C.S.T.D Modern Jazz Syllabus
The Modern Jazz Syllabus has 10 levels. Children can start from as young as 5 years of age and continue through the system completing exams appropriate to their age and training level.
At the first two levels students aged 4 to 8 will be placed into Pre-Modern Jazz or Junior Modern Jazz. Here the students learn the basics of jazz technique. They learn to skip, march, isolate their bodies and complete a series of combinations to music.
The next four levels are Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4. Throughout these levels students improve their jazz technique and knowledge of steps. There are a series of exercises starting with a warm up and floor exercise and stretch. Students are then asked to show corner work. Starting with kick combinations and turning combinations and then followed by leap combinations. The last section of exercises include pirouette preparations and combinations, finally the students are then asked to perform a short routine which includes some of the set movements and steps previously shown in the exercises.
After students have completed the previous examinations or their technique is at the standard of grade 5 or equivalent, they continue to Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7 and finally Grade 8. In these levels students show a similar process as the previous grades however they are extended with new steps, turning combinations, difficult routines and a development of their own style. They are also introduced into various styles of dance including lyrical and contemporary. Students are also required to learn the theory appropriate to each level which they will be asked during their exam.
C.S.T.D Tap Syllabus
In the CSTD Tap Syllabus there are four sections:
Preliminary to Tap: Level One and Level Two
Elementary - Bronze, Silver, Gold
Intermediate - Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar
Advanced - Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar
Preliminary to Tap levels 1 and two is a new syllabus introduced to the students for the first time this year. Students as young and 5 can begin at level one as an introduction to tap. In this syllabus students learn to basics of tap by learning how to hold and move the foot in the correct positions and learn to use the ankles, knees and hips.
Elementary levels can be studied by students from the age of 6 with no upper age limit. In Bronze, Silver and Gold they begin with the basics of tap. Learning basic movements that make up their tap vocabulary. Students work towards an exam learning set exercises and routines which they perform for an examiner as a soloist.
Intermediate levels can be studied by students from the age of 9 with no upper age limit (however basic tapping knowledge up to Elementary Gold must be known to complete these levels). In this class they will extend their knowledge of tapping combinations and perform full routines and exercises for an examiner. At this stage students are required to learn theory (including different latin rhythms and how to count them) to understand the technique of each step and how it can be counted in different situations.
Advanced levels broaden the students knowledge of steps. These levels can be studied by students from the age of 13 with no upper age limit (however intermediate level of tapping knowledge up to Intermediate Gold must be known to complete these levels). Students will learn more complex tapping combinations and steps and again show them in set exerisces and routines for an examiner. Theory is also part of these levels (including different latin rhythms and how to count them), students must be able to recite, demonstrate and understand the technique of a variety of steps and how to count them.
The final two advanced grades are Advanced Gold Star and The Gwen Mackey Gold Cross.
Advanced Gold Star:
In this exam students require an advanced knowledge of theory and technique and the students themselves choreograph and write out three amalgamations to own choice of music a) Centre amalgamation b) Diagonal amalgamation and c) Circular amalgamation. Students also choreograph their own arrangement of a Modern Waltz with the first 16 bars of the routine written out. Students must also perform three set routines a Medley, Specialty and Latin American Rhythm. Candidates will be expected to know all previous theory and technique. This must be applied in the writing of the candidate’s own modern waltz arrangements and amalgamations.
The Gwen Mackey Gold Cross: (minimum age 15 years)
Public Examination: the candidate performs on stage with a visiting examiner and audience. Students must hold Advanced Gold Star to complete this exam. They must perform three routines. a) Medley b) Specialty or Character or Any Latin American Rhythm c) Specialty or Character or Any Latin American Rhythm