Faculty and students from Debra Collier’s School of Dance in Warsaw, attended the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters’ annual Ballet Forum, Dance and More, Training School and Convention, held in Schaumburg, Ill.
Studio owner and CNADM Past President, Debra Collier, all of her faculty members, and students ranging from novice to advanced, attended the various workshops to improve their skills in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and modern dance. The attendees received instruction from a faculty of renowned dance professionals.
CNADM provides three levels of certifications where a teacher’s knowledge and competence as a dance educator are measured and qualified. To gain membership, teachers must successfully complete written and demonstrative testing in various disciplines of dance.
Teachers may then apply to become a Certified Dance Educator by completing 240 hours of teacher training, passing written and oral testing and submitting a DVD of themselves teaching. Master Dance Educator certification may be acquired by an additional 160 hours of training and submission of a Teaching Portfolio.
“Teacher certification is important in our industry”, explains studio owner Debra Collier. “Many times you will see a dancer that is a talented and beautiful performer, but they do not have the training to break elements down and teach them to students.
The CNADM certification program is a standard in our industry to assess teachers’ skills and abilities.”
DCSD instructor Kristina Collier was recognized during the CNADM Annual Awards Banquet as she was announced as the 2014 CNADM Member of the Year. This award recognizes an active member who has gone above and beyond in promoting CNADM within their studio, as well as in supporting the art of dance within their community at large.
As the studio’s director of Community Outreach Kristina teaches many free workshops at area preschools, has taught at local schools as enhancements to their music and P.E. programs, as well as teaching salsa as part of a foreign language course.
“Sharing my love for dance is one of the best parts of my job” Kristina says. “I am also passionate about what CNADM offers the dance community, so to be recognized by the organization is such an honor.”
The banquet is a highlight of the organization’s summer events. Over 300 teachers and students joined together as they honored their peers and celebrated the spirit of dance. The event opened with a performance by the students of the CNADM Dance and More program, including three DCSD graduates, Alexis Laureano, Sarah Mills and Stephanie Wight.
Alexis, who was selected as the recipient of the CNADM College Scholarship, was also recognized at the annual banquet. Alexis is a DCSD graduate attending Purdue University where she is continuing in dance as she pursues a degree in engineering.
DCSD students also attended the CNADM Ballet Forum where they were honored to work with world renowned teachers such as Tom Ralabate, Brian Koepsell and Melissa Anderson. The students presented newly commissioned pieces at the Ballet Gala. Students also attended the Student Sessions, where DCSD student Brooke Rumple received a Merit Scholarship based on her abilities and performance throughout the workshop.
Debra Collier’s School of Dance provides the area’s most highly trained team of instructors teaching in a state-of-the-art facility. With a passion for developing students as people not just dancers, along with a deep and long-term commitment to the Warsaw community, Debra Collier’s truly believe it’s about more than dance.