Membership in the USISTD is earned through the examination program.
The only way to join the USISTD is to pass one of the Professional or Certification Exams offered. To get started, proceed to Professional Exams and review the levels of Professional or Certification Exams offered in the various styles of dance. Download the helpful documents listed at the bottom of the page. Next, order the proper Manuals and Publications offered in the style of dance you have chosen. During your preparation, you may want to contact one of the many Trainers listed on that page to assist you in your efforts.
Our members proudly display their USISTD Diplomas as a testament to their accomplishment and desire to strive for higher standards in the dancesport community.
Due to our extremely high standards of dance, we do not automatically recognize degrees attained through other dance organizations. All persons desiring membership in the USISTD must, with rare exceptions for persons who have made exceptional contributions to the field of dance, take the appropriate examinations in the branch or branches concerned.
If you have passed your first Associate examination in any of the ISTD Dance Sport & Theatre Faculties (and you are not already a student member), you will automatically be sent an enrollment form to complete and return with the appropriate payment.
Thank you for your inquiry about joining our very prestigious society. Entry into the USISTD is by exam only. We have different levels of qualification within the society. The only requirement for candidates wishing to take the Associate level exam is to be at least 17 years of age. Passing the Associate exam qualifies you to become a member of the society. To take the Licentiate, you must be at least 21 years old and have at least two years of experience teaching dancing in a responsible position. Passing the Licentiate exam will qualify you to judge in that style of dance. You must hold your Licentiate for at least three years before being eligible to take the Fellowship exam.
If you have a successful examination in Ballroom or Latin you will also become a member of the ISTD. The Smooth, Rhythm, and Theater Arts exams qualify you in the USISTD only. For important information about these exams, and preparing for them, please see the attached “Examination Handbook”, the “How to Train for a Professional Exam”, and the “Ten Commandments for taking a Professional Exam”.
If you are not feeling quite ready for your first qualifying exam you may take a Professional Medal Test if you wish to have the level of your dancing critiqued. This will give you no qualifications within the society, but will serve simply to let you know whether the level of your dancing is high enough. You may also take the Student Teacher exam. This is a theory exam and covers the student teacher syllabus. You must be at least 16 years old to take this exam, and it will give you no qualifications in the society, but you will be permitted to attend meetings and receive discounts and publications.
All exams, with the exception of Medal Tests, are oral and demonstration. The Theater Arts exam also has a written portion. You will begin with the dancing portion of the exam then progress to theory demonstrations. I cannot stress enough the importance of working with a good, qualified trainer for both the dance and theory sections of the exam.
It is strongly recommended by the society that you have training by a qualified trainer, and that that trainer agrees you are ready before you schedule your exam. There are trainers listed on our website that specialize in readying candidates for these exams. There are many others also. If you need suggestions for a good trainer in your area, please let me know.
The syllabus books and videos are available online, by visiting the Online Store. If you need assistance with your purchase, our Publications Director, may be contacted at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
When you are ready to schedule your exam, contact me at email@example.com I will need your paperwork and monies 30 days prior to your scheduled exam. You may wish to host your own examinations, cooperate with another studio or organizer, or travel to an examiner depending on your situation. The more lead time I have, the more likely it will be that I will be able to schedule your exam conveniently and economically for you. Please see the attached “Professional Exam Letter’ and the “Organizer’s Letter” for more information about booking your exam.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if I may help in any other way. I look forward to working with you and welcoming you into our society upon the successful completion of your first qualifying exam.
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