frequently asked questions
What is special about the Ballroom Dance Studies?
"Unlike regular studios, we tailor training for clients individually. The head teacher will personally follow through your progress, thus unexpected "hand-over" and disruption is avoided. And as we teach 'dancing' instead of 'dance', our clients are enabled, not spoon fed."
What are the benefits of dance tests?
"You work on a proven syllabus and progress. Instead of pressure, tests provide impetus to you while you enjoy the fun and knowledge of dancing. The award achieved is a testimony to your proficiency, which can be useful reference when you apply to schools, institutions or pursue a vocation in dance."
What can I get from being a dance teacher?
"People teach dancing for a number of purposes. For many who have danced or performed, they might want to explore dancing further from a different perspective. Others would like to pursue a dream career in teaching, run a dance school or teach freelance. Still many teach as a second profession (alongside their core ones as for example a clerk, engineer and even homemaker). Whatever the reasons, dance teachers are privileged professionals who while passing on knowledge of the art, derive satisfaction, motivation, friendship, recognition and other achievements from teaching."
Why teaching qualifications?
"Dance teacher, as against performer, is a profession in its own right. Teaching qualification testifies that you are not just proficient in dancing, but more importantly teaching (the correct technique in a safe manner). These are qualities prospective students and parents look for closely. The first dance teacher's training and certification dates back to 1661 when Louis XIV founded the Royal Academy of Dance in France. Renowned dance teachers associations today invariably modeled their syllabi and systems over the ones set by the few British associations established back at the start of 1900s (afterall, the International style practised today was originally English style invented by Britons)."
What are examined for teaching qualifications?
"Typically it covers demonstration, technique analysis and teaching ability."
I operate a dance school. How can I develop an IDTA program?
"Many dance schools have found the IDTA syllabi useful to their development, both technically and in business aspects. We are most willing to offer advice and support that suit your specific needs."
I am a Jazz dance teacher. Can I train for other teaching qualifications?
"One dance helps another. Given the skills and experience they already possessed, many dance teachers have gained additional qualifications at a pace faster than they have expected. This is especially the case for subjects like Line Dancing and Freestyle."
What are the privileges of an IDTA member?
"Being an IDTA member, you are connected to and kept updated with the world of dancing, through the tri-monthly Dance International magazine, CPE materials, congresses, lectures and business support by the association. You can also enter students for IDTA tests and examinations."
How is IDTA different?
"IDTA is especially renowned for its ballroom qualifications, much as other awarding bodies like the RAD specialising in Theatre and Ballet. It boasts a century-long history and affiliation to generations of ballroom dance giants, and remains a leader these days. By the term 'ballroom subjects', it covers broadly ballroom, latin, street, cheerleading and some other artistic or non-theatre recreational dance genres."
Must I be a practising dance teacher before I take the examination?
"It is not mandatory, though teaching experience may help your progress. Green teachers may enter at Pre-associate or Associate level. In fact many dance competitors and performers choose to train for qualifications before they start to teach."
What is Modular Examination?
"This is an option in professional examinations. Alternative to conventional full examinations where the full syllabus is examined in one go, the IDTA modular system allows candidates to complete the qualification through aggregate sittings. In Ballroom for example, candidates may choose to sit examination for the Waltz first, followed later by other syllabus dances. In Freestyle, the examinations for movements and anatomy may be taken separately. Candidates receive a result for individual module and, upon fulfilling all requirements, receive the professional diploma. Modular system allows for more flexibility, and should be considered by candidates busy with teaching and other commitments. Note that candidates can still choose to take conventional full examination. In either manner, the qualifications earned are the same."
What are the different levels of qualification...?
"Pre-Associate: assistant to qualified dance teachers."
"Associate: the first level of professional teaching qualification. Associates identify themselves as Qualified Dance Teacher and AIDTA."
"Licentiate (LIDTA): teaching qualification signifying higher standing."
"Fellow (FIDTA): highest teaching qualification that can be earned by examination, signifying advanced standing."
What level do I start at?
"Candidates may choose the examination level according to their preparedness and competence. That said, they often find better results from a progressive manner, e.g. starting from Grade 1 or Associate."
Are there age requirements?
"Dance Awards may start at 3 years old (Rosette Awards). Minimum age for Graded Examinations is 4. Pre-Associates must be at least 16. Associates and above require a minimum age of 18. Except for Rosette Awards, there is no maximum age requirement."
Is the qualification earned in Canada the same as earned in the rest of the world?
"Examinations conducted anywhere in the world have the same standing, as long as they are by an appointed examiner. In fact, the examination results are all cleared at IDTA's headquarters in England, which issues the teaching diplomas."
Is Ballroom Dance Studies a qualifications award body?
"No. We provide training and arrange examinations for qualifications of award bodies. In our case the qualifications are awarded by the IDTA."
Do I need to speak fluent English for the examinations?
"No, but you are expected to tell the names of dance figures and basic terms. In fact the examinations are conducted around the world with candidates speaking different languages. The bottom line is you demonstrate to the examiner that you possess the knowledge. If at all necessary, an interpreter is acceptable."
How long does the training last?
"While it depends on individuals, months can be expected, assuming candidates do home studies as directed by us."
What costs are involved to qualify
"Typical costs involved to qualify include training expenses, examination fee, course books and IDTA admission fee. We can provide a budget for individual client's reference."
Where and how are training conducted?
"To keep high quality and good progress, we train only by appointment, private or in private groups. With kind permission we train at studios across the town that are convenient to clients, or at venues preferred by them."
Is there an open training class?
"To ensure quality, we do not run open class. Instead of one-on-one sessions, some clients choose to train in group formed by their own ("Private Group"). This offers mutual support and sharing of the training budget, though is less individually tailored and focused. In any case, a group size of more than four is not advisable."
I am a dance teacher. I worry about any embarrassment from my further training known by others.
"Good dance teachers seek to improve themselves continuously. We understand some clients, practicing professionals in particular, would like to keep their training private. Proudly we have been ensuring this. Unless clients have given prior and express consent, we would not make reference to them, either publicly or privately."
Do I need to commit anything for the training?
"You commit to yourself, not us. In fact we do not ask clients to commit on minimum sessions, examination, etc. To ensure you waste no time, we refund you for your first session in case you found the training not gearing well with you. Gladly this situation has never occurred."
What language is used in the training?
"We speak fluent English and Cantonese, and a bit Mandarin."