Top 10 Dance Teacher Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications for dance teachers, including requirements, benefits, and tips for success.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are important for dance teachers in the job market because they provide evidence of a teacher's professional qualifications and expertise. Certifications can demonstrate to employers that a dance teacher has met certain standards of knowledge and skill, allowing them to stand out from non-certified applicants. In addition, certifications can give employers confidence in the quality of instruction their students will receive and help them determine which teachers best meet their needs. Finally, certifications can also open up more opportunities for advancement, as many employers prefer to hire certified instructors for higher-level positions.
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Dance Teachers and explain how they can contribute to a dance teacher's career.
What are Dance Teacher Certifications?
Dance teacher certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual has completed a course of study and achieved proficiency in teaching dance. It is typically awarded by a professional organization, college, or university and signifies a mastery of the fundamentals of dance instruction. The certification process often includes completing a set of courses, passing an exam, or both.
Having a certified dance teacher’s credentials can be beneficial for those looking to work professionally in the field of dance instruction. Many employers prefer to hire instructors who have achieved certification as it demonstrates their commitment to the profession and provides assurance that they are knowledgeable and capable of delivering quality instruction. Being certified also helps instructors stand out from other applicants and can open up more job opportunities. Furthermore, having a certification may make it easier to earn competitive salaries, since many employers consider certifications when setting pay rates.
In addition to career benefits, becoming certified can also help improve an instructor’s teaching skills. The courses required for certification often cover topics such as anatomy, kinesiology, pedagogy, injury prevention, and teaching methodology which can give instructors the knowledge needed to provide effective lessons. Additionally, having access to continuing education opportunities provided by certifying organizations can help keep instructors up-to-date on best practices and industry trends so they can remain current in their field.
Pro tip: When looking into dance teacher certification, make sure to research the organization or institution offering it and ensure that their qualifications meet the standards of your local area. Additionally, look into any additional certifications or courses you may need to take in order to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and trends in dance instruction.
Related: What does a Dance Teacher do?
Top 10 Dance Teacher Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Dance Teachers today.
1. Dance Educators of America Certification
Dance Educators of America (DEA) Certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize and honor dance educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the art of teaching. It is the only national certification program specifically designed for dance teachers.
The DEA Certification Program consists of three levels: Certified Dance Educator (CDE), Master Dance Educator (MDE), and Senior Master Dance Educator (SMDE). Each level requires its own set of criteria, including a combination of education, training, experience, and teaching accomplishments. To become certified at any level, applicants must submit an application detailing their qualifications.
The process for becoming certified takes approximately six months from start to finish. During this time, applicants must complete all necessary paperwork and pass an exam that tests their knowledge of dance instruction techniques and pedagogy. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their DEA Certification Certificate and be listed in the DEA Registry as a Certified Dance Educator.
The cost for obtaining DEA Certification varies depending on the level being pursued; however, it typically ranges from $200 to $400 USD per level. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and administering the exam.
Overall, DEA Certification provides dance educators with recognition for their commitment to excellence in teaching while also providing them with additional credibility within the field of dance instruction.
2. National Dance Education Organization Certification
The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Certification is a professional development program that provides dance educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to become successful in their field. The certification program is designed to help educators stay current on best practices, develop new skills, and gain recognition for their accomplishments.
The NDEO Certification program consists of three levels: Basic, Advanced, and Master. Each level requires different levels of education and experience. To obtain the Basic Certification, applicants must have at least two years of teaching experience and a Bachelor’s degree in Dance or related field from an accredited institution. To obtain the Advanced Certification, applicants must have at least five years of teaching experience and a Master’s degree in Dance or related field from an accredited institution. To obtain the Master Certification, applicants must have at least ten years of teaching experience and a Doctorate degree in Dance or related field from an accredited institution.
The certification process typically takes about six months to complete. Applicants must submit all required documents such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes, portfolios, etc., as well as take an online assessment test. Once all requirements are met and the assessment test has been passed successfully, applicants will receive their NDEO Certification within six weeks.
The cost for the NDEO Certification varies based on the level of certification desired. The Basic Certification costs $175 USD; the Advanced Certification costs $250 USD; and the Master Certification costs $400 USD.
3. International Dance Teachers Association Certification
The International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) is an international professional organization for dance teachers and instructors. It provides training and certification for teachers in a range of dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, street dance, ballroom and Latin American.
To become certified by the IDTA, you must complete a series of examinations and assessments to demonstrate your ability to teach dance safely and effectively. The process typically takes between six months and two years depending on the level of certification you are seeking.
You can begin the certification process by registering with the IDTA as a student member. You will then be required to attend classes or workshops in order to gain experience in teaching different styles of dance. Once you have gained enough experience, you can apply for an assessment or examination which will assess your knowledge and skills in teaching dance.
The cost of becoming certified by the IDTA varies depending on the level of certification you are seeking. Generally speaking, it costs around £100-£200 per exam or assessment plus any additional fees for workshops or classes that may be required.
Once you have successfully completed all exams and assessments necessary for your chosen level of certification, your certificate will be issued by the IDTA. This certificate is valid for five years from the date it was issued and must be renewed every five years in order to remain current.
4. Royal Academy of Dance Certification
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is an international organization that provides the highest quality of dance training and education. It is a leading provider of professional qualifications for dancers and teachers, as well as providing examinations and awards for students. The RAD certification is a prestigious qualification that demonstrates a high level of skill and knowledge in the art of dance.
The RAD certification process typically takes between two to three years to complete, depending on the level of qualification being sought. There are four levels available: Primary, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2. To be eligible for certification, applicants must have successfully completed all relevant examinations within their chosen level.
To get RAD certification, applicants must first register with the Academy and pay a registration fee. They then need to attend classes at an accredited RAD school or studio, which will provide them with tuition in ballet technique and theory. Once they have achieved the required standard in both areas, they can then sit the relevant examination for their chosen level.
The cost of obtaining RAD certification varies depending on which country you are studying in and which level you are attempting to achieve. Generally speaking, it can range from around £200-£500 per year for Primary Level up to around £1,000-£2,000 per year for Advanced Level 2.
5. Cecchetti Council of America Certification
The Cecchetti Council of America (CCA) is an organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet. The CCA offers a certification program for teachers, which is designed to provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the Cecchetti Method.
The certification process consists of three stages: Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each stage requires a written exam and practical assessment, as well as attendance at workshops and seminars related to the Cecchetti Method. The exams are administered by CCA-approved examiners in each region.
The length of time it takes to complete all three stages depends on individual progress, but typically it can take anywhere from two to four years. To begin the certification process, one must first become a member of the CCA and then register for a workshop or seminar offered by the CCA or one of its regional branches.
The cost for each stage varies depending on factors such as location, workshop fees, and examiner fees; however, in general it can range from $400 - $1,200 per stage.
6. American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Intensive Program
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Teacher Training Intensive Program is an intensive program designed to provide aspiring ballet teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to teach classical ballet. The program consists of three levels of study, each taking approximately one year to complete.
Level I focuses on teaching technique, terminology, and musicality. Students learn how to teach ballet steps and combinations in a safe and effective way. They also learn about anatomy, kinesiology, nutrition, injury prevention, and other topics related to teaching classical ballet.
Level II focuses on choreography and performance. Students learn how to create their own choreography as well as how to interpret existing works from the classical repertoire. They also gain insight into the history of ballet and its influence on contemporary dance forms.
Level III focuses on pedagogy and professional development. Students explore methods for developing a successful teaching career in the field of classical ballet. Topics include marketing, communication skills, budgeting, studio management, auditioning techniques, and more.
The ABT Teacher Training Intensive Program is offered twice a year at ABT’s headquarters in New York City or at select locations around the world. The cost of the program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $2,000-$4,000 per level.
7. National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Dance Educator Certification
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Dance Educator Certification is designed to recognize and promote excellence in dance education. It is a voluntary certification program that provides teachers with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in teaching dance.
To obtain the NAfME Dance Educator Certification, applicants must complete a series of requirements including:
1. Submit an application and fee.
2. Complete a minimum of 30 hours of professional development activities related to dance education within three years prior to applying for certification.
3. Take and pass the NAfME Dance Educator Certification Examination (DCE).
4. Provide evidence of current teaching experience in dance education at any level (elementary through postsecondary).
5. Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s work in dance education.
The cost of the NAfME Dance Educator Certification is $125 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. The process typically takes up to 6-8 weeks after all required materials have been submitted and reviewed by NAfME staff members.
8. Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Teaching Qualifications
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is a world-renowned professional dance teaching organization that has been in existence since 1904. It offers a range of teaching qualifications for those wishing to teach ballroom, Latin American, and other forms of dance.
To become an ISTD teacher, you must first complete a series of courses and examinations in order to gain the necessary qualifications. The courses are divided into two levels: Foundation and Professional. The Foundation level requires a minimum of 100 hours’ study, while the Professional level requires 200 hours’ study. Both levels involve practical assessments as well as written exams and require successful completion before the qualification can be awarded.
To get started, you must register with the ISTD as either a student or teacher member. Student members pay an annual fee and can then apply for the relevant course(s). Once accepted onto the course(s), you will need to pay tuition fees which vary depending on the type of course being taken.
Once you have completed your studies, you will need to sit an exam at an approved examination centre in order to gain your qualification. The cost of this exam varies depending on which one you are taking but typically ranges from £50-£100 per module/exam paper.
Overall, it usually takes around 6-12 months to complete all the requirements for ISTD teaching qualifications but this can vary depending on how quickly you progress through each stage.
9. Professional Dancer's Society (PDS) Teacher Training Program
The Professional Dancer’s Society (PDS) Teacher Training Program is a comprehensive, intensive program designed to prepare aspiring dance instructors to teach in any setting. The program consists of three levels of certification: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level requires completion of a series of courses and exams.
Level 1 is the entry-level certification and requires completion of a minimum of 20 hours of course work. This includes topics such as anatomy, kinesiology, nutrition, music theory, and teaching methodology. After successful completion of the coursework and exams for Level 1 certification, students may move on to Level 2 or take additional courses for further professional development.
Level 2 is an intermediate level certification that requires completion of 40 hours of course work and exams. This includes more advanced topics such as choreography, injury prevention, business management, teaching styles, and studio management. Upon successful completion of the coursework and exams for Level 2 certification, students may move on to Level 3 or take additional courses for further professional development.
Level 3 is an advanced level certification that requires completion of 80 hours of course work and exams. This includes topics such as pedagogy, performance psychology, marketing strategies, risk management strategies, and curriculum design. Upon successful completion of the coursework and exams for Level 3 certification students are considered fully certified PDS teachers with the ability to teach in any setting.
The cost for each level varies depending on the number of courses taken; however it typically ranges from $500-$1500 USD per level plus additional fees for materials or exam fees if applicable.
It typically takes between 6 months to one year to complete all three levels depending on how quickly you are able to complete the required coursework and exams at each level.
10. International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) Teacher Training
The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) Teacher Training is a comprehensive program designed to provide dance teachers with the knowledge, skills, and resources to promote safe and effective teaching practices. The IADMS Teacher Training program consists of two levels: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 is an online course that provides an introduction to the principles of safe and effective dance teaching, as well as an overview of anatomy, kinesiology, injury prevention, nutrition, and psychology. This level takes approximately 10 hours to complete.
Level 2 is a face-to-face workshop that focuses on practical application of the material learned in Level 1. This level includes hands-on activities such as teaching demonstrations, practice sessions, case studies, and discussions. It also covers topics such as risk management strategies, communication skills for working with students and parents/caregivers, lesson planning techniques, and dealing with injuries or medical conditions. This level takes approximately 16 hours to complete.
To get IADMS Teacher Training certification you must first register for both Level 1 and Level 2 courses through the IADMS website. Each course has its own fee which can vary depending on your location; however fees typically range from $150 - $250 USD per course. Upon completion of both levels you will receive an official certificate from IADMS confirming that you have successfully completed the teacher training program.
Do You Really Need a Dance Teacher Certificate?
The short answer is yes. A dance teacher certificate is an important credential for anyone looking to pursue a career as a professional dance instructor. It shows that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to teach dance effectively and safely.
Having a dance teacher certificate also demonstrates that you are committed to your craft and have taken the time to learn the fundamentals of teaching. This can be especially important if you’re looking for work in a studio or school, since it will prove to potential employers that you are serious about your profession.
In addition, having a dance teacher certificate can open up more opportunities for advancement in the field, such as teaching advanced classes or being hired by top-tier studios or schools. It can also help you get gigs at festivals or workshops, which can be great ways to network with other professionals in the industry.
Finally, having a dance teacher certificate can provide peace of mind when it comes to liability issues. Many studios and schools require teachers to carry their own insurance, so having a valid certification may make this process easier. Plus, if any injuries occur during class, having your certification on hand could provide valuable evidence should legal action be taken against you as an instructor.
Overall, though it may not seem essential at first glance, having a valid dance teacher certificate is an important step towards becoming a successful professional dancer and teacher.
Related: Dance Teacher Resume Examples
FAQs About Dance Teacher Certifications
1. What is a Dance Teacher Certification?
Answer: A Dance Teacher Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates the knowledge and skills necessary to teach dance. It typically requires successful completion of an accredited program and may include testing, observation and other assessment methods.
2. How do I become certified as a dance teacher?
Answer: Becoming certified as a dance teacher typically requires completing an accredited program, such as one offered by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). This may include courses in anatomy, kinesiology, teaching methodology, pedagogy and more. Additionally, you may need to pass an exam or be observed teaching in order to receive the certification.
3. What are the benefits of becoming a certified dance teacher?
Answer: The primary benefit of becoming a certified dance teacher is having proof that you have met the standards for excellence required for teaching dance safely and effectively. This can open doors to higher-level positions, better pay and greater respect from colleagues.
4. How long does it take to get certified as a dance teacher?
Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a dance teacher varies depending on the program chosen and individual circumstances such as prior experience or education level. Generally speaking, most programs take between 6 months and 2 years to complete depending on if you attend part-time or full-time.
5. Is there any financial assistance available for getting my Dance Teacher Certification?
Answer: Yes! Depending on your location, there may be grants or scholarships available to help cover some of the cost associated with obtaining your certification. Additionally, many programs also offer payment plans or tuition discounts so be sure to ask about these options when researching potential programs.