Around the world, RAD exams are recognized for their quality, and each year, nearly a quarter of a million candidates across the globe choose to take their dance exams with us.
We offer a wide range of exams and assessments to motivate and reward students of all ages and abilities. Our focus is on creativity and musicality, providing opportunities to progress and achieve. It’s not just professional or young dancers who take our exams; age is no barrier to success. At any stage of your life or career, you can develop your fitness, musicality and artistry. Our candidates range in age from two to 60+!
All candidates who successfully pass an examination or award receive a certificate of achievement and a breakdown of their result. Some grades and awards also offer medals.
How Does it Work?
Starting with Dance to Your Own Tune, students as young as two, move through our Pre-Primary and Primary levels before moving on to Graded and Vocational Graded levels.
- Graded syllabus: Grade 1 to Grade 8 incorporates ballet, free movement, and character, and is suitable for candidates from seven years (Grades 1–5) and eleven years (Grades 6–8).
- Vocational Graded Syllabus: This develops the technique, music and performance skills of the older ballet student to an advanced level, preparing them for a dance or dance-related career.
Graded and Vocational Graded exams lead to recognized achievement at a high level in dance.
A real measure of achievement
These higher levels are accepted as a measure of achievement by the vocational schools attended by most young people aiming to enter the dance profession. They are also highly valued by universities and other institutions offering degree courses and programmes in the performing arts.
Learners have the option of taking regulated examinations recognized at the following levels on the UK qualifications framework:
- Level 2 (equivalent to Grade 5/Intermediate Foundation standard)
- Level 3 (equivalent to Grades 6-8/Intermediate & Advanced Foundation standard)
- Level 4 (equivalent to Advanced 1 & 2 standard)
The levels in the Discovering Repertoire programme are aligned to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) according to the degree of demand (difficulty) at each level. The required knowledge and understanding of the fundamental and relevant technique for the Discovering Repertoire programme means that there is currently no Level 1.
The assessments are designed to be taken in a modular format as individual units:
- Unit: Class (barre and centre)
- Unit: Variation 1 (development exercises and Variation 1)
- Unit: Variation 2 (development exercises and Variation 2)
On completion of each individual unit, candidates will receive a unit certificate.
Candidates who successfully complete all three units of a single level as an exam will be awarded the total level qualification certificate.
Discovering Repertoire exams and class awards can take place in both AECs (Approved Examinations Centres) and RAVs (RAD Approved Venues).
Further information can be found in our specifications documents.
A well as the more formal exams we also offer Class and Solo Performance Awards:
- Class Awards are available from Pre-Primary in Dance to Grade 5. These are conducted by the teacher and assessment is less detailed than for exams, allowing candidates to demonstrate their progress and to receive feedback.
- Solo Performance Awards are available at Grades 1–5. Candidates perform three solo dances; (one of which is freestyle and can be in any dance genre, not specifically ballet) giving them a chance to perform and express themselves while benchmarking their development.
All exams and awards are assessed externally by one of our panel of 200 examiners, appointed, trained and monitored by the RAD, and based in 25 countries around the world.
Demonstration Classes are an optional part of the Dance to Your Own Tune curriculum, and all candidates receive a certificate of participation.