Going Back to School
Roenigk, Alyssa, Dance Teacher
Which type of continuing education is best for you? DT helps you sift through the myriad options available.
With the new year, your annual desire for something new reawakens. This year, do something about it! Whether you want to earn certification in a specific teaching method, stay abreast of the latest approaches, get fresh choreographic inspiration, refresh your understanding of technique basics or network with colleagues, it's possible to achieve your goals by attending a continuing education course, seminar or conference.
The options are many and varied, so we're helping you sort through the hundreds of companies that offer these programs by dividing them into six categories and providing an overview of each type. Once you've decided which one you're most interested in, turn to the DT 2005 Continuing Education Guide on page 111 to select the specific program that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that not every program fits neatly into these categories, or that many fit into more than one, so peruse the guide carefully. Many offer discounts for early registration, so check with companies directly for more details. You may even be able to apply online.
For K-12 Teachers
Overview: This category of classes offers seasoned K-12 dance teachers as well as regumr academic teachers new methods to integrate dance instruction into basic curricula. Some are even state-funded and provided to certified professionals free of charge. (Contact specific programs and check with your administration for details.)
Prerequisites: Professional experience is a must for most programs, whether it is in the educational or dance classroom. Many programs require elementary, middle and high school educators to be state-certified.
Length: Programs range in commitment from a week or two over the summer to yearlong classes that require only an hour or two per week. The longer summer intensives may require travel and boarding.
Examples: Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, National Dance Institute, Perpich Center for Arts Education, SCM Dance Productions
For teachers who have choreographed one too many lyrical solos and are in search of a creative pick-me-up, these courses are designed to inspire and refresh. Expect to work collaboratively with visiting choreographers, as well as to sit in on round-table discussions to share tips with colleagues. Opportunities to create original work and have it performed during the workshop or course are available in many cases. Most require an application (and a small application fee), as well as the submission of examples of past choreography on video and a resume detailing choreography experience and goals.
Prerequisites: There are few requirements other than previous choreographic work. Beginning choreographers with little experience should seek out programs designed specifically for new choreographers, or spend time gaining experience before applying. Prospective participants are often allowed to sit in on or audit choreography classes before enrolling.
Length: Most courses last two weeks or longer, with days as lone as 13 hours.
Length: Most courses last two weeks or longer, with days as long as u nours.
Examples: Concord Academy, The Glenda Brown Choreography Project, Regional Dance America, School at Jacob's Pillow, The Steps Choreography/Performance Workshop
Reading, Writing and Reflecting About Dance
Overview: Being a great dance teacher often means stepping out of the studio, putting away the dance shoes and studying the art-form from a completely different perspective. If you're interested in bringing depth to your teaching, an academic class in dance history, a dance notation course, a dance critics' conference or a workshop in community outreach might be for you. Business seminars are also available for teachers and studio owners wishing to optimize operations. Many of these courses require the purchase of textbooks and/or computer software, and classroom staples like regular homework are a possibility in the longer courses.
Prerequisites: Few programs in this category have specific requirements. Some may require teaching experience or that teachers be a certain age.
Length; Many organizations offer one-day seminars or conferences on specific topics, as well as three- to seven-day courses. Some of the more in-depth subjects are covered in semester-long classes offered at universities or at month-long summer-study courses.
Examples: Dance Critics Association, Dance Notation Bureau, Laban/ Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, Language of Dance Center, Society of Dance History Scholars
Overview: Maybe you are eager to learn fresh techniques to cater to the burgeoning numbers of tiny tots being brought to your studio, or are interested in exploring a new or more holistic approach to teaching. If you're looking to branch out and discover an unconventional approach to rejuvenate your pedagogy, you might benefit from one of the programs in this category.
Prerequisites: Most courses are open to any interested teachers. Age and experience requirements may apply.
Length: While a few of these courses are available through home study, most require a commitment of only a weekend or a week or two.
Examples: Atlanta Creative Dance Center, Dance Alive, Inc., Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Leap 'n Learn, Little People's Creative Workshop
Established Techniques and Certification
Overview: Even the most successful, seasoned dance teachers may want to deepen their knowledge of teaching a certain discipline-and earn internationally recognized credentials. The programs in this category offer certification (in some cases, multiple levels of certification) in specific methods such as the Vaganova and Cecchetti techniques.
Prerequisites: Most programs require some professional teaching experience.
Length: Programs vary in duration from four- or five-day intensives requiring eight to 12 hours of study per day, to week- and month-long programs requiring five to eight hours per day. The length may also vary with your level of experience and goals. If a teacher desires a class with less commitment, many programs offer one-day seminars. Some programs may require a year or longer.
Examples: American Tap Dance Institute, Cecchetti Society, Inc. USA, Joel Hall Dance Center, Royal Academy of Dance, Vaganova Ballet Academy
Interested in going back to college and pursuing a graduate degree in teaching or choreography? Check out the DT 2005 Higher Education Guide in last month's issue for more than 350 options.
Health and Fitness
Overview: These hands-on programs include certification or classes in kinesiology, balance and strength training. Participants learn how to teach anatomically safe movement and help students guard against (or recover from) injury and increase physical well-being. Teachers of all experience levels are welcome to apply, although many programs have a minimum age limit. Most are open to health and fitness professionals as well as dancers.
Prerequisites: These classes seldom require more than an interest and desire to help students improve conditioning and reduce injuries.
Length: A few programs offer one-day classes with certification, but most full-certification classes require a minimum of seven to 12 days of classroom training, as well as apprentice hours working with a certified professional. Others require as much as a year's worth of classroom work coupled with student teaching.
Examples: Balletone, Dance Forum-NY, Dance Taos, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, The Lebed Method
Although not directly related to dance teaching, earning a certification in a supplementary conditioning method such as Pilâtes, yoga, Feldenkrais or Gyrotonic can boost your understanding of the body's mechanics and help you teach healthier technique. Also, certification in any of these methods will qualify you to add classes to your studio repertory and increase revenue.…
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Publication information: Article title: Going Back to School. Contributors: Roenigk, Alyssa - Author. Magazine title: Dance Teacher. Volume: 27. Issue: 1 Publication date: January 2005. Page number: 56+. © Macfadden Performing Arts Media LLC Mar 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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