English
Hello, guest.

Log In or
Register
Return to Forum
Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by wannabe
6/22/2008  4:21:00 AM
I would like to become a ballroom/latin dance teacher in the UK, and in due time, start my own business offering classes and private tuition to adult social dancers.

I am middle-aged, with experience of teaching/coaching adults but not in dance, and a reasonably proficient social dancer with many years experience.

I do have the Professional Syllabus of the IDTA, and can see what is recuired to obtain, say, the Associate qualification in Ballroom or Latin, but don't really have much of an understanding of the practical route that a keen and committed amateur social dancer takes to become a teacher. My existing teachers are nearing retirement, and have said that they couldn't consider taking on a student teacher in theri own business, and I don't have any other established relationship with other teachers.

Could anyone familiar with the UK scene take a minute or two to give me some pointers, or suggestions as to how I might best proceed?
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by anymouse
6/23/2008  2:11:00 PM
"My existing teachers are nearing retirement, and have said that they couldn't consider taking on a student teacher in theri own business, and I don't have any other established relationship with other teachers."

Then you will need to find additional teachers and build a relationship with them. Not for the employment prospect, but to provide and continue your training itself through to the professional level. You need to be out and about, plugged into the dance world, not having your horizons confined to a single studio. Think about it this way - even if your current teachers offered you a job, unless you have a wider awareness that would be your only job option!
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by wannabe
6/23/2008  11:30:00 PM
I agree with what you say. But what is the link that turns a social dancer into a professional one? I know that qualification is a key to that process (but there are plenty of teachers who are not qualified) and I'm sure that it is a step quite near the beginning of professional development, not the end goal.

What I don't want to do is just take ever-more classes and private lessons, and make no progress towards a teaching goal. What do I need to do (or, perhaps the question should be "What should be my approach towards my teachers") that will set m,e on the road?
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by anymouse
6/24/2008  2:14:00 PM
"I agree with what you say. But what is the link that turns a social dancer into a professional one?"

In most cases, a competition career, first as an amateur and then as a professional.

Yes, it is possible to become a teacher without this, but there is no ready substitute for the day-in-day-out focus of competitions efforts for organizing and sustaining your training. If not competing, you will have to create your own structure and convince teachers that you are serious about pursuing it.

There are teachers who specialize in preparing candidates for exams; contact the professional society you are interested in for a list.
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by SocialDancer
6/24/2008  4:53:00 PM
I've had problems posting recently. This is my third attempt to reply to this question. The others just disappeared without trace. Maybe my posts were too long so I'll try shorter ones.

Given your circumstances and stated aims, there is no need to become tied into a school or to get caught up in the world of competitions.

Most large schools should have a senior teacher who is qualified and capable of preparing you for professional exams. If you cannot find one the dance associations will be able to help.

The relationship with this teacher need be nothing more than a financial business arrangement, though hopefully they will talk through your hopes and aspirations and discuss your options.

The associate level exams are based around bronze level figures but you must be able to dance and demonstrate them, as man or lady, to a reasonable standard. You will need a series of private lessons to work on this and to study the theory as laid down in the relevant association technique book. Note, the IDTA uses a different book from that used by the ISTD, NATD or other more local UK associations, so make sure you study the correct one. Lots of homework and private study will save you time and expensive lessons. Later it will be handy to have a partner of friend to help test your knowledge of the book.
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by SocialDancer
6/25/2008  1:46:00 AM
(This last paragraph seemed to cause the problems, so I'm trying that separately)

You probably have enough world experience to get you started teaching in village halls or evening classes, but it would be worth looking at a helpful little book published by the British Dance Council,
"The Dance Teacher's Handbook" by Lyndon Wainright.


(Strange, I had to edit some information from this posting to get it through...)
Re: Reality of Training to Teach
Posted by wannabe
6/25/2008  11:13:00 AM
Thanks for the comments, SocialDancer - very helpful.

I have fixed up a lesson with an Experienced Fellow of one of the teaching societies, who is also an examiner, and I am going to find out as much as I can about the practical aspects of being a student teacher, and take it from there.
Copyright © 1997-2014 BallroomDancers.com