The Royal Academy Of Dance (RAD) has advised members of the public to check dance teachers’ credentials before signing up for classes, after releasing new research.
A survey revealed that 89% of adults in the UK were not aware that there is currently no legal requirement for dance teachers to have a relevant teaching qualification in order to lead a class or dance school.
Almost three quarters (74%) of adults surveyed agreed that they would want to check the credentials of a teacher before attending a dance class or signing their child up to a dance school.
Three quarters (75%) also agreed that it would be useful to have a service to check whether a dance teacher had a relevant dance teaching qualification before attending or sending their child.
The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of RAD.
The organisation said it wished to reinforce the importance of learning dance with a qualified teacher and encourage members of the public to seek out the information.
Despite the majority of adults being unaware there is currently no obligation for someone to have relevant dance qualifications in order to teach a class to the public, a large number (54%) of those surveyed agreed that it would be a factor affecting their decision on selecting a class.
RAD has also now launched a global Register of Teachers, a new tool enabling the public to search for a local dance teaching professional.
Only dance teachers who meet RAD’s professional standards and training requirements are registered with the RAD and viewable on the register, the organisation said.
RAD chief executive Tim Arthur, said: “At the RAD we believe that everyone can dance – but not everyone can teach dance.
“Unqualified teachers devalue the whole art form because a bad experience can put people off dance for life, not to mention potentially causing injuries.
“Conversely, a great experience with an experienced and knowledgeable teacher, can be life changing.”
Mr Arthur added he was “not surprised” that such a high amount of people was unaware that a qualification is not a legal requirement in order to teach dance.
“I hope that the RAD’s new Register of Teachers will allow the public to make informed decisions when finding a dance teacher,” he said.
“In fact, we have also created a checklist which can be used by the public, which covers a list of questions they may wish to ask when finding any qualified dance teacher, because ultimately we want to inspire the world to dance.”