Ballroom Dance > Certification by USISTD

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mop6686, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. mop6686

    mop6686 Member

    I live in Northern California and would like to get certified by the USISTD. Their website only lists a few examiners for the entire society. Is this correct? Does someone have a list of USISTD examiners?

  2. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DF mop6686!
  3. Josh

    Josh Active Member

  4. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    Josh, what does this certification do for you?? e.g. how does it help you as opposed to other forms of teacher training/examination ( i kno my teachers go thru their own exams at FADS)
  5. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    ISTD and USISTD are generally the most respected certifications in the dance world. Other organizations, such as DVIDA and NDTA, have their own certifications that are held in only slightly less esteem. Chains, including AM and FADS, have similar certification processes that are viewed as less credible. Having gone through both the DVIDA and a chain examination process, I can tell you that the chain exam was much easier; it took me nearly another 18 months after doing my chain exam to prepare to test on the same material with DVIDA and so I ended up learning the material much, much better.

    As for what certifications do for you, that's another matter. In studying for an exam you will learn the material to an astounding degree which will help both your teaching and your dancing. It becomes something you can advertise which may or may not attract students, and it's something you can cite when potential students ask about your qualifications. While a certification won't get you a job for a studio, it will most certainly get you an interview provided the studio is looking for an additional teacher (this is one of of the strongest benefits of chain studio certification, though they're only acknowledge within their own chain).

    In terms of structure, the examinations vary. All the different organizations provide guides to what their examinations contain, but it's usually a mix of dancing, theoretical knowledge, and teaching. USISTD is mostly dancing and theory (very theory intensive) while DVIDA is a mix of all three but slightly weighted toward the dancing. The chain examination I took put most of the emphasis on teaching.
  6. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    I started preparing for my Associate Standard USISTD last year (had to stop for personal reasons, but planning to pick back in a few months). I am mostly a Latin dancer, but always secretly wanted to dance Standard. I especially picked ISTD versus the others because I wanted the experience of learning, and not just a credential. I have to say it was definitely the right choice for me, and I'm excited to go back to training.
  7. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    In regards to OP, I'm training in Chicago, and plan on going to NY to test... unless I can convince enough other people here to also test. In this case, we'll pool resources to bring an examiner out to us.
  8. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    wow, thanks for the clarification! i love learning about this sort of stuff. :)
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Do they really still want you to dance in a suit jacket?
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    They expect you to look professional.

    Ladies in skirt and hose, no coaching shoes, hair pulled back and clean and classy.
    I have no idea what they want the men to wear.
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The manual still says a jacket is required, what I was wondering is if you walk in wearing it and the examiner invites you to remove it for practicality, or if you are just expected to have a dance tailored non-tailsuit, non-tuxedo jacket, or if they are looking for an old social crush hold.

    Do you recall what your demo partner did? Though I suppose he may well have had a dance tailored suit or two for work purposes.
  12. Nazar

    Nazar Member

    I was passing my Associate Ballroom in Orlando last June, so the temperature was around 95. I walked in the suite, white shirt and black tie, but took the jacket off right away. I think you have to look professional, but to be in jacket in that kind of temperature is pretty ridiculous and my examinor had no problems with me taking it off. Actually, I think she even suggested to take it off. So, I will say, Shirt and tie is a must and jacket will be optional. And To be honest I can not recall where does it say in the manual that jacket is required? Maybe I forgot...
    And it is absolutely worth taking and practicing for it. this is a great opportunity to learn basics and put your existing knowledge into a system.
  13. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    The jacket is required, yes; for my exams I have worn the jacket during the dancing portion, and asked if I could remove it afterward, and have of course always been granted that request. I had a double-breasted tailored dance jacket ala American smooth, but I suppose that any jacket would work, even if it bunched up in the shoulders.

    For the dancing portion, you want to dance the best you can, save anything too non-traditional, which would probably mean no for the crush hold. Except for the slow and quick rhythm dancing portions, where a social hold is not only expected but desired.
  14. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    It's not in the dance manual; from the examinations handbook (found on usistd web site):

  15. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    In short--through the preparation process, it is potentially a vehicle for becoming a better teacher through gaining knowledge, and becoming a better dancer through application of that knowledge. I say potentially because some who take (and sometimes pass) these exams miss the point and fail to really gain anything from the preparation for the exam. Like a college diploma hanging on someone's wall, which in itself is a useless piece of paper, "the certification" means nothing if the person who attained it did not gain tools in the process that bettered him or her as a dancer or teacher. And like a new university graduate who discovers quickly that life in the classroom isn't much like life in a "real job," a teacher who attains a certification can only really lay a good foundation for himself or herself upon which to build real world experience, which counts for far more than having trained for and passed an exam.

    With that being said, the exam process for me was one avenue which helped me improve tremendously, not only as a dancer and teacher, but it helped me grow my character, professionalism, and discipline. As I said above, it's only a vehicle--the driver must have an idea about where he's going; the vehicle won't do the work for him! :)
  16. IlyZislin

    IlyZislin Active Member

    (Shameless plug) if you are studying for the standard exam, Lori Woods Gay will be teaching a 30 hour ISTD Standard Symposium at Independence Day Ball in Washington, DC. Dates are July 3 - 7, 2010.
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The IDTA and the UKA may take issue with that !..( By the way, we dont use a country prefix for Soc.)..
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Its not stated.. but.. in the U.K. we ALWAYS wore suits and ties when social dancing ( many still do ) . The dress code was .. "Lounge suits for men Cocktail dresses for ladies ".. so why would one expect less for a Prof. ( or student ) exam.

    When I examined, i always would take into account the climate.. if Summer time, I had no problem with jacket removal ( i would often suggest same )..
  19. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The question wasn't about the climate, but about intereference with a good dance frame. And I don't mean elbows out of ears, I mean anything but a very old fashioned compact social hold - unless the jacket is specifically tailored for dancing use.
  20. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    On the contrary.. this was my reference point...

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