Finding the correct dance school for your child can be tricky as there are many areas to consider.
To make things easier, here are a few questions you should be asking...
Is the teacher properly qualified?
Beware - An educational dance qualification is not a teaching qualification....
Holding a teaching certificate from an accredited dance association tells you that the person has been taught how to teach. Being able to dance is not the same as being able to impart that knowledge. There are various levels of teacher qualifications in the same way as there are with general educational teachers.
Primary school teacher equivalent; has a wide range of knowledge on many subjects and teaches them all to a basic level of understanding. This is generally denoted by the qualification Associate.
Secondary school teacher equivalent; has been a Primary school teacher for a minimum of 2 years and has now passed a higher exam themselves. They now have greater knowledge of one subject, knowing many aspects of it, while still having the Primary teacher skills for all other subjects. This is generally denoted by the qualification Member.
University professor; has a complete understanding of a subject from all angles, perspectives and opinions. Choreographic skills are greater, by way of experience. Teaches the Primary and Secondary teachers. This is generally denoted by the qualification Fellow.
Is the teacher experienced?
Experience is essential as theoretical expertise does not allow for the individual personalities of each child, or allow for their growth. However, newly qualified dance teachers must gain experience somewhere and generally this is gained at an already established school.
Finding out the pass rate percentage of the school is also an excellent way to gauge teaching skills and experience as the results are given impartially and will therefore give an overall impression of the success of the school.
Why do qualifications and experience matter to my child?
A well qualified and experienced teacher will know each child and be able to assess their individual strengths and weaknesses. They will also be able to look at your child's progress within the class and be happy to update you on that. The teacher will be able to use a variety of different teaching methods to suit the learning capabilities of all the children in the class, and will work at varying speed to allow each child to flourish at their own pace. Qualified teachers will also be aware of injury prevention and child protection issues and will do everything possible to ensure your child's safety within the class.
Why picking the correct dance school is important
Dance class should be fun as well as instructional and can be a lifelong pleasure. Children will gain far more when they are taught to dance correctly and appropriately by someone qualified to do so.
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