Southborough School of Dance follows the examination structure of the Russian Ballet Society.

A regulated dance educational panel, independent from the Society, has set the levels of the grading based on the standard of the syllabus’ work.

An overview of the grades is below, for your information.

Note that ages for each level are approximate because each child develops differently. Our teachers carefully assess each pupil and only put them forward for an exam if they feel they are ready and confident:

Examination levelApproximate pupil’s age*
Grade 14 – 5 year old
Grade 26 – 7 year old
Grade 38 – 9 year old
Grade 410 year old
Grade 510 – 11 year old
Intermediate Foundation12 year old
Intermediate12 – 13 year old
Advanced Foundation13 – 14 year old
Advanced 1 (level 4)15 – 17 year old
Advanced 2 (level 4 Diploma)17 – 18+ year old
*Ages for each level are approximate because each child develops differently

Building Confident Dancers

Taking exams in ballet helps to build children’s confidence in their work. We’ve found that pupils who enter examinations get a great sense of personal pride and accomplishment from the whole experience. We always see a marked improvement in their dancing as they progress through each level.

We understand, however, that exams aren’t for everyone, and that’s why they’re not compulsory at Southborough School of Dance. We would never hold pupils back if they choose not to take part.

The Russian ballet method has a very rich vocabulary of steps for each level, which can be challenging. We work hard to fully prepare and support each student to make sure they understand what’s required, are confident and completely ready for exam day.

There are no particular uniform requirements for the Russian Ballet Society exams, and our children wear their usual Southborough School of Dance uniform. The exams take place in our own dance studio, with an external examiner present.

If pupils progress in their exams and pass the Advanced Foundation one, they are invited to become members of the Russian Ballet Society . This automatically allows them to enter further examinations and, if they wish so, access teacher training to become a professional teacher of Russian ballet.

Please do get in touch or talk to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about exams.

Our Dance School’s Accreditations and Affiliations

Southborough School of Dance is a member of The Russian Ballet Society.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) recognises our school exams through the accreditation of ‘Rockschool London’.

The Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT) validates the Russian Ballet Society. This independent body ensures the highest standard of examination provision.

In addition, our exams are eligible for UCAS points which, in many cases, can help our leaving students secure the university course or vocational course of their interest.