TEACHER CERTIFICATION and EDUCATIONAL CERTIFICATION has been conducted through GSDTA since 1961. GSDTA® Certification is recognized world-wide for its thorough standards, rigorous educational instruction and the excellent preparation it provides for students, performers and teachers. Part (A) – “Universal Unit System” Teachers Certification is the start of the Certification process. The other individual divisions can be achieved in any order. Part (B) - West Coast Swing Teachers Certification – Part (C) - Social Ballroom Teachers Certification Part (D) GSDTA Certification of Dance Education .
(A) ”Universal Unit System” Teachers Certification: – This Certificate is issued to those who have attended a minimum of 20 hours of Certified training Modules from GSDTA Dance Specialists - and have passed the 1½ hour written Associate Exam in Skippy Blair’s Universal Unit System®. This Exam covers the foundation of the System®, which deals with counting Beats of Music (in the actual MUSIC as well as in the Dance PATTERNS), Foot Positions, and the numerous Dance Rhythms, of which all dances are composed. It also includes understanding the LANGUAGE of the dance. Language is one of the most important educational elements in any discipline. In addition, participants will have learned the process of determining the order in which patterns should be taught - as well as the order in which specific dances should be taught. This is one of the highlights of the program.Exam Fee for PART (A) is $150, which includes the cost of the exam, administration, exam correction, exam evaluation, and the actual Certificate**.
This Exam requires a minimum of an additional 20 hours of GSDTA Module instruction, after successfully passing the Universal Unit System Exam. The two requirements for the “West Coast Swing” Certification are passing the WCS – 1½ hour written Examination, plus either providing a Video of the candidate teaching a class or private lesson –or - a Live demo of both lead and follow, of the 14 West Coast 101 patterns.
The WCS exam covers not only principals of movement and music – but also provides the tools to interpret what any instructor is teaching. It also places a strong emphasis on the History & Evolution of West Coast Swing. Another huge part of the training is Terminology. The SYSTEM trains Teachers to lay a foundation that allows their students to develop to their OWN highest level.Exam Fee for the West Coast Swing Teacher Examination is $250, which includes the cost of the exam, administration, exam correction, telephone evaluation of the exam, plus evaluation of the teaching VIDEO. If LIVE presentation of the 14 patterns in West Coast 101 is preferred – applicant must pay an additional $100 to the GSDTA specialist conducting the evaluation.
This Exam requires a minimum of an additional 20 hours of GSDTA Module instruction, after passing the Part (A) Exam. The two requirements for the “Social Ballroom Dance” Certificate are: passing the 1&1/2 hour written examination, plus either providing a Video of the candidate teaching a class or private lesson – OR - a Live demo exam of the popular basic Social Dances.Exam Fee for the Social Ballroom Dance Teacher Examination is $250, which includes the cost of the exam, administration, exam correction, telephone evaluation of the exam, plus evaluation of the teaching VIDEO. If LIVE presentation of the 14 patterns in West Coast 101 is preferred – applicant must pay an additional $100 to the GSDTA specialist conducting the evaluation.
There are people who are college minded – who do not want to be teachers, but do want to take the exams. They can take the exact same exams as those listed above (same fees apply), however Part A - ”Universal Unit System” must be first. The only exception is that they will not be required to make a video of teaching. The certificate will read: “GSDTA Certified Dance Education in (with the appropriate division A, B or C listed).
After 55 years of Teacher Certification, we find ourselves in 2015, in transition to an even stronger, updated Program. MANY of the duties that I took care of (free of charge) are now being done by GSDTA Specialists who must be paid. What you are reading today is our latest draft in progress (February, 2015) and is subject to change.
Regarding the actual Teaching Modules taught at GSDTA “EXCELLeration Intensives.” Although the NAME of the Module, in several different programs might be identical, or at least “similar” - the CONTENT will never be exactly the same. Each individual Module contains at least 10 to 20 hours of critical information. At each Dance EXCELLeration Intensive, only ONE or two hours are covered per Module. There is always MORE to learn. Each individual component requires repeating several times, in order to learn as much as you can about the various, essential elements of both DANCE and MUSIC.
Starting in September, 2015, instead of dealing with assorted Articles (covering the topics being taught) participants in Dance EXCELLeration Intensives held in Downey, Ca will be required to purchase the University dance text: “Pathway to Dance EXCELLeration”. This book covers ALL of the various Articles that explain the entire Universal Unit System®. Every participant will be able to study ALL of the elements they might encounter in the future. For GSDTA Certified Training Intensives at other locations, the book is recommended but not required.
Please request “JUDGES Certification” information for details of that program.
**Exams are scheduled from time to time when we have at least 10 people to take an exam at one time. Under special circumstances, a student may take a private exam with a GSDTA Specialist and pay their private rate for that hour. Many people prefer the private hour to suit their convenience, due to traveling and time constraints.