further your dance knowledge

What Are Dance Exams?

Learn about SDTA Medal Test Exams

Dance exams are a great opportunity for dancers to challenge themselves, learn new steps and dances, get feedback from a dance examiner, and get medals sent to them all the way from Scotland! There are exams for nearly all ages, and we host an examiner yearly in the Fall. An examiner will go on tour to all the dance schools, and we are typically scheduled for October or November. 

Note: exams often land on a school day! Your dancer is usually only scheduled for a few hours though but could have to miss a bit of school.

There are two types of exams: dance exams (physical) and theory exams (oral).

Your dance teacher will assign your dancer to exams based on their experience level and dances known. Dancers will then prepare for exam day, perform for the examiner, and receive a mark sheet filled with constructive feedback and an overall mark for the dancer. These results are then sent to Scotland, and medals are mailed to the dancers after the fact. The feedback from the examiners is always really helpful, and provides a perspective from someone other than your dance teacher!

Dancers over age 10 who receive top marks in their Highland exam and their theory exam are eligible for nomination to the SDTA Scholarship event. More details on the scholarship given below.

Dancers can work their way up through the exam levels, and will typically reach the highest level by age 16, at which point, they can take their first professional exam to become a certified dance teacher. You are not required to do any other exams before taking your teaching exam at 16, but oral theory exams are highly recommended as the format is the same for the teaching exam.