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Recommended ages for modern ISTD grades


Vanmalc77
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it is interesting - our teacher is an ISTD examiner and she doesn't like seeing them take modern exams too young as she says they rarely have the maturity required. Not that they can't do the work but the maturity isn't there if that makes sense. 

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If I remember rightly, my dd took her ISTD modern grade 2 when she was 9, but she didn't start modern until she was 7. She then moved dance schools for modern and they messed her about a lot so I lost track after that!

 

I think that generally they get to around grade 4/5 level age about 12/13ish, some sooner if they are particularly adept, but it usually depends on how often the dance school arranges exams.

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I find the minimum age for IF / Intermediate on the low side, tbh. If a child took Intermediate at 11, then moved on the the Adv 1 syllabus, the latter would be a huge physical challenge as it's a big step up. DD took Adv 1 with her friends last year - so she'd have been around 15 - and they found the syllabus a physical and maturity challenge despite all being 8+ hours of dance a week girls from a young age.

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The "minimum" age is just that - the lowest possible age at which you are permitted to enter. It is NOT meant to be the "recommended" or "average" age - on the contrary, only a truly exceptional student would be fast-tracked to that extent. The current ISTD higher grades (5 and 6) are intended for teens who have the maturity to interpret them, rather than just execute the movements. (The minimum age for the vocationals is probably a throwback to the old graded syllabus, which had only four grades, not six, meaning that the vocationals would have been reached much earlier.)

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The way most dance schools I know of locally work it is that they start Grade 1 around the age of 6/7 and take roughly 1 exam a year reaching Grade 4 by about the age of 11.  (My daughter's year got behind for various reasons so she only reached Grade 3 at this point.  Then Grades 5/6 are continued with along with vocational grades.   Mind you a lot of dance schools round here do BBO who have a reccomended minimum age of 7 for Grade 1, age 10 for Grade 4 and 12 for Grade 5/Inter Foundation.

 

At vocational School my daughter did her Intermediate when she was 14 and she is about to take her Advanced 1 (tomorrow) aged 17. (She would have taken it last year but teacher illness and GCSE's got in the way)

 

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To look at it from another angle. 

Some of the NBS 1st yr pupils will be taking their Inter Modern this week. 

My DD who is 16 will be the only one taking Adv1. Which goes some way to show that the top grades are really designed for the older teens who are physically and mentally mature enough to do those grades justice. 

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