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ISTD or CSTD Contemporary Dance


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On 01/01/2022 at 04:56, Jewel said:

it seems to be an Australian exam board. 

It's not commonly taught in Australia - most schools here use RAD, Cecchetti or ATOD (Australian Teachers of Dance). and a new syllabus promoted by the AICD called Borovansky is growing in popularity.

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CSTD is more commonly used for jazz and tap exams and not so much for ballet. While schools in my area do teach CSTD ballet, it's generally the schools that are more theatrical and do one 45 minute ballet class a week as a check the box exercise. Because of that it's not very well respected as a ballet syllabus, even though I'm sure it's probably just fine if taken as seriously as the RAD studios. I have done CSTD exam classes for jazz and tap and can't complain about them.


My studio doesn't use the CSTD contemporary syllabus. I don't actually know any schools in my area that have taken it up, though I'm sure there are some. I know my studio trialled it for a year but had a lot of complaints so didn't stick with it. So unfortunately, I can't give you an idea of number of levels, pre-requisites or what is contained in each level specifically for contemporary. For ballet CSTD there are the graded levels 1-5, then I think sub-elementary, elementary, intermediate and advanced (vocational levels). For jazz, there are 9 full grades (and also I think baby grades like Tiny Tots for those under age 7, but I'm not really across what the babies do). You need to have done Grade 6 to do your further grades but I think that's it. You need to have completed Grade 9 to be eligible for student teacher training and qualification. I'm not sure if this is very helpful and I can't compare to ISTD, sorry.


CSTD (the Aus exam board) I think has been rebranding to ComDance. There might be some more info on its website: https://comdance.org/for-teachers/contemporary/

Edited by Viv
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