Dance Master Pilot Program

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Project Dance Masters Education Program

In 2012 Dance Masters started their new education to become a dance teacher in Holland as a pilot project also for international use in the WDC.
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Many countries do not have a proper education program and qualifications are obscure.
The WDC needs (to fulfill her promise of high quality) a clear system of education and qualification in each country.
This pilot project can help the countries in setting it up. They can of course adapt it to their own national situations.
It helps the WDC in getting clear national standards of her registrants.
N.B. A lot of countries do not have an educational program or use “foreign” qualifications and are thus subject to interference in their own policies and standards.
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For Holland, with a long history in both social and competitive dancing, as well as a broad spectra of forms of dancing, any education needs more than only technical skills.
Nowadays it is also general practice in any education to do multiple examinations instead of one.
Before entering the program a candidate has to do an audition: to see if it makes sense to start and measure the motivations.
Our education up to licentiate level (using the technique recognized by the WDC) is split over 3 years: student teacher / associate / licentiate. A fourth year in development (fellowship).
Each year has general workshops for all candidates; 9 in technique (of which 4 are obligatory) and 5 in other subjects (all obligatory).
Each candidate has a personal coach to explain technical matters.
Each year has 5 moments where candidates can take their exams per dance. Of course they can do it all at once as well.
Sometimes candidates choose to do two or three levels at one time.
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We have examinations at this moment in ballroom, latin, club-dance, LaBlast and scruteneering.
The first target is to make candidates feel comfortable in the situation.
By giving advise how to proceed and measuring the understanding we examen the candidate in a helpful way all the time to lead them to a sound understanding of technical principles.
The general issue is that we do want to measure what is known, not what is not (yet) known.
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The technical workshops (4 are obligatory) give detailed information to explain the technical issues.
The general workshops treat a variety of subjects: being a good teacher, trainer, coach, music, scruteneering, running a school, advertising, marketing, running parties, business-subjects, history, etc.
Newly added: workshops in judging; not to tell people how to judge, but much more how to behave and point out the enormous responsibility and the various traps to avoid.
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We charge for all this a maximum of 1750,- euro per year, including memberships and registrations; not including private lessons by their personal coach.
All candidates become automatically members of our associations.
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Next to a sound standard of teachers, we want to provide a sound system of qualification for judges.
During our education we organize (next to workshops) “shadow-judging” on our amateur league events and on the Dutch Open.
After each finished year we “graduate” the candidates to judge first pre-amateurs, national level amateurs and after full graduation international amateurs.
We also use the education now to open up the workshops for our current professionals.
Our active professionals must enter the education program.
We want to include a system of qualification also for judging professional competitions.
We can now create a simple list of “recommended judges” in Holland.
We now have qualifications ready to be implemented for the beginning of the new season from pre-amateur judges up to Triple A judges (5 levels).

In essence we integrate our teachers association, professional competitive association, amateur association and education program.
By doing so we control the levels and can, in the near future, give guarantee of a well-trained and educated representation for Holland.
The first candidates of the total of over 50 will finish their education this year!
It would be a good idea for the WDC to ask their members to follow suit and take control over an educational program to guarantee quality.
To gather information on the current situation in each country would be the start.

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2 Responses

  1. Dear Fred,
    We are happy to be part of the first group of students that could start with this new Education program. Thank you very much for giving us the chance to be part of the start of this pilot. Being part of ‘Class 2012’ means we are almost graduating and can look back at 4 to 5 very intense years of studying the art of Ballroom & Latin American dancing. It’s an honor to be able to say we are almost completely qualified and look forward to establish ourselves are respected trainers, coaches and judges within the WDC.
    Kind regards,
    Dennis Voermans

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