The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) offers an internationally recognised portfolio of examinations and assessments which is designed to motivate and encourage students of all ages and abilities, from beginners to those on the threshold of a career in dance. Each year around 252,000 candidates from all over the world take RAD dance exams.
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, with our graded system providing opportunities to progress and achieve.
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 it works
Starting with Dance to Your Own Tune, students as young as two move through our Primary in Dance to Grade 8.
- Primary in Dance to Grade 8 incorporates ballet, free movement, and character. This is suitable for Primary in Dance candidates from six years, Grades 1-5 candidates from seven years and Grades 6-8 candidates from eleven years.
- 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-related career.
Graded and Vocational Graded exams lead to recognised 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 HE institutions offering degree courses and programmes in the performing arts.
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 whilst bench-marking their development.
All exams and awards are assessed by our panel of 224 examiners, appointed, trained and monitored by the RAD, and based in 25 countries around the world.