Dance examsGraded examinations have been in existence in various forms for over a century. They were originally developed to provide a route for the cultural development of young people by encouraging them to study a discipline in the arts. Students progress from learning basic functions within their chosen subject to a high technical level. Several organizations were founded to formalise such courses by overseeing  courses and standards and providing examinations.

The examinations are based on progressive mastery of knowledge and skills. Students develop, and must ultimately demonstrate, skills in specific disciplines. Technical difficulty and complexity increase as they progress up the relevant levels. Once the  requirements of one level have been mastered, the student moves on to the next. Candidates are tested when ready rather than against a particular timetable, so they are able to progress at a speed that is appropriate - mastering one level before progressing to the next.

Graded dance examinations are offered by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), and other awarding organizations, and have enabled thousands of dance students opportunities for progression through widely-recognised qualifications in their chosen field. In the UK alone, such qualifications attract a large number of candidates each year. The examinations are almost exclusively elective and funded by the students themselves or their parents/guardians.

Dance, in particular ballet, is a popular qualification especially among younger female candidates. The main dance styles are classical ballet, modern dance and tap.


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Jessica Ann School of Dancing
7 Braziers Wood
Ipswich  IP3 0SP
United Kingdom

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Jessica Ann School of Dancing is a fresh, friendly Dance School in Ipswich, and provides excellent and specialized dance training for all ages and styles of performing arts.