Performing Arts

Jazz Dance Exams

The PAA Jazz Dance syllabus has been specifically created to give teachers the creative freedom to build a bespoke curriculum around their own teaching styles and existing programme. PAA offers the opportunity for candidates to earn a recognised and quality-assured qualification whilst learning one of the most popular forms of dance.

We’re excited to announce that from 1st September 2023 we have updated the guidance to allow teachers/candidates to choose their own music for the technical exercises, and have provided a list of example tracks that could be used. In addition we are providing a full grade-by-grade list of example music tracks that may be chosen by the examiner for the improvisation section of the exam (Grades 4-8). Other revisions have been made to the dance performance requirements, to make our syllabuses even more accessible. Please see the syllabus guides for more information.

PAA Ofqual

Regulated by OfQual, Qualifications Wales & CCEA

We’re fully regulated by OfQual, Qualifications Wales & CCEA. Our Jazz Dance grades are internationally recognised.

PAA Industry

Created by industry specialists

PAA Jazz Dance has been created by leading specialists within Jazz and Theatre Dance style and Techniques.

PAA Jazz Dance

Performance focused

Students can develop as soloists or company dancers.


UCAS points

UCAS points are available at grades 6, 7 and 8, supporting students progression onto University, or for a career in the performing arts industry.

PAA Creative

Be truly creative

PAA Jazz Dance Technical Exercises can be free choice giving you creative control in your exam.

PAA No Fees

No membership fees

PAA Jazz Dance does not include any membership fees and free supporting materials are provided to help guide, inspire and motivate your students.

The Exam

PAA Grade Exams has been specifically designed to give teachers the creative freedom to build a bespoke curriculum around their own teaching styles and existing programme.

Technical Skills

Candidates will prepare a series of exercises that display a range of skills within the genre. Exercises encourage the development of strong jazz technique while embedding style and performance skills ensuring the development of fully equipped dancers.

The Performance

The Performance is the final element to the examination and can include any style or variation of Jazz Dance. Teachers have creative control over the content of the group performance creating a truly unique and tailored experience for students.

How It Works


Download the syllabus for free

Download the PAA Jazz Dance syllabus for free to see how you can incorporate these qualifications into your teaching offering.


Take Advantage of Innovative Resources

PAA offers a range of resources to help you teach the syllabus. With suggested repertoire and supporting audio, PAA gives you the tools to start teaching today.


Book An Exam Day

Once your students are prepped and ready, book an exam day where our PAA examiners will assess your upcoming show or performance. PAA qualifications are the ideal way for students to be awarded for their hard work.


The Performance consists of a group dance routine which can include any style or variation of Jazz Dance. Teachers have creative control over the concept, content and choreography of the group performance but must adhere to the allocated performance duration boundaries.

Teachers can refer to the minimum requirements for the Technical Skills Exercises per grade as well as the Suggested Technical Skills Exercises resource (available in the download section below) for guidance regarding the level of difficulty expected for the Performance choreography at each grade.

A maximum of six candidates can be assessed at any one time. If there are more than six, the examiner will split candidates into two groups. Examiners may ask candidates to repeat sections of the performance if clarification is needed.

The school’s uniform is sufficient, however, costumes and props are permitted.
An audience is permitted.
Teachers and candidates are encouraged to closely consider the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria for the specific qualification level they are entering.


Choosing music for Performance

The selection of music is the teacher’s choice and should allow the candidates the best opportunity to respond to phrasing, dynamics and atmosphere. The style and the mood of the music should allow for as much expression as possible, creating a performance that fulfils requirements for technique, musicality and communication.

Technical Skills

Teacher’s may arrange their own Technical Skills Exercises but must ensure that all exercises are at an appropriate level for each grade. The minimum technical requirement for each grade are listed at the relevant grade. This minimum requirement must be met.

The set Jazz dance music may be used for the technical skills exercises, or teachers may use their own choice of music.

RSL has provided a list of suggested ‘free choice music’ for each grade and exercise. To view the full list, please download the “Technical Exercises Music Suggestions” guidance.

The technical exercises are demonstrated as a group but each candidate must be visible to the examiner at all times.

A maximum of eight candidates can be assessed at any one time. Props and costumes are not permitted.

An audience is not permitted.


Suggested Arrangement

Teachers can use a Suggested Arrangement of Technical Skills Exercises provided by RSL if they wish. This is available, along with a video demonstration, as a separate resource.

Barre work: Some exercises require the use of a barre. Schools/ organisations may decide to use an alternative, for example if a barre is not available, but please note that no special consideration would be made for not using barres, or using an alternative, and candidates would be assessed in the normal way.

Please note: In the interest of health and safety, Technical Skills Exercises must always begin with a thorough warm up which sufficiently prepares candidates for all Technical Skills Exercises, Improvisation (Level 2 & 3 only) and the Performance. Warming up of the legs, ankles and feet must take place before commencing any impact work.

Technical Skills – Improvisation (Level 2&3 Only)

The Improvisation section of the examination gives candidates from Grades 4–8 only the opportunity to demonstrate their technical ability, musicality, creativity and individual style without restrictions.

Candidates will be required to interpret the given music through any Jazz Dance style and moves of the candidate’s choice for the duration specified per grade.

Candidates may draw upon the technical moves provided for the Technical Skills Exercises in their improvisation if they wish but this is not a requirement. However, the improvisation must not wholly consist of technical moves that have been provided by RSL.

Candidates will improvise in small groups.

The music will be provided by the examiner. To view the list of example music tracks that may be chosen by the examiner, please download the “Music for Improvisation” guidance.

Props and costumes are not permitted.

An audience is not permitted.

Supporting Video

The Jazz Dance video guides will take you through the complete syllabus from Grade 1 to Grade 8 and provide in-depth guidance and examples of every element of the exam. Use the video content alongside the Jazz Dance syllabus guide.

Assessment Summary

Form of Assessment All assessments are carried out by external examiners. Candidates are required to carry out a combination of practical tasks underpinning the technical and performance assessment.
Unit Format Unit specifications contain the Title, Unit Code, Credit Level, Credit Value, Learning Outcomes, Assessment Criteria, Grade Descriptor, and types of evidence required for the unit.
Bands of Attainment There are four bands of attainment (Distinction, Merit, Pass and Unclassified) for the qualification as a whole.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance ensures that all assessments are carried out to the same standard by objective sampling and re-assessment of candidates’ work. A team of external examiners is appointed, trained and standardised by RSL.

Assessment Methodology

The graded examinations in Jazz Dance are assessed using two distinct sections:

Premiere - Grade 3 Marks Grades 4-8 Marks
Technical Skills 60 marks Technical Skills (including improvisation) 60 marks
Performance 40 marks Performance 40 marks

Expectations of Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

The graded examination system is one based on the principle of ‘progressive mastery’: each step in the exam chain demonstrates learning, progression and skills in incremental steps.
Successful learning is characterised by a mastery of the fundamental skills demanded in each grade.

Learners will be able to complete a set of practical tasks and be tested on their underpinning knowledge (the complexity and variety of tasks are determined by which qualification is being attempted), which allow them to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in Jazz Dance relevant to the grade. These technical skills set a firm platform for further technical and creative development by the learner.

Jazz Dance Fees

Please see the information below for all Jazz Dance fees

Grade Recorded Digital Live Stream Face-to-Face
Premiere £23 £24 £25
Debut £25 £26 £28
Grade 1 £30 £31 £32
Grade 2 £34 £36 £38
Grade 3 £38 £40 £42
Grade 4 £42 £44 £47
Grade 5 £50 £53 £55
Grade 6 £58 £61 £64
Grade 7 £66 £69 £72
Grade 8 £72 £76 £79

Please see “other fees” below relating to UK PAA Graded Exams.

Late Entry, Date Changes & Deferrals

Service Applicable When... Fee
Date Change Changing exam date/time after appointment slip has been issued £15
Deferral Deferring exam to future exam period 50% of exam fee

Please see the UK Graded Exams Date Change & Deferral policy for circumstances where the fee can be waived.

Enquiries about Results / Appeals

Service Fee Cap for Multiple Candidates Refundable
Informal Review No Charge N/A N/A
Clerical Check £10 £50 No
Remark 50% of Exam Fee £100 If marks change by more than +/-5 or there is a change of assessment band
Investigation and Report No Charge N/A N/A
First Level Appeal 60% of Exam Fee £150 If enquiry is upheld
Second Level Appeal 75% of Exam Fee £200 If enquiry if upheld

Replacement Certificate

Service Fee
Replacement Certificate £10

Key dates

PAA examinations are open all year round and can be scheduled to fit with your existing programme.

Need more information?

Please visit our PAA FAQ page to find some useful information to help you get started.

Book your PAA exam!

PAA examinations are open all year round and can be scheduled to fit with your existing programme.


Digital Files

For the RSL shop we’ve chosen the most widely used media for ease of use and flexibility when transferring across different devices.

Every complete digital book (e.g. Electric Guitar Grade 1) includes:

  • PDF sheet music
  • MP3 audio
  • Supporting tests

Download Limits

We know downloading digital content can be frustrating at times which is why we’ve given you multiple chances to download your audio and sheet music.

Each complete digital book purchased includes:

  • 5 audio downloads
  • 3 sheet music downloadsThis means if you misplace your content, or if your download times-out, you’ll still have plenty of attempts to download your content.

Purchase Options

1. Hard Copy

The hard copy or paperback version can be purchased from our shop for shipping to the UK. Orders for shipping to other countries can be placed via The paperback version includes everything you need for your exam in one essential book, including sheet music, a code for access to MP3 audio and complete supporting tests.

2. Digital Download (where applicable)

Digital downloads is the most popular way of purchasing and downloading a Rockschool book, track or supporting test. Rockschool digital book downloads come complete with PDF sheet music, MP3 audio and supporting tests for instant accessibility on all your favourite devices.

Note: Digital sheet music is stamped with your email address and order number.

3. Digital Download + E-Book Access

The RSL e-books, utilising Learning Platform technology powered by MatchMySound, are the ultimate practise tool, giving you the ability to master your instrument like never before.

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