Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Examinations

R.A.D. Graded Examinations
Pre-primary – Grade 8

These classes start from the age of five and include elements of Free *Movement and **Character dance. One class per week are required for Pre-Primary and Primary levels. Two classes per week are required for exam preparation from Grade 1 to Grade 4.

Graded Syllabi: 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. These levels are appropriate for students between the ages of five and eight years.

Graded Syllabi: Grades 1 — 8 Award, provide a broad practical dance education, progressively developing the technical, musical and performance skills of the student. They incorporate Classical Ballet, Free Movement and Character. Classical ballet is the core of the syllabus. Free Movement incorporates movements in common with dance genres such as Natural Movement, Contemporary and Classical Greek. Character is the theatrical presentation of national dance using ethnic dance and music, which has been freely adapted for the theatre. Three styles have been selected for study: Hungarian, Russian and Polish. 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.Instructors will decide when students are ready to take one of these exams. Graded examinations are located at our dance studio.

Examinations are open to both male and female candidates. Candidates may take any Grade without having passed previous examinations, provided they satisfy the minimum age requirements. Candidates may also re-take an examination as many times as they wish, regardless of the result.

Class Awards are the latest addition to the Academy’s portfolio of assessments and are available at Pre-Primary in Dance and Primary in Dance levels. They are conducted by the teacher. Students are assessed by an RAD examiner through observation of performance of all exercises and a dance. All candidates receive an Assessment Report, a Certificate, and a Medal from the RAD.

Presentation Classes enable teachers to offer all students in their school a target to work towards, irrespective of their physical ability or pace of learning. Each Presentation Class is based on the work from the relevant Grade and content is a reduced form of the Grade syllabus examination. Presentation Classes are of particular advantage to students, who for one reason or another may be unable to prepare for a full Graded Examination.

*Free-Movement is A classical dance style where postures are improved without emphasis of a turned-out hip position. There is a focus on free-movement qualities such as suspension/drop, swinging movements, a sense of breadth and travel. Some grades use chiffon scarves for this section. Comparable to basic contemporary dance movement qualities.

**Character Dance is a specific subdivision of Classical Dance. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk or national dance, normally from a European country, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theatre.

R.A.D. Vocational Graded Examinations
(Intermediate Foundation – Solo Seal Award)

The Vocational Graded Syllabus is the continuation of classical ballet training from the Academy’s Graded Syllabus. However, it also stands alone as a full training regime, commencing from the age of approximately nine to 12 years and is geared towards those engaging in the serious study of ballet. The first vocational level, Intermediate Foundation is often followed by a graded level 4 or 5 level of study.

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.

Vocational Levels:
There are six levels of Vocational Graded Examinations:
Intermediate Foundation
Advanced Foundation
Advanced 1
Advanced 2
Solo Seal Award.

Solo Seal Award: This last award is the pinnacle of the Academy’s examination system. It takes the form of a performance before a panel of judges and invited audience. Students perform a series of solo variations, and success is regarded as an indication of the candidate’s potential to work as a professional dancer in the corps de ballet of a professional company. Unlike Graded examinations, all Vocational level examinations must be taken in consecutive order.

These classes are for the more serious student and include Pointe Work. For this reason, there is a higher technical standard for these exams. Successful completion of the Advanced exam awards the student with the accreditation A.R.A.D (Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance). Which can be used after their name. These classes are augmented by non-syllabus classes and the study of repertoire from classical ballets. Three classes per week are required for these classes. Examinations are taken at another location.


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My daughters (3 and 5) really enjoy their creative movement and ballet classes. The March Break camp was especially fun! The teachers are very warm, personable, and amazing at what they do. The technique taught here to the older grades looks first rate.
Barbara Pal
Diversity, acceptance and healthy body image are core values in my family. So when I walked into CDM for the first time and saw students – girls and boys – and instructors of all shapes, sizes and races, I knew this was the place for my girls. The friendships they have forged with like-minded girls are comforting to me as a parent, and the standards set by Cheryl, Roxy and the other instructors make our girls better equipped to shine in the adult world and achieve their goals.
Julie R.
This is the second year My daughter takes Ballet class in CDM. She’s having wonderful time while dancing with all those same age girls. CDM has many professional dance teachers. They pass their skills along with their different styles and same passions to our little dancers. Every Tuesday while I’m waiting in the CDM hall way, having different age dancers walking by, I can feel the happiness of dancing. I also like the CDM summer camp. It gives a great opportunity to have fun and try different dances.
Grace, Sally's mom