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difference between ISTD / IDTA?


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My daughter is 11 and has recently made friends with a couple of girls who do IDTA ballet. 

Can anyone explain what the difference is please between IDTA and ISTD as I have no idea! 


Her new friends are both approaching the end of grade 4 and my daughter who does ISTD is only part way through grade 3. She has got herself a bit worried about this.....do the grades correspond or would you expect a difference? She loves ballet but it is for fun rather than as a future career so I'm not too concerned about her being in a low grade but would like to give her some reassurance.


Also, out of curiosity really does anyone know what IDTA medal tests are please? 


Thanks for any help :-) 

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I teach IDTA, but cannot say how the grades would fit alongside ISTD, especially as the IDTA grades have just completed a revision of syllabus (I would assume that each school would have students placed in the appropriate grade for their ability), obviously there may be differences between boards.

As fro as the IDTA medal tests are concerned - see extract from IDTA web-site below - they range from Rosettes for little ones to take with their teacher as a preparation for the exam setting, through various levels (Bronze ~ G3, Silver ~G4/5, Gold >G5 etc) with Gold bars etc advancing with the performers levels (Inter/Adv1/Adv2 etc).  They give the student an outlet for performance as from Bronze onwards they require 2 dances of contrasting style including Character/ National as well as Classical Ballet and students appreciate this "break" from Grade exam work. They are fun for the teacher too!


"The Association offers a wide variety of tests and awards for amateur / social dancers including Rosettes, Stardance Awards, Pre-juvenile Groups Awards, Preparatory and Primary Grades; plus a wide range of medal tests in many genres, from one dance through Bronze, Silver and Gold medals and advancing through the Bars, Stars and President's Awards to the International Supreme Award. For the medal tests and higher awards, the dances are choreographed by the teacher and build in length and complexity. The Association also offers social dance awards, and team awards."


Hope this helps,



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I have no idea if grades correspond but personally I don't think it matters. If your DD has a good teacher and is happy and is allowed to progress at her own pace, that is what is important. Some schools do an exam each year and for the lower grades students therefore move up as a class quite quickly, whereas others go more by the individual and each class is mixed ages. At DDs school each grade generally will cover at least 2 school years (in terms of ages of children not how long they stay in a grade). I think you should reassure your DD that a higher grade does not mean a better dancer, just that schools and teachers do things differently.

Edited by 2dancersmum
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