What are Ballet Exams?

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is an international dance education and training organization that specializes in Ballet. The RAD was established in London, England in 1920 and was created with the objective to improve the standard of ballet training in the UK. In pursuit of that goal, a new teaching method and dance technique was devised. The RAD is one of the largest dance organizations in the world with over 15,500 members in 82 countries, including over 7000 that hold Registered Teacher Status. There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or part-time RAD teacher training programs and each year the examinations syllabi are taught to over 250,000 students. For more information about RAD please visit their website at www.radcanada.org.

The Royal Academy of Dance Examinations Board offers an internationally recognized portfolio of examinations and assessments. They are designed to motivate and encourage students of all ages and levels of ability, through a systematic measurement of progress and attainment.

Ages 5 to 8: The Pre-Primary and Primary levels develop students’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. This strong foundation prepares students for a successful transition to ballet and other dance genres. The Pre-Primary level is examined as a Presentation Class where the teacher is present to run the students though their work. At the Primary level, students are evaluated in groups of up to 4 dancers. These levels are appropriate for students between the ages of five and eight years.

Ages 6 and up: The Graded syllabus (Grades 1 to 8 ) provides a broad practical dance education, progressively developing the technical, musical and performance skills of the student. Classical ballet is the core of the syllabus. Included in the classwork is Free Movement incorporating movements in common with dance genres such as Natural Movement, Contemporary and Classical Greek. Also included is Character, the theatrical presentation of national dance using ethnic dance and music, which has been freely adapted for the theatre. Examinations for the Graded levels are held at Dans’Atout accompanied by a pianist. The dancers are evaluated in groups of up to 4 dancers at a time. These levels are appropriate for students from the age of six years and upwards, and can provide challenging and rewarding training to the end of high school.

Ages 9 and up: The Vocational Syllabus is the continuation of classical ballet training from the Academy’s Graded Syllabus. Commencing from the age of approximately 9 to 12 years it is geared towards those engaging in the serious study of ballet. At the earliest level, pointe work is introduced for the first time, and each syllabus has been designed to give the necessary training to students wishing to study seriously, with a possible view to following a career in dance, or dance related subjects. There are five levels of Vocational Graded Examinations starting with Intermediate Foundation and culminating in the Solo Seal Award. Unlike Graded examinations, all Vocational level examinations must be taken in consecutive order. These major examinations are offered at locations specified by the RAD and are not held at Dans’Atout.