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Coastal Dance Centre
Gold medal for accomplishing the Royal Academy of Dance Examination
Coastal Dance Centre
Level 3 Students during CDC's 2014 RAD Examinations
Coastal Dance Centre
Levels 5 & 6 Students during CDC's 2014 RAD Examinations
Coastal Dance Centre
2014 RAD Examination Students showing their certificates and medals
Royal Academy of Dance

What is the Royal Academy of Dance?

Established in 1920, to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training initially within the UK, the Academy helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students. *Today there are over 13,000 teaching members' and 250,000 students spread across 79 countries, The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world.  The Academy's patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. RAD Membership supports the advancement of dance and includes professional dancers, students, teachers, benefactors and friends.  The Academy maintains close links with all those involved in the industry, at every level; from the internationally recognized 'Faculty of Education' degree programs to those younger students participating in our summer schools. At whatever age or stage, anyone with an appreciation of classical ballet is able to participate in the work of the Academy.

Why do we do examinations?

We stress the importance of every student having an achievable goal. This is measured by an Examination for students studying the Graded or Vocational Graded syllabus. Only RAD certified teachers are authorized to teach the dance syllabus.

Examinations offer students a challenge to show their understanding of the work. They are open to all students studying the Graded and Vocational Graded Examination syllabi and are tests of knowledge in relation to the level in question.

Examinations in classical ballet are suitable for everyone from young children starting out in dance classes to students aspiring to become professional dancers.  It is optional, no dancer is obligated to take an examination but it is always highly encouraged. 

Examinations offer a sense of accountability by all involved. The student is accountable to learn and the program faculty is accountable to teach.  The international examiner is accountable to maintaining and grading to standard. 

There are no upwards age limits on any examinations and a syllabus has been designed for both male and female candidates at all levels.

Graded Examination Class:

It is recommended that the commitment for students studying for a Graded Examination Class should be a minimum of two classes a week with extra coaching in the period leading up to the Examination Class if necessary, particularly as the student progresses towards the higher levels.

Vocational Graded Examination Class:

Students studying for Vocational Graded examinations should expect to take a minimum of three classes a week at the lowest level increasing as student's progress towards the higher levels.

Please note that the speed of development of individual students may vary and extra time spent, particularly when growth spurts occur.

Tell me more about the Graded syllabus

The Graded syllabus consists of three different components; classical, free movement and character dance.

Classical: The Classical work is the foundation and the most important part of the Graded Syllabi.

Free Movement: The free movement section incorporates movements in common with other dance styles such as natural movement, contemporary based dance and Greek dance.

Character Dance: Character dance is the theatrical presentation of national dance using original ethnic dance and music which has been freely adapted for the theatre. There are three styles - Hungarian, Russian and Polish - and these were selected because of their historic importance in the development of the traditional full-length classical ballets

What are the entry requirements for Graded Examinations?

Candidates are eligible to take a Graded Examination as long as their age meets the minimum age requirement below. There are no upwards age limits on any Examinations or Presentation Classes.

Examination Class Minimum Age Requirements
Primary 6 years old +
Level 1 7 years old +
Level 2 8 years old +
Level 3 9 years old +
Levels 4 & 5 10 years old +
Levels 6 - 8 11 years old +

Each candidate will receive a 'result form which shows the marks achieved. These marks can be checked against the published assessment criteria in order to highlight the strengths of the candidate's performance and the areas that need improvement.

Successful candidates will receive a Certificate bearing their name and level of attainment, (see sample Certificate), and a medal, (see medals)

The Academy's Grades 6, 7 and 8 Award provides eligibility for Affiliate Student Membership of the Royal Academy of Dance. These examinations can be taken in any sequence, and are now available to male and female candidates. Graded Examination qualifications are accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by QCA, DELLS and CCEA respectively, and can be included in candidates' Records of Achievement. Success in the Graded Examinations can provide the building blocks to the Vocational Graded Syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. All students however must take the advice of their teacher as to their levels of attainment and capabilities.

Tell me more about the Vocational syllabus

The Vocational Graded syllabus is the continuation of classical ballet from the Academy’s Graded Syllabus where Pointe work for females is introduced for the first time. This 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.

Students wishing to study for the Vocational Graded syllabus should have the type of body that can respond to demanding study. Students must also be able to concentrate for long periods of time and be able to accept and welcome constructive comments and correction.

What are the entry requirements for Graded Examinations?

Candidates are eligible to take a Vocational Graded Examination as long as their age meets the minimum age requirement. There are no upwards age limits on any Vocational Examinations. If candidates have achieved a distinction in Intermediate or any of the Advanced examinations, they may enter for the next examination one year younger than the minimum ages stated below:

Examination Class Minimum Age Requirements
Intermediate Foundation 11 years old +
Intermediate 12 years old +
Advanced Foundation 13 years old +
Advanced 1 14 years old +
Advanced 2 15 years old +
Solo Seal Award Must hold Advanced 2 Distinction

Each candidate will receive a 'Result Form' showing the marks achieved. The marks achieved can be correlated to the criteria indicating to the students, teachers and parents the strengths of the candidate’s performance and the areas that need improvement.

Successful candidates will receive a Certificate bearing their name and level of attainment. Successful completion of the Intermediate examination give eligibility to the Academy's Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) and two degree programs offered by the Academy and validated by the University of Surrey. Vocational Graded Examinations qualifications are accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the QCA, DELLS and CCEA respectively and can be included in candidates Records of Achievement for Vocational Schools, Universities and Colleges of Higher Education and Employment. It also provides eligibility for affiliate student membership of the Royal Academy of Dance; click here for more information on membership.

Successful completion of the Advanced 2 (formerly Advanced) examination gives eligibility for candidates who have reached the age of 18 years or over to apply to become an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance and use the initials ARAD after their name.

What does the exam involve?

For all other Grade exams the students enter in groups of four (4) or less and the exam is conducted by the examiner (the teacher does not enter the examination room).  Only the pianist, examiner and students are allowed in the studio during an exam.

Where does the examiner come from?

The Royal Academy of Dance has a Board of Examiners spread throughout the world. Based on her schedule at the time an examiner is chosen to come from London, Australia, USA, Canada or Europe as part of her examining tour.

At which location do exams take place?

All Coastal Dance Centre examinations take place at the Market Common Studio.

What if I choose not to enter my son / daughter for exam?

If a student has been selected by us to take the exam and you wish to decline, you must notify Ms. Liza immediately by the first week of January 2015.

Coastal Dance Centre students wishing to be considered for Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre membership in the 2015-2016 dance season should take the Royal Academy of Dance examinations.

Why does my child have to take extra classes before the exam?

As we build up to exams it is necessary from Primary level upward for the children to attend regular classes and extra mock exam classes in order for the student to reach his / her full potential.

When entering for the exam, the students should feel confident in the knowledge of the work she has been studying as well as having the added strength to achieve her very best. This extra work helps to build stamina and confidence.

All RAD Ballet students are not considered for exams unless they have been attending regular classes twice a week, as the workload at this level is much more challenging. Each child readiness is assessed by the teacher based on the following:
• Sound knowledge of all his / her Grade syllabus.
• Is able to execute all the work with good technique and style.

How are the students marked?

The marking system is as follows:

Unclassified / Unsuccessful = 0-39%

Pass = 40-54%

Pass with merit = 55-74%

Pass with distinction = 75-100%

How soon do we get the results?

After the exams the Examiner returns the paperwork to London for processing. The results are returned to us after approximately 4-6 weeks.

Each candidate receives a result form, which will show the marks achieved in each section and the overall result they are also awarded a certificate stating the level passed.

What does my child need to wear to the exam?

The students wear the prescribed uniform that they regularly wear when attending the ballet class. Also before you child's exam you will receive an individual notice of exam time and uniform reminder.

How does my daughter wear her hair for the exam?

The Ballet teachers are experienced in doing the ballet bun and will be on hand to do it during the exams.

If your daughter's hair is long enough, the teachers will need to have it in a tidy ballet bun with no wispies. Please allow time before the exam to have the teachers do their hair and get them ready and warmed up. Please make sure to bring your own hairbrush, pins, hairnets and hairspray or gel.

If a child has a short hairstyle, the teachers will make sure that it is neatly gelled back.

Are parents allowed to wait at the studio for their children?

We don't mind parents waiting for children especially if it is for the younger ones since their exams only take a short while. We, however, prefer as few people waiting around as possible so as not to distract the next set of students entering for exams. If you choose to wait at the studio please remember that everyone must keep noise levels down.

How much earlier than the exam should I bring my child?

On the individual sheet you will receive information before the exams as well as the reminder about the uniform and the exact arrival and departure time.

Coastal Dance Centre
The Market Common: 3070 Deville Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 | 843-839-5678
Murrells Inlet: 3554 Old Kings Highway, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 | 843-651-2006
Mailing Address: PO Box 1205, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 | info@coastaldancecentre.com