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Choosing a Dance School Syllabus

IDTA MUSICAL THEATRE

There are so many dance, drama and performing arts syllabi and bodies that it can be difficult to know how to compare them. Here’s why we offer the IDTA syllabus awards.

When choosing a school for your child, there are a number of things you should be looking for. It is important to consider which body or bodies their teachers are qualified with, and the exams your child would be taking. This is the case even if you choose not to enter your child for exams. Different bodies / syllabi can dramatically affect how and what your child is taught.

We use the IDTA syllabi for our classes because it has been verified by Ofqual and offers a choice of grades or medals for students of all ages. Unlike some other syllabi we have seen from other bodies, we feel the IDTA levels reflect where a child’s learning should be in order to achieve higher levels of training effectively.

GRADES OR MEDALS

We offer both grades and medals as an option to our students.

Grades are usually more useful when a child is studying a range of subjects or styles in a graded manner (e.g. ballet or piano). They can serve as a good measuring stick between disciplines for children as they have been designed to be consistent between regulated bodies. We would also encourage more disciplined students that this may be a preferable route for them.

Medals and rosettes are offered in our classes as a more fun way to learn. Rosettes usually feature 1 fun or party dance and 1 routine and are collected in styles or between styles. Medals are good for developing creative use of skills. This is especially true at higher levels where students have to devise their own routine material, learn dialects or study character background.

Grade work is much more structured and pre-set than medals. This may suit some students who have good focus and want to develop good technique through practice. Where as medal work is much more free flowing with routines varying on a termly basis. Medals will focus more on technique through learning steps rather than exercises and also have a terminology section in each medal exam. Rosettes are designed to be simple and fun, but due to the young age of entrants their 2 routines will be studied across 2 terms.

HOW WE FIND THE IDTA MEDALS COMPARE TO OTHER BODIES

Having previously taught a different syllabus at another school, we find the IDTA version much more fully fledged. For example: a student taking a musical theatre bronze medal (other syllabus) only needed to sing and dance separately. This routine would be short and repeated. With the IDTA bronze medal, the same student would have to;

  • introduce themselves
  • perform from memory a poem or script section
  • a musical theatre routine (which would feature acting, singing and dancing).

This builds all their required skills simultaneously – better for the industry and also better on pockets of parents. Students move up through the levels improving on skills rather than learning to utilise both separately.

We also include IDTA examinations as part of our Levels 1-3 syllabus. We also currently offer the IDTA Level 4 qualifications in Freestyle, Ballroom and Latin. For older musical theatre students we also offer the IDTA Performer’s Certificate.

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