CSTD examinations process


examination Syllabus

The Classical Ballet syllabus comprises the Foundation Grades Syllabus, Progressive Grades Syllabus and the Major Classical Syllabus.

The Foundation Grades Syllabus covers:

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

The Progressive Grades Syllabus covers:

Pre Ballet


Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Dorothy Gladstone Award

The Major Syllabus covers:

Sub Elementary




Martin Rubenstein Award

Premier Danseur

Teachers’ Certificate

Teachers’ Diploma

This Syllabus features 118 pieces of original music especially composed for the Syllabus.

Foundation Grades 2-6

These grades have been introduced into the syllabi to help and assist students in building their technique before advancing to the next level. It is recommended that the Foundation Grade be taken or covered before the actual ‘Graded Examination’, therefore giving the student a stronger technical foundation in dance.


Progressive Grades

Pre Ballet (age 5) & Primary (age 6). These courses are for beginning students of ballet and form an introduction to basic technique and to different rhythms in music, which will later develop into musicality and enjoyment in their dancing. They learn coordination of the various body parts and how to mime, which promotes self-expression and confidence.


Progressive Grades 1-3

Grade 1 (age 7) Grade 2 (age 8) & Grade 3 (age 9).

Here the teaching of true ballet technique commences, along with increased emphasis on correct posture, placement and line. Flexibility and strength building are also necessary components. A variety of steps are introduced and students learn both the vocabulary and how to join these together in different ways, and importantly to show enjoyment in what they are doing. Elevation, presentation and dance quality are developed throughout.


Progressive Grades 4-6

Grade 4 (age 10), Grade 5 & Grade 6 (age 11). Movements become increasingly complex and varied and students learn to develop quick responses through the use of unrehearsed work. Turning steps, beaten steps and demi-pointe exercises are practiced and developed, so greater strength and control is required. An increased sense of performance, awareness of space and dynamics and development of choreography are emphasised. National dance is introduced from Grade 5 and the choice of style is flexible. Grade 6 lays the foundation for Major work which follows.


Dorothy Gladstone Award

An optional public performance at a transitional level, for candidates who have passed Grade 5 or 6 but not Sub Elementary.

Printed music, audio CDs and DVDs for all syllabi are available to members.


The Major Classical Syllabus

Caters for candidates from 12 years and onwards. Sub Elementary, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, Martin Rubenstein Award, Premier Danseur, Teachers’ Certificate, Teachers’ Diploma.

Sub Elementary (age 12)

Students need a sound knowledge of vocabulary and an understanding of technique in order to commence Major work. Unset work is increased. Strength, flexibility and stamina are further built up for the demands of Elementary work and beyond. Pointe work is introduced at this stage. The course is completed with a performance-length dance which requires a range of interpretation and expression.


Elementary (age 13)

Students by now will have increased awareness of the use of the body in both stationary and travelling movements. Balances are sustained, requiring core stability and technical accuracy. Use of phrasing, dynamics and response to music are key components. The ability to project to an audience should be demonstrated, especially in the performance dance. This examination is the qualifying stage for preparation of the Teachers’ Certificate.


Intermediate (age 14)

This is an important level as it prepares students for advanced performance study or teacher training in specialist institutions, colleges, universities etc and may constitute one of the admission required.



Our Society offers exclusively the “Jason Winters Contemporary Technique”, a world-class and comprehensive Contemporary Dance syllabus. Its technique and structure is designed in the most classical and academic way and infused with choreographic electricity used in today’s most commercial settings. It provides the proper tools to create dancers capable of furthering their education at the University level or working in fields from a major dance company to stage, film or television. A unique collaboration between our International society and industry expert it provides “Dance for the 21st Century and beyond”.

This syllabus consists of seven levels providing a comprehensive collection of training philosophy and exercises for contemporary movements. Throughout the levels the foundation is laid for a strong, focused and fluid contemporary dancer with building blocks in Graham, Cunningham, Jazz, Classical, Yoga and Pilates, and Jason Winters own circular sense of movement.

This syllabus truly creates the platform and provides the path for the evolution of Contemporary Dance for the future.

Foundation Level released October 2012

Level 1 

Level 2 

Level 3

Level 4 




Examination Syllabus

The Modern Jazz Syllabus released in 2004 comprises 10 Grades (includes 2 optional preliminary grades) plus a Teachers’ Certificate & Teachers’ Diploma. Fourteen levels are now available. The Modern Jazz Syllabus covers:

Pre Modern Jazz

Junior Modern Jazz

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Dorothy Gladstone Award

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Jazz Shield

Teachers’ Certificate

Teachers’ Diploma

The syllabus caters for children from 4 years up.

Exams procedure 

  • All students must arrive one hour prior to own exam time (no earlier please), this is a rule set by the CSTD and is crucial in allowing the day to run as smoothly as possible.

  • Please arrive at the studios with perfect presentation and with hair and make-up already done and ribbon sewn into shoes (where applicable). Prep time is for the exam practise only.  

GIRLS: Hair in a tight, neat, gelled bun in the middle of your head with a hairnet; FOR EVERY STYLE EXAM. Clean tights with no holes or ladders, no nail varnish or chewing gum. Natural makeup and ABSOLUTELY NO JEWELLERY or underwear to be shown.


BOYS: Nice neat hair off face. 

Always remember to be respectful and quiet when waiting for you exams, keep your warm up and changing area nice and clean. Bags and coats in racking area provided. Please arrive in warm up uniform, STRICTLY ONLY BALLET WARM UP CARDIGAN AND OR RED BASEBALL T- SHIRT / BDC WARM UP JACKET be ready to stretch and prepare for your exams. NO SPORTS BRANDS / OWN CLOTHING ON EXAM AND MOCK DAYS. 


Uniforms for exams are as follows:

CDWM - level 1 and 2 (dollies / acorns) - CDWM t-shirt and black leggings. Hair gelled high ponytail. 




Classical Ballet Examinations (Pre Ballet) - CSTD pink leotard 
Classical Ballet Examinations (Grade 1 – 6) - CSTD black leotard.

 New Pink ballet tights, clean no holes or ladders.


Primary: pink full sole ballet shoes with elastics (no ribbons).
Grade 1 – 6: Pink split sole ballet shoes, with ribbons (available from office in advance). 



Classical Ballet Examinations (Pre Ballet and Primary Ballet): White leotard with black shorts.

Classical Ballet Examinations (Grade 1 – 6): White leotard with black stirrup tights.

All grades shin length white socks worn over tights.

Footwear - All grades to wear black ballet shoes.




Modern Jazz Examinations (Grade 1 - 8): Black CSTD leotard with black shorts. 

All Grades Tan Coloured Tights.

Footwear - All Grades Black split sole jazz shoes 


Modern Jazz Examinations (Grade 1 – 8): Black tight fitting vest/dance tshirt and black shorts or straight legged jazz pants no tights. 

Socks - All Grades to wear black Socks.

Footwear - All grades to wear black jazz shoes. 



FEMALE Black CSTD leotard with fold-over capri pants or Jazz Pants if you do not have them.

Footwear - All levels barefoot 

MALE Contemporary (All Grades) White CSTD leotard with black straight legged jazz pants.

Footwear - All grades in bare feet OR foot thongs.