The board of examinations we use for exams is DTF (The Dance teachers Federation), recognised by the BDQT. http://www.bdqt.co.uk/
All children are invited to take exams, but exams are not compulsory.
We usually have two exam sessions a year. Our exam sessions are held at the hall in Southcote.
Graded exams start with introductory followed by pre-primary, then primary, which is folowed by Grade 1 then Grade 2 and so on. These exams consist of some exercises followed by a short dance and some theory questions as the children get older. The children need to wear the uniform for these exams and have extremely tidy hair. For ballet, hair must be in a bun. No audience is allowed during this exam but the children do go into the exam with fellow class members.
The baby medals are a gentle introduction to an exam situation. The children perform mimes together, to music with the teacher. This consists of 4 mimes for bronze, 6 mimes for silver and 8 mimes for gold. At the end of the test the children receive their medals. There is no audience allowed during the baby medals.
The medal tests are usually performed at the end of the session. The children can do solos, duets, trios, troupes for a medal. This is progressive, beginning with a bronze, next is silver, then gold, 1st award, 2nd award and onwards. These tests are more relaxed and performed to an audience. The examiner marks the children and gives them their medal, award or shield on the day. These tests can be taken in any genre we study, ballet, modern, tap, acrobatics, character, song with dance and lyrical. The children need a costume and can wear make up. They are marked on performance and confidence, plus technique.
Acro exams begin with bronze silver or gold gym awards, where the children perform their tricks linked by simple dance steps. They are awarded a medal for their achievement. These tests are taken without an audience. Once they have taken all three, they move onto the solo medal tests and perform an acrobatic dance starting with bronze.
Following the exams the children are awarded a report and certificate. They are given marks -pass, merit, honours or distinction which is the highest mark.