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Teaching Standards

Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts (PTSDA)

A young white woman in a gray sweater instructs a group of dancers in black leotards and black tights, all with their arms swaying about their heads.

Click here to download a PDF of the Professional Standards for Dance Arts (PTSDA)

The Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts (PTSDA) provides an industry standard for individuals teaching dance. The PTSDA describes the criteria expected of master dance educators. The PTSDA document is organized in two distinct sections: Section I, the Standards, details the eight content and achievement standards expected of an accomplished teacher and Section II, the Portfolio Checklist, provides types of evidence or acceptable documentation a teacher might include in a portfolio analysis to demonstrate successful achievement of the standards.

Content Standards

A black male dressed in black against an organge back round is on his toes with his arms above his head as he leans backwards.

The eight professional teaching standards address domains of knowledge that are necessary to provide an optimal learning experience for public or private dance education. The domains of knowledge require the master teacher integrate: goals and purposes of teaching dance education; knowledge of students; opportunities to learn; dance content, knowledge and skills; teaching methods and strategies; teaching and learning dance in context of broader education and community resources; and reflective practice (research, student and teacher assessments, and program evaluation).

  1. Goals and Purposes of Dance Arts Education
    Accomplished teachers understand the goals and purposes of dance education and use this knowledge to inform their instructional practice, motivate student learning and achievement, and convey the importance of dance to life and learning beyond the dance learning environment.
  2. Knowledge of Students
    Accomplished teachers demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive, affective, and kinesthetic development of students from early childhood through young adulthood into lifelong learning. Teachers should recognize individual student interests, abilities, and needs to inform age-appropriate instructional decisions. 
  3. The Content of Dance
    Accomplished teachers use their knowledge of dance to aid students in acquiring the skills to create, perform, critically analyze, interpret, and evaluate works of art in dance. 
  4. Learning Environments
    Accomplished teachers establish safe and engaging learning environments that meet the Opportunity-to-Learn (OTL) (2017) standards supporting student learning and growth.  To download the OTLs separate from the entire PTSDA, click here
  5. Instructional Resources and Strategies
    Accomplished teachers utilize a variety of resources and employ diverse strategies that enable students to maximize learning.
  6. Taking Responsibility to Be the Best Teacher you Can Be and Advancing the Field of Dance Arts Education
    Accomplished teachers take responsibility for continuing education and professional development, and they collaborate with colleagues at local, state, and national levels to advance the field of dance arts education.
  7. Integrating Community Resources to Support and Enhance the Dance ProgramA diverse group of dancers in race and age dance together in a class all dressed in casual athletic atire
    Accomplished teachers coalesce community resources to build their dance program so it is central to community education, art, culture, society, and business. Genuine collaboration and networks create pathways to establishing, nurturing, and sustaining dance programs in a community.
  8. Reflective Practice: Assessment, Evaluation and Research
    Accomplished Teachers seamlessly blend teacher and student assessments and program evaluation into daily instruction; and they recognize that dance studios and classrooms provide research opportunities to improve teaching, learning, and reflective practice.