The Dance Academy of South Africa was started in 1991 by Mrs Mary-Jane Ford. She saw a need for an association that understood and continually adapted to the unique situation in which South African teachers, students and parents find themselves.

The association has grown to more than 100 dance studios spread throughout South Africa and Namibia. The Directors, Examiners and other members of DASA aim to make dancing a happy experience for all involved – the teachers, students and parents. Each child should look forward to class with excitement and anticipation. Individuals are important in DASA and the Directors, Examiners and Office go out of their way to help where needed.

The Academy is privileged to have Ms Lorna Haupt as Artistic Director and Major Exam Teacher’s Assessor. She has been intrinsic to the growth of ballet in South Africa, having held many influential posts, including Artistic Director of both PACT Ballet (Performing Arts Council of South Africa) and the Youth Ballet. She is also the author of ‘The Dance Book’ which is currently used as a reference/text book at all schools, technikons and UCT where ballet is offered as a subject. Ms Haupt brings her considerable experience and love of the art to DASA, she has choreographed the beautiful and challenging Major syllabi, helped reorganise the Grade syllabi and continues to instruct and inspire.

The structure of DASA consists of a Board of Directors, Examining Board and Registered Members.

Board of Directors

Directors are elected by full members of DASA for a period of two years. At the end of that period, members vote at an AGM to elect new directors or re-elect existing directors for the vacant posts.

Examining Board

Examiners are elected by the Board of Directors for a period of five years. Nominations are based on factors such as a member’s technical skill, teaching ability, commitment to DASA, participation in Revisions and Workshops, as well as certain character and personality traits.

There is a substantial team of DASA Examiners throughout South Africa. Each year the Office assigns them to exam sessions in different areas. Examiners usually present classes at Revisions and Workshops. Guided by the Board of Directors the examiners make recommendations related to syllabus queries and technical standards. They may be involved in the making of syllabus videos or DVDs and the choreography of new dances.

Registered Members

Registered members of the Dance Academy of South Africa may have Provisional Registration, Associate Level 1,2 & 3, Full Level 1,2 & 3 or Life Membership. To become a DASA Member applicants must:

  1. Hold a certificate for the DASA Teachers Training Course (1 to 1½ years theoretical course) or a Teaching Certification from a recognised Dance Body.
  2. Hold an Advanced Ballet Major examination Certificate.
  3. Submit a CV to the DASA office with the required practical teaching/training hours signed by an approved mentor.
  4. After gaining Provisional membership must attend the ERN training course and complete the Practical exams (Pre-Grades, Grades and Majors)

When in possession of a recognised Dance Teachers Certificate from a recognised Dance Body, points 2, 3 and 4 of the above need to be adhered to.


Provisional membership is granted when enrolling for the DASA Teachers Theory certificate.

To obtain the DASA Teachers Certificate and be upgraded to Associate Level Membership, the following aspects need to be completed within a minimum of one year and a maximum of 4 years.

  1. Pass the Teachers Course Theory Certificate
  2. Attend an ERN Workshop
  3. Attend 125 hours of observation/teaching for Pre-Grades
  4. Dance the Pre-Grade Practical Teachers Exam
  5. Dance Advanced 1 Major Examination
  6. Pay Provisional Membership fees to DASA – first year’s fee is included in the Teachers Course fee.

Attend 125 hours of observation / teaching on the Pre-Grade syllabi.

Candidates need to seek placement with one of the panel of DASA mentors, selected by the Board of Directors to learn the DASA Syllabi Work.

The candidate must keep a record book which gives details of all interaction, signed by the mentor indicating date, time, venue and description of work covered.

This book forms part of the assessment and must be submitted when booking for the Practical Teachers Exam.

125 practical hours are needed before completion of the course. This 125 is divided in:

  1. 25 hours on Pre-Grade with a DASA examiner, either teaching or observation
  2. 50 hours observation with a DASA approved mentor
  3. 50 hours teaching in your own studio or observation with a registered DASA teacher

Try to work with all levels from Tiny Tots 1 to Primary. Obviously the more hours you teach the more meaningful the theory will become!

Please take note that the Practical hours must be done with your mentor / examiner and not her assistant.

Dance the Pre-Grade Practical Teachers Exam

Once the provisional member has accumulated 125 Pre-Grade teaching hours, they may apply to do the Pre-Grade Teachers Practical exam. In this exam, the teacher is required to demonstrate the exercises for the set syllabi (Pre-Grades) and to answer questions on teaching methods, analysis of steps and detail of placing. An understanding of basic anatomy and technique are essential.

This certificate is necessary for a Provisional DASA member to be considered for Associate Level 1 Membership

Dance Advanced 1 Major Examination

Pass Advanced 1 exam

Special Membership


  1. Teachers from other recognised Dance Institutions have the opportunity to become Affiliated Members of DASA
  2. This option offers the possibility to purchase and teach the DASA Medal Dance syllabi
  3. Medal dances include all Classical, Modern and National medals
  4. In order to gain the Affiliate membership, the candidate must:
    • Complete a DASA membership form
    • Hold a Teachers’ Certificate from a recognised Dance body
    • Pay a once-off registration fee of R2695
    • Receive all Medal syllabi, CD’s and DVD’s (upon payment)
  5. Students may then be entered for DASA Medal Examinations upon meeting the requirements stated above
  6. All examinations to be booked in groups in the designated areas. Affiliate Members should work closely with Area Co-ordinators. Stand alone sessions will be levied
  7. Affiliate Members will not be allowed to purchase any Pre-Grade-, Grade- or Major Syllabi, -CD’s or -DVD’s unless standard requirements for becoming a DASA Provisional member has been met


Please Contact Us for further details regarding membership.