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Ballet Talk for Dancers

introduction and quick question.


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Hi! What a great forum I'm so glad to have a found it! I started taking ballet classes aged 29 (with no previous dance experience) twice a week and I am completely obsessed! I really feel like ballet has changed my life, not just my health but my peace of mind. It feels great to find like minded people!


This brings me to my question. What do you think the chances are of someone like me eventually being accepted to study for a CBTS? Have you ever heard of it happening and if so how many years study did they have behind them before they were accepted? I would love to teach adults recreational ballet eventually but I feel like probably not likely at this stage in my life.


Thankyou in advance!

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  • Administrators

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Thessaly! Thank you for the kind words about our forum, and we hope you will enjoy reading and participating in our discussions.


Your question really needs to be asked on the Adult Ballet Students forum, since this is just a welcome forum and mostly just gets the attention of moderators, and also because I have no idea what CBTS is! :nixweiss: I would guess that maybe it is a British organization for study of teaching? We do have a lot of British teachers and dancers here, so I'm sure some will have answers for you. :)

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LOL! You were, Thessaly! I saw the title with 'Introduction' in it, and just assumed it was the Welcome Forum! My bad. :o Just stay right here, and I'm sure you will have some responses. :)

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Hi Thessaly!


It seems we have a lot in common! I started ballet at the age of 29 (which was about 3 years ago) and also fell completely in love with it. I take 6 classes per week and I have been a teacher's assistant for probably around 2 years, helping with a variety of levels, but with a main focus on training to work with the 3 year olds. About a month ago, an opportunity opened up to teach the preschool ballet class and I was offered the position, which I happily accepted!


I am now assisting with 5 classes per week in addition to teaching the preschoolers (not including my own ballet classes) and I am hoping to be able to teach more classes in the future when I have gained the appropriate amount of training to do so.


I am not familiar with the CBTS, however because of my own experience, I would say that it is possible to teach ballet if you put in the time and work. Have you considered speaking with your teachers? Perhaps you could start out by helping out with some of the children's classes. If that is not a possibility, could you ask to observe those classes?


I know you expressed interest in teaching adults, but I have found that many of the principles and analogies used in the children's classes are very helpful for adults (including myself!). We all start at the beginning no matter the age.


If teaching is your dream, I say go for it! Given enough time and training, I think almost anything is possible!


Good luck to you and welcome to Ballet Talk!

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Wow what an inspiration I can't believe you achieved so much in three years! I wish I could commit to 6 classes a week but alas my daughter and work has to come first. My teachers only teach adult classes and as yet I have not found a teacher who submits adults for exams :( I guess there aren't that many. Have you taken any formal qualifications or are you just training on the job? Do many ballet many teachers teach without formal qualifications? Thank you for your response! :)

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I hope it's ok for me to post here as I know more about the CBTS. As Thessaly said, it stands for Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies which is one of the teaching qualifications offered by the RAD. They do offer various other courses now though which it might be worth looking into at some point.


I believe it is possible to reach the level required as an adult to teach recreational students. You need to have gained your Intermediate exam though so firstly you'd need to find a teacher that teaches that syllabus (and you'll need to reach that level yourself obviously, I'm not sure where your training is at the moment).


I think with at least 3 classes per week, if you pick things up quickly etc its probably possible to get to that level within about 4 years or so. It obviously depends on the individual but I've got an adult who I've been teaching for 2 years who is currently at about Intermediate Foundation level who could probably pass her Intermediate exam in about another 2 years. Having said that, I started dancing when I was nearly 15 and passed my Intermediate within 2 years so I guess it can be done more quickly!! I was doing 4-5 classes per week and I guess it just all came quite naturally to me fortunately!


Once you've achieved intermediate you can apply for the CBTS which is currently done mostly by distance learning with a couple of seminars to attend and obviously a final Assessment. There's quite a lot of written work and practical experience so you'd need to find a teacher prepared to let you teach their students and she would probably act as a mentor to you and give you guidance. It's currently 2 years long but you'd be looking at quite a lot of work over that period! I think the official figure is about 20 hours per week but I think it depends on how quickly you read/work. I imagine it could be done in about half that time for somebody very competent. There's class plans to submit and revise and reports to make on students and their progress etc as well as all the health and safety, anatomy, music, teaching methods etc to read up on and write about or be assessed on.


It's quite a tough course but it's certainly manageable for somebody with a passion for dance and a desire to learn.


Here's a link to the courses the RAD has in case you haven't seen them.



Please excuse me if you find any of the information I have given is out of date, the course seems to constantly evolve!


To answer your other question, in the UK most reputable teachers have a formal qualification recognised by the Council for Dance Education and Training. In the US that isn't the case at all, it doesn't seem to be the 'done thing' there and peoe look mostly at a teacher's own professional experience and the success of their students (as well as observing them teach I imagine). So because you're an adult it's unlikely you'll get any professional experience so it's probably worth going down the formal qualification route wherever you are, you'll learn an awful lot along the way!

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As of now, I have had about 2 years of experience in "on the job" training under the supervision of our children's program director. Keep in mind, however, that I am only teaching the preschool level, which is mainly creative dance and learning very specific, basic skills. I would love to teach "real" ballet someday if there were ever a need at my home studio, but I'm not quite there yet!

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I don't much about CBTS or the RAD training...but I was a "shockingly late starter" and I currently have a busy teaching schedule in NYC. Work hard. Very very very hard. It can be done.

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Thankyou Balleteacheruk that was exactly the kind of response I was after! You have made it much clearer than the webpage :) I think I will continue taking as many classes as I can for another year and then see if I can find a teacher who will help to prepare me and enter me for the exam. This could be a problem as there are many teachers in my city and none of them seem to take adults that seriously. They are great teachers though :)

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You're welcome :)

When you do try and find a new teacher explain your goal from the start so that she knows to take you seriously. You might also need to be prepared to join classes with teenagers so that you're working at the right level. I have several adults that do this and everyone quickly gets used to it so its really nothing to fear!

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Thanks for that information BalletTeacherUK. I am preparing for my Intermediate exam next May and I was thinking of doing the CBTS or whatever other teaching certification course they will offer by then after I have that exam under my belt.


Thessaly, I am 33 and (re)started ballet almost two years ago and I am quite determined to take and pass my RAD exams at least to Advanced 1. Age is not an issue.

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