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What To Look For In A Dance Teacher

… and the progression of student dance exams

There are so many dance schools and finding one to suit your child’s needs can be difficult. Aside from checking out the ethos of a school and the rapport with the students there are a number of governing bodies and qualifications you can look out for.

Most of us dance teachers know and support each other through courses and training and recognise the qualifications needed in each field.

Each dance teacher should have a CRB/DBS certificate and it is useful but not compulsory that they have or at least one of the teachers is covered with a valid paediatric first aid certificate and/ or have completed a Safeguarding course.

The most popular governing bodies of dance would be Imperial Society Teachers of Dancing Royal Academy of Dance and the International Dance Teachers Association

I studied in ISTD and RAD but would favour ISTD. The ISTD syllabus is created in many different genres not just ballet, tap and modern and is designed to coincide with the child’s development. There is an expectation and a standard to be met by the students. Once reaching Grade 6, this equates to UCAS points, meaning students are technically gaining a further recognised qualification.

The structure of the ISTD is as follows:

Vocational Exams

Major Exams

Professional Exam

Teaching Qualifications

(Once the Fellowship is completed, the ISTD may invite you to train as an examiner)

There is no law against teaching dance without these qualifications. Like myself, many professional dancers choose a teaching path once they have decided to stop performing as a career. Their experience in invaluable and should not be over looked. However, having all that professional experience does not necessarily mean that you would automatically be a great teacher which is why in some cases ex professionals retrain as a teacher to ensure the safety of the dancers they train.

I believe in the ISTD’s syllabus and teacher training and have been fortunate enough to complete all my exams from pre-primary to DDE in the modern and tap and pre-primary to Licentiate in ballet. I have also had 10 years professional experience which I can pass on to the students as well. Therefore, I am confident enough to say that I know my job and industry well and have lots I can offer the students that attend DancePro Academy.

December 2016