Written by Miss Vicky on Tuesday May 12, 2020

What are Performance Awards?

Performance Awards are an additional performance opportunity we offer to students studying Grade 1 level and above in either Classical Ballet, Modern Jazz or Tap. This is an annual event for the school where the students perform a dance in front of a BTDA examiner and a small audience made up of the families of their class group. The dance is choreographed and taught to them by their teacher in class.

If it is a solo award, you, the parent/guardian, have to provide a costume for your child (see below for more details) and presentation is part of their overall mark so choosing an appropriate costume is important, also, make-up is compulsory for all ages.

Performance Awards are not competitions, all members of the class are on a certain performance award level (for example, Bronze Medal is the first level, next year the class will all be on Silver Medal and so on, regardless of whether they obtained their Bronze, etc.) and as long as they get on the stage and perform, they will get their award.

There is a mark scheme where they will get either a Pass, Commended, Highly Commended or Honours and, if the examiner thinks the candidate exceeded what is expected of them at the level they are on, an Honours Star. 

What do they need to wear for the awards?

Classical Ballet:

Girls: Classical ballet tutu*, ballet tights and ballet shoes. A tiara or flower headdress must be worn. Hair in a neat, classical bun.

Boys: Boys ballet leggings, classical shirt or leotard, belt or cummerbund, ballet socks and shoes. Hair neatly groomed.

Modern Jazz and/or Tap: 

There are a number of costume options available to you. It’s important that whatever you choose is dance wear; bright or sparkly is always good for modern (for example, a bright leotard with a skirt or trousers) and, if you are doing a tap and a modern award in the same weekend, you must have a different costume for each as they are different styles.

My advice is to go into the dance shop and ask to see some examples of what is on offer - there is so much to choose from! You can accessorise as much as you like but please make sure the costume doesn't distract from the dancing.

Hair doesn’t need to be a bun for modern or tap, but must be up and off the neck, e.g. A ponytail or plaits - no hair down.

What is a 'Troupe' Award?

Troupe awards are where the class perform as a group to get one overall mark, but each still get their own award to take home. The decision on whether the class takes solos or troupe awards is up to the teacher.

Can they take more than one Performance Award in a weekend?

Yes! If they are Grade 1 level or above and study Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz, they can take one of each over the course of the weekend.

What if my child doesn't want to do the awards?

We understand that the thought of performing a solo in front of an audience is not for everyone! Performance Awards are not in any way compulsory, but they are a great opportunity for young children to build their confidence and get used to performing on stage. 

If your child decides not to take part, they will still learn the routine in class as it usually doubles up as their exam dance too, plus it's always fun to learn the routines.

What if my child doesn't take it this year, but decides to take it the following year?

That's fine! They won't be able to go back and repeat the one they missed in previous years, as their class will be learning a dance for the level above, however, they can start the awards at any level so it's not a problem.

* Do you have any advice on selecting the correct tutu?

We have outlined some guidelines for selecting/purchasing your first classical ballet tutu;

  • Please purchase/hire the tutu from a dance shop or, if shopping online, from a reputable dance store, you can buy them on eBay, etc. but they tend to be more like dressing up tutus where the skirt isn’t big enough
  • Please look into ordering your tutu in plenty of time, I have known tutus to take a long time to arrive 
  • The choice on colour is yours, but based on my knowledge, here are some extra guidelines on this;
    • No black or very dark colours for younger students
    • No fluorescent colours, classical ballet should be subtle or bold, but not fluorescent
  • Don't forget they will also need either a tiara or flower garland headdress of your choice

What else do I need to consider?

It is an additional expense, as well as purchasing or hiring a costume, the awards range in price from £22.00 for a Bronze Medal, up to £48.00 for a Performance Cup*.

* Prices as of September 2022

Do you have more questions you want to ask?

No problem! Please email missvicky@vickygrant.com with any further questions or queries.