your child is unavailable for any part of the week then they shouldn't be entered for the exam.

Students will be given additional exam rehearsal classes to ensure they feel fully prepared and can achieve the best possible grade. Your child needs to know how things differ when working with the pianist and there will be a compulsory rehearsal over the half term to help them with this.

Exam day

  • Arrive a minimum of 1 hour before the exam
  • Provide an¬†emergency mobile number so that we can contact you if the examiner has run ahead of the his schedule and can see your child earlier
  • If possible please leave little ones at home as the building is meant to be silent
  • Don't give your child sugary drinks or sweets before their exam as they can feel sick if they're nervous
  • Parents wait in studio 3 and as soon as candidates are changed they come in with shoes and hair kit
  • Staff will groom hair and deal with shoes

Ballet Vocabulary

It's important that students understand the language that the teacher uses during ballet classes. We've produced a ballet vocabulary guide to support students from Grade 1 onwards.

Exam results and next steps

Results will be given to you as soon as we have them.

Your child will go up to the next grade in September.

From Grade 1 Ballet upwards we require students to do 2 ballet classes a week if they want to reach exam level.

Contact us

Contact Paulene Sorrell if you have any queries about examinations.