Welcome to the RSL Partner Spotlight with... UKAdance!

UKAdance assist dance teachers worldwide by providing their pupils with Achievement Awards for all ages & abilities, in all styles of Dance & Drama. They also providing Teaching Qualifications and are proud to help, encourage and support members in all dance disciplines to establish and develop their business.

We're proud to work with some of the most innovative organisations across the Creative Industries providing access to regulated qualifications. We spoke to Russell Sargeant (Company Secretary at UKAdance), to tell us more about the fantastic array of qualifications they offer...

Can you give us a quick introduction to UKAdance?

Founded in Manchester in 1902, UKAdance is well into its second century, proudly supporting dance teachers. We fully realise the importance of the hobby & social dancer, whilst catering fully for the elite pupils with career and performance ambitions.

We are proud to be innovators in many dance styles and encourage every dance genre. UKAdance always embraces openly any new trend that emerges, which is of interest to the dance school business. In this vein we pioneered Western Line Dance, Freestyle, Club Dance, Street Dance and Cheerdance, being the first to introduce technique books, syllabuses and assessments. Constantly perpetuating our motto “Big enough to matter – small enough to care”. We listen and interact with any and every member, irrespective of the size of their pupil base. We prioritise the importance of safe dance practise, dance history, lesson planning, risk assessment, legal requirements and knowledge of anatomy which are all syllabus requirements for our professional assessments. Keep happy, keep healthy, keep UKAdancing!

Tell us a bit about the courses you offer that RSL quality assure?

We offer Regulated Grades to dancers through our dance teachers. We provide the syllabus, assessment system, assessors and support to our members (dance teachers), who in turn offer the regulated grades to their pupils whether it is once a week or several times a week depending how many dance styles and how quickly the students want to gain the necessary hours of learning for the grade they are taking.

RSL quality assure our Regulated Grades in Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz and Highland, which was the first branch we offered Regulated Grades in, about a decade ago.

What’s the benefit of partnering with RSL Awards to offer regulated qualifications?

The benefit of partnering with RSL Awards is that you get a “two for one”, the wealth of experience that both partners bring to the table is great. RSL are forward looking, as are UKAdance, striving to embrace the challenges and adapt to be able to deliver assessments now and in the future.

Having RSL as a partner means there are two bodies making sure that the high standards set are maintained at the level necessary in order to deliver Regulated Grade Assessments.

Are there any student success stories you can share with us?

There are many students who have been taught by our members who have gone on to perform and teach throughout the world and it would be difficult to highlight a few individuals. The biggest success story is watching our members schools grow. Helping them to develop and thus giving more pupils access to the fabulous world of dance, passing on the passion of our industry and what it has to offer. The arts sector in general is under-appreciated but is accessible to all and not only does it provide a “feel good” factor but it has real health benefits both physical and mental.

So the success story is more people having access to the arts through our members.

What’s been your experience of working with RSL so far?

The journey has been a learning curve for both sides as we were one of the first (if not the first) body to partner with RSL around a decade ago. Initially it was finding the best way to interact and how to support and help each other develop the necessary skills for what we were doing. The journey has been really positive and both sides have been able to develop the way that we work together to keep developing and moving forward.

What exciting plans have you got in the pipeline for the rest of the year and beyond?

The year ahead is going to be very exciting with new ideas in the pipeline that will be announced to our membership very shortly. Covid hasn’t gone but we are slowly learning to live with it. One of the key things this year is to help and support our members in finding a path to whatever the new “normality” is going to be. Whether that is through assessments, CPD or the up-coming conference in June, that has been missed for the past two years.

Being able to interact face-to-face again will be a bonus and a chance to keep building bonds within our industry. Having gone through the experience the world has gone through we need to continue to look at new ways in which technology can further enhance the delivery of Assessments (Regulated and Domestic) and the development of our teachers.

We'd like to extend a huge thanks to Russell for taking the time to create this article. Click here to find out more about UKAdance, or, click here to learn more about becoming an RSL Quality Assurance Partner Organisation.