About ISTD

The Imperial Society of Dance Teachers and its Ballet System of Training was formed on 25th July 1904 at the Hotel Cecil in Covent Garden, London. It is one of the world’s leading dance examination boards. From ballet to ballroom, it has 12 dance faculties covering theatre, dancesport and social dance. No other dance examination board offers as many genres.

For more than 110 years ISTD has provided training for dance teachers and examiners, enabling teachers to enter their students for examinations, develop new techniques and spread the joy of dance.

As a registered educational charity, the ISTD’s mission is to educate the public in the art of dancing in all its forms, to promote knowledge of dance through its Ballet System of Training, to provide up-to-date techniques for our members, and to maintain and improve teaching standards. The ISTD supports its members through updated teaching syllabi and techniques, plus a wide variety of courses, summer schools and congresses.
To achieve its aims, the ISTD works in four main ways:


  • to promote knowledge of the dance
  • to maintain and improve teaching standards
  • to qualify, by examination, teachers of dancing in the ISTD’s specialist techniques taught by our 10,000 members in schools of dancing throughout the world
  • to provide, through its syllabi, techniques upon which to train dancers for the profession.