The Importance of Examinations in Dance
With the recent interest in the news and Dance Council about the importance of Qualifications for dance careers
we thought we would let you know what we stand for here at DFSD, and how important we feel this subject is.
Diana Freedman's School of Dance prides ourselves on being able to provide our pupils with an experience in everything. We take part in exams, festivals, competitions, fetes and shows in real professional Theatres, not community halls or local schools or colleges. We are one of the only local school to work on all of these areas, and despite taking part in all these things we still get top exam results and have very successful festival results, beating local schools that only perform in festivals and don't practise exams or other areas.
We would like to remind our parents that whilst festivals are enjoyable and a good experience for pupils, they are in no way as important as examinations. Exams not only count towards pupils UCAS points when they reach college level, they also are the only way to gain Qualified teacher status (which Miss Diana has successfully qualified many teachers with top marks) and are essential in gaining places into professional colleges and dance careers. It is a lie to say stage schools just look at the performance ability at audition, and a lie to say examinations are a con- exam results show the level a pupil has successfully achieved, that they have the strive and ambition to achieve and that they have been trained to a high standard. Can you trust a level of training that is not monitored by the Dance Council? No, as you have no proof your child has been trained correctly. Schools that do not take examinations are not being monitored by the Dance Council for Education. Here at DFSD we are monitored through our exams twice yearly, and have achieved awards from the Dance Council for our high standards. This is proof to parents that we as Teachers are teaching your children correctly, and that they are progressing exactly as they should. No exams = no proof. We also know through our professional west end contacts that local colleges and Stage schools are now turning Children/students away because they have not taken exams, and therefore do not have proof of the level they should have achieved.
At DFSD we have fully trained and qualified teachers. Miss Diana has the highest level of qualification (fellow) in her fields, and also is a part of the BATD executive council. This means she works on creating and supporting the Dance board that we at DFSD follow, as well as dance schools all over the world. She examines Dance across the country so knows the quality of dance children need to achieve. She is also a qualified adjudicator for dance Festivals, ensuring therefore that our festival work is high quality. Miss Alex is the second to highest level able to be achieved- Member (a higher level teacher) this means that Miss Alex is at a level high enough to enter pupils for examinations herself. She is also the cheerleading and freestyle dance representative for the BATD London Region. If any BATD member has a problem in these areas, Miss Alex would be who they would contact. Miss Diana is Chairman of this committee and is the representative for Stage (tap and modern) and Ballet. Miss Alex has a BA hons degree in Theatre arts specialising in Musical Theatre, Miss Laura has a BA hons degree in Dance education achieved through the RAD and Miss Charlotte has a Musical Theatre diploma from Laines Stage School. The rest of our staff have Associate level qualifications. This means they are fully qualified and fully trained exceptionally competent teachers.
Some dance schools are run by teachers who do not have any qualifications themselves, or are older Associates who have not continued to further their training to the next level. Would you go to an unqualified Doctor? If not, then why trust an unqualified Dance teacher? Our staff's training and qualified teacher statuses show that the teachers know the intimate details of the muscles, and body and know exactly how to train pupils correctly without risk of injury in the immediate or far future.
We would like parents to be aware that if a pupil does want a future career in dance or musical theatre (west end work) it is imperative that they take more lessons than just musical theatre, or purely singing and drama. Producers now require performers to be a 'triple threat' which means they need to be of a high quality in dancing, singing and drama. At DFSD all the dance styles needed for a future career are covered (most importantly ballet, tap and modern) and also musical theatre to aid the ability in drama and singing. In many auditions pupils are required to dance first before they are seen to sing or act, if they do not have the correct dance skills or appropriate dance qualifications they will then be turned away before the panel has even heard them sing or act! It is therefore essential to have dance skills and qualifications in the appropriate areas; all easily achievable at DFSD.
We are very proud at DFSD that we are offering quality teaching that has resulted in pupils and teachers working in the west end in such shows as Book of Morman, Mary Poppins, High School Musical, Seven brides for seven brothers, Oklahoma, Thoroughly modern Millie, It's beginning to look like Christmas and many more. We have had pupils performing on cruise ships, abroad, cheerleading for professional football clubs and performing at Disneyland Paris. We also have pupils/ teachers teaching the skills they learnt with the qualifications they achieved at DFSD in private, public and stage schools all across the country.
If you bring your children to DFSD for fun or for a future career please be happy in the knowledge that your children are in a safe, professional dance environment where they will be taught correctly and professionally all whilst having fun too!