This month, Ballroom and Latin American dance students in Malaysia who are preparing for their Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) medal tests will be examined by an examiner from the United Kingdom. The ISTD which was established in the United Kingdom in 1904 is the leading dance examination board in the world. Every year about 250,000 people around the world are examined for which the ISTD provides grade examinations and medal tests to assess their proficiency. The medal tests start from Bronze, Silver, Gold to Gold Star 1, 2, 3, and above. The dances that the students generally have to perform for the various levels are:-
Bronze - Waltz, Quickstep, Rhythm
Silver - Waltz, Quickstep, Tango, Rhythm
Gold - Waltz, Quickstep, Tango, Foxtrot
Gold Star & above - Waltz, Quickstep, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz
Bronze - Cha Cha Cha , Rumba
Silver - Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive
Gold - Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba
Gold Star & above - Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba, Paso Doble
There is a certain dress code for those taking the medal tests. The men are expected to wear long sleeve shirts (preferably white) with ties whilst the ladies have to be appropriately attired. Some couples taking the ballroom dance medal tests really dress themselves to the nines and come in tail coats and ballroom gowns.The passing mark (out of a maximum of 100) for each dance is 65. Those who gain 75 to 84 marks will be credited with a commendation while those who score 85 marks and above will be credited with an honours. A certificate and a plaque will be awarded to those who pass the medal tests.
The medal tests are an excellent avenue for dance students to see how they fare as the examiner will be able to gauge their strengths and weaknesses impartially. Students should take note of the invaluable comments of the examiner with a view to improving their dancing skills. Besides the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), the other institutions from the UK which conduct medal tests in Malaysia are the National Association of Teachers of Dancing (NATD), and the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). To those taking their medal tests - Good Luck!