International Dance Teachers Association

International Dance Teachers Association
Abbreviation IDTA
Motto "Always one step ahead"
Formation Founded: 1903
Incorporated: 1967
Legal status Private limited company (Ltd)
Purpose Dance education and examination board
Headquarters International House
76 Bennett Road
United Kingdom
Region served
UK and Worldwide
Chief Exec.
Keith Holmes
Main organ
Board of Directors
Affiliations • British Dance Council
• Council for Dance Education & Training
• Central Council for Physical Recreation
• Theatre Dance Council International

The International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) is a leading dance teaching and examination board based in Brighton, England. Operating internationally, the IDTA is one of the largest dance teaching organisations in the world and currently has over 7,000 members in 55 countries. The IDTA is a recognised awarding organisation, recognised by the national qualifications regulators in England and Wales, Ofqual and the Council for Dance Education and Training, and is also affiliated to the British Dance Council, the Central Council of Physical Recreation and the Theatre Dance Council International. The IDTA also works in partnership with the Royal Academy of Dance. It publishes their magazine for members Dance International six times a year.


The International Dance Teachers Association was formed in 1967 as the result of a merger between the Dance Teachers' Association (DTA), and the International Dancing Masters Association (IDMA). Both these organisations were themselves formed from the merging of older dance teaching associations, with the earliest being established in 1903. The IDTA subsequently celebrated its centenary in 2003.[1]

The earliest predecessor of today's IDTA was the Manchester and Salford Association of Teachers of Dancing, founded in 1903. This later became known as the Empire Society, (ESTD), in 1938. In 1920, another group of teachers in Birmingham formed the Midland Association of Teachers of Dancing (MATD), which eventually merged with the Empire Society in 1961 to form the Dance Teachers' Association.

In the early post-World War I years, a number of other small dance organisations were formed: the English Dancing Masters Association (EDMA), the Premier Association of Teachers of Dancing (PATD), the Universal Association of Dane Teachers (UADT), and the Yorkshire Association of Dancing Masters (YADM). These four organisations merged in 1930 to form the International Dancing Masters' Association.

The final merger of these organisations in 1967, saw the creation of today's International Dance Teachers' Association.[2]


The IDTA exists primarily as a dance training and examination board.

For students, the IDTA provides training opportunities with qualified dance teachers worldwide, both in private and mainstream dance education. Training is available in a wide range of dance disciplines, with examinations leading to a range of awards and certificates for successful candidates, including vocational examinations for students who wish to pursue a career in professional dance. Examinations and awards are available for a variety of ages and abilities.

The IDTA also awards dance teaching qualifications and has a certification programme for dance students and professionals who wish to gain a recognised dance teaching qualification. There are three levels of qualification that certify teachers to enter candidates for IDTA examinations, they are Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship. Fellowship is the highest level of qualification within the IDTA and teachers who have reached this level may apply to become examiners of the IDTA.

Beyond dance training and examinations, the IDTA is also one of the World's foremost organisations in the field of competitive dancing, and in this role organises numerous competitions, dance festivals and championships both in the UK and internationally, and is influential in the regulation and adjudication of such competitions. In the UK in particular, the IDTA organises the competitions for the much sought after titles of Miss Dance of Great Britain and Dance Master UK, and also the IDTA Theatre Dance Championships. Entrants for these prestigious competitions compete in heats at dance festivals nationwide throughout the year, for a place in the annual National finals in Blackpool.

The IDTA is also responsible for the presentation of the annual Carl Alan Awards. Little known outside the dance industry, the Carl Alan Award is a highly regarded honour within the dance community, as it is awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to dance. Awards are given in a variety of categories, with recipients including performers, teachers, and choreographers, and also for special services and a lifetime achievement award.

IDTA issues the monthly Dance International Magazine, which is distributed free of charge to all fully paid-up members of the organisation and includes important news for the month ahead. This includes information about any changes to the IDTA examination system, dates of meetings and seminars, general news and other vital information that teachers need.

Dance styles

The IDTA is divided into two distinct branches, the Theatre Branch branch and the Ballroom Branch. Each of these two sectors covers a range of dance styles, each with an elected faculty committee that oversee the standards and development of the discipline. The IDTA offers the following dance subjects:

Theatre faculties

Ballroom faculties

Teaching qualifications

Theatre branch

People who wish to become dance teachers with the theatre branch of the IDTA can undertake a teacher training programme with an authorised member of the organisation. Candidates can undertake teacher training in one of the core theatre dance subjects of Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz or Theatrecraft. To become recognised as a qualified teacher member of the IDTA, the candidate must achieve Associate status in at least one of these core subjects, which subsequently authorises them to teach the complete IDTA syllabus in all theatre dance subjects.

There are five levels of certification for candidates undertaking teacher training:

The following three levels are different levels of qualified teachers and all are authorised to teach the IDTA syllabus and enter candidates for examinations:

A teacher who has achieved Fellowship status in all four core subjects of the theatre branch, can apply to become an examiner for the branch. Candidates who are successful in the selection process to become an examiner, then visit dance schools as a representative of the organisation, assessing pupils' dancing and providing feedback on how they can improve. They also provide feedback to the teachers, to ensure that standards are being maintained and that the syllabus is being correctly taught. Examiners can also vote for and be nominated for election to one of the theatre branch's technical committees, which oversee the development of the syllabus in each discipline. This is one of the most senior roles in the organisation.


From 1 October 2006, the IDTA began a new association with the London-based Royal Academy of Dance. A press release issued to members of each organisation stated that "the two organisations would embark on a process of working together for the future of dance and to the mutual benefit of their members in both teacher education and training and examinations".

As a result of this association, registered teachers of the IDTA theatre dance branch are admitted as teacher members of the RAD and vice versa, teachers of the RAD are admitted to membership of the theatre branch of the IDTA. Whilst the new association is not a merger, it is intended that it will develop co-operation between the two organisations and mutual recognition of the training and qualifications that they both provide. It is also expected that in the future, both the IDTA and RAD will begin to work together, providing new training and development opportunities for members and students of both organisations.



Notable people

Ballroom branch

Theatre branch

Honorary members

See also


  1. Wainwright, Lyndon 1997. The story of British popular dance. International Publications (IDTA), Brighton.
  2. Wainwright, p32.

External links

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