It is vital to check that dance teachers have a recognised qualification. All teachers registered with the leading dance teaching organisations, for example the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD), have passed rigorous teaching exams and understand the best way to teach young pupils and ensure they are safe and healthy as their bodies grow and they progress through the syllabi.
Staff at the Somerset Dance Umbrella are registered and qualified teachers of the RAD (Ballet), ISTD (Tap and Modern), iD Company (Contemporary) and Acrobatics Arts.
We ensure that all our teachers abide by the ISTD Code of Conduct and follow a programme of Continued Professional Development each year to continually update and improve teaching knowledge and skills.
It is always worth parents asking a dance school how long they have been established and how many years of experience the teaching staff have. Good teachers evolve and develop over time and there is no substitute for the depth and breadth of wisdom acquired from years of teaching experience.
Parents should look for a balance of experience and a passion for teaching within any dance school.
Somerset Dance Umbrella has been running since 2015, though the Principal has been teaching and choreographing for more than 30 years. She has also been teaching in the area for over 11 years so knows the children of the area well.
Parents should be assured that their child will not only be taught well, but cared for and supported in a safe environment. Any reputable school will have a child protection policy in place and all teaching staff will be DBS cleared and First Aid qualified.
Details of all our policies can be found
Other Things to Consider:
Where schools offer exams, it is useful to ask about their track record of exam results and to check that they follow accredited exam syllabi. Whilst of course learning to dance is about much more than doing well in exams, it does give an indication of the quality of the teaching.
Websites and social media can give a good flavour of the ethos of a dance school, and show how active the school is in sharing photos, news and achievements. There is, however, no substitute for experiencing the school and the teachers first hand. A good school will offer new pupils a free trial class before asking them to commit to a term's fees.
There is no law in place at the moment stopping any person from setting up a dance school, so it really is essential that parents ask a teacher about their professional training and accreditations.
Every parent wants the best possible care and tuition for their children and choosing a dance school should be no exception.
Rather than making a choice just based on price and location, parents should bear the following in mind: