"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #202, Thursday, October 28, 2004
From Anne Lingard, Fellow ISTD
Dear Friends, I enjoyed writing Tid-bits on ISTD Associate Level Examination and it helped me refreshing my own experience once again. I was very happy to see so many responses but one letter in particular got my attention more than others. I am sure you have seen this name "Anne Lingard" posted on so many posters, bulletins and ISTD Publications. So I wanted to share this letter with all of you to clarify some points regarding ISTD Testing. With her permission, I am copying her e mail unedited and it reads as follows:
As senior ISTD Examiner in UK, I would like to put you straight on a few points. The marking system is that a pass is 65%, Commended 75%, Highly Commended 85%. These levels are not allowed to be advertised. You just advertise with the qualification.
Associate Examinations last 90 minutes for Ballroom 105 minutes for Latin, Licentiate 105 minutes for Ballroom 2 hours for Latin, Fellow (2 examiners in UK) 2 hours Ballroom, 2 hours 15 minutes for Latin.
In UK gentlemen are allowed to remove their jackets to dance if they wish.
In UK there must be NO CONTACT WHATSOEVER between the candidate and the examiner before the day, except in circumstances where it is necessary to give directions, book hotels etc.
I hope that this is helpful.
Senior International Co-ordinator ISTD Dancesport Faculties
In the end she emphasized that her pointers are for the examinations in UK. However I (Dancemax) do not believe there should be that much difference in USA. At the end she says that absolutely no contact with the examiner except for hotel and directions etc. I feel a student should be able to discuss the Syllabus, Books and Audio-visual aids with the prospective examiner so that she/he can prepare better for this ordeal. A prospective candidate could be allowed to call or even visit the examiner and have him/her point out student's weaknesses or even him/her to say if he/she ready or not for the exam? This is of course a matter of opinion and I am not making a recommendation. Sometimes the Syllabus has been confusing specially in Latin and even now if you talk to different coaches you get different answers, at least in USA. I feel that the examiner is a friend rather than someone who is going to confront and surprise you.
One little detail. If you are in USA, you must pass the US-ISTD for that level before you want to take that examination in U.K
Thank you Ms. Anne for your comments and please always send critique and comments on Dancing Tid-bits, at firstname.lastname@example.org With best wishes, Max