Since there is no legislation on dance, anyone can perform or teach dance in the same way that anyone can perform or teach painting, music, singing, poetry or sculpture. It is a basic principle that everyone must enjoy unhindered access to and practice of the arts. The public is the final arbiter.
By Alkis Raftis, President of International Dance Council at UNESCO
Most dance teachers have experience as professional dancers and/or a long training in teaching dance. Still, students need to know the credentials of teachers and this creates the need for titles. Examination Boards provide examinations and eventually syllabuses leading to a document certifying that the student has passed an examination and has been found capable to teach a particular style of dance.
Examination Boards offer an invaluable service to the profession and to the public, but they have weaknesses
The British have been pioneers in this industry for more than a century. In the U.K. you will find many Boards such as RAD, ISTD, IDTA, BBO, NATD, BATD, UKA, ABD etc. Holders of their titles are hundreds of thousands, mostly in the Commonwealth countries. In other countries a title is not necessary, it is enough to be a graduate of a well-known school, especially a government one. Disciplines are mainly ballet and ballroom, but also modern, contemporary, jazz and many others.
Examination Boards offer an invaluable service to the profession and to the public, but they have weaknesses: (1) Titles have no legal value. (2) Examiners are not more qualified than school directors sending their students to the exams. (3) Credibility is low since all students pass. (4) Examination fees are costly. (5) Students are often tricked by fake organizations with impressive titles which are businesses in disguise, selling titles.
Dance students, their parents and teachers must be careful in choosing examiners, whether from their own country or from abroad. Titles are necessary, albeit private ones, until governments decide to offer national titles with international recognition.