The ISTD is one of the world's leading dance examination boards with the widest range of dance genres available.
Often split into two dance categories, the basic difference between Theatre Dance and Dancesport is that Theatre Dance is most commonly seen on stage, such as Tap Dance or Ballet, whereas Dancesport encompasses styles of dance which are usually seen as part of social dancing or competitions, such as Ballroom or Latin American.
Whether you wish to attend classes once a week for fun or to undertake professional training, ISTD teachers are trained to offer a wide range of different dance styles which cater for all interests and levels.
Cecchetti Classical Ballet
The Cecchetti classical ballet technique was developed by Enrico Cecchetti in Italy. The technique comprises a series of set daily exercises, which were developed to prepare dancers to perform ballet and have been passed down through the generations.
The movements are expressive and range from lyrical to dynamic athletic sequences. Dancers perform barefoot, wearing tunics and often use props such as scarves, ribbons or bows.
Bharatanatyam dances evolved over centuries in the temples and royal courts of Southern India. It highlights the beauty of strong lines leading out from the dancer's body and is embellished with intricately expressive hand gestures and elaborate storytelling through exquisite facial expressions.
Kathak originated as a story telling art form in northern India. It developed in Hindu temples and later in Mughal courts. It is characterised by fluid body movements, complex patterns of footwork, fast turns and sudden stillness.
Authentic and Emerging Dance
The umbrella term ‘Authentic and Emerging Dance' encompasses dance styles which have origins in Social Dance. They are dances which have often been developed alongside particular musical styles such as Salsa and the Argentinean Tango, and are mainly danced in pairs in social settings. Authentic and Emerging Dance is improvised and constantly evolving, although each style has its own unique technique.
Disco, Freestyle, Rock 'n' Roll, Country and Western
These dance styles allow freedom of expression and musical interpretation whilst training safe techniques. These are ever- evolving dance forms, as music, dance trends and different cultures provide new material and exciting challenges for our dancers.
Imperial Classical Ballet
Imperial Classical Ballet is based on the teaching of the French School from the Paris Opéra. The syllabus has now evolved to promote the English classical style and to address the changing needs of ballet dancers today.
Latin American is a couples dance form encompassing styles such as Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Cha Cha Cha and Jive which are derived from the Latin American countries. They are performed in competitions, similar to Ballroom dance, and in dance clubs and festivals. The dances are generally known for their fast pace and expressive rhythms.
This dance style includes several techniques such as the Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Ballroom Tango. These dances vary in style but are all partner dances. Today they can be danced at competitions, social gatherings or on stage.
Modern Theatre dance is a rhythmic dance style which originated in America. It is often seen in musical productions and is known for its dynamic theatrical qualities. The style uses travelling steps, high kicks, leaps and turns which all need strength and flexibility. ISTD Modern Theatre also incorporates jazz, lyrical and contemporary dance styles into its examination syllabus.
National dance covers a wide range of European Folk Dances including Scottish, Finnish, Danish and English to name but a few. These traditional dances were developed by communities in the corresponding country and help provide a flavour and awareness of European traditional dance styles.
Salsa dance has many influences including both African and Hispanic origins, and many styles such as LA, New York and Cuban Salsa. It is a partner dance, with the male leading the female. Salsa is recognised for its expressive hip movements along with complex rhythms within the footwork and fluid turns.
Sequence dancing includes the authentic Old Time style and many dances and sequences based upon Ballroom and Latin American techniques. It is probably the most popular form of social dance today, as Sequence Clubs are to be found in nearly every village and town. Two of the great attractions of this form of dance as a pastime are the friendly atmosphere which prevails and its appeal to all age groups.
This dance style has roots in Breakdance and Hip Hop, using the same style of movements and attitudes, but gaining its name for being a dance form which evolved on the streets. Today it is taught and used in many different settings, including schools, clubs and music videos. Street Dance is often performed as a battle, in which two performers or groups will have a ‘dance off’ to see who has the best moves.
Tap has evolved as an American dance form. The dancer uses their feet to strike the floor, beating out different rhythms, with dancers wearing tap shoes which have small metal plates on the toe and heel to give the distinctive sound. Tap dance is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musicals.