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Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)


Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD)

Trinity College London

                           Why Choose a Qualified Teacher ?


Can you imagine taking your child to an unqualified Doctor ?     NO.


Dance is a physical activity that can potentially do harm to young bodies if not taught by people with the knowledge and expertise.  Until government legislation comes into effect, that all those in charge of teaching must have the appropriate qualifications required, children are vulnerable to inadequate and unsafe teaching by ‘imitating’ dance teachers or those forging their qualifications. 


By choosing an RAD Registered Teacher you are choosing World Class Tuition, Quality, Safety and Professionalism.


All RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) Registered teachers hold a recognised dance teaching qualification. This means that you can be confident in their dance knowledge and teaching ability, including what is developmentally appropriate at every stage of a child’s learning.


All RAD Registered Teachers must complete a minimum of 20 hours CPD (Continual Personal Development) each year. This ensures that your teacher is fully up to date with the very latest teaching methods and technical knowledge, ensuring that your child is in the best possible hands.


Teachers also adhere to the Code of Conduct which sets out to maintain and promote the highest standards of dance education, teaching and learning worldwide and outlines an ethos of integrity, competence and professionalism.


Teachers are also checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Previously known as a “CRB Check”.



                                 Why Take Examinations?


                      Hertsmere Academy of Dance & Performing Arts has an Outstanding 100% Pass Rate.


The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) and Trinity College are all awarding organisations, recognised to award qualifications on the Qualifications & Credit Framework in England and Northern Ireland by OFQUAL, and in Wales by the Welsh Government.


For example, here is a table to explain how the RAD Graded examinations align with other credited qualifications. As you will see a student gaining an examination will benefit from their achievement, which will be of benefit to their career, what ever they decide to do.


 RAD Examinations



Grades 1-3


(QCF level 1)






Grades 4 & 5

Inter- Foundation


(QCF level 2)






Grades 6 – 8




(QCF level 3)

Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF)



BTEC awards, certificates & Diploma’s at Level 1

Functional skills at Level 1

OCR Nationals

Foundation Learning Tier pathways





BTEC awards, certificates & Diploma’s at Level 2

Functional Skills at Level 2








BTEC awards, Certificates & Diploma’s at Level 3

BTEC Nationals

OCR Nationals

National Qualification Framework (NQF)



GCSE graded D-G

NVQ’s at level 1

Key Skills level 1

Skills for Life

Foundation Diploma




GCSE graded A*-C

NVQ’s at level 2

Level 2 VQs

Key Skills Level 2

Skills for Life

Higher Diploma




AS/A levels

Advanced extension awards

International Baccalaureate

Key Skills Level 3

NVQ’s at level 3

Cambridge International Awards

Advanced & Progression Diploma

(Higher Education information available on request.)


The QCF introduces a standard currency for learner achievement through the award of credit. Each qualification on the QCF is assigned a level, indicating the standard or degree of difficulty and a credit value, indicating the size or breadth of the qualification. Grades 1-3 examinations are awarded 7 points, Grade 4-5 examinations are awarded 10 points and Grades 6-8 are awarded 13 points.   


          How Will Exams Benefit My Future in Dance & the Performing Arts?

Any student wishing to Audition for a full time college MUST be able to show the standard that he/she is training at and in which genres. An audition only shows you in one aspect of dance, the others you need to show on paper. So, if you are up against someone at an advanced exam level when you have nothing...the outcome is obvious! The 2 most recognized Dance societies to prove that you have reached a high level are the ISTD & RAD. Trinity College offer Higher Level examinations in full time professional colleges, so exams in Musical Theatre/Performing Arts are recognised as important too.


                                     Classes & Exam Standards

Examiners expect to see a candidate established in the art of dancing, not just running around. The candidate needs to not only show the syllabi but have a clear understanding of exam protocol, maturity and discipline of their own body. Their work should show strength plus appreciation and confidence in their performance. So before the age of 5, there is a lot of work to achieve to develop the basics, which is done through creativity and enjoyment.


Registered Teachers are programmed to teach students to understand their bodies to try and prevent injuries. Safe dance practise is a priority to them and that is why teachers are the ONLY people able to decide when a child is ready for an exam or pointe work etc... Examiners will report a school if satisfactory standards are not achieved, so classes are run according to the standard of the individual child and not by age.


Dance & performing arts is a physical activity and every student is different, maturing at their own time and excelling at different things. Some progress quickly at the beginning and some at the end. By pushing a child when they are not ready can send them backwards. A child entering for an exam too early will suffer from bad marks and a bad experience, which in turn leads to a phobia. Exams need to be a good experience and this is what teachers encourage.  

Therefore, there really is no panic to be at a certain standard just because 'Jo Bloggs' is. It is evident that those who take exams slightly later than the specified age can produce better grades, have a better understanding of their training and what is required, progress quicker and often stay dancing longer as they have time to enjoy it and not the constant pressure.  Of course, There is always a competitive element out there, where a friend might say 'my childs in a higher level than yours' but what you may not know is that they maybe studying with a different society or their child may have a higher ability or that their teacher has missed out the basic fundermentals and the child has only scrapped through the exams. Unfortunately many a good school will have come across new students that have been subject to inadequate teaching, leaving a lot of hard work to correct the damage which takes much time.  Rushing ahead without suitable technique also puts students at the risk of injury especially if they are not strong enough for character work in heels or beginning pointe work.


There is more to dancing than just learning the steps. The most fun for students being, Style, Co-ordination, Line, Imagination, Expression, Improvisation, Musicality and performance to name but a few. All of these are exam criterea as well so it is important for students to accomplished these too. Unless these are regularily studied and improved upon outside of the syllabi work, students will completely loose them. 

                    Lets just remember that Dance is about enjoyment whilst gaining individual progression.


                         How long does the exam work take to study ?

The hour of tuition and home practise before an exam increases as the levels rise. Those who take short cuts will end up regretting it in the long run, this extra time is not just made up for a teacher to cause problems... in order to gain a qualification, it must be earnt!

RAD - Indication of hours: 

These are Indications of the time taken by a typical learner when studying towards RAD qualifications placed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework. For Graded and Vocational Graded Examinations from Grade 1 to Advanced 2, these are consistent with the determination of credit values developed by UK dance awarding organisations in 2009.

The learning rate of individual students will vary, and the length of examination training for each student is at the discretion of the teacher. It is recommended, however, that students studying for examinations should take a minimum of two syllabus classes a week at the lower levels, increasing as the student progresses towards the higher levels. Additional time, particularly when growth spurts occur, can only be beneficial in the long term. Minimum Recommended study hours:


                                         Primary in Dance Examination

                                          TOTAL STUDY 40 HOURS (Home Practice Hours dependent on individual) 


                                            Grade 1- 3 Examination

                                   Guided Hours: 60, Home Practice Hours:10

                                           TOTAL STUDY 70 HOURS

                                            Grade 4-5 Examination

                                    Guided Hours: 75, Home Practice Hours: 20

                                            TOTAL STUDY 95 HOURS


                                            Grade 6-8 Examination

                                    Guided Hours: 90, Home Practice Hours: 40

                                            TOTAL STUDY 130 HOURS


                      Who are the Royal Academy of Dance? 

'The RAD is one of the world’s most influential dance education organisations. Our exams set standards in classical ballet and we are a global leader in Continuing Professional Development for dance.

A RICH HISTORY - Founded in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching within the UK, today we have a presence in 83 countries, with 36 offices and about 14,000 members worldwide. We count more than 1,000 students in our teacher training programmes and more than a quarter of a million students are being examined on our syllabi. We support our membership through the knowledge, and expertise of our highly qualified staff and through conferences, workshops, training courses and summer schools.

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION - Our Faculty of Education is dedicated to meeting the needs of our current and future dance teachers by providing dance teacher education programmes and qualifications. Our exams are recognised by Ofqual and contribute to UCAS points. The RAD's patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Darcey Bussell CBE is President.


                     Who are the Imperial Society of Dance? 

'The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards. From Ballet to Ballroom, we have 12 dance faculties covering Theatre, Dancesport and Social Dance.

Since 1904 we have provided training for dance teachers and examiners, enabling teachers to enter their students for examinations, develop new techniques and spread the joy of dance.

As a registered educational charity and membership association, the ISTD’s mission is to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms, to promote knowledge of dance, to provide up-to-date techniques for our members, and to maintain and improve teaching standards. We support our members through updated teaching syllabi and techniques, plus a wide variety of courses, summer schools and congresses.'


                               Who are Trinity College?

* Trinity has been providing assessments around the world since 1877 

Trinity exams focus on assessing skills and how effectively the candidates can apply what they have learnt, not just on      knowledge for its own sake.

* Each year over 700,000 candidates in over 60 countries take a Trinity assessment and our international network is          growing fast.

* Trinity exams are regulated by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and recognised  



Trinity College London is an international exam board with a rich heritage of academic rigour and a positive, supportive approach to assessment. We provide recognised and respected qualifications across a unique spectrum of communicative skills — from music, drama and arts activities to English language — at all levels.

Trinity exams and assessments are specifically designed to help students progress. They inspire learners and mark their achievement at each stage of their development and at all levels of competence. We also encourage candidates to bring their own choices and interests into our exams — this motivates students and makes the assessment more relevant and enjoyable.

At the heart of Trinity’s work is the support we provide for teachers, both in terms of specific support for teachers preparing candidates for our exams, and more general teacher development. Our work with teachers is supported by a growing international network of relationships with key education institutions. This ensures that our teachers have access to the best professional development available.

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