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Exams at The Heights

At the Heights Ballet & Theatre School we hold annual exam sessions for all our pupils. The examination structure of the ISTD is designed to cater equally for those who wish to progress to making dance their profession, either as a performer or dance teacher, or for those pursuing dance purely as a leisure activity.

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is the world's leading dance examinations board. Formed in 1904, it is to this day a registered educational charity. It is the only organisation that covers the full spectrum of dance examinations on a truly global scale. 

Making sure you are ready for exams

All pupils need to have the correct uniform to do their exam. Uniform must be clean and in good condition - no holes in leotards/tights/leggings. Please check your uniform in plenty of time before the exam. Hair should be neatly tied back, either in a bun for Ballet or a two french plaits/high ponytail for Modern and Tap.

Please note that nail varnish/temporary tattoos are not allowed in dance exams and must be removed before arrival at your exam.

As per the ISTD rules, those entering Grade level Tap exams must have tap shoes with metals taps on BOTH the toe and the heel. Please make sure you have these in plenty of time for the exam.

Class Examinations

Class Examinations may be taken in: -

Cecchetti Classical Ballet : Pre Primary, Primary, Standard 1 - Standard 7.

Modern Theatre: Primary

Tap: Pre Primary, Primary

This is a great way to introduce children to dance exams. The class is conducted by the teacher in the presence of the Examiner with a group of up to 6 candidates. This system is designed for those pupils who attend a weekly class only.


Grade Examinations may be taken in Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre & Tap. Grades 1-6 are accredited by Ofqual, but prior to Grade 1 Primary should be taken.

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.

UCAS Points

If any ISTD student has taken their Grade 6 and/or Intermediate they can receive the following UCAS points. The number of points they can get depends on how well they did in their examination (i.e. Distinction, Merit or Pass).

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