What’s up in the dance community
Tradition and innovation met August 12 as the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston’s Dance Education Training Course celebrated its 75th anniversary during graduation ceremonies at the Hilton Boston/Woburn.
The 69 soon-to-be teachers, clad in white formal wear, promenaded in a grand march before family, faculty, and alumni just as course graduates have done since the program was founded in 1941. Initially known as The Normal School, the program was created to help dance students become teachers by sharing the what and how of teaching subjects such as ballet, tap, and ballroom. (See “A Century of Service,” August 2014.)
Kathy Coughlin, DETC co-chair, said the program’s curriculum has evolved as dance has evolved, and now touches on subjects such as modern, contemporary, jazz, children’s classes, improvisation, and hip-hop. Instead of taking a five-day session each year for three years, participants now take a three-day session each year for two years. Unchanged is the course’s “teach-in,” in which each student takes his or her place at the front of the class to teach a step before receiving a formal certificate of completion.
Coughlin said the course regularly attracts 75 to 100 dancers between the ages of 15 and 40, from untested teaching assistants to college graduates (and the occasional veteran educator who comes in for a refresher course).
“It’s steadily been a success for us,” Coughlin said of the course, “hence, why we always change it up. I’m always looking into the newest things in dance, always bringing the newest information to the students.”