In response to a growing need for second career prospects for professional dancers, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) launched a training programme to prepare dancers for a career in teaching in 2017, with the inaugural course running from July 2018 to June 2019. Entries are now open for the second time in Australia, although for more than 40 years the RAD’s Professional Dancers’ Postgraduate Teaching Certificate (PDPTC) has been bringing the Academy’s worldwide teaching qualification to dancers across the globe from its base in the UK and in Europe.
PDPTC is designed specifically to the needs of professional dancers who are considering a career in teaching, allowing them to develop the skills required to impart their years of experience and training on others.
The inaugural PDPTC programme in Australia saw 17 professional dancers from varied backgrounds embark on the year-long course. Completed mostly via distance learning, the course also includes an on-site induction and a four-week intensive study period undertaken at the RAD’s Darlinghurst studio in Sydney, to coincide with the summer break. Starting in July, this flexible programme of study accommodates dancers’ rehearsal, performance and work schedules or teaching commitments, and provides a secure and knowledgeable platform for a career in teaching.
The on-site Intensive Study Period comprises practical sessions, lectures, seminars, discussion groups and tutorials. Students also undertake a teaching placement in a dance school or teaching context of their choice, supported by a Mentor and Practical Teaching Supervisor.
Recent graduate Abigail Boyle undertook her study whilst dancing professionally as a Principal Artist with Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has now retired from the stage and is coaching in New Zealand.
Boyle says, “Being surrounded by like-minded people who shared and challenged my viewpoints of dance, dance psychology, biomechanics and syllabus only enriched my experience further. On-site tutors were out of this world and inspired me with their endless amounts of knowledge. I am now director of Abigail Dance Coaching and am able to teach, guide and coach dancers with new found pedagogy. What is more important, though, is that the PDPTC installed a passion and eagerness to continue to research and study in my own time to further my teaching abilities.”
Those who successfully complete the PDPTC are eligible to become Registered Teachers of the RAD and benefit from the exclusive right to enter candidates for RAD examinations, as well as becoming part of a highly respected international community of dance teaching professionals.
RAD Australia National Director Rebecca Taylor adds, “Professional dancers hold a wealth of expertise and experience on stage and in the studio, nationally and internationally, and across genres. The RAD is committed to supporting professional dancers and ensuring their expertise is passed on to dancers across Australia and around the world. The PDPTC programme provides professional dancers the opportunity to solidify their knowledge and experience into a teaching environment, building on and extending their career in the dance industry, and opening up opportunities for further education and employment.”
Application and eligibility information is available on the RAD website. Visit au.royalacademyofdance.org/teacher-training-with-the-rad/faculty-of-education/professional-dancers-postgraduate-teaching-certificate.