System of Training

ISTD , Imperial Classical Ballet from the UK

The Imperial Society of Dance Teachers ( and its Ballet System of Training was formed on 25th July 1904 at the Hotel Cecil in Covent Garden, London. It is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards. From ballet to ballroom, it has 12 dance faculties covering theatre, dancesport and social dance. No other dance examination board offers as many genres.

For more than 110 years ISTD has provided training for dance teachers and examiners, enabling teachers to enter their students for examinations, develop new techniques and spread the joy of dance.

As a registered educational charity, the ISTD’s mission is to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms, to promote knowledge of dance through its Ballet System of Training, to provide up-to-date techniques for our members, and to maintain and improve teaching standards. The ISTD supports its members through updated teaching syllabi and techniques, plus a wide variety of courses, summer schools and congresses.

To achieve its aims, the ISTD works in four main ways:

• to promote knowledge of the dance

• to maintain and improve teaching standards

• to qualify, by examination, teachers of dancing in the ISTD’s specialist techniques taught by our 10,000 members in schools of dancing throughout the world

• to provide, through its syllabi, techniques upon which to train dancers for the profession.

The ISTD teaching methodology and style of working has helped me immensely in my  journey as a dancer pursuing Classical Ballet technique. Attention to detail, clarity of movements and constant focus on set exercises as well as artistry have been the key to progressing through the grades in this Ballet System of Training over the past 7 years that I have been training under Ms.Yana at The Foundation.Tanvi Aggrawal, Grade 6 student
  1. What is ISTD Examinations for Imperial Classical Ballet ? How is the Foundation eligible to hold the examinations?


The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is an international dance examination board in United Kingdom with a wide range of 12 different dance faculties, including diverse genres such as Bharatanatyam, Modern Theatre Dance, Cecchetti Ballet and Ballroom. Imperial Classical Ballet is also one of the genres under the ISTD.  The ISTD examinations is designed to cater equally for those who wish to progress to making dance their profession, either as a performer or dance teacher and for those pursing dance purely as a leisure activity.

The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet  will conduct the first ISTD examinations in Imperial Classical Ballet in  November 2016.  The foundation is eligible to hold the examination by virtue of its ISTD qualified teaching faculty.  


  1. Is it a certified exam ?  Why should one take this examination ?


The examination is externally assessed by an ISTD examiner, and successful candidates receive an internationally recognised certificate on completing the exam.

Working through the graded and professional dance levels of the syllabus ensures that the dancer has a solid foundation in the technique and artistry of the artform. This could be prove to be beneficial for those who wants to pursue a career in dance.


  1. What is the procedure for conducting the examination ?


In order to hold an examination, the school informs the ISTD about the number of students and the levels at which they would like to enter the students for the exam. An examination schedule is prepared, fees are paid and the ISTD then appoints an external examiner to conduct the examination. The examination time can vary from 20 minutes to an hour based on the grades and level of examinations.


  1. Who are eligible for the examination and what is the selection procedure?


Students who have a sound knowledge and understanding of the entire syllabus and who are deemed prepared to execute the syllabus fully to the best of their physical and artistic capability  are eligible for the examination.


  1. When was the examination held and for how long ? Who was the examiner ?


The examinations were held on November 11th until November 14th, 2016 at our studio -’Centre of Dance’  in Ulsoor , Bangalore.

The examiner who came to The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet  was the Chairman of the Imperial  Ballet faculty, Ms. Vivienne Saxton.