Santarelli offers exams for Ballet, Jazz and Tap. Our other genres do not take exams.


Ballet exams are held at the end of Term 1 each year. Jazz/Tap exams exams are generally held in the second half of Term 3 each year. Dates for entries and exams are confirmed closer to the time.


As exams are organised externally, at the head office for each genre, entries and fees need to be finalized well in advance.

All teachers work to enhance individual progress and provide incentive for improvement while working towards an exam, and eligible students are encouraged to take exams, although they are in no way compulsory. Students are entered strictly at the teacher’s discretion.


To ensure a high standard, extra classes will be held at the studio close to exam time. These classes are compulsory for students entered into exams at a cost that will be advised at the time and that is extra to the standard term fees.

For more detailed information regarding exams, please see below HERE.

Details for those sitting exams:


  • Ballet exams are held through the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance).

  • Jazz and Tap exams are held through the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance).

  • Both organisations are international and the exams sat with either of these are internationally


Entry For Exams:

  • Entry for each student is strictly at the teacher’s discretion, using their professional knowledge of the skill and of the exam requirements.

  • Decisions are made on an individual basis, not as a whole class group. Teachers put a huge amount of thought into and consult with other teachers to decide whether each individual student is ready for their exam. No decision is made lightly.

  • Students will be required to have reached a high enough technical and performance level in their grade to pass their exam securely.

  • Like any other sport or skill, students do learn and achieve at a different pace, which will result in students sitting their exams at different stages.

  • Exams are not compulsory for students. We have a large number of students that prefer to not take the exams, and move to the next grades with their classmates. This decision is made for multiple reasons and that is absolutely fine.

  • Students DO NOT get offered to sit, nor sit exams each year. Depending on their progress, students may require more than one year to achieve the required standard to pass their level securely.

Types Of Exams:


R.A.D. Ballet:

  • There are two different types of exam offered for RAD Ballet. An exam or an assessment.

  • The option offered to each student is final and what the teacher feels is best for the each student.



  • The exam is offered to students who have achieved a high enough technical, performance and

    artistic level in their work to pass their exam securely.



  • Assessments are an official type of exam run through the RAD. The students are seen by the same examiner during the same exam session. They will not receive a pass or fail mark sheet but instead will receive a progress report.

  • If students have not reached a high enough technical, performance and artistic level to pass their exam securely they will be offered the assessment option.

  • From Grade 2 Ballet onwards, students are required to attend 2 lessons per week. Some students have chosen to attend only 1 lesson, which is not a problem. With only 1 lesson per week, students will ONLY be offered the assessment option.

  • If students are offered the assessment option it is because this is what their teacher feels is the best option for them. They will also be given the option to stay back and wait until the following year to work towards the exam. Even with an additional year, students are not guaranteed to sit the exam as they are still required to achieve the correct level of technique.


I.S.T.D. Jazz & Tap:

  • There is only the option of an exam with the ISTD. If students have not reached the required level to take the exam, they will wait until the following year. Even with an additional year, students are not guaranteed to sit the exam as they are still required to achieve the correct level of technique.

  • The option offered to each student is final and what the teacher feels is best for the each student.



  • Exam information is emailed to the email address we have on file for your child’s account.

  • You will receive ONE reminder email if we have not heard from you a few days prior to the closing date. We are not able to chase entries further than this due to the volume of entries.

  • Each exam offer has a strict closing date, which will be stated in the first email. This allows us the time required to complete the paperwork for the exam entry.

  • The head office for each RAD and ISTD have a very strict closing date for the entries. If our entry is not received to head office by their closing date, our entry will not be accepted and we will not be able to participate in exams that year. For this reason, we are not able to accept ANY late entries.

  • All students in the class will receive an email offering the exam, assessment or to notify you that they will not be taking their exam that year.

Schedules & Exam Dates:

  • The exam dates are set by the head office of each organisation and NOT BY US. With the exam information that you receive there will have a date period that the exams can fall in (the one week requested for RAD Ballet and approximately a 6 week period for ISTD Jazz and Tap). Due to how each organisation process’s their entries we are not able to offer any smaller date period at the time of the entry.

  • If you are away for a holiday during the date period outlined you may not be able to enter the exam that year, as we do have limited flexibility regarding date choice.

  • RAD - the week we request is usually the last week of Term 1. This is only able to confirmed once an examiner has been confirmed. This may only happen once the entries are finalised. The exams may have to be slightly earlier to accommodate an examiner.

  • ISTD - The exams dates are organised entirely by the head office in London. We are not able to organise the dates for the exams and we will notify you as soon as we have confirmation of dates. This can be from 2-4 weeks prior to the exam. The date range is given to you in the exam information and normally falls in August/September (Term 3) each year.

  • Exams usually happen between 9am - 5pm weekdays. They can on occasion be scheduled for a weekend or slightly later. Students will have to miss a section of school for their exam.

  • The exam schedule is set by the head office of each organisation and we have limited flexibility with regards to the timetable.

  • During the period of exams some classes will be cancelled as we need to have silence through the studio. These will be emailed out. The fees are calculated over the year and this is factored in. Students are welcome to attend another scheduled class as a make-up class.

Fees & Invoices:

  • When you receive your exam offer there will also be attached a fee sheet, outlining the fees for each level.

  • You will NOT receive an invoice for your exam fee. As not all students offered the exam choose to sit, the fee is paid and then lined up with your account.

  • We do require payment on or before the final closing date of the exam entries. Your entry will not be processed without full payment. There are a few details that we require via email for your entry along with the payment. We do require both parts to complete the entry.

  • The exam payment is separate to your regular term fee invoice. It is an additional expense.

  • You will also receive an invoice for the extra exam classes that your child will attend for their exam preparation. This is not able to be included with your exam fee, as we are not able to finalise the schedule and details until after the entries have closed and we have had our exam dates confirmed.


Students Requirements After Exam Entry:

  • Attendance at Saturday exam classes in addition to their regular classes. These classes focus on

    presentation and working with their group in the exam. The schedule for these classes can only be developed after exam entries are finalized. When committing to the exam process, please factor in any other Saturday obligations your child may have.

  • Consistent attendance at all classes is to ensure the maximum amount of preparation time. Any other obligations your child may have leading up to the exam need to be factored in.

  • If your child has another Saturday commitment, you need to notify us with their entry information. We do our best to avoid clashes but can not guarantee this as there is a lot of factors that go into creating the timetable.

Uniform / Clothing Requirements:

  • All students participating in exams will be required to purchase the correct uniform.

  • Jazz/Tap uniforms and ballet leotards are purchased exclusively from our office.

  • Shoes for ballet/tap along with character skirts are purchased from The Dancers Wardrobe in


  • Please see the office you are not sure of any uniform requirements.