The Imperial Society of Dance Teachers was formed in 1904 in Covent Garden, London and in 1924 the foundations of the present structure of the ISTD was established with the formation of different Faculties.

As well as the Operatic and General, new faculties were formed to deal with the following techniques: Modern Ballroom Dancing; Classical; Classical Ballet Cecchetti Method; Greek Dance - Ruby Ginner Method; Natural Movement - Madge Atkinson Method.

The Stage Branch was formed to provide training for all dance and embraced specialist stage techniques.

Currently the ISTD has more than 7,500 members in over 50 countries throughout the world and holds 250,000 examinations each year.The ISTD is divided into twelve Faculties which include many forms of theatrical, recreational and social dance.

The Imperial Dance & Theatre Faculties include Classical Ballet (both Cecchetti Ballet and Imperial Ballet syllabi), Classical Greek Dance, National Dance, Modern Theatre, Tap Dance and South Asian Dance.

The Imperial Dance & Dance Sport Faculties include Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Sequence, Disco/Freestyle/Rock ‘n’ Roll and Club Dance.

As well as a Natural Movement Group there is also a Dance Research Committee, which provides courses in Historical Dance.

Imperial Classical Ballet

The roots of Imperial Classical Ballet stem from the early days of the ISTD and the first written syllabus in 1913 which was based on the teaching of the French School from the Paris Opéra. The syllabus has now evolved to promote the English classical style and address the changing needs of Ballet dancers today.

Modern Theatre

Modern Theatre dance is a rhythmic dance style which originated in America before travelling to the rest of the world. It is often seen on the stages of musical productions and is known for its theatrical qualities. The style uses travelling steps, high kicks, leaps and turns which all need strength and flexibility. This is a highly energetic dance style

Tap Dance

This has evolved as an American dance form, popularised throughout the world, with debate about its origins coming from African dance, Irish dance and/or clog dancing. The dancer uses their feet to strike the floor, beating out different rhythms, with dancers wearing tap shoes which have small metal plates on the toe and heel to give the distinctive sound. Tap dance is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musicals.