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Ballroom Dance Instructor Certification

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Do you have a desire to turn your passion for ballroom dancing into a career? Unfortunately, extensive dancing skills and experience may not be sufficient to become a professional dance teacher. Official accreditation for ballroom dancing instruction can lend credibility to your résumé and expose you to numerous opportunities in the dance world.

What is Ballroom Dance?

Ballroom dance encompasses numerous distinct types of dances. The standard dances include the waltz, tango and foxtrot. The dancing style also includes Latin dances such as the paso doble and the cha cha.

In all ballroom dances, the dancers practice and perform in couples. The leader and the follower must work in tandem to perform the dances well.

Ballroom Dance in the United States

The popularity of ballroom dance is, in part, due to the popularity of dancing television shows, such as “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” increasing the awareness of ballroom dancing to people across the United States.

The United States has several organizations dedicated to ballroom dance. USA Dance, a branch of the International Dance Sport Federation (IDSF), is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of ballroom dancing in the United States. USA Dance, which governs national dance competitions and athletes, boasts more than 100 chapters across the nation.

Teaching Accreditation

Although some dance studios may hire an experienced dancer without accreditation for teaching positions, possessing the certification to teach ballroom dancing can be a great advantage in pursuing a dancing career.

According to Dance USA's Dancesport Rulebook, a "certified teacher" must be certified by a member of the IDSF. A dance instructor who is not officially at the professional level is simply considered an "instructor."

Many dance schools across the United States offer certification training, which prepares dancers for a standardized test. The schools grant certification upon completion of the class and a passing test grade. The training courses are quite intensive and include everything from in-class training to instructional DVDs.

Dance schools stress that no previous experience is needed to join the certification training program. Ballroom dancers seeking to perform on a professional level can also use certification programs to study ballroom dancing styles intensively.

The Professional Dance Vision International Dance Association (ProDVIDA) is a professional dance teacher association. Most training programs utilize the ProDVIDA syllabus and guidelines for certification, which is recognized by the National Dance Council of America (NDCA). ProDVIDA provides workbooks, manuals, DVDs and student tests for teachers and certification programs.

A Ballroom Dance Career

Once a dancer receives certification, he is exposed to numerous career options. The dancer can continue to pursue a professional dancing career. A dancer with certification can join a studio and teach ballroom dance classes or operate as an independent teacher anywhere in the United States. A certified ballroom dance teacher is also eligible to become a judge for national and international ballroom dance competitions.

Teaching Ballroom Dance at the International Level

According to the NDCA Rulebook, teachers and coaches from the U.S. who wish to teach abroad must apply for clearance from the the NDCA's Ballroom Department and obtain permission from the governing body of the intended country of the teacher's instruction. The IDSF website provides a list of the international dance federations and their contact information.


Lorraine J. Floyd has been writing since 2009. She is an editorial assistant at Layalina Productions, where she writes about public diplomacy and the Arab media. She is also a correspondent at Southern Pulse and a part-time contract transcriber for National Capitol Contracting in Arlington, Va. Floyd graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs.

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