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 courses help you reach your goals?
Here's a brief Q&A with alumna Eszter Szalma.
How long have you known about bbodance?
Since 2015, when I started working at the bbodance head office.
Why did you choose our Teaching Qualifications (TQ) programme? (Perhaps it was recommended?)
Yes, I was lucky! Sam Le Bihan, the Head of Teaching Qualifications, recommended the course. I’ve been performing since I was a child and teaching for several years, which has provided me with the skills, knowledge, and experience to pass on my passion to teach people of all ages and abilities. I was studying for a BA Single Honours at the University of Roehampton. I became interested in dance teaching at an early age, developing my own unique style using ballet and contemporary techniques. I was looking for a course that doesn't just focus on a particular syllabus, but rather on teaching skills, and where students are able to choose the age group and dance style they would like to work on in the future.
Has the TQ programme helped you develop your teaching practice? If so, how?
Yes, it helped my understanding and development as a teacher. I studied in order to receive the Extended Level 6 Diploma in Dance Teaching. This course taught me many important aspects of pedagogic practice, such as inclusivity. I'm a patient teacher and able to stay calm in difficult situations; I also use humour to create a positive learning environment for students and have the enthusiasm to build trust with every student I teach, because every student has a different life and the right to learn as much as their peers. Also, I'm passionate about overcoming gender-normative stereotypes by making dance accessible to all — I'm highly motivated to achieve this. I thoroughly enjoyed the teacher training programme and the challenges of the assessment throughout the academic year.
Would you recommend Level 6 Extended to others, especially professionals with a similar background to yours?
Yes, I most definitely recommend the course, as teaching skills are essential in our field. The Extended Level 6 course is unique, as there are very few comparable courses that lead to a fully recognised Ofqual qualification.
What was your favourite part of the course?
My favorite part was Module 5.5 — Teaching and Learning in Practice, as it was very supportive and encouraging of my own teaching practice. I felt I learned the most from it; however, at the same time, it was the most difficult module. My course included 10 modules and 100 hours of teaching, which I found challenging given my full-time job as well as part-time engagements. However, everything is possible if you really want to achieve something!
Any other thoughts?
After becoming a mother in February 2018, I decided to combine my knowledge and experiences in dance. At present I'm studying at Joimove® to learn babywearing dance safety. I'm really excited to be part of the Joimove community, where I teach babywearing classes to help mums and babies dance together.
(Photo: Eszter at the barre in the Espinosa Studio, bbodance headquarters, courtesy of Eszter Szalma)