Dear Mrs Burren, I love you! Thank you for teaching me Ballet and I really love Ballet.

— Student, Tunbridge Wells

What to expect at Exams

Please arrive one hour before your child’s exam starts. The day may be running ahead of time, plus your child needs time to have their hair styled and to warm up ready for their exam.

What you need to bring:

Clean, correct, immaculate uniform
Drink and snack
Book or small game to play

When you arrive:

When you arrive you will find all the parents and children in the changing room (a classroom near the exam room). The children will be getting changed and having their hair done by a teacher or student helper. We try to maintain a calm relaxed atmosphere in the changing room so the children feel happy and confident to go into their exam. Therefore please try not to bring siblings with you if possible.

You are welcome to stay and wait with your child in the changing room or you can go and collect them after the exam. A Just Dance teacher will always be there to supervise and look after the children.

Getting changed

It is best to get changed first, so as not to ruin the hair by taking jumpers over it once it is done. We ask children not to wear any underwear and the older students to have discreet underwear. Once your child is changed please supervise them when they go to the toilet as if water splashes it marks the uniform. Please make sure your child doesn’t have any nail varnish on or any visible rub-on tattoos, no earrings or anything around their wrists please.


We have all the hair accessories and will do the hairstyle for you. We will use hair gel, hair spray and hair pins. There is a small mirror in the room so the children can see what they look like when it is done.

Ballet Exam – Ballet Bun using a hair elastic, bun net and hair pins. 
Modern and Tap Exam – Cross over plaits using, 4 hair elastics and hair pins. 


It is likely your child will be ready in plenty of time for their exam. We ask the children to sit calmly which is why it is suggested above that you bring something to occupy them. We provide dance books to read and colouring which is often popular. If there is time the teacher will try to have a two minute practice before going into the exam room.

Exam time

When it is time for the exam one of the teachers will take the group of children out of the changing room, this is when you say goodbye! We take them quietly out into the corridor where they can calmly compose themselves before the exam. The teacher will make them feel calm and confident and ready to go in. Please try to avoid coming out into the corridor as it can be quite distracting and builds nerves. 

In the Exam Room

In the exam there will be a table at the front where the examiner sits. In Ballet exams there will be a pianist and in Modern and Tap a music operator. In Ballet exams the children usually go in with one other student, in Modern and Tap they are usually a group of 4. Parents and teachers are not allowed in the exam room (unless it is Primary Tap, Primary Modern or Class Exam 1 where the teacher also goes in). The examiner will ask for the exercises the children have been practicing, writing notes as she goes. Once the children have finished their exam they will run straight back into the changing room and tell you all about it.

Home time

You are welcome to leave their hair in and keep all the bits. Please make sure you have all your belongings, including your hairbrush that may have been left where they had their hair done. If you can then leave fairly promptly that would be appreciated. It can get quite busy and consequently noisy with lots of parents and children in a small space. Finally, all the children are offered a lollipop when they leave to congratulate them on their efforts.

The Results

The results can take from 3 weeks to even 3 months! As soon as we have them we will hand them out in class. You will receive two A4 sheets provided by the ISTD. One is the official certificate with your child’s name, grade and result. The second is the report which is a breakdown of how your child did in each section of the exam giving a mark out of 10 or 20 for each section. The whole exam is then totalled at the bottom out of 100.

Distinction 80-100 (Reflects a high to extremely high standard of achievement) 
Merit 60-79 (Reflects a good to very good standard of achievement overall)
Pass 40-59 (Reflects a satisfactory to fairly good standard of achievement overall)
Not Attained 00-39 (Indicates that there is insufficient level of achievement)

Dear Mrs Burren, I love you! Thank you for teaching me Ballet and I really love Ballet.

— Student, Tunbridge Wells