What are IDTA exams, and why are they important?


At Lyric Dance School our teachers follow a structured IDTA syllabus to teach ballet students.

In this article we would like to explain about the IDTA exam structure and why are those ballet exams important for students.

IDTA (International Dance Teachers’ Association) ballet exams are a structured way for children to develop their ballet skills and receive recognition for their progress. These exams are designed to assess and encourage dancers at various levels of proficiency, from beginners to advanced students.

Here’s an explanation of how IDTA ballet exams work for kids:

What are IDTA ballet exams? IDTA ballet exams are assessments conducted by certified examiners from the International Dance Teachers’ Association. They are designed to assess a child’s progress for learning the structured ballet syllabus, technical ability, artistry, and overall understanding of ballet movements and concepts.

Levels and Grades: The exams are divided into different levels and grades, with each level representing a higher degree of difficulty. Beginners usually start at the lowest level, and as they progress, they can move up to higher levels. The grade a child enters depends on their age, experience, and skill level. In Lyric Dance school we cover all grades from Rosettes and Preparatory Ballet Level up to Grade 5.

Preparation: Before the exam, students attend regular ballet classes where they learn and practice various ballet techniques, positions, and routines. The teacher at Lyric Dance School will ensure that the students are well-prepared for the exam by covering all the required syllabus elements for the chosen grade. Students of the higher Grades are also required to attend additional practice classes during the week in order to escalate their technical skills to higher level more rapidly.  

Exam Format:  The exam usually takes place in a formal setting, such as a dance studio or a designated examination centre. The child will perform a set ballet routine or a series of exercises, including positions, movements across the floor, and combinations, in front of an examiner.

Assessment:  The IDTA examiner will evaluate the child’s performance based on several criteria, including technique, posture, musicality, expression, and overall presentation. The examiner will provide constructive feedback, highlighting the child’s strengths and areas for improvement. Achievement and Progression: Once the exam is completed, the child will receive a graded certificate or a report with comments from the examiner (usually it takes about a month to receive the results). The certificates will be handed out to the students by their Lyric Dance School teacher. This helps motivate the child and acknowledges their achievements. Successful completion of an exam allows the student to progress to the next level of ballet training.

Non-Competitive: It’s essential to emphasise that IDTA ballet exams are not competitions. The focus is on individual growth and improvement rather than comparison with others. Every child is encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities.

Benefits: Participating in IDTA ballet exams offers numerous benefits to children, including increased self-confidence, discipline, physical fitness, artistic expression, and a deeper appreciation for the art of ballet. Moreover, the structured syllabus ensures a well-rounded development of ballet skills.

Support and Encouragement: As a parent, your role is vital in supporting and encouraging your child throughout the exam process. Ensure they attend classes regularly, practice at home, and offer positive reinforcement to boost their confidence. Remember, IDTA ballet exams are a wonderful opportunity for your child to grow as a dancer and artist. They also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride, regardless of the specific grade achieved. The most important thing is that your child enjoys the process of learning and expressing themselves through ballet!

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