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RAD Gradings for Adult Beginners in UK


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Hi all


I'm in the UK, does anyone know if its possible to take grade exams, such as those run by RAD, for adult beginners dancing as a hobby? I'm really enjoying ballet and although it may be a while until I'm good enough to take a grade yet I feel the grade system would be a good way to "plot" my development and give me something to work towards as I go.


Thanks in advance!






PS Sorry if this is covered elsewhere on the forum, I did a search and couldn't find anything!

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No reason at all why you shouldn't take exams - just find a school with a suitable class. Have fun and enjoy dancing!

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I did my intermediate foundation on my 24th birthday and my intermediate at my 26th. I received a pass (62 i think) for foundation and a merit for intermediate (76) i am in no way brilliant, my flexibility and turnout are poor but as an adult the advantage is confidence, passion and precence (thats where i made up the marks). If you want to be there it will show, and i dont know about you but working towards an exam as opposed to just open classes makes me work so much harder and therefore improvement shows much quicker. Good luck.

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Yes, it's definitely possible, although it depends what area you are from and how far you are prepared to travel to find what you want. Such teachers might not be too easy to find using Google though - the best thing is to contact some local schools and ask them.


I would have pm'd you, but I can't because you're a new member unfortunately - however I think Oxford might be a good place for you to start looking if you can get there......

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The only RAD one I know of in that area is RAD HQ (Interfoundation only but there is a waiting list). There is a really good BBO adult school in Brighton (and Hove) if you can get there, which has a website: http://www.brightonballetschool.co.uk/. BBO generally is a good syllabus for adults because it's much more dancey right from Grade 1, and not at all babyish. (Though it has a pretty steep learning curve).


There used to be an IDTA lady near Balham but I don't know if she is still going or not. (I know a lot of adults have done IDTA as well): http://www.mpharaoh.fsnet.co.uk/london/news.htm.


Apart from that I only know about Oxford, sorry. Doesn't mean there aren't plenty more, just that they don't have websites (or advertise that they do exams for adults on them).


Maybe someone more computer-literate than me should start an adult ballet website and have links to "adult-friendly" schools' websites? I know there must be others out there because some of you go to them.......



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Is that a new Brighton School as I thought the last one moved or closed. I would love to go there but think at present it's a bit too far & costly.


Will do a hunt for teachers.

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It's worth contacting all the professional exam boards (e.g. RAD, ISTD, IDTA, BBO etc) and ask them to send you a list of schools / teachers around your area. Then it's a matter of looking on their websites and/or giving them a ring to see if they are what you need! :(


Good luck!



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Think I may have found one school.


Close to me thankfully. I have asked them about joining the graded classes and they mentioned they have a grade 6 class and intermediate class working towards exams at present and I can come along to the adult class and discuss it further.




What would be an ideal starting grade?

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What would be an ideal starting grade?


Depends on how much of a beginner you are! For a complete beginner it would be RAD Grade 3 because Grades 1 & 2 are really child oriented. For BBO it would normally be Grade 1 (the BBO grades are all one higher in terms of difficulty than RAD because there are 3 preliminary levels below Grade 1 instead of 2). IDTA I don't know - 1 or 2 probably. Cecchetti would be Grade 2 or Standard 4, ISTD would be Grade 4. (yes, I have done a lot of research on this in my search for schools!)


Otherwise, if you have done ballet before, you could pick up from the grade where you left off as a child, or start with Grade 6 RAD, anything up to Grade 5 BBO or Classical Award 1 IDTA, or Inter Foundation or Intermediate any Board (although Inter Foundation is not optional in BBO & you are expected to have at gained at least a B at grade 5 to be able to take it, and then a B at Inter Foundation to take Intermediate, otherwise you have to stick to the Grades).


Hope this helps.



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I saw this thread while on a massive Google-hunt and just had to join, as I realised the OP pretty much sums up exactly my own situation right now!


I once trained following the RAD syllabus at my local dance school for many years, but my ballet teacher developed her own convictions about exams and pointe and consequently, we students saw our RAD exams/assessments peter out after Grade IV... as did any dreams of going en pointe!


Reading posts in this forum has inspired me as I realise I'm not necessarily beyond help! It's actually been 9 years since I stopped (partly out of frustration, partly to concentrate on academia) but now I'm desperate to return to the fold, resume RAD exams and ultimately fulfill my lifelong ambition of dancing en pointe. This is proving pretty difficult as most of the London adult options are [expensive!] open classes (no curriculum and I'm guessing may be crowded with little opportunity for individual attention), but I'm determined to make this work... being based in NW London, I've emailed a few schools like Ealing and Pamela Howard, but have yet to hear back... :yucky:

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Jane S think I did RAD grades (left on grade 5) but have 2 IDTA medals at home - preprimary + Juvenile. I get confused because we always wore RAD uniform.

Though IDTA is now a part of RAD.

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Astra!! We're glad you've found us!

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