General Dance Discussion > Would licensing be a good thing?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by KevinL, May 18, 2004.

  1. KevinL

    KevinL New Member

    I agree that formal instructors should have formal qualifications, but that would be a very challenging situation to build. It would be especially challenging in the US where there is so little interest in partner dancing anyway. Without a large body of people willing to take classes with teachers with formal qualifications, and willing to pay the teachers well enough that the up-front investment in earing the qualifications is justified, I can't really see how it coud work well.

    To get away from having any one organization in charge of testing, perhaps the testing requirement could be with any organization that is a member of NDCA? The NDCA would have to ensure that each testing organization was held to the same level of difficulty, but that could be accomplished.

    I would still worry about rural populations, though. Without a large enough population base no "qualified" teacher could work there, leaving large areas of the country without and dance teachers at all.

    And to go back to the club dances, would those teachers need to be licensed as well? A licensed Swing or Salsa teacher? Given that those dances are so fluid, what would be the criteria?

  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I don't want to be a nay-sayer, here, but, even though I think licensing is a great idea, I can't see it ever happening in the US. There is a huge, unregulated dance industry now, and no power structure in place that's able to get things under control, that I can see.

    On top of which, students are, to a great extent, ignorant about dance organizations and certifications and the benefits that go with them.
  3. Laura

    Laura New Member

    That is exactly the proposal that the NDCA was considering a few years ago, and it was voted down.
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    One dance instructor that I go to for latin has no qualifications whatsoever. The other has a bunch of them. Both have different styles and teach well. The one with no qualifications sticks only to salsa, while the other one does ballroom as well.

    I disagree about it being okay for inexperienced or junior teachers to teach beginners who pay for lessons. I don't mind showing people how to dance, working with them on the basic, or a simple turn, but I never would sign up to teach a bronze level class because I knew more then the beginner. There is a big difference between being able to teach and knowing material.
  5. spatten

    spatten Member

    I honestly find it difficult to understand why someone would want to teach, but would refuse to take the ISTD examininations. I do not think it could hurt their teaching in any fashion to know what the book teaches.

    Sure it is good to know where good dancing deviates from the book, but to know that you have to know the book.

    While I am not in favour or required liscensing in order to teach, I am in favour educating proscpective students about the different qualities available in a ballroom coach.

  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You make a good point here, Sagitta. I think the problem is that newbie teachers have to learn to teach somehow. And they have to eat while they're learning. So what's a studio to do?
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    This is an inherint challenge of the direct-to-pro model. It's not a showstopper, but it does complicate things compared to a model under which someone would develop thorough dance knowledge as an amateur, gain some unpaid informal teaching experience, and thus be fully prepared when they do turn pro. Of course the problem with *that* idea is that it would produce fewer teachers, would produce them later in their working lives, and many would have limited availability due to other careers. In the end, we have pros will all sorts of backgrounds - all of whom had to face one set of challenges or another to get where they are now.

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