Students follow the syllabi of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) for Ballet and of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) for Modern and Tap. Both of these organisations are intentionally renown for their high quality of training and assessment.
The RAD ballet syllabi have been carefully structured on nine levels to give a full spectrum of qualities that boys and girls alike may gain from the study of ballet: artistic and musical awareness, careful placing of the body and self discipline. The ISTD has a similar structure to their syllabi.
Students are also taught Contemporary dance based on the principles of the Cunningham Style.
Currently, students are not presented for examination in Modern or Tap, but are prepared for examination in Ballet.
The RAD recommends around 60 hours of preparation for each level of examination and in the higher grades this does mean around 2 years of study.
Students will be offered the chance to participate in exams if they show they have the required maturity; a student may still progress through the syllabi without participating in a formal exam if they do not wish to.
There are two strands of examinations – Graded Examinations and Vocational Graded Examinations. Vocational Graded Examinations are for those students who are focused on taking dance further, possibly into further training. Students may take both sets of examinations if they wish, although in practice, this requires a strong commitment to training and it may be best to decide which strand you wish to follow. Graded Examinations are similar to music exams in that the last one is Grade 8. From Grade 6 upwards, the qualifications carry UCAS points that can be used for entry into university. This is the link to follow if you would like more information: