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Dance Qualifications Explained

Dance qualifications have changed much over the last few years. You can learn through college/university or through the large dance boards in the UK – I.S.T.D. (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing), R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance), I.D.T.A. (International Dance Teachers Association) The I.S.T.D. and the R.A.D. have been around the longest and are highly regarded for their training and qualifications status not only in the UK but also around the world.


I.S.T.D. Qualification Route

Qualifications used to start with an ASSOCIATE qualification (A.I.S.T.D.) which allowed performers to teach dance. Teachers who studied further, became highly qualified with a LICENTIATE (L.I.S.T.D.). Before 2010, many qualified teachers had either AISTD and (if passed) LISTD and Fellowship (F.I.S.T.D.) after their names, and these qualifications are highly regarded around the world. However, since 2010, new Diploma qualifications emerged.


Now, the first dance teaching qualification starts with the DDI (Diploma in Dance Instruction) for candidates ages 17 upwards. Everyone with this qualification allows them to teach entry level dance.


The DDE (Diploma in Dance Education) is the next level up, and equips the teacher with more knowledge and skill to teach dance. DDE offers those 18 years or older, who have already achieved their Level 3 (DDI), the opportunity to complete their training and become a fully qualified and regulated ISTD dance teacher.


Following these standard qualifications, adults can then progress to advanced level in 3 ways:

  1. BA in Professional Practice (BAPP)

  2. Licentiate (L.I.S.T.D.)

  3. Diploma in Dance Pedagogy (DDP)


For those who want to achieve the very highest award, the ‘FELLOWSHIP’ or ‘MA in Professional Practice’ (MAPP) are available.


When choosing a dance school, highly qualified teachers are extremely important to teach the syllabi dance routes – ballet, tap, modern. As well as this, teachers who have professional experience (especially in highly regarded jobs in the industry such London’s West End, television, or ballet companies) can pass on their professional experience to the children.

At the Reigate School of Ballet and Commercial Dance, we have the best of both worlds – extremely highly qualified teachers (3 of whom are advanced Licentiate – L.I.S.T.D.) PLUS professional and industry experience in the classical, theatrical and commercial world. Miss Benjamin has recently passed her Licentiate - please click here. Additionally, our Principal Joanne Evans has the privilege of being an ISTD examiner; giving the school updated knowledge and high quality examination preparation for all their pupils.

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