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 alumna Grace Goodier.
When did you first become interested in dance?
My parents have always said I danced before I could even walk. Apparently, I would only skip, wiggle, or tiptoe anywhere, which is why at age three my parents enrolled me into Morphew School of Dance. I studied Classical Ballet for nearly 18 years as well as Modern Dance and Tap. I had the most amazing collection of dance teachers, all of whom taught me the discipline and art of dance via bbodance syllabi. I'll never be able to thank them enough. Morphew was a wonderful dance school where I felt safe, happy, and eager to attend 3 to 4 times a week. As a dance teacher, I now aim to create the same learning environment for my students. I will cherish memories of my dance school forever, and my biggest wish is that one day my own students will be able to say the same.
Why did you choose the bbodance Teaching Qualifications programme?
I studied with bbodance from age 3, so my roots were strongly planted within this organisation. When I decided to do teacher training, I knew bbodance was the organisation I wanted to be a part of.
How has the Level 6 Teaching Qualifications course helped you develop your teaching practice?
Level 6 taught me how the discipline and creative expression of dance as an artform can be transferred to all subjects within a school, promoting confidence, perseverance, and determination — all of which are integral life skills. But, in order for this to happen, dance teachers need to be properly educated. The Level 6 bbodance teaching diploma involved various modules that allowed me to broaden my understanding of the trends in the current dance environment and honed the skills I need to confidently manage this learning environment — from a dance student’s emotional development, to the complexity of dance science, to the deep cultural history of dance.
During the Level 6 course I became more empowered than ever to become the best dance teacher I could be so that Dance can be understood, appreciated, and recognised for the vital subject I believe it is. At present, 60% of teachers teaching dance in state schools are Physical Education generalists and only 10% of teachers teaching dance in these schools have a dance teaching qualified status. And yet dance, if taught by a qualified teacher, can improve brain function, develop creativity, build self-esteem, and tackle ever growing health issues such as obesity, to name but a few. In fact, the UK's creative industries continue to outgrow the rest of the economy; this alone proves to me the importance of keeping the arts (such as Dance) an integral subject within all schools. As such Dance should be taught by qualified teachers, as any other core subject, be it Maths or Science, would be. For these reasons, I feel compelled to pursue a school-based position as a qualified dance teacher.
It's crucial that, if we're finally going to realise the true value of this artform, that dance teachers need to be properly trained for the subject, and I desperately want to help make this finally happen. For this reason, since achieving a Distinction in my Level 6 Dance Teaching Diploma, I have done a year's worth of Dance BTEC and Dance A-Level teaching experience within secondary and 6th forms in order to gain QTLS and become the best qualified teacher for future dance students.
What did you enjoy the most about the Level 6 course?
Learning how my teaching can really make a difference to my students depending on which techniques and methods I choose. I enjoyed studying advantages or disadvantages of different methods in order to find the best way to create safe, inclusive, and fun teaching practices for all students, knowing that a single way would not be a fit for all students.
You mentioned BTEC and A-Level Dance. What have you been doing in the year since you graduated (2017)?
I became a Subject Teacher for BTEC Dance years 10 and 11, as well as A-Level Performing Arts years 12 as part of a year’s work experience to attain QTLS professional formation. During this time I advanced my teaching knowledge whilst progressing methods and skills acquired during the Level 6 course. This work experience has enabled me to challenge and refine my teaching values and beliefs through constant evaluation and assessment. This year has refined my knowledge of creating effective lesson plans that correspond to state school examining board dance curricula. I learnt to create interesting and formative lessons that help all students reach their full potential through an all-encompassing, stimulating, insightful and fun learning environment.
Level 6 taught me how important it is to endorse aspiration and motivation in students through different channels of positive encouragement within all lesson plans. Having experienced dance teaching within a state secondary school and 6th form, I feel I’ve been able to encompass all that I learnt, which has in turn helped me teach students to find their specific learning paths through promoting social acceptance and highlighting the importance of individuality.
What would you like to do in the future?
I'm currently teaching dance at a bbodance school in Devizes — Charlotte’s School of Dance. Since gaining QTLS I've also started teaching dance within state schools that currently don’t offer this subject. Thus far I’ve had the opportunity to host dance workshops within a Trowbridge primary school and an Army-based school in Salisbury (and will be starting one in Devizes soon) — both schools have students that have never been given the opportunity to dance before. The feedback has been outstanding. The students have all taken to learning a new skill with excitement and enthusiasm and the teachers have all praised the effects dance has had on their students, saying how they were much more focused once back in the classroom. It even gave them an insight into how some students, who normally struggle to concentrate within the classroom, were able to flourish within a new skill. I hope to continue this line of work into my future.
We hope this brief interview helps you on your dance journey!
(photo courtesy of Grace Goodier)