Becoming a dance teacher is an important decision. If you're considering it, it might be helpful to find out what our students think. Could one of our Teaching Qualifications help you reach your goals?
Here's a brief Q&A with London-based Tap Dancer, Choreographer, and Artistic Director of Old Kent Road Tap, alumna Avalon Rathgeb.
How long have you known about bbodance, or, as we used to be called, 'the BBO'?
I grew up knowing about [bbodance] as my mum, Carolyn Rathgeb, had her teaching qualifications within the organisation and was asked to train as an Examiner when I was really young. So it was really part of my childhood!
Why did you choose to train as dance teacher?
I wanted to teach at my mum's dance school and not only assist. I think I never moved out of the Pre-Syllabus Assessment Ballet class as when I took that exam; I still went to the studio with my mum on Saturday mornings — she ran the Ballet classes in grade order on a Saturday, so even when I was Grade 5 Ballet I still helped with the little ones. I also wanted to gain different ways of teaching from incredible mentors such as Brenda Last and Janet Lupino. [bbodance] teacher training gave me this opportunity.
Has teacher training helped you develop your career? Would you say it’s had an impact on the way you run Old Kent Road Tap?
The Level 3 Certificate Introduction to Dance Teaching really gave me a strong foundation into educating dancers. I developed an understanding of structuring a class, time management, different learning approaches towards different students, etc. Still to this day I learn from different classes around the world; I also observe teachers and try and take class when I can.
As a professional performer, which part of teacher training would you say was most helpful? What was your favourite part of learning to teach dance?
I really relate to imagery as a dancer/student. I loved listening to the way teachers communicate with students, using different phrases and styles of approach, some of which I still use today. When my mum asks children to show her a 1st position of feet, she often mentions it's the shape of a piece of cake and asks children which flavour they have. Children love this moment of class and, honestly, I think they're much more aware of their 1st positions!
Would you recommend bbodance teacher training to others?
Of course — it's been a while since I completed my course, but I hear that the programme has developed greatly, which is terrific. My mum worked with a few teachers-in-training and had a great time passing on her knowledge to others.
We hope this brief interview helps you on your dance journey!
(photo courtesy of Avalon Rathgeb)