General Benefits

Whether it is through the R.A.D. or I.S.T.D., successful completion of annual examinations in any dance style provides a way of assessing progress from year to year and of maintaining industry recognized standards. Furthermore, examinations not only help develop self-discipline, commitment, and a strong work ethic, they also provide a strong sense of accomplishment and success. In addition to these benefits, examinations also provide the opportunity to earn high school credits. To see the 2024/2025 Schedule, please click here.


Established in the United Kingdom in 1920 to improve dance standards and augment dance training, the Royal Academy of Dance is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organizations in the world. Their mission is to support the advancement of dance through promoting the knowledge, understanding and practice of dance internationally. To date, there are over 1000 students in teacher training programmes and the examination syllabus is taught to more than a quarter of a million students worldwide.

We offer R.A.D. classes in ballet from ages 5 to 18, from Pre-Primary through grade 8 and from Intermediate Foundation to Advanced Foundation. R.A.D syllabus classes provide progressive development of technique work throughout a dancer’s training and ensure an internationally recognized standard of dance. Examinations are optional upon recommendation and are held annually with an examiner appointed by the Royal Academy of Dancing.
Click here for further information on The Royal Academy of Dance.


The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is on of the world’s largest dance examination boards and covers a full spectrum of dance styles. Their main objective is "to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms". They not only promote knowledge of dance, but they maintain and improve international teaching standards. The syllabi have been developed in London, England and are updated regularly, thereby reflecting the most current trends in dancing.

At North Shore Academy of Dancing we offer I.S.T.D. syllabi in modern. Examinations are optional upon recommendation and are held annually with examiners appointed by the I.S.T.D.
Click here for further information on I.S.T.D..

Earning High School Credits through Exams

The BC ministry of education now recognizes the amount of hard work and time that goes into training for and successfully completing dance examinations. To find out how to earn high school credits through I.S.T.D. or R.A.D. exams please go to the North Vancouver Ministry of Education website at



Recommendations are based on a student meeting the minimum technical requirements necessary to pass an exam at their age level, at the time the assessment is made. Exam recommendations are made carefully by our instructors in order to avoid failing or disappointing grades. In a few cases, if a student’s technical requirements are considered borderline, the instructor may still recommend them, provided they take some private lessons. Such lessons would be in addition to the extra exam sessions as outlined below.  Please note that a teacher cannot be held responsible if a student’s attendance or focus on their exam work waivers after a recommendation is made and accepted. If there are any concerns in that regard, communication with the parents will be established and a reassessment and possible withdrawal may be required. 

Mock Exams

A great way to help prepare for any exam is to have a dry run through the process. We hold mock exams approximately one week before examinations during which the students dress for, conduct themselves and present their work in exactly the same fashion as they would for a real exam. We welcome any family and/or friends to view these polished demonstrations of the students’ hard work. The mock exam is not covered by the regular monthly fees and is invoiced separately. The cost, dates and times of the mock exam will be outlined at the time recommendations are made.

Extra Classes

All students who take an exam are required to take three extra exam preparation classes. These sessions are not covered by the regular monthly fees for the class and are invoiced separately. The cost, dates and times of these sessions will be outlined at the time recommendations are made. It is mandatory that students taking an exam attend these extra sessions and commit to them before accepting their exam offer.

Private Training

Some students require or prefer further training beyond the extra exam classes. Private sessions can be arranged with the instructor, usually within the month prior to the exam date, for private lesson fees please email: [email protected]. All private lessons must be paid for in advance. 

In-House Examinations

This is an examination opportunity for all students in Intermediate Foundation levels and up in both the R.A.D. Ballet and I.S.T.D. Modern programs. An "In-House Examination" hosted by NSAD, is provided to students that are not yet eligible for an examination through the R.A.D. or I.S.T.D. Institutions. This is a way for students to be accountable for learning the syllabus, while providing everyone with an equal opportunity to perform their technical abilities and accomplishments in front of a qualified instructor. We provide a feedback form and a certificate of completion. The "In-House Examination" is not mandatory but is encouraged for all students that are not participating in an exam hosted by the R.A.D. or I.S.T.D. "In-House Examinations" may also provide a stepping stone for dancers that are interested in formal examinations, but are not quite ready. This type of examination will be hosted on a weekend in the Spring; families will be provided significant notice of the examination date. Offering "In-House Examinations" is at the discretion of NSAD and will require a minimum number of students to be involved.