'The advantage is clear. Choosing a school with an excellent examination structure puts your theatrical training ahead of the crowd. It is an absolute must if you want to prove your ability and reach the standard that theatrical producers and educational faculties require. The syllabi are structured so that young children begin with charming, imaginative, exciting and explorative areas of dance, soon gaining confidence, strength and determination to succeed in their goals.' AJW
R.A.D. Ballet - Pre-Primary to Advanced
ISTD ballet examination, including intermediate, in some cases
Drama is coached in the form of private lessons in screen acting and emotive technique by film actress Rosalyn Landor. This service is for current members of the school
Exams help dancers rise to a higher standard, tidy and polish their work, and sharpen up the memory. Pupils receive personal mentoring throughout their study years at AWDA, bringing together physical prowess, a hunger for culture and a love of dance ... all qualities that will see them succeed in the dance profession or in their chosen careers.
Frequently asked questions
When are candidates ready to take an exam?
A candiate needs to be secure, at a reasonable to excellent standard, when demonstrating the set pieces that they have learned. They will then be prepared to cope with the abilities needed when working at the next level. This is part of what the examiner looks for when assessing the dancer.
Do pupils have to take exams?
No they don't, but we actively encourage pupils to take exams as this ensures that they reach the standard that they need to obtain. It is important too that children dance 'just for fun' and for strength in body development and co-ordination.
What about boys?
The syllabi are especially designed to keep boys occupied, interested and fit. We are lucky to currently have boys studying up to grade 4 and 5 levels
My child has not taken exams before but has experience? How do we fit in?
Chances are that your child may be adept with dance skills but had little knowledge of technique or repetory steps. We can place your son or daughter in classes which can fast track the basics but be sympathetic to their age and experience. Medal and performance tests are a good way to bridge the gap between a full grade or major level examination.
My child has learning difficulties or a disability. How much will they be able to keep up with the class? When ever possible, we will accomodate pupils with special needs, and help them to integrate and feel at home in our classes. Frequenly such pupils do manage to cope with exams and performances and the dance societies have excellent structures in place to assist those with special learning challenges, provided they can still obtain the desired standard needed to succeed. It must be realised by parents of such pupils that there are times when the help that the child needs cannon be fully gained in a mixed ability class. All pupils need specialised help at times and may need some private lessons for a specific problem. Parents must be prepared for a realistic evaluation of a child's reaction to the classroom environment and their ability to participate with the group. Much is to be gained from the love of music and dance, even if the visual delivery may be unorthadox at times.
Will my child be in a class with other children of the same age?
Where possible we will endeavour to arrange this, but it is so important that basic work is not missed out. Placing new pupils in a class above their standard, with a group who may know their teacher's methods instinctivly can slow up development. Our classes are kept small, insuring that every pupil is in a situation where they can benefit from the imput of the teacher during every lesson. Progress can still be swift and in time the dancer will catch up to the peer group.
Where do I take my exams?
Either at the school or at the headquarters of the Dance Societies (Battersea for RAD, and Old Street in the City of London or Chichester College, Sussex, for ISTD). Singing exams are usually held at Ealing University (LCM) or in Wimbledon, South London Piano exams are held locally.
What will it be like?
Dancers can be examined in sets of up to four people.
The teacher will make sure that the candidate'shave physically warmed up and that they have thought through the aspects of their exam. Entrants will need to be well groomed and wearing the correct uniform. Most sections of the exam will be danced with the other candidates but certain items will be danced alone. Notes will be made by the examiner throughout the exam and candidates will be expected to readily demonstrate their knowledge. Once finished, entrants will curtsey or bow, thank the examiner and return to the dressing room.
A target date of one month is set for the return of your results. The teacher will explain the marking system, speak with both candidates and parents to outline where progress has been made and where there is room for improvement. Candidates will then receive their certificate and medal and will be able to progress to the next grade.
CD's will be played for classes and exams but we do have the advantage of our 'on site' musical arranger for any other musical arrangements required and the facility to edit music to studio standard.
What if I move abroad?
You will be able to find schools all over the world where you can continue your examinations just where you left them.
UCAS points can be claimed on certified dance, singing and music exams from Grade 6 upwards and counted towards university and college entry.
Pass = 50 points Merit = 100 points Distinction = 150 points
The school is registered with the following examination boards
Principal - Amanda Warwick RAD registered teacher (T.Cert) AISTD dips
Registered address 104 Middlemead Road Bookham Surrey KT23 3DD
Telephone (01372) 457274