A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON THE DASA TEACHERS COURSE
The FET Certificate Dance Instruction, SAQA ID 79986 is the entry level qualification to launch your career as a dance teacher and become a teaching member of DASA. It allows you to pass your passion and knowledge on to the next generation of dancers, and earn recognition from students and colleagues in the workplace.
Simply being trained as a performer doesn’t prepare a dancer for life as a teacher or an instructor, therefore DASA encourages certification and continued professional development. The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) option is open to all previously qualified DASA teachers who wish to get this accreditation.
The mentorship model allows for a well-rounded, professional education with specific focus on communicating dance theories and movements to dance students in age-appropriate ways. It further exposes the learner to real life experiences and prepares them for the realities associated with our very special but demanding career choice.
We are all aware that dance instructors can make a significant, life-long impact on children and adolescents. Dance classes not only offer a safe, encouraging environment for kids, but also provide children and adolescents important developmental opportunities. We need to demonstrate excellent interpersonal communications skills to establish an emotional connection with our students. Dance teachers aren’t just teachers for their students; they’re role models, advisers, confidants, and friends that dance students can rely upon throughout their formative years.
As dance instructors we should be qualified to devise fun, engaging, and physically demanding dance lessons that challenge students of all abilities to think and move in ways they may not have before. In addition to helping keep kids healthy and strong through demanding physical challenges and allowing self-expression at an emotional level, dance can also improve academic performance and students’ learning abilities.
Emerging studies reveal a substantial connection between movement and cognition, meaning that the more students move, the better they may learn.
The DASA Teacher’s Course is designed to help dancers become educators and leaders in their community. The program is structured to be accessible, with learners taking responsibility for their own learning.
The qualification can be completed over 4 years, but it is highly recommended to complete at least the theoretical component within the first year. Learners need to allow for time to develop and present 25 lesson plans to be evaluated by the mentor or examiner, do a full production planning and complete practical teaching hours on all DASA Pre-Grade and Grade syllabi as preparation for the final teachers practical exams.
Our “new” teachers get to learn techniques and skills that will positively impact their self-confidence, self-awareness, speaking and communicating in front of people, leadership skills, learning and understanding the importance of planning, and learning to recognise and manage different personalities.
This training and experience offers so much more than just ‘teaching dance’. Many subjects or unit standards deal with issues that is applicable to any small business and life in general.
To summarise, student teachers are taught how to:
- break down movements so that students can understand and follow
- technically teach using correct terminology
- observe and pick up on incorrect technique, positioning, alignment etc., and to be able to correct the student and ensure that even our youngest students are having the best training possible from the very start of their dance journey
- put together a lesson plan that is modern, fun, and engaging, and which includes choreography and which meets a standardised set of competencies for each class level
- develop different ways to teach a class, and cater to different learning styles. Teachers are taught new and varied ways of explaining how to do an exercise so students get the best chance of learning
- Student teachers are also given training on DASA’s policies, procedures and code of conduct. In the unit standards dealing with Studio management, Customer care and Legislation, we focus on how to deal with incidents, observe health and safety, recognise and discern when to escalate an issue, and maintain a friendly and professional relationship with students and their parents
- Basic first aid is covered by a registered paramedic and is most beneficial
- Attention is given to obtain a good understanding of the elements of music, dance styles and rhythms, as well as the principles of choreography
- Learners will be introduced to anatomy and physiology with application to dance technique and placing
We aim to provide a challenging yet nurturing environment that prepares students for diverse teaching experiences and opportunities. Students will develop a range of knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with SAQA standards. The structure of the teaching course is based on the fact that technical, creative, theoretical, and kinesthetic work will merge to support one’s total growth as a dancer and educator.
The program is supported by a diverse faculty of facilitators and assessors, bringing a variety of personalised teaching philosophies to the program. Assessment is through written assignments including case studies, lesson plans with critical discussion, workbook portfolios, as well as ballet demonstration and analysis discussions, practical teaching and observation.
As DASA continues its efforts to meet the demands of today’s dance studio owner and teacher, we are committed to continuously evaluate and enhance our educational programmes.
At DASA our goal is turning your passion into a career. Our practice oriented teacher’s course will ensure that you have all the right tools to become a successful and inspiring dance teacher!10 learners enrolled in 2019, 1 completed the qualification through the RPL process and 1 learner from 2018 finished her studies. Out of the 12 learners, 7 were found competent in the theoretical component of which 3 still needs to submit their logbooks with proof of practical experience. The other 5 learners are not yet competent, they either chose to complete the theoretical component over 2 years because of personal circumstances or have some re-assessments to do. They all still need to submit their logbooks.
Thank you for your commitment and effort this year! We are looking forward to you joining the DASA teaching ranks.
A FEW TESTIMONIALS FROM 2019 LEARNERS:
The teachers course has provided me with invaluable knowledge and experiences.
The discussion weeks are worth every minute. Being a wife, mom and running a dance studio full time, it was no easy task, but with the never-ending support from our facilitators it has been such an enlightening experience.
I feel more equipped than ever to be a great teacher. Thank you DASA.
– Romanda-Marie Beukes
Aan die begin van die jaar was my kop net op onderwys gefokus en ek wou net die DASA TC doen as n ekstra kwalifikasie en was nooit van plan om dit te gebruik nie. Soos die jaar gevorder het het ek egter n ongelooglike passie ontdek vir ballet gee en het besluit om n ballet juffrou te word in plaas van ‘n onderwyseres, ek is glad nie spyt oor my keuse nie.
– Else-Carine Kloppers
At first glance through the RPL file, I felt quite overwhelmed at what seemed to be a mammoth task. However in the end I can truly recommend completing the RPL project. As dance teachers I am sure most of us, from time to time, get engulfed in “the next step”, the next exam or concert or routine or class. Its a continual race against time.
Working through the RPL helped me to stand still for a while and consider the past. Getting back to where a person started, what mistakes was made and lessons learned, how Grace pulled you through difficult times, what progress was made. It takes you back to the basics, recapping vital points of being a dance instructor as well as reminding a person that you do actually make a difference in the lives of the children we plant our time into.
I am reminded of the words of Victor Hugo: Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. The RPL process is a good way to be reminded of those roots and principles which might need some dusting off and polishing.
– Letisha Nel
REGISTRATION FOR 2020 IS NOW OPEN
Potential candidates are encouraged to please contact the office for application forms and full details of enrolment.