About the USISTD

The History

The United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (USISTD) is affiliated with the world’s leading dance teachers’ society. The USISTD was granted a license to operate independently in the US on behalf of the London-based world-wide Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), which was founded in 1904. The USISTD is proud to be affiliated with such a long-standing and prestigious dance society, and is very diligent in its efforts to maintain the high dance standards set by the worlds’ leading dance examinations board.

The United States Branch of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was incorporated on October 5th, 1967 in New Jersey. The USISTD Inc. succeeded to an unincorporated association that was originally established in San Francisco, California in April 1961. At that time, the Society dealt only with the International Style Ballroom (Standard) and Latin American styles of dancing. The American Ballroom (Smooth) and Rhythm and the Theatrical style branches were added more recently.

A primary objective of the Society is to make it possible for the general public to find quality instruction in the art of Ballroom and Latin American dancing. To achieve this, the Society works in several ways:

  • Promoting a systematic method of instruction for students of dance. The USISTD Medal Test system of instruction introduces students to new skills in a logical manner, and the goal-oriented achievement levels are offered in a graduated series of examinations. The USISTD system of organized advancement is present in colleges and universities through the Collegiate Assessment Program (CAP).
  • The certification / licensing of Professional Instructors of Dancing through a series of examinations in the International, American and Theater Arts (Theatrical) styles of dance.
  • Providing a method for members of the Society to attain judging credentials recognized by the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) and the World Dance & DanceSport Council (WD&DSC).

The Society publishes numerous books and instructional manuals of value to teachers and students in all faculties of the Society. These publications are periodically updated. Society publications and some corresponding videotapes are available from our publications department.