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  1. #1
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    Default What Teaching Qualifications do you have?

    I've been belly dancing for about five years now and hope to start teaching within the next two to three years. So I'm thinking that now would be a good time to start looking at getting qualified.

    Can anybody give me any advice on what organisations in the UK (preferably Southern half of England) offer the best teacher training? There seem to be plenty of places in London offering belly dance teacher qualifications (for a lot of money) but do these really count for anything at the end of the day? Then there's the JWAAD course, which does look worth doing and is reasonably priced. I'm pretty sure I will be looking to do at least the foundation course, but again, is it a proper qualification or just a impressive sounding addition to the dance CV? Is it better to do a general fitness instructor qualification for insurance purposes?

    Any information and advice from those 'in the know' would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    I'm not best placed to answer the Q, but just a couple of thoughts.

    What is a proper BD quali? For there to be a 'proper' recognised quali, an official body and exam body would be needed to legitimise it etc.

    And, for what it's worth from someone who isn't a BD teacher, but is a BD student, and who does have experience of teaching in a different field, learning to teach isn't about learning the subject, it's learning how to teach...

    Sorry it's just thought rather than something more tangible...

  3. #3
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    I totally agree with you, that's probably why the JWAAD course appeals to me - it includes things like structuring a class, promoting your business, rather than learning to actually dance. But I'm not looking to get a professional qualification because it will necessarily make me a better teacher (or dancer) but because I'm assuming that's its necessary to have some kind of qualification to prove that you are fit to teach, and to get insured (at least one would hope so).

  4. #4
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Could be wrong but I don't think you do...

    Kind of unrelated, but kind of related, but did you know you don't need any qualifications to be a plumber (except for gas)? They insure you for that, and it's pretty cheap, with zero qualifications...

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I think learning to teach dance is different from just learning to teach. Every year my teeacher is inspected for her teachimg, but the observers have no idea whether what we are doing is appropriate level, safe, or even beelydancing at alll. And we have our most exciting hardest lesson with loads of content!!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Who inspects? Are you in a college or something?

    (Do I sound like a teenager there??)

  7. #7
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    yes the class is adult ed.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Not from around your way, but I'd look for a course that teaches first how to teach - not belly dance stylization but lesson planning, learning styles - all the theory behind teaching - minimum of 6 months at University level to be any real use - forget a one off weekend workshop. A bonus would be a unit on safe dance practice - another of 6 months. Then some info on running and promoting a business would be useful.

    In an ideal world the course would be taken by people with dance knowledge and would check your teaching for planning, safety, student interation etc. But also consider a general course aimed at teaching people to teach adults for polytechs etc.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    I have done the JWAAD foundation course and I found it excellent. I was taught by Kay Taylor and Anne Kingston :teachers and dancers I had a lot of respect for. I think for new teachers training is now essential. Note I said NEW and no scheme is perfect and I have no idea what the further modules are like. But I reckon this is your best way of doing it. Of course anyone can set up and say they are a belly dance teacher and some are fine but there is an awful lot of bad practise out there: some care and some don't and the way to care is to go on this foundation course. It helped my dancing too!
    I will get a mail address for you and add to poat.
    I was askd by my evening class employer abut my qualifications so I think it is going to matter and I think insurance companies will start to ask as well soon. I am also a qualified schoolteacher and I think if you have had no "teacher" teacher training a course like this is useful if not essential. Teacher have poo-poo'd my idea of doing the course..."you have enough technique" blah blah but the course is not just about techniqu and bits of paper do matter to people.
    Note my rejoinder..THERE ARE LOTS PERFECTLY SAFE AND FINE TEACHERS OUT THERE WITHOUT QUALIFICATIONS...but I'm glad I did the course!

    jwaadtt@mac.com is my jwaad contact and its Kay Taylor
    I kinow there are different teachers come around down south. I am sure she will put you stright to the next available.
    Afra Al Khahira also runs a course she is based in the SW
    Last edited by lizaj; 01-21-2009 at 09:20 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all your suggestions. Its scary to think that just anybody can set up and start teaching without any qualifications though. I'm already on the mailing list for the JWAAD foundation course, but there's only one scheduled for London area so far this year and it's in a couple of weeks time - too soon for me to afford it I'm afraid.

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