Here at Newcastle Dance Centre we enter pupils into exams with the Northern Counties Dance Teachers Association (NCDTA) and occasionally with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA).  These exams are optional, but please be aware that our classes will follow the exam syllabus even if a pupil is not taking an examination.   

External, independent examiners are sent from the exam boards and all exams are taken at our studios.


Examinations and Assessments are a good indication of how a pupil is progressing and gives them a goal and something to work towards.  Ultimately, these exams can lead towards joining colleges, higher education and professional dance qualifications if so wished.  Or just for fun and a sense of achievement!

Our Youngest Pupils Age 3 – 5 years

At this age although these assessments are called an ‘examination’, they are very relaxed.  The teacher conducts the session with the examiner looking on, just like a class.  It is a nice way to introduce our youngest pupils to the examination system, but in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.  

Pupils do not take any assessments with us until they are in their final year at nursery/pre-school and heading into Reception. We host two sessions per academic year and pupils will be entered into four assessments in total during their time in our 3+ classes, subject to start date. Those who have just turned 3 are not entered into any assessments until they are in the age range outlined above. 

A couple of weeks after the assessment, the children receive a handwritten report, trophy and certificate.  There is no fail or pass, marks out of 100 or gradings, only positive handwritten messages from the examiner, confidence building and fun at this age.

Cost and Payment:

Exams have to be paid for by yourself, and the pupil will receive a certificate and award for each examination.  Each examination and grade have a set cost, and this is set by the dance association and not by us.  We collect the payment and forward it to the examination board.  Parents will be invoiced for the examination fee prior to the exam.  Once we notify parents of the exam entries, we can let you know the cost.  All payments must be settled two weeks prior to the exam date.

Fees are non refundable once the entry is submitted to the exam board.


We are often asked “How long will it be till my child/pupil is ready for their exam?”  There is not a simple answer to this question.  It varies depending on each pupil and the subject or grade they are taking.  Teachers will endeavour to have all pupils ready for exams as quickly as possible.  However, we will not enter pupils until we feel they are ready and could improve their results with more practice.  We have always had high standards in this school, and we are not prepared to lower them.

When a pupil is ready for an exam, parents will be notified via email.  

Grooming and Uniform:

NDC set uniform and correct shoes must be worn for all exams.  Hair must be groomed for boys and off the face.  For girls, hair must be tied neatly back, and for ballroom and ballet, a ballet bun must be worn.   Jewellery (unless for religious reasons), including watches, coloured nail polish/extensions, hair adornments cannot be worn for exams except NDC items.  A high level of presentation is expected, and pupils will lose marks for incorrect uniform or a lack of grooming.

Exam Day:

On the exam day, please arrive 10 minutes before the exam time, unless instructed by the teacher.  Pupils will be dropped at Reception ready dressed for the exam, with the relevant dance shoes in a bag.  All other uniform needed for the exams must also be brought along.  At this point the parents will leave and the pupil will join their class to prepare for the exam.  They will also be given their exam entry form.  This form is presented to the examiner by the pupil when they enter the exam studio.  Entry forms must be kept in good order and not crumpled or damaged.

Parents will then return at the arranged time and collect the pupils from the Reception.

We try and estimate the time of each exam, but all examiners work at different speeds, so we ask parents to be patient if you have to wait – we will always do our best to stay on time!  We ask parents and pupils not to be late as this slows down the examination process and could mean the pupil would miss their exam.  Scheduled times for exams, from and to, can be found on your child’s emailed timetable.

Results and Awards:

We normally receive the exam results within a week of the exam, then the trophies 3-4 weeks after that.  However, at peak times this may take longer.  Once we receive the awards they are sorted and bagged ready for collection in class.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask and we will be only to please to assist.