We’re SO proud to be a YPAD Certified Studio! But… what does that really mean?
Around our website and in our studio, visitors see and hear “YPAD” a lot. The dance industry is its own world – we have our own terminology and traditions. For families who are new to dance or our studio, it can be a lot! We’re on the blog today to share what “YPAD” means – and what it means that The Pointe is Iowa’s first (and currently only) YPAD Certified studio in Iowa.
What does YPAD mean?
First, “YPAD” stands for Youth Protection Advocates in Dance. YPAD is dedicated to educating and training dance professionals in best practices to keep dance a safe and positive activity for kids. YPAD courses are based on scientific research and objective standards, not subjective opinions. As a result, dance professionals are empowered to make the best choices for their students.
Why is YPAD needed?
In the United States, there are currently no regulations or requirements for dance teachers or dance studios. Background checks, CPR/First Aid training, or any level or education in child development, injury prevention, dance technique, etc. are not mandated – or commonly used in dance studios. To put this in perspective – a volunteer in any public school needs a background check before they can even enter the classroom. Dog groomers have required safety training before they can shampoo a pet. Dance teachers and studios have zero requirements – anyone could apply for a sales tax permit and open a dance studio or teach dance classes. We believe dance teachers should be background checked, certified in CPR and First Aid, and trained in best practices for safety and developmentally appropriate material.
How does a studio get certified?
The education that YPAD offers is open to the public – anyone can take the courses and benefit from the material. Certification has a stricter set of requirements. To be a YPAD Certified studio, every staff member is background checked, CPR/First Aid certified and completes two YPAD courses. Each staff member also agrees to uphold the standards presented in the YPAD training in their classes and in their online presence.
Certifying a studio is an incredible investment on behalf of every member of the staff. Each staff member takes about 10 hours of online class material plus in-person CPR and First Aid skills testing. The courses are demanding in time, energy, and resources.
What topics are covered in certification?
Certification includes two full courses on safety and dancer wellness. The topics covered in each course include:
- Best Educational Practices
- Injury Prevention & Response
- Sexual Abuse Awareness, Prevention, & Reporting
- Risk Management in the Dance Environment
- CPR/First Aid
- Social Media, Media Safety, & Today’s Dance Culture
- Developmentally Appropriate Artistry
- Body Image, Nutrition, & Disordered Eating
- Bullying and Conflict Resolution
When did The Pointe get certified?
The Pointe School of Dance was proudly the very first studio to be certified in Iowa in our first year! Miss Vanessa is a member of the Advisory Panel for YPAD and helped develop the original certification course. She went through the very first certification course ever in January 2017! After that, the studio earned certification in April 2017. Our entire staff completed recertification this fall. YPAD Certification is valid for two years. Because of this, our staff continues to get updated training regularly.
What does this mean for my dancer?
Having our studio earn (and re-earn!) certification means that every single instructor at The Pointe is qualified to teach dance classes for kids and serve as a role model for them. As a result, your child is in good hands with any instructor at The Pointe. There’s no need to worry about the credentials of a new or different teacher because every staff member has gone through this extensive training and earned certification.
Dance teachers and professionals can learn more about YPAD’s courses here. To celebrate the relaunch of the courses and YPAD’s new online learning platform, use code “YPAD20” to get 20% off through the end of 2019!