ISTD- Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Dance Exams

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards. From ballet to ballroom, the ISTD has 12 dance faculties covering theatre, dancesport and social dance. No other dance examination board offers as many genres.

For more than 110 years 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, 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.


Grade Examinations may be taken in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti and Imperial methods), Modern Theatre, Tap, National Dance, Classical Greek, Classical Indian Dance, Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Disco Freestyle and Classical Sequence. Grades 1-6 are accredited by Ofqual, but some Faculties have additional Grades prior to Grade 1, that is, Pre-Primary and Primary.

Class Examinations

Class Examinations may be taken in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti and Imperial methods), Classical Greek and Modern Theatre.

Medal Tests

These tests may be taken in Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Sequence, Disco Freestyle, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country & Western, Classical Greek and National. The levels progress from Under 6, Under 8, Social Dance Test, Pre-Bronze Dance Test, to Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Star and higher awards for Dancesport medals. Not all levels are applicable to all genres, please contact dance faculty for further details.

Other types of examinations

Some Faculties offer other types of qualifications other than those mentioned above so please refer to individual syllabi for full details.

Vocational Grades

The Vocational Grades are accredited by Ofqual and include Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2. These examinations form a cohesive bridge between the work covered in the Grades and the work of the professional examinations.

Teaching Qualifications and Professional Qualifications

For more information about the ISTD's teaching qualifications and professional qualifications, please see our Courses and Training section.

Syllabus Outlines

Syllabus Outlines for all the examinations mentioned above are available free of charge from the Examinations Departments and most can be downloaded here.