Dance exams and grading range all the way from Pre Primary to the Solo Seal. The last thing you’ll want to worry about in the run up to your dance exam is the ballet uniform you’ll be required to wear.
RAD states that candidates are expected to wear the uniform listed for each grade, but where this is not possible, suitable alternatives of a similar colour and style may be worn.
Dance Exam Uniform Requirements
Make-up should be light
No underwear visible
Clothes should be clean and well fitting
Hair in a bun or off the neck
From ballet leotards to transition tights, it’s important to have the right uniform to match the type of exam you’ll be taking.
As a large part of dance is how you present yourself, it is important that your dance clothes are clean and well fitting. If you wear a ballet uniform or dance leotard, make sure that it holds the shape and line of the body.
To ensure you look as professional as possible, make sure that no underwear is visible and if worn, ensure makeup is light.
Long hair can get in the way, so make sure that you style hair in a bun if it comes down past your jawline. It is worth buying some hair accessories especially for your dance exam to avoid them getting lost or broken beforehand.
Dance To Your Own Tune - RAD 21/2 - 5 yrs
Demonstration Classes Uniform
Dance uniform completely optional
Express emotions and feelings through movement
Dance to Your Own Tune is the Royal Academy of Dance’s Curriculum for children aged 2 ½ to 5 years. There are demonstrations provided by the exam board to help the child prepare, however these are completely optional.
The outcome of this curriculum is for young dancers to move with increased control and learn co-ordination and confidence, and laying the foundations for them to be able to learn and master more complex dance moves later on.
If your child is going to start the Dance to Your Own Tune curriculum then they will need to have the correct dance clothing.
RAD Primary Ballet Exam Uniform - RAD 5 - 8 yrs Ballet Exam Uniform Requirements
Primary in Dance Class Award Uniform
Develop stamina and creativity
Prepares students between 5 - 8 for Ballet
Leotard: Short sleeved leotard pink, lilac or marine blue
The RAD Primary in Dance Class Award is a recognised qualification by the Royal Academy of Dance to prepare children between 5 and 8 years for ballet.
This curriculum helps to develop the stamina, creativity and coordination of the students, which will stay with them throughout their dance career.
For the Royal Academy of Dance exams, it is important that your child wears the correct uniform. Not only will this make it easier for him/her to dance, but it will also ensure they are presented well for the exam.
For girls, a short sleeved dance leotard in pink, lilac or marine blue is essential. On the bottom, a Georgette wrap over skirt in the colour that matches the leotard. Also make sure that she has pink socks and pink soft toe ballet shoes on, made from satin or leather.
For boys, a blue or white t-shirt or leotard is essential, with navy or black polycotton lycra shorts. Also make sure that he has on white socks and white or black shoes made from canvas or leather.
For female ballet dancers, the correct uniform is a sleeveless or short sleeve scoop neck dance leotard in lavender, marine blue, mulberry,navy, pink, teal. It can be made from any matt, cotton stretch or lycra fabric and will need a matching elasticated belt. Girls will also need the correct pink soft ballet shoesmade from satin, canvas or leather as dancing barefoot is not permitted.
Promotes and encourages ballet as physical exercise
Solo, partner and group dance experience
Demonstrate dance technique
For male ballet dancers the uniform is a white short sleeved leotard or well fitting white t shirt with navy shorts. They must also wear white ballet shoes in canvas or leather.
For female character dancers the correct uniform is a black character skirt with braiding, which complements the colour of the dance leotard. The skirt’s hem must be approximately 3 inches below the knee. The shoes worn must be black canvas character shoes.
For male character dancers the uniform remains the same throughout all examinations, class awards and solo performance awards except for the shoes. Lace up character shoes should be worn.
Ballet and Dance Exam Grade 4-5
Character skirt - Black character skirt with braiding to compliment leotard. Can be circular style, or gathered at waist (must fall 3 inches or 7.63cm below knee)
The Ballet and Dance Exam Grades 4-5 allows young dancers to demonstrate musicality in ballet, enhance their dance performance skills and demonstrate confidence in a dance routine.
For female ballet dancers, the correct uniform is a ruched sleeveless or short sleeve scoop neck dance leotard in blue, mulberry, lavender or navy. It should be made from cotton or lycra fabric and will need a matching elasticated belt. Girls will also need the correct pink soft ballet shoes made from satin, canvas or leather as dancing barefoot is not permitted.
Barre exercises, classical dance and character dance
Posture, timing and music
The Ballet and Dance Exam Grades 6-8 are essential for young dancers to demonstrate their coordination of the whole body, barre exercises, classical dance and character dance, and demonstrate their posture, timing and music.
For female ballet dancers, it is essential that they wear a classic style of dance leotard in matt fabric in black, burgundy or royal blue. The skirt worn should be made from a soft, sheer material, such as a Georgette or chiffon and should be mid calf length.
For grade 8 exams, a shorter skirt may be worn. Girls should also wear a light silk, scarf that measures no more than 1m by 2m in any colour. However, the colour of the dance leotard, skirt and scarf should match each other.
For the free movement exercises, ballet shoes or bare feet are allowed.
Male ballet dancers should wear a short sleeved or sleeveless white matt leotard. If the leotard is felt to be unsuitable, then a well fitting white t shirt is fine. Navy stirrup tights are a must, as are white ballet shoes in canvas or leather and short white socks.
For the free movement exercises, ballet shoes or bare feet are acceptable.
Female character dancers should wear black character skirts, with braiding that compliments the colour of their dance leotard. The hem should be approximately 3 inches below the knee.
The male uniform remains the same throughout all examinations except for the shoes, which should be lace up character shoes.
Foundation and Intermediate Dance Exam
Foundation and Intermediate Dance Exam candidates will demonstrate their understanding of the vocabulary and technique of ballet, their range of movement and be able to express their performance skills.
For female ballet dancers, a sleeveless dance leotard in black, royal blue, navy or purple must be worn, as well as pink tights. Optional items are a 2cm waistband, velvet head ribbons, a half tutu for variation 1, which should be matched with the leotard or a skirt for variation 2.
Soft pointe shoes should be worn, which should be pink with ribbons. Split sole shoesare permitted.
Top - White leotard or a short sleeved white t-shirt worn inside tights
Shoes - Black or white shoes with white elastic (split sole shoes also permitted)
Range of movement
Understand the vocabulary and technique of Ballet
Express performance skills
Male ballet dancers should wear a white leotard or short sleeved t shirt worn inside black or navy blue tights. White socks should be worn over the tights and black or white shoes with white elastic. Split sole shoes are allowed.
RAD Advanced Foundation Dance Exam
Leotard - Sleeveless style in black, royal blue, navy or purple
Female dancers should wear any colour sleeveless dance leotard with a soft chiffon circular skirt. The 21st Century Variation Female dancers should wear any colour sleeveless dance leotard with a soft short chiffon wrap around skirt, which matches the leotard.
Focus on solo performance and maturiy in dance
Demonstrate contrasting ballet styles over the years
Male dancers should wear any coloured leotard or short sleeved t shirt worn inside tights and socks, any coloured unitard and black or white ballet shoes.
All of the information provided above is based on the official RAD guidelines and advice. Individual schools and teachers will have their own requirements when it comes to ballet uniform dancewear requirements. We recommend consulting with your dance teacher and dance school prior to making any purchases.