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CSTD questions


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does anyone here take the CSTD syllabus? apparently, it's gaining popularity in my country, where RAD is still the main syllabus offered. i have just gone for a class today (thinking that it was a RAD class), and the teacher has placed me in what she called the 'sub-ele' class. anyway, what i would like to know is


1) how does this compare with the RAD syllabus? the website does not offer very much information on this syllabus.


and 2) how recognised is this in non-commonwealth countries? for example, if i decide to pursue ballet in a non-commonwealth country, would they recognise my qualifications (assuming that i manage to get one)?


it's so hard trying to find a teacher here teaching RAD grade 6. for some reason, the teachers here prefer to teach the major syllabus after the graded exams.

*sigh* it's enough to make me want to give up.

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Guest Kelsey

Hi sapphirenite,


I have'nt gone for ballet class in a month. (they closed the classes because of the silly SARs issue). But I'm going to my Siglap South CC class tomorrow and i'll help you ask my teacher i promise!


By the way, I'll be going for Adult ballet class at SDT tonight (monday). See you if I do :D



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Guest grace

sapphire, i do hope bertrande's post is useful to you, as (IMO) you might as well give up as take CSTD ballet! :)


sorry, but it's just not in the same 'class' as a pure ballet syllabus like RAD.


for those who might be unaware, CSTD stands for Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dance. it is considered a "theatrical" syllabus (rather than a ballet syllabus) because it includes jazz, tap, etc. at some levels, there are only about 5 ballet exercises in the exam: 3 at the barre, and 2 in the centre.


another oddity about it is that the numbering goes backwards: a lower number is a higher level.


i have coached one student, some years ago, at her request, in the CSTD sub-elementary ballet syllabus. i DO recall there being quite a few good ballet exercises in that level, but my advice above would still hold, i think...


let us know how you find it, and what you decide to do... :)

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As a US perspective, I'd add that if you get an incoming student who's been examined through RAD grade 6 or Intermediate, at least you have a pretty good idea where this student's functioning level is. More savvy teachers than I will even have a fair notion of what ISTD level will help them in building a class level in their school curriculum. There are people who want to form say, an American Academy of Dance styled after RAD, and a CSTD, as described above, after the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, but so far the ventures are still finding their ways. I frankly wish them all good luck, as building institutions like this is an arduous job.

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Guest grace

just to clarify that CSTD and ISTD are two completely different organisations and syllabi... (both british, but there the similarity ends!)... :)


mel - i would be very interested to hear about these endeavours (probably in another thread, of course). :)

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bertrande, thanks for the info, but i can't take that school because it's waaay too far from my place. just getting there would take me over an hour, so i'm actually looking for places in the north or east.


kelsey, thanks! i've gone for a cc class at joo chiat, but there are no suitable classes there (their grade 6 class will not be doing syllabus work until next year). hope your teacher would give me a more favourable reply. btw, simonne has gone back to australia, hasn't she? how was kim in the class today?


grace, i seem to remember my teacher telling me that the CSTD syllabus is numbered from 1 to 6, like RAD and the CSTD is based in australia, not uk. anyway, is the syllabus that terrible? i haven't a faintest notion about it as i didn't manage to take a complete class, but i did feel that it was rather simple compared to the RAD pre-elementary class (which i also tried).

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Grace, the interest I'm hearing is water-cooler stuff, but I'm hearing it at a lot of water-coolers around the northeast of the US, so I'm fairly confident that there's a grassroots movement out there for more effective teacher training and credentialing in the US, but I think we've already examined that in the thread devoted to that topic, so we already knew it was there.

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hey kelsey, so did you ask your teacher for me? I'm getting really desperate now...:(


could i ask you for some help regarding pointe shoes? which brand are you using now and how much did they cost? i wanted to buy the bloch shoes at sonata, but they don't have my size (they had every other size except mine). i need a pair by sunday, and i'm not really willing to pay $65 for my first pair of shoes. thanks.


grace, i think the syllabus you were talking about is the theatrical dance syllabus. CSTD offers one in classical ballet (grades from 1-6) and one in theatrical dance (grades 6-1 or something like that). maybe that's why the exercises were lacking?;)

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Guest grace

thanks sapphirenite: your comments make sense to me. :( on that basis then, i would say that it comes down to the quality of the teacher, as to whether or not studying this BALLET syllabus will be effective for you. (with the 'mixed' genre CSTD syllabus, i would still say 'definitely no', as above).


about CSTD in general: on further thought, i THINK it is purely an australasian society - not a UK one. woops!...i see sapphirenite has pointed this out.


mel - sorry i misunderstood. i thought you were meaning that there was some interest, in the US, in having a set of syllabus exams (like RAD, ISTD or CSTD). as distinct from the teacher credentialling issue.

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Guest Kelsey

Hi sapphirenite,


you could go down on tuesday and thursday evenings (probably about 8pm or 8.30) to siglap south cc. I won't be there this week, but you could talk to miss sandra ho. Just tell her that you're interested to take a class. I haven't had a chance to speak to her yet...Frankly i haven't had time to go for class in the last 3 weeks. Argh.


So go ahead and go down on those days, and you could observe her classes too. She shouldn't have a problem taking you in and depending on your level you might want to ask her to send you for exam next april.


See you in a couple of weeks i hope!

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thanks kelsey. i think i'll call the cc to get her number and call before i go. i've got a question: do i need character shoes for the exams eg grade 6/7? i know character is complusory from grade 1-5 but what about the higher grades?


i had a full class today at the CSTD sub-ele class, and i find the barre exercises very easy as compared to the RAD pre-ele syllabus. but i guess i feel good 'cos the standard is within my grasp. also, the teacher was very nice, and she offered to teach me when i told her i was interested in becoming a ballet teacher. at last, a light at the end of the tunnel.


now if only i can keep it from becoming a fire....:D

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Guest Kelsey

OH, sorry i forgot to answer your question about pointe shoes :rolleyes:


I use gamba 93 now and i love those shoes. When i first started out on pointe, i didn't know how to buy shoes and stuff, so i bought bloch because they were cheap ($30 plus). But my feet hurt so bad because all of bloch's shoes were too high profiled for my feet.


I tried gamba 93 after Miss Devor recommended it, and my feet don't hurt as bad now.


The problem is that Sonata no longer brings in Gamba. They've decided to just bring in Bloch and gaynor Minden. If you want Gamba you'll have to order 2 months in advance, and it costs about S$79 per shoe. I now order it online from London. I've got no choice but to do that although it burns a huge hole in my pocket :P


OKH sells Freed and Bloch. You might wanna try those out too. In general, I've got skinny narrow feet with a low profile. Gamba works great.


Good luck with your pointe shoe shopping :P

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hey, thanks for the info. darn...now i have to add in the cost of character shoes and skirt to the stuff i have to buy. my shopping list now consists of two (more) leotards, pointe shoes, ballet skirt, (and very likely) character shoes and skirt. i hate to think how much they cost together...ouch:eek:

i think i would have to buy the cheapest pointe shoes i can find now, and switch later if they don't suit my feet. i can't really afford to wait 2 months anyway.


i take the CSTD syllabus at toa payoh south cc. it's called Kavanagh Ballet School. I'll be trying out a class at YMCA this saturday as well, that's for RAD grade 7. though i doubt i'm suitable for this class...:rolleyes:

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