ISTD Examinations & Medal Tests Information
Summer and Winter Exam Session 2023 - future exams dates to be confirmed
Colours of Dance trains Tap and Streetdance pupils to a standard suitable for entry to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance examination & medal test syllabi. Teachers will determine when each pupils is ready for examination or medal test, but a general description of what qualifications the examinations provide is given by the ISTD and copied below for convenience.
Please note that the following study hours relate to in-person attendance. During Covid, this has been severely restricted and the consequent impact on students' strength, stamina and posture/placing is not to be underestimated. Students can recover quickly once back in the studio, but it is worth remembering that assessment standards have not changed. The journey of the students wishing to acheive those standards has. It will take time for our students to recover their strength and placing and it cannot be forced. Our teachers will assess each student as an individual to help them find the right path and timing for themselves, as they grow and develop biologically at the same rate as always, no matter what! Our teachers spend a lot of time considering the needs of each of their pupils carefully, in addition to which the Principal provides a further review. Our focus is to try to ensure that students enjoy every class and are moved up to the next grade when they are ready to take on that challenge. In some cases, that might mean preparing for an exam and in all cases, their move up will likely be later that might normally be expected. please trust the advise of your teachers as we will move any student up a grade as soon as we are sure they are ready. Do contact us if you have any questions.
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards. The ISTD is arranged as a series of Faculties, setting medal tests and examinations as is best suited to students of different dance genres. Each Faculty sets its own syllabus and standards, trains students and teachers through their curses and competitions, within an overall framework set by the board.
The ISTD achieved Government recognition in November 2000 through the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and was further recognised to operate in the Qualifications and Credit Framework in 2010 by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). Ofqual is now the successor to QCA as the Regulator for England and for qualifications on the QCF delivered in Northern Ireland, and works in conjunction with the Department for Education and Skills of the Welsh Assembly Government, as the Regulator, which recognises the ISTD in Wales.
Tap students will be entered for examination when their teacher feels that they are ready, and each grade normally takes approximately 3 to 4 terms of preparation at one lesson a week. We usually run one session of Tap exams a year, and occasionally two sessions - it will depend on when the current students are ready. Tap exams can be taken from Primary to Advanced 2. Preparation for examinations requires attendance at 3-5 additional classes in the run up to the exam, depending on the grade.
The Medal Test system is different to examinations, and applies to all Streetdance classes here. The medal tests also define which category a candidate participates in at competitions, along with their age. Under 12s are 'Juniors' and 12 and above are 'Juvenile'. Students can start taking medal tests from age 4 to adult and the levels are as follows:
Under 6s - Under 8s - Social One Dance Test (SODT) - Social Dance Test (SDT) 1, 2, 3, 4 - Pre Bronze - Bronze - Silver - Gold
At all levels except the SODT, two dances are shown and examined. At all levels except the SODT, there are 4 medals that may be gained before moving on, although not all medals are required at U6 and U8 in order to move up. You have to have achieved all four SDT medals 1-4 in order to progress to Pre-Bronze.
If you have any other questions, please speak to your teacher or to the Principal.